Homeschooling in Florida

Homeschooling in Florida is pretty easy - so get started by finding out all about Florida homeschool laws and requirements.

I have 2 children and have thoroughly enjoyed homeschooling since I started in 1994 when we lived in Connecticut.

Homeschools are on the rise and for good reason.  Colleges are recognizing that students educated at home are generally well socialized and better at academics than their public school educated counterparts.  It has also been found that homeschoolers are better citizens in terms of getting and holding down jobs, parenting, contributing to charities, and volunteering.  

In 2006 we moved to Florida and I was pleased to see that we could continue our home education program without too many hassles.

The Florida Homeschool Requirements are these 3 items:

  • Submit a notice of intent.
  • Create a portfolio of each child's work.
  • Have your child evaluated.

Scroll down to read more about each of these requirements ........ plus more information.

Submit a Notice of Intent

To begin homeschooling in Florida, you need to contact the school district of the county you live in within 30 days of your start date, and submit a notice of intent for students 6-16 years old.

In my case, I called the Home Education Office of the Lee County school district, and they sent me a packet with information, instructions, names of local homeschool groups and associations, along with the notice of intent.

You can also download the notice of intent, or contact:

The School District of Lee County
2855 Colonial Ave
Fort Myers, FL 33966

Florida Virtual School for Grades K-12

Then fill it out, send it in, and once you receive your Acknowledgement of Home Education Participation form, you are ready to begin!

You have the option of making a copy of your Acknowledgement and sending it to the Florida School Book Depository for textbooks and other materials:

Florida School Book Depository
PO Box 6578
Jacksonville, FL 32236

You may want to check out these online virtual schools:

Florida Virtual School Options

Lee County Virtual School

I used a lot of materials from the library to teach the elementary grades to my children.

But, for middle and high school, I used, still use, and highly recommend the classic education principles and most of the curriculum suggestions from The Well-Trained Mind.
I ordered my curricula from Rainbow Resource, they have the best prices and the most complete selection of educational materials to choose from that I've seen.
homeschool curricula

Create a Portfolio

Laws for homeschooling in Florida require you to keep a portfolio of your child's work which includes:

  • A list of textbooks, materials used, and books read and log of educational activities.
  • Samples of their work from each subject including writings, workbook sheets, reports, tests, or artwork.
florida homeschool

The reason you need to make a portfolio is to have a record, and you may need it depending on the which evaluation method you choose.

What I do is prepare a big binder for the school year with separators between each subject. At the end of the school year, I prepare a sheet of paper with a list of subjects, curricula, books read, and extracurricular activities, that I put at the front of the binder.

I then take 3 sheets of school work from each subject, 1 from the beginning of the school year, 1 from the middle, and 1 from the end, and also put them at the front of the binder along with any artwork or projects in plastic sleeves.

That way the portfolio is separate from the year's schoolwork, yet the evaluator can see that a large body of work was completed for the year.

Keep the portfolio for 2 years and be prepared to submit it with a 15 days notice if necessary.

Okay, now you're ready for the next step.

Have Your Child Evaluated

Homeschooling in Florida also requires an evaluation of your child's school work. You have 4 options:

  • A Florida-certified teacher reviews the portfolio and has a discussion with your child. They sign off on a form they provide, and that you send in.
  • Any national test administered by a certified teacher.
  • The state's FCAT test at an approved location.
  • Any other method approved by parents and superintendent.

I chose the first option. I was fortunate to have a homeschooling neighbor who is also a certified teacher.

Other Homeschooling in Florida Opportunities

There are some fantastic opportunities that go along with homeschooling in Florida:

  • Bright Futures offers scholarships to high achieving students. There are several programs, all combining high GPA scores and community service requirements, along with 2 consecutive years of a foreign language.
  • Dual Enrollment where high school students can attend college and receive high school and college credit at the same time for nothing or only the cost of textbooks. Kids can start the second semester if they are 14 and pass entrance tests, and receive an associates degree by the time they finish high school ....... amazing! Check out the Florida Southwestern College Dual Enrollment Program.
  • Homeschoolers may participate in public school extracurricular activities. I had my youngest daughter take a marine biology class provided by 2 terrific science teachers as an after-school program for homeschoolers through one of our high schools.
  • Homeschoolers also have entrance into state community colleges and universities as well as testing services at resource centers.

For more information about all the above programs and other homeschooling questions, go to Lee County Home Education Program.

Check out these homeschooling support groups so you can socialize with other homeschoolers, take your kids on group field trips, and share ideas and tips:

You may also want to check out the Home School Legal Defense Association, a Christian organization that offers free legal counsel and representation with homeschooling issues, homeschool help and information, all for a minimal cost in yearly dues.

You can find a homeschool support group or co-op at Homeschool Life

And, let's not forget about my most favorite homeschooling in Florida opportunity ... doing school at the beach!

homeschooling in florida

My favorite book for homeschooling ideas is The Well-Trained Mind, which you can order from Amazon, their website, or from my favorite curriculum catalog, Rainbow Resource, along with other homeschool books and curricula. 

What I liked about Well-Trained Mind is their classical approach, and curriculum ideas and schedules for pre-school through high school which made it easy for me to plan each school year quickly, and provided a scope and sequence for my girls' entire education at home.

Related Pages to Homeschooling in Florida

Cape Coral History
Manatee Park Ft Myers
Rotary Park

About Alligators
Cape Coral Eco Park
The Shell Factory

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