Starting to Homeschool can be a scary adventure. We want to be here for you to encourage, support and assist you in any way we can. We are parents who are dedicated to homeschooling and helping other families navigate through this journey, so whether you are starting at Kindergarten or jumping in mid-way through 5th grade, feel free to contact us! We will love to chat with you and share our experiences.
Once you decide to homeschool in Florida, follow the steps below:
- Send your Letter of Intent to the Department of Homes Education at email@example.com (keep a copy of your letter as well as their reply for your records). The date when you send it will be your anniversary – that is when your evaluation will be due next year.
- Choose a curriculum to use. Remember, a curriculum is a tool. It is there to help YOU teach, not to rule over you. Try different ones before you make your decision. If it’s not working, change it! For a comprehensive list of available curriculum head here.
- Keep a record of your child’s activities, such as a planner with dates and content, as well as their work for each subject, a Field Trip and Reading Log. These will be needed for your child’s evaluation.
- Before your anniversary date, organize all your child’s work (completed workbooks, worksheets, reports, logs, etc) and have an Annual Evaluation or Portfolio Review done. We can recommend an Evaluator (Certified Teacher) in our area.
- Send the Evaluation signed by the evaluator to the Department of Home Education at firstname.lastname@example.org (keep a copy as well as their reply for your records).
We will be happy to help you every step of the way!
We are so excited you are entering the wonderful journey of homeschooling!!!
Here are some useful links as well:
Hillsborough County Home Education
FPEA (Florida Parent-Educator Association)
HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association)
10 Things a Seasoned Homeschooler Would Suggest to a New Homeschooler
By: Patty Biner, Da Vinci Innovation Academy Parent
1) Connect instead of panic. You are not alone, reach out to a group of homeschoolers (through Da Vinci, Yahoo groups, park days etc). Attend group meetings regularly and build relationships.
2) Don’t spend a lot of money on curriculum. Talk to others before buying anything, they might already have it around for you to look at and “try on”. You might also be able to find something similar for free. Use the library and the internet.
3) Make a designated place in your house for “school”. Make it in a place that you can see and monitor easily, it is hard to stay focused while at home. I suggest the kitchen table. Everyone can work there if you are sitting with them. If you have more than one kid, you might want to consider separating them so that each has the opportunity to get their work done. Don’t force the issue. If your kid does good work while lounging on the sofa, go with it.
4) Work with your kid’s clock. Some kids do their best work in the morning, some in the evening. Find what works best for them; it will make your life so much easier.
5) Learn as much as you can in a fun, active way; they will remember it better. Sitting and doing worksheets is boring and usually doesn’t accomplish what you want. Make everything you do a learning experience and make learning an adventure.
6) Keep tweaking what you are doing at home, schedule/material/activates, until you find what works, it is supposed to be fun. Don’t try to duplicate what is done in school.
7) Think-out answers to friends/family/strangers that question you homeschooling your child. You ultimately know what is best for your kid. Ask other homeschoolers what they say.
8) Pay attention to your child’s learning style. Don’t force YOUR learning style on them. Be willing to stop something that isn’t working.
9) Have your children see YOU learn new things, set a good example.
10) Relax and have fun being with your children. This is an awesome opportunity to build strong, lasting relationships with your kids and them with each other.