Guide to Homeschooling in Texas
Texas is one of the most lenient states in terms of homeschool requirements and allows parents a lot of freedom to meet their child’s educational needs. Whether your student is starting their education with homeschool or transitioning from a public or private school, below are some resources to help you get started.
- Homeschool Laws and Requirements in Texas
- Homeschool Standardized Testing in Texas
- Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Texas
- How to Start Homeschooling in Texas
- Homeschool Groups and Support in Texas
- Homeschool Field Trips in Texas
Texas Homeschool Laws and Requirements
In the United States, the state and local governments regulate homeschool. In Texas, homeschool was legalized in 1994. We recommend that parents do extensive research on the homeschool laws in Texas, before implementing an at-home education for their children.
For information regarding homeschooling in Texas, both the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Homeschool Coalition provide a comprehensive list of requirements and guidelines that Texas homeschool families must follow.
1) Teach Required Subjects
Your homeschool curriculum is required to include the following subjects:
- Good citizenship
2) Use a Visual Curriculum
The Texas Supreme Court in TEA v. Leeper issued a 9-0 decision calling for “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.” According to HSLDA, “online programs meet this requirement.”
3) Operate Your Homeschool in a “bona fide” Manner
What is operating in a bona fide manner? According to the Texas Homeschool Coalition, bona fide includes using “a written curriculum that is a real, authentic curriculum with a structure. Also, yes, online curriculum programs meet the written curriculum requirement.”
Texas State Testing, Standards and Graduation Requirements
Students who are homeschooled in Texas are not required to participate in Texas STARR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) testing. However, some parents may choose to purchase an alternate standardized test as a way of measuring student progress. SAT/ACT scores are used to determine a class ranking for homeschool students for admission to college.
Though not required, parents can access Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum standards on the TEA website.
Texas Homeschool Graduation Requirements
According to the Texas Education Agency, the State of Texas considers the successful completion of a home school education to be equivalent to graduation from a public high school, therefore an institution of higher education in Texas must treat a home school graduate to the same general standards, including specific standardized testing score requirements, as other applicants for undergraduate admission who have graduated from a public high school.
How to Get Started Homeschooling in Texas
If you have decided that homeschool will be a great option for you, the next steps are fairly easy. Although you are not required to formally withdraw your student from their public or private school, we recommend that parents officially unenroll their student from their current school. Doing this will prevent any truancy concerns.
Power Homeschool’s curriculum covers the necessary Texas required subjects as well as various electives, foreign languages, and health courses. Our online portal makes it easy for parents to keep records and monitor progress.
Get Started this Summer with Power Homeschool!
The Power Homeschool Summer Start-Up Program can help you take the guesswork out of homeschooling by letting you experiment over the summer to save time and see if it’s the right fit for your homeschool needs. If you are considering a transition to homeschool in the fall, the summer season is the perfect time to introduce your student to online homeschooling.
Homeschooling Groups and Support in Texas
Support from outside groups and associations is very beneficial for homeschooling families. Most states in the U.S. have statewide homeschool associations that advocate for at-home educations. Texas has two homeschool associations: Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) and Texas Home Educators (THE). Both of these organizations offer similar member benefits, such as legal assistance to issues regarding homeschooling, registration to homeschool conventions, transcripts and diplomas, and other useful resources that enhance the homeschooling experience for families in Texas. Joining a homeschool association is not a requirement, but it can provide support and resources that are specific to your state.
In addition to homeschool associations, families can find support through homeschool support groups and co-ops. Homeschool support groups are a wonderful way to meet other families and get advice from people who find homeschool to be a great fit for them. Homeschool groups also give students opportunities to socialize with peers.
On the other hand, homeschool co-ops focus on education by offering different learning environments and give students the chance to learn alongside other homeschooled students. Ideally, you will be able to find a homeschool support group that is close to home.
In Texas, there are many options for homeschool support groups and co-ops. You can find groups based on location and religion. The THSC provides a long list of homeschool groups that have partnered with them. You can also find many different homeschool groups on Facebook.
Texas Homeschool Field Trips
Field trips can enhance any homeschool curriculum and allow students to see concepts come to life. Homeschoolers in Texas have many options when it comes to field trips since it is geographically large and home to several major cities. Students can study animals, learn about art, and see their state’s history firsthand. The following are ideas for places to visit or things to experience for Texas students, including zoos, aquariums, art exhibits, science museums, and much more!
Field Trips in Austin
- Texas State Capitol: Learn about Texas history and government at the state capitol. Guided tours of the Texas State Capitol are available at no cost.
- Austin Zoo: Visit this animal sanctuary and see wildlife species like lions, monkeys, and many more. Austin Zoo’s mission is to help animals through rescue and rehabilitation as well as wildlife education.
- Austin Aquarium: Sharks, reptiles, stingrays, and tropical fish are only a few examples of the animals that students get to see when visiting the Austin Aquarium. The aquarium provides educational tours and special events for homeschool students.
- Bob Bullock Museum: Homeschoolers can tour the Bob Bullock Museum to learn about Texas history, see hundreds of artifacts, and participate in various family programs.
Field Trips in Dallas
- Dallas Zoo: Explore wild-life species at the oldest zoo in Texas. Dallas Zoo hosts a homeschool day and field trips at discounted rates for homeschool groups.
- Dallas World Aquarium: Learn about penguins, tortoises, and many different species from different regions of the world at Dallas World Aquarium.
- Trinity River Audubon Center: Homeschool students can learn about conserving our environment with workshops and other educational opportunities.
- Cedar Hill State Park: At Cedar Hill State Park, homeschoolers can participate in guided hikes to learn about the history and native species of the land.
- Dallas Museum of Art: Help your student explore their artistic skills at the Dallas Museum of Art. This museum offers numerous family and school programs, clubs, and summer camps.
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: Homeschoolers can explore life and earth science at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Homeschool programs are available with suggested grade levels for participants.
Field Trips in Fort Worth
- Fort Worth Museum of Science and History: Homeschool students can tour exhibits and visit the planetarium to learn about different scientific and historical topics. The museum offers learning opportunities to homeschool students throughout the year.
- Fort Worth Botanic Gardens: This botanical garden is the oldest in Texas, presenting beautiful gardens with plants native to all different areas of the world.
- Fort Worth Zoo: Homeschool classes are available for students of all ages. Homeschoolers can attend live animal presentations, guided Zoo hikes, and themed lessons.
Field Trips in Houston
- The Health Museum: Learn about health science through exhibits, programs, and classes. The Health Museum offers homeschool day camps for those in the Houston area.
- Space Center Houston: Homeschool students can learn about space exploration, meet real astronauts, and hear what it is like to live on a space ship.
- Children’s Museum of Houston: Visit the interactive, hands-on exhibits, including EcoStation and Invention Convention. The Children’s Museum of Houston hosts special events for homeschool students throughout the year.
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: This art museum offers various family programs and educational tours for students of all ages.
Field Trips in San Antonio
- The Alamo: This museum remembers important parts of Texas history with tours of the battlefield, history talks, and exhibits.
- Natural Bridge Caverns: Students can explore caves and pan for gems and fossils on one of the many educational tours that the Natural Bridge Caverns offers.
- Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch: Home to hundreds of animals, the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch allows visitors to see zebras, ostriches, and many other species roam freely from their car.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this web page is for general information purposes only. The information provided does not constitute legal advice and may not contain the most up-to-date information.