Homeschooling through High School

January 2008 Edition

Bill & Mardy Freeman

Please note: To the best of our knowledge, this information is accurate. Each year the Florida legislature can change laws regarding education. In addition, high schools, community colleges, private or public universities, or accredited programs can change admissions policies from one district to the next or from one year to the next. It is important that parents and students stay in contact with the school the student is considering so he will not miss any changes.

Helping Your Student Plan for the Future

Our family leans toward the follow-your-calling-with-all-of-your-heart-but-get-a-solid-general-understanding-of-whatever-else-you-need-along-the-way-to-get-you-to-your-goal-mentality. That may not work for everyone, and I share it only as a testimony that, so far, it has worked for our children.

For which of you, intending to build a tower (or prepare a son or daughter for adulthood), does not sit down first and count the cost (figure out your student’s options), whether you have sufficient to finish it (whether your student is going in the best direction for his desired goals)? Based on Luke 14

The most efficient way we have found to help our students plan for high school is by planning with the end in mind from:

  • the career or ministry our student thinks he wants to go into as an adult
  • to
  • the college or school (or apprenticeship training or program, etc.) he would need to accomplish those goals
  • to
  • determining what type(s) of admission requirements those college(s) or school(s) or program(s) require
  • to
  • adding those requirements (tests/test prep courses/volunteer hours/etc.) into the student’s high school program.

Exploring future career/ministry ideas with our children by age 12 or 13 can be very helpful – as long as they don't feel they're being pressured to make a decision or that they would not be allowed to change their minds later – several times! A worst-case scenario would be that a student prepare vigorously for a specific field, change his mind mid-stream and have to make up a certain amount of courses, or even miss out on some opportunities. But, there is the same chance that a student who works very hard to be excellent in every subject (or many subjects) may not have enough time, energy or passion left over to propel him to the top of the one field he truly wishes to pursue.

We usually ask our children to begin praying about their future around age 12 or 13, asking them to ask the Lord to direct them to His will for them. The teen years is a time for them to begin learning how to “hear the Shepherd’s Voice” (My sheep know My Voice, Jn 10). Sometimes the answer is clear and they realize they have been drawn to a certain area of service or need; sometimes it is, Wait. Those are both valid answers.

We also begin to ask them questions like, "If you could change anything in the world, what would you change? Why? " In other words, we ask them to begin thinking about themselves in a new way – as people who might one day make a difference in the lives of those around them. This mindset opens an unlimited potential of career and ministry options, while a mindset of, "What can I do that will support a family/make me rich/ bring me fame/make me happy, etc." closes many potentially-fulfilling doors that could have been doors of financial provision as well. There will be careers and fields open in 5 years that do not even exist today, but if our students can develop strong character and work ethics along with an, “I can make a difference in the world” mindset, there will be no limit to the things they might accomplish for the Lord as adults.

By doing this, one of our teens felt led to attend two colleges at once, while another teen bypassed traditional college and entered the workforce and apprenticeship training. Another took a year off before college to complete an internship. Some have dual-enrolled, some attended private colleges, some state colleges, some did both.

What if our student has no idea what he wants to do?

Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you. Matt 6

Following a college-prep program (at a speed and level that is challenging but not overwhelming) will prepare most home educated students for any direction until they feel they have more clear direction.

A Word about Talent

Just because a student is very good at something, do not assume (and do not encourage him to assume) that is what he should naturally do as a career. In other words, just because they can doesn’t mean they should. How many stories have we heard from adults who regretted being stuck in what looked like the natural path in high school, only to wish years down the road they had stretched out of their comfort zones or considered other options. Encourage your children to pray about their own future, and to consider their place in the world.

The Legal Status of Your High School Student

Under Florida law, a home educated student can be very hard to recognize! That’s because a “home educated student” who registers with the superintendent, and either part-time enrolls in a high school and/or dual-enrolls in a public college classroom, can spend a majority, if not all of his classroom time on a public school campus. Because of his registration status, however, he is legally a “home educated” student.

Students registered with a 607, 617 or 623 Private School are considered “private school students” and not home education students by the state of Florida, but private school students, even though all of their education may take place within the home, due to their registration status.

Because registration under the superintendent allows a student more flexibility, more time at home in the high school years, and has fewer restrictions and fewer requirements, as well as easier access to community colleges and Bright Futures Scholarships, we recommend this option. It also affords more schedule time to focus on a single topic for a season if so desired.

Students registered with the Superintendent of Schools[1]

  • are the only students considered home education students by the state of Florida.
  • fall under all the Home Education laws, including those pertaining to Bright Futures Scholarships, part-time enrollment, etc.
  • need no transcripts or diploma to apply to any of Florida’s community colleges, but only an affidavit stating they have completed their high school program.
  • Need no academic documentation to qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship (other than a qualifying SAT score).

Private school students must:

  • follow all private school laws, including compulsory attendance laws.
  • provide transcripts and/or diploma requirements for college entrance.
  • must fulfill all academic requirements for Bright Futures Scholarship.

High School Options offering High School Credit

High School Transfer of Credit see for the latest info.

  • Student studies at home choosing from a variety of curricula – from traditional texts, videos or software to Satellite programs, correspondence schools, distance-learning, or more.
  • High School Part-Time Enrollment Contact high school in which student is zoned.
  • Extra Curricular Participation at Public Schools (Music, Sports Programs, etc.) For home education students (those registered with the Superintendent) the Craig Dickinson Act grants eligibility for students to participate in extra curricular activities in public schools, provided there is room for the student, and that they have the required GPA. Contact the principal or athletic director at the high school in which the student is zoned. For more information, see or

There is no provision in the law for students registered with a private school to participate in public school programs.

Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment allows your high school junior or senior to take college classes for free.

Santa Fe College A student should be 16 years of age and have minimum score of 83 on Reading and 72 on Math on the CPT (Computerized Placement Test – see Tests below) to be admitted into Dual Enrollment. College-level scores on the SAT or ACT may be used in place of the CPT.

High School Options offering Some High School Credit and Some College Credit

International Baccalaureate Program Eastside High School, Gainesville: College credit accepted for many of the courses taken through the IB program, depending on student’s score and the college.

Distance Learning/Correspondence

High School Credit – Distance Learning – Accredited

  • Florida Virtual School: offers free online high school courses for high school credit at
  • Any Internet search: will locate a wide variety of online accredited courses for high school.

High School Credit – Distance Learning – Unaccredited

  • A Beka Academy : (800) 874-3592
  • The Academy of Home Education Bob Jones University: (800) 845-5731
  • Numerous unaccredited High School programs and courses listed in curriculum magazines and websites.
    Your favorite curriculum site or any Internet search engine will produce more choices than one has time to research.

To enter any Community College in Florida

At this writing, we are not aware of any public or private colleges that still discriminate against home educated students. They may be out there; we just do not know about them. Below is only limited information on area Florida colleges.

Students who are educated for 2 years (registered with the Superintendent of Schools) need only a notarized affidavit stating that the student has completed a home education program. No transcripts, no proof of credit, no test scores are needed. Students are then eligible to take the CPT (Computerized Placement Test – see CPT under Tests in this document). Scoring on the CPT determines placement. Contact your Community College for details.

Students registered with a 607, 617 or 623 Private School must meet the graduation requirements of that school.

College Credit – Distance Learning – while still in High School (through Dual Enrollment)

Private 607/617/623 schools must have an articulation agreement with the college for the student to participate in dual-enrollment.

College Credits (2-Year) – Distance Learning – after High School Graduation

Santa Fe College Distance Learning (certain courses available online): or (352) 395-7344 or

University of Florida (certain courses available online): : or (352) 392-2137

Listing of all Florida Community Colleges Distance Learning Courses and Programs

Complete 2-Year AA or AS Degree – Distance Learning – after High School through Florida Community Colleges

Clip below taken from Florida Gulf Coast University website:

  • Through some Florida Community Colleges you may earn an entire A.A. degree through distance learning offerings. Edison Community College in Fort Myers, Florida and St. Petersburg Junior College in St. Petersburg are two such examples. If you earn an A.A. degree from a Florida Community College, you will have completed all of the lower division general education requirements for an undergraduate degree. You may then enter Florida Gulf Coast University as an upper division undergraduate and complete all, or a significant portion, of the upper division coursework required for several degree programs.

College Credit (4-Year) – Distance Learning – after High School Graduation

Complete 4-Year Bachelor of Science Degree – Distance Learning :

Other Non-Classroom (or minimal classroom) Ways to Obtain College Credit

Our family has never known anyone who did any of the three options below, but here they are:

  • Department Credit by Examination at SFCC Students wishing to earn course credit by passing a departmental examination should consult the department in which the course is taught. Students may not apply for course credit through an SFCC Credit Examination if a CLEP examination is available. Students should be aware that SFCC Credit Examinations may not be offered for certain courses due to the nature of a particular course's content.
  • Individual Study at Santa Fe College Individual Study will satisfy general education requirements for the Associate of Science degree provided that no more than 3 semester hours of credit are applied to any one specific area. For the Associate of Arts degree, Individual Study may not be used to meet the general education requirements although it may be used as elective credit.
  • Experiential Learning Santa Fe College recognizes and awards credit by experience in some vocational/technical areas. Matriculated students are required to send requests for experiential-learning credit to the appropriate academic program areas, following completion of the Previous Experience/Training Credit Form.

Early Admission at the University of Florida

Requires high SAT and SAT II’s scores and permission from UF.

To enter a Florida Community College (straight from a home education program)

All Community Colleges in Florida must now accept home education students who provide an affidavit stating that a homeschool program has been completed in lieu of a high school diploma. CPT required (or sufficient SAT or ACT scores may be accepted in lieu of the CPT). Thank you to Brenda Dickinson for that piece of legislative work!

Free state college catalogs are available from all ten state universities' websites. UF's website has links to the other colleges, where each school's catalog can be found.

To enter any of the 4-year State Universities in Florida

Students who are home educated for 2 years (registered with the Superintendent of Schools) may apply to a State University

  • directly from their Home School Program by meeting the individual requirements of each university. UF, for example, requires college-level scores on the SAT as well as five SAT II’s.
  • by applying as an undergraduate with partial college credits from a community college
  • by transferring from a Community College with an AA, students registered with a 607, 617 or 623 Private School
    • must meet the graduation requirements of the school in which they are registered
    • Note from Brenda Dickinson Each university has the authority to set requirements in addition to the minimum set in law. Private school students have to meet certain requirements to enter a University, They have to prove they have taken the 19 credits required for admissions and usually there is a minimum GPA and a SAT score required. I would recommend that the parent contact the University(ies) or colleges the student may want to attend in 9th or 10th grade to find out what each requires. For example, U F has just changed its admission requirements, so that community service and extracurricular activities are going to be considered for admissions

The 4-Year State Universities in Florida

University of Florida:

Florida A & M University:

Florida State University:

University of South Florida:

Florida Atlantic University:

University of West Florida:

University of Central Florida:

Florida International University:

University of North Florida:

Florida Gulf Coast University:

New College of Florida:

To enroll at the University of Florida upon completion of high school program (directly from a home education program)

UF requires an SAT and five SAT-II's, including two years of foreign language. (352) 392-3261 or

Tests for High School Students


College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

  • Note: Community Colleges may vary in which courses they will allow a CLEP credit to apply. When our son, Jonathan, entered SFCC in 2001, only his 3 math CLEP credits were credited toward his core math courses. The other 15 credits (in English and History) were applied to electives, thus requiring that he take those courses on campus or online, even though he had passed the CLEP test for them and earned the credit. However, Brenda Dickinson’s daughter was allowed to apply CLEP credits directly to the courses she passed on the CLEP tests. These policies can change from school to school, and from year to year.
  • CLEP Information through SFCC:
  • CLEP Information through UF:
  • CLEP Preps can be purchased through almost any local bookstore, on the Internet through any search engine, or obtained free at the public library in print form or software. A study guide is also available for free from (800) 323-7155. Be sure to use a current edition. Note: Our family begins preparing college-bound students for the CLEP and other tests such as the PSAT and SAT in 9th grade by checking (and rechecking) out a CLEP Prep Course from the local library.

Computerized Placement Test (CPT)

  • This is a computerized test covering reading, writing and math skills which determines the level of courses a student may sign up for when registering at a community college. A CPT Study Guide is free through the College.


  • A test that allows students age 18 (or as young as 16 in some districts) to receive a GED diploma. Note: A GED is typically not necessary for entrance into any Florida 2 or 4-year state school (nor have we heard of it being required for any college).
  • Note from Brenda Dickinson: A home educated student needs to be careful about taking the GED before he/she is graduating because passing this test gives the student a high school diploma and thus completes the home education program. Taking this test early could prevent a home education student from qualifying for the Bright Futures Scholarship or dual enrollment.


  • A test given to 11th graders in local high schools in the fall. A practice test us given in 10th grade. The National Merit Scholarship (see Scholarships) is awarded to top 1% who also later score over 1300 on the SAT. Contact the school in which your student is zoned the first week of school. Note from Brenda Dickinson: Schedule your student’s participation and make sure a test is ordered for him. See for more information.


  • Made available to seniors at least once per year through local high schools, nearly monthly at UF, and at many other sites in Florida. Online registration at SAT prep books available in public libraries, or most bookstores. The Florida High School offers a free SAT prep course. Note: See article on the new SAT (due out in 2005) in this hand-out. See for a an article with practical tips about taking the SAT.


  • Tests used as placement tests, and as requirements for home education students to directly enter UF. Five tests in English or Writing, Social Science, Math level II-C, Science and a foreign language are required for admission. Call UF at (352) 392-1365 for SAT-II registration.

Military Service

Air Force ROTC at University of Florida (352) 392-1355

Army ROTC at Santa Fe College:

The following service academies all accept home educated students:


Note: Scholarships can be merit-based or need-based, as well as race, gender, religion, ethnic or culture-based, or awarded due to affiliation with certain businesses or associations. There are thousands of scholarships available by searching the Internet. Two free Scholarship Search Engines are:

Four commonly known scholarship programs in Florida:

Other High School Resources

Auto Insurance - Many auto insurance companies discount to high school students for driver's ed class and good grades. Contact your insurance company to determine what is needed to document good grades. Note: Our insurance company’s discount (Florida Farm Bureau) was better for good grades than for driver’s training. A copy of our student’s year-end evaluation faxed to our insurance company was enough.

Congressional Award (202) 226-0130 or

Driver's License

Driver’s Education National Driver Training Institute (800) 942-2050

First-Time Driver Required Drug and Alcohol Class Online (approved for Florida)

Traffic Safety Center (352) 955‑6959 is a division of the Alachua County Public Schools, and offers driver’s training courses at various times throughout the year. Students who pass this course do not have to take either the driving or written portion of the driver’s exam.

Local companies that teach Driver Ed can be found in the Yellow Pages.

High School Planning Site

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) accepts home education students who apply through an NCAA college. Details by contacting NCAA, 6201 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66221 or (913) 339-1905.

Selective Service - Young men are required by law to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Early registration in Florida included in driver’s license registration or register online at

Special Needs

A wealth of information for special needs students of all ages at Homeschool Central

More Resources

Home Education Foundation

In answer to an email inquiry ~

Q: If you have some insight into umbrella schools, dual enrollment, Florida Virtual School, college entrance, etc., would you mind sharing it with me?

A: As your student prepares for college in the state of Florida, there is a huge difference between being registered as a homeschooler under the superintendent and being in a private (umbrella) school.

A student registered with the superintendent has the easiest route because of the opportunities that homeschool lobbyist, Brenda Dickinson, has forged for us.

We have graduated one son from UF, transferring with his AA from SFCC. It was very easy for him to get into SFCC. As a homeschool grad, he needed no transcripts and no diploma. All we needed to do was sign an affidavit showing proof he was registered with the superintendent. An applicant to SFCC takes the CPT (Computerized Placement Test). SFCC is very open to homeschoolers.

You’ll also find the dual enrollment dept at SFCC incredibly supportive of and helpful to homeschoolers. Our oldest two didn’t dual enroll, but the three next have, and all have had very positive experiences with the dual enrollment office. One tip we give parents before the dual enrollment appointment with their student is to make sure the student himself can carry on the conversation with the counselor about what classes he is wants to take, what his goals, etc. The counselor is entering into a relationship with your student where they are supposed to be assessing whether they think they will do well on campus, and helping them to make choices that will ensure their success, so they will be interviewing your student, rather than you, even though you are in the office with them.

Most homeschoolers are academically ready by 11th grade for junior college work and do well. But, we do give strong cautions about putting teens on any college campus before they are spiritually or emotionally ready. Good kids can and do crash and burn, so to speak, once they go from a very sheltered environment to no sheltering. Or from the opposite extreme of no sheltering at home to no sheltering on campus. They'll deal with 20-somethings sitting next to them who will be talking about who they slept with, etc. They will also have new access to drugs or alcohol – if they want to find them. We prayed that the Lord would give His personal direction to each of our kids. That direction turned out a little different for each one (some dual-enrolled, some didn't, one took CLEPS and passed, one tried CLEPS and failed, some took online college classes, some took online high school classes, one didn't go on campus until after high school graduation, one bypassed traditional college and did apprenticeship classes and work, one took an internship, etc.). But each one sensed they were following God's path - for them.

And then there is the material they have to study. If they attend any public college they will have to study objectionable material. They’ll be taught that homosexuality and sex outside marriage are normal, and if they have a different view, they'll be seen as homophobic and fringe. They'll also have to read some pretty sleazy stuff in ENC1101 and ENC1102, both required to get their AA. One of our students had a reading assignment in which the text was superimposed over a nude woman, so they were forced to see the nude in order to read the material. If they take psychology, they'll have to study Freud and his beliefs about the role of sex in every area of one's life. When one son was still 17, he was required to take part in class discussion in ENC1101 in which the reading was about a guy who had a sex change. If he didn't participate, his grade would have been marked down. He did, and did a good job, but he was definitely in the minority in his view and felt it. That can be good stretching, good training for our young people going out into a very dark culture that they are unfortunately inheriting in this age. If they can stand alone with a respectful attitude in a college classroom, they should be better equipped to handle the rest of the darkness they'll encounter in this age. But you need to know your student and know if they will be stretched and strengthened, or whether they’ll stumble and fall.

A couple of our kids delayed the campus environment by taking online courses while dual enrolled, so they earned the college credits, but got to stay home. The material was still objectionable, and it is harder to learn alone than having a classroom teacher give instruction, but it can work. We had two students who did well dual enrolling online, and one that never did well with online courses, and needed classroom instruction.

Another option is letting your student sit for CLEP tests where they can earn the college credit. Our oldest earned 18 college credits in one day, taking CLEPS. However, SFCC would only accept 3 of the math credits in the math department. The other 15 were accepted only as electives. In a way, we were actually were glad they didn’t accept them. It meant that Jon had to sit through 15 hours of classes he’s already CLEPPED, so they were an absolute breeze, which helped him to maintain a 4.0. And he didn’t have to take an additional 15 hours of new material to get his AA.

As far as FLVS, we’ve had 3 students take the SAT prep class and computer classes with them. We recommend the SAT prep course (excellent) and the computer course was very good, too.

I heard someone on Focus on the Family a few months ago talk about when to put a son or daughter into a secular school, and he gave a great measuring tool (I hope I can remember it!). He said to make sure their “GPA” was high enough. G is for their relationship with God – it has to be solid. P is for their relationship with their peers. They should be able to already stand alone under pressure, or they probably won’t handle the additional pressure along with additional temptations well. And A – hmmm, I can’t remember the word he used for A, but it had to do with their own self-image. They have to have a healthy view of themselves and feel loved and accepted by God and the people who love them to face the ones that don’t.

Needless to say, we stay a little nervous, quite on our toes (and knees), with each of our kids who attend public colleges. Our best advice is that we seek the Lord about their readiness for such an environment, and then we’re prepared to remove them from it their spiritual health or attitudes begin to slip. We almost did that with one of our most easily-influenced kids, but God helped him to rally, and learn to stand, so we let him continue and he did well. We also ask our teens to begin praying and hearing the Lord’s voice on his/her own, so they can discern God's direction for themselves, and then learn to stand on their own as they begin to leave the shelter of our homes.


If you find errors in this document or would like to add resources to it, please contact us at or

Special Thanks To ~ Brenda Dickinson of the Home Education Foundation for her tireless efforts in the Florida Legislature on behalf of Florida home education students, so much of which is reflected in the laws guaranteeing equal access for home education students, and for taking the time to proof-read, edit and comments to this hand-out. From all of us – Thank You! Stephanie Walker, Angie Priest and Joanna Priest for proofing all of the website addresses in an accurate and timely manner. The following individuals contributed information for this hand-out: Deborah Bahrs, Patti Ballard, Wanda Duchien, Jennifer Jacobs, Danielle Williams, and The Guide to Homeschooling in Alachua County, by Kathy Muni.

Admission to State University for Home education students

  • 1007.261(1)(a) State universities; admissions of students.- Each university board of trustees is authorized to adopt rules governing the admission of students, subject to this section and rules of the State Board of Education.
    1. Minimum academic standards for undergraduate admission to a university include:
      1. Each student must have received a high school diploma pursuant to s. 1003.43, or its equivalent, except as provided in s. 1007.271 (2)-(5) or completed a home education program according to s. 1002.41.

        Home Ed. student not required to document 19 credits

  • 1007.261(1)(b) Each student must have successfully completed a college-preparatory curriculum of 19 credits, as defined in rules of the State Board of Education, including at least 2 credits of sequential foreign language at the secondary level or the equivalent of such instruction at the postsecondary level. A student who completes a home education program according s.1002.41 is not required to document completion of the 19 credits required by this paragraph.

    Community colleges; admissions of students.

  • 1007.263 Each community college board of trustees is authorized to adopt rules governing admissions of students subject to this section and rules of the State Board of Education. These rules shall include the following:
    1. Admission to associate degree programs is subject to minimum standards adopted by the State Board of Education and shall require:
      1. A standard high school diploma, a high school equivalency diploma as prescribed in s. 1003.435, previously demonstrated competency in college credit postsecondary coursework, or, in the case of a student who is home educated, a signed affidavit submitted by the student's parent or legal guardian attesting that the student has completed a home education program pursuant to the requirements of s. 1002.41.

See for more information.