Homeschooling in Tennessee
Hi, my name is Allison and I homeschool in Tennessee. My husband and I knew we wanted to homeschool even before we had children. One of the main reasons is that my husband never fit right in the school system. We agreed we would make it work, research the curricula, and find ones that fit. Then we had twins and, while our life is busy, an online choice makes homeschooling a lot more fun. The eldest is 8, and we have five school-aged kids (8,7,7 [with autism], 5 and 5).
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Tennessee, articles, and state-specific resources, you can also visit one of these sites:
Legal disclaimer: This section is one family's story and how they meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Tennessee. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.
Finding Support and Resources in Tennessee
There are great sources of support both on the state level and locally for homeschoolers in Tennessee. You can go to the Homeschooling in Tennessee website to find your local support group chapter. The local YMCA was a resource for us. Always check your local library -- the number of programs there are amazing! And do not think that just because it is small, it does not have a website. Thanks to federal funding, even very small libraries do. We participate in a local email group; blogs have not become popular yet in the East Tennessee area. We also have a loose network of homeschooling parents in our area.
How We Homeschool in Tennessee
We feel that homeschooling in Tennessee is a good choice for us because we have such a large family. We have found outlets for activities with other families through the local YMCA, a local dojo that teaches Isshinryu karate, which our boys just love, and a local school system which is very amicable to homeschoolers. We work in cooperation with our local school district. We file papers with them on a yearly basis and also have contact with them during the school year.
Homeschooling in Tennessee for younger children requires keeping attendance and schooling for a minimum of 180 days, four hours a day. There is some testing starting at fifth grade, but our eldest is not there yet. At high school age, you need to have a four year degree to homeschool. There is also a separate rule for church or umbrella schools.
We tend to rise early. Each child gets up at their own time and plays till around 10 a.m., then we break out the school work. My husband often works until late and is going to school for an M.B.A., so letting them start late and run into dinner time allows us to do more stuff as a family in the evening. We seldom do just four hours of work; we usually find ourselves still working until 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. We both get involved, which makes it a lot more fun. It is easy to get the younger boys involved with computer work on Time4Learning. They are playing games as they learn to read. Our older boys who can read enjoy the math games the best. Time flies by for us -- I have my food alarms set so I remember to prepare meals! We supplement the T4L with Singapore Math and also with a library of books suggested in the Time4Learning exercises. If there is one thing we cannot stress enough is keeping that book list and getting those books! Many can be found at very little cost, sometimes a penny plus shipping, at Amazon.com, and often they are the library editions.
Additional supplementation is typically done through their interests, and occasionally we find unit studies. Our eldest, for example, likes joining his father for work, and we plan on getting him a laptop as he has already played around a little with coding with his dad. Another one of our children is very interested in being a director, so if this interest continues until his birthday, we are looking to get him a kid's video camera to start with and see what happens. Another benefit of having them homeschooled is they don't give up on their dream as easy. Our eldest often likes to imagine growing up to be a superhero. When he said this at a group event with other kids, one of them laughed and told him he couldn't be that. He came right back and explained how Iron Man was a scientist and an engineer and it was his inventions that gave him his powers, next thing you know the cynics were joining him in his dream.
My daughter always liked learning, but Time4Learning has turned "like" into love! I've never seen her so excited to do lessons, before!
It's amazing how quickly my kids are learning difficult concepts. The animation really helps them apply the lessons to something tangible!
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
Time4Learning's experience shows that there is no single, best homeschool material. Rather than feeling torn between homeschool resources, parents should select a diverse blend of materials and activities.
For families with more than one child, choosing a homeschool program can be more problematic. What works for one child may not work for another. What works for one subject may not work on the next. What works one year, may fall flat the very next year.
Some of the features that make Time4Learning so successful include:
Time4Learning is proven effective with homeschoolers, has a low monthly price, is easy-to-use, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your children!
Sign up for Time4Learning as part of your overall homeschool program.
If you have any more questions or comments about homeschooling in Tennessee, head over to the Tennessee Parent Forum.
Some Helpful Tools and Resources
Welcome to Homeschooling Guide - Are you new to homeschooling? This guide was written by seasoned homeschoolers to answer some of the difficult questions new families often struggle with.
Curriculum Lesson Plans - An overview of the number of lessons that are included for each grade and subject. All students have access to at least 2 (and in most cases 3) grade levels of curriculum for each subject, so they can move ahead or review at their own pace.
Homeschool Portfolio Information - Answers common questions about homeschool portfolios and evaluations. It includes tips on organization methods, what to include and how Time4Learning can be used as part of your homeschool portfolio.
The Lesson Activity Finder - One of the many helpful tools that Time4Learning offers its members. The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons or find extra practice for their child. You can visit our hints and help section for more information about the activity finder.
Lesson Planning Worksheet - Wondering how many lessons to have your child do each day? Estimate the number of activities per day using this easy to use, printable worksheet.
Online Parent's Forum - Reach out to homeschoolers in your area, join discussions, ask questions and trade ideas on our online community of homeschooling parents. Having the support of seasoned homeschoolers can really help make your homeschooling journey a success.
Sign up for Time4Learning and gain access to a variety of educational materials, which will engage and challenge your child to succeed. Make Time4Learning a part of your children's homeschool resources.