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Homeschooling in Arkansas

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Find out how to homeschool in Arkansas with this article. You can get familiar with state regulations, learn what you need to teach and get access to helpful educational tools.

How Do I Start Homeschooling in Arkansas?

In order to homeschool your child in Arkansas, you will need to complete two forms:

  • Notice of Intent to Homeschool
  • Home School Waiver

You only need to fill out one of each form for your entire family, even if you are going to homeschool several children. These forms require you to provide information about:

  • The name, birth date and school level of your child
  • The last school the child attended
  • Your address
  • What you plan to teach and your curriculum
  • Your educational schedule

While Arkansas doesn't require parents to complete any special education before beginning instruction, you will need to include your own educational level on the notice of intent.

These forms must be sent to your local superintendent by August 15th of every year that you intend to homeschool, or 14 days before you withdraw your child from public school. You will need to submit these forms electronically through the Arkansas Department of Education website (www.arkansas.gov). Be aware that the compulsory school age in Arkansas is from 5-17. Make sure you complete yearly forms while your child is in this age range.

Your child is permitted to re-enter public school at any time you wish. However, if your child returns too late in the school year, he or she will not be eligible to receive a public school diploma.

What Do I Teach?

Arkansas makes no requirements on what you must teach your child. However, it's a good idea to provide instruction in core educational subjects. These homeschool courses can help students go over different subjects at varying grade levels, allowing them to get the most from their study time. Younger children can access these social studies, science, language arts and math courses to explore these subjects.

You are not required to keep any educational records for your child, though it may be a good idea to maintain transcripts, examples of student work and attendance records, as colleges or employers may require this information.

As of 2015, the State of Arkansas no long requires that homeschooled students participate in annual achievement testing. Homeschooling parents still have the option of testing their child at their discretion, which takes place in the spring of each year.

How Can My Child Get a Diploma?

The state of Arkansas doesn't provide diplomas to homeschooled students. However, your child may complete the GED test in order to earn an Arkansas High School Diploma. This GED Prep Course can help your child prepare for this examination. It provides information about the subjects covered by the test and allows students to work on interactive quizzes to measure their understanding. These lessons are self-paced and allow your child to study whenever is most convenient. Your child can even contact subject matter experts if he or she is struggling with a particular area.

Can My Child Participate in Activities through Public Schools?

There are some provisions that allow homeschoolers to take part in sporting activities offered by public schools. Your child will be permitted to try out, though a space on any sporting team is not guaranteed. Some school districts may also allow your child to take part in a few classes at your local public school, but you will need to contact the school board to find out. Other academic activities organized by the Arkansas Activities Association allow homeschooled student participation.

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