Welcome to Homeschooling in Texas! If you’re already here, or plan to move here and homeschool, you couldn’t have chosen a better place to educate your children at home. The law is very friendly, and there are endless opportunities for support groups, field trips, and conventions in the Lone Star State.
Grab a drink, settle in, and get to know homeschooling in Texas. I’ve got the scoop on homeschooling laws, Texas history, field trips, and more. And be sure to subscribe to my site for updates! (If you want an organized list of general homeschooling topics, check out my Homeschooling Page.)
I have a lifetime of homeschooling experience to share with you! I was a homeschool kid in the 1980’s, and have been homeschooling my own 5 kids since 2000. My oldest graduated in 2014, and now I have 4 little students with bright shining faces! (Okay, sometimes. Haha!) I’ve been mentoring new homeschool moms for several years, served as Director of my local co-op, manage communications for my support group, and I’m a member of the Texas Home Educators Advisory Board.
Texas Homeschooling 101
Is it legal?
YES, it is!
To home school legally in Texas, you must follow three state law requirements:
- 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.
There are no testing requirements, and no reporting requirements. If your children are currently in public school, you should submit a letter to the district stating that you plan to withdraw your children for homeschooling. No matter what you are told by the district, you do not have to submit a list of curriculum to them or anyone else. Texas Home Educators is a wonderful group that specializes in serving the Texas homeschool community. Contact them directly if you have any issues, and consider becoming a member; memberships start at only $20 per year.
Heritage Defense is a wonderful organization that protects the freedoms of families. Check them out and consider becoming a member for only $19 per month.
For a detailed explanation on the Leeper decision that resulted in this freedom, read this article at Texas Home Educators.
I’ve also written a post on my personal experience in Texas homeschool freedom HERE.
How do I start?
I have written a few posts for new homeschoolers. Since the Texas state laws are so easy, you have the freedom to just get going!
What about the “good citizenship” requirement?
Good citizenship, in my opinion, is a lifelong lesson in being a good citizen. It’s not just something you can learn in a semester. It’s called a requirement, but there’s never been a case of legal enforcement. So don’t panic over a “good citizenship curriculum.” My suggestion? Over the course of your children’s education, include some of these ideas:
- learn how government works (local, state, and federal) and encourage informed voting
- talk about community and community helpers with young children
- consider volunteer opportunities as a family
- visit the fire station, police station, post office, etc. in your town
- be a good neighbor
- get to know your elected officials, and consider visiting them or campaigning for them
How Can I Connect With Other Homeschoolers in My Area?
- Check out this great list of area groups
It’s hard to find a good Texas History curriculum, so I don’t teach from a curriculum. As always, we read good books and do hands-on learning (in this case: field trips). So here’s my list:
- A Time to Stand by Walter Lord – and excellent book telling the story of Texas Independence. I read it aloud to my whole family.
- The Alamo movie (both versions) – excellent follow-up to the book above (Get the DVD here)
- Visit the Alamo – instead of worrying about Texas History in 3rd grade or 5th grade or whatever, teach it before a trip to the Alamo. It will have a lasting impact!
- Visit the IMAX theater in San Antonio and watch their film, too. I dare you to not cry.
Texas has an endless supply of historic destinations. Visit your local Texas Travel Center and get a stack of free brochures for your area. Or visit Travel Texas online to see what’s in your area. Request their free Travel Guide. Also:
- stop at Historic Markers on the side of the road
- visit the museums in your town or county
- when traveling out of town, check out their historic sites, state parks, etc. Visit and ask questions, and pick up a book about that location
More resources added to this list regularly.
We turn everything into a field trip. : ) So can you! Texas has thousands of places to visit and learn. This list will be our personal field trip experiences. We visit every museum we can in Texas, and since we live on the border with Oklahoma, we visit a few there, too!
- Dinosaur Valley State Park – Glen Rose
- A. W. Perry Homestead Museum – Carrollton (read my article for DFWMag)
- Frontier Village – Denison
- The Alamo – San Antonio (coming soon!)
- Morton Museum – Gainesville
- Ardmore, Oklahoma
- Fort Richardson
- Sherman Musuem
About the UIL Access, the Tebow Bill, and Public School Sports
There is lots of discussion and controversy surrounding the Tim Tebow legislation and homeschoolers’ involvement in public school (and UIL) events. I do not support this bill. You can read my reasons HERE.
For many years THSC has been vigilant in protecting the right of Texas homeschool families in one of the few states with zero oversight. Their work has been appreciated by me and thousands of others.
But this bill changed all of that. Their refusal to listen to hundreds of homeschool parents in Texas about their opposition to this pet bill, their silencing of those parents on public forums, their bait-and-switch tactics in the legislature, AND MOST OF ALL their willingness to risk a valuable freedom for the “opportunity” to go back into the school system from which we walked away has soured me on the leadership of that organization.
If you’d like current updates on this issue, you can follow the No2Tebow Facebook page.
If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I’ll be happy to help or point you in the right direction!
About School Choice and Education Savings Accounts
I believe that School Choice (as it is being pushed in Texas) is a path to state regulation of homeschoolers. It is a hot topic for the 2017 Legislative session. Please get informed and get involved, or we may very well witness the end of complete homeschool freedom in Texas.
It’s a very controversial issue, because many conservatives are for it, thinking that it gives more options to parents. And in a way, that might be true. Texas Homeschool Coalition is pushing this, as well. Beware. It will have the opposite effect on private, charter, and homeschools.
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If you have questions about anything on this page, or homeschooling in general, please feel free to contact me. I believe homeschooling is for everyone and I’d love to help! Go to the “Contact Nicki” tab at the bottom of this website. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and subscribe to my blog for homeschooling encouragement and information!