HEART of Texas

Homeschool with HEART!
Welcome! Whether you are researching home schooling as a possible option for your family, or you are ready to jump in with both feet, we hope that the following information will help to answer most of your questions regarding how to begin home schooling your child.

How Do I Get Started Home Schooling?

If your child is currently enrolled in a public school or charter school, send notification to the school your child attends:

You will need to send the school a Letter of Withdrawal.  You can find a sample letter here.
Send the letter to the school by certified mail, return receipt requested so there will be proof of delivery.

Send copies of the letter (by regular mail) to:
THSC, P.O. Box 6747, Lubbock, TX 79493.
HEART of Texas, P.O. Box 211882, Bedford, TX, 76095-1882
(Be sure to include both organizations in the "cc:" at the bottom of the letter.)

If someone from the public school contacts you after you send the letter and states that you must do more (come to the school office, fill out the school's withdrawal forms, etc.), do not go to the school. Respond by writing a Letter of Assurance. A sample letter can be found by clicking here.

The Texas Education Agency has instructed the school districts in Texas that Letters of Withdrawal and Letters of Assurance meet the guidelines of cooperation with the school district in compliance with Texas compulsory attendance laws.

Please note that although you are not legally required to register your home school with the school district or receive their permission to home school, you need to withdraw your child from the public school if they are enrolled. Failure to do so can result in school officials filing charges against you and/or your child for thwarting compulsory attendance or failure to attend school.

If the school contacts you again or issues an unusual request, ask them to please submit their request in writing, as all contact thereafter should be in written form. If you are not sure how to respond to a request made by the public school, contact the Texas Home School Coalition's office  at (806) 744-4441 and let them know for what you are being asked, and they will tell you how to respond.
For further information related to state laws concerning home schooling in Texas, HEART of Texas defers to the Texas Home School Coalition, as they are the expert homeschooling organization regarding homeschooling laws in the state of Texas.

If your child is not enrolled in public school:

You may simply obtain a curriculum and begin homeschooling.

Compulsory school age in Texas is age 6 as of September 1 of the current school year, so you are not required to begin schooling your child until that age, unless you wish to do so.

If you have moved to Texas from another state:

You may simply obtain a curriculum and begin homeschooling.

May I allow someone else to homeschool my child?

Yes. Home schools in Texas are considered private schools, and are not regulated by the State of Texas. The Leeper case states that a parent “or one standing in parental authority” may educate a child. Teachers do not have to be certified, and you are not required to use a specific curriculum to home school.

Can a single parent home school their child?

Yes. There are many single parents who have successfully home schooled their children. Because home schools are private schools, there is no requirement for the number of hours or days when home schooling must take place. The only requirement is that a written curriculum covering the basic subject areas of math, reading, spelling, grammar, and a course in good citizenship must be pursued in a bona fide (not a sham) manner. Most single parents need to work outside the home to provide for their families, and therefore choose to homeschool their children during their "off" hours, on weekends, etc.  You are free to pursue a homeschooling schedule that works best for you and your situation.

I’d like to home school but I’ve heard it is expensive. Is this true?

The amount of money ones spends to home school depends upon the curriculum or program you choose.  Some are expensive, some are very economical. 

Typically, curriculum programs that offer more assistance or support to the home school parent tend to be more expensive than those that don't.  For example, internet-based school programs where the company keeps track of grades and produces transcripts will tend to be more expensive than curriculum that require more parental involvement (grading papers, keeping track of grades, etc).  So, the more convenience you desire, the higher the price.  

Some curricula are "consumable," which means that you use them up.  A fill-in-the-blank workbook, for example, is a type of consumable curriculum product.  It is designed for the child to write in, and if you have other children in the family to teach, you will need to purchase a separate book for each child.  

Non-consumable curricula, on the other hand, are designed to reuse again and again.   Non-consumable curricula are sometimes more expensive than consumable curricula; however, if you have multiple children to teach, a non-consumable curriculum may be more more economical in the long-run.

If homeschooling your child is something you really feel a deep desire to do, the rewards are well-worth it. You really can't put a price on the joy you'll receive from spending quality one-on-one time with your child, learning together, and enjoying each other's company. 

Can home schoolers handle the college environment?

Home school graduates have proven to be not only mature enough academically to handle the college environment, but socially as well. This is evidenced by the growing number of colleges that now actively recruit homeschoolers.

What is the compulsory school age in Texas?

The minimum compulsory school age in Texas is age 6 as of September 1 of the current school year. A child must attend school through the year in which he turns 18 unless he has graduated.

I’m trying to decide whether I should home school or not. I’m concerned about socialization.

Socialization is not an issue. The home school community has so many options and opportunities available that one of the most difficult decisions you’ll have to make is deciding which things you WON'T participate in.  There are proms, graduations, college nights, physical education classes, field trips, sports, speech and debate, scouting programs, co-op classes, fine arts, band, choir, 4H....many, many things to do, and unlimited opportunities for home school children to "socialize" with other people.

Do you have a list of charter schools? I’m concerned about accreditation.

The primary mission of HEART of Texas is to promote home schooling, which by definition according to Texas state law is instruction provided in or through the home by the parent or one standing in parental authority.  

We receive very few requests from parents looking for public school options such as charter schools, and those requests usually come from families

whose children are already failing in the local public school, and who are looking for a temporary educational option which would allow their child to "catch up" so they can put them back in their public school.  

Charter schools can be a viable option for families
who wish to take their child out of their public school, but who have every intention of placing them back in the public school at some point in the future -- which is when state-accreditation would be an issue.

If you are looking for a charter school program, we suggest contacting the Texas Education Agency for a list of charter schools near you.

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