Texas Home Educators http://www.texashomeeducators.com/
Texas Young Republican Federation (TYRF) http://www.tyrf.org/
Texas Young Democrats (TYD) http://www.texasyds.org/
Texas Home School Coalition (THSC) http://www.thsc.org
National Black Home Educators (NBHE) http://www.nbhe.net/home/
North Texas Home Educators Network (NTHEN) http://www.nthen.org/
Homeschool Christian Youth Association (HCYA) Sports group http://www.hcya.org/
Texas Christian Alliance Supporting Home Education (TCASHE) http://www.tcashe.org/home.html
South East Texas Home School Association(SETHSA) http://www.sethsa.org/index.html
Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) http://www.hslda.org/
Rethinking Education Unschooling Information http://www.rethinkingeducation.net/
The Presidents Fitness Challenge - http://www.presidentschallenge.org/
Read to Succeed Program - December thru February yearly (Must be a homeschooling family and a member of a participating homeschool group). Read to Succeed Program is a program for kids K-6th grade who read at least 6 hours (360 minutes). Parents can read to their children. Reading material include books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Other reading material may qualify. The only material that is not allowed it reading material for homeschooling, homework or schoolwork.
Book It! Program - October thru March yearly. This program is available to families who homeschool their children. http://www.bookitprogram.com/default.asp
Classification of Homeschools - Private School. This is a plus because it means that Texas recognizes that just because children are learning at home, it is still a school and a way of learning.
Restrictions - None. Parents are free to choose every aspect of their children's learning without having to abide by someone else's agenda, or use someone else's curriculum that may not be a good fit for the child or the parents. Parents are also not required to obtain teacher certification. For those parents who have educational limitations themselves, many of them choose to have their children tutored, pay for organized classes offered by various outside sources, and/or join co-op groups that helps to fill the unmet needs of the child/ren's education.
Reporting Requirements - None. This is a plus because parents do not have to waist valuable time filling out forms and getting approval from a third party who may be micro-managing other families that homeschool. What works for one family may not work for the other. Also, this type of reporting is what is being used in public schools, and many teachers (myself included when I substitute) feel that all of the paperwork takes way from the classroom.
Recordkeeping - None. Many parents who do homeschool keep some type of records just in case the kids return to public school. This is also a good idea because this will help to prove that you are meeting the other part of the law that requires that parents teach in a bona-fied manner.
Subject Requirements - Math, Reading, Grammar, Good Citizenship, and Spelling. Parents add electives like Science, History, Geography, Physical Education, Sports, Gymnastics, Dance, Music, Foreign Language, etc.
Testing Requirements - None. Many parents choose to test their children using the same requirements as public school children and/or have their children tested on the National level. Also, having the children tested in some type of form (at home, group settings, state or national level) will help to ensure that if for some reason the child/ren have to go to public school, they will be able to pass the test that is always given to homeschoolers when they are returning to public school (some school districts may accept the parents records if they are well organized).
Reference: Texas Education Code
Letters & Correspondence Regarding Homeschool
Homeschool Information Letter http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/home.school/homeltr.html
Commissioner's Home School Policy Letter http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/homesch110107.htm
Home School Research Facts
Facts & Trends
**Homeschooling is an age-old traditional educational practice that a decade ago appeared to be cutting-edge and “alternative” but is now bordering on “mainstream” in the United States. It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. Home-based education has also growing around the world in many other nations.
**There are about 2 million home-educated students in the United States. There were an estimated 1.8 to 2.5 million children (in grades K to 12) home educated during 2007-2008 in the United States. It appears the homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 5% to 12% per annum over the past few years).
**Families engaged in home-based education are not dependent on public, tax-funded resources for their children’s education. The finances associated with their homeschooling likely represent over $16 billion that American taxpayers do not have to spend since these children are not in public schools
**Homeschooling is quickly growing in popularity among minorities. About 15% of homeschool families are non-white/nonHispanic (i.e., not white/Anglo).
**A demographically wide variety of people homeschool – these are atheists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas.
Reasons for Home Educating
**Most parents and youth decide to homeschool for more than one reason.
**The most common reasons given for homeschooling are the following:
**Customize or individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child,
**Accomplish more academically than in schools,
**Use pedagogical approaches other than those typical in institutional schools,
**Enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings,
**Provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults,
**Provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools, and
**Teach and impart a particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview to children and youth.
**The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (Percentiles range from 1 to 99 on these tests.)
**Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
**Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.
**Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.
**Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.
**Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.
Social, Emotional, & Psychological Development
**The home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development. Research measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.
**Homeschool students are regularly engaged in social and educational activities outside their homes and with people other than their nuclear-family members. They are commonly involved in activities such as field trips, scouting, 4-H, political drives, church ministry, sports teams, and community volunteer work
Gender Differences in Children & Youth Respected?
**One researcher finds that homeschooling gives young people an unusual chance to ask questions such as, “Who am I?” and “What do I really want?,” and through the process of such asking and gradually answering the questions home-educated girls develop the strengths and the resistance abilities that give them an unusually strong sense of self.
**Some think that boys’ energetic natures and tendency to physical expression can more easily be accommodated in home-based education. Many are concerned that a highly disproportionate number of public school special-education students are boys and that boys are 2.5 times as likely as girls in public schools to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Success in the “Real World” of Adulthood
**The research base on adults who were home educated is growing; thus far it indicates that they:
**participate in local community service more frequently than does the general population,
**vote and attend public meetings more frequently than the general population, and
**go to and succeed at college at an equal or higher rate than the general population.
**Internalize the values and beliefs of their parents at a very high rate.
General Interpretation of Research on Homeschool Success or Failure
**It is possible that homeschooling causes the positive traits reported above. However, the research designs to date do not conclusively “prove” that homeschooling causes these things. At the same time, there is no empirical evidence that homeschooling causes negative things compared to institutional schooling. Future research may better answer the question of causation.
The above findings are extensively documented in one or more of the following sources, all (except one) of which are available from www.nheri.org:
*A Homeschool Research Story, Brian. D. Ray, 2005, in Homeschooling in Full View: A Reader.
*A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls. Susannah Sheffer, 1995.
*Home Educated and Now Adults: Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views About Homeschooling, and Other Traits, Brian D. Ray, 2004.
*Home schooling: The Ameliorator of Negative Influences on Learning, Brian D. Ray, Peabody Journal of Education, 2000, v. 75 no. 1 & 2, pp. 71-106.
*Homeschoolers on to College: What Research Shows Us, by Brian D. Ray, Journal of College Admission, 2004, No. 185, 5-11.
*National Education Association. (2005). Rankings and estimates: A Report of School Statistics Update. Retrieved 7/10/06 online http://www.nea.org/edstats/images/05rankings-update.pdf.
*The Truth About Boys and Girls. Sara Mead, 2006.
*Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling, Brian D. Ray, 2005.
Source: National Home Education Research Institute http://www.nheri.org/Research-Facts-on-Homeschooling.html
Dealing with Public School
If your child has never attended public school, then there is nothing for you to do but start looking for curriculum, set up your schedule, method, etc., and begin homeschooling your child.
If your child has attended public school (or any other school) then you need to ensure that you officially withdraw your child from that school. Two types of letters/forms will be needed to so this. The first letter is the Withdrawal letter or Letter of Intent. The second letter is the Assurance Letter. THSC have copies of these letters on their website. Links to these letters are provided below:
Withdrawal/Letter of Intent http://www.thsc.org/Getting_Started/LetterOfWithdrawal.asp
Assurance Letter http://www.thsc.org/Getting_Started/LetterOfAssurance.asp
Just Starting Out Series - includes homeschooling 101, homeschooling: steps to getting started, homeschooling in the USA, Homeschooling and it's many faces, and Unit studies.
Is Homeschooling Right for You -
Record Keeping -
How to schedule a Homeschool Day -
Teaching Multiple Grades -
Record Keeping Systems -
How to keep records for your homeschool child -
Starting the Year off Right Series - includes information regarding organization, setting up a schooling area, establishing a school identity, setting up a schedule, record keeping, and back to school party.
Homeschooling Forms -
COMING SOON - DATES, TIMES, & FEES