Many parents that live in Texas homeschool their children. However, when you start homeschooling your children, you need to consider the cost of doing so. How much does homeschooling cost in Texas?
Homeschooling in Texas generally costs between $700 to $1,800 per year per student. The money is often used for online subscriptions for curricula, and materials bought for the at-home student like pencils and notebooks.
Homeschooling is an effective way of teaching, but the cost and the process of creating an at-home curriculum and taking one’s child out of school may be stressful. However, these concerns will be discussed throughout the article.
Homeschooling Cost vs. Public Schooling Cost
In Texas, the average cost to attend public school is $5-$700 per year per child depending on the activities a child is involved in, various fees, and the grade the child is in. However, everyone has access to free education in the state, so if you can’t afford the fees you are being charged for your child’s education, meet with the administrators of the school they are attending.
You can often reduce the cost of public school by purchasing school supplies for your children during back-to-school sales that many stores hold from July to September.
Compared to homeschooling, which costs $700 to $1,800 per year per child, public school is much more affordable. (Source)
If homeschooling is the option you choose for your children, make sure there is enough money to help the child into a program as well as any extra fun activities and learning experiences.
Materials and Curriculum for Homeschooling
The cost of homeschooling can be attributed to four words:
The bulk of the cost will usually be used on the actual curriculum itself, depending on which curriculum one chooses for their child. A few different online-curriculum programs are:
- Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a wonderful program through and through. Time4Learning may be a newer online-learning program, but this program is highly used in Texas.
Homeschooling materials are similar to the supplies that a child attending public school needs. There are many materials that could be used when it comes to homeschooling. Such materials include:
Honestly, there is a lot that goes into homeschooling, especially the creative side of learning. Books are another part of homeschooling. The textbooks at colleges and high schools cost a bit of money, and it probably won’t change when you choose to homeschool your children, even though there are probably some great deals out there.
There are the typical textbooks for general classes, like math and history, but there are also some of the classical readings and writing in schooling that might end up in your own personal library. Such books could be ones written by Ernest Hemmingway, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and William Shakespeare.
Extracurricular activities are probably another part of homeschooling that could be another huge bulk of the cost. Kids need to participate in activities and learning outside of their homes, and sports are usually the main go-to answer. Homeschooled children also participate in community plays/musicals, choirs, and bands.
There are some school districts or states that allow homeschooled children to participate in public school extracurricular activities, and this is a really good thing for the children!
Homeschooled kids especially need friends outside of their siblings and parents and experiences outside of their home environment. The home provides a comfortable learning opportunity, but they shouldn’t always be comfortable. Make sure that homeschooled kids get enough out-of-their-comfort-zone experiences so they are not overwhelmed by the real world once they go to college.
Texas Homeschooling Laws
Texas is one of the easiest states to get one’s child into homeschooling, along with Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Idaho, and Alaska. (Source)
First of all, homeschooling is completely legal in Texas. However, like any other state that allows homeschooling, there are some rules that have to be followed, although it’s nothing to be stressed about. The process is very easy, which is why many parents homeschool their children in Texas.
The following steps to start homeschooling your children are:
- Withdraw child from institution/public school
- Set up curriculum
- Join 1+ local support groups
Parents can withdraw their children from school at any time they wish, even if it’s during the middle of the year. Parents don’t need to complete any special or official form when they withdraw their children from a public school.
However, there is a letter that parents may write to the school that explains and assures them that the child will be taken out of school, but will still be given an education as approved by the state.
If the child hasn’t been enrolled into school just yet, like, if they are just going into kindergarten and haven’t been enrolled, there is no need to worry, enroll, or even notify the school that the child will be homeschooled.
The curriculum may be the most stressful part of homeschooling, but Texas is interesting in the fact that they require very little when creating or finding a curriculum for homeschooled children. The laws require the following:
- Parents teach in a bona fide manner
- Curriculum should be visual
- Subjects should include:
Texas does not require homeschooling students to do standardized testing, although it’s highly recommended because it shows that the pupil knows and can apply what he/she has learned.
It’s also highly recommended to join one or more support groups, as the third point states. These groups will serve as a good source of learning, confidence, and friends. Having friends and learning from them will help build confidence as a parent/teacher for the child. But don’t just join for the sake of joining. Like any class, always try to participate in meaningful ways.
There are hundreds of support groups in Texas partially because Texas is a popular homeschooling state. It should be easy to find one – so please join one if possible! Having friends who can help you if this is your first time homeschooling will greatly increase your ability to learn and try new things, teach your children effectively, and boost your confidence.