You can do this!
There is no need to wait.
You can start today.
As a parent, you will always have the best interest of your child at heart.
There is no requirement for you to wait until the end of a school year to begin homeschooling. You must do what is best for your child.
First things first, get legal.
You really have two primary options to homeschool in Tennessee. (There is a 3rd option that we will discuss below) You must be a parent or legal guardian of the child you are registering. (You may employ a tutor to do some or all of the teaching.)
Option 1) Enroll with an "umbrella school" which is a term used to define a Category IV Church-Related Private School in the Tennessee Laws.
Option 2) Homeschool independently through your county Local Education Authority (LEA)
If you select Option 1 and you have students currently enrolled in public school, in order to avoid unnecessary truancy inquires, we recommend you first enroll with an umbrella school. Find out if the umbrella school is accepting students and how long it takes to register. Umbrella schools have different requirements for registering so you will need to check websites or call the school to find one that fits your needs. Once you are enrolled and accepted, if necessary, by the umbrella school you can withdraw your child from the old school, giving back any school property you may have. The umbrella school is responsible for requesting your records. They will also notify the county LEA for you. The umbrella school should help you choose curriculum and keep records for you. Most homeschoolers in Tennessee choose this option as it gives them less contact with the state and more flexibility and support.
For Option 2 you will withdraw your student from school as in option 1. You will be responsible for notifying your county LEA. A school system county administrator is usually designated in this roll and should provide you with the requirements. Standardized testing is required by the state with this option at the periods same as public school students in line with their grade level. You will need to submit a yearly attendance form and no school records will be kept for your child.
*If standardized testing is not a good fit for your family, we encourage you to find an umbrella school that gives you the flexibility to measure your child’s success in an appropriate manner. Some umbrella schools will require the same standardized testing as public schools some do not require testing.
There is a 3rd option to enroll with an accredited distance learning school. The school needs to be approved by the TN Department of Education and you will need to make sure the school is keeping attendance and notifies your county LEA. Many times this option is paired with the umbrella school option to ensure the state requirements are being met and documentation can be provided.
Once you fulfill one of these requirements according to state law you will have the honorary title of "Homeschooler" and join the ranks of many other families enjoying time together and the fruit of their labor.