Is Homeschooling the Better Option?
One contentious issue at the heart of many divorce and custody proceedings is the child’s education. One parent might wish to homeschool their children while the other parent wants them to socialize with their peers. This situation is increasingly more commonplace due to COVID-19 concerns.
Homeschooling offers parents a more focused and individualized way to educate their children. Proponents say their children thrive outside the public school system, while detractors say learning at home denies children adequate social interaction with other children.
Critics also fear children may be spending too much time sitting and staring at their computers. They concede that parents are well-meaning but state they are often ill-equipped to educate their child as well as a professional teacher.
How do you address this stalemate, and how do courts in Tennessee handle homeschooling cases? The best way to get the answers to these questions is to have a conversation with an experienced family law attorney. The child custody attorneys at Dotson and Taylor can answer all of your questions and give you the information you need to move forward.
What Does Tennessee Law Say About Homeschooling?
The State of Tennessee says parents and legal guardians may homeschool their children if they meet the following qualifications:
1. Notify their local school district or umbrella program.
An umbrella program, also known as a cover school, is a type of private school for homeschoolers. In this scenario, a parent submits their records to the umbrella school rather than the school district. Each umbrella school is different, and each has its own requirements, so it’s important to research umbrella schools thoroughly to find the right one for your family.
2. Provide at least four hours of instruction per day for a minimum of 180 days.
Note that parents of younger children can include educational toys and nature walks as part of their instruction time.
3. Associate with a church-administered school or operate as a satellite of one.
Parents also have the option to partner with church-related schools or operate as an extension of the school. This option is most suitable for parents who seek a faith-based approach to their child’s education.
The law also allows parents to hire tutors to teach difficult subjects to their children. Additionally, grandparents may fill in as “substitute teachers,” which is particularly helpful for working parents.
Talk to a Murfreesboro Family Law Attorney
As is usually the case, information is power. Get the information you need by sitting down with a skilled Tennessee family law attorney who can help you tackle this unique legal issue. We can guide you through the process to identify the best solution for your child.
Whether you want to homeschool your child, or you are facing an ex who plans on homeschooling your children, the best course of action is to remain calm and contact your Middle Tennessee family law attorney. We have the resources and experience to help you, no matter which type of education you prefer for your child.
Call Dotson and Taylor at (615) 890-1982 or contact us online now to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.