"Homeschooling FAQs" #23

**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:

Is there a difference between homeschooling and using an umbrella school?

Yes – a very important difference. Students enrolled in an umbrella school are considered private school students, rather than being registered as home-educators directly with the county. This means umbrella schools must maintain attendance records, immunization records, grade reports, and other documentations that homeschoolers registered directly with the county are not required to provide. Umbrella school students may also have difficulty utilizing some of the other resources available to homeschoolers – such as access to sports and extracurriculars within the public school system – due to their “private school student” status. Also, because of this distinction, umbrella-school students may find themselves stuck in a frustrating “in-between” zone when it comes time to apply for college and/or scholarships – since they are technically considered to be private school students, they may be asked to supply official transcripts and other documentation providing they attended an accredited private school... but most umbrella schools exist simply as a resource to help homeschoolers structure their home-education, and many are not accredited. Umbrella schools can be a helpful resource for parents who want extra help and accountability with their home-education, but due to the unfortunate technicalities listed above, we advise caution in utilizing an umbrella school. Many of the typical umbrella school benefits can be obtained by utilizing other homeschool support resources or class programs, such as Class Source, while still retaining your home-education status with the county.

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/.

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