Homeschooling in Texas
Hi, my name is Alison and I homeschool in Texas. I am Texas born and raised, never lived anywhere else. I am mom to three kids, two boys and a girl. I'm also mom to five very spoiled cats. I work from home and live with my great-grandfather and we (my kids and I) take care of him. I'm also working on finishing my degree, which is slow going, half-time at best.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Texas, articles, and state-specific resources, you can also visit one of these sites:
Legal disclaimer: This section is one family's story and how they meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Texas. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.
My Favorite Homeschooling Resources
Until just very recently, I was a member of HSLDA, mainly because of my own paranoia that the school district would challenge our homeschooling. I don't use a lot of sites that are Texas-only, since we really have no requirements to maintain, but I do use the homeschooling forums at workplacelikehome.com and have several online buddies who I've known for many years at villageplace.net – we have a homeschooling forum there too. It was with very much thanks to a Village Place homeschooler that I finally got up the courage to withdraw my middle child from public school and take the plunge.
We also use FreeWorldU's flashcard system and hang out in the library quite a bit. I have looked into joining THSC (Texas Home School Coalition). Right now I receive their magazine, but I'm waiting until we get back on our feet to look into membership. I have also joined several really wonderful Yahoo groups of other homeschoolers and have picked up a lot of good resources there.
Texas Provides Freedom in Homeschooling
Texas provides one of the best opportunities for freedom in homeschooling. I like being able to follow our own path without having to get permission from anyone for the subjects/studies we choose to do.
Texas has very few requirements for homeschooling. We are not required to make any notification, have our curriculum approved, submit to standardized testing, or make any reports to the authorities. The only notification we've ever made was when I formally withdrew my kids from the public schools, I showed up with a letter, which I received the template from HSLDA, and indicated I wished to withdraw them. In the case of my daughter, I requested to meet with her teacher and the administrator of the school, which I was not required to do but did anyway.
Time4Learning is vibrant, engaging, educational, and funny. It sure beats our previous homeschool curriculum which was textbook/workbook based.
Time4Learning is so effective that very little intervention is required. This works great if you're homeschooling multiple children.
Time4Learning Provides the Flexibility we Need
The way each family homeschools is always unique; I use the mix and match program. My daughter (11- years-old) is currently enrolled in T4L again. I started them all off in T4L in the very beginning, supplementing very little. Now we use a mix of units I've compiled from around the Internet for the older two and primarily T4L for my daughter. We also spend a lot of time in the library and have found a wealth of information there to supplement what we get from the units. I also use television programs to supplement as well.
My job is very flexible – I just have to put in eight hours between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. We usually start somewhere around 7:00 a.m. The back bedroom in our house is set up for the computers, since I won't allow computers in the kids' bedrooms. My daughter loves Time4Learning since it is so entertaining. She's constantly grabbing me to show me something -- and it's good that she sits right next to me. We'd tried an online public school but it didn't provide the flexibility we needed. I like the fact that we can school anywhere with a computer and Internet -- even in a hotel room. My boys have both moved on to high school level work now. In addition, we also use the Advantage Software for elementary, middle school, and high school, and the OpenCourseWare options from various universities (such as MIT).
I couldn't believe that my child was able to take charge and do the program alone! The software is so user friendly and I really do love it!
In kindergarten lessons, children learn
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
Time4Learning's experience shows that there is no single, best homeschool material. Rather than feeling torn between homeschool resources, parents should select a diverse blend of materials and activities.
For families with more than one child, choosing a homeschool program can be more problematic. What works for one child may not work for another. What works for one subject may not work on the next. What works one year, may fall flat the very next year.
Some of the features that make Time4Learning so successful include:
Time4Learning is proven effective with homeschoolers, has a low monthly price, is easy-to-use, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your children!
Sign up for Time4Learning as part of your overall homeschool program.
If you have any more questions or comments about homeschooling in Texas, head over to the Texas Parents Forum.
Some Helpful Tools and Resources
Welcome to Homeschooling Guide - Are you new to homeschooling? This guide was written by seasoned homeschoolers to answer some of the difficult questions new families often struggle with.
Curriculum Lesson Plans - An overview of the number of lessons that are included for each grade and subject. All students have access to at least 2 (and in most cases 3) grade levels of curriculum for each subject, so they can move ahead or review at their own pace.
Homeschool Portfolio Information - Answers common questions about homeschool portfolios and evaluations. It includes tips on organization methods, what to include and how Time4Learning can be used as part of your homeschool portfolio.
The Lesson Activity Finder - One of the many helpful tools that Time4Learning offers its members. The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons or find extra practice for their child. You can visit our hints and help section for more information about the activity finder.
Lesson Planning Worksheet - Wondering how many lessons to have your child do each day? Estimate the number of activities per day using this easy to use, printable worksheet.
Online Parent's Forum - Reach out to homeschoolers in your area, join discussions, ask questions and trade ideas on our online community of homeschooling parents. Having the support of seasoned homeschoolers can really help make your homeschooling journey a success.
Sign up for Time4Learning and gain access to a variety of educational materials, which will engage and challenge your child to succeed. Make Time4Learning a part of your children's homeschool resources.