Homeschooling works best for some people. For those with health conditions, who want to prioritize safety, or just do not think that public schooling works well for them and their kids.
However, if you are not familiar with homeschooling, then it could be tricky to know where to start. If you never underwent homeschooling yourself, and are new to homeschooling, you may not know if there are any rules, forms, and so on.
There is a legal side to homeschooling, and you need to let the right people know that you are going through this.
Sadly, in Texas, it can be a bit tricky to find the information you want, and when you do it can be confusing. However, it doesn’t need to be, as homeschooling in Texas is quite laid back, and you have near total freedom with your teaching.
Let’s talk about how you can start homeschooling in Texas!
Rules Around Homeschooling In Texas
As it currently stands, there are no laws in Texas regarding homeschooling, however, the right to be able to homeschool came in, in 1994 thanks to a Texas Supreme Court ruling.
The US Department of Education notes that the state of Texas doesn’t regulate, approve, monitor, register, or accredit programs available to parents who wish to homeschool their children.
This is great for parents who want to homeschool their children, as it gives them a great deal of freedom in doing so!
What Must Be Taught In A Texas Homeschool?
While there are no specific laws in Texas regarding homeschooling, there is a 1994 Texas Supreme Court decision that did address the home school curriculum.
The final ruling in ‘Leeper v. Arlington ISD’ cemented a parent’s right to homeschool in Texas. However, it also stated that a homeschooling curriculum needs to be ‘bone fide’, this means that you are genuinely teaching your children in good faith, and are not just pretending to do so.
5 Established Subject Students Are Expected To Learn
In this ruling, there are 5 subjects that a homeschooled student in Texas is expected to learn.
- Good Citizenship (Social studies, Texas history, etc).
Then in regard to the curriculum, this should cover and include, things such as:
- Workbooks & textbooks.
- Electronic curriculum.
- Purchased curriculum developed by a source.
- Private or public school curriculum
We all know that different people and different children learn in different ways. Part of homeschooling is figuring out which types of curriculum will work best for your child and benefit them.
This process is a bit of trial and error, but this is fine. There are plenty of different resources for each subject to help you out. Take a look online, ask schools for suggestions, or ask in your community!
Things To Consider
Texas Homeschooling Law
- The student must be educated in a bona fide manner by the parents.
- The curriculum used should be visual in nature (such as textbooks, workbooks, online programs, etc.).
- The curriculum should include these subjects: reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and citizenship.
Texas Homeschooling Associations
As a Texas-based homeschooling family, you needn’t go at it on your own. Texas has two statewide homeschool associations to provide you with information, support, and even legal representation in the rare but not impossible case you have legal issues with teaching your child at home.
Texas Homeschooling Groups & Co-ops
As well as these associations, there are also many regional support groups available, these are generally made up of homeschooling families in Texas.
This is even true in rural areas, and through them, homeschoolers can use online networks to link up with other families to get advice, share information, and plan activities.
Having a localized support network can increase your confidence in homeschooling, and it could bolster your spirit when you face those odd tough moments.
Homeschooling Field Trips
One of the best parts of homeschooling is flexibility. This flexibility offers you to provide learning experiences through doing.
Once you have removed the classroom mindset, and have realized that learning can happen anywhere and wherever you are, a new world of learning opens up to yourself and to your children as well.
This is so true in Texas, with historical sites dotting the entire landscape, and with geographical marvels taking up the landscape, who else has prairies, mountains, and beaches, all available to them in a single state?
As a homeschooler, there is more freedom. You can put your students in the car and head out to learn in the field and go on an adventure.
Kids also find this notoriously fun, and they are more likely to retain the information they learn in these environments, even if it is otherwise mind-numbingly dull information. The field trip makes it fun!
Testing & Test Prep For Homeschoolers in Texas
While homeschoolers are not required by law to do any standardized testing, a lot of families tend to appreciate the opportunity to evaluate how their homeschooler is progressing in relation to other students who are at their grade level.
A majority of educational experts also agree that testing is a measure to confirm how well students can comprehend and then apply knowledge, and that high standards are a goal worthwhile trying to reach.
You can get Texas state assessments to help you test your homeschooled child, and If you check out the Texas STARR test page, it can help you to prepare as well!
The state of Texas makes homeschooling much easier, they allow for a lot more leniency in how you teach your child, and give plenty of guidelines with many homeschooling support groups.
Texas is one of the best states for homeschooling, and with 2 helpful homeschooling associations, support groups, and wonderful locations for field trips, the Lone Star state is also the best homeschooling state too!