Texas Homeschool Laws
When compared to many states, the Texas homeschool requirements are pretty straightforward. It is considered one of the least stringent states in terms of requirements. So, if you are considering homeschooling and were nervous about being able to handle the legal side of things, you can definitely relax. On this page, you can find information about how to legally homeschool in Texas, what (if any) records you may want to keep, and what might be involved in going back to school if you decide to end your homeschooling adventure at some point.
- Texas Homeschooling Laws
- Making the Switch from Public School to Homeschool
- Homeschool Recordkeeping in Texas
- Texas Homeschool Graduation Requirements
- Returning to Public School after Homeschooling
*This should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
Texas Homeschooling Laws
Texas homeschooling laws only require:
- A bona fide instruction for the student.
- The curriculum to be visual in nature (such as textbooks, workbooks, online programs, etc.).
- The following subjects to be covered: reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and citizenship.
Homeschools in Texas are considered private schools and therefore not regulated by the state. As such, there is no minimum amount of days required for homeschooling in Texas.
Of course, even though these are the only requirements to homeschool your child in Texas, that does not mean that you should use them to determine the scope of your homeschool curriculum. Instead, they should be seen as the minimum you would need to do to stay compliant with state law. Your homeschool approach, though, should be to provide the best, most customized education possible to your child that will prepare them for higher education and/or their career ahead.
More information relating to the home education rules for Texas can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Full Details of Texas’s Homeschool Laws
Switching from Public School to Homeschool
Has your child been enrolled in a public or private school prior to starting homeschooling? Although it’s not part of the legal homeschool requirements in Texas, it is always a good idea to formally withdraw your child from school so that you don’t trigger any truancy inquiries. To do so, you can send either a withdrawal email or letter to the principal, counselor, and attendance clerk of the school letting them know that you are officially withdrawing your child from school and sharing the date in which your homeschooling will begin (or began.)
Homeschool Recordkeeping in Texas
As a mostly unregulated state for homeschoolers, you will be relieved to know that there aren’t any reports about your homeschool or curriculum that you are required to share — either locally or on a state level. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep records about your homeschool experience at all. A homeschool portfolio can have many benefits for you and your student, including:
- serving as a cherished keepsake of your time spent learning together
- providing a reference of coursework covered in case of a return to public/private school
- assisting parents when creating homeschool transcripts
Your portfolio can be as simple as a journal entry every so often to remind yourself what you and the children have been up to in your home education program, or as detailed as a binder of lesson plans, and lists of books and materials used. When deciding what to include in yours, try to be as forward-thinking as possible in terms of what information you think you might need to retrieve in the future.
Texas Homeschool Graduation Requirements
Just as with other aspects of homeschooling in TX, graduation is largely unregulated by law. That puts an additional responsibility on parents/guardians to make sure that their teen’s homeschool path will prepare them for life after high school. Depending on whether your child will be attending college, joining the military, or entering the workforce after graduation, it’s important that you align their course of study with their post-secondary goals.
As you make your plan, it can be helpful to know what is expected of your student’s traditionally schooled peers in Tennessee. Time4Learning offers the following chart which will help you compare Texas public school and homeschool graduation requirements at a glance.
|Texas diploma requirements||Students must have a minimum of 22 completed credits to graduate in Texas and receive a diploma.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements and can issue their own homeschool diploma; students of private/online schools may receive diplomas from those institutions.|
|Texas high school testing requirements||Texas students must pass End of Course exams in core subject areas, must take the ACT or SAT in their 11th grade year, must take a civics assessment, and must take and pass the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration test to be eligible for graduation.||Homeschool students are not subject to specific testing requirements for graduation.|
|Texas high school transcripts||TX public school transcripts include identifying information, standardized test scores, attendance information, credit totals and a complete credit history by course including course titles, grades received each semester, and cumulative grade average for each.||Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.|
|Texas high school course credits||In order to graduate, TX high schoolers must have 4 English credits, 4 mathematics credits (including Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and an advanced math course), 3 science credits (including biology, chemistry or physics, and an additional lab science course), 3 social studies credits (including a credit each of US History and World History and a half-credit each of US Government and Economics), 1 and ½ credits of physical education and wellness, ½ credit of personal finance, and 3 elective credits.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.|
|GED eligibility||TX has a High School Equivalency Program offering either the GED exam or HiSET exam to students who are at least 18 years of age and have not received a high school diploma.||The same requirements for eligibility apply to homeschoolers as to public school students.|
How to Transfer from Homeschool to Public School
The homeschool portfolio mentioned above can come in quite handy if you make the decision to head back into the school system after homeschooling for a while. Every district and school will have different expectations for enrolling a child, but having a thorough record of what you’ve been covering in your homeschool will likely be especially helpful in any school. Enrolling in public school after homeschooling might include some kind of assessment testing for placement purposes, so be sure to prepare your student for that possibility.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Texas
Have other questions about homeschooling in Texas? You may find the following pages helpful.