The homeschool community has grown over the past decade as this has become a more respected alternative to traditional schools. This includes co-ops, manageable state regulations and more program options for families to choose from for all grades. Formal institutions already have multiple support systems from parent/teacher associations, lobbyists to represent their interests and boards to ensure standards and improvements are made for the students’ benefits. Homeschooling is education at home with parents more heavily involved in the process, students outside of a classroom and long-distance learning the primary method of instruction.

From this growing movement, support systems have established and learned valuable lessons to share with families to help them avoid common pitfalls, understand state regulations and positive recommendations to implement at home. One of the best support systems at a non-government level is the homeschool co-op which is comprised of families who have made the decision to homeschool their children. This group can be local to the community as well as statewide to help bring important issues to the legislature and make sure that laws passed consider this unique body of students. However, their biggest benefit is in the close relationships that are formed between parents and students from different values who share a common bond. Students have peers to study with, go on field trips and be able to talk to when they have issues related to this situation. At the same time, parents can exchange ideas, share responsibilities and discuss concerns based on their experiences to help each other and relieve the stress that can come with homeschooling.

Another valuable support system for families is to find accredited homeschool programs in Florida that offer a quality curriculum, certified teachers and a reliable administration staff.  Homeschooling is a full-time commitment no matter the form but partnering with a formal accredited school can help reduce the stress and responsibilities on the parent which allows them to focus on supporting their children. These homeschool programs take care of the documentation, establishing curriculum for each grade and provide direct teacher access to every student. Parents do not have to be concerned about being the sole source of information for their child’s education because they can share it with the program in a part-time package or transfer completely over full-time. In many cases, students excel because they can manage their school work through the online portal thereby learning self-study, time management and organization skills. A third support system that is not often considered is the state’s resources especially when they are as friendly to homeschooling as Florida. Homeschoolers are required to follow state regulations and the state’s website is the best place to find this information as well as links to other resources such as well-known co-ops and online programs.

Just as students need to be supported in their education journey, the entire family needs to know that they have options to reach out within their city, county and at the highest levels. Take time to see what’s available in your area and connect with families and find accredited homeschool programs in Florida that will make the experience smoother and easier to get started.

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