If you live in Tennessee and would like to register with HomeLife Academy, it is not necessary for you to register your K-12 grade students with the local school board or county. In Tennessee, you have several options for homeschooling your child. A CRS (church-related school) like HomeLife Academy is a very common choice. It is similar to registering with a private school and in doing so you will only be required to meet the requirements for that school. You can also register with the county or local board of education or register in a distance learning program that is approved with the state. Please read the HSLDA summary below carefully as it is important to know your legal rights.
HomeLife Academy Tennessee & Administrative Offices
P.O. Box 11688
Jackson, TN 38308
HomeLife Academy is recognized by the State of Tennessee as a non-public, Category IV church-related school and is listed with the Tennessee Department of Education under LEA#570 School ID:9051. ACT/SAT High School Code: 431-423. HLA is a member in Good Standing with ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and a registered group with HSLDA.
Homeschooling in Tennessee
Summary of Requirements:
Register with HomeLife Academy or another umbrella school OR fill out a Notice of Intent with your local board of education by the time school begins in your area.
Must be registered between the ages of six (6) and seventeen (17). Students must be registered for current school year if the student turns 6 by August 15 of that school year, otherwise, the student must be registered for the school year after turning 6. Must be 5 by August 15 to register for Kindergarten. Note: Public schools will not allow a student to enter First Grade without having attended Kindergarten.
180 Days of Attendance and 4 Hours per Day of Instruction
Immunization records are required by TN State Law for non-public school compliance. Medical and Religious Exemptions may be taken.
Meet the requirements i.e. testing, reporting, etc. of the school or county with which you are registered. HLA does not require testing.
NOTE REGARDING SPORTS: Registering with the local board of education (county) by filing a Notice of Intent must be done annually by August 1. Students will be tested in 3, 5, 7 and 9th grades. If you are playing sports in Tennessee at a TSSAA school, you must file a Notice of Intent no later than August 1 each year and notify the principal/coach of the school where you are intending to play by August 15. You may stay enrolled with HomeLife Academy while playing sports.
NOTE REGARDING DRIVER’S LICENSE: Students are required to provide proof of compulsory attendance when obtaining their Driver’s License/Permit. This must be requested from your school. Click here to for information on how to request a Driver’s License form.
Compulsory Attendance: TN Rule 0520-01-03-.03 (9) Admission and Enrollment of Students. (a) Children entering kindergarten shall be five (5) years of age on or before August 15. However, a child does not have to enroll in school at five (5) years of age, but enrollment must occur no later than the beginning of the academic year following the child’s sixth (6th) birthday. (b) Any transfer student applying for admission who was legally enrolled in an approved kindergarten in another state and who will be five (5) years of age no later than December 31 of the current school year, shall be enrolled. (c) A child must attend school until his/her eighteenth (18th) birthday, unless: 1. He or she has received a diploma or other certificate of completion of high school; 2. He or she is enrolled and making satisfactory progress in a course of instruction leading to a High School Equivalency Diploma; or 3. He or she is enrolled in a home school and has reached their seventeenth (17th) birthday.
For families that move from out-of-state late in the year, T.C.A. 49-6-3001 states: “A parent or guardian with any good and substantial reason as determined by the parent or other person having legal custody of a child, and agreed to by the respective local board of education, may withdraw the parent’s or other person’s child from a public school; provided, that within thirty (30) days the parent or person having legal custody of the child places the child in a public school designated by the local board of education or in a non-public school.” Therefore, in Tennessee, the student must enroll within 30 days of withdrawal from their previous school. The law does not speak to special circumstances of when a student moves toward the end of the school year; however, it may be advised that the family to consult with the state they are moving from, as it may come down to what that state considers truant. For example, if moving from a school in TX in March, you may ask if they would require you to enroll in your new state for the remainder of the year.
Advantages of Enrolling with HLA your “Umbrella” School
- Official High School Transcripts & Diploma
- TN Promise, TN Hope and TN Scholars Assistance
- High School Transcript Reviews
- Counseling Services
- Official records for K through 8th grades
- Attendance Records
- Teacher and Student ID Cards
- Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) membership discount.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
State Organizations and Associations
Tennessee has a central association, Tennessee Home Education Association, that works directly with the regional chapters across the state. THEA is comprised of 8 chapters covering the entire state of Tennessee. When you join your local chapter, you become a member of that chapter and of THEA. While THEA exists to support and protect homeschooling in Tennessee, the chapters have many member families from the eight neighboring states. Each chapter provides services for local homeschoolers.
These eight chapters work to support homeschoolers in their local areas and help them connect. One of the primary functions of THEA is to defend your freedom to homeschool in Tennessee. This freedom has not always been recognized in Tennessee. Since 1984 the Tennessee Home Education Association has continually fought to secure and protect this freedom. A portion of all THEA and chapter dues goes to support a legislative monitor/lobbyist who tracks all education-related legislation.
Here are the eight chapters:
- THEA – TENNESSEE HOME EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
- MHEA – Memphis Home Education Association
- WTHEA – West Tennessee Home Education Association
- MTHEA – Middle Tennessee Home Education Association
- CSTHEA – Chattanooga Southern Tennessee Home Education Association
- SMHEA – Smoky Mountain Home Education Association
- METHEA – Mid-East Tennessee Home Education Association
- NETHEA – North-East Tennessee Home Education Association
Homeschooling Events in Tennessee
Tennessee has many homeschooling events. Nearly every chapter of THEA will host an event of some kind. Check their websites for information. HLA attends most of these events and you can check our EVENTS page for more detailed information.
Each year we sponsor and host two Workshop Weekend events. One in conjunction with MHEA and is usually in May and one in Jackson, Tennessee where our administrative offices are located. This event is toward the end of February. Workshop Weekend will be taking on a NEW NAME and will be called “Equip”. Part of our mission statement is to Inspire and Equip parents. Equip is the perfect name for this event as we bring solid information to you through workshops.
Local Support Groups and Other Helpful Information
The HomeSchool Mom – Homeschool Organizations and Support Groups