Frequently Asked Questions
What is HEART?
HEART is a Christian support group based in the Kingwood/Atascocita/Humble area. HEART seeks to encourage families in their homeschooling endeavors by providing academic enrichment activities, social opportunities and support for children of all ages – and parents, too! We also are a link in keeping families informed of developments in state and local laws, especially pertaining to the legal rights of parents to home educate their children.
HEART is divided into 4 segments: Little HEARTs, HEART Elementary, HEART Strings Middle School, and HEART Strings High School. Although there may be age-segregated areas for HEART, most activities are open to younger and older siblings.
What is Little HEARTs?
HEART is divided into smaller segments to facilitate age-appropriate events. Little HEARTs is for children in preschool through Kindergarten, and has many field trips and activities specially designed for this age group.
What is HEART Elementary?
HEART Elementary is the age group for 1st through 5th grade children.
What is HEART Strings?
HEART Strings is the segment devoted to middle and high school. There are activities or enrichment that are tailored to these students’ interests and abilities. Some HEART Strings activities may be just for middle or high school, while others are for all students in these two age categories. As per our HEART Activity Guidelines, please make note for this particular age group there is no dating or public displays of affection at HEART-sponsored events.
Is homeschooling legal in Texas?
Yes, homeschooling is completely legal in Texas. Home schools are recognized as individual private schools and are exempt from compulsory attendance laws. The only legal requirement is that schooling is conducted in a bona fide manner and covers at least the basics of reading, spelling, math, grammar and good citizenship.
How do I withdraw my child from public school?
If your child is attending a local public school and you plan to homeschool, you need to legally withdraw them from the school district. Failure to do this may result in truancy charges against you or your child(ren). The Texas Homeschool Coalition recommends that you do this in writing and there is a sample letter on their website. For more information and details about school withdrawals, please visit their site at www.thsc.org and look under the ‘Getting Started’ tab on the left hand side. Click on the ‘7 Easy Steps to Begin’ link.
How do I choose curriculum?
There are many curriculum choices available to homeschool families. Begin with the basics (math, spelling, reading) and build from there. Here are some options to investigate further:
*Traditional – textbook or workbook approach. Examples would be Abeka, Bob Jones, Calvert.
*Unit Study – topical or thematic approach. Examples are Sonlight, Charlotte Mason, Greenleaf Press.
*Classical – a program of study emphasizing the liberal arts and sciences. Examples are My Father’s World, Veritas Press, Well-Trained Mind.
*Technological – computer or internet-based study. Examples are Switched on Schoolhouse or Abeka DVD.
Many families use a combination of styles in their homeschools -- following a textbook approach for math and spelling, then using a unit study or classical curriculum for history, Bible, science and literature. Our HEART forums are also a valuable resource for curriculum questions and support.
What is Home Run Ministries?
Home Run Ministries is an organization based in Kingwood that provides academic alternatives, enrichment activities, testing, and support programs such as community service, clubs, seminars and transcript assistance to aid families in the Christian education and training of their children. More information about Home Run can be found on their website www.homerunministries.com .
What is Super Friday?
Super Friday is a division of Home Run Ministries that operates an enrichment program with a variety of classes for children ages 3-13 on Friday mornings. More information can be found on the Home Run website www.homerunministries.com under the Super Friday tab.
What is HSLDA?
The Home School Legal Defense Association is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to defending and advancing the constitutional rights of parents to direct the education of their children. HSLDA advocates on the national, state and local levels and is a fabulous resource for homeschool families. HEART members are eligible for a reduction in membership fees – please consult the Member Benefits document on the member-only side of our website. More information about HSLDA can be found on their website at www.hslda.org .
What is THSC?
The Texas Home School Coalition is a 501 (c) (3) state support organization. Its mission is to serve and support the homeschool community and promote home education in Texas. If you wish to keep informed about issues or developments in Texas, please visit their website at www.thsc.org . HEART members are eligible for a reduction in THSC memberships – please consult our Member Benefits document on the membership-only part of our website for more information on these reduced fees.
What is dual credit?
Dual credit is part of Lone Star College’s exceptional admissions program designed specifically for high school students who are ready for college-level instruction. Students who demonstrate college readiness in placement testing can earn high school and college credits for the same classes. Students can attend classes on campus or take online classes. For more information please visit the college website at www.lonestar.edu/dualcredit/ .
What are the legal requirements for graduation from high school?
The Texas Education Agency’s recommended High School Plan consists of 26 credits. Your student’s post-secondary plans would direct the choices in electives and other extra-curricular activities. A good place to begin is to consult the THSC’s sample high school plan as found on their website:
•4 credits of English/Language Arts
•4 credits of Mathematics, including Algebra I, II, and Geometry
•4 credits of Science, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
•4 credits of Social Studies, including World History, World Geography, U.S. History, ½ credit Government, ½ credit Economics
•1 credit of Physical Education
•½ credit of Speech
•1 credit of Fine Arts
•5 ½ credits of Electives
•2 credits of Foreign Language Studies
Can I homeschool my special needs child?
Yes! Many parents decide to homeschool their children because homeschooling allows them to individualize and tailor their child’s education. Whatever your child’s special needs may be, you can be assured that there are other homeschool families who have encountered similar challenges to what you are experiencing. www.hslda.org/strugglinglearner/ has some good articles that may be helpful for you. Also, www.thsc.org/2009/01/homeschooling-special-needs-children/ has pertinent information on this topic.