OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The largest home school convention in the country kicks off Thursday in Osceola County with more than 20,000 home school families in attendance.
The Florida Home School Convention has become the epicenter of the home school movement, with a huge increase in the number of students getting their education outside a traditional classroom.
"For home-schoolers now there's a lot of freedom to choose how you want to home-school," Suzanne Nunn of the Florida Parent Educators Association said.
There are currently more than 80,000 home-schoolers in Florida, which is more than any other state.
Florida virtual school is another home school option. In 2013, Orange County had about 1,600 virtual school students. A year later, more than 11,000 students were getting their education online.
Nunn said many parents used home-schooling as a solution to their frustrations.
"Those reasons have a lot to do with Common Core
, that they've faced with their own children. Children were not getting the attention, the one on one that they really need," Nunn said.
Parent Laura Lopez said her was excelling in school, but the school refused to offer a different curriculum, so she pulled him out of school.
"We're free to go higher in the areas that are more interesting, or more of my kid's natural talents, and free to stay on level when we want and free to go ahead when we can," Lopez said.
Nunn said some home-schoolers still have to overcome stigmas, like the myth of a lack of socialization or that such an education is only Christian based. She said more parents are taking dramatic steps to take education into their own hands because they're fed up.
"It says there are very high levels of frustration to the point these parents are willing to commit to a lifestyle change," Nunn said.
The convention offers a number of seminars, ranging from how to conduct science fairs to how to use Legos in math lessons.
Many parents represent large home-school co-ops at home, and what they learn is passed on to other parents in their communities.