Homeschooling in Texas

The purpose of this page is to provide information about the basics of homeschooling in Texas. I am not a lawyer and the information provided on this page is not legal advice.

Texas law classifies homeschooling as a form of private education. There are no requirements to keep records of attendance or grades. Homeschool students are not required to take the state’s standardized tests. However, it is important that if your child was previously enrolled in public school, that you officially withdraw them from the school, otherwise the child will be considered truant and the parent face the legal consequences that come with it. The Texas Homeschool Defense League has information about withdrawing from public school and answers to many other questions on their website. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a national homeschool advocacy organization that has state specific info and answers to many legal questions.

Under Texas law established in the 1987 Leeper vs. Arlington ISD case, parents can educate their own children using bona fide written curriculum from books, workbooks, and other written materials including those on a computer. The curriculum must include reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship. Families are not required to provide information about their chosen curriculum to their local school district.

The absence of strict regulations and state oversight in Texas homeschool law leaves the options for homeschooling families wide open! If you wish to know the expectations for public school students, they are listed out the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and can be found online per grade level and subject, however homeschoolers are not required to adhere to them. High school students will want to research their desired college’s course requirements so they can use their course choices wisely. Texas Education Agency also has a resource outlining graduation requirements for students attending public school, and these probably adhere to expectations of colleges and universities for recent graduates.

You may choose any curriculum or resources you wish to teach the required subjects and teach any additional subjects you wish. However, I do strongly encourage homeschooling families to take careful consideration of educational goals for your child and come up with a plan to meet them. Research curriculum reviews that compare curricula, such as Cathy Duffy Reviews, or from educational vendors, such as Rainbow Resource. Online websites such as Amazon are great resources for customer reviews and feedback for non-curriculum items as well, such as office supplies, globes, laptops, etc. Individual curriculum companies often offer free samples and personalized customer service consultations on their websites. Other homeschoolers and bloggers are gold-mines for not only advice but peaks into their own experiences with the curriculum. I also encourage flexibility in curriculum, so that in the event after all the research and deciding, the reality is that it is not a good fit for your child or educational goals after all, you know there are other options out there.