«Resource Packet Dear Home-Educating Parents, I commend you on the endeavor of home-educating your children. It will take hard work and commitment, ...»
Home Educators’ 1
Dear Home-Educating Parents,
I commend you on the endeavor of home-educating your children. It will take hard work and commitment, but
so does anything worthwhile. As with any educational choice there will be times that are more challenging then others,
hang in there and think long haul. There is no utopia, as it is homeschooling...not Heaven. However, it’ still a great
choice for parents who know they are capable of directing their child’s education and who have the “best interest” of their child(ren) at heart.
Parents spend countless hours with their children and know what’s best for them. Although there are good certified teachers out there, certification is NOT necessary to effectively educate your children, nor is it necessary to attend college to educate yourself. While attending college may be necessary for obtaining a certification to be hired for a specific job for pay, it’s not a requirement for doing that job well, nor is it a guarantee that job will be done well.
You can educate yourself...as a matter of fact each of us must educate ourselves. Others can present information, but it’s only when we accept and internalize that information for our-self, that it is assimilated into our thinking and thus we are educated in that area. We can be schooled and not educated, likewise, we can be educated and not schooled.
Attending monthly-local group meetings, homeschool conventions, on-line web casts or viewing DVD based methods courses created by people who specialize in a given area are all extremely effective and efficient ways of learning how to; teach specific subjects, schedule your day, teach multi-level groups, teach to different learning styles and just about anything else you can think of.
Mentor-mom groups are also great ways to learn from the educational “professionals”, better known as the home-educating veterans. They have experienced education in many or all grade levels and through many different situations, because...life happens while you educate your children. They can share what worked for them and what they would modify or change completely, they can make suggestions or just listen.
Do whatever it takes to educate yourself, as each time you learn something new you are growing and increasing your ability to learn exponentially while acquiring useful tools that will enable you to more effectively and confidently home-educate your children.
You are responsible, by law, to see that your child makes “progress commensurate to their ability”. How you accomplish this is up to you.
This resource packet is based on many frequently asked questions from parents I work and homeschool with...
I hope you find it a useful resource..
My main goal is not to give you everything on a silver platter, but to light a fire and passion within you that will spark your desire to continue educating yourself, which in turn will equip you to better educate your children.
I am only one of many who’s heart and ministry it is to help homeschooling families in their journey. You are not alone and help is always near. If you are willing to take the time to look for what you need, you will find it.
Follow the Florida Statutes on Home-Education and always be above reproach.
Enjoy your children while you have them and remember; the days seem long, but the years are short.
God Bless and God Speed!!! Teri
So, You’ve Decided To Homeschool... Now What? Pg. 5 Home-Education Law: A Legal Analysis by HSLDA Pg. 6-7 Protecting Your Children & ParentalRights.org Pg.8-9 Associations, Groups and Enrichment Resources Pg. 10-11
Parental Rights Ammendment—Additional Information Pg. 26 **If you change your email address, please update it with us so we can stay in touch and keep you informed with future testing dates, information, newsletters, resources: workshops and events. Go to: EducationalRCB.org to add or update your email.
We accomplish this by providing; educational testing and evaluations that comply with Florida State Home-Education Law 1002.41, group workshops, as well as, facilitating and guiding parents in the obtaining the skills and resources they need to build their confidence, thus empowering them to educate their child(ren) in an effective and confident manner.
********************************************************** Disclaimer: Although we gather and recommend organizations and resources, we do NOT endorse them. We make said recommendations with the understanding that you, the parent, are ultimately responsible for your child’s learning and what he/she is exposed to.
Research all things ahead of time, as each person’s standard of “acceptable” may differ, then decide if the said activity, website, curriculum, books, etc., are appropriate for your family.
Nothing here constitutes the giving of legal advice and it is always best to verify any legal information with the actual source.
Also, we try to be as accurate as possible, however web addresses change and we are prone to human error at times.
Thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
Equipping home educators to run the race...
Teresa Diaz Educational Resource Center of Broward Email: TeriDiaz@EducationalRCB.org Visit: www.educationalrcb.org 4
Some Helpful Yearly REMINDERS—Place important dates in your calendar.
August/September: ***Send Letter of Intent to register with School Board, if applicablesee Home-Education Law-Analysis.
Sign-Up for FPEA and HSLDA, at a discounted rate through ERCB, if you haven’t already through your local group.
October/November: Order Scoring-High Test Preparation, if needed, practice incrementally.
February/March: Annual South Florida Homeschool Convention in Davie-Professional Development for the Home-Educator, great speakers and curricula hall.
Register for end of year standardized testing OR Make appointment for personal evaluations in time for your anniversary date.
April: IOWA—END OF YEAR HOMESCHOOL TESTING with ERCB May: Annual FPEA Homeschool Convention in Orlando- Professional Development for the Home- Educator—great speakers and curricula hall.
June: IOWA—END OF YEAR HOMESCHOOL TESTING with ERCB ***Send Annual Letter of Evaluation on your anniversary date, if child is registered with the school board. Follow the Home-Education Law. Pay attention to your date. Get it in on time. Send it return-receipt.
*** Notes a LEGAL REQUIREMENT in Florida See Home-Education Statute 1002.41@ flsenate.gov for the complete law. This information does NOT constitute the giving of legal advice. HSLDA provides a legal analysis of the State Home-Education Law.
5 So, you’ve decided to home-educate your children, (and yourself). Now what?...Glad you asked!
1. Comply with your requirements of the Home-Education Law 1002.41.
2. Join: 1.A local homeschool group or have some type of support. 2.
Homeschool Legal Defense Association www.HSLDA.org for advocacy, legal representation, k-12 guidance, discounts, plus... and 3. Florida ParentEducators Association www.FPEA.com for the Guide to Homeschooling, informative/educational newsletters and the annual convention. Both are worthwhile Associations. Visit both websites to see everything they offer. We offer discounted rates to both-see www.educationalrcb.org.
3. Get a notebook. Writing things down helps you focus and remember.
4. Consider your resources of time and money. Consider what you are willing to do.
5. List the children’s ages and grades. Consider each age/grade and what they will need that particular year.
6. Contemplate which teaching method or methods fit you and your family best, see pages 12-15. Ex: Conventional, Unit-Study, Eclectic, Classical and Delayed Academics, just to name a few. Most home-educators use a variety.
7. If you have a special-needs child, learn how to educate that child according to their need. Get help if needed. Don’t let anyone limit your child.
8. Seek enrichment programs or coops if your family has the need or desire.
9. Plan your work, on paper, and work your plan.
10.Revisit and revise your plan as necessary.
11.Modify. Bag a curriculum that isn’t working and find another.
It will be o.k. and probably better in the long-haul.
12.If you get stuck on a step or don’t understand something you want to learn more about, call a friend or mentor mom, check the educationalrcb.org website, email me, Google it, learn, learn and learn some more.
FLORIDA Compulsory Attendance Ages: “All children who have attained the age of 6 years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year or who are older than 6 years of age but who have not at tained the age of 16 years…are required to attend school regularly dur ing the entire school term.” Florida Statutes Annotated § 1003.21(1).
Required Days of Instruction: 180 days for public and private schools. Flor ida Statutes Annotated § 1003.02(1)(g) 1. However, home schoolers op erating under option 1 below are specifically excluded from this require ment.
Required Subjects: None.
Home schools have three options:
Home School Statute: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.41.
Option 1: Home schools can operate under the home school law.
1. The definition of a “home education program” is “sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his parent or guardian….” Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.01(1).
2. The parent must meet the following requirements:
a. notify the county superintendent in writing within 30 days of establishing the home school (not required to be filed annually);
b. give the names, addresses, and birth dates of the home school students; and c. maintain a portfolio of records and materials consisting of a log of educational activities made contemporaneously with the instruction and designating by title any reading materials used and samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student. The portfolio must be preserved for two years and made available for inspection by the superintendent upon 15 days’ written notice, but the school district has no authority to enter the home. Nothing in this section shall require the superintendent to inspect the portfolio. (Note: The child abuse affidavit requirement was repealed in 1995 by Senate Bill 1536.)
Alternative Statutes Allowing for Home Schools: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.43 and § 1002.01(2).
Option 2. More than one home school can operate as a private school.
A child who “attends” a private, parochial, religious, or denominational school is exempt from compulsory attendance.
Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.01(2). Florida’s intermediate appellate court ruled in State v. Buckner, 472 So. 2d 1228 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1985) that one home school does not qualify as a private school by itself. However, groups of home schools file as private schools under Fla. Stat. Ann. Ch. 623 (the Private School Corporation Law of 1959, Ch. 617 (the Nonprofit Corporation Law), or Ch.
607 (The Florida Business Corporation Act). FL-1 Ch. 623 schools must file a charter with their local circuit court and file an annual data base form.
In some localities, they may be required to obtain a business license. Although in practice these schools have operated for years, the Deputy General Counsel for the Board of Education has issued a non-binding memorandum dated November 2, 1988, stating that home schools cannot satellite with Ch. 623 private schools because they must be in “attendance” at the school.
The memorandum, however, did not deal with Ch. 607 and 617 schools which must merely incorporate and file an annual data base form. The memorandum also ignored the fact that children enrolled in Ch. 623 schools are actually “in attendance” at various classroom sites located in each home and that the Ch. 623, Ch. 607, and Ch. 617 schools meet all the statutory requirements for private schools. Thousands of home school students are legally enrolled in these schools throughout the state.
Option 3. Home schools can operate under the private tutor law.
Fla Stat. Ann. § 1002.43. A
person may teach a child if the person meets the following requirements:
a. holds a valid Florida certificate to teach the subjects or grades in which instruction is given;
b. keeps all records and makes all reports required by the state and district school board;
and c. requires students to be in actual attendance for 180 days or the equivalent on an hourly basis.
Teacher Qualifications: None for parents.
Standardized Tests: Only required for parents homeschooling under the home school law in
Option 1 above. Each student must do one of the following each year:
1) Have educational progress evaluated by a teacher holding a valid regular Florida teaching certificate and selected by the parent. The evaluation must include review of a portfolio and discussion with the student;
2) Take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
3) Take “a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing condition approved by the school district”;
4) Be evaluated by a Florida licensed psychologist or school psychologist; or
5) Be “evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon.” The parent must file a copy of the evaluation with the local school superintendent annually.
There is no specific statutory deadline. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.41(1)(c).