How to homeschool in Texas
If you're wondering what the laws and requirements are for homeschooling in Texas, start here. Get the details and homeschooling resources.
Disclaimer: the information provided in this article is intended for research purposes only. Individual family needs may differ. Please contact your local Department of Education for more information.
If you live in Texas, want to homeschool your child, and have some questions, you’ve come to the right place. You might be wondering if homeschooling is legal in Texas or what the laws are for homeschooling in Texas.
Well, read on to learn everything you need to know to start homeschooling in Texas. Plus, you'll discover resources that can help you on your family’s learning journey.
What are the homeschooling laws in Texas?
However, the Texas Education Agency has set out some basic legal requirements for homeschooling in Texas, and the Commissioner for Education has also published a guidance note that outlines the requirements for homeschooling.
Families in Texas who homeschool must ensure that they:
Teach Math, Reading, Spelling and Grammar, and good citizenship. You are, of course, allowed to include a broader range of subjects in your homeschool curriculum, and we’ve provided more guidance on designing a great homeschool curriculum for your family later on in this article.
Homeschool in a bona fide manner. This means you are actually homeschooling and acting in good faith and not, as the court put it, ‘in a sham or subterfuge manner.’
Use a written curriculum. However, the Texas Supreme Court has confirmed that this can include online content, such as the semester-long courses provided by Outschool, and that you can obtain your curriculum from any source. The Supreme Court also confirmed that this curriculum does not need to be reviewed by a third party.
Texas state law also confirms that homeschooled kids are exempt from public school compulsory attendance requirements and that parents do not need a minimum level of education.
What are the state standardized testing requirements in Texas?
There are no standardized testing requirements in Texas. However, parents can choose to give their children standardized tests to measure their achievement against other children their age.
Texas homeschool advocacy organizations, including the Texas Homeschool Coalition, can provide discounted access to standardized tests and guidance on which tests are frequently used by families who homeschool in Texas.
How can I take my kids out of the Texas public school system?
If your child is already enrolled in a public school, you need to formally withdraw them from their school. You can do this by sending a letter to your child’s school via certified mail. This letter needs to state the date you will withdraw your child to begin homeschooling and give assurance that your curriculum will cover the subjects mandated by Texas state law.
The Texas Homeschool Coalition has a helpful form you can fill out to generate an appropriate letter to send to your school. Some schools may request additional information, which you can provide with a letter or email of assurance.
How do I find Texas co-ops and homeschool groups?
Families who homeschool often wish to network and share ideas, resources, and tips with other families who homeschool within other families. Outschool has a vibrant online Parent Hub, including a dedicated Facebook group for homeschool families, weekly online community gatherings, and regular ‘Town Hall’ events.
There are also homeschool groups and co-ops in most towns and areas in Texas. The Texas Homeschool Coalition and Texas Home Educators provide useful directories of local homeschool groups and other useful information to support you as you homeschool in Texas.
How do I add socialization to our homeschooling?
Parents who homeschool in Texas often worry about their children missing out on the social aspect of school. However, there are many ways to include socialization in homeschooling, including:
Register your child for online classes. Online classes are a great way for your child to learn from experienced teachers while socializing.
Join a local homeschool co-op. Co-ops are parents who group together to organize activities for their children.
Attend online social clubs. Outschool has an exciting range of online social clubs that provide an excellent way for your child to socialize.
Playing sports. Sports are a great way to get kids active while also socializing. In addition to joining local sports clubs and teams, your child can also join virtual sports clubs on Outschool, where you will find a wide range of sports classes, dance classes, and more.
You can discover more tips about how to include socialization in your homeschooling in this useful blog.
Can you homeschool special needs or neurodiverse kids in Texas?
Any child can be homeschooled in Texas, including those who are neurodiverse or have additional needs. Educating children with special needs or who are neurodiverse has many pros and cons, but meeting children’s particular needs is a common reason for parents in the US to homeschool.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) provides helpful resources for homeschooling a child with additional needs, including a useful guide that sets out some top tips for starting to homeschool children with special needs.
How do I find the answers to my questions about homeschooling in Texas?
Parents often have lots of questions about homeschooling. To help demystify homeschooling and guide you on your home education journey, why not check out Outschool’s helpful homeschooling FAQs and their useful homeschooling articles?
How do I find my state’s homeschooling laws?
If you don’t live in Texas, you can find information about homeschool laws for each state on your local education department’s website.
I’ve completed the legal process to start homeschooling in Texas - what do I do now?
Once you’ve made sure you know the laws that apply to homeschooling in Texas, it’s essential to determine what homeschooling will look like for your family. The first step is to create your homeschool curriculum and decide which combination of online classes, published curricula, and other resources you will use.
Outschool has produced a useful (and free) How to start homeschooling eBook that will help guide you through the first steps of your homeschooling journey.
How do I choose a homeschool curriculum?
Designing your curriculum is one of the key things you need to do before you start homeschooling in Texas. You must ensure your curriculum includes Math, Reading, Spelling and Grammar, and good citizenship, and uses written materials and/or online classes.
Creating a curriculum can seem like a big task, so to help, Outschool has put together a series of helpful guides, including:
How can I supplement my homeschooling?
There will likely be times when homeschooling that you come across a subject or topic that is difficult for you to teach or outside your area of knowledge. Whether you're puzzled by 6th-grade statistics, baffled by 1st-grade phonics, or want to introduce your child to computer coding, the great news is that there are plenty of simple and affordable ways to get help with topics outside your area of expertise.
Of course, you could consider hiring an in-home tutor, but many families outsource areas of their homeschool curriculum to Outschool. Outschool provides affordable and engaging online classes and private tutoring for your child.
From single-topic classes and entire semester-long courses on core curriculum topics, you will find plenty of Outschool classes to make your homeschooling less stressful by taking the pressure off teaching those tricky subjects:
Sign up for tutoring in areas your kids need some extra help or want to go deeper.
Virtual field trips are an easy way to explore new places and learn more about history and culture.
Make your kids part of the process. See what they respond to, what gets their wheel turning, and what works for their unique needs. Because the more engaged they are, the more they’ll learn.
There are plenty of ways to supplement your homeschooling in Texas, including:
Going on fun-filled, educational field trips. Field trips are a fantastic way to bring learning to life. If you’ve been to all the field trip locations near you or want something different, why not consider signing up for a virtual field trip on Outschool?
Sign your child up for a virtual club. Clubs are an amazing way for kids to meet and engage. Whether it’s a book club, drawing club, or even a detective club, Outschool is a great place for your child to meet other children who share their passions.
Are you looking for even more ideas? Check out Outschool’s helpful list of the five best ways to supplement your homeschooling.
Where can I find homeschooling inspiration?
One of the best ways to get homeschooling inspiration in Texas is to connect with other homeschooling families or read about other homeschool families. You can get plenty of inspiration from learning what works for other homeschooling families.