Step 2: Become Familiar with the Law
Home education is clearly legal!
The only requirements to legally home school in Texas are:
- The instruction must be bona fide (i.e., not a sham).
- The curriculum must be in visual form (e.g., books, workbooks, video monitor).
- The curriculum must include the basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship.
You may also send your children into the home of another parent or use a tutor for instruction.
The courts have determined that Texas home schools are private schools for the purpose of compulsory attendance. As such, home schools are not regulated, do not require teacher certification or third-party curriculum approval, and they are exempt from compulsory attendance laws.
Local school officials do have the right to make “reasonable inquiry” to determine whether your school-age child is in attendance in a private school. A 2010 letter from the Texas commissioner of education gives direction to school districts on how to legally make “reasonable inquiry.”
For more information on home schooling and the law, see State Requirements.
How did home schooling become legal?
The fact that home schooling is legal is based on the decision of the Leeper vs. Arlington ISD class action suit (Case No. 17-88761-85). Home school law in Texas is case law, binding on all 1,100 Texas school districts. That April 13, 1987, decision was a complete vindication of the right of Texas parents to educate their children at home.
Presiding Judge Charles J. Murray concluded that:
“A school-age child residing in the State of Texas who is being educated in a bona fide manner by the parents, or those standing in parental authority, in or through the child’s home using a curriculum, consisting of books, workbooks, other written materials, including that which appears on an electronic screen of either a computer or video tape monitor, or any combination of the preceding from either (1) a private or parochial school which exists apart from the child’s home or (2) which has been developed or obtained from any source, said curriculum designed to meet basic education goals of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship, is in attendance upon a private or parochial school within the meaning of Section 25.086(a)(1) of the Texas Education Code and exempt from the requirements of compulsory attendance at a public school.”
For a more complete history, see The History of Home Education in Texas.
Step 3: Join THSC
Why Join THSC?
THSC is constantly working to promote home schooling and parental rights through:
- Lobbying the Texas legislature
- Communicating with school districts and other public officials
- Monitoring court cases
- Raising awareness of important issues that impact home schooling
Joining THSC Association:
- Connects your family with other home schoolers
- Allows your voice to be heard in our effort to protect your home school freedoms
- Empowers us to fight for you
As a coalition impacting over 100,000 Texas home school families and with a staff and volunteer network of hundreds all with home schooling experience in Texas, THSC connects and provides your family with an invaluable wealth of information and support.
THSC exists as the local authority on home education in Texas. In fact, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) often refers calls on issues of home schooling to THSC for verification or resolution. As the state authority on home schooling, you can depend on us to support your rights as a Texas family.
THSC Membership Benefits:
THSC provides over a dozen benefits including:
- Free legal assistance and advocacy in Texas with problems related to home education
- Access to a THSC members-only CPS hotline, with direct access to attorney consultation in the event of an emergency
- FREE adult registration to both THSC Conventions: Arlington and The Woodlands
- Digital copy of the Texas Home School Handbook and Lone Star Study (updated in 2016)
- Student and teacher photo ID cards
- Instant customized diplomas
- Featured Convention Audio of the Month (includes all past months)
- Grade school report card template
- Term Average Template
- High school transcript templates
- Discounts from select home school providers
- Special needs consultant and support
- Online IEP Generator
- 3 months free, plus $50 off an annual subscription to SchoolHouseTeachers.com
- Knowledgeable home school staff available to support you by phone or online
We’re done [home schooling] with our 4 boys. I truly appreciate having this resource all these years. Grateful I never needed litigation! Thank you for all you do — defend, teach, encourage, etc.
THSC Association Membership Payment Options:
- Lifetime Membership: $1,000 one-time payment
- Annual Membership: $120 a year
- Discounted Annual Membership: $100 a year
- We offer a $20 discount off the annual membership price for qualifying groups
- Annual Membership, Quarterly Installment Plan: $40 per quarter
Lifetime Members receive all Member Benefits plus:
- Two polo shirts available exclusively to Lifetime Members
- One bumper sticker publicizing your support as a THSC Lifetime Member
Since 1986, THSC has been serving and informing parents and the home school community in Texas and we continue to serve you in Keeping Texas Families Free. Will you join the Coalition today?