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How to legally graduate your student



A question from newcomers, particularly those unfamiliar with home education, is graduation. Providing a quality education is one thing, but parents want to make sure their students have proof of completion, too.


Fortunately for Florida home educators, the graduation process is simple and easy! Graduating Florida home education students is completely legal, and students graduate with all the rights and privileges that other Florida high school graduates do.


In this article, you'll find the steps for graduating Florida students who are using the notice of intent to establish a home education program , sometimes called the "letter of intent". (Students in Florida private or umbrella schools should follow the graduation procedures outlined by their particular school entity instead.)


Not sure if your student uses the notice of intent or is enrolled in a Florida private school? Read this.

We start by reminding that, when referring to Florida home education, we often use the words "completion" and "graduation" to mean the same thing:


Completing a high school home education program is what most of us call "Graduation".

In general, Florida home education students graduate high school by doing these four things (we explain them next). Except for Step 1, the steps don't need happen in this order:

  1. Completing a home education program which satisfies attendance laws

  2. Receiving a parent issued diploma

  3. Getting a notarized homeschool completion affidavit

  4. Submitting a notice of termination and annual evaluation


Completing a home education program


Florida home education students will complete a home education program and attend school until reaching the minimum legal age of completion. In Florida, the legal age required before terminating attendance is 16. Most students remain in school beyond 16, however reaching 16 is required by law.


Because Florida home educators don't have to meet a specific set of graduation requirements, completion of home education is determined by fulfilling the goals of the program outlined for the student. The program is measured annually by the homeschool evaluation, which demonstrates progress and thereby validates the completion.


Completion of the program while meeting the attendance law is required before the student can "graduate".


Receiving a parent-issued diploma


Florida home education students don't get a printed diploma from a school district. But, for those who want a diploma anyway, parents may issue a diploma themselves.


Home education diplomas come in many forms, from those created by parents (or designed by friends or siblings) to professionally produced diplomas that can be ordered online.


Some home education students don't care about a diploma, while for others this document is very important indeed. If you or your student wants a homeschool diploma (or certificate or award or plaque or anything whatsoever) you can issue any kind of diploma or completion award you want.


There is no standard wording, logo, stamp or rule for how Florida homeschool diplomas must be prepared. At Florida Homeschool Association (FLHSA), we recommend designing/ordering anything that uniquely reflects your student, your homeschool, or how you would like to commemorate this special event.


Getting a notarized homeschool completion affidavit


A "homeschool completion affidavit" is an official document that can be notarized to demonstrate proof of completion of a home education program.


In effect, the homeschool affidavit is a legal graduation document that provides the proof that a home education program was provided to the student, and the student completed it satisfactorily.


The homeschool affidavit provides proof that a home education program was satisfactorily completed.

For Florida home education students, the homeschool affidavit can hold great weight, as it is signed and certified by a Notary Public, whom before them, the issuing parent witnessed its accuracy and provided personal identification.


The homeschool affidavit also provides a date stamp as to the date of completion, which can be very important for students later on. Selecting the date on which to "graduate" or complete a student, and the date on which to obtain the homeschool affidavit, can play into important decisions for employers, colleges, scholarship committees, and more. FLHSA recommends taking care in selecting the graduation date and signing of the homeschool affidavit for this particular reason.


The Florida Department of Education has a homeschool affidavit on its website. Florida colleges and universities often have homeschool affidavits on their websites, too. Any homeschool affidavit is fine, as long as it contains the correct information, is signed by the parent or guardian, and is notarized.


Find a copy of the Florida Department of Education's homeschool affidavit HERE.


Submitting a notice of termination and annual evaluation


Once a student has completed all the requirements of the home education program and attendance, parents have but one remaining legal requirement to fulfill. Within 30 days of completing the home education program, parents should file a notice of termination with the Superintendent's office or their designee. Along with it, parents should also submit the annual evaluation for the student, demonstrating progress for the final year of the home education program.


Completion of a homeschool program must be followed by submitting a notice of termination and a final evaluation, within 30 days, to the Superintendent's office.

FLHSA provides samples of the notice of termination and the annual evaluation form on our website. You may also read the Florida Statutes (laws) as they relate to attendance, evaluations, or anything else, on our START HERE page.


The Florida Homeschool Association (FLHSA) exists to inform and support Florida families throughout the year. Learn more about FLHSA or consider an annual membership at: https://www.floridahsa.org/.



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