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You've made the decision; now what?

You’ve decided to homeschool; now what do you do?  There are several options depending on your family, your children’s learning styles, and what age your children are when you start this journey. If you are starting at the beginning, with a toddler, you have time to study homeschooling, join a group, ask questions, build a community of moms who will help you in this journey.

 

If you are starting in elementary level,  with children in public school, scroll down for more information. You will still need to find a group to help you on this adventure.

 

If you are near the end, with a high school teen in public school, it can still be done.  Colleges love homeschoolers.  We have sports, orchestra, an honor society, proms and graduations all over Texas.  With the option of dual credits, your teen can find their life path, whether it’s college or not, and become a productive person in their adulthood.

Is it legal?    YES, it is!

To home school legally in Texas, you should follow these requirements:

  • pursuing under the direction of a parent or parents or one standing in parental authority in or through the child’s home in a bona fide (good faith, not a sham or subterfuge) manner

  • a curriculum consisting of books, workbooks, other written materials, including that which appears on an electronic screen of either a computer or video tape monitor, or any combination of the preceding from either (1) of a private or parochial school which exists apart from the child’s home or (2) which has been developed or obtained from any source,

  • said curriculum designed to meet basic education goals of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship,

There are no state testing requirements, and no reporting requirements. If your children are currently in public school, you should submit a letter of withdrawal to your school stating that you plan to withdraw your children. No matter what you are told by the district, you do not have to submit a list of curriculum to them or anyone else.

Children in Public School

If your children are in public school, you will need to formally withdraw them.  As noted in the History of Homeschool Page, in Texas the law considers your homeschool an unaccredited private school. What does that mean?  It means that in the sight of the law, your homeschool is a private school just like the private school down the street.  You get the excitement of designing the curriculum and graduating your graduates.  Actually, your homeschool is an exclusive private school since students have to be born into your school (that’s a homeschool joke, there are lots of them)

If you were changing your children to another school, you would:

  1. withdraw them, get their records,  Click for Withdrawal Letter

  2. return books,

  3. gather their personal items,

  4. and settle up any accounts with the school

  5. before enrolling them in the new school.

You do the same process with homeschool. If you have already returned all the school items, you could write the school withdrawing your children. It is suggested that you send this certified mail, return receipt requested, so you have proof of their receipt of the letter. We also suggest you send a copy to the registrar in case the principal forgets to notify them. We have a sample letter here.

Transferring into the State or Never Been in School

If you are new to Texas — Welcome!!  Texas has great laws for homeschooling.  Because we are considered unaccredited private schools, we do not have to report to the state.  That means you do not register with the local school districts, they don’t come into your home to review your curriculum or any of the many things you may have experienced in those other states.

If your children have never been in school, you are also free to focus on how your want to educate them instead of the state making that decision.

As noted in the History of Homeschool, we are free to homeschool because of the Leeper Decision.  Under this decision we are to  meet basic education goals of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship.  Yes, most parents do more than this, teaching science, history, fine arts, and even robotics.  But these are the basic subjects we are to cover.

 

Finally, what are some of the other first steps?

  • If your children were in public school, consider a season of De-Schooling

  • Join a Support Group, park day group, online group with field trips

  • Read 102 Top Picks by Cathy Duffy

  • Listen to the audio workshops we have on this page

  • Talk with other homeschool moms

  • Go to the park

  • Ask the librarian to really show you the library

  • Visit a Museum

  • Go to a Homeschool Expo or Conference

  • Hug your kids daily.

Cathy Duffy has separated the first part of her book “102 Top Picks” into an new ebook that explains about homeschooling in a succinct format.  Her reviews are free on her site.  We hope you are blessed by this new resource.

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