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Hi, I am putting this out there asking for either help or opinions.  I am considering homeschooling my children, at least my kindergartener.  He is having problems adjusting in school.  His problems have become a problem for the teacher(s) and other students.  What I am asking for is: who else out there home school's? What is the easiest way to go about homeschooling?  Does it cost, like do you have to pay for books, etc?  Does anyone use the free virtual schools?  What do you do to make sure your child(ren) still socialize w/ other children their age?  What steps need to be taken to even be able to home school?  Do you need to get in contact w/ the school board or what? I am also considering to home school my soon to be middle schooler because I refuse to let her go to Bartow Middle School.  I am going to try and either get her into Lakeland Highlands Academy or Union Academy, but that isn't an automatic gimme.  Plus, she has been asking all school yr if she could be home schooled.  I don't feel that she is learning anything important in school.  All she is learning is how to pass the FCAT!

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I know there are some groups in the Lakeland area that offer support and could help answer your questions. Maybe try googling Homeschool moms or even looking on Facebook. I agree that a traditional school setting is not always right for every kid. Good luck finding out what you need and your journey. I've heard of a church group on the north side that meets once a month and they do activities and it's a way meet others. I'm sorry I'm not more help.

Well, in all honesty, anyone that home schools would normally look into homeschooling because they do have issues with education and are willing to take matters into their own hands. There are several groups in the area. Here is a link with more info on where to begin: http://fpea.com

Lighthouse Homeschoolers and Hope homeschoolers are two groups based in Lakeland. Haven Homeschoolers is based out of Winter Haven. There are PLENTY of socialization opportunities out there. Homeschooling isn't for everyone, but if determined and dedicated, it could be just want your children need.

I homeschool my 3 children.  My son is also very active and loves being homeschooled.  Everyday and he's 12, he goes out in the woods searching for animals or fishing before he starts his work.  It helps spend his excess energy and then he's ready to focus.  Go to the library and scan some of the books on homeschooling your child.  Find one that you like and read it.  I found The Well Trained Mind very helpful.  There are many different choices.  Yes you will need to purchase books.   Look into Lighthouse homeschooling group.  They have lots of people who can guide you.  My oldest child does virtual school.  I do not care for the common core curriculum and will not use it for my other 2 children.  If you chose to homeschool, yes you need to notify the county school board.  It is very easy to do.  Lighthouse can show you what the state requires with a letter and notebook for record keeping.  It is NOT complicated.  You can socialize your children at church or homeschool groups, classes like p.e., you can also have older children volunteer.   

Starting out homeschooling can be frightening, don't let it scare you. It is not as hard as people want to make you think it is. It is time consuming and you have to find time for you. I have 2 special ed kids, one in 5th grad and one in 8th. Unfortunately they are not at grade level due to the fact that they were in special ed due to ASD and mainstream was not an option due to their sensory issues that caused behavior problems. We are sticking to old school reading, writing and arithmetic. We do a lot of hands on life skill assignments. They get many breaks and we incorporate a lot of everyday chores into our school. If your child is a good student (soon to be middle school) virtual school might be the answer. There is also a part time virtual with Polk Homeschool. There is Time4learning that does cost but you pick what you want out of it. Or Khan Academy. Relax and look into it.

It seems like others have done a good job of explaining the Home School "option."  Other than the first comment, which was stated with the opinion of removing a parent(s) consideration of "options." 

But to the point. My two cents worth of opinion, concerns the issue of the socialization of children which was raised earlier. My experience of being around Home Schooling parents and children, is that they have a higher volume and a more intimate and personal social experience than your average student.

Families that I know personally, or just acquaintance, have shared the varied and regular social interactions of their children with other children during the year(s). Since the purpose behind parent's teaching their home schooled children is the betterment of their child, not only academically but also socially. I mean, do people really think that these parents that would take on such a responsibility, along with giving up on one income producing adult, with the showing of such love and care for their own flesh and blood by these sacrifices. That they would leave out an obvious piece of all humanity, that being how a human child, then adult, interacts with others. My goodness, humans with very little exception are social animals.

I realize that there are parents that do not take on the proper role of guiding and modeling proper social interactions and behaviors of their progeny. Its on view daily, even if one wants to shield oneself from these bad behaviors. But trying to find Home Schooling parents in this group of inept adults, would result in minuscule examples in which to present a case. 

The parents that I have met using this method of teaching. Go to great lenghts to build up the entire child. Which includes considerable interactions with other children. Both sports, the arts, music, field trips of all sorts, social parties, games, etc. Many also take on chariable roles, which are not forced as a rule of graduation. But as a means to better the child spiritually.

Home Schooling is not for everyone. Neither is the public school or private school system.

Let's have choice.

Free choice.


Disclaimer: My three children were not Home Schooled. Neither do I have any close family members that have used this system. I have no dog personally in this issue. But I do care for my three children, grandchild, the wifey, and those I care about that will be inpacted by whatever system of education and socialization that is predominate for the coming generations.


Hi. I'm homeschooling my son for pre k. We tried a 3 year old pre k briefly last year and while it was a fantastic place/facility filled with wonderful teachers and administrators he wasn't fitting into the classroom well. So I pulled him out and that drove my choice to try homeschooling for this year. We are having a great year with it so far and looking at homeschooling at least for the next few years we'll re-evaluate after 1st grade. 

Because pre k is a perk not a necessity I haven't done a ton of homework on whats required but so far I don't find it to be too daunting a task. My understanding so far is you'd need to send the school board a letter of intent and by the anniversary of that letter you'd need to send the school board either proof of having a portfolio evaluated, the portfolio or proof of testing. I'm a member of a homeschooling group on Facebook, they share lots of information there. (Add me as a friend here if you like and we can friend on Facebook and I can get you added to the group page. There is an FPEA representative as a member on the homeschool Facebook page. You could find out about getting membership there, they are always posting helpful info about how to follow state requirements. I know that this year the FPEA changed their membership enrollment they used to only open for enrollment once or twice a year but they've gone to year round. On the Facebook page its common to see people asking about information for certified teachers who can check portfolios or administer testing, the information is there for the asking. There are mentions of field trips occasionally but that's usually more among groups like Hope and Lighthouse or other groups. There are plenty of mentions for resources for art classes, music lessons and more. Occasionally you'll see families selling at reduced costs curriculum their kids have outgrown. The opportunities for education are abundant if you only know where to look. Explorations V holds homeschooling classes for a small fee twice a month for art or science two days a week Tuesdays and Thursdays two different time blocks on those days. 

We personally participate with a group called Classical Conversations. We pay a small (IMO) fee and purchased their materials to homeschool with. We meet with the group once a week for 4 hours for 24 weeks between the end of August and end of April. We go on field trips probably an average of once a month but more likely twice a month with the south side group and central CC. (There are three CC groups in Lakeland and one in WH I hear.) I chose to participate with this group because it gives us interaction with other kids, in our case ranging from pre k to 4th grade (but I think the oldest in our group is maybe 2nd or 3rd grade) plus I personally have the added incentive of not wanting to fall behind and look bad in front of a group. The curriculum we use covers Science, Arts, History, Geography some math and some English plus Latin. The topics are big but you dig in according to your child's interest and educational level what fits them. There are three years of materials in the book the kids will repeat the info and as they get older and repeat you'll dig deeper and concepts introduced at a young age will come easier (in theory) as they get older. I'm learning a lot more than I ever recall learning in a brick and mortar public school nothing against PS, just an observation. We are required to supplement reading and phonics along with math the early years those are left to your choice if you continue on with the CC group I think they require Saxon math. But I think for at least the first year or two its your choice. 

For socialization we also find a sports class that interests my son and enroll month to month. He's done gymnastics and expressed and interest in returning. He's done martial arts and I'm sure we'll give that a go again as well. I think we'll give the rookie sports at the YMCA on Cleveland Heights a try soon too. I'm not so much worried about my son socializing, he's an extrovert he's always meeting new people. I just hope to model good behavior and introduce him to good role models. 

Homeschooling can be a hot button topic with some but I think its safe to say depending on the child, family and situation there are good things to be said about homeschooling, traditional public school and private schools or academies. Its really becoming more of a personal choice. 

Good luck on your journey. 

For your middle schooler there are several online options.  I am a teacher with Polk Virtual and will be enrolling my son with us next year for middle school.  We have two options (1.  full time - this includes 6 classes and all requirements of the district i.e.  FCAT, etc   2.  Part time home school - parent choice on classes and pace)

With the part time option you can decide what you want and don't adn also be a part of the other home school programs.

For elementary we only have the full time option this year, but if that is not your choice, keep an eye on our website at schools.polk-fl.net/pvs

If you have any questions about this please let me know.  

I thought this site was for public discussions on issues of importance. But now this topic has been move off the front page after a very short time period, while other topics of little substance stayed for many days and sometime weeks. Most new readers will miss this topic completely.

The comments created on this topic must have touched a nerve somewhere?


One of my co-workers and her husband homeschool their children through the Florida Virtual Schools program.  Both kids are delightful, mature, and both parents are heavily involved in their children's schooling and are dedicated to ensuring their socialization and participation in various extracurricular activities.

A former coworker of mine and her husband (both teachers) opted to pull their child from the public schools where they both taught and homeschooled that child from early elementary through high school graduation.  They, too, were dedicated to their child's progress and were excellent resources for me when I was looking for some educational supplements for one of my sons.

My kids had their adjustment to school both in kindergarten and middle school.  Both have asked for homeschooling at one time or another, but in our circumstances I felt it was best they remain in the public schools and that's worked out well for us thus far, with both boys acclimating.  It just took time.  In some cases, though, homeschooling can be a good option.

Shane, there is no manipulation of how threads appear on the front page of PolkMoms.com or on The Ledger.com.   The feed is controlled by most recent response on the PolkMoms.com front page and by the most recently created on the Ledger.com feed.

Shane said:

I thought this site was for public discussions on issues of importance. But now this topic has been move off the front page after a very short time period, while other topics of little substance stayed for many days and sometime weeks. Most new readers will miss this topic completely.

The comments created on this topic must have touched a nerve somewhere?


If you notice in the next few minutes,  this topic was pushed to the very top when I replied to this discussion.

My son was in public school until 5th grade. My daughter was in public school until 2nd grade. After moving to Florida and trying public school for a year, it was just too much of an adjustment for my kids. They were used to going to schools that were more laid back, no uniforms, recess a few times a day to just play with other kids. No walking in a straight line without speaking. Lots more time for art and music and fun. They loved learning and looked forward to going to school every day. Maybe if they had not had that experience in another learning environment they might not have been bothered by public school here.

Anyways, I pulled them out. We have been doing Florida Virtual School since then. I also work from home full time and I am a single parent. I chose Florida Virtual School (through Connections Academy) because it is free (I only pay for internet access and a few supplies, like potting soil when needed for a science project, pencils, paper for the printer etc.) and because it is all planned out, and because I don't have to do any record keeping at all besides logging in each day and recording the number of hours they spent on school that day, and because my kids were already very computer literate and I knew an online program would be no biggie. I know myself well enough to know that I was not the type of person who could focus on planning a whole curriculum and keeping records and totally doing it all myself would have been overwhelming for me. But that is just me.

Both kids, straight A's every semester since. Last year my son's name finally came up on a wait list for a charter middle school. He decided to give it a try and has maintained a 4.0 average since then, and was selected student of the year last year. No problems socializing at all. Friends, sleepovers, school events no problem.

My daughter is still home with me doing her school virtually. She likes sleeping in. She likes the flexibility of planning her day. If she doesn't feel so great in the morning she does her lessons later. I am able to help her when she needs help and focus on work when I need to. She takes the FCAT like public school students but in our experience, she is not hounded about the FCAT, not drilled for weeks about what will be on the FCAT etc. They cover the material, but they don't shove it down their throats.

Both my kids attended summer camp every year they have been in homeschool and they get along fine. I also noticed my kids find it very easy to hold conversations with adults.(almost easier than with kids)

This is just my experience. I think everyone has to do what is right for their situation, lifestyle, kids etc. This worked for us.

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