Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a specific day of the year I need to start schooling?
No. Your first day of enrollment with AEI is marked by your application and payment. You can start schooling any day that works for your family. You have 365 days to show 180 days of attendance. You are free to homeschool any day of the week.
How much flexibility do I have to choose my own student’s curriculum?
You may use any learning methods you choose. Some families choose a “boxed” full level curriculum offered by various companies while others may choose to “unschool” or follow a child interested-based learning. AEI gives you the freedom to choose what is best for your family. Many of our students use an online program such as FLVS to supplement subjects, cover high school courses or to explore their interests.
You stated that the cost is $25 per school year/student for 365 days, and I handle all curriculum and educational records, etc. Are there any other fees?
No. The yearly registration fee is the only cost.
Is there anything else (besides attendance) that needs to be submitted to you at any time?
The following documents need to be emailed after you register:
1. Proof of age (for children entering Kindergarten only).
2. Certification of school-entry health examination performed within 1 year prior to enrollment or signed statement by the parent or guardian stating objections to such examination on religious grounds.
3. Certificate of current immunizations or signed statement by the parent or guardian stating that the administration of immunization agents conflicts with their religious tenets or practices.
What happens if I miss my AEI renewal date?
You must renew each year by the anniversary date of your first enrollment. If you do not, your child will be withdrawn and considered truant by the state if you do not enroll them somewhere else within 30 days.
This is very important because AEI can only verify the compulsory attendance, required by statute, for the dates your child is actually enrolled in AEI. Please make sure to keep track of your renewal date. You can check your Paypal statements/receipts to see your due date.
AEI cannot verify dates previous to your AEI enrollment payment date or for dates in which you have lapsed.
Do you require or request past school records?
No. We do not require or request past school records. We do not keep any academic records for any child. If your child attended a previous school, we suggest that you request a complete copy from that school for your own personal records. Please do not fill out a “request for records” to go to AEI. We will return them. Public schools are required by Florida statute to archive student records with the county. That is where your child’s official records will reside.
What does the term “600 or "umbrella" school mean?
Some private schools serving homeschoolers call themselves "600" or "umbrella" schools. They are legally a private/non-public school in Florida if they are registered with the DOE. The “600" refers to the statute number that some private schools choose to incorporate under. The “umbrella” term comes from the idea that you are “covered” under a private school. There is no legal definition of a “600” or “umbrella” school. Here is a link to Florida’s private schools. (AEI is under Broward County.)
Does being a member of a private school like AEI mean that the record keeping and testing requirements required by the county/state are not required?
What is the cost benefit?
One of the requirements when registering with the county/state homeschooling option is that you have your child evaluated by a Florida certified teacher each year. Most evaluators charge $50-$70 for this service. AEI does not require you to have this evaluation.
Those registered in a private school must meet the requirements of that private school within the law. AEI does not require a particular method of record keeping, grading, or testing. However, AEI encourages all families to document learning activities in some form. Portfolios are a great way to document your child’s progress and accomplishments. These portfolios will not only serve as a scrapbook of your child’s early work, they can also be invaluable for older students when applying to colleges or seeking job positions. Make sure to document special events, awards, volunteer service, performances, sports teams, published works, speaking engagements and anything else that shows your child’s accomplishments and community involvement. It’s never too early to collect “letters of recommendation” or acknowledgments of your child’s service. Most people are willing to write a short letter of appreciation when asked.
Can we skip grades with your school? My student is a bit more advanced, doing schoolwork 1-2 years ahead. Is there an option to graduate early?
AEI doesn’t require that a child be assigned a specific grade level. This is not required by Florida statute. Many students work in “grade levels” below and above what would be their age assigned grade level. Florida is a compulsory attendance state and requires children from 6-16 years old to be in school. There are exceptions, but generally a child would not be able to “graduate” before 16 years old. You can read more here: https://www.fldoe.org/how-do-i/attendance-enrollment.stml. The statute is here: Florida Statutes § 1003.21(1)(a)1
Do you provide a diploma? Transcripts?
It is important to note that homeschool students who enroll in the state/county homeschooling program do not receive transcripts or diplomas.
AEI does not provide a transcript of diploma unless all state required high-school classes have been documented by an accredited online school, a public school, or a previous private school. An example of this would be a student who has some high-school credits and finishes their remaining credits online with FLVS.net. (or another accredited school).
The reason for this is that AEI is not a “diploma mill”. We cannot just trust a parent’s word that a student has earned all the credits required for graduation. There are other private schools that keep records of class work and grades that may offer a diploma.Please be very cautious if you choose to use one of these, make sure to check with the college of your choice to ascertain if they accept a diploma from that school. Many private schools are not accredited.
That being said, many of our students have been accepted into colleges around the country. We also have students who dual-enroll. Colleges are now familiar with homeschoolers and welcome them. Planning is key. If your child’s goal is to get into a particular college you need to research as much as you can about that college and its policies. This is a good article/site about homeschoolers and college: https://homeschoolsuccess.com/highly-selective-college-admissions-for-homeschoolers/ (August 2021).
The article is not just about “selective college” admissions. It offers very good planning advice for high schoolers.
How often do I need to submit my attendance information? What format can I use?
Attendance can be emailed monthly or quarterly. You must show 180 days of school in one year. The year starts the day you register and ends 365 days later. You may use any format you choose. Some families choose to send a pic of a calendar with the days marked. Picture and file attachments are acceptable, or you can list days directly in the email. Please note that emails for attendance are archived automatically. Do not include questions or comments as they will not be seen. Please send questions or comments in a separate email. It is very important to fill out the “subject” line of the email.
How do I object to immunizations and/or medical exams?
The statutes state that a parent may object in writing to the health requirement based on religious grounds. (1003.22) “...However, a child shall be exempted from the requirement of a health examination upon written request of the parent of the child stating objections to the examination on religious grounds.” You do not have to state what religion you practice. You can get a form from your county health department or AEI can provide you with a sample letter.
Is kindergarten mandatory for a child that turns five before September 1?
This is the answer from the DOE website ( FL DOE website)
“No. A parent that chooses not to enroll their child in kindergarten is not in violation of compulsory school attendance laws. However, Florida law, [Section 1003.21 (1)(a), Florida Statutes], specifies that all children who have attained the age of six years or who will have attained the age of 6 years by February 1 of any school year are required to attend school regularly during the entire school term. If a child enters public school at age 6 without evidence of kindergarten completion of an official transcript, then the district will place the student in the first program of study, and that is kindergarten. The child will progress according to the district's student progression plan.”
Do I need to be registered with the county/state if I enroll in AEI?
No. When you enroll in AEI or any private school, you do NOT register with the Home Education program in your county. (Registering with the county as a home education student and registering with a private school is not statutory. If your county requests it, please follow up with them concerning the law.)
However, if you are currently registered with the state home education program (via your local school board), you MUST send them a notice of termination. This is required of any child registered with the state home education program regardless if you choose to enroll the child in a public school, a private school, or transfer your home education program to another county. The only thing required by law is the child’s name, address and the parents signature on the letter stating that you are ending your “state home education program“. You can tell them where you plan to enroll, or if you are moving out of state, but it is not required by law.
Do you have to submit something to AEI so that my child can be promoted to the next grade?
No. You as the parent decide what grade level to teach and how you will be promoted. Some homeschoolers do not use grade levels or promotions.
What happens if I decide to enroll my child back into public school?
You would follow the enrollment requirements of the state/county. You must also email a "Letter of Withdrawal" to the AEI director. You can request a "Letter of Good Standing" from AEI for proof of past enrollment.
Can my middle/high school age student participate in public school extra-curricular activities?
In some districts it is easy to enroll in extra-curricular activities. The best thing to do is ask your assigned school or district about the procedures.