Texas is one of the most progressive states when it comes to homeschooling.
Texas has some of the strongest homeschool laws in the nation!
To start homeschooling in Texas, follow these steps:
- Research and familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws and regulations in Texas.
- Notify your local school district of your intent to homeschool by submitting a notice of intent or a homeschooling application.
- Keep records of your child’s homeschooling progress, including attendance, instruction, and assessment, and provide them to the local school district upon request.
- Provide instruction in specific subjects as required by Texas state law.
- Meet the attendance requirements as set by Texas state law.
- Follow any additional regulations or laws set by your local school district or state.
- Start homeschooling and keep records of your child’s progress.
- Be aware that Texas does not require standardized testing for homeschooled students, but it’s still recommended to evaluate your child’s progress regularly.
- Remember that Texas allows for different types of homeschooling options. It’s important to check with your local school district or the Texas Education Agency for specific guidelines.
It’s important to note that Texas does not require any notification or assessment for homeschooled students. Still, keeping records of attendance and instruction and evaluating your child’s progress is recommended.
The Homeschooling Laws Of Texas
Two major legal requirements for homeschooling a child in Texas are parental notification and annual review (the latter only applies to students entering Kindergarten or above).
Parents who wish to homeschool their children must notify their local school district that they plan to do so by submitting an Application for Home School Placement Form within 30 days after enrolling their child(ren) in a kindergarten through the twelfth-grade educational institution.
Suppose parents choose not to notify their local school district before beginning homeschooling. In that case, they may be charged with violating the compulsory attendance law, which could result in fines of up to $500 per day. Additionally, any homeschooled student must submit proof that they completed the required number of hours each week under the supervision of their parent(s).
Once notified, the local school district should provide the family with information about how to meet the minimum standards set forth by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), including providing proper documentation of the hours spent on homeschooling.
If the family decides to continue homeschooling, they must complete an Assessment of Student Progress form annually, submitted to the TEA between October 1st and April 1st. This form includes questions regarding the progress made by the student during the previous school year.
While there are no specific guidelines for what constitutes “proper documentation” for homeschooling hours, the TEA lists several examples of acceptable forms of documentation.
The Homeschooling Regulations Of Texas
Each county in Texas has its own regulations governing the operation of homeschools. Some counties require homeschoolers to register with the County Clerk, while others require them to register with the local school district.
Regardless of where they register, all homeschool families must comply with the general provisions outlined below:
- All homeschooled students must attend regular classes outside of the home.
- Homeschool students must participate in extracurricular activities such as sports teams, clubs, etc.
- Homeschool students must take standardized tests administered by the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC)
- Homeschool students must receive tutoring services provided by licensed teachers.
- Homeschool students must obtain medical care from a licensed physician.
- Homeschool students must use textbooks approved by the SBEC.
- Homeschool students must follow the same rules and regulations imposed upon other public school students.
- Homeschool students must attend a public high school unless they apply for admission to a nonpublic secondary school (i.e., private schools).
Additionally, every homeschooler must file an Annual Report with the TEA documenting the completion of these tasks.
The Homeschooling Requirements Of Texas
As mentioned earlier, homeschooling requires both parental notification and an annual review.
To officially withdraw your student from their current school if they are already enrolled, fill out the appropriate section of the Application for Home School Placement Form, along with copies of the necessary documents proving enrollment in another school.
The State Department of Education also offers a handy Homeschool Checklist, which lists the steps needed to begin homeschooling in Texas.
After completing Step 3 listed on the checklist, contact your local school district office to request your student’s withdrawal from their current school formally.
Note that withdrawing your student from their current school does not mean you must stop teaching them altogether.
Parents who decide to keep their student enrolled in a public school should consider requesting that the teacher teach remotely via Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime.
This arrangement allows your student to get the benefits of being homeschooled without completely withdrawing from their current school.
The Homeschooling Process of Texas
When deciding whether or not to homeschool your child, you need to know precisely what kind of curriculum you want to use. It’s important to remember that homeschooling isn’t just about educating your child; it’s also about forming a solid relationship with them.
If you haven’t yet decided on a curriculum, you might want to check out our guide to finding the right homeschool curriculum for your child.
Once you’ve chosen a curriculum, make sure that it covers the following subjects:
- Good Citizenship
In addition to covering these basic core subjects, many homeschool curricula offer supplementary materials designed to help your child learn more advanced topics like history, science, and foreign languages.
It’s also important to note that homeschooling doesn’t necessarily mean using exclusively online resources. Many homeschool parents prefer to supplement their children’s studies with books, field trips, and even face-to-face interactions with other kids.
For example, some parents send their children to a local homeschool co-op instead of a traditional classroom setting.
If you would rather avoid traveling to a different location, you can always try hosting a virtual homeschool co-op with other parents in your area.
Another option is to join a homeschool group online or in person.
Many groups include weekly meetings, field trips, and other social events that allow you to interact with other homeschooling families.
If you don’t feel comfortable joining a large group, you can start a small group with just a few friends and family members.
Whether you choose to join an existing homeschool group or create your own, it’s important to remember that your ultimate goal shouldn’t be to win awards or prove how awesome you are as a homeschool mom. Instead, your primary focus should be developing a loving bond with your child.
The Homeschooling Curriculum Of Texas
The Texas Education Code outlines several subjects that must be covered by homeschooling programs offered in Texas.
- Social Studies
- Health & Physical Education
- Fine Arts
- Foreign Language
- Computer Science
- Home Economics