This video provides a general overview of homeschooling. You can find the entire homeschooling law at the state of Tennessee's website, along with a lot of FAQs: https://www.tn.gov/education/topic/home-schooling-in-tn
In a nutshell, here are the steps you will need to take to begin educating your school-aged children at home:
Step 1. Choose how you will register to legally homeschool. This doesn't have to be with an expensive online school. In fact, it is free to register as an "independent homeschooler" through your local school district (in Tennessee). It costs between $125 and $175 per year for most Christian-related private schools in the first year and typically there is a family cap. Note: We don't recommend that you register your high school students solely with your local school district. If a student intends to try out for a varsity sports team, we have some additional recommendations.
Commonly used Christian schools which oversee homeschoolers (in Tennessee):
HomeLife Academy (highly recommended for all grades, but particularly for homeschooled high schoolers)
Berean Christian Academy
Local Christian-related private schools with umbrella programs for homeschoolers:
Maryville Christian School
Christian Academy of Knoxville
Knoxville Christian School
Family Christian Academy
Step 2. Withdraw your child from school, according to the unique instructions of your new "school" providing your legal oversight. This may look more like you are transferring your child from one school to another, in that you may need to sign a release so that transcripts can be collected into one place. If you are registering with the local education association (school board), you will need to provide a letter of intent to homeschool to your principal and meet with the homeschool coordinator in the school system's central office. They have a number of forms you will need to fill out, and will also ask for your diplomas, vaccination records, and which subjects you plan to teach. You are not required to go by the same calendar that the school district does.
Step 3. Finally, you can start thinking about crossing the curriculum bridge. Pro tip: If your students are in grades K-8, resolve to spend almost NO money on curriculum in the first semester. If you have a high schooler taking one of BHEA's for-credit Enrichment classes, the teacher will let you know what books or other resources to get for that subject. Often, you can borrow or buy these used. If your children are in grades K-8, just exploit the endless free resources around you until you get on your feet. Many umbrella schools require that you provide a plan for subjects - and curriculum - right at sign-up and we know this often causes some panic purchases. But it isn't important that you have a plan chiseled in stone on Day 1. You can always go back and update that section later, as you begin to figure out your child's learning style, interests, aptitudes, and your own teaching style. "Easy Peasy" is a great example of a free online curriculum with sections for every grade level. You may wish to explore this as you get started.
Step 4. Get connected! Join BHEA. Try out some Enrichment classes, sign up for some field trips, enjoy one of our Moms Nights Out, or join one of our Scouting organizations. The more you get involved, participate, and volunteer, the easier you will find it is to build community. We have over 400 member families, with willing hearts and many years of collective experience and wisdom to share with you. Having a great support system will be key to your success. Welcome to BHEA!
Here are some links to websites, news articles, blog posts and curriculum review sites to help you as you begin your homeschooling journey:
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