Christian Home Education Support System (CHESS) is a 501(c)(3) volunteer homeschooling cooperative (See "What is a 'co-op'?" below.) founded by three local homeschooling families in March of 2019.
Our mission extends beyond our membership. We see ourselves as a vital part of the Northern Middle Tennessee and South Central Kentucky homeschooling community. To that end, we sponsor several programs and events and offer multiple resources that are not member-exclusive.
Join our private Facebook group for Central KY & TN State Line Homeschoolers.* Members enjoy FREE access to:
the ULTIMATE homeschool calendar.*
the best Buy/Sell/Trade curriculum swap platform anywhere.*
our index of umbrella schools, local homeschooling co-ops and tutorials, and local homeschooling Facebook groups.*
*These are works in progress that we expect to go "live" by the Summer of 2020 at the latest. We'll keep you posted!
We may be a new group, but our leadership is comprised of homeschooling veterans with experience in multiple homeschool group settings.
Our President, Nathaniel Shell, and his wife, Rachael Shell, are parents of eight (an 18-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl, two 10-year-old boys, a 7-year-old girl, a 4-year-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, and a 1-year-old girl) and have been homeschooling since 2016.
Our Secretary, Sherry Peterson, and her husband, Dale Peterson, have been homeschooling their 13-year-old grandson since 2014.
Our Treasurer, Bevin Meadows, and her husband, James Meadows, are parents of three (a 10-year-old boy, a 6-year-old boy, and a 2-year-old girl) and have been homeschooling since 2015.
What is a "co-op"?
You can read about the different flavors of homeschooling cooperatives here.
CHESS would generally be considered a homeschool support group (See "What does CHESS do?" below.) with a volunteer enrichment co-op component. Our enrichment classes focus on the fun and/or messy stuff, "extras" that only really work in a group setting, and unique angles (such as gamification) on traditional subjects. Most if not all of our classes are non-credit offerings. Our students do most of their formal graded learning outside of CHESS's enrichment classes, which means that parents are free to use any curricula they choose.
What does "CHESS" do?
Being so new, we're still growing into our vision of offering:
weekly PK-12 enrichment classes (with a nursery)
mom/dad/couple/family "time out"
community service opportunities
graduation (K, 8th, and 12th grades)
When does "CHESS" meet?
September - November & February - April
(typically two 12-week semesters)
Where does "CHESS" meet?
While regular enrichment classes must obviously remain stationary, we make a point of spreading our other activities throughout the Northern Middle Tennessee and South Central Kentucky areas.
Why should my family join "CHESS"?
Some families -- particularly larger families -- may choose CHESS because our volunteer enrichment classes are so much more cost-effective than tutorials with paid instructors.
But we think the most compelling reason to join CHESS is that you and your kids are far more likely to form the deeper friendships we all crave.
Think about what happens at academic tutorials. Some students come only on Tuesdays, while others come only on Thursdays. And the friend your child may make in his/her Tuesday class might switch to Thursdays next semester, or only come to the one class your child won't be attending that semester. What's more, these are drop-off classes, and few if any of the parents stay to chat, so they remain strangers or at the most casual acquaintances of one another.
Social groups that organize field trips and/or nature walks are certainly wonderful, but few if any can provide a few hours of quality social interaction for all of your kids (AND YOU!) every week.
Let's face it: we're busy. The surest way to guarantee the regular quality social interactions we all need is for them to be built into a recurring weekly schedule, and for everyone (children and adults alike) to be present and active the entire time. This is what a volunteer enrichment cooperative like CHESS can do for your family.
How much does "CHESS" membership cost?
Our all-inclusive annual (September - August) membership dues are a flat $150 per family, and we rarely ever charge class fees. (We use money earned from our various "manna" fundraisers to purchase necessary supplies -- tax free!)
Other groups may at first appear to be a more economical choice, but by the time you've added the typical class fees, you'd probably spend as much -- if not even more -- per year. But don't just take our word for it. Use our interactive cost comparison chart to compare the true total cost of CHESS against any other group you may be considering.
At times, we may accept new members for the Spring semester (February - August) for a flat rate of $75 per family.
Ask us about a special program that allows you to earn money toward your family's annual membership dues as you shop at the same retailers and at the same prices as always.
If your family requires financial assistance, we encourage you to submit a scholarship application.
How can my family join "CHESS"?
We're so glad you asked!
Please submit this interest form, and we'll arrange a family interview during which we'll walk you through our formal application process.
We look forward to your family becoming a part of our CHESS family!
Apart from the free survey software, we also have access to QuestionPro's free survey templates. We've found many of them useful and powerful to collect insights from various stakeholders of our organization.