2020 is the year of uncertainty, isn’t it? I think there is more uncertainty among parents of children who are in traditional public schools, private schools, and homeschools. I’ve seen a lot of misinformation going around on social media, it’s no wonder you’re confused!
This comprehensive guide to how to homeschool will apply to Florida, however, many states follow similar guidelines. Check your individual state requirements before you make your decision.
Schooling at Home, But Not Homeschooling
The following three options allow your child to learn at home, and be public school students at the same time.
County School District Virtual School
Before the Year 2020 threw a monkey wrench into all of our plans, students still had the option to study their school’s curriculum, but to do so from home and online. This option requires your student to follow all the rules and regulations that they would normally follow if going to the brick and mortar classroom such as schedules, testing, etc. Obviously, more students (and teachers) are being forced into this option because of limited space in the classrooms right now.
Hospital Homebound Study
Many counties have a hospital homebound program within their public school system. This can be used if your child has a medical diagnosis which prohibits him/her to go to the brick and mortar school. This can also be a good option temporarily if your child is undergoing a surgery which will require a long recovery, or if your child has had an unexpected medical event. Contact your local school board office to learn more.
Florida Virtual School
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is considered its own school district. FLVS follows the typical calendar and testing requirements that other public school districts do. Your student will receive a diploma from FLVS. You can apply to be a FLVS full-time student if you are a resident of Florida. The deadline for the 2020-2021 year is July 31.
Homeschooling Options – Umbrella Schools and Home-Educated Students
The following options are those that typical homeschoolers sign up for. They each have their pros and their cons.
Register With an Umbrella School
When you register your child with an umbrella school in Florida, your child is counted in the private school numbers because umbrella schools are considered private schools, even though many of these are just a “cover” and do not even have a brick and mortar building. Some of these umbrellas do offer in-person classes, however, so check your options carefully. Our umbrella Life Learning Academy, allows you to homeschool on your own schedule and choose your own curriculum. We also offer report cards and help creating high school transcripts.
Register With Your County School Board
When you register your child with your county school board office, your child will be considered a home-educated student. You can begin your homeschool any time within 30 days of registering and you are free to use whatever curriculum you choose. At the end of the year (on the anniversary of when you established your homeschool by sending in your Intent to Homeschool Letter), you will provide proof of progress to your school board office. You have several options for this.including standardized testing, portfolio reviews and more. You can read more about portfolio reviews here.
Get Straight Answers Here
Our options in Florida can be confusing, especially now that more and more people are choosing to have their children study at home. Finding answers on social media can be like herding chickens, and many people (including those that work in public schools) think they know the laws, when in fact, they don’t.
There are several pros and cons to each homeschooling option above. For example, which option allows you to get college classes for free? One does! Which option allows your kids to participate easily in public school sports? Find out more about all of this and more when you go through our Beginner’s Guide How to Homeschool in Florida: Making Sense of Our Laws and Options course. It’s only $17 and we add and update it all the time as the laws change. We also provide you with all the necessary forms and paperwork you need, depending on the option you choose.
When I was in graduate school I learned all the reasons why reading aloud to students is so important. Aside from the obvious, the benefits of reading aloud extends to students beyond the pre-reading stage, and even all the way up through high school.
When I did start teaching I took an inservice based upon the teaching of Jim Trelease and his book The Read Aloud Handbook. I knew intuitively that what he said about literacy was correct and I implemented many of his strategies with great success for my students. I highly recommend his book. It is one that you will never give away or sell because you will refer to it throughout your homeschooling years.
We love reading aloud so much that we do it as often as we can. It is important also to read silently to a sibling, a parent or a buddy, but some of our most treasured moments in our homeschool are when I am reading aloud to my kids.
Students whose parents and/or teachers read aloud to them on a consistent basis become better readers. Kids who are read-aloud to develop many skills important to literacy and these are only a few:
and much, much more
Who doesn’t love ocean adventures during the summer?
Maybe you school through the summer and need some tips for tacking those tricky home ed days. If you can get away, a beach trip can be refreshing to your soul and can rejuvenate your homeschool like nothing else!
Before you hit the road, be sure to look at the atlas and decide what types of sea creatures you want to find when you get there! Also, be sure to check out these10 hacks for family fun at the beach..
With all of the restrictions this year, maybe you won’t be getting to the beach this year. No worries! Your kids can still meet some of nature’s most fantastic ocean creatures in this beautifully illustrated exploration of the sea! This book is appropriate for all age levels.
There are over 30 scenes to explore and your kids will enjoy learning about the sea creatures through detailed illustrations in this beautiful Atlas. Maybe you can incorporate this into your Ocean Life unit study?
Enter below to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here are some FREE ocean-themed printables to go along with your unit study!
Sharks Notebooking Pages
Ocean Zones Worksheets
Ocean Animals Mini Puzzle Unit
All About Oceans Unit Study
Book Review and Craft: Little Narwhal’s Day
Ocean Fill-In Puzzle
Welcome Guest Blogger Alyssa Leanne Riggan from teachingwithfaith.com!
I am new to homeschooling (compared to others) and have been homeschooling a preschooler for the last two years. I started homeschooling my daughter when she was almost 2 years old and have enjoyed every minute of it!
To better understand how we homeschool away from family, I first need to provide some background of our family as well as why we homeschool.
When You’re Far From Family Support
When I was in high school, I wanted to go to school away from my home state of Texas because well I kinda wanted an adventure and it was hot in Texas! So I moved to North Caroline for college. This is where I met my husband. My husband and I met back in college, but did not start dating until after college. While we were dating, he talked me into going back to school to get my Masters in Education with a focus in Early Childhood Education. He was on track to get his PhD and wanted to become a professor. This path though can be very tough so he took a Post Doc position where he could and we moved to Maryland where we had our two children. Even though we found a great community there, we moved again when my husband got a great position as a tenure track Assistant Professor at University of Nebraska. We moved to our current house when our second child was only 2 months old! I have not lived near my family for about 14 years. I have learned how to make my home wherever I ended up!
We Discovered That Homeschoolers Were “Normal”
Now a small backstory into why we homeschool in general. Our first reason we homeschool is politics. When we lived in Maryland we were not too far from DC and I found that the school systems in the area were very political. (more…)
Let Your Children Play
Lately everywhere I turn, homeschooling parents are asking the question, “is my child doing enough to get ahead?” We are forgetting that play should be an important part of your homeschool curriculum.
The pressure on young children today is incredible. Even the developers of PBS believe that the biggest obstacle American children face in terms of education is being unprepared for kindergarten.
No wonder parents are worried! Not only are parents over-teaching, but they are also over-scheduling, I believe it’s being done out of fear, and it’s not necessary.
Consider this schedule: phonics lessons and grammar lessons in the morning, music and Mandarin lessons in the afternoon, and in between all of that, Moms are forcing their young children to work in newly- purchased math workbooks and insisting that they complete multiplication and division problems. The words “algebra” and “geometry” are being tossed around at play dates.
These parents really think that they are doing the right thing. They’re giving their children a “leg up” right?
They are not. Here’s why.
First, young children are not developmentally ready to pursue such academic activities. Are some seemingly “able” to do this type of academic work? Perhaps. But a completed worksheet does not equal a deep learning for a subject matter and even if you believe that your child is ready, there is evidence that doing so is more harmful than helpful.
Take a look at this article written by a mathematician </a>for reasons why worksheets should not be used with young children.
Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.
Secondly, the importance of play has been so overlooked in the last decade or two that it is shameful. Here’s what Edward Miller and Joan Almon say in their book Crisis In The Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School.