Homeschool question for Floridians - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-25-2014, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Homeschool question for Floridians

At the beginning of last school year I was in a bad relationship (did not know it at the time) and the man I was with convinced me to homeschool my (then) 7 year old. As the year progressed things got worse and his schooling time was hit and miss at best. When things got violent for my children, I moved back in with my mom and lost my internet. So, again, he had missed more days with his schooling. Since getting the internet back up he has been doing school for anywhere from 3 to 5 hours a day, seven days a week (the internet site we use for his schooling). Plus the hour for reading and his spelling words. I have two issues here and I'm hoping someone can help me with this. I knew I was supposed to "register" him as a homeschool student but the man I was with refused to let me do it. He was very controlling to say the least. And I know my son is behind in his schooling. I have tried my best to catch him up by this school year. I would really like for him and my five year old to go to public school. But I am afraid of what will happen to me because of what has happened. I do not want to lose my kids. I have tried my best with what was handed to me to keep him learning how he should. So I guess my question is this:

Does anyone know what would happen if I tried to enroll him in public school come this school year with all the issues I've had with his schooling this past year?
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#2 of 7 Old 07-26-2014, 08:10 AM
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Bumping for attention. I don't live in Florida.

In your situation I would approach the school's counselor as a starting point.

ETA: In the meantime, pull together samples of his work. Go forward as if he had been enrolled properly as a homeschooler.

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#3 of 7 Old 07-26-2014, 06:59 PM
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Were you in the same state before you moved in with your Mom? It looks like the compulsary age for school is 6 in Fl., but in some states it's 7 or 8....and some states don't require registration at all.
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#4 of 7 Old 07-27-2014, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, my old residence and my new one are in the same state. The site I use for his schooling keeps records of his work, when he logs in and for how long. So I know all of that is there as long as I pay on it.
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#5 of 7 Old 07-27-2014, 09:06 AM
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Not in Florida either, but I'm wondering: Was he in school before you started homeschooling him at age 7? If the compulsory age is 6, then did he go to kindy in the school system?

It sounds to me like you're viewing homeschooling fairly simplistically: as time logged doing desk work. I doubt the authorities will need to view it so narrowly. If you consider your homeschooling to include experiences and conversations and activities that have come up in the course of your daily life, you'll likely see that he's had a lot more education than you think. You might, partly for your own peace of mind and perhaps also partly for the authorities, start jotting down a more unschooling-like list of the things he has done and learned. If you jot things down in educational terms, they can look very impressive. For instance, if he was interested in the winter Olympics, call that a unit study and put some points beneath it:

- recognizing national flags
- interest in country locations as pertaining to climate
- discussion of shared national languages and multi-lingual nations
- mental math practice comparing medal counts and points
- mental math practice comparing lap times
- converting minutes to seconds
- discussing of timing accuracy
- orientation to the decimal system from observing hundredths of seconds
- discussion of objectivity in judging
- comparing objective and subjective measurements of success
- awareness of cyrillic alphabet as an alternative set of phonetic symbols

See? Just from things that come up while watching the winter olympics on TV! Life is like that. I'd be willing to bet that even experiences like moving from one apartment to another could generate impressive lists: labelling boxes, developing organizational systems, knowing what an invoice is as opposed to an estimate, understanding square footage, legal agreements like leases etc..

And just a bit of reassurance: it is considered completely normal to for a grade-levelled classroom to have children whose actual academic level is up to a year ahead or a year behind. That's a normal public school mixture of abilities and developmental trajectories.

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#6 of 7 Old 07-27-2014, 12:08 PM
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here is the florida pdf

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#7 of 7 Old 07-27-2014, 12:25 PM
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I'm a former homeschooler and my children eventually attended school (in another state - not Florida). (I also now work at a school).

Schools have better things to do than attempt to enforce homeschool laws. They are busy enough trying to follow all the laws related to schooling! They are also NOT required by law to report parents for past homeschool law violations.

Call the school and ask for information about how to enroll your sons. Say that he was homeschooling *but do not offer more information on how it went* just let them know that there isn't a previous school to get records from. (Unless the on-line service you are using is a legal, virtual school, its not a school).

They are more concerned about things like vaccination records and eye checks than previous school records. Both of my kids were informally tested by the school before they started, but the point of that testing was to help determine if they would need special services, not to decide if they got to attend school. Your kids have a legal right to attend school, and the school wants them to succeed there.

I agree with Miranda that schools have children with a wide variety of levels. They are set up for it and not at all shocked by it.

The only subjects that really matter when starting school (or switching to a different school) are reading, writing, and math. If you son is behind in one of more of these subjects, they will most likely give him extra instruction through a program called "response to intervention." This teaching model works with children in small groups who are behind or struggling for whatever reason. The children are not labeled or anything, they just get extra help from a teacher who has more advanced training.

You sound like a loving and involved mom. I found it very scary to enroll my children in school after we homeschooled, but we had such a positive experience! For me, it went from feeling like I was alone to feeling like I was part of a team. I hope it all goes well for you, too.

I was surprised at the total amount of paper work involved in enrolling them the first time, but none of it was about our homeschooling experience. It was all medical stuff, proving our address, etc.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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