I'm new to the group and new to homeschooling as well. We are in the Central Florida area. I have been looking at Florida Unschoolers as I want to enroll my 7 yo dd in an umbrella school. Does anyone on here use them as an umbrella? Any info would be greatly appreciated TIA
I've been enrolling my child with Florida Unschoolers for two years. I HIGHLY recommend it. The service is completely free and legal (I checked on the FL DoE site to confirm that it is registered as a private school, and it is, but I suggest that you check this yourself, also).
The rules are different if you go the private school route than if you register with your district as a homeschooler. You have to report attendance to FU every quarter (very easy) and in one calendar year you must report 180 days of instruction. There is no requirement for the number of hours per day. You can school year round, six months of the year, follow the traditional school calendar, it doesn't matter as long as you log 180 days in the year. Also, because it is a "private school" you have to send in your child's birth certificate, medical form, and immunization records every year, just as if you walked into any brick and mortar school to enroll. It's ridiculous, I know, but it's just one of those things. As a result of registering with a cover school you do not have to have any interaction with the school system at all. No portfolio checks. No standardized testing. It is FANTASTIC.
If your child has previously been enrolled in the public school system you MUST, MUST, MUST fill out the form to withdraw, otherwise you could be brought up on truancy charges. Make a copy of the withdrawal form with the school registrar's signature on it and keep it where you keep your important stuff (you know, your hurricane evacuation box). If it doesn't have a place for someone to sign, have it signed anyway and have them date it. It's always good to CYA.
Thanks elkhollow! I did check last year when I was considering hs and saw that they were on the list of private schools. It just means so much to hear from someone that uses them and is highly recommending them. I will not hesitate now to enroll my dd with FU!!! I love the idea of not having someone from the dept of ed breathing down my neck watching what I did or did not do. I think enrolling in an umbrella school is the best way to go, at least here in Florida