Do I have to register with the school district?

posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:24 PM by Michelle Kretzschmar

No. If your child has never attended school in the district, you are not required to contact them. Think of having enrolled your child in a private school. You wouldn’t notify the district in such a case and the private school is not sending them any information either.

If you are withdrawing your child from school, you do not have to register your child or curriculum with the district. Again, think private school. Public schools do not ask private schools to submit their curriculums for approval. They do not consider children in private school truant. They do not ask you for attendance records.

What are the benefits of membership in SA-HERO?

posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:24 PM by Michelle Kretzschmar

Members will have access to the equipment lending library, mentoring, a San Antonio Homeschool Directory, and an ID Card. We are also planning a Homeschool Roundup of individuals and support groups, a homeschool band, an Odyssey of the Mind team, homeschool information sessions, and an academic competition team.

All services and activities are contingent on enrolling members and volunteers. The services we selected are based on the results of our survey. Some services, such as the equipment library, require a certain level of funding for purchasing equipment. Others, such as the directory, require volunteers to collect the information. Therefore, if no one joins or volunteers, nothing happens! We will be posting our membership and volunteer goals along with their status on the website.

Is SA-HERO a support group?

posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:23 PM by Michelle Kretzschmar

No. SA-HERO does not intend to replace support groups or coops. Our goal is to act as referral for individuals new to homeschooling or new to the San Antonio area to the various homeschool groups. And while it's part of SA-HERO's mission to operate without regard to religion or philosophy, we don't expect this to be true of support groups. We want to know if a group has a statement of faith or is geared for teaching only a certain curriculum. This way we can refer individuals to appropriate support groups. If a support group only wants purple martians we need to know so when a purple martian shows up we can tell it where to go.

Our goal is to focus on providing resources and services that are beyond the scope of any one support group.

Do I have to buy curriculum?

posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:22 PM by Michelle Kretzschmar

You do not have to buy curriculum to homeschool. You do not have to have a "set" curriculum to homeschool. Your child will not be truant if withdraw her to homeschool without having purchased a curriculum.

According to the Commissioner's April 20, 2004 Home School Policy Letter,

"Students should be disenrolled by school officials when they receive written notice either by signing withdrawal forms or sending a letter of withdrawal. It is not necessary for the parents to make a personal appearance with school officials or present curriculum for review." (emphasis included in original document)

You are only required to provide a curriculum is designed to meet basic education goals including reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and a study of good citizenship. Furthermore, your curriculum may consist

"of books, workbooks, or written materials including that which appears on an electronic screen of either a computer or video tape monitor, or any combination of the preceding from (1) either one of a private or parochial school which exists apart from the child home or (2) which has been devloped or obtained from any source.." Final Judgement Leeper et al v. Arlington et al (Austin Area Homeschoolers)

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) is available on the TEA website and covers all grades. This is the state curriculum for Texas which "appears on an electronic screen." So don't panic and don't be bullied about your curriculum.

Is it legal?

posted Apr 23, 2009, 1:19 PM by Michelle Kretzschmar

The following is some friendly, non-legal advice based other homeschooler’s experiences.

Yes. Homeschooling is legal in Texas. You are considered a private school in Texas. And in Texas, of course, private schools are unregulated. This means that public school officials can not request to review or approve your curriculum. The Texas education code describes the exemption from compulsory school attendance as follows:

Title 2. Public Education; Subtitle E. Students and Parents; Chapter 25. Admission, Transfer, and Attendance Subchapter 25. Admission and Enrollment 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;

Also note the following part of the exemption:

(b) This section does not relieve a school district in which a child eligible to participate in the district's special education program resides of its fiscal and administrative responsibilities under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, or of its responsibility to provide a free appropriate public education to a child with a disability.

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