What Age to Enroll?

Enrollment...Attendance...School...Learning -- Not The Same Things

Enrollment is about attendance. It is about being in compliance with the state compulsory attendance law. Compulsory attendance starts at 6. Which means your child must be enrolled somewhere beginning the school year they turn 6 by February 1.

School is one choice of enrollment. The other choices are to register with the county as a homeschooler or hire a private tutor.

There are different kinds of schools, of course. Florida Unschoolers is a private school. A private school that operates as an umbrella school for home educators.

So, what age to enroll? Your child must be enrolled somewhere for the school year when he will be 6 by February 1.

Examples: If his birthday is January 12, he must be enrolled for the school year starting before his 6th birthday. If his birthday is May 21, he must be enrolled for the school year starting after his 6th birthday.

You do not have to follow the public school calendar and may start your school year when it fits your approach to home education.

So 6 years old -- that’s the general rule. Look at the date when your child will turn 6 and figure out whether to enroll him for the school year starting before or after that date.

Now the exception to that rule. :)

If you plan to enroll your child in public school for 1st grade, he must be enrolled somewhere for K. He could be enrolled with Florida Unschoolers but check with your local public school for their start dates and enrollment requirements.

Learning has nothing to do with any of the above. 

Learning happens in many different ways and at all ages. That doesn’t make you a homeschooler when your baby learns to sit up. That makes you a parent and your baby a person who has learned to sit up. That doesn’t make you an unschooler when your 4-year-old learns to love Legos. That makes you the parent of a person who has learned about Legos. You are the parent of a young child who is curious about the world and learning all kinds of things. Who may enjoy a cuddle while you read them a nice book, who may like a game of catch, who may love a walk in the park, who really gets into a round of building and knocking down blocks. All wonderful things and part of a young child’s very busy day and all about learning.

None of which means a very young child needs to be enrolled in any sort of school. Or that learning is confined to school hours or ages. Enrollment generally starts at 6 for attendance purposes. Learning is happening all the time. :)