In Florida, there are three options under which you can legally homeschool. After choosing the option you wish to use, follow the steps listed below it.
Here are the options:
Option 1: Homeschooling under the homeschool statute
A. File a notice of intent to homeschool.
Within 30 days of beginning your homeschool program, you must file a notice of intent to establish a home education program with the county superintendent. You do not need to file this every year. This notice must include the full legal names, addresses, and birthdates of your homeschool students. HSLDA members may use our attorney-designed notice of intent form, attached below.
State law requires the superintendent to accept the notice and immediately register the home education program. The school district cannot require any additional information unless the student decides to participate in a public school program or service. No grade level may be assigned and a Social Security number (or other personal information of the student) cannot be included in any state or district database unless the student decides to participate in that public school program or service.
B. Maintain a portfolio.
Throughout the year, you must keep a portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio must contain:
- a log of educational activities made contemporaneously with the instruction, with a list of the titles of any reading materials used, and
- samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks, creative materials, etc., used or developed by the student.
You must keep this portfolio for two years after it is completed. The district school superintendent or his or her agent can, but is not required to, review your portfolio only after 15 days’ written notice.
C. Evaluate your student annually.
Each student must be evaluated by one of the following options every year:
- Have educational progress evaluated by a teacher holding a valid regular Florida teaching certificate and selected by the parent—the evaluation must include review of a portfolio and discussion with the student;
- Take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
- Take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district;
- Be evaluated by a Florida licensed psychologist or school psychologist; or
- Be “evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon.”
A sample evaluation form is available for members below.
D. File a notice of termination.
When your student completes their homeschool program, or your family moves out of the county, you should submit a notice of termination to the county superintendent of schools within 30 days of completion of the homeschool program. You will need to submit a copy of your child’s final annual assessment along with the notice of termination when your child graduates from high school. If you begin homeschooling in a different county in Florida, you should submit a new notice of intent. While no assessment should be necessary when you move to a new county in the middle of the school year, it is suggested that you provide your annual assessment if the move occurs near your anniversary date. A sample notice of termination is available for members below.
Option 2: Homeschooling under a private school “umbrella” program
You can enroll your child in a private school that is registered with the Florida Department of Education and that will oversee your homeschool program. Such schools are often known as “umbrella” or “cover” schools because your homeschool program is supervised by them rather than overseen by local school officials.
It is your responsibility as the parent to ensure that the school in which you enroll your student is in compliance with all private school requirements mandated by the state of Florida. You can see the Florida Private School Directory on the Florida Department of Education website.
Option 3: Homeschooling with a private tutor
A. Select a private tutor to teach your child.
Your child’s instructor must hold a valid Florida certificate to teach the subjects or grades in which instruction is given.
B. Keep records.
The certified teacher who is tutoring your child must keep records and make reports as required by the state and district school boards in accordance with Florida Statutes 1003.23.
C. Provide the required days of instruction.
Students must be in attendance for 180 days (or the equivalent on an hourly basis).
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.