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Homeschool Resources

Children learning chemistry

Homeschool resources come in many varieties. This page includes some to help parents get started.

Library Book Reading

Libraries...
The local public library can be a fabulous resource for homeschoolers. While some actually have some workbooks or textbooks on their shelves, all have great works in literature for all levels of readers and books on most every topic imaginable. They typically have books, videos or audiobooks, online subscriptions, and more. Some offer subscriptions to online tutoring services that card holders can use at no charge. Most have books to help parents who are homeschooling and have resources for teaching kids to read. Many have materials to teach foreign languages. Some host speakers and programs that can be a valuable addition to a homeschooling program. Some offer computer training and most have librarians who love to help people find materials to meet their needs.

Some libraries even have special options for homeschooling parents such as library cards that allow longer check-out periods. Ask to find out how your local library can be a valuable part of your child's learning.

Free curriculum...
This is a great time for homeschooling parents as so many resources are readily available. While many of those have a subscription or other fee, there are some that do not.
CPalms.org, khanacademy.org, allinonehomeschool.com, amblesideonline.org, freedomhomeschooling.com, and more.


Note that there are many, many online options. There are many educational YouTube channels and sites that offer some of their materials for free. Be aware that if you are printing materials, it may be cheaper to buy a book, and used materials can be a great deal. Some public schools even have old books to give away if you ask about their "off adoption" materials.

Classes...

Just because a parent homeschools doesn't necessarily mean that the children learn alone at home all the time.
 

Some enroll their students in classes at museums, nature centers, homeschool co-ops, homeschool support groups, art studios, martial arts studios, dance and music studios, online classes, and more.
 

The classes range from standard classes similar to those in typical schools with classes in algebra, chemistry, art, and more, to unique classes unlike those in typical schools such as classes in creating art at a glass-making studio, survival skills, pottery design, using online games to study subjects like history, math, or coding, using toys to learn physics, sword-making classes, classes in aeronautics, and more.


Can't find a class near you that's just what you want? Many homeschoolers have created what they wanted, whether they hire a teacher to design and teach a class or they figure it out themselves. Some use these classes just for their own children while others advertise and find other children to join their classes to make it a more social experience.

Conferences...
FPEA and FloridaHSA are statewide homeschool support groups that host homeschool conferences each year, typically in May.  FPEA's conference is the largest homeschool conference in the country, but many smaller local homeschool support groups host their own, and online conferences have been growing more popular every year. Search for your favorite homeschooling method or group and you may find a conference.

Homeschool Support Groups...
All across Florida, homeschool families have joined together and created groups that meet together and help families homeschool. Some are very informal and may meet together at playgrounds, parks, beaches, or other places where children can play or explore or hang out, while the adults share ideas, resources, information about events and local resources, discuss problems and possible solutions, show off various curriculum options, and more. Some are more formal with membership forms and fees, will host some clubs, classes, or field trips. These are not required but can greatly enrich the lives of their members.

Is Funding Available for Homeschooling in Florida?
 

Yes, there are a variety of funds/assistance available for parents to educate their own.

Does your child have special needs?

Those with an IEP or diagnosis for certain special needs can get funding from the state to be used for therapies, curriculum, tutors, etc. This funding is through a scholarship called the Family Empowerment Scholarship: Unique Abilities (FES:UA) (or by its previous name: the Gardiner).

A list of the diagnoses eligible for this scholarship is available on the Step Up For Students website along with information about the level of funding available with varies by school district (i.e., county), grade level, and matrix level.

Students who are eligible for the Gardiner can be homeschooled through the Home Education Program which allows parents to direct the child's education and requires a Letter of Intent to get started homeschooling.

 

Does your your family have a lower income?

Beginning July 1, 2023, a scholarship called the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC) (referred to in the media as "vouchers" or "ESA accounts) expanded to offer funds to families for school choice which will allow a homeschooling option called a Personalized Education Plan (or PEP). This program opened to fund 20,000 families for the 2023-2024 school year. (All 20,000 options have been claimed already for the 2023-2024 school year, but the program will be opened to many more homeschooled children until 2027 when it should be open to everyone who wants to take the government funding (and any strings attached to it.)

The PEP option gives funding (over $6,000 a student). Parents of current home education students must end their home education programs and instead take on the requirements of the Personalized Education Programs including the need to provide a student learning plan and agree to use testing (rather than the other evaluation options available to home education students such as portfolio reviews, psychologist evaluations, and alternate methods the parent and district agree on). Some parents worry about restrictions that might be added in the future but others welcome this funding.

To use this option for homeschooling, a parent must sign up through a Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) and set up a Student Learning Program, must agree to use a statewide assessment (i.e., public school testing) or a nationally norm-referenced test from an approved list at the end of the school year.

 

student working on an assignment

Check for free or low-cost materials

Homeschool materials don't have to cost a lot. Several free options are available online. Some materials online that weren't originally designed as curriculum work great for learning. Public libraries are another source. You might even have books and other resources at home already that you can use to educate your child.

Other Available Options: FLVS FLEX

Some other options that are available for free to Florida home education students who are NOT using one of the scholarships listed:

 

FLVS Flex is a public school online program which parents can use at home without taking on all the requirements of pubic schools. Students can take from 1-6 classes at a time: Though their site itself has previously recommended taking no more than 3 at a time. FLVS Flex is free for most students in Florida, but those using the FES:EO or FES:UA scholarships are supposed to pay since the state is already funding their education.

Other Available Options: Public School Programs

Some other options that are available for free to Florida home education students who are NOT using one of the scholarships listed:

 

Public school classes and programs

The Craig Dickinson Act allows home school students to participate in public school extracurricular activities at public schools (particularly high schools) and, if there's a class associated with the activity, the right to sign up for just that class.
The new (2023) school choice bill allows for public schools to permit part-time enrollment for home education students.
(PEP
and FES:UA students can use these programs, too, but must pay for them since they have scholarship funds.)
(Students registered in very small private schools (125 students or fewer) may also use public school extracurricular activities under certain circumstances.)

Other Available Options: Dual Enrollment

Some other options that are available for free to Florida home education students who are NOT using one of the scholarships listed:

 

Florida's Dual Enrollment program allows most Florida students to take college and trade school classes for free from local colleges. Books and materials are paid for by the state for colleges but may not be for those using universities instead. Participation may be open to students as young as 6th grade age, though universities are more likely to be open to only high school upperclassmen. By Florida law, colleges and universities may not demand transcripts of home education students and PEP students.

A number of home education students graduate high school each year with a two-year AA degree already earned through the dual enrollment program.

General Homeschool Resources

Florida Parent Educator Association

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FPEA is the oldest statewide homeschool support group in Florida. They host the largest homeschool foundation in the USA (and likely, the world) each Memorial Day weekend in Orlando, and smaller conferences such as one in the fall for those homeschooling children with special needs. They host a variety of field trips and programs, help homeschoolers with issues with school districts, a huge high school graduation ceremony for homeschoolers, and more. FPEA tends to be faith-based.

FL Home Education statistics

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The Florida Dept. of Education collects statistics on home education in Florida. See a 2022 report here.

FL Dept. of Education Home Education FAQ

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A document from the Florida Dept of Education giving their policies on home education in a Q&A format. This document can be helpful for understanding how Florida law is currently carried out in home education.

CPalms

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CPalms is a site of educational materials put together by the FL Dept. of Education. The Florida public school standards are listed here, along with worksheets, test practice, and other materials that parents may find helpful. (Florida homeschool students do NOT have to follow Florida standards, but many parents find them useful.)

Step Up for Students

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Step Up for Students is an organization that oversees scholarships for Florida. (AAA Scholarships also oversees a few of these scholarships.)

The Family Empowerment Scholarship program offers the Unique Abilities Scholarship (previously called the Gardiner Scholarship) that has been used by many home education students with special needs to get funding for curriculum, therapies, and more.

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for the Personalized Education Program (PEP) is a new scholarship option that opened for the 2023-2024 school year. The 20,000 scholarships offered for the 2023-2024 have all been claimed; 40,000 more will be available each school year until 2027 when scholarships should be available for any who want to accept government funding.

Had a serious problem with a teacher?

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Many start homeschooling because of serious problems in a school or with a specific teacher. To read about what's considered misconduct and learn how to report teacher misconduct, use the link here.

Florida Homeschool Association

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FloridaHSA is a secular statewide homeschool support group which hosts a homeschool conference annually in May somewhere in central Florida (the location varies somewhat from year to year).

Florida Home Education Foundation

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Florida HEF is an organization set up to protect Florida homeschoolers' rights and opportunities in Florida law and FL Dept. of Education policies. The organization has played a huge role in making sure that home education students can participate in free dual enrollment college programs, are recognized as high school graduates through the Affidavit of Completion, can participate in public and private school high school sports, and more.

FLHEF.org is hosting live events on Mondays to help students and parents understand homeschool laws and options and scholarships available to them. The rules about the new PEP program and associated scholarship has been changing regularly and FLHEF has worked to provide up-to-date information to the public.

Homeschool Legal Defense Association

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A subscription service with a group of homeschool lawyers who help homeschool families when districts overstep their bounds, and in other legal situations.

FLVS

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FLVS Flex is an online public school program that can be used for free by Florida students in public, private, or home education programs. Students can enroll in one to six classes at a time. Home education students do NOT have to use FLVS, but some find it useful.

AAA Scholarships

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AAA Scholarships is an organization that oversees scholarships for Florida that can be used for homeschooling. (SUFS  oversees the majority of these scholarships.)

The Family Empowerment Scholarship program offers the Unique Abilities Scholarship (previously called the Gardiner Scholarship) that has been used by many home education students with special needs to get funding for curriculum, therapies, and more.

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for the Personalized Education Program (PEP) is a new scholarship option that opened for the 2023-2024 school year. The 20,000 scholarships offered for the 2023-2024 have all been claimed; 40,000 more will be available each new school year until 2027 when all who want to take government funding will be able to be funded.

Homeschool Conferences or Conventions

No one is required to attend a homeschool conference or convention, but they can be a great place to learn more about homeschooling, shop for curriculum, learn about available programs, meet other homeschool parents, and so on. Evaluators can advertise themselves or learn more about homeschooling and the homeschool community.

man speaking at a conference
People at a conference

The Florida Parent Educator Association hosts the largest homeschool conference near the end of May each year in the Orlando area. A huge high school graduation ceremony is included. FPEA is a faith-based organization.
 

Check with homeschool groups near you to see if any of them are hosting a homeschool conference.  Let us know if you find any we've not listed.

Florida Homeschool Association hosts a secular homeschool conference in mid-May in central/eastern area of Florida. They have also hosted high school graduation ceremonies in their conference.
 

A Tampa Bay area homeschool conference was held during July 2023 and wird. activities for teens.
 

Parents Educating Children is a faith-based homeschool group that hosts a one-day conference in early August in West Palm Beach.
 

A homeschool conference for those using the unschooling method of learning will be held in late August in the Orlando area. Hosted by ExploreLife.
 

Association of Florida Evaluators

A notebook and pen
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