How to Homeschool in Arkansas and Arkansas Homeschool Laws

By Dr. Jon

State laws change from time to time and though we try to keep the laws up-to-date at all times please check with the department of education for any changes that may have occurred.

If you’re reading this, that means you’ve made the decision to consider homeschool for your kid. Congratulations on coming this far. What you need to know now is your obligations, as required by the state and how you could go about fulfilling those requirements. We have also put together a short list of resources that you can hop over to and get some insight into what homeschooling in your state of Arkansas is going to have in store for you. Use the inforgraphic and video below to create a homeschool that thrives.

Homeschool in Arkansas

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Homeschool in Arkansas

If you have a child, or are guardian to one between the ages of five and fifteen, then you automatically come under the State law that governs the education of children, enforced by the Arkansas Department of Education. Under the Arkansas State Law you are given two choices. The first is to send your child to a public, private or parochial school accredited by the state. If you decide not to take this option, then you are allowed to homeschool the child, provided certain conditions are met.

Arkansas defines a homeschool as a program conducted mostly by the parents of the child. It does not enforce schedules or curriculums and leaves it to the parents to determine that. Parents who conduct this homeschool also do not need to take any qualifying exams or attend a certification process. This makes Arkansas one of the easiest states to opt for homeschooling. The first thing that you do need to do when it comes to homeschooling in Arkansas, is to Print and complete an Notice of Intent to Homeschool Form and the Waiver, then file those documents with the Superintendent of Schools in your district. The link to get your forms is provided below. You only need to file one form for each family, not for each child. This form should be filed before the commencement of the school year and no later than August 15th.

*Tip: If you want to have the forms sail though trouble free, do make sure that you fill in everything that is required. If you’re not sure, give the Superintendent’s office a call.

Arkansas Homeschool Law does not require parents or guardians to discuss their choice with the superintendent or to see approval for the curricula they intend on following. The state will also not provide books and supplies for children who are homeschooled, and the state will also not issue diplomas at the end of their studies. Students also no longer need to take standardized testing to show proficiency in any area.

As far as attendance and record of schooling is concerned, parents are not required to supply the state with any documentation. They are encouraged to keep them, of course, but that encouragement is only from the perspective of good practices and not under the burden of any state law.

If a student is suspended from public or private school, he or she is not precluded from attending home school in Arkansas. Parents and guardians just need to follow the same guidelines and laws.

Curriculum

Although it is not a legal requirement, just because it's at home, doesn’t mean that certain disciplines are out the door. Some of the best outcomes from homeschool happen with the institution of proper dress codes, scheduled start, end and break times; and, sero use of communication media like texting, phones and social media. Focus is important and the lack of typical home distractions should be kept to a minimum. Use of a dedicated room is preferable instead of using the child’s own bedroom or the common areas of the house where there will be cognitive association factors presenting the student with distractions.

There should be lesson plans and there should be goal oriented tests and examinations along with a detailed progress report to monitor the advancement of the student. This is not just an academic exercise but really allows the parent or guardian to tailor the child’s lessons better. In most cases, depending on the child’s ability, these homeschool curriculum can move faster than a public school curriculum.

The benefit with such loose regulations In Arkansas’ Homeschooling laws is that parents and guardians are free to enhance their own curriculum with additional outside assistance. Additional extracurricular activities can be organized to enhance the child’s breadth of learning and also understand rules of social engagement.

Homeschool AR Grade

Homeschooling in Arkansas gets a pretty high grade of B. They are not completely hurdle free which is the reason for the less than perfect rating. You still have to go through the need of filing the necessary waivers and notices. Even though it gets a B, the burden of compliance with any of the state laws is minimal and easily accomplished. Especially if you take advantage of the fact that the link to the forms are already included below and all you have to do is print and fill out, then submit.

Conclusion

You can’t go wrong if you decide to homeschool in Arkansas. You’ve got quite a few option when it comes to the legal statue of your homeschool, provided that you take care of the compulsory paperwork. It’s all pretty straight forward, nonetheless, and the bustling homeschooling community is there to show you how to start homeschooling in AR, too. That said, we’re here to help you, too – just get in touch if you’ve got any questions.

Resources

Here’s a selection of websites related to homeschooling in Arkansas:

http://www.responsiblehomeschooling.org/policy-issues/current-policy/

http://www.centralarhomeschoolers.org/blog This is a ever expanding organization offering help and support to Arkansas homeschooling families

http://www.arkansashomeschoolers.com - this is a useful site, with plenty of useful information on how homeschool in Arkansas

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