**Disclaimer: All information presented on this blog is based on our best understanding of current homeschool laws in the state of Florida at the time of each posting, and in particular the homeschool laws for Hillsborough County, where Class Source is located. However, we are not legal experts, and the information posted in this group does not constitute legal advice. Homeschool laws can vary by county and state. If you are uncertain of the homeschool regulations and requirements in your area, please verify using your local resources. The HSLDA website has a resource which allows you to look up homeschool laws by state, and is a good place to start: https://hslda.org/legal.**
This week's FAQ is:
Do Foreign Language classes need to be taken from an accredited institution? Can my child get college credit for taking a foreign language in high school?
As mentioned in our FAQ on “What about high school transcripts and credits” above, there is no way to assign official “credit” as a home-educator without utilizing an accredited institution (such as a public or private school) for those particular courses. But there is also no requirement in the state of Florida for foreign languages (or any other subject) to be taken from an accredited institution as a homeschooler. Just as any other subject, foreign languages can be taught at home, whether with a packaged curriculum or simply by a qualified parent or family member, or taken at a co-op or class program – none of these are officially “accredited,” but all are perfectly acceptable options for teaching foreign language as a home-educator. Where the confusion comes in here, for many families, is two-fold: (1) the desire to apply for certain colleges, scholarships or financial aid programs with particular accreditation requirements, and/or (2) the desire to receive college credit for foreign language courses while still in high school.
Some families have reported that particular colleges in Florida required that foreign language credits on home-educated high school students’ transcripts be from accredited institutions. However, the Homeschool Legal Defense Agency became involved in one such case back in 2017, and the situation was brought to a resolution. (You can see more about that here: https://onenewsnow.com/education/2017/06/11/homeschool-grad-hassled-over-language-credits). In some cases, a proficiency exam or a CLEP test might be requested to verify the foreign language credits, though that was not required in the situation reported in the article. There may be certain institutions or scholarships which do require accreditation for particular course credits – in that case, taking foreign language through an accredited program like FLVS or having your child take their foreign language class at a local public high school might be a good option, but it is not a requirement for all homeschoolers.
As for receiving college credit for high school foreign language, this requires dual enrollment and may or may not be the best option for your student. Some students excel in the college environment as dual-enrolled students, while others struggle. We generally advise that students dual-enroll only if they are certain they are setting themselves up for success. There is little benefit to rushing a student into college-level courses if they aren’t yet ready.
If you want more info on Homeschooling in Florida, we've just started a Homeschool Q&A group on Facebook! You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HomeschoolQATampaBay/.