FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How can I legally homeschool in Florida?
There are three ways to homeschool in the state of Florida. See the Florida homeschool laws here:
Option 1: Register with the county superintendent in writing within 30 days of establishing the home education program and submit a portfolio evaluation or achievement test scores for evaulation with a Florida certified teacher yearly
Option 2: Enroll in a private school organized under the 607, 617, or 623 Statutes. More than one homeschool can operate as a private school, and a child who “attends” a private,
parochial, religious, or denominational school is exempt from compulsory attendance. CIAS is a 617 private school.
Option 3: Homeschools can operate under the private tutor law. A person may teach a child if the person holds a valid Florida certificate to teach the subjects or grades in which instruction is given.
Does CIAS practice nondiscriminatory admissions?
Yes! Christian Institute of Arts & Sciences admits student of any race, color, national and ethnic origin. All students are entitled to the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally made available by the school administration and ultimately by God our Creator. We believe that all men are made in Jehovah God's image and hold that discrimination is in violation of His Holy Word (Galatians 3:28-29).
How do I submit reports and records?
Quarterly Reports, including records for Attendance, courses, tests, activities, and classes, must be submitted via our online reporting database on Homeschool Reporting Online every 9-10 weeks, twice a semester. The reporting schedule can be found HERE.
Record keeping forms and documents are also available on the Reproducible Form List HERE.
How does my high school student earn credits?
Credits constitute completion of courses of study. They may include any education or learning experience you have in the following categories:
Academic Curricula- high school academic textbooks, lifepacs, paces, unit studies, or wisdom books
Online or correspondence courses
Extra-curricular activities- instrumental music lessons, band, physical education & sports activities, and vocational skill trainin
Dual enrollment courses
Half-Credit: 75 hours/one semester
One credit: 150 hours/two semesters
A School Year: 180 days, two semesters, four quarters
How do high school credits transfer to CIAS?
When transferring any and all credits from another school, only semester grades of ‘C’ (70%) or above be accepted for credit. Semester grades for high school credits lower than a ‘C’ do not indicate mastery of a subject. All such courses should be retaken, upon counsel from CIAS Administration. Exceptions for lower credit grades will only be by the discretion of CIAS administration. Special education students (including ESE, ESOL & high IEP) who receive an adjusted or vocational diploma are exempt from this requirement.
Can I choose my own curricula?
Yes! Home educators have a wide choice of curricula available to choose from. CIAS evaluates and recommends various curricula that our families use. We have worked with most curriculums on the market and are familiar with most of their pros and cons. Depending on your child's learning style or mode, curriculum choice could even vary within your family. Curricula that are acceptable would include the following: A Beka, ACE/School of Tomorrow Paces, Alpha Omega LifePacs & Switched on Schoolhouse, Apologia, Bob Jones, BJU’s distance learning programs (Hardrive, DVD, & Satellite), Calvert, Catholic curricula, Christian Liberty Academy Satellite School, Christian Light Education, classical curricula, Florida Virtual School, K12, Konos, Mystery of History, Pathway, Rod & Staff, My Father's World, Sonlight, unit studies (especially on the elementary level), online curricula, and many others. We do not approve of "unschooling" methodolgy. CIAS administration reserves the right to suggest curriculum change or require tutoring lessons if an enrolled student has not made adequate progress as revealed by achievement testing.
Am I required to homeschool a certain number of hours per day?
Yes. School should consist of 180 days per year and/or completion of the curriculum for one school year. Schooling constitutes any education or learning experience your child has in the following categories: academic curriculum (textbooks, unit studies, paces, or wisdom booklets); expanded studies such as field trips, family learning activities, unit study projects, library times, instrumental music lessons, physical education & sports activities, character training, extra-curricular activities, educational movies and literature, etc.; and domestic and vocational skill training.
Suggested hours of instruction or learning activities for the following grade levels:
Grades Pre-School-K: 3 hours per day for 5-day week
Grades 1-3: 4 hours per day for 5-day week
Grades 4-12: 5 hours per day for 5-day week
What is the CIAS Campus School vs. Home-Based School?
Our brick-and-mortar Campus School serves both our enrolled students and the local homeschool community. Over 75% of our student body attends school full-time, take group classes, and/or receives tutoring lessons at the Campus School.
How long should I keep my child's schoolwork?
As required by Florida law, each home-educated student should keep TWO YEARS of schoolwork, books, and tests.
Does CIAS ever ask for tests to be turned in to validate school grades?
CIAS administration reserves the right to require any CIAS student to turn in copies of tests and exams at any time the administration deems it necessary. This might occur in the event that a student’s schoolwork needs additional documentation, such as discrepency between test grades and achievement test proficiency.
Does Florida have compulsory education laws?
Yes. CIAS upholds the compulsory school attendance laws of the state of Florida, as stated in Florida Statutes §232.01. This includes any child having "attained the age of six years by February 1...but have not attained the age of sixteen years." All CIAS teachers/parents agree to provide adult supervision for students up to an including the age of 15 during normal school hours during the school year, knowing that failure to do so constitutes child neglect under the afore mentioned laws.
How should we address inquiries of truancy, DCF, or state officers?
Certain precautionary measures should be taken by teacher/parents to safe-guarding of their home school. Using discretion, do not allow your children to play out of doors during school hours, answer telephone calls or talk on the telephone, answer door bells, or indulge in non-educational internet activities. If a truancy officer, DCF agent, or any other state official should ever approach you or your students, please have them contact the CIAS office immediately for enrollment verification. Be very nice and polite, but under no circumstances should you allow them into your home without a legitimate search warrant. If difficulties persist, continue to insist on referring them to Principal Mary Beth Jones at the CIAS administrative office.
What is HSLDA and do I have to be a member?
We strongly recommend that you become a member of the Homeschool Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) but do not required such membership. HSLDA is a non-profit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional rights of parents to direct the education of their children. HSLDA provides nationwide legal consultation, litigation lawyers, action suits, and defense counsel to members. They advocate on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, tracking legislation and proactively introducing legislation to protect and preserve family freedoms.
What is FPEA and do I have to join?
Again, membership in any organization is optional, and CIAS does not require membership in FPEA. The Florida Parent-Educators Association (FPEA) exists solely to serve homeschooling families in Florida. The FPEA executes that mission through support for the legal right to homeschool, local school board education and interaction, support group networking, a state convention, local conferences and events, informative communications, and by giving individual encouragement.