Homeschoolers in Florida hava a number of options. Families can Homeschool "under the county", through a private school, or by using online public school programs.
Florida Law allows parents to teach their own children at home using their choice of curriculum and eductional style. The parent is not required to have any special education or certification. It is required, however, that the family register the home-educated student with the local county school superintendent. In Volusia County, the parent registers by providing a Letter of Intent to Volusia County Schools. The parent then keeps a portfolio with samples of the child's work and a log of educational activities. Once a year, it is required that the child be evaluated using ONE of three options:
1) Meet with a teacher who is certified in the state of Florida. The teacher will talk with the student and parent, and review the log and portfolio. The teacher will provide a statement of satisfactory progress along with a copy of his or her teaching certificate. The parent mails these to the office of the School Superintendent.
2) The child is tested using a standardized test proctored by a certified teacher. The scores are mailed to the Superintendent.
3) The student is evaluated by a liscensed psychologist.
There is also provision in Florida Law for some other form of evaluation that is agreed upon by the Superintendent of Schools and the home educating parent, but this option is rarely used.
Some private schools allow children to be taught at home, but registered with the private school. In this case the private school is sometimes referred to as an "umbrella school." Homeschooling under this private school option has different requirements, like keeping an attendance log that shows students are being educated for a certain number of hours per year, and keeping grades.
Children enrolled in a private school are not legally considered home schooled by the State of Florida, and therefore cannot participate in classes, activities or sports at their local public school.
See some links to "umbrella schools" in this area:
Public Charter School
This option is not considered "homeschooling" under Florida Law, but is rather considered public schooling. The student can register with Florida Virtual Schools (FLVS) or K-12, and take classes at home via the internet. The student is required to take standardized tests that students take at public schools (like the Florida Standards Assessment).
Links & Resources
See page 7
Volusia County, FL