All You Need To Know About Homeschooling in TN
If you've decided to homeschool your child in Tennessee for the first time, you probably don’t know where to start.
Not to worry because we will guide you through it! Read this quick guide and learn everything about homeschooling in TN, including how to get started and what is required by the state’s homeschool laws.
- As an independent homeschool
- Under a Church-related umbrella school
- By enrolling your child in an accredited online school
- Submitting a notice of intent to homeschool to the local school district
- Having a high school diploma or GED
- Keeping student attendance records and submitting them to the school district superintendent at the end of the school year
- Submitting proof of vaccination
- Providing four hours of home instruction per day (180 days a year)
Homeschooled children must take standardized tests approved by the state board in the fifth, seventh, and ninth grade. Testing takes place at a local public school, and it’s free, but the parent can also pay for a professional testing service. Tests will assess student's knowledge of the following subjects:
- Language arts
- Social studies
Keep in mind that you have the option of hiring someone else to homeschool your child if you’re too busy to do it by yourself.
Enrolling a child in an umbrella school is the most popular homeschooling option in Tennessee. These schools are run by religious organizations and must adhere to specific standards of accreditation.
The state board of education has no authority over the school's curriculum or operational procedures. According to the law, umbrella schools must:
- Submit details about each student to the school district superintendent
- Comply with state vaccination requirements
- Keep attendance records for each student they teach
- Provide classes for the same number of hours as public schools
Before enrolling your child in an umbrella school, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the cost of tuition?
- Do I need to be a member of a specific church?
- Does the school require a statement of faith?
- What curriculum options are available?
- What extracurricular activities are offered to students?
- What kind of support does the school offer to new students?
Parents choosing to enroll their children in an online school must make sure it is accredited by one of the following regional agencies:
- Cognia (formerly AdvancED)
- MSA—Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- NWAC—Northwest Accreditation Commission
- NAIS—National Association of Independent Schools
- NCPSA—National Council of Private School Accreditation
- NEASC—New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- WASC—Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- MSCES—Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools
- MSCSS—Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools
- NCA CASI—North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
You are free to start homeschooling in Tennessee at any time during the school year. If your child is already enrolled in a public school and you are planning to take them out to homeschool independently, you should notify your school district about it by sending a notice of intent to homeschool.
This way, you’ll prevent potential truancy penalties. If you are enrolling your child in an umbrella school, they will notify the student’s previous school for you.
In case you wish to enroll your child back in a public school after a while, it is possible. Schools might ask you to provide homeschool records (portfolio, transcripts, report cards, etc.) to help them understand at what grade level your child is. They can also organize additional placement testing if necessary.
Joining a homeschool group is the best decision you can make as a homeschooling beginner. As a member, you’ll have many benefits that will make your homeschooling journey easier, including:
- Academic support
- Emotional encouragement
- The opportunity to socialize with other homeschooling families at different events and field trips
Popular Tennessee homeschool groups you may want to join are listed in the table below:
|Blount Home Education Association (BHEA)||Blount County|
|Bradley County Home Educators||Bradley County|
|TennKidsClub||East Tennessee/Knoxville/Oak Ridge|
|Middle Tennessee Home Education Association||Nashville|
A letter of intent to homeschool should include the following information:
- Name, age, and grade level of the homeschooled student
- Location of the school
- Proposed curriculum
- Proposed hours of instruction
- Name and qualifications of the homeschool teacher
To avoid wasting time on drafting this formal document, sign up for DoNotPay. Our app can generate a custom-made notice of intent in no time.
DoNotPay is here to make the beginning of your homeschool journey as simple as possible. We will draft a personalized letter of intent for you in minutes, saving your time and energy.
All you need to do is:
- Open your DoNotPay account
- Access our Notice of Intent to Homeschool product
- Provide us with essential details about yourself and your child
We can send the letter to your school district office, or you can download it and send it yourself. You also have the option to get the letter notarized with our help.
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