Umbrella schools offer homeschoolers some
of the benefits of a traditional private school. Even though the children
study in their individual homes, they all fit under the organizational
umbrella of the school. The school handles records, transcripts, diplomas,
and transfers out of public schools. Some umbrella schools help families
choose their curriculum. Local umbrella schools sometimes offer group activities
for homeschoolers. You might hear a lot about umbrella schools in national
homeschooling publications, because in some states outside of Texas, it
is easier to satisfy legal requirements if you use an umbrella school.
Because of the friendly legal climate in our state, most Texas homeschooling
families do not use umbrella schools; however, some families enjoy
the security and support they receive from these schools.
Here are just a few:
Clonlara (grades K-12) offers online
correspondence classes by computer, and/or assists parents and students
in developing their own curriculum. Particularly helpful for parents who
prefer non-traditional methods of learning, but who want traditional-looking
Austin Home Base provides a middle
ground between homeschooling and private school for kindergarten to 6th
grade. In 3 or 4 days per week, AHB teaches the core academics with a hands-on,
thematic philosophy. Each class is mixed-age and has a maximum of 18 kids
with 2 to 3 teachers, and cost from $5000 and $6000 a year. For more
information, check out their website: www.austinhomebase.org
Moore Foundation, PO Box 1, Camas,
WA 98607, (360) 835-2736. This organization is affiliated with Dr. Raymond
and Dorothy Moore, pioneers in the homeschooling movement and authors of
several homeschooling books.
These are just a few of the correspondence
schools which provide courses that a student completes at home. Tests and
other assignments go to the school for grading. Most of these schools will
provide either individual courses or a full diploma program. Contact the
schools for details about their courses and fees. Please note that the
costs for these programs vary greatly, and it isn't necessary to do any
of them to homeschool successfully.
(conservative Christian education)
A Beka Book, Inc.
P.O. Box 19100
877-A BEKA BOOK (877-223-5226)
Alger Learning Center Independence High
121 Alder Drive
Sedro Woolley, WA 98284
The American School
2200 E. 170th St.
Lansing, IL 60438-9909
Bob Jones University
(conservative Christian education)
1700 Wade Hampton Blvd.
Greenville, SC 29614
10713 Gilroy Road
Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031
Citizens' High School
188 College Drive
P.O. Box 66089
Orange Park, FL 32065-6089
Clonlara (grades K-12)
(offers online classes by computer)
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Grigg's University & International
(formerly Home Study International)
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
ICS Newport/Pacific High School
925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515
800- 238-9525, Ext. 7821 for a free information
packet or to enroll.
Keystone National High School
920 Central Road
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
(Waldorf educational philosophy)
PO Box 1346
Brattleboro, VT 05302
Seton School (Catholic education)
1350 Progress Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630
(Christian-based educational materials)
2179 Meyer Place
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Texas Tech University
High School, Middle School, and Elementary
This one has the advantage of it being
part of the Texas ISD, so that if you are sure you want to transfer back
to a public school all the courses completed here are fully transferable.
Lubbock, Texas 79409-2191
University of Texas at Austin, Independent
P.O. Box 7700
Austin, TX 78713-7700
232-5000 (outside of Austin, call 888-232-4723)
Reading for Parents
Before you start educating your children,
you'll need to spend some time educating yourself about homeschooling.
No, you do not have to read all of these books before getting started,
but try to read at least three or four of them. Different authors promote
entirely different approaches, so it is very helpful to see the range of
possibilities that exist before deciding which way is best for your family.
These are a few of
the books, magazines, and publications recommended by AAH members. Many
books about homeschooling can be found in the Austin Public Library system.
Some are listed under "domestic education" in the subject catalog rather
than "homeschooling." If the Austin Public Library does not own a particular
book, you can often borrow it usually through interlibrary loan.
Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace
Llewellyn (APL 371.042 LL)
And What About College? by Cafi
Cohen (APL 371.042 CO)
Better Than School by Nancy Wallace
(APL 649.68 WA)
Child's Work: Taking Children's Choices
Seriously by Nancy Wallace
For the Children's Sake by Susan
Schaeffer Macaulay (APL 370.1931 MA)
Homeschooling for Excellence by
David and Micki Colfax (APL 649.68 CO) These are the folks who have
been on national television because their homeschooled sons were admitted
Homeschooling Book of Answers by
I Learn Better by Teaching Myself
by Agnes Leistico (649.68 LE)
Teach Your Own by John Holt (APL
649.68 HO) (or any of Holt's books on education)
The Well Trained Mind by Wise and
Wise Bauer (APL 371.0420973 WI c. 1999 or 371.0420973 BA c.
Newspapers and Magazines
newspapers for kids of different grade
Weekly Reader Corporation
3001 Cindel Drive
Delran, NJ 08075
National Geographic Kids
Monthly science and geography magazine
1-800- 647 5463
monthly magazine about animals
Wildlife Education, Ltd.
4110 Progress Blvd.
Peru, IL 61354
for Standardized Tests
You control your private school and
are not required to administer tests.
These tests are for your use, and you
decide if you want to give them or how to use the results.
Bob Jones University Press, 1700
Wade Hampton Blvd,
Greenville, SC 29614
Christian Liberty Academy, 502 W
Euclid Ave, Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Clonlara School, 1289 Jewett, Ann
Arbor, MI 48104,
Seton School, 1350 Progress Drive,
Front Royal, VA 22630
Family Learning Organization, PO
Box 7247, Spokane, WA 99207-0247 (509) 467-2552, credit card orders: 1-800-405-TEST
Obtain copies of back versions of the TAKS
tests and answer keys, which are used in Texas public schools at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index3.aspx?id=3839&menu_id3=793
We could not possibly list all the homeschooling
resources on the Internet. Here are some of the sites that link to many
quality homeschool sites.
Austin Area Homeschoolers information is
available on this site maintained by one of our members: http://www.main.org/aah/
Growing Without Schooling, John Holt's
Book Store. Information about homeschooling and unschooling. http://www.holtgws.com/
Home Education Magazine. For their free
Online Newsletter, visit their web site at: http://www.homeedmag.com/
Jon's Homeschool Resource Page links to
many online homeschooling sites:
A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling Web Site.
Extensive information about different homeschooling styles, resources,
record-keeping, and answers to frequent questions: http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/
Richard Shalvoy's site. Information and
links to curriculum vendors, schools, retailers, used curricula. http://members.cox.net/ct-homeschool/guide.htm
T.A.F.F.I.E. (Texas Advocates for Freedom
in Education) - The TAFFIE mailing list is for anyone interested in topics
related to homeschooling in Texas and offers a wide range of perspectives
and beliefs. While most topics are specific to Texas, there are also general
homeschooling topics. Taffie has both an announcement list for events and
a general discussion list. Website includes news, statewide events, legal
information, listings of local support groups, co-ops, music and sports
programs, recommended book lists by topic, and resource links. For further
information including instructions for joining the lists, visit http://www.jsoft.com/archive/taffie/
Texas Home Educators: The Place to Start
Your Search for Home Schooling! Starting with Legal information and articles
for newbies, the site includes Support Group Listing, Calendar of Events,
Home School Mall, Bookstore, along with over 1000 lesson plan links. With
the inclusion of bulletin boards, chats and lists, you can have all your
questions answered here.
Perry-Casteneda Library. The Perry-Castaneda
Library at the University of Texas has textbooks and thousands of other
books, including a Youth section. Nonstudents can obtain a courtesy card
to check out books; anyone can use the books on the premises. Call 495-4305
to apply for a nonstudent courtesy card; the fee is $100 per year or contact
the Austin Public Library for information on using UT's libraries through
the TEXSHARE card program.
Telescope viewing is available at the University
of Texas on Friday & Saturday nights except when UT has a home night
Area Stores and Discounts
Several Austin stores offer discounts
to educators, including homeschoolers. Some of these stores have more than
one location, so check the phone book for the stores nearest you. If a
store does not advertise an educator's discount, ask.
If a bookstore offers
an educato's discount, you may need to show some proof that you are a teacher.
Some clerks may accept a hardcopy of "AAH News" as verification.
Sometimes they ask for a teacher's ID, while other times they do not. Find
out how to make an ID (for you & your students) here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aah-announce/files/Sample
Forms/. You need to be a aah-announce subscriber to access this
Some of the stores
will issue you an educator's ID. After one of the bookstore chains gives
you such a card, the other chains will probably accept that as proof of
your status as a homeschooler. Apparently some store managers think that
people who are not actually homeschoolers are taking unfair advantage of
this discount, so they want to make sure that it is used as intended.
Most discounts are
only for classroom materials. Public school teachers get a discount for
items they will use in their classroom, but not for every book they purchase,
so that is the model used for homeschoolers also. At these stores, it works
best if you answer all their questions before they even ask. Separate your
purchases into 2 piles: classroom materials and other purchases. You can
say, "These are curriculum (or classroom) materials for use in our homeschool.
Here is my ID card." The key words are "curriculum/classroom materials."
Remember, though, that all of your children's reading material can be considered
curriculum material. Their science fiction novels and computer magazines
are just as much curriculum as their Shakespearean plays! Do be sure to
separate out materials that are NOT for your child's education. The clerks
always appreciate this honesty (and once in a while, they go ahead and
give you the discount on all your books anyway). Barnes & Noble, Borders,
and Half-Price books have educator discount programs.
Goodwill Bookstores. Used books,
including some textbooks.
Check in the phone book under "School Supplies."
Stores listed there cater to school teachers, and they have many materials
you might want to use.