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Williamson County, TN Public Library System offers learning kits as more kids homeschooled


WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Middle Tennessee library system is offering a new way to help its growing number of homeschooled students, which follows a statewide trend.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, there were 38,750 homeschooled students statewide in May 2018, but that number has grown past 70,500 as of May 2023.

The Williamson County Public Library System launched its new learning kits to support families with their efforts to educate their children.

“We have a lot of homeschool families in our communities. We have six locations throughout Williamson County,” the library system’s director, Jessica Jeffers, said. “Just as the everyday interaction we see families coming in, so that was one of the driving factors. We also did a strategic plan not too long ago. We were polling our communities, our patrons about what they would like to see us offer more of, and this was one of the items.”

The learning kits accommodate a wide range of ages and learning styles. Each one has various materials, like books, worksheets, manipulatives, educational games, posters, and activities. The kits are available for checkout to adult library cardholders and can be borrowed for up to four weeks at a time.

“I think our bigger mission is just to make sure we’re reaching every segment of our population that’s out in our communities,” said Jeffers. “And we’re always trying, of course, to get people in to use the library, and our hope is just to make that connection with our patrons and to support that lifelong learning.”

The learning kits were funded in part by a Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant. Jeffers said library officials are hoping for more of them in the future because they have been very popular so far.

“There’s all different types of ways that kids learn, so we just want to make sure we’re filling those needs,” she added.

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The Tennessee Department of Education detailed how the state’s number of homeschooled students increased over the years, adding that districts report their amounts by Dec. 15 and May 15 annually:

  • As of May 15, 2018, there were 29,681 students in church-related home schools and 9,069 students in independent home schools, making the total number of homeschooled students in Tennessee 38,750 at that time.
  • As of May 15, 2019, there were 32,791 students in church-related home schools and 10,161 students in independent home schools, making the total number of homeschooled students in Tennessee 42,952 at that time.
  • As of May 15, 2020, there were 38,078 students in church-related home schools and 12,685 students in independent home schools, making the total number of homeschooled students in Tennessee 50,763 at that time.
  • As of May 15, 2021, there were 44,025 students in church-related home schools and 18,525 students in independent home schools, making the total number of homeschooled students in Tennessee 62,550 at that time.
  • As of May 15, 2022, there were 49,429 students in church-related home schools and 16,080 students in independent home schools, making the total number of homeschooled students in Tennessee 65,509 at that time.
  • As of May 15, 2023, there were 55,376 students in church-related home schools and 15,170 students in independent home schools, making the total number of homeschooled students in Tennessee 70,546 at that time.



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