Tennessee Homeschooling Requirements
Enlightium Academy is an approved private Christian school that is accredited by Cognia and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) that has served homeschool, online, and co-op school students in K-12 since 2003. As K-12 education policies are different in each state, it is a parental responsibility to check on one’s state’s homeschool requirements and fulfill them as applicable. To assist parents with this process, Enlightium provides basic information about most states’ requirements. Parents are also encouraged to review their state requirements at hslda.org/legal and/or the Tennessee Department of Education, as educational policies are subject to change over time.
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states; however, with a freedom to educational opportunities comes a responsibility to understand and fulfill legal requirements. This can be worrisome, yet you’re not alone in this endeavour. Enlightium Academy is here to help!
Please, note that the resources below serve as a starting point for your family; it is important that you research Tennessee homeschooling requirements.
Tennessee’s Homeschooling Requirements at a Glance
There are three homeschooling options in Tennessee. Families with students enrolled at Enlightium Academy can choose Option 3: Category III distance-learning school. Enlightium Academy falls under Category III as it is accredited by Cognia, an accrediting organization which contains the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The below guidelines are based on option 3.
Notifying the State
Under Option 3, the school administration informs the Tennessee Department of Education of student attendance. The family does not need to notify the state.
The Tennessee Department of Education requires at least 180 days of education each school year. Enlightium’s school calendar has 180 school days (210 days with summer school). Additionally, students have access to the courses 24/7 for most days of the school year, including weekends and holidays.
Ages five or younger:
Students are not required to attend school, but can enroll in primary school at Enlightium Academy to have a head start and be ready for Kindergarten.
Ages six through 17:
Students must continue their education at a school of their parents’ choice until they either graduate or turn 18 years old. This includes homeschooling with Enlightium Academy.
Under option 3, The Tennessee Department of Education does not require students to have teachers with specific credentials or qualifications.
Enlightium Academy offers a parent-led option for grades PreK-2 and for students in grades 3-10 under the Bronze support package. Under the parent-led option, parents act as the teachers while Enlightium Academy provides grading and guidance support.
For all other students, as a part of Enlightium Academy’s dual accreditation, Enlightium teachers are state and/or ACSI certified. A number of our faculty members have Masters and Doctorate degrees in their fields. The teacher-led support packages are available for students in grades 3-12. Learn more at our teachers page.
Under option 3, the Tennessee Department of Education does not require any specific courses.
After you enroll/re-enroll and before your student starts courses at Enlightium Academy, your student’s counselor will send you an email with a recommended course schedule consisting of core courses and, if applicable, courses that fulfill Enlightium’s graduation requirements. Your student can also select from Enlightium’s elective courses.
Under option 3, the Tennessee Department of Education does not require a standardized test for homeschooled students. However, Enlightium provides multiple assessment options to help you see how your student is progressing per given grade level:
- Grades 3-8: IXL diagnostic assessments
- Grades 3-10: Stanford 10 standardized assessment
- Grades 9-12: Guidance for college-preparatory assessments such as the PSAT, SAT and/or ACT
Immunization is required in the state of Tennessee; therefore, parents are required to keep their children’s immunization records or exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Enlightium Academy does not require student immunization as we serve homeschool students.
Keep a Portfolio
You may need to provide your state with additional information, so please keep a digital record every year you are enrolled at Enlightium Academy which should include:
- Attendance - Enlightium provides your family with weekly progress reports. You can screenshot the details in these emails to show attendance.
- Curriculum information and samples - Enlightium provides its families with both curriculum overviews by grade level and samples by course.
- Academic plans - Enlightium Academy counselors provide them during the registration process - Primary School (PreK-2), Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12).
- Grades - Enlightium provides report cards for all students after quarters 1 and 3 and report cards/transcripts at the end of semesters 1 and 2.
- Test scores - This can include occasional screenshots of test scores and/or standardized assessment scores.
- Academic Awards - Enlightium provides qualifying students with certificates for Honor Roll, Scholar’s List, Dean’s List, and the Presidential Award.
- Social/Competition Achievements - Enlightium holds social events and competitions throughout the school year, such as art competitions and spelling bees.
Enlightium Parents App with Group for Tennessee Families
Enlightium Academy has an app and desktop platform for families of currently enrolled students. Within this app is a group just for families living in Tennessee to inform and support each other in fulfilling your state’s homeschooling requirements.
Your family will be automatically added to this group upon enrolling at Enlightium and downloading the Enlightium Parents app (which is provided upon enrollment).
Ready to Enroll at Enlightium Academy?
- Explore Enlightium Academy’s website or watch this video about online homeschooling.
- If you have any questions:
- Chat with a team member
- Call (866) 488-4818 option 2
- Ready to enroll? Click here to start the enrollment process and select the blue button near the top of the page.
Enlightium Academy is a private Christian online school that serves homeschooling families by offering a Bible-based, flexible, accredited, teacher supported, and affordable education from the comfort of your home. For any other questions about Enlightium, please call (866) 488-4818, or visit EnlightiumAcademy.com.
Sources reviewed in June 2021: