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Homeschooling for Libraries: Home

Libraries are the best resources homeschoolers have - and up to 78% of homeschoolers use libraries to find curriculum. Here are some resources to be the best support you can be for homeschoolers at your library.


There are 3 ways to homeschool legally in Tennessee:

1. An Independent home school, which is registered with Home School coordinators in each county. See the above website for the link to the list of Home School Coordinators in each county, plus the Intent to Homeschool Letter, attendance record, and vaccination record, which must all be submitted to the local school system.

2. An Umbrella program – everything from The Farm School to Jesus Only Academy! Membership fees apply. See the "Print Outs for the In Service" box for this list of approved Home Schools in your area.

3. An Online School, which must be accredited. These usually charge tuition. The list of approved Category III On-line Schools is at the end of the TN Approved Home Schools list found in the "Print Outs for the In Service" box. 

Finding Homeschoolers around the State of Tennessee

Finding homeschoolers is easier than you think. Ask the homeschoolers you know at your library where they find support, what they're looking for, where they meet, what groups they know of. Learn what groups are active in your community, what their missions are, and who is running them. Tap into existing networks using word-of-mouth interaction.

Other places and groups to reach out to homeschoolers include Classical Conversations,, Facebook, Yahoo groups, large churches in your area, tutoring programs like Sylvan Learning Centers, community centers, Moms Clubs and MOPS groups, and even La Leche League.

Then start looking through these links to find connections to other homeschoolers in your area:

Finding homeschoolers in Red River Region

First, talk to the homeschoolers who visit your library. Ask them about support groups, co-ops, regular meetings they attend. Then start looking for other homeschoolers in these groups:

Create a College & Career Prep Center

What resources do you have that they need?
• Test prep - books in collection and online resources
• Dual enrollment informational nights
• MOOCs – Coursera, The Complete University Guide, Class Central
• College fairs - host for the entire community, advertise to homeschoolers
• Be a resource for Tennessee Promise
• How to fill out college apps, sign up for testing
• Career training sites on TEL –, kohlscaresscholarship program, community foundations, presidents’ volunteer service award program
• Host a FAFSA filing night - public school parents will thank you as well

Types of Homeschooling (and links that explain them)

Homeschooling can look different for each family and each child, but there are several main philosophies that most families identify with.

Print Outs for In Service

Resources to Share with Homeschoolers

Become a Homeschooling Information Center

You are the best resource homeschoolers could possibly have. Now, just make your information easy for them to find. Create Information files:

  • Create handouts of the state laws and regulations pertaining to homeschoolers. Make a “How To” notebook: list connections in town, resources you have on hand
  • Start a “things to do in our town” file – museums, educational centers, university groups, historic homes, farm/ag tours, fairs, arboretums – any places that have special homeschool days
  • Offer a collection service. With one week’s advance notice, you can pull together a thematic collection of books, DVDs, software, and teaching materials for a family or homeschool co-op to use. Create a request form. This keeps groups from sweeping shelves of all books on topic.
  • Host "How to use the library" days – Provide tours of entire library, and include a scavenger hunt
  • Database training can be incredibly helpful for homeschoolers.

Become a Homeschool Community Center

• Invite local homeschool groups to speak once or twice a year
• Host book vs. movie discussions
• Some libraries host “Fantastic Fridays” – they choose a specific Friday of the month at 10 am and have a program with a different topic each month. Advertise to homeschooling groups. Divide into older and younger groups. Some ideas have included: Pioneer Christmas, "A Trip to ..." a certain country (stories, information, food, music). Indiana State Library has “Big Idea Kits” to get ideas from.
• Host a Not Back to School party: kids having snacks, games, toys, easy craft in one room; parents have an idea exchange in other room. Set up tables displaying resources for homeschoolers. Parents can share information about 4H, scouts, activities, curricula they have used, how to solve problems they are facing.
• Have an Ice cream social – bring games, toys, from home, then hang out
• Teach classes on embroidery and needlepoint and invite homeschoolers
• Display projects created by homeschoolers – art displays, science fair displays, history day displays, dioramas,
• Offer space for Scout group hosting
• Robotics teams can use maker spaces and even be volunteers/teachers
• Suggest the library as a neutral field trip starting point

Encourage parents to take charge!

• Ask parents to create a homeschool curriculum review (can be written out, on libguide, website)
• Bring ideas to them: Science fair, spelling bee, book club, storytimes they'd like to run
• Tutoring programs – can be service hours for older students who teach younger students. All you provide is the space and the computers. 
• Attend or simply advertise homeschooling conferences, lectures and curriculum fairs.
• Provide space for workshop days for parents
• Host used curriculum sales - parents pay a minimal charge for a space, then ask that a % of sales be donated to the Friends of the Library
• Unit study groups – create notebooks or lapbooks that can be used as a group


┬×Are your policies welcoming to homeschoolers?
• Extend any privileges made for public and private school teachers to homeschoolers. Extended loans, no overdues, increased limits?
• Consider the needs of homeschoolers when creating library policies – meeting rooms, loan periods, item limits, interlibrary loan fees, overdue fines/maximums fines, volunteer program age limits. By considering homeschoolers, you open up opportunities for more advocates and volunteers.

Subject Guide

Kate Smith's picture
Kate Smith
403 7th Avenue North,
Nashville, TN 37243

Catalogs to order

These are just some of the free catalogs that you can order. They can be held as reference in the library for new homeschoolers.


Homeschoolers can be some of your best advocates. Ask them to give back by:

• Joining Friends of the library – parents and kids. Kate's family has set up the children’s book room for our twice annual book sale for the past 4 years.
• Working Community service hours – shelvers, tutors, special program staff
• Staffing special programs – Harry Potter night, Dr. Who night, Sci-Fi night – chess clubs, Lego clubs
• Volunteering during summer reading program
• Joining the teen advisory board – help plan and pull off events.
• Creating or joining book clubs – can be set up for everyone to read same book OR everyone just bring a book to share each month. Parents and kids!
• Organizing robotics teams which can use maker spaces and serve as volunteers on how to use it.
• Serving on library’s Community Planning Committee
• Becoming your Social Media advertising firm - Can they videotape and edit a summer reading club video? Spread the word on Facebook?
• Assist in collection development: what books are missing and what titles/series have curriculum connections?