Welcome to Tennessee!
The Volunteer State Welcomes You!
Tennessee is the Volunteer State, a name earned in tribute to the scores of Tennesseans who have served their country. As the Union's 16th state, Tennessee has been the home to amazing and wonderful people, with a vast and varied history, including the Native American heros Chief John Ross, the first elected chief of the Eastern Cherokee, and Sequoyah, the Cherokee silversmith who is the only known person in history to singlehandedly develop an alphabet. Presidents Jackson, Johnson, and Polk all called Tennessee home, as did numerous pioneers, statesmen, heros and heroines, and modern day role models.
Learning about Tennessee culture is really a voyage into the history of the United States as a whole! The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis shows visitors the struggle for civil rights through the present day. At the Green McAdoo Cultural Center and Museum your family can learn up front and personally about the Clinton Twelve, the first group of students to desegregate a state-funded high school. And, of course, there's the Global Education Center in Nashville, dedicated to educating the world about the diverse and varied peoples in it.
Speaking of Nashville, you can't possibly visit and not share in the music, of course!! Music City, USA, called the Athens of the South, has everything from the Grand Ole Opry to Music Row! Vanderbilt University is also located in Nashville, along with the Nashville Zoo and the Adventure Science Center, offering kids a hands on look to fun and amazing science! And you absolutely CANNOT leave Nashville without seeing our life-sized replica of the Athenian Parthenon in Downtown Nashville. After you walk through, head to the Farmer's Market across the street for some amazing food-- Jamaica's Way has even been profiled on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
East Tennessee is beyond beautiful, and is full of family adventures. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an amazing adventure into Creation. Make sure you check out their website for great parent and teacher resources. Dollywood is a great place to blow off steam, and Pigeon Forge is just chock-full of everything a family could want in a vacation.
See 7 States!
No visit to Tennessee would be complete without seeing Rock City! Down in Chattanooga, you can find the world class Tennessee Aquarium, and, of course Lookout Mountain and Rock City! Drive up to Lookout Mountain and head to Rock City, where you can take in amazing views, see seven states from one spot, and enjoy bird of prey shows. Mother Goose Village and Fairyland Caverns are always hits with the little ones. Then head deep into the depths of the mountain, and take in the breathtaking Ruby Falls.
Tennessee is rich with history, culture, nature and great fun. Make sure you head to the Tennessee History for Kids site, to get wonderful resources to help enhance your study of Tennessee, and, if you're coming for a visit, you can get a free Visitor's Guide from tnvacation.org.
We're blessed to have wonderful homeschooling laws in Tennessee. Compulsory ages are between 6 and 17 years old, and our school year is 180 days minimum a year (4 hours/day) You have three options:
1) Establish yourself as an Independent Homeschool. The parent/teacher must have a high school diploma or GED, and provide notice of intent to the local superintendent yearly. NOI must include children's names, ages, and grade levels, location, proposed curriculum, number of hours of instruction and parent-teacher qualifications. Vaccination records or exemption forms (religious or medical) must also be included. Testing is required at Grades 5, 7, and 9. There are no required subjects.
2) Establish a homeschool in association with a church-related school. In this option, the reporting is done directly to the church-related school, as well as all testing. Subjects required are at the discretion of the church-related school.
3) Enroll in a church-related school where parent is a teacher in that church-related school. Again, reporting and testing are done by the school. Subjects required are at the discretion of the church-related school.
You can learn more about all of these options at the Homeschool Legal Advantage's Tennessee Law page.
Tennessee also has amazing state run support groups. The Tennessee Home Educator's Association is broken up into seven geographical groups: in middle Tennessee, check out MTHEA, and make room on your calendar for their yearly convention on May 17-18 at the Tennessee Expo Center! For the rest of the various regions of the THEA, please come and reference this map, to find the group nearest you!
It's been my honor to take you on a short tour through Tennessee. Y'all come see us soon!
Kristi and her family have homeschooled for 7 years, and are now blessed to live in Tennessee, after living all over the US, including Indiana, Wyoming, Kansas, Virginia, and North Carolina. Kristi has been a member of the TOS Review Crew since June, 2012, and blogs at The Potter's Hand Academy. She also loves sharing all of her great resources and finds on Facebook, so make sure you come and like her page!