June 3, 2006: After 25 years of living in Plano, my wife and I have moved to Shreveport, La.. Though we no longer keep up with happenings in Texas home schooling, I doubt things will change much in a legal sense. However, please see the link to the Texas
Home School Coalition for the latest information.
All three of our children were home schooled through highschool. Two have since graduated from college and one is still in college. It was rare to hear of anyone having
a problem with the school districts there. We used to belong to a large
support group, but my wife started a group at our church. We are Catholic
and wanted to participate in a Catholic group, partially to attract more
Catholics to home schooling, but mostly as a help in raising our children
in our faith.
Latest news from our family!
We are opening a Young Chefs Academy in Shreveport. It's a cooking school for kids. Our son and his wife have moved here from Houston, so my son can help manage it. It's always been our dream to have a family business and now our dream is coming true!
What kind of curriculum do I have to use?
The law regarding home schooling in Texas is one of the most liberal in
the U.S.. Home schools are considered to be private schools. The
law says you have to have a written curriculum consisting of reading,
spelling, grammar, math and a course in good citizenship. You
can use any form of curriculum you want, including making up your own (as
we do.) It doesn't have to be extremely formal; in fact the law doesn't
place any requirements on it except that it be written. We don't know of
anyone who has been asked to show their curriculum to anyone, but you're
supposed to be able to show that you have a written curriculum.
Do I have to register my child as a homeschooler?
There is no legal requirement to register your child as home schooled.
Depending on the school, and the approach parents take when dealing with
the school, there are usually no problems in withdrawing from school. Some
parents are confrontational about it, which tends to breed hostility and
bad relations. That's why it's good to be very courteous. We have heard
of some schools trying to intimidate the parents or show their displeasure
at having the children home schooled., but they don't have a legal leg
to stand on. The school cannot make any demands on you.
What if a truant officer contacts me?
If a truant officer should call you or show up at your house, we have been
advised to politely ask for a written request of what they want from you
and tell them you will be glad to respond. You don't have to let them in
your house. This may sound ominous, but other than some tension with school
administrators, we've not heard of anyone in our area being asked to show
their curriculum or having been called or visited by a truant officer.
What qualifications do I have to have
to teach my kids?
There are no teacher qualifications, and no standard testing
is required, though many parents do have their kids take a standard test
every year. The results are not reported to the state.
DISCLAIMER and where to get
I must include the disclaimer that I am in no way qualified to offer
legal advice (I don't want to get in trouble impersonating an officer
of the court!) For a reasonable fee, you can join the Texas
Home School Coalition, which stays active protecting the legal rights
of home schools. The "professional" educators continually try to pass legislation
against home schools. The fee gets you a newsletter and magazine, discounts on seminars, software and computers. It also helps
support the lawyers on our side. The address is:
Texas Home School Coalition,
P.O. Box 6982, Lubbock, TX 79493, PHONE: (806) 797-4927 FAX: (806) 797-4629
Also, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) will
represent any of its contributing members in any court action taken against
them. Their "dues" is $100/year, but I think you get a discount if you
go through the THSC. Call THSC if you're interested in joining the HSLDA.
How do I make a transcript?
If you must provide a transcript to put your student in high school or
college, you can make your own. Check out this sample
See a sample Course Description.
You can enhance your student's chances of being accepted into college by
providing a detailed description of each course he/she completed. Check
out this sample