You have made the decision to begin your Homeschool, but where to start?
I preface everything below with, ‘Please reference your state laws. It is vital that you know and follow the laws of the state in which you live in / domicile from. Be sure to follow your state’s laws for legally beginning your homeschool.’
We are sharing our experiences as Florida residents and how we transitioned from public school to homeschool. The laws will vary from state to state so be sure to do your research for your state.
A great resource is www.HSLDA.com.
You will need to submit to your state / county an official notice called a “Letter of Intent”. Typically this will include your child’s name, address, and your signature. This letter is usually required within 30 days of beginning your homeschool.
Here is an example of what your Letter of Intent may look like. https://florida-homeschooling.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/NOI.pdf
We planned and researched and read dozens of books, articles, and our state’s laws prior to beginning. We knew we were “ready”, if not necessarily with everything we needed to know, at least with an understanding of what to be prepared for.
Submitting that official letter caused me so much anxiety in preparation to sending it. It would become official. Like official, official, from the time they accepted our letter.
I hit send, looked over at my husband, sighed deeply, and said, “It’s official! We are Homeschoolers!”
Instantly, every bit of anxiety and stress I had leading up to sending in our formal notification was gone. It was immediate relief and a thrill of excitement for all of the potential that would be coming up in the months and years following.
YES! We are Homeschoolers!
Well, actually we were just submitted homeschoolers. It didn’t become officially official until we received our e-mail confirming they received our letter the following day. Nonetheless, we celebrated both days.
Now, I will share with you some things that you may also read during your research on becoming a homeschooling family. What is, and what is not allowed from your public school when you withdraw your student.
If you have never enrolled your child in a public school, and are starting out as homeschoolers, you may not even encounter any of these but it is good to know what your rights are. There are age requirements for each state for when your child must begin an education program.
If you are withdrawing your student from public school, the ONLY thing you have to submit is the single form, the Letter of Intent to your school board. You are not required to have an exit meeting with the school or its administration, you do not have to give them a reason why you are choosing to homeschool, nor do you have to follow up with any further education plans.
We have heard stories about what I would describe as harassment from the school systems, especially since students in enrolled in school equate to funds allocated to the school systems. This was exponentially seen with the influx of homeschoolers during the Pandemic.
Our family personally has / does receive phone calls, text messages, and emails asking to bring our homeschool students back into the local public school system. We are in our fourth year as a homeschool family and have no intention at this time or future plans to reenter the public school system.
As a homeschool parent, I continue to follow our state laws, submit required forms and updates as required by the county we are from and I do not provide any additional information than what is required.
As stated above, this was our experience with the process of filing our Letter of Intent for the state of Florida. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of knowing your state laws. A good resource is www.HSLDA.com and other reputable sites.
If you missed my first article about the Basics of Starting your Homeschool, you can find a link in the “How to Homeschool” section.
Coming up next I will discuss how to decide what you want to teach in your homeschool. Follow the Social Media pages for UNschool Travel Mom for updates of when new articles are published.
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