New adjustments to the Tennessee Homeschool Law
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  1. #1
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Default New adjustments to the Tennessee Homeschool Law

    Found this article in the Tennessean regarding a couple of new laws or adjustments to the laws regarding homeschooling in Tennessee. Take a look and make sure you are compliant.
    Thanks!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  2. #2
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    The adjustments made to TN law apply to those students enrolled as independent home schoolers through their school district (local education association- LEA). The really cool change that has people buzzing is that a parent no longer is required to have a bachelor's degree to home school high school. Now a parent with a high school diploma or a GED can enroll with her LEA and home school high school.

    To the best of my knowledge, it does not affect parents educating their children at home while registered with a Church-Related School (umbrella program), as a satellite campus operating under the Jeter Memorandum, with a Category III school in a distance learning program, or with a virtual school.

    It may be of importance to note that in TN only independent home schoolers registered with their LEA and home schoolers registered with a CRS are considered home schoolers. Students who are home educated where their home is designated as a satellite campus under the Jeter Memorandum and students enrolled in a Category III school's distance learning program are considered private schoolers. Students being educated at home through a TN virtual school (right now TNVA K12 through Union County) are considered public schoolers.

    These are basically just legal designations for children who are not in brick and mortar institutions.

    HTH-
    Mandy, who has always home educated under the Jeter Memorandum
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  3. #3
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
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    Mandy,
    Thanks for the clarification. I have to admit that the law in Tennessee is easier than some states, and more difficult than others, but the most positive change I noticed was the parent not having to have a Bachelor's degree to homeschool high school kids. That has been a point that made it difficult for many families.
    Many people consider themselves to be homeschoolers because their children are educated at home. It s interesting to note that there are legal designations that state that children educated at home might or might not be "homeschooled" by definition.
    Thanks again for the clarification, I truely appreciate your insight!!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  4. #4
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Actually, you have always been able to educate your high schooler at home in TN regardless of whether or not you had a four-year degree. You just couldn't register with your LEA. The problem that would come into play is that most umbrella schools, CRS and Category IV under the Jeter Memorandum, require a statement of faith. (FWIW, The Farm School is a notable exception.) Because of this, there are families who would prefer to register with their LEA.


    Of course, parents also don't need a degree to register their child with an accredited distance learning program. The problem used to be that a student had to graduate from a TN high school in order to qualify for the TN Lottery Scholarship. So, when my older two boys started high school, if they were to have taken classes through Keystone, American School, Indiana University High School, etc they would still have needed to be enroll with our LEA or an umbrella program in order to qualify for the TN Lottery Scholarships. Now, the wording reads that TN residents graduating from some out of state schools may be eligible, but you have to call to find out if your student will qualify. Even if I decided to have my son enroll and graduate from The American School, I probably would still want to enroll in a local umbrella program just to avoid having to deal with jumping through more hoops.


    Being able to enroll with your LEA for high school is exciting, because it may open up doors for independent homeschoolers registered with their LEA to participate in clubs, music, sports, and other classes at the high schools in their areas. Currently, there is nothing legally that would require public high schools to allow anyone other than full-time students to have access to these options. This year the state did pass legislation allowing individual school districts to decide if they wanted to allow independent homeschoolers to participate in sports. I don't know of a single school district that chose to do so.


    Honestly, I only know one family that chose to register with their LEA for high school. However, if registering with their LEA opened up opportunities for their children, I know a number of families that would seriously consider it.


    That brings me to the numbers. If you look at the number of homeschoolers in TN, it looks like there are very few students educated at home. These numbers do not actually represent the number of children being educated at home! Often they only represent the number of children registered with their LEA as independent homeschoolers.


    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  5. #5
    RiAlly Guest

    Default TN Law Requirements

    My husband and I have just decided to homeschool our sixth grader. I have her curriculum in place but I am not sure about how to be "legal" under the new state laws. I need to withdraw her from her former middle school but I'm hesitant until I know if I have to be registered under a "school".

    Anyone have any answers?

    Thank you

  6. #6
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiAlly View Post
    My husband and I have just decided to homeschool our sixth grader. I have her curriculum in place but I am not sure about how to be "legal" under the new state laws. I need to withdraw her from her former middle school but I'm hesitant until I know if I have to be registered under a "school".

    Anyone have any answers?
    You can either enroll as an independent homeschooler at your local board of education or you can enroll with an umbrella program. Here is a list of CRSs. HomeLife in west TN is inexpensive, everything is online, and they do not require a statement of faith. There is no need to live anywhere near you umbrella school. You need to do something immediately to avoid being truant. Based on this, at HomeLife you can get set up right now. However, there are plenty of options. If you are in MiddleTN Heritage Covenant is nice, but more pricey. They provide personal attention, testing, and a graduation ceremony.

    HTH-
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  7. #7
    RiAlly Guest

    Default TN Law Requirements

    Thank you so much! I registered with Homelife this evening. It was such a relief to have that final piece of the puzzle done so I can concentrate on what I should be -- my child! We are in middle Tennessee, Spring Hill area and are amazed at the support groups and opportunities available. Hope to meet some day. Thanks again.

  8. #8
    suzielab is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I need to know what would best suit a child with special needs. She is mentally challenged and our school here in Gatlingburg Tn IEP elvaluation meeting stated that she is on a 3rd grade level and in the 7th grade. We are focused on basic life skills at this point. I think I can handle this, but don't know where to start? I can't afford to pay 1K for a year of homeschooling. Can anyone help me out here in TN .

    Thank you,
    Margaret

  9. #9
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Are you wanting to pull her out of school and begin homeschooling? If so start by looking at this site.

    Obviously, we are using T4L. If you are looking to register with your LEA or a CRS and use T4L, you may want to post over in the special needs forum. If you are trying to find the free online public school for TN, that is TNVA through K12.

    HTH-
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  10. #10
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
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    Margaret,
    The good news is that Time4Learning will not cost you nearly 1K per year. Many students, including those with learning delays, or disabilities, find the format less intimidating than text books. I just want to say that I think you can handle homeschooling. Make sure you have read the legal stuff regarding homeschooling in TN, and then give T4L a try.
    Best of luck!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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