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What is Families Instructing Students At Home?


Families Instructing Students At Home is families encouraging each other as we seek to do God’s will in regards to educating our children. We provide information and interaction with other homeschool families. We are a ministry of Bell Shoals Baptist Church. We uphold Christian morals and values.


How can I get more information about the group?


If you are looking for specific interest areas of our group, please click on the "contact" icon at the top of the page.  You may also email the address for general information.  Or you may visit with us at Saladino Park on most Fridays about 1:30. There are people that can answer your questions. . Official park days start in September and end in April. 


Do I have to be a member of Bell Shoals Baptist Church to join?


No, but FISH members must be willing to sign a Statement of Faith when you submit your application to join.  The Statement of Faith is located on the website.


How do I apply for membership?


Click on "Request Membership" at the top of this page. You will find all the instructions for completing the forms on this page.


What does the F.I.S.H. Homeschool group have to offer me?  


Member's benefits include:

Website complete with calendar of events, forums, support and much more.

  • PE for Elementary through High School at Friday Park Days from September through April
  • Beginner and Intermediate Band
  • Choir
  • Creative Arts Festival
  • Athletics- High School We offer High School Tackle Football, Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Soccer, Boys & Girls Volleyball, Golf and Cross Country. If you need additional information, please contact Mike Wertz at mewertz67@hotmail.com
  • Athletics- 4th- 8th grades- . Our competitive teams play in the Tampa Bay Christian Athletic League. (TBCAL). Co-Ed Volleyball, Boys & Girls Cross Country and Co-Ed Soccer are played in the Fall (Late Aug-Mid Dec). Boys and Girls Flag Football, Co-Ed Golf and Boys and Girls Basketball are played in the Spring (Jan-May). Please contact Paul Gibbons at pg1rat@me.com for more information.
  • Encouraging Sports - A ministry of Bell ShoalsEncouraging Sports believes that sports is about a lot more than winning! ES believes competition can teach lessons valuable for life. The leagues and classes offered are developed to encourage effort, attitude and relationships. Please contact Jamie Warnshuis at 813-689-4229 ext. 263 or visit www.bellshoals.com for more information.
  • Chess Club
  • Parent led Field Trips
  • Cooperative Teaching Opportunities for members only
  • Yearbook
  • Past Homeschool Convention CD Lending Library
  • High School Activites and Service Projects
  • Legislative alerts on the website



What is Home Education Foundation (HEF)?


HEF was established in 1991 to raise support and direct lobbying for home education in Tallahassee. 

HEF exists:

  • To PROMOTE and unify legislative action among home educators.
  • To evaluate and MONITOR issues which may affect home educators.
  • To INITIATE, draft and find sponsors for legislation to protect the rights and expand the privileges of home educators.
  • To PLAN, direct and coordinate lobbying efforts.
  • To EDUCATE Florida legislators about home education.
  • To provide a year round PRESENCE and a consistent voice for home educators in the Legislature and Department of Education.


.For more information, please go to www.flhef.org


How do I notify the county?


This is a sample letter of intent to home school.  Make sure you include the date and your signature and mailing address.

Mail to:  Hillsborough County School Board, P.O. Box 3408, Tampa, FL 33601, ATTN: Roxanne Hahn

RE:  Child's name and date of birth

This letter is to inform you of our intent to establish and maintain a home education program for our child(ren), according to Florida Statutes 232.0201.


How do I prepare to start a new year?



This is taken from an article by Cindy Short and Sue Welch, The Teaching Home

1.  Pray 

2.  Communicate with a spouse

3. Set goals for academic and character.

4. Inventory your child's knowledge, skills, and character.

5. Set concrete objectives for each child.

6. Be aware of the different methods of teaching.

7. Set a budget.

8. Know what is in your reference library.

9. Know how to use the public library.

10. Make a list of materials you will need.

11. Make sure you comply with Florida legal requirements.  This may be a good time to join HSLDA.

12. Organize your household.

13. Organize your family schedule and assign chores.

14. Discipline consistently.

15. Commit to homeschooling for this year.

16. Plan your calendar marking celebrations, holidays, etc.

17. Plan your school schedule.

18. Keep accurate records neatly.

19. Explain your expectations to your child.

20.  Get started schooling!!

21.  Readjust when needed.


What about senior graduation?


FISH offers a graduation ceremony for its senior class each May. This commencement ceremony builds on many years of tradition and excellence as dozens of our FISH seniors celebrate this exciting milestone in their lives. As a member of FISH, there is no fee to participate in FISH Graduation with the exception of the cost of the tassel, cap, and gown. Just as your education is a unique experience, your graduation with FISH is a personalized event, which displays each senior's individuality as the graduates determine some of the elements of the ceremony. Seniors are also able to contribute photos for a graduation slide show and his or her table at the reception can be used to highlight the graduate's interests and accomplishments.

Planning is important so meetings are scheduled 4 times during the senior year with one of them being a rehearsal.  At the first senior meeting in June, seniors receive a "help packet" detailing the ceremony, a to-do list. guidelines, and meeting agendas.  Assistance is provided during the year by a Graduation Liaison selected by the leadership team and a Senior Class Coordinator.  


Is there a promotion ceremony for other grades?


Absolutely!  Preschool through 11th graders are given the opportunity to "promote" to the next grade in May.  Kindergarteners are especially recognized with a white cap and gown.  A graduating senior will give a charge to the younger classes.