Homeschooling in Texas

Instructor: Melinda Santos
Homeschooling can be an effective alternative to traditional public school education. Learn about Texas state regulations for homeschooling and how to begin the homeschooling process using this guide and resources below.

Homeschooling in Texas

The state of Texas considers any student who is receiving the majority of their educational instruction from a parent or parental authority within the setting of their home to be a homeschooling participant. Because home schools are categorized as private schools in Texas, they are not regulated by the state and are not required to administer state-mandated assessments. As a result, high school diplomas are not awarded to homeschooled students. Students can transfer to a public school at any time by taking placement assessments and then, to receive a diploma, complete all graduation requirements. Students can also take the GED exam after completing their homeschool curriculum.

Texas Homeschooling Laws

Although homeschools in Texas are not monitored by the state, there are laws outlining basic requirements that should be met while homeschooling. State law mandates that any instruction provided within a homeschool program must be conducted in a legitimate manner with a written curriculum that teaches the five core subjects of math, reading, spelling, grammar and good citizenship. Other aspects, including attendance, are not enforced by the state.

Home-Based Public School Programs

As an alternative to both homeschooling and traditional public school, the state of Texas allows students in grades 3-12 to take public school courses online.The curriculum, instructors and assessments are all administered by and part of the state's public school system. Unlike homeschooling, a minimum number of instructional hours must be met each instructional day. Students must also participate in all state-required assessments.

Preparing to Homeschool

Taking on the responsibility of educating your child at home can be a monumental task. Use the information below to identify the steps required to get started:

  • Withdraw your child from public school: If your child is already enrolled in the public school system, the state of Texas requires you to submit a formal letter of withdrawal. This letter can be emailed, mailed or hand delivered to your child's principal, attendance coordinator or school counselor, but it must include the date of withdrawal and the date homeschooling will begin.
  • Select a curriculum: There are a variety of homeschool curriculums that you can choose from. When you're researching curriculums, it's important to look for ones that meet the standards you wish to teach. You can also search for a curriculum that meets Texas requirements for core subjects. As another option, you can supplement your curriculum with any of the lesson plans or homeschool courses on that cover a variety of topics. We also offer social studies, English language arts, math and science courses for kids, which are perfect for elementary and middle school-aged children. All of our courses include short quizzes for each lesson and chapter exams, which provide you with the chance to assess your child's learning. Or, you can develop your own lesson plans using the templates and additional teaching resources that we have available.
  • Establish a schedule: Set a schedule for both you and your child to follow. This helps you stay on track and identify the educational goals you wish to meet and establish a timeline to achieve them. Following a curriculum and a set schedule also helps you meet the state requirement for conducting homeschool in a valid manner.
  • Join support groups: Participating in a local homeschooling group can provide you with support, answers and ideas. These groups often participate in field trips, conventions, and co-ops which offer homeschooled students opportunities to socialize. The Texas Home School Coalition website provides a comprehensive list of affiliated homeschool groups based on your zip code.

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