Our members are current homeschoolers. Homeschooling is an educational choice in which the parent/guardian takes both the practical and legal responsibility for all aspects of their child's education. This includes choosing your child's course of study and the materials you will use, teaching the material, checking students' work, and assigning grades.
Homeschooling has been legal in Arkansas since 1985. The law has changed over time and will likely continue to change. All homeschoolers in Arkansas must submit an Intent to Homeschool form to the Department of Education. Any student who is participating in an educational option for which a Homeschool Intent Form is not required is not considered a homeschooler.
Today there are more than 4,375 homeschool students in Central Arkansas; 18,500+ statewide. You can do this!
If you are beginning the journey of homeschooling your children, know these things:
- Know Yourself - Evaluate yourself and be realistic about your teaching and discipline styles, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Don't be afraid to ask for help - we all needed advice in one area or another!
- Know Your Child - Every child has their own unique style of learning. Study your children to find out what motivates them, how they best learn, what is their best and worst time of day, etc. Children change, so what works one year (or day) may or may not work the next. Be flexible. One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is your ability to "tailor-make" your curriculum to fit the needs of each specific child.
- Know Homeschooling - Any new venture requires research. Learn about teaching methods, learning styles, homeschool terminology, and curriculum. You can't know it all, but seek to have a working knowledge of the process and available resources. (Check out "Homeschooling 101")
- Know Homeschooling in Arkansas - Familiarize yourself with current Arkansas homeschool laws and complete a Notice of Intent to Home School and Waiver (releasing the state from liability for your children's education). Submit them to your local school superintendent's office by August 15th or December 15th (if beginning second semester). Your child will be required to take a standardized test in accordance with state law (3rd through 9th grades only). Be sure to visit our Resources page for helpful information including Intent Forms, Curriculum, and Testing.
Some have asked if another individual may homeschool their child for them.
Homeschool law does not allow non-custodial adults to homeschool other people's children. You may use many different methods to teach your children, including having others teach them. However, the ultimate responsibility will stay with the parent/guardian. The parent/guardian will be the one signing the Arkansas Intent to Homeschool Form and will be held accountable for:
- Legal liability
- Insuring educational continuity
- Insuring compliance in:
- Registering the student as a homeschooler
- Participating in standardized testing according to state law
- Selecting and Approving coursework
- Completing coursework
Often classes for a specific subject are taught by someone other than the child’s parent. For example, someone else may teach science, advanced mathematics, computer programming, Latin, or piano. This is a common, legitimate, and philosophically agreeable practice in the context of homeschooling. It is also common for a group of families to develop more elaborate systems of helping one another homeschool (such as co-ops).