Home Schooling in Tennessee
In Tennessee, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education.
Parents in Tennessee may choose to home school their own children in grades K - 12. The Tennessee Home School law (Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-6-3050) states: "A home school is a school conducted or directed by a parent or parents or a legal guardian or guardians for their own children."
Parents desiring to home school their own children may do so by choosing one of three options: independent home school, church-related umbrella school, or accredited online school. Each option has different requirements for the parent or guardian, offering considerable flexibility to find what works best for your family.
More information regarding legal requirements, homeschooling options, and frequently asked questions can be found at http://www.tn.gov/
For additional questions email [email protected].
Local Home School Coordinators
Additional questions and concerns can be directed to the homeschool coordinator for your local school district. This is your primary point of contact with your local schools, which is especially important for independent homeschoolers who are required to submit certain documentation annually and periodically participate in standardized testing. The Homeschool Coordinators for our local school districts are listed below, and others across the state can be found at http://www.tn.gov/
Millington Municipal Schools
Millington, TN 38053
Phone: (901) 873-5680
Covington, TN 38019
Phone: (901) 475-5961
Fax: (901) 476-4870
Memphis, TN 38112
Phone: (901) 416-6884
Fax: (901) 416.8476
Independent Homeschooling in Tennessee
- Provide annual notice to the local director of schools prior to each school year of the parent-teacher’s intent to conduct a home school and, for the purpose of reporting only, submission to the director of schools of the names, number, ages and grade levels of the children to be home schooled, the location of the school, the proposed curriculum to be offered, the proposed hours of instruction and the qualifications of the parent-teacher;
- Maintain attendance records and submit these records to the Director of Schools at the end of each school year; and
- Submit proof of vaccination and receipt of any health services or examinations as required by law.
Families choosing this educational option should begin by contacting their local homeschool coordinator. The parent/guardian will be required to complete an Intent to Home School form and provide evidence of a high school diploma or GED. Student attendance (at least 4 hours per day, 180 days per year) must be reported to the local school district at the end of the school year. Testing of independent home school students is required in grades 5, 7, and 9 and can be coordinated through the local school district.
Intent to Home School forms and calendars for recording attendance are available at http://www.tn.gov/.
Church-Related Umbrella Schools
In addition to independent homeschooling, parents in Tennessee may also home school their own children by registering with a church-related "umbrella" school defined by Tennessee Code Annotated § 49-50-801. Parents who choose this option will be required to provide evidence to the local school district that their child is enrolled in a church-related school. Generally the umbrella school will contact your school district and provide proof of enrollment directly, but contact your chosen umbrella school to verify whether any paperwork or documentation is required. The church-related school will determine record keeping and test requirements for students enrolled in an umbrella program. Some umbrella schools require standardized testing similar to what is required of independent homeschoolers, other umbrellas do not. Umbrella schools may also provide additional services or have specific requirements, such as offering co-op classes and a support line for parents/guardians, or requiring specific curriculum to be taught, so research several programs to determine which umbrella school will best fit your needs.
A good overview of how Church-Related Umbrella Schools function and a list of 34 different options available in Tennessee can be found here:
Accredited Online Schools
Parents may also enroll their child in an accredited online school. According to tn.gov, parents choosing this educational option must be sure to determine that the school has legitimate accreditation status and will be required to provide evidence to the local school district that their child is enrolled in an accredited online school. Online schools generally determine the curriculum and how and when it is taught, maintain all records and documentation for the student, and typically submit all necessary paperwork directly to the state. This can simplify homeschooling for the parent or guardian, but reduces parental control over materials and scheduling.
A partial list of accredited online schools is provided by tn.gov is available here: Category III Online Schools