I just finished year number 23 of homeschooling. As I look back, I am amazed at the changes I have seen in homeschooling over the years. Our first years included keeping careful track of hours and days. Students had to have four hours of education each day for 180 days. Do you know how MUCH your child can learn with one on one education for 720 hours a year? Several times the police stopped by the local park where our children were playing to question why they were not in school. Our teens ran into roadblocks when they tried to get a driver’s license, and high school sports were out of the question.
Today, I marvel at all that is available to homeschoolers, especially those who are fortunate enough to live in Florida. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a few (Senator Webster and Craig and Brenda Dickinson especially), Florida is a very easy place for us to homeschool. We not only have little intrusion from the government, we also enjoy many exciting opportunities.
There are support groups and co-ops all over the state to aid and encourage homeschool parents. Students are able to take part in science fairs, spelling and geography bees and more. They are playing sports for their local high school or as a part of teams made up of homeschoolers exclusively. High school students are eligible for Bright Futures scholarships and can participate in dual enrollment, letting them earn both high school and college credit at the same time.
Homeschoolers are no longer being harassed for truancy. They are able to get their driver’s license at 16. They are not excluded from the opportunity to earn sports, music or arts scholarships. Many of these advancements are thanks to the work of the Home Education Foundation and our homeschool lobbyist in Tallahassee, Brenda Dickinson. If we want to keep homeschooling in peace and comfort, we need to give our support to HEF and Brenda. If our budget doesn’t allow for financial support, we should be on our knees daily.
Homeschooling is not an easy task, but it could be much, much harder than it is. God has provided for us in a very special way. Don’t ignore His provision. Check out , www.flhef.org and see what you can do to help keep Florida a wonderful place for homeschoolers in the future.