FAQs

These FAQ’s where found at www.thsc.org and do not necessarily apply to CHSA but to homeschooling in general.

  1. Curfew laws, what are they?
  2. What should my children do if accosted for violating curfew laws during the
    day?
  3. Curriculum, Where do I find it and what should I use?
  4. What online programs can I use to school my children?
  5. The Bill Bennett K-12 program
  6. What about custody and home schooling?
  7. Businesses not acknowledging Home School diploma.
  8. Driver Ed course credit.
  9. Can my child get a good student discount with our car insurance?
  10. How do I go about teaching my child to drive?
  11. Can I teach one subject and allow my child to attend public school for all the
    other subjects?
  12. How do I contact my elected representatives?
  13. President Bush on home schooling
  14. President Bush on testing
  15. Can home schools participate with TAPPS?
  16. I want to home school a child enrolled in public school.
  17. I want to home school a child NOT enrolled in public school.
  18. Should I enroll my children in an umbrella school?
  19. Where can I find general information on home schooling?
  20. My child is enrolled in public school and I don’t have time to get curriculum.
  21. What are the requirements for graduation?
  22. How can I get a Handbook and what is in it?
Curfew laws, what are they?
The curfew laws in Texas are local city or county ordinances. They vary by locality.
Generally they apply to all school age children. We have been unsuccessful in the past legislative sessions getting a change to the law passed, but we haven’t heard if problems being caused by them lately. We would suggest that you contact your city and ask for a copy of the ordinance to see what it says exactly. If you are having problems, you should contact your city councilman or county commissioner and seek his/her help.

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What should my children do if accosted for violating curfew laws during the day?
We would encourage you to tell your children that in such a situation they should ask for identification of the person who is asking such questions. Rather than answering their questions, they should be referred to the parents of the child, unless of course it is a uniformed police officer.
Some cities have a daytime curfew. You should check with your city officials to determine if there is such a curfew and what it requires. THSC has begun to offer student ID cards for home school students. These are to allow home school students to take advantage of discounts for students. Although they are not designed for such situations, they might be useful in the event something were to happen.

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Curriculum, Where do I find it and what should I use?
In Texas, home schools are private schools, and private schools in this state are not regulated. A home school may have whatever curriculum the parents decide upon, provided the curriculum covers the basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, math, and a course in good citizenship.
There are many sources for curriculum. THSC has a listing in our Handbook for Texas Home Schoolers. See the store at http://www.thsc.org/store/cats.asp for ordering information. There are many curriculum suppliers on the Internet.
Another option is to get in touch with a support group in your area. The people involved in it could help you get started and find curriculum. There is a list of support groups in Texas in the Handbook. On our website there is a list of regional groups in the state. See http://www.thsc.org/support_groups/default.asp. A regional group can get you in touch with a local support group.
There are many stores that cater to home schoolers and carry curriculum and we may be able to help you locate one in your area. We could also help you find a local support group.
You will also find more helpful information on our website. Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.

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What online programs can I use to school my children?
Our internet expert wrote the following answer to your question:
There are several projects online such as the Jason Project, and hundreds of lesson plan sites. As parents, you have to decide which ones are appropriate for your children. Some of the best online lesson plans can be found at http://home.alaska.net/, from the State of Alaska which allows people to do public school at home. It is written in “educationeze”, so don‚Äôt be intimidated.
If you are looking for online classes, there are several out there. One needs to ask “What specifically are you looking for?” Do you want everything to come from the computer, like the Abeka video school? Or do you just want some extra activities from your computer. One great place to look is www.homeschooling.about.com But you as parents will have the final decision if the classes are appropriate for your children.
We hope this gives you a place to start.

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What is the Bill Bennett K-12 program?
K12 is being called a virtual charter school. Home educators need to understand that a charter school is a public school that has been released from some, but not all, of the regulation by the state of Texas. As a result of this, the state of Texas gives each of these charter schools funding based on the number of students attending the school.
Parents who enroll their children in these programs should be aware that they must teach a minimum of four hours per day for 170 days per year and the students in these schools must take the state-mandated TAAS test, since they are indeed enrolled in public schools. The TAAS test is not a nationally normed achievement test like the Iowa Basic Skills test or the California Achievement Test but rather a test that is designed to track what a child knows from the specific curriculum that is used in the Texas public schools. Parents who are considering such a program would be well advised to ask for written requirements and check them carefully before they make that choice.
The Coalition has also had calls from home school leaders asking how local support groups could be impacted by charter school families who wish to be a part of these support groups. In the Leeper case, the court case that clarified the law concerning home schooling in Texas, the judge said that if a parent or one standing in parental authority had a curriculum from any source that covered the basic educational goals of reading, spelling, grammar, math, and course in good citizenship and pursued this curriculum in a bona fide manner, the students were in a private school and therefore exempt from the compulsory attendance laws. (Note that the instruction must be bona fide, that is, not a sham. Some mistakenly say that the curriculum must be bona fide, which would imply an approval process by some authority.)
From a legal viewpoint it would seem that the major difference in the case of the charter school is that the curriculum is provided by state funds. The students in this school would be in compliance with the compulsory attendance laws and, since the teaching is at home, it could be considered a home school. In the Leeper case the judge said that if a parent or one standing in parental authority had a curriculum from any source that covered the basic educational goals of reading, spelling, grammar, math and a course in good citizenship and pursued this curriculum in a bona-fide manner, they were in a private school and exempt from the compulsory attendance laws.

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What about custody and home schooling?
In the matter of custody in a family lawsuit, THSC Association will provide assistance only if home education is an issue in the suit and only on the home education aspect of the case. Assistance will consist of providing information (written and/or verbal) to the member’s attorney in order to educate him regarding home schooling laws in Texas and the validity of home schooling as an education option. This service is provided in order to prevent members from paying attorney’s fees for legal research on home schooling. THSC Association may also recommend expert witnesses if needed.

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Businesses not acknowledging Home School diploma
In Texas, home schools have been determined by the courts to be private schools. {Texas Educ. Agency v. Leeper, 893 S.W.2d 432 (Tex. 1994)} Therefore, in Texas, a graduate of a home school is a graduate of a private school and should be treated the same as a graduate from any other unaccredited private school. (It should be noted that 2/3 of the formal private schools in Texas are unaccredited.)
Ask to see the company’s written policy on dealing with graduates of unaccredited schools. If the company is following a policy for home schoolers which discriminates against home schoolers by treating them differently than graduates of other unaccredited private schools, they could be setting themselves up for legal action.
If you are unable to get satisfaction dealing with the employees with whom you are speaking, we would suggest that you ask to talk to the manager or the owner of the company.

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Driver Ed course credit
In Texas, home schools are considered private schools. You may issue your child credit for taking driver education if you choose. If you are concerned about that credit counting toward college admission, we suggest that you contact the college/university to which your child wants to apply, since admission requirements vary from school to school. We have several articles in our Handbook for Texas Home Schoolers that deal with home schooling your high schooler, graduation, preparing for college, etc. We encourage you to obtain a copy if you do not have one. You may purchase the Handbook at our web store

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Can my child get a good student discount with our car insurance?
We have been told Good Student Discounts are voluntary for insurance companies to provide. Some do for public school students, and some don’t. We suggest you check with your insurance company to see if they give that discount and if they would consider giving it to your home-schooled child.

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How do I go about teaching my child to drive?
To teach your child Driver Education, you must first send $20 and the completed “Request for Driver Education Packet” (Form DL-92) to the Austin address on the form. You may obtain the form from your local DPS or from the Texas Home School Coalition. Upon receiving these, the Texas DPS will send paperwork of the student to your local DPS, and they will send you a book, “Driver Education Instruction Curriculum Model 101.” This book has forms that you will need at different times over the course of teaching your student, as well as required curricula and instructions on how to proceed. For a more complete explanation of the process and requirements, refer to the recent editions of the “Handbook for Texas Home Schoolers,” published by the Texas Home School Coalition. It is available in our web store

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Can I teach one subject and allow my child to attend public school for all the other subjects?
You would need to coordinate that with your public school. Most will not allow dual enrollment. It is up to their discretion. If we can be of further assistance , please let us know.

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