What is HLN’s philosophy and pedagogy?

 HLN is Christian, classical, and traditional. Read more here.

Is HLN a co-op or tutorial? Do parents stay or drop-off?

HLN is a tutorial. Knowledgable and enthusiastic teachers teach lessons each week and provide assignments to be completed at home. Parents drop-off students and are not on campus during the school day.

What courses do students take at HLN?

Kindergarten through Second Grade students use the Memoria Press Core Curriculum for their grades. Students in third grade and up study Latin through Fourth Form, Classical Studies through Classical Metaphyics, Classical Composition through Thesis/Law, and Literature & Poetry every year.

Do students have to do the assigned work or is that left up to the parents’ discretion? 

Students are expected to complete all weekly work as assigned in all grades. A good way to think of this is that students do not “audit” classes without completing the work. In the primary years, parents follow the complete Memoria Press curriculum guide. In classes for third grade through high school, teachers communicate weekly work in class to students and by weekly email to parents.

What is required of parents at home? 

Parents have assignments, too! Parents are often asked to check daily work and/or mark assessments using their teacher guides and keys. This is the perfect blend for parents who want a Memoria Press education for their child, want to stay involved with the subject matter and engaged with their child’s learning, but do not want to carry the load of teaching the material or assigning the weekly work. 

Do teachers keep track of or report grades?

Parents are in charge of registering with the state or an umbrella school as a homeschooler in Tennessee. We recommend HomeLife Academy for this, and we require our families in 8th-12th to register with HLA. 

**Parents, not teachers, calculate and report grades, along with attendance to HLA or the state. 

Does HLN offer activities and events?

HLN’s focus is on curricular academics–the classes HLN provides are the most important thing HLN does. HLN offers a few events during the year for families to connect and enjoy fellowship together. Visit the Facebook or Instagram page to see photos from some of the past events:

  • Fall: Orientation/Meet the Teacher night
  • Deo Gratias – fall family potluck and contra dance
  • Winter: Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Winter Shakespeare even for older students
  • Spring: “Funeral Games and Family Picnic” field day
  • Spring: Event to honor graduating seniors

Throughout the year: 

  • Parents are invited to the Parent/Teacher Book Club. This is a wonderful, low-pressure opportunity to read the foundational texts in the Memoria Press classical studies sequence with other adults. All levels of experience are welcome, especially newcomers to classical ed!
  • Families are encouraged to get together on their own outside HLN to build like-minded friendships
  • Parents of younger children often walk across 6th Street after pickup to chat and let the kids play at East Park

HLN is curricular and focuses on students’ academic needs. Middle Tennessee provides an impressive wealth of extra-curricular activities for all who want to participate–fine arts and performing arts, sports, music, service, work, etc. In fact, your time, sanity, and finances are the only barriers to all there is to do locally!

How are students placed in classes? Will my child be put into a “grade“?

Because HLN is curriculum-centric, greater emphasis is placed on correct placement in the curriculum rather than with same-aged peers. There is a range of ages in most classes, especially in cumulative subjects like Latin, Composition, and Math. Note: Students in K-2 are placed in a grade. Placement is done by directors with consultation from parents about previous work in school or at home. 

How have HLN’s high school students done? Can they get into college? Scholarships? 

While outcomes are important, HLN’s focus is on providing a strong and beautiful foundation for genuine lifelong learning. Regardless of whether a student pursues a PhD or never enters a formal classroom again after graduating, this education is a good one, and it is one that can be a seed to nourish their heart and mind for a lifetime. HLN students have all been accepted to colleges–private and public–and have received academic scholarships. Some have been invited to join honors programs as well. What helps them stand out is their robust transcript and book list (sample 1, sample 2, sample 3). Transcripts show electives like 2 or more years of Latin, Metaphysics, Greek Drama-Tragedies, Informal Logic, Formal Logic, and Rhetoric. Their book list includes authors like Dante, Tolstoy, Shakespeare & poetry study, Austen, Dickens, and these are in addition to classics authors, which include Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, and Cicero. 

HLN students have been accepted to the following colleges and universities, many with generous academic scholarships and invitations to Honors Programs: Hillsdale College, University of the South (Sewanee), Berry College, Lipscomb University, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Trevecca Nazarene University, Rhodes College, Samford University, Austin Peay University, and Nashville State Community College.

Does HLN offer high school electives?

Yes, HLN offers rich high school electives. Time is finite, and this is especially true in high school and as students get closer to preparing to leave home. For this reason, HLN chooses to focus on high quality electives like Latin, philosophy, logic, rhetoric, and classical political philosophy. 

Are parents required to volunteer? Are there any annual fundraisers?

No and no. Parents are expected to homeschool their children and help their children do weekly work to be ready for classes the following week. This is their responsibility in the partnership with HLN. Parents are not required to volunteer for any tasks outside the home. HLN does invite parents who are interested to serve as greeters or hosts for our Classroom Observation Days or Open House. Parents are also invited to help with any of the other family events. 

Regarding fundraisers: HLN is an independent tutorial and is not supported by outside funding from churches or donors. HLN runs solely on yearly enrollment fees and tuition. 

Does HLN plan to add days or become a full time school?

No. HLN exists to support families who want to homeschool with a Memoria Press classical education and who want outside support. K-5 students come one day per week. In addition to attending Monday classes, 6th-12th grades may also attend a la carte classes on Thursdays for math, science, Logic and Rhetoric, and US History. 

How much time will school work take at home?

Time spent on work each day at home will vary based on the student. Primary (K-2) students are homeschooled using the complete curriculum plans. HLN teaches the “L” of Monday plus Literature & Enrichment (see highlighted curriculum plan below). Daily work should take a few hours, but may be split up into a few chunks of time, especially if there are younger children at home as well. 

Generally, a middle or high school student should expect to spend their non-tutorial days doing schoolwork at home for about 6-7 hrs/day, depending on the student. If they do this, their afternoons, evenings, and weekends should be available for other things like outside activities, work, hobbies, sports, etc. Students this age should regard themselves as full time students.

Do HLN students attend other tutorials or have commitments on other days?

A few do, and parents are asked to provide a list of commitments outside HLN on their application so that Directors can have a discussion about workload, if necessary, including online classes. HLN work, in and of itself, is not too heavy to be completed as assigned. However, those who attend more than one tutorial or have commitments during school day hours may be overwhelmed with assignments because they are away from home on another day/days and lose that “work day” at home. Others may experience a heavy workload from non-Highlands classes that makes the daily HLN work difficult to complete. If you are considering additional tutorial or co-op classes, please reach out to talk through what that may look like and whether or not that outside option will fit with the work from HLN. If your student is in 6th grade through 12th, consider taking math and science at HLN in order to avoid having an imbalanced workload.  Work assigned from another tutorial does not excuse work from being completed for HLN.

How does HLN work with family flexibility, travel, or sickness?

One of the blessings of outside teaching and accountability is the predictable pace and extra help staying on track through the year. When a student misses classes, the pace continues. Parents are expected to “homeschool” the weekly assigned work from the teacher by using their teacher guides and key. At HLN we work hard and we break hard. HLN meets for 33 weeks during the school year and takes 6 full weeks of break. HLN does not assign extra work over the breaks: (see the calendar here)

  • Fall Break
  • Thanksgiving Week
  • 3 weeks for Christmas/New Year
  • Spring Break

Families are encouraged to take advantage of these six full weeks and their book-ending weekends for any planned travel or absences. 

Bonus: HLN does not assign work over the summer. Latin students are asked to review over the summer. New students in older grades may have some pre-requisite reading, but there are no summer reading requirements or papers to complete. Each year HLN will wish you well and look forward to reconnecting in August. 

Does HLN use technology in the classroom?

Yes! At HLN you will see books, paper, pencils, pens, and dry erase boards and markers. Students do not use devices, laptops, iPads, or screens of any kind in the classroom.

At the beginning of the 2020 school year, we asked students to share their favorite book they’ve studied at HLN.  Here are their answers–simply delightful. It brings us so much joy to know they have held these books in their hands, and enjoyed them deeply.

Where do HLN families live? Does everyone already know each other?

HLN families live all across middle Tennessee! And no, not everyone knows each other. We encourage you to get to know the HLN families in your area. Some families are friends from church or other activities, but there are always those who are entirely new–and we welcome this!

Does HLN have a dress code?

Yes, HLN has a simple and straightforward dress code for all students, and most students wear the same clothes to tutorial each week. 

Is it too late to start classical education?

We passionately believe that it is NEVER too late to begin a classical education, even for us adults. That said, it is important for a student stepping into classical education at an older age to prepare himself with the required pre-reading and to maintain a cheerful disposition. Even for the newest of us, the classical tradition is a rich heritage to explore no matter how deep you can go into it.