Hi, everyone! We are going to kick off our blog by doing a series of "Homeschooling FAQs" posts to help out anyone who's new to homeschooling in Florida and/or considering making the switch to home-education in the Tampa, FL area.
**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.**
I’ve decided to homeschool... What now?
The first step, once you’ve decided to homeschool, is to check your state and/or county’s requirements for filing an Intent to Home-Educate form, as well as the requirements for annual evaluations and what type of portfolio or documentation you need to save throughout each school year. For state requirements, the Florida Home-Education Statutes would be a good place to begin: http://leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1002/1002ContentsIndex.html.
You can also visit the FL Home Education Foundation’s website for a brief run-down of the relevant statutes for Florida homeschoolers, additional information, updates on recent or possible changes to regulations, and more: http://www.flhef.org/ . If you just want a big-picture view of the home-education laws in Florida to start out with, the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Agency) has a searchable map on their website where you can view a summary of homeschool laws by state: https://hslda.org/legal.
Requirements and regulations can also differ by county. If you live in the Tampa, FL area, you can find links to the specific home-education info pages for Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties under “Local Links” on our website Resource page here: https://www.class-source.com/resources.
You will also want to decide on a plan for homeschooling, based on your family’s unique situation, needs, interests, and goals. There are many approaches, and you have so much freedom as a home-educator in the state of Florida! It is wonderful, but it can also feel overwhelming when you’re first getting started. We are here to help! Please feel free to reach out to us if you have questions about homeschooling in the Tampa area... and remember, just because you are home-educating does not mean you have to do everything yourself, or do it all alone, or even always stay at home. You can take advantage of local resources, group classes, co-ops, educational outings, and more.
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/.