Home schooling laws vary from state to state. Although Family Christian Academy’s academic and attendance requirements meet or exceed those of most states, it is the responsibility of parents wishing to enroll their students in FCA to become informed regarding the laws of the state in which they live. Philosophically, FCA is on record as supporting the right of parents to home educate using whatever program they choose.
A word of caution:
Families who are in compliance with the home school laws of their state may still be visited by government officials who either do not know the law or who have decided to reach beyond the law to punish home educators for not sending their children to public school. For this reason, FCA highly recommends that every home educating family join the Home School Legal Defense Association and purchase, at an affordable cost, legal insurance for their family. This organization has been defending home educating families for many years. It is familiar with the laws of every state and even helped write many of them. If a member of FCA decides not to join HSLDA and is contacted by a governmental authority, FCA recommends the following:
• Do not become afraid. Authorities sometimes use incorrect information to frighten families into making decisions that might actually keep the family from being able to home educate.
• Know your Homeschooling Law. It is amazing how simply knowing the law arms you with authority.
• Tenessee families:
When enrolling with FCA you become an FCA teacher, teaching at a satellite campus of a church-related school. Your student becomes a student of FCA and your home becomes a satellite campus of FCA. We do not recommend that you call yourself a “homeschooler” or say that you are “homeschooling” as the Tennessee law has additional requirements for those referring to themself with these terms. The Tennessee law gives homeschooling parents three options. We recommend that you read the entire law by clicking on the Tennessee link, but here it is in abbreviated form:
Option 1: You can homeschool if you notify the Public School. Parents are also required to have a highshool diploma or GED to teach a K-8th grade student and have a baccalaureate degree to teach 9th-12th grade students. Students are required to take an achievement test with their local public school in grades 5,7 and 9.
Option 2: You can homeschool with a church related school but you must also register with the local Public School if you have a 9th-12th grade student. Parents are also required to have a highshool diploma or GED to teach a K-8th grade student and have a baccalaureate degree to teach 9th-12th grade students. Students are requred to take an achievment test with their local church-related school in grades 9-12.
Option 3: You can homeschool if you operate as a Satellite Campus of a church-related school, and do not consider yourself a homeschooler. Parents are not required to obtain a certain level of education in order to teach their children and achievement testing is not required.
FCA recommends that you adhere to Option 3, meaning that by enrolling with FCA you have met the requirements of the Tennessee state law. FCA requirements are that you teach 180 days, 4 hours per day and that you submit the attendance and progress reports by the required due dates (Jan 15 & July 15). You are not required to test, however FCA offers testing services. We believe that each parent teaching their children should make this decision instead of being forced to comply with testing when it is not in the best interest of all children. We do however require that all student’s graduating from our program have a miniumum test score in order to qualify to recieve an FCA approved diploma, those not qualifying or not desiring to test may receive an FCA parent directed diploma.
• Never allow an official into your home! If you speak to the official at all, do so outside your home.