How to Abide by Texas Homeschooling Laws
There are three basic requirements for home schools to follow:
- Really teach your children. Your’e now totally responsible for your child’s education.
- Use written curriculum such as books and DVDs/videos.
- Teach the five school subjects of: Reading, Spelling, Grammar, Mathematics, and Good Citizenship.
Homeschool students are not required to attend school during certain hours of the day. In Texas, they are private schools, which may holds school hours different from the public schools. See: Texas Education Code. Section 25.086(a)(1).
Homeschoolers do have to follow their city’s curfew ordinances. In the city of Austin, for example, a homeschooler under 18 must be accompanied by an adult during regular school hours (10am-2pm) and not be out driving past 11pm, except for work, emergency, or with parents.
Local School District
Parents of homeschoolers are not required to register with or report their curriculum to the local public school. If someone asks for it, get their name, organization name, and request in writing. Use the template letter provided by the Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) to reply to it.
No one from the public school is supposed to check on you or your children. They will not give you materials or test your child, unless you enroll your child for Special Education services.
You are not required to administer any of the state achievement tests, such as the STAAR, but you should periodically test your child in each of the school subjects the child is taking. You do not have to report the results from any test, unless personally required by legal investigation. You may administer ANY expired state achievement test (CAT, ITBS, TAAS, TAKS, …) without being a licensed teacher. You may give a current state achievement test by a licensed teacher. In fact, your child is freely allowed to take the state test in the local public school, which should be publicly announced in an adequate amount of time before it is given.
In the case of using other specialized tests to assess intelligence such as the Standford-Binet or Woodcock-Johnson, or for assessing learning disabilities with the Kaufmann Test, the test administrator is required to be a qualified examiner. Although the following site is Virginian, it encompasses the gist of popular tests. See “Choosing Standardized Tests” for details.
Remember though, homeschoolers will be required to take a standardized test, such as the SAT or ACT, as proof of eligibility to enter college. One recommended source of high school test prep is “Homeschooling Thru High School” They will also be required to take the ASVAB test to enter any military branch for service.
- Homeschool students are allowed to receive public assistance (SSI, Summer Feeding Programs, CHIP, etc.)
- Homeschool parents are allowed to use Parent-Taught Driver’s Ed for their children.
- Homeschool students may participate in the local public school extra-curriculars, such as band, if the local school board allows it.
- Unfortunately, current laws do not allow homeschoolers to attend UIL-sponsored events, such as sports. Fortunately though, there are homeschool sports teams.
A homeschooler’s course of studies does not have to be accredited. A home school is an unaccredited private school in Texas. As the parent of a homeschooler, you set your own standards for a homeschool graduation, including how to create a transcript. Most families choose to follow the public school requirements.