General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Texas
In Texas, children must attend school (or be homeschooled) between the ages of 6 and 19. On top of this, there are three main requirements for homeschooling your child.
The homeschooling instruction must be legitimate (you have to show that you are actually teaching your child). The curriculum must be taught in a visual form (you must have materials such as workbooks, screens, etc. and the education cannot be only oratory based). The curriculum must also cover the following five topics: reading, spelling, grammar, math, and good citizenship.
See video below for a brief guide about Texas homeschooling:
There are no reporting agencies for homeschooling in Texas and no testing requirements. Once a child has been removed from the school system, they are no longer regulated by the school system.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in Texas
You do not need to notify your local school board if your child has never attended school and you wish to homeschool them. Having said that, we recommend sending a notice of intent to your local school board or school superintendent so that there is no confusion at a later date. This common courtesy will help you to avoid any unnecessary questions or requests for information at a later date.
If your child is already in the public school system, then there are some steps to take for withdrawing them. You should alert the school that you are withdrawing your child before withdrawing them (there is no law stating this but, common courtesy). You should also sign an ‘intent to homeschool’ form. This form will ask you what type of curriculum you are going to use to homeschool. You can answer this question if you like, but you are not legally required to do so.
If you have any unsettled business with the school, then you shod wrap that before taking out your child. Other than that, there is nothing extra which you need to do.
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in Texas
In Texas, there are no legal requirements when it comes to teaching your own child. You do not need any formal qualifications other than being the legal parent or guardian of the child.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in Texas
There is no required teaching time for homeschooling in Texas. You do not need to commit to a certain number of hours per day or days per year. It is a good idea to form a learning plan, but this is not required.
What Subjects Need to be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Texas?
In Texas, there are some laws regarding the subjects which you need to teach your homeschooled child and these are in line with what is being taught in the classroom. How you teach these subjects is entirely up to you.
Required subjects to be taught are math, reading, spelling, grammar, and good citizenship. Other than that, you are free to teach whatever and however, you want. The only thing to think about is that you have a visual representation of your subjects. This could be online courses or workbooks.
What are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in Texas?
Texas law does not dictate what you teach your child and how you teach them. There are no laws surrounding how you assess your child or what records need to be kept. However, we recommend that you keep records of everything your child does or is involved in so that you can track their progress or any disputes.
Things to include in your records include proof of attendance, information on the resources you are using (including workbooks, textbooks, online resources, etc.), samples of your child’s work, any correspondence with school officials or boards, portfolios and test results, and any other homeschooling documents which prove that you are complying with homeschooling law and regulations.
We recommend keeping your records for two years, and the best way to store them is by scanning them into your computer and storing them in separate folders, grouped by the year your child was homeschooled.
Testing is an important part of recordkeeping in homeschooling even though there are no formal requirements in the state of Texas detailing what your child should be learning. You should be able to demonstrate that your child is learning and your assessments should be agreed upon before you start your homeschooling year. You should keep a record of all your child’s assessments to display that your child is learning.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in Texas?
Yes. Under Texas education law, your child can be partially enrolled in public school. This means that your child can take regular school classes as part of their homeschooling education and can split their time between home and school, as long as the school offers this.
Homeschoolers are also eligible to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools. Any homeschoolers who live with a disability are also eligible for services through their local public school (the same services which students with disabilities would receive if they were enrolled in public school).
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in Texas?
Yes, and it is encouraged. Homeschool children are permitted to participate in any other extracurricular activities, whether it be with a public school or another organization. You should submit any extracurricular activities as part of your notice of intent every year.
To receive more information about the homeschooling laws in the State of Texas, you may want to visit the Texas Home School Coalition website.