Florida Homeschool Attendance Ages: All children who are 6 years old by February 1 of any school year to 16 years old are required to attend school in the state of Florida.
Homeschool Days of Instruction: 180 days for public and private schools. However, homeschoolers operating under option 1below are specifically excluded from this requirement.
Homeschool Required Subjects: None.
The law creating Florida's home education program became effective June 17, 1985 and has assisted hundreds of thousands of students learn from the comfort of their own home.
Florida homeschool students have three types of homeschools to choose from:
Option 1: Homeschools can operate under the home education law.
1. The definition of a home education program is sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his parent or guardian.
2. The parent must meet the following requirements:
a. notify the county superintendent in writing within 30 days of establishing the home education program (not required to be filed annually);
b. give the names, addresses, and birth dates of the homeschool students; and
c. maintain a portfolio of records and materials consisting of a log of educational activities made contemporaneously with the instruction and designating by title any reading materials used and samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student. The portfolio must be preserved for two years and made available for inspection by the superintendent upon 15 days’ written notice, but the school district has no authority to enter the home.
A parent is not required to have a valid Florida teaching certificate to home educate a student.
The superintendent does not have to inspect the child’s homeschool coursework portfolio.
Option 2: More than one homeschool can operate as a private school. A child who attends a private, parochial, religious, or denominational school is exempt from compulsory attendance. The private school must file a charter with their local circuit court and file an annual database form. In some localities, they may be required to obtain a business license
Option 3: Homeschools can operate under the private tutor law. A person may teach a child if the person meets the following requirements:
a. Holds a valid Florida certificate to teach the subjects or grades in which instruction is given;
b. Keeps all records and makes all reports required by the state and district school board; and
c. Requires students to be in actual attendance for 180 days or the equivalent on an hourly basis.
Teacher Qualifications: None for parents.
Standardized Tests: Only required for students under the homeschool law in Option 1 above.
The parent/guardian must file a copy of the evaluation with the local school superintendent annually. There is no specific statutory deadline.
Each student must do one of the following each year:
1) 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;
2) Take any nationally recognized student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
3) Take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing condition approved by the school district.
4) Be evaluated by a Florida licensed psychologist or school psychologist; or
5) Be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon.
The district school superintendent will review and accept the results of the annual evaluation. If the student does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with his ability, the superintendent will notify the parent in writing that the parent has one year to provide remedial instruction to the student. At the end of the one year probationary period the student will be reevaluated to determine if he has progressed commensurate with his ability.
No state funds are accessible for homeschools, so all books, coursework material, and any other homeschool expense must be paid through the parents/guardian or school administrator.
Florida does not provide a high school diploma to students that complete a homeschool program. Students can take the GED to obtain their high school equivalent diploma, but they will not receive an actual accredited Florida high school diploma. Most post-secondary institutions and employers request that an individual holds an accredited high school diploma from their state of resident or they have a high school diploma equivalent (GED certificate).