In Tennessee, one must register to homeschool either with an umbrella school or with the local public school system. Umbrella schools typically cost around $50-$110, while the Superintendent’s Office is free. Some umbrella schools will ask you to test with them once a year. The public school will only make you test in 5th, 7th, and 9th grades.
Our umbrella school is Berean Christian School in Knoxville. We can register by mail because we have been with them for at least three years and do not have a rising Kindergarten student.
As such, I filled out the forms, enclosed a check, and sent the envelope in the mail. No trip to Knoxville necessary – yay!
The forms include an attendance sheet for last year, where I have to check 180 days of instruction (4 hours or more) and list their subjects and letter grades; a curriculum list showing what we will use next year; and the registration form showing all my children, their grades, and personal information.
Planning, not planning
We are taking it easy. The kids have some art projects to finish. They also read books. Our son is learning Python and html. Our library has a Code Club once a week where they connect with the instructor remotely and learn coding from Prenda, a free site through your library.
As far as planning for next year, we have no idea what is going to happen. If orchestra requires the kids to wear masks, we are not going. One of my children has a slight asthma/breathing issue as it is. Putting a mask on her would impede her breathing. Science Olympiad may not even happen, or so the coaches hinted, as they met to plan the next year.
The taekwondo instructor said he would open the studio only in the fall and not before then. Usually, he continues through the summer. Piano and violin lessons have slowed down to once per month for June and July. Everybody needs a break.
With the current circumstances, I too will be homeschooling my sons at least for the fall semester. I see the mention of your umbrella school above. How do you decide on your curriculum? As I am starting to plan, it seems overwhelming. There is so much to choose from! I am in Tennessee as well, Hendersonville to be exact!
Well, that’s a good question. I think I wrote some posts about that. https://homeschoolways.com/homeschooling-101/
They both mention Cathy Duffy’s book about curriculum choices. Ask yourself how much work you want to do, as a teacher. Do you want something that is open-and-go? Then you will need to skip over “unit studies” type of curricula. Do you want a science curriculum that is secular and teaches evolution? Then stay away from Apologia. Duffy’s book and her website will tell you about major publishers out there, what their philosophy is. And in the beginning of her book you have several questionnaires which help you identify your preferred teaching method. So that is why I put her book in my must-have pile for homeschooling in the beginning. You can probably borrow it from your local library, too. Good to meet you, fellow Tennessean! 🙂