There is so much information and a lot of new lingo when you first venture into learning at home.

Here are some definitions to help with the sorting (links at the end):

(1) Enrollment/registration options – 

Florida Unschoolers – a private school; an umbrella school for home learners of all kinds.

Homeschooler – someone who is registered with their county school board’s homeschool office instead of having their child enrolled in a private umbrella school; includes all kinds of home learners.

(2) Deschooling – the transition stage from traditional school to learning at home. 

Deschooling is that stage where you give yourself permission, for as long as you need, to relax and ease into figuring out how you want to do things. Your life doesn’t have to look like school but it could. You don’t have to sign your child up for 6 online classes but you could. Your child doesn’t have to participate in a sport but they could. Etc. All of the decisions about how you spend your time and resources are up to you. And sorting that all out takes some time and that’s what deschooling is about – taking the time to let go of traditional school and construct the life you want to live as a home educating family.

(3) Content/approach options – 

Homeschooling – learning at home using a curriculum at least part of the time. 

Relaxed homeschooler – someone who uses some curriculum along with other resources and activities. 

Traditional homeschooler – someone who uses a full curriculum. 

Unschooling – a specific approach to learning at home that does not include curriculum and is based on living and learning outside of a school model, focusing on a child’s interests. Unschooling is also about family relationships and much more.  

Yes, it gets confusing. You can have your child enrolled with Florida Unschoolers and be a traditional homeschooler. You can register with your county and take an unschooling approach. You can use FLVS Flex public school curriculum and either have your child enrolled with Florida Unschoolers or register with the county. You don’t have to use that curriculum, though, and you can use whatever one you like or mix and match – under either option, umbrella school enrollment or county registration. You can choose not to use curriculum but not be unschooling – you think in terms of school subjects and do activities related to those subjects. You can unschool. You can evolve over time and change as you learn more about options and your children grow and develop new interests. 

It’s a lot.

Which is why the most important definition is the one for deschooling. 

So get the enrollment/registration paperwork done – one way or the other, it doesn’t matter which you choose usually, umbrella school or county, and you can change your mind later – and then give yourself and your family plenty of time to deschool. 

Enjoy. :) 


Florida Unschoolers:

Homeschooler – see the homeschool page on your county school board’s website.


Homeschooling – Google is your friend to find all manner of homeschool curriculum and groups and activities. 

Unschooling – start with the FAQs here and read through the resources suggested: