State of Tennessee
homeschooling code was amended during the 2011 legislative session. It
will take a bit of time for us to update all the relevant pages at
TnHomeEd. We appreciate your patience.
You, as the parent, need to make sure you understand what the law
requires about your education choice. You should also understand what it
doesn't say about your education choice. You are your first best line of
defense from bureaucrats who misunderstand or were poorly trained in the
laws and regulations. You are strongly encouraged to:
The State of Tennessee's Homeschool page is here:
http://www.state.tn.us/education/homeschool/ . There are several
items on their pages that are not correct, for example the law
doesn't specifically ask for your phone number, or that you report when
you move to another district. Again, I encourage you to read the law
yourself and compare it to these pages. Recently, the state has redone
their homeschool pages. You'll find a list of
non-public schools there as well as the forms to register with them,
registering with the local education agency (school district) and a
copy of the
attendance form you must return to the LEA at the end of the school
year when you are registered with them. The state still, however,
incorrectly reports that church-related schools don't provide diplomas,
most do and they are recognized by colleges and employers.
The truth of the matter
is there are educational districts, judges, and even some lawyers in our
state that don't understand the law. As a result YOU MUST
be familiar with the laws
In Tennessee you have 4 options to legally
school your children at home:
with the Local
with a Church-Related School
with a Category
III school in their distance learning program. These schools
must be accredited by AdvancED per the Tennessee State Board of
Education's Category III definition.
with a virtual school.
This is NOT homeschooling but a form of PUBLIC schooling. Any
information provided for this option on the site of TnHomeEd is merely
an attempt to be a good neighbor and provide parents seeking information
on this option with links to where they can find more information.
TnHomeEd is not intended to be a substitute for what we expect will be
the virtual schools community's own support network.
Just a reminder that it's legal to start homeschooling
at any point during the school year. If the local school district
won't allow you to register with them your other option is to register
with a church-related school
or Category II school.
You'll then transfer your child/ren to that new school.
This law section is broken down as follows:
Attendance is basically from 6-17 inclusive. Along with the
attendance regulations you'll find truancy laws in this section.
here's that code along with a copy of the Department of Education's
for Homeschoolers (those registered with the Local
Education Agency [LEA]) and my comments.
CRS (Church Related School) Law: is in this section, along
which may apply to you if you're a homeschooler. Here's a link to the
where the nearly 100 CRS's are listed along with contact
information fees and services offered.
Schools which are a form of PUBLIC schooling and not private
As of June 2009 the State of Tennessee must recognize
homeschooling diplomas as sufficient for job qualification. See our
Diploma page for other details.
laws and a link to the
Department of Safety.
are here which include religious and medical exemptions.
Testing is required for some homeschoolers in certain grades
and there is some debate as to whether high schoolers must be
tested. Many church-related schools don't require testing at all for
Sports are a big deal for some families. The state gives
superintendents complete and final authority to decide this issue in
their districts. There have been attempts to change this but to date
none have succeeded.
Legal help is sometimes needed. Here you'll find some varied
resources to give you a hand.