How to Start Homeschooling in Texas

Are you wanting to know how to start homeschooling in Texas but have no idea where to start or what to do next? Or maybe it’s information overload and you just want some clarity. If this is you, you’re in the right place.

How We Got Started Homeschooling in Texas

I’m a homeschooling mom of three and live in Texas. We actually started our homeschool journey after my son’s Kindergarten year in public school.

About halfway through the year, he was coming home crying every day. He started acting out, getting in trouble, being bullied, and get bad reports daily in his take-home folder. We talked with the teacher and she made adjustments to try and help with the bullying issue but the playground, cafeteria, and bus were like open season.

After several weeks and back and forth communication we talked with some another teacher friend of ours. This behavior was not normal for our son. She said, “Maybe he’s getting bored and not being challenged”. I decided to have another conference with my son’s teacher to bring up my concerns. She pointed out that they had him on the advanced reading and math programs. The problem was they only allow the child to “advance” so far then they hold them there so the other students can catch up. The problem was 100% that he was getting bored.

We gave him things to do at home to challenge him more and we started picking him up and dropping him off at school versus riding the bus. This helped a bit but he would still beg several times per week to be home and to have me be his teacher.

I told him that if he still felt this way by the end of the school year we would try it out over the summer. Honestly, the end of school is the best time. There are parties, games, and field trips. I figured he’d forget our agreement and see how fun going to school can be.

But while driving home from his last day of school party he said, “So I get to be homeschooled now right?” I couldn’t help but giggle. We made a plan and decided to do a “trial run” during the month of July, a month before public school started.

Our Trial Run

We gave ourselves a month during the summer to tryout homeschooling and see if it was a good fit for our family.

That is the biggest piece of advice I can give to any family looking to homeschool. Give yourself a chance to make sure it’s the right decision for you and your family.

During our trial run, we really wanted to answer the following questions:

  • How does our son like to learn?
  • Where is he academically?
  • What schedule works best with our family?
  • How do we address the socialization “issue”?
  • Do we all enjoy it?

All in all, it only took us a month to get a handle on the whole homeschooling thing and to answer the above questions.

Here’s a sample schedule that worked well for us:

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday are our “regular school” days. We start at about 9 to noon. The afternoons, during the younger ones naptime, is reading time for our oldest.

Tuesdays are field trip days. This has been a wonderful addition to ensure we get out of the house and play with friends while we learn. We joined local mom groups to help coordinate events and play dates.

Fridays are our science days with daddy. My husband gets off early every Friday so he does the science lesson with the kids each week.

Finding the Right Curriculum

Finding the right homeschool curriculum really depends on your child’s specific needs, how you want to address homeschooling, and if you want to follow a specific curriculum, build your own, or do the unschooling method.

The thing I love the most about homeschooling is the freedom. I have the freedom to create curriculum based on each of my children and make it specific to them and how they enjoy learning.

My goal is to always make learning fun so they want to keep learning new things.

Another important thing to decide is how you want to present each subject. With that, there are different types of curriculum. Here are the major or most common types of homeschooling curriculum:

  • Secular – non-religious based curriculum
  • Christian/Religious
  • Unschooling
  • School-at-home
  • Montessori

Click here for a more in-depth look at each as well as the benefits and drawbacks.

We started with a boxed curriculum from BookShark. It was great and very informative. This is ideal for those who don’t want to plan it out on your own. So if you’re wanting someone to tell you what to do each day and how to structure your days, this is a good option.

Here are some Boxed Curriculum options:

Texas Homeschool Laws

Now let’s get to the bottom of state laws around homeschooling.

First off, every state is so different so I’m not going to get into each individual stat because that would be a lot. I encourage you to go out and join some communities just to be sure you’re given accurate information for your specific state.

Texas is one of the easiest and most laid back states when it comes to homeschooling.

Our son actually started out in public schools so withdrawing him was so easy. Some districts require you to fill out a form but I just had to go up there, tell the vice principal that he would be homeschooled and they were so nice about it. Zero attitude or judgment.

But I have heard different stories around the state.

For Texas, homeschooling is pretty laxed. But I recommend keeping a record for each child just in case. There are three requirements to homeschool in the state of Texas:

  • Has to be legit – which is why I recommend keeping a record
  • Curriculum must be presented in visual format – books, workbooks, etc.
  • Curriculum must cover the 5 subjects: reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and social studies

I’ve never been questioned by the state or have had any issue at all homeschooling but we are prepared if that happens.

I recommend joining specific Facebook communities to help build connections and to answer specific questions.

Good luck and have fun homeschooling!

XO,

 

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