Umbrella/Cover Schools
An umbrella or cover school provides an alternative way for parents to fulfill governmental educational guidelines and requirements. Most offer a variety of services, which can include curricula, social activities, field trips, standardized testing, portfolio reviews, evaluations, and graduation materials, including diplomas. While umbrella schools do tend to the needs of homeschoolers, they are considered a type of private school in most states.
What is an Umbrella or Cover School?
Why an Umbrella School?

This forum discussion gives reasons why some families choose the option of a homeschool umbrella school. 

What Are Homeschool Umbrella Schools?

An umbrella school is a homeschooling “school” that oversees the high schoolers’ education. Different states have different names for umbrella schools.

Learn How a Homeschool Umbrella School Works: Is It Right For You?

A homeschool umbrella school is an independent school that offers enrolled families a way to comply with state laws. In most circumstances, these schools offer families a chance to homeschool under private school laws, where they may find much more freedom from intervention than following homeschooling regulations individually. These types of schools can be set up as a local organization, or as a distance or online school. In some states, legal homeschooling may only be done through an umbrella or cover school, while in other states, umbrella schools can offer benefits to homeschooling families, but are not required by state law.

Tennessee Homeschool Umbrella Schools

According to the Tennessee education code, homeschoolers have three ways to follow Tennessee homeschool laws. The most popular of these options with homeschool families is to enroll their child in a church-related umbrella school. These schools are operated by denominational, parochial or other church organizations and are required to meet specific standards of accreditation. Umbrella schools in Tennessee are free to choose their own operational procedures. Each school will vary on curriculum options, standardized testing, minimum graduation requirements, parent education levels, and other details of homeschooling.

The Perks of an Umbrella School vs. Remaining Independent

At one time or another, many homeschool families examine the possibility of enrolling in an umbrella or cyber school. An umbrella school is a homeschool program operated by public charter schools or directly by regular public schools. 

What is an Umbrella School?

An umbrella school is an entity, typically considered a private school, which serves to oversee homeschooling families and help them meet the requirements of their state’s homeschooling laws. Sometimes the umbrella school is an actual physical private school with which homeschooling families can partner. In other cases, an umbrella school is more of an organization established to help homeschoolers comply with the law.

Umbrella School: Why You Should Homeschool with an Umbrella School

An umbrella school is generally a private school which has an option available for homeschooling. An umbrella school has students which actually attend the private school, as well as students who are registered as homeschoolers.

Umbrella Schools - Pros and Cons

This forum discussion goes over the pros and cons of using an umbrella school. In some states, there is a requirement for homeschoolers to register with an organization, and umbrella or cover schools offer this. 

What is an Umbrella School?

There is no universal definition for an umbrella (or cover) school because home education laws vary from state to state. In some states, homeschoolers can get some level of support and legal protection for their home education program. Umbrella schools typically provide legal legitimacy to a family's home education program, maintain attendance records, host field trips and activities, and more. 

Featured Resources

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Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
Based on the key Montessori principle that children learn best through active experience, Teach Me to Do It Myself presents simple activities through which children explore and develop their skills. These skill areas include sensory perceptions, body coordination, language, understanding of numbers, and movement. This practical, color-illustrated parenting book is filled with activities and instructions for overseeing children as they carry out a variety of learning activities. Most activities w...
Serving Homeschooled Teens and Their Parents (Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series)
This guide for librarians addresses the needs of homeschooled teens and how a library can meet those needs. Includes ideas like developing a homeschool resource and book collection to creating special homeschool programs. While this book was written for library staff, it is also an insightful guide into how homeschoolers and libraries can work together. 
Real-Life Homeschooling: The Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home
The book that shows homeschooling in action! What does it really mean when parents say they homeschool their child or children? For Rhonda Barfield -- a homeschooler for the past 10 years -- the definition is as diverse as the 21 families she studies in this eye-opening book. Real-Life Homeschooling From the city to the country, apartments to split-levels, you'll enter each household and see education in action. Discover the challenges and rewards of tailoring instruction to each child's nee...
The Absorbent Mind
In response to the crisis in American education, more than five thousand public and private schools across the nation have adopted the timeless Montessori Method of teaching, of which this book is the cornerstone. Written by the women whose name is synonymous worldwide with child development theory, The Absorbent Mind takes its title from the phrase that the inspired Italian doctor coined to characterize the child's most crucial developmental stage: the first six years.A new foreword by John Cha...
When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason's Philosophy for Today
Children want to learn and one of the best approaches to homeschooling is to meet their natural curiosity with support and understanding. Charlotte Mason's educational philosophy does just that. This book offers explanations of how to incorporate Mason's ideas into your teaching, leading to more success in learning and less frustration in the home education environment. This book is a great resource for those embarking on the homeschool journey, as well as being an invaluable resource for those ...