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Q:

What is HEART?

A:

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, Elementary, Middle School, and High School.  Although there may be age-segregated areas for HEART, most activities are open to younger and older siblings.

Q:

What is Little HEARTs?

A:

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.

Q:

What is HEART Elementary?

A:

HEART Elementary is the age group for 1st through 5th grade children.

Q:

What is for HEART Middle School age?

A:

There are activities or enrichment that are tailored to these students’ interests and abilities.  Some HEART Middle School activities may be just for middle school, while others are for all students in the two age categories of middle and high school.  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.

Q:

What is for HEART High School age?

A:

There are activities or enrichment that are tailored to these students’ interests and abilities.  Some HEART high school activities may be just for high school, while others are for all students in the two age categories of middle and high school.  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

Q:

Is homeschooling legal in Texas?

A:

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.

Q:

How do I withdraw my child from public school?

A:

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 Home School Coalition recommends that you do this in writing and there is a sample letter on their website 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.

Q:

What do I need to know about withdrawing my child from public school?  Here's the latest from HSLDA.

A:

New TEA Withdrawal Policy
to Combat Attendance Fraud

 

Parents who withdraw their children from public school should inform the school of their intentions.

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Education Agency has now implemented its new policy to combat public school attendance fraud by requiring public schools to more fully document whether a withdrawing student intends to homeschool.

Last year, HSLDA alerted Texas homeschoolers that the TEA conducted an audit of public schools and found that some schools in Texas had been classifying dropouts as homeschoolers in order to keep drop-out numbers low. To combat this problem, the TEA is now requiring that when a student is withdrawing from public school, the school must have a signed statement from the parent saying that the student intends to study at home before it can classify them as “withdrawing to homeschool.”

Texas law does not require parents who choose to teach their children at home to file any sort of notice of intent. Thus, the TEA cannot mandate parents to file any such form. However, HSLDA always recommends that parents who withdraw their children from public school inform the school of their intention, lest the sudden absence of the child create grounds for concern. Members can find a sample withdrawal letter on the members-only section of our website. This letter should serve as the parent’s signed statement required by the TEA’s new policy.

Should you encounter any school district that tries to force homeschooling parents to sign any statements regarding the enrollment of their children, please contact HSLDA immediately for assistance.

Sincerely,

Darren Jones, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

Q:

How do I choose curriculum?

A:

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 A Beka, Bob Jones, Calvert.

*Unity 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, Classical Conversations.

*Technological - computer or internet-based study.  Examples are Switched on Schoolhouse or A Beka DVD.

Many families use a combination of styles in thier 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.

Q:

What is Home Run Ministries?

A:

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.

Q:

What is Super Friday?

A:

Super Friday is a dvision of Home Run Ministries that operates an enrichment program with a variety of classes for children 3 - 13 on Friday mornings.  More information can be found on the Home Run website www.homerunministries.com under the Super Friday tab.

Q:

What is HSLDA?

A:

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 resouce for homeschool famililes.  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 ther website at www.hslda.org.

Q:

What is THSC?

A:

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.

Q:

What is dual credit?

A:

Dual credit is part oof Lone Star College's exceptional admissions program designed specifically for highh 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.

Q:

Can I homeschool my special needs child?

A:

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 encounted 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/home-school-resources/special-needs/ has pertinent information on this topic.