How to Start Homeschooling in Texas
If you are thinking about homeschooling and you live in Texas then your in the right state. Homeschool laws are set by each state so the rules are going to apply to the whole state of Texas. Lets break down what you need to do to get started.
In 1994 a homeschool law was passed giving us homeschoolers our freedom. As homeschoolers in Texas our requirements are:
- Your schooling must be bona fide
- not a sham
- Your curriculum must be in visual form
- such as a book, workbook or video
- Your curriculum must include the five basic subjects of
- good citizenship
So the first thing you need to know are these requirements above and also that you are the one and only authority on how these rules are executed. It can seem intimidating at first but you will be amazed at the benefits this flexibility will bring.
So just to be extra clear, once you have cut ties with public school which we will discuss next, there will be no other person, or entity checking in on your homeschool. There is no one allowed to come and make sure you are withholding these laws. So you will want to make sure you are giving your child the best education possible!
Cut Ties With Public School
If your child has never been to public school then you can skip this step. You have no ties to cut and you can just start homeschooling according to the law, no need to notify anyone.
If your child is currently enrolled in public school then you must notify the school with written notification that the child will no longer be attending. You can use the withdraw letter generator here that will include everything needed by law, in the letter.
The reaction you get from the school when you get this letter could be supportive and in some cases not. Just remember, contrary to popular belief schools have no authority over you. By law you are not required to give anymore detail or answer any questions other than what is required in the withdraw letter.
They can of course try to report you for things like truancy but literally anyone can do that. Just make sure your child doesnt stop attending school until the date indicated on the letter and you have proof the letter was received and it is legal for your child to stop attending after that. You do not need an approval.
You will need proof that this letter was recieved for your records. I sent an email and got them to reply to it and that did suffice for me. Many send a certified letter with a receipt.
Hopefully your previous school will be supportive and be a good resource for you for the future.
There is no requirement in Texas to record keep. Unlike some other states there is no one that will come check your records and “proof” of learning. Despite this, its always a good idea to keep records of your childs work for just in case. Record keeping can cover your back in case something comes up, situations and laws can change.
Its a good idea to keep a few of your childs best pieces of work in each subject from each grade. Many like to keep a record of attendance as well.
Remember anything visual will work. Many people use a scrapbook of pictures which double as memory and record keeping. Video works as well.
Testing / Grade Level
There are no testing requirements in Texas. Testing can be done though if you would like that information for your records.
Much like public school, although there are teaching benchmarks for each grade, students are on a wide range of academic levels in each grade. There is no “holding them back” in homeschool. Most parents choose to say their child is in the grade aligning with their age according to public school. Even though their child may be working on things way above that grade level in one subject and way behind in another.
Again I know it can be hard to change your mindset but the grade level standards set by schools are nothing concrete. Yes they are set with input from experienced teachers and other educators but as we know kids are usually not all at the exact same level even if they are in the same grade.
Many people wonder if homeschoolers recieve funds since they are still paying school taxes but their child isn’t attending school but in Texas the answer is NO. Hmeschoolers are pretty free in Texas but that also means there is pretty much no “support” from the state. We really want to keep it that way because once the state gets involved…they get involved, if you know what I mean.
The one option I want to mention is that Texas has multiple online schools that are technically public school but you attend online at home. These are free and they provide most if not all material needed. The con is that like public school the customization for your student is limited. You also must attend (sign in) daily and follow their schedule for the most part.
After you have done the things above you are ready for this post here to get you really started on this journey. Im so excited for you to start this journey. Its difficult at times but worth it!
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