Home school criteria vary from state to state. For example, California homeschooling requirements may be very different than those in Texas. A home school Texas program may require less hours or have different course requirements. States can also determine what methods they view as being legal. Those in California, homeschooling their children, must either have teaching credentials or hire a tutor who does, enroll their child in a public school independent study program, or enroll their child in a private school offering independent study. A home school Texas program, in contrast, does not need to have a certified teacher doing the instruction. These are just some examples of the differences between states. It is important to contact the Department of Public Instruction in the state in which you live to get information about specific home school requirements.
So, what does one do when they decide to home school? The Texas Home School Coalition gives this advice to home school Texas parents. First, obtain a curriculum. A home school Texas curriculum must teach reading, spelling, grammar, math, and a study of good citizenship. Teaching United States history or Texas history helps meet this requirement. Second, if the child to be home schooled is currently enrolled in public school, write a letter to the principal and inform him or her that you are withdrawing your child to teach the child at home. If the child is not currently enrolled in a public school, just get started. The Texas Home School Coalition also suggests that home school Texas parents try to find a local home school support group. This support may help ease some of the confusion and/or frustration of transitioning to a home school situation.
When operating a home school Texas program, parents should remember that home schools in Texas are considered private schools and are not regulated by the state. The state cannot regulate the number of days per year private schools must be in session nor can it dictate a minimum number of instructional hours in a day. In addition, the state of Texas does not require private schools to administer standardized tests to their students. Parents can choose to do so, however, if they wish.
The education of one’s child is a very important experience. For some students, public schools do a wonderful job providing a free and appropriate public education. For others, public school is not the best place for them. Parents do have choices. If public schools or private schools do not meet the needs of a child, perhaps home schooling will. Before one begins home schooling, however, be sure to get specific information on the requirements of the state in which one resides. Then, let the educating begin.