Tennessee Homeschool Laws
What are the requirements for homeschooling in Tennessee?
Tennessee homeschool law outlines 3 specific ways that families can educate their child(ren) from home:
- Registering as an independent homeschool
- Registering with a church-related umbrella school
- Enrolling in an accredited online school
This page will detail more about these options and will guide parents and students toward the key requirements for homeschooling in Tennessee.
- Tennessee Homeschool Laws
- Switching from Public School to Homeschool
- Homeschool Record Keeping in Tennessee
- Tennessee Homeschool Graduation Requirements
- Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Tennessee
*This should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
Tennessee Home School Regulations
The compulsory attendance law in Tennessee relates to children who are between the ages of 7 and 16 It is completely legal in the state for families to meet those requirements by educating their children at home. The large majority of families who homeschool choose the option to sign up with an umbrella school in Tennessee. These schools offer a variety of services to homeschooling families, including curriculum options, assistance with record keeping, and social and educational activities for students.
Full details and additional links relating to the home education laws for Tennessee can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Requirements to register as an independent homeschool
To homeschool under the “Independent Home School” option you need to:
- Provide annual notice prior to each school year (Parent/instructor must possess a High School Diploma or GED)
- Maintain attendance records and send to Director of Schools at the end of the school year
- Submit proof of vaccination
- Standardized tests for grade 5, 7 and 9
Requirements to register with a church-related umbrella school
Families may begin homeschooling in Tennessee at any point in the school year. For families choosing the umbrella school option, Tennessee homeschool requirements do not mandate any kind of notification to their local school district. For full details on this option go to our umbrella schools page.
Requirements to enroll in an accredited online school
To homeschool under the “Accredited Online School” option you need to:
- Ensure that the school you choose has legitimate accreditation status (it must be accredited by either the AdvancED, SACS CASI, NCA CASI, NWAC, MSA, MSCES, MSCSS, NEASC, WASC, NAIS or NCPSA)
- Provide evidence to your local school district that your student(s) is/are enrolled with an accredited online school
Switching from Public School to Homeschool
If your student is already enrolled in a Tennessee public school when you make the decision to homeschool, it is a good idea to let the school know. If you are enrolling in an umbrella school, you may want to check the school’s policy on notifications; many of them notify the student’s previous school for you once you’ve enrolled. If you are homeschooling independently, though, you can prevent any potential truancy confusion by sending your school a letter or email letting them know that you are formally withdrawing your child in order to begin homeschooling.
Homeschool Record Keeping in Tennessee
In general, records for umbrella school students in TN are kept by the schools themselves. However, there are good reasons for families to track their own progress as well. If, at some point, an umbrella school ceased operation, homeschoolers might not have access to their grades, attendance records, or transcripts. Therefore, both for families homeschooling independently and those enrolled in umbrella schools, it’s a good idea to keep a comprehensive homeschool portfolio. The types of records you might want to maintain include:
- attendance records
- grades or progress reports
- results of any standardized testing
- high school transcript
Tennessee Homeschool Graduation Requirements
The conditions for homeschool graduation in Tennessee depend on which option you are choosing to homeschool under. If you are registering with an umbrella school or using an online school, then the graduation requirements will be decided by those entities. For those families homeschooling independently, though, you may be surprised to find that most of the requirements are up to you.
Even though most homeschoolers in TN register via a church-related umbrella school, it may not be enough to depend wholly on that school’s graduation checklist. To make sure your homeschooler is fully prepared for their future, it’s important to discuss with your teen his or her post-secondary goals. If they are college bound, for instance, you’ll want to research the criteria for admission for several schools your homeschooler may be interested in attending and double-check that they are meeting all the benchmarks along the way.
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
For most families, the decision to homeschool is a year-to-year one. At some point, you may wish to terminate your homeschool and enroll your child back in the public (or private) school system. There are no specific laws relating to how to transfer from homeschool to public school in TN. If you are enrolled in an umbrella school, you will certainly want to contact the school to end your enrollment and obtain all your records. You may want to provide those records to the public school you are enrolling in, to help them better understand what level your child is working at. Ultimately, though, it is the school principal who will determine what grade level to place your child into when he or she returns. It is also up to the individual schools to determine if your assessments and standardized tests are acceptable or if they will require your child to take additional placement testing upon registration.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Tennessee
Have other questions about homeschooling in Tennessee? You may find the following pages helpful.