July 9 2020

So You Think You Want To Homeschool?

I recently had the pleasure to host two homeschool informational meetings on zoom due to the overwhelming number of requests many people have had thanks to Covid19.

Here is a recap.  I hope it not only helps you in making a decision but that it encourages you as well.

In my 20 years of homeschooling, I have experienced the good, the bad, the ugly, but also the blessings of homeschooling.

Warning!!!  This is long, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and stay awhile.


If you live in Texas, you may find the state’s requirements and regulations at www.THSC.org

This is also where you will find the template letter you will need to withdraw your child from public school.  https://thsc.org/sending-a-withdrawal-email/

If your child has never been in public school, there is no need to withdraw!

Outside of Texas, please visit www.HSLDA.org


If you are in the northern Houston area, Humble, Kingwood, Porter, New Caney, etc. I HIGHLY suggest you join H.E.A.R.T.  https://www.homeschool-life.com/506/


This group was my lifeline!  By God’s grace and the support of everyone in H.E.A.R.T., my homeschool journey of over 20 years has been possible!  It is only $30 per year for your entire family to join.  This is where you will find play dates at parks, field trips, academic classes, and other enrichment classes.  They also have a forum where questions are posted and where curriculum can be sold and purchased.  Being a member of H.E.A.R.T. will also give you a discount on membership with Texas Home School Coalition and Home School Legal Defense.  Lots of benefits!


Again, if you live in Texas, you will also want to join Texas Home School Coalition at www.THSC.org.  There are tons of benefits to this membership as well.  The biggest benefit is legal representation.



Pre-school & Kindergarten

  • How much time can I expect to spend with my child?

Formally, no more than 2 hours throughout the day.  Break it up into 20-minute segments.


  • What do I teach my child?

Focus on the three Rs:  Reading wRiting, and aRithmetic!

Read to your child aloud a lot!!!  Aloud!!!  Yes, even if your child can read!!!  Check out Read Aloud Revival at https://readaloudrevival.com/

Writing– By writing, I don’t mean your child needs to be writing essays!  Here is where you teach them the names and sounds of the letters.  Have your child do copy work.  Depending on their age, you may need to start with a simple phrase like “God is love.”  From that, explain certain words are capitalized, why we have spaces between words, and punctuation.  There is so much here, I could do an entire class on it!

Arithmetic is just learning numbers, shapes, and basic adding with fun objects or coins.


  • What curriculum do you recommend?

This all depends on your teaching style and your child’s learning style.  Most boys don’t do well with workbooks, and neither does a girl who is active and wiggly.  For this age group, my favorites are Five In A Row  https://fiveinarow.com/  and

Sonlight http://www.sonlight.com/rewards/FR20179261  If you decide to purchase Sonlight, please use my reference ID # FR20179261


  • One of the best parts of our homeschool week was Super Friday!  My kids attended Super Friday from the time they were old enough until they aged out and then went on to work there.  Super Friday offers enrichment classes such as fencing, cake decorating, dance, art, and so much more.  Check out www.HomeRunMinistries.com for more information.



  • How much time can I expect to spend with my child?

As your child gets older and is beginning to be introduced to more difficult concepts, the time will increase.  There will be seasons in which your child will grasp concepts without a problem and your school day will be short.  However, there will be times when your child will be challenged and a concept may take a little longer to understand and master.  This is the beauty of homeschooling!!!


  • What do I teach my child?

In the state of Texas, the only subjects required are per THSC’s website:

“The curriculum must include the five basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and good citizenship.

Good citizenship is similar to civics. Public schools teach one semester of civics, usually in the senior year of high school. Teaching U.S. and Texas history, government (theoretical and practical), the Pledge of Allegiance, and similar activities will also help meet this requirement. THSC provides several ways to help you meet this requirement (see resource box below).”

For more information, please visit their website.


  • What curriculum do you recommend?

This is when you start to realize what type of learner your child is.  With that said, I can share my favorite curriculum, but it all depended on each child.


My oldest, a girl, started reading at 3, and by the time she was 5, she was reading chapter books.  Her reading speed, vocabulary, and reading comprehension were her strengths, but she always struggled in math.

For her, Sonlight was heaven!!!  I’m not exaggerating. 

The moment the box filled with books came in, she devoured them.  Sonlight covered our Bible, History, Reading, and Literature.

For science, we loved Apologia.

Spelling Power for spelling was the best for all my kids.  This curriculum will take you all the way through 12th grade!

Because she was my first child, I used Abeka for grammar, but I NEVER had her do all the questions.  Abeka is designed for classroom use; therefore, it has a lot of busy work.  When using this curriculum, I only had my kids do anywhere between 5 to 10 of the questions to see if they grasped the material.  If they did, great!  Move on!  If they didn’t, we would stop, go over more instruction, and do more problems.  I was later introduced to Easy Grammar and Fix It Grammar (IEW).  I prefer these over Abeka.


Middle and High School

  • How much time can I expect to spend with my child?

In middle school, your job is to work yourself out of your teaching job!  Yes!  Allow more independent learning and allow for your child to take ownership and responsibility for what he/she is learning.  The goal is to teach your child to teach themselves!  This is what will make them successful after high school whether he goes to college or trade school.

  • What do I teach my child?

Well, that depends.  What does your child want to do after high school?  Does he want to go to trade school, Jr. college, 4-year university, grad school, etc.?

Here are the requirements from the state:  https://tea.texas.gov/academics/graduation-information/state-graduation-requirements

I am not even going to try to recreate the wheel.  The best place to go to plan your child’s high school years is HSLDA.org


  • What curriculum do you recommend?

My favorite is still Sonlight! (see comment above)

For writing, in my opinion, there is nothing better than IEW.


This is also when I started to outsource several classes.  If you are in the Kingwood/Humble/Porter area, I recommend you look into Home Run Ministries.  www.HomeRunMinistries.com

For specific questions on this program, please contact:




At HRM, my kids were able to take several of their core classes such as math, science, history, etc.

Once I felt my kids were ready for college-level classes, I enrolled them into Lone Star College where they were able to take dual-credit classes.  This was a huge money saver!  When my oldest two graduated from high school, one had over 30 credit hours, and the other one had over 40 credit hours.  Those are classes they didn’t have to take at Baylor (daughter) or LeTourneau (son) which is where they chose to attend.

For more details, check out this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvRBBZUVtK0&list=PL72Iz-_c0cCHRmAKxlrEke6auXmNWc5rs&index=5&t=483s




  • Under state law, you are not required to take any standardized tests.  You can breathe.  You can focus on teaching and not toward passing a test!

I personally had my children take the Stanford Achievement Test every other year at the most until they were in middle school.  Test scores from this test are only sent to you, not the state.  The purpose of this test is to see if your child might need more focus on a particular area, BUT do not allow this test to define you or your child.  Home Run Ministries administers this test once a year in May.  Please contact them directly for more information.



According to www.collegeboard.org, the PSAT is…

“The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is a standardized test administered by the College Board and co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation in the United States.”

Note that the only year the PSAT counts is your junior year.  Personally, I had my children start taking this test in 8th grade.


Both the SAT and ACT are college entrance exams.  More information on these can be found on collegeboard.org and https://www.act.org/

I had my kids start taking these during their sophomore year.


What about prom and graduation?

Most homeschool support groups put together a prom and a graduation ceremony!


What about sports?

There are many homeschool teams in the area that offer a variety of sports such as track & field, basketball, baseball, etc.

Other Resources

The Homeschool Store off 249  http://thehomeschoolstore.com/

Moms Rest Stop (MRS)- During Super Friday  www.HomeRunMinistries.com

Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie  https://www.christianbook.com/teaching-rest-homeschoolers-guide-unshakable-peace/sarah-mackenzie/9781600512872/pd/512872


Well, I know this is a lot of info, and I know that after reading all this, you will only have more questions.  That is perfectly fine.  Leave your questions in the comments and I will try to answer them as quickly as I can.  After all, I do have a full-time job as a homeschool mamma!

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Posted July 9, 2020 by pottershandhome in category "Homeschooling