Umbrella Schools is an informal name to the type of school covered under the state of FL home education rights. These schools can also be called “600 schools”, named after the FL homeschool law. These schools are actually private schools. However, most are not brick and mortar schools, usually not offering courses taught by teachers employed by the school. It is more of a means to ensure paperwork and course selection is done with fidelity. Your child is not registered as a homeschool student; they are registered as a student under whatever Umbrella School you enroll them in.
Who runs Umbrella Schools?
Umbrella Schools are generally run by individuals that are skilled and experienced with navigating homeschool law, regulations and course credits. The principal and/or owner of the school is in charge of ensuring that the child receives credit for courses, remains on a consistent and responsible track for graduation, portfolios are properly kept and the child receives a diploma upon graduation.
Why would I enroll my child in an Umbrella School?
Homeschooling can be difficult to navigate for parents and educators just beginning the journey. Umbrella Schools offer support and guidance while usually catering to the parent’s homeschool desires. These desires may be a particular style such as Waldorf or Classical or their desires may be focused on daily structure. Umbrella Schools submit most or all state paperwork for annual reviews. Umbrella schools also create transcripts and can issue a full private school high school diploma upon graduation.
How do I choose what curriculums to use?
Another benefit of doing homeschooling through an Umbrella School is that you can usually piece together multiple curriculums. A student can be taking 5 courses through 3-4 different curriculum presentation options if that is right for them. The parent can choose to use the following for courses in order to get credit and fulfill graduation and learning requirements:
- Florida Virtual School (FLVS) or other online learning academies
- Online Learning Systems
- Homeschool co-op groups
- Individually developed curriculum by tutors/parents
- Dual enrollment at community colleges
- Duel enrollment at local university (if applicable)
I thought FLVS was a full-time program. You can take individual classes?
FLVS can be a full-time program and your child could be registered as a FLVS student. However, FLVS can also be used a course curriculum allowing your child to take selective courses through them.
Who can instruct the student if the student is enrolled in an Umbrella School?
Numerous individuals can. The student can be educated by a parent, private tutor, homeschool co-op, community classes at libraries or museums or through virtual teachers online.
Are there any other benefits?
Yes, there are numerous other benefits other than giving the parents a piece of mind that the paperwork will be accurate. The curriculums and course selections can be individualizes so that your student is receiving an education that allows them to learn the material in a way that works for their learning style.
If my child is enrolled in an Umbrella School, how they will graduate?
Umbrella Schools have credit requirements that mimic FL Public School standards to ensure that your child is prepared for college or trade school. Students usually take a regular 24 credit, 4 year track. Some Umbrella Schools offer other options.
How expensive are Umbrella Schools?
Most Umbrella Schools are fairly inexpensive. They usually range from $300-600/year. There is often an additional amount for the student’s senior year.
How can I learn more about Umbrella Schools?
Try checking out these websites:
I highly recommend you consult with a professional homeschool consultant for more information regarding Umbrella School options. Many homeschool co-op groups will offer a consultative meeting to give you guidance as well.