It's no secret that homeschooling is a challenge that not every parent can tackle. It takes a parent or guardian that's committed to providing their child with an educational experience that supports their future successes. You have to consider many components when your child is homeschooled, but by far, the most important is the type of program you provide for them.
There's already a stigma around children that are homeschooled, many believing that they don't receive the same education that children in a public or private school receive. And to some degree, they're right; homeschooled students can receive an even better education than others.
The key is finding a program that provides you with a full-spectrum lesson plan while also highlighting topics and a structure that is in alignment with what your child needs to thrive.
As homeschool experts, we've searched to find resources to help you and your child's educational planning. In this article, you'll find some of the best homeschooling programs that are compliant with Texas homeschooling laws, learn what they include, and where you can access more information on them.
What To Look For in A Program
Don't just settle on the first program that you find. The truth is not all programs are equal, and some may not be the right fit for your child. While most programs include basic subjects, some offer your child a much richer learning experience.
What Does the Homeschool Curriculum Include?
Did you know that even when you homeschool your child, there's a chance that they still need to follow a standard curriculum? Luckily, there's still plenty of freedom to be had when putting together lesson plans. First, you want to make sure your state doesn't have any required subjects or topics.
Texas homeschool law states that your child is required to learn:
Other than that, you have free range to include more niche material.
Do you want a lesson plan that's religion based? For example, there are many Christian-oriented programs that are great for anyone going that route. If not, you'll want to find one with no religious affiliations.
What is the Cost of the program?
Public education is free, making it an easy choice for most parents. Honestly, you can't really get around investing funds into your child's home school education. That doesn't mean you have to spend tons of money but be prepared to purchase things like a new computer, writing utensils, notebooks, and an online curriculum if you choose to go that route.
Regardless of your child's age, you can find the right curriculum for them through Oak Meadow. This program allows you to choose between the print and digital program in the following subjects, English, social studies/history, science, math, composition, literature, health and physical education, and fine arts--depending on the age and school year of your child.
Oak Meadow is a comprehensive program that offers additional independent and signature programs to choose from. These are great if your child is participating in a hybrid learning experience. Don't be afraid to customize your child's learning. If you want to pull from multiple programs, feel free--it's within your right!
Acellus Academy is a super helpful program that provides your child with a curriculum and helps keep them on track. What if whenever your child was struggling with a topic or subject, their program was able to pick up on it? With Acellus Academy, this is possible!
As your child moves through the curriculum, the program is constantly reviewing their work and determining whether they have all the necessary information. Students receive lessons based on where they're at in their progress, helping them to have enough time to learn topics fully.
Acellus also includes captivating video lessons that keep your child engaged and create a fun way for them to learn and excel in their work.
Monarch is a Christian-based curriculum available for students in Texas. The curriculum starts in third grade and is available through senior year. Monarch is superior because it provides you with five essential subjects that cover anywhere from mathematics, history and even the Bible.
As a Christian-based learning tool, Monarch incorporates biblical elements throughout the other curriculum subjects. The entire course is available online, user-friendly, and fully customizable.
One of the best features of using Monarch is its automatic grading system. About 85% of your child's work is automatically graded by the program, and this helps you make sure they're staying on track with their work and helps you identify any areas that need to be revisited quickly.
Independent vs. Co-Ops
Are you planning to self-teach your child at home, or do you want to enroll them in a homeschooled environment with other children?
There's no right or wrong answer here. First, check in with your child and see what they'd prefer. If they're an only child, chances are they won't want to spend most of their days at home without any other children around. If they have siblings or prefer an independent learning environment, no problem.
Homeschooling in Texas allows you to join a co-op of other families who have opted to take their education into their own hands. When you begin homeschooling, being part of a co-op can be extremely helpful. Keeping up with Texas homeschool laws and complying with your Texas education agency is important, and with the help of other families and their experience, you'll have an easier transition.
Another benefit of co-ops is having more resources available to you. Other homeschooling families might have knowledge on a particular topic and offer a group class for your child to join. Field trips, parties, and presentations are also another reason why joining a co-op may benefit you and your child. Even though your child isn't in a local school district, why not let them have some fun and socialize with other kids?
Why Homeschool Programs Are Superior
The programs outlined in this article allow you to legally homeschool your child on your own terms. Have a child that doesn't wake up until later in the morning? No problem. Having an online curriculum means your child can learn at a pace and schedule that works for you and your family.
Also keep in mind that all states have their own requirements. You'll find that homeschooling in Texas is very different than homeschooling in NJ or any other state.
Online programs also allow your child to reflect back on subject matter that is challenging and can repeat lessons in real-time. Imagine asking a teacher if they can restart the entire class in public or private schools--this just wouldn't work.
Public school is also required to include very dry lessons that don't veer too much into special niches or topics that aren't commonly known. Does your child have a special interest that you want to incorporate into their day? Or, is there subject matter you remember learning growing up but no longer taught in traditional schools? Homeschooling gives you the freedom to say what's important and what's not.