Tennessee State Laws
Homeschooling Laws, Information, and Resources for Tennessee
If you’re living in Tennessee and are looking into homeschooling, you’re in the right place! This page provides the resources and information you need to determine whether homeschooling in the Volunteer State is right for you.
Summary of Tennessee Homeschool Laws
Knowing the requirements for homeschooling in Tennessee is one key to successful homeschooling. Below is a summary of the homeschool laws in the state of Tennessee. You can find additional information on Home School Legal Defense Association’s (HSLDA) website as well: Tennessee HSLDA Reference
- Independent homeschool.
- Church-related school.
- Category III distance-learning school.
- Ensure that you have the required teacher qualifications–at least a high school diploma or a GED.
- Submit a notice of intent before the start of the school year to the superintendent of your local school district (also called a local education agency, or LEA) “for purpose of reporting only.” Your notice must include the names, number, ages, and grade levels of the children you are homeschooling, the location of your school, the curriculum to be offered (no subjects are required), proposed hours of instruction, and your educational qualifications. A notice of intent form is available on the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.
- Submit proof of immunization or a medical or religious exemption from immunization with your notice of intent.
- Provide the required hours of instruction, which is at least four hours per school day for 180 days each academic year.
- Maintain attendance records and make them available for inspection by the local superintendent. They must be submitted to the superintendent at the end of each school year. An attendance reporting form is available on the Tennessee Department of Education’s website.
- Test your child in grades 5, 7, and 9 with a standardized test administered by the commissioner of education, by someone designated by the commissioner, or by a professional testing service approved by the LEA. You may be present with your child during the 5th grade test.
Church-related school (CRS).
A church-related school (CRS) is a school operated by a denominational, parochial, or other bona fide church organization and accredited by 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, the Tennessee Alliance of Church Related Schools, or a school affiliated with Accelerated Christian Education, Inc.
- Enroll in a church-related school, and ensure that your homeschooling is “supervised” by the director of the CRS.
- Submit proof of immunization to the CRS or a medical or religious exemption from immunization.
- Comply with policies established by the CRS. You must meet any teacher qualification, record-keeping, and testing requirements established by the CRS.
Category III distance-learning school.
Category III schools are non-public schools that are accredited by one of the following:
- Any accreditation division of AdvancED (the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI))
- The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
- The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
- Any accrediting association recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Commission on Accreditation (e.g., the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS)) or the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA) according to the procedures and criteria established by the association.
Category III schools must report student attendance information to the director of the public school system where the student lives.
Here you’ll find websites for any questions you may have about education in the state of Tennessee.
- Tennessee State Board of Education: https://www.tn.gov/sbe.html
- Tennessee State Department of Education: https://www.tn.gov/education.html
- Tennessee Alliance for Equity in Education: https://thealliancetn.org/
- The Education Trust in Tennessee: https://edtrust.org/tennessee/
- List of Tennessee school districts: https://ballotpedia.org/List_of_school_districts_in_Tennessee
Whether you already homeschool in Tennessee or are looking to do so, these resources are quite useful if you’re searching for support, co-ops, or answers to questions about homeschooling in your state.
- Tennessee Home Education Association (THEA): https://www.tnhea.org/
- Blessed Sacrament Homeschool Group – Memphis: https://bshgmemphis.org/
- Blount Home Education Association (BHEA): https://www.bhea.net/
- Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association (CSTHEA): https://www.csthea.org/
- Mid-East Tennessee Home Education Association: https://mideastthea.com/
- Middle Tennessee Home Education Association (MTHEA): https://www.mthea.org/
- Murfreesboro Homeschoolers: https://www.murfreesborohomeschoolers.com/sysfiles/member/?memberid=0000
- Smoky Mountain Home Education Association (SMHEA): https://www.smhea.org/
- St. Ambrose Catholic Homeschool Co-op: https://m.facebook.com/stambrosecoop/
- Clarksville Homeschool Social Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clarksvillehomeschoolsocialgroup/
- Dandridge Homeschoolers – Jefferson County: https://www.facebook.com/groups/342750309238030/
- Homeschool Smyrna/La Vergne & Middle TN: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HomeschoolingMidTn/?ref=br_rs
- Ebony Homeschoolers: http://www.ebonyhomeschoolers.org/
- Knoxville Area Homeschoolers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/149457991871322/
- Memphis Area Homeschool Buzz: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Memphisareahomeschoolbuzz/
- Sevier County Homeschoolers of Tennessee: https://www.facebook.com/groups/seviercountyhomeschoolers/
- Tri-Cities Homeschool Playdate & Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/360262420834676/
One of the many benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility to explore! Here are some ideas for amazing–and educational–field trips around the great state of Tennessee!
- Adventure Science Center: Nashville, TN
- American Museum of Science & Energy: Oak Ridge, TN
- The Battles for Chattanooga Museum: Chattanooga, TN
- Bessie Smith Cultural Center: Chattanooga, TN
- Biblical Resource Center and Museum: Collierville, TN
- Bristol Caverns: Bristol, TN
- Chattanooga African-American Museum: Chattanooga, TN
- Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park: Chattanooga, TN
- Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art: Nashville, TN
- Children’s Museum of Memphis: Memphis, TN
- Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge: Oak Ridge, TN
- Columbia Children’s Museum: Columbia, TN
- Creative Discovery Museum: Chattanooga, TN
- David Crockett Cabin and Museum: Lawrenceburg, TN
- Discovery Center at Murfree Spring: Murfreesboro, TN
- Discovery Park of America: Union City, TN
- Dollywood: Pigeon Forge, TN
- East Tennessee Discovery Center: Knoxville, TN
- Frank H. McClung Museum: Knoxville, TN
- Frist Center for the Visual Arts: Nashville, TN
- Gibson Beale Street Showcase: Memphis, TN
- Graceland: Memphis, TN
- Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum: Gray, TN
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Gatlinburg, TN
- Hands On! Regional Museum: Johnson City, TN
- Hands On Science Center: Tullahoma, TN
- The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson: Nashville, TN
- Ijams Nature Center: Knoxville, TN
- Knoxville Museum of Art: Knoxville, TN
- Knoxville Zoo: Knoxville, TN
- Lichterman Nature Center: Memphis, TN
- Little Ponderosa Zoo: Clinton, TN
- Memphis Brooks Museum of Art: Memphis, TN
- Memphis Cotton Museum: Memphis, TN
- Memphis Zoo: Memphis, TN
- Nashville Children’s Theater: Nashville, TN
- Nashville Zoo at Grassmere: Nashville, TN
- National Civil Rights Museum: Memphis, TN
- Orpheum Memphis: Memphis, TN
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: Gatlinburg, TN
- Tennessee Aquarium: Chattanooga, TN
- Tennessee State Museum: Nashville, TN
- Titanic Museum: Pigeon Forge, TN
- Wilderness Station: Murfreesboro, TN
- Wishing Chair Productions Puppet Theater: Nashville, TN