Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
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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