homeschooling in TN is easy-peasy. You have two options a) register with the school that you are homeschooling. or b) sign up with an umbrella school.
If you do a) you are required to do standardized testing in grades 3,5,7, and every year in high school.
If you do b) it is up to the umbrella school if you will do the above testing or not. Some interpret the law to include kids in an umbrella school, others do not. One umbrella school that I know of that does NOT test is gateway. Mine does, but I like standardized tests. They help me as a teacher.
Cumpulsory school age is 6. I am not sure if the top age is 16 or 17 because I don't have any that age.
There are no subjects that you are required to teach, but you do have to teach 180 days per year 4 hours per day.
That is about it. It is a VERY FRIENDLY place to homeschool with LOTS of homeschooling activites, and co-ops, and tutorials, sports teams, scouts troops, music opportunities... the rec centers, the ymca, the gymnastics places etc... all of them have classes just for homeschoolers. 4-H has homeschool classes, too. Basically, anything you can do in public or private school, you can do as a homeschooler here if you want to. Also, we have a state lottery here, so going to college can be a LOT cheaper here, too, and yes, homeschoolers get those scholarships, too.
Anything else you need to know? Actually we have some opportunities we are considering, and the MOST difficult part of moving AWAY is that there is SUCH support for homeschooling here. It is hard to leave that behind.
Mom to 5 cool kids and wife to 1 great guy. Life is good!
That makes me feel much better. We are in Texas and we aren' t required to do anything. We have a wonderful co-op and I have been concerned that there would not be the same support there. We learned that homeschooling without the co-op was no fun. After the first session the co-op we joined disbanded and the second session we didn't have one to participate in. The following school year a lady from our church and I started a new one. What part of Tennessee are you from? We do not know yet for sure if we are moving but on a recent vacation we went through the Smoky Mountains and my husband and I both felt like we may be being called to Tennessee for some reason. I can't say for sure because this is the first time I have ever felt "called" to somewhere. Thanks for your help.
What are the test used for? What happens if a child doesn't pass? My six year old is in a Kindergarten reading program. We tried to do it last year but it was like beating our heads against a brick wall. He seems to be doing fine with it this year though. What are the umbrella schools?
Remember, a child does not HAVE to be in school in TN until age 6, so your child just learning to read is not a problem. Also the required testing isn't until 3rd grade, so you have plenty of time. What happens if a child doesn't test well? That I don't know for sure. I don't think anything really happens. There is no law on the books for a minimum "grade" on the test at all. For this reason, I know some hsers who don't test at all, and nobody seemed to notice. The test can be any standardized test, like Stanford, or Iowa, or whatever... We usually do Stanford, because that is the one our umbrella school uses. They tell us what day and place to show up to take the test (usually in march) and that is all we have to do. Just show up and the kids take the test. The tests are not hard. They usually cover math, language arts, a little science, and a little social studies.
An umbrella school is a place that houses all of your records for you. They are usually set up as religious schools. Some of them actually ARE regular day schools that also keep records for homeschoolers. Most of them around here are christian. There are a few that are other religions, or not religious. It means that your child gets a diploma from a school if you meet the graduation requirements of the school, so it is a good thing. (My umbrella school will not allow you to graduate with a diploma from them if you do not opt to do the testing. Others will.) But there are 2 reasons why most people go with an umbrella school. 1) that the state then assumes that somebody is ensuring that your child is being taught, and they don't bother you. I have been homeschooling for 8 years and have never had an interaction with anybody from our state at all. Ever. I don't know how it works if you inform the school and don't use an umbrella because I have never done that.
2) Also umbrella schools have activities you can do if you choose one. Ours has Soccer and Football teams, field trip groups, a one day a week tutorial (but it is too far away for us, so we do a different one). They do year books and have graduation... That sort of thing.
It is really easy. Nothing to worry about at all.
Mom to 5 cool kids and wife to 1 great guy. Life is good!
Location: Middle TN, Where the Hilltops Kiss the Sky
I'm not really surprised that you and your DH felt like you may be "called" to move to Tennessee. The mountains here have that affect on folks. The Smokies still leave me breathless, and I'm a Tennessee born and bred "girl" of 50 years now. We also homeschool, and have graduated a son, and have two more young one's coming up. We have never had any problem whatsoever with homeschooling here. If you decide to come, a big welcome to you!
Thanks backwoods and cindyc. I appreciate the support. I lived in the city all my life and we just moved out to the country about 3 years ago. We all LOVE it but it is growing up here to fast for us. They recently built three new houses across the street from us and are planning to build more soon. We knew when we bought our place it wouldn't be permanent but never expected our next home to be out of state. We are excited about the prospect but a little apprehensive at the same time. We are not even sure yet when things will line up so we can go. It is all in HIS hands. But any way thanks for all the info.