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To home school legally in Texas, you must follow three state law requirements:
- 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 five basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship.
Home schooled students are exempt from compulsory attendance according to Section 25.086(a)(1) of the Texas Education Code because home schools have been determined by Texas courts to be private schools for the purpose of compulsory attendance. (See Leeper case decisions.)
Below are portions of the Texas Education Code that are of greatest interest to Texas home educators. (See the complete Texas Education Code.)
Section 25.085. Compulsory School Attendance.
(a) A child who is required to attend school under this section shall attend school each school day for the entire period the program of instruction is provided.
(b) Unless specifically exempted by Section 25.086, a child who is at least six years of age, or who is younger than six years of age and has previously been enrolled in first grade, and who has not completed the academic year in which the child’s 18th birthday occurred shall attend school.
(c) On enrollment in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, a child shall attend school.
Section 25.086 Exemptions
(a) A child is exempt from the requirements of compulsory school attendance if the child:
(1) attends a private or parochial school that includes in its course a study of good citizenship . . .
(5) is at least 17 years of age and:
(A) is attending a course of instruction to prepare for the high school equivalency examination . . .
(B) has received a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate . . .