Texas is one of the easiest states in which to home school. The state of Texas considers home schools to be private schools which means home schools do not have to follow Texas Education Code regulations. Home school requirements in Texas only include following the state's compulsory attendance ages and teaching specific subjects.
The state of Texas requires children ages 6 to 17 to attend school. Texas considers first grade the start of a child's schooling, which means kindergarten is optional. A 17-year-old student with a high school equivalent certificate such as a GED is exempt from continuing in school. While Texas requires home schools to teach children in the designated age range, home schools do not have to enforce the compulsory attendance of 180 days per year of schooling. Each home school can decide the length of its school year.
The state of Texas requires the subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and citizenship be taught to students in every grade regardless of the type of school attended. Since home schools are seen as private schools in Texas, they do not need curriculum approval or teacher certification. Texas law does require that all instruction in required subjects be within credible classes with assignments and assessments. Home schools should present the class material in a visual manner, using books, workbooks, videos or the computer. Parents can give authority to another person to teach classes to their children, which would include tutors and other parents.
The state of Texas does not require home schools to inform the school district of their intent to home school. School districts do have an obligation to see that all children have an education, so parents need to cooperate with school officials if they make inquiries. Officials in school districts can make a reasonable inquiry into a home school to see if in fact school-age children are receiving an education. As long as parents teach the required subjects in a bona fide manner, then school officials have no reason to question the home school. School officials cannot require testing or any evaluations for home schooled children. Most school districts encourage home schooling parents to voluntarily contact their local school office as a courtesy especially if withdrawing their child after attending the local school.
Rebecca Bagwell is an educator with a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Trinity Baptist College. She has taught in China and the United States. While overseas she started writing articles in 2006 for bilingual trade journals. Now, she lives in the South where she homeschools and writes freelance articles encouraging creative approaches to education.