"WHERE DO I START?"
Umbrella schools are the place to start for the beginning homeschooler. The most common umbrella schools in the Memphis area include Gateway Christian Schools (specifically, the Total Home-Education Program) and Faith Heritage Academy. From legal requirements and curriculum fairs to seminars and area support groups, you will find many of your questions answered on these sites. These resources offer planning sheets, detailed info for homeschooling through high school and submitting transcripts. Each provides an excellent place to begin your homeschool research.
Additionally, a physical support group will get you plugged into other homeschool families. A quick google search for Memphis homeschool support groups will produce plenty of results.
While you're searching, facebook and Yahoo Groups are handy tools to connect with other homeschool families in the area by using similar search terms. Many of these groups are closed in order to protect the privacy of members and you may need to request membership. These grass roots groups provide forums for everything from info on curriculum to field trip opportunities and are great places to go if you have a specific question that Google just can't answer.
An important component to successful homeschooling is getting plugged in. The new and veteran home educator will doubtless have discouraging days, questioning whether she is up to the task she's undertaken. Communities of other like-minded homeschooling families will keep you both inspired and grounded. Isolation, on the other hand, may drain your motivation or drown your confidence. However, keep in mind that each homeschool support community is unique and you may need to shop around for the best fit for your family.
If you are one of the many in the Memphis area considering taking the plunge, or even taking a dip, into home education, rest assured that the resources and support are in place in the homeschool community.