According to Tennessee Code Annotated §49-6-3050, a home school is “a school conducted by parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for their own children.” The law defines home schools in two ways: (1) schools that are associated with a church-related school; and (2) those that are not associated with church schools. Church-related home schools are not subject to the same requirements as are non-church home schools. Home schools linked to or associated with church-related schools must register with their Local Education Agency (LEA) and students of the school must take standardized achievement tests used by the local school district and approved by the State Board of Education.
In Tennessee, attendance at a church-related school is not considered to be homeschooling because church related schools do not fit the state’s definition of home schooling as being “conducted” by the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) for their own children. In addition, if the church-related school aligns with the requirements of §49-50-801, it will not be required to comply with any of the home school provisions of §49-6-3050. Under Section 49-50-801, the church-related school must meet the standards of accreditation or membership of the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools, the Association of Christian Schools International, the Tennessee Association of Independent Schools, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Tennessee Association of Non-Public Academic Schools, the Tennessee Association of Church Related Schools, or a school affiliated with Accelerated Christian Education, Inc.
Any parent or guardian who is a resident of Tennessee is allowed to withdraw their child from a public school if they believe they have “any good and substantial reason as determined by such parent or other person having legal custody of the child, and agreed to by the respective local board of education, may withdraw such parent or other person’s child from a public school; provided, that within thirty (3) days the parent or person having legal custody of the child places the child in a public school designated by such local board of education, or in a non-public school, as defined [by statute].” (Tennessee Statutes, 49-6-3001, § c.4)
Regulations to Qualify for Homeschooling in Tennessee:
- File a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the local school district superintendent before the school year begins. The NOI must include names, number, ages and grade levels of all students, the location of the school, curriculum to be taught, intended hours of instruction, and the parent-teacher’s educational qualifications;
- Keep attendance records which are submitted to the local school superintendent at the end of the school year and are subject to inspection by the superintendent at any time of the year;
- Conduct classes at least four hours a day for the same number of days required for public schools; and
- Submit required proof of vaccination or a signed statement “that such immunization and other preventive measures conflict with the parent’s or guardian’s religious tenets and practices.”
Tennessee Homeschool State Laws Links
- Online Private School Accredited in Tennessee
- Homeschooling in Tennessee
- Education Choices in Tennessee
- Tennessee Home School Statute
- Tennessee Code Annotated Section 49-6-3050: Homeschools
- Homeschool Support Groups in Tennessee
NOTE: HomeschoolFacts does not endorse any of the links or organizations listed below. All of the information provided is intended for research purposes only and is not given as legal advice. REMEMBER: The most important thing you can do to prepare for homeschooling your child is to become familiar with your state’s laws about homeschooling.