1. Is home education legal in Texas?

Yes, In Texas Home Schools operate as private schools. There are only three requirements to homeschool inTexas: The instruction must be bona fide (i.e., not a sham). The curriculum must be in visual form (e.g., books, workbooks, video monitor). The curriculum must include the five basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship. 

2. Where can I find general information on home schooling?

It is a good idea to talk to people who are home schooling to get their input. It would also be helpful to go to conventions and visit home school bookstores as well as visit sites of National and State Home School Organizations.

Texas Education Association (TEA) https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Schools/General_Information/Finding_a_School_for_your_Child/Home_Schooling/

THSC – Texas Home School Coalition  https://www.thsc.org/

HSLDA – Home School Legal Defense Association  https://HSLDA.org

The Homeschool Store  www.thehomeschoolstore.com/ 12315 Ann Ln, Houston, TX 77064

3. Why do families home school?

Many Christian parents are committed to educating their children at home because of their conviction that this is God’s will for their family. They are concerned for the spiritual
training and character development as well as the social and academic welfare of their children.

  • Parents can present all academic subjects from a biblical perspective and include spiritual training.
  • “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10).
  • Home schooling makes quality time available to train and influence children in all areas in an integrated way.
  • Each child receives individual attention as has his unique needs met.
  • Parents can control destructive influences such as various temptations, false teachings (including secular humanism and occult influences of the New Age movement), negative peer pressure, and unsafe environments.
  • Children gain respect for their parents as teachers.
  • The family experiences unity, closeness, and mutual enjoyment of one another as they spend more time working together.
  • Children develop confidence and independent thinking away from the peer pressure to conform and in the security of their own home.
  • Children have time to explore new interests and to think.
  • Communication between different age groups is enhances.
  • Flexible scheduling can accommodate parents’ work and vacation times and allow time for many activities.

4. What about socialization?

The issue of “socialization” is one of the most misunderstood aspects of home schooling. Popular opinion assumes that children need periods of interaction with a
group of peers to acquire social skills. By contrast, however, many believe that extensive peer contact during childhood can cause undesirable peer dependency.

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (I Cor. 15:33)

Young children are more likely influenced by the majority than to be an influence on them. Children who receive their education outside of their home are prone to accept their peers’ and teachers’ values over those of their parents. Some advantages of freedom from peer pressure can be self confidence, independent thinking, the ability to relate to people of all ages, and better family relations. Godly principles of interaction can be taught, demonstrated, and reinforced at home by parents. Children can learn needed social skills by interacting with siblings or other children and adults under their parents’ supervision. Young people who have had this type of training have adjusted very well to adult life. You can help your children build lasting Christian friendships with people of all ages as they interact with church and family friends. Many studies have found that home-educated children are well adjusted socially and emotionally.

5. How much time does home schooling take?

Home schooling requires a time commitment, but not as much as yo might expect. One-to-one tutoring is more efficient than classroom instruction and thus takes less time. Time requirements vary according to the methods and curriculum, the ages of the children, and how many children are being taught. Academic instruction might begin with one-half to one hour for the early grades and work up to a few hours of instruction and/or independent study for upper grades. Most correspondence courses state that their work can be completed in four or five hours per day.

6. How can we teach several children at once?

Subjects such as Bible, science, history, and literature can be taught to several grade levels of children together. Lessons can be presented in an amplified manner with explanations that enable all children to understand. Older students can do much of their work independently while younger ones receive necessary tutoring in basic skills.

7. What are some difficulties?

The following are some common difficulties along with some suggested solutions.

  • Lack of confidence. At first you may lack confidence in choosing materials and methods, doubting your ability to teach. With experience, you will gain confidence.
  • Fear of being unable to work with your own children. Parents who do not have their children’s respect will have trouble getting their cooperation. Gaining their respect through proper relationships, discipline, training, and example should be the parents’ top priority, whether or not they are home schooling. Home schooling can provide incentive and optimum setting to accomplish this.
  • Inadequate time and energy. Home teaching requires an investment of time and energy, especially by mothers. Self-discipline and good organization will help ensure a well-run household. A daily schedule, teaching plan, and a chore list can keep school and housework organized. Children can also be a great help when trained to assist with the cooking, laundry, and household chores.
  • Lack of commitment. Families gain strength to overcome difficulties when they develop the conviction that home schooling is best for their family and is God’s will for them.
  • Social pressure. Pressure from well-meaning friends or relatives can be a real deterrent. Make a well-informed decision and then stand on your convictions. More information and loving attitude often help others understand and accept God’s leading for the home school family.
  • Financial investment. Costs of materials or programs vary considerably, but are always less than a private school. Many materials can be reused (check our the used sections at the home school stores) for siblings.

8. What are higher education and career preparation options?

Approximately 700 institutions are listed on HSLDA’s informal survey of colleges and universities which welcome home-educated students. “Many of these schools actively recruit home-educated graduates because of their maturity, independent thinking skills,
creativity, and extensive academic preparation,” says Inge Cannon, executive director of Education PLUS.

In preparation for college entrance or vocational training programs, parents should prepare a transcript of high school work, award a diploma, and specify an actual high school graduation date. Occasionally SAT, ACT, or GED tests may be required by a
college or employer.

For military enlistment and some employment, if your student completes 15 credit hours of college work, a high school diploma is not necessary.

Many colleges offer nontraditional programs for off-campus study. It is possible for students to study at home for college credit through distance learning. College credit can also be earned with CLEP tests.

Some home schoolers are entering their chosen fields through apprenticeship programs designed and supervised by parents and professionals.

9. Are parents qualified to teach their children?

You know your children better than anyone else and have the deepest love and concern for them.

You also have the most direct and long-term responsibility for your children before God, who commands parents to teach their children His Word, the most important thing they will learn (Deut. 6:6, 7).

Educationally, one-to-one tutoring has many advantages over a classroom where one teacher tries to meet the needs of many children at different learning levels.

You do not need to know everything in order to teach. Your example and enthusiasm in learning with your children will motivate and encourage them.

Dr. Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (Box 13939, Salem OR 97309), conducted an analysis in 1994 of the standardized test results for 16,320 home-school children nationwide. He found these children to average at or above the 73rd percentile in all subject areas. (The national average is the 50th percentile.)

A 1997 nationwide study, Strengths of Their Own, by Dr. Ray demonstrated that there is little relationship between the parents’ education levels and their children’s scores. He also found that whether the parent is a certified teacher or not has no bearing on a
child’s scores. Dr. Ray says, “The tutorial method of teaching has always been the superior method. Home education epitomizes this method, providing essentials for success-a close student/teacher relationship, family-consistent values, motivation, flexibility, and individualization.”

Several resources are available to give home educators on-the-job training:

Home-school conventions, workshops, and book fairs at local, state, and regional levels provide practical instruction in teaching techniques.

The Teaching Home presents articles that inform and encourage you in various principles and techniques of home teaching.

State and local home-school support groups can greatly encourage and help you as ideas and information are exchanged.

God promises His wisdom and assures you that He will supply your needs as you follow His leading.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not
that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:5-7).

10. I want to home school a child enrolled in public school. What do I need to do?

Home school students are not required to register or get permission from local public schools in order to home school. However, if a student has been enrolled in a public school, the parent(s) must withdraw the student to avoid the school counting the student
absent while he is being home schooled. The parent(s) should notify in writing the principal of the school the child has been attending that they are withdrawing him to teach him at home. An effective date should be given, and the letter should be dated
and sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or hand delivered. Failing to withdraw the child during a school year could result in charges of truancy being filed by the local school. Sometimes a child is automatically withdrawn when they do not start a new school year.

THSC – Texas Home School Coalition  https://www.thsc.org/has a sample/template letter to withdraw your children from public school.  A copy of the withdrawal letter should be retained for the family’s records along with the
return receipt showing that someone at the school signed for the letter. Thus the family has evidence that the school was given written notice that the child has withdrawn. Contrary to what some schools may say, Texas law does not require parents to make a
personal appearance at the school, present curricula for review, or sign any school forms in order for the family to withdraw children to teach them at home. The Texas Education Agency has told the school districts in Texas that such a letter meets the guidelines of cooperation with the school district in compliance with the compulsory attendance laws. Unless the school district has evidence that your letter of assurance is not true, this should be the end of your contact with the school district over withdrawal. It is wise to find a local support group to help you set up your school. To find a local support group, contact THSC or one of the regional groups listed at support groups. There are also extensive listings in the Handbook for Texas Home Schoolers, available for purchase here: Purchase the Handbook along with a great deal of great information.

Also, we encourage you to go to our getting started section of our website, www.thsc.org/getting_started/default.asp, for more information. You will probably especially want to look at this page: Dealing with the School District (acrobat document)

Here are some suggestions to help you get started:

  1. Seek the Lord and agree as husband and wife on your decision to home school.
  2. Research home education by reading one or two basic books on home education, such as Christopher Klicka’s The Right Choice (available for $12.95 from HSLDA, Box 159, Paeonian Springs VA 20129), and back issues of The Teaching Home magazine.
  3. Meet and visit with experienced home schoolers in your church or local support group and make an effort to attend your state’s home-school convention.
  4. Contact your state home-school organization to learn of local support groups, events, and publications as well as your state’s laws governing home education. HSLDA has state law summaries.
  5. Make arrangements to comply with the law according to your conscience and recommendations of state organizations and/or Home School Legal Defense Association. Consider joining HSLDA.
  6. Get your home and life in order by establishing discipline in child training and your use of time. Get rid of unnecessary or little-used possessions to make way for learning materials and study space.
  7. Choose methods and teaching materials that you feel comfortable in starting with and that would be appropriate to the age and number of your children. If you feel overwhelmed by the choices you must make, you may want to use a prepared curriculum from a textbook, work text, or unit study publisher for your first year.Re-evaluate and experiment with different materials and methods and make adjustments as you gain experience.Throughout the educational process you will want to give priority to your children’s spiritual and character development.Home schooling is a way of life in which the home is the center of life and learning. Through home education, parents can experience in a unique way their responsibility to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
  8. Join and support SETHSA, or THSC.
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