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Arkansas Homeschool Laws & Requirements

Arkansas Homeschool Laws & Requirements
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Arkansas is quite a friendly state for homeschooling families. That is because Arkansas homeschool requirements due not put an undue burden on parents or students. Other than filing an annual Notice of Intent to homeschool in Arkansas, choices about how to homeschool, what curriculum to use, and what records to keep are at each family’s discretion. This means that you have quite a lot of flexibility to create a homeschooling plan that fits your value system, your educational goals, and your child’s specific interests.

This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.

Arkansas Intent to Homeschool

In Arkansas, submission of a Notice of Intent to Homeschool form is the only way to legally begin educating your child at home. This form should be submitted either electronically, by mail, or in person to the local school superintendent by August 15 of each year (or at least 14 days prior to withdrawing a child from his/her current school). Information that this form requires includes:

  • Name, sex, date of birth, and grade level of each child to be homeschooled
  • Name and address of the last school attended (if applicable)
  • The name of the parent (or legal guardian) who will be homeschooling the student
  • A statement signifying whether or not the student will be participating in public school interscholastic activities
  • A statement signifying whether or not the student will be pursuing a high school equivalency diploma during the school year
  • A statement signifying whether or not the student will be pursuing a driver’s license during the school year
  • Signature of the parent (or legal guardian)

By submitting a Notice of Intent to Home school in Arkansas, parents are assuming the full responsibility for their child’s education. The Notice of Intent is the only required form that families must submit for Arkansas homeschool registration.

More information relating to the home education rules for Arkansas can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.

Full Details of Arkansas’s Homeschool Laws

Homeschool Recordkeeping in Arkansas

There are no recordkeeping requirements for homeschooling families in the Natural State. However, many families choose to maintain a homeschool portfolio for their own records and to keep track of their child’s progress. These can be helpful since they make it easier to create a high school transcript when the time comes, especially for those students planning to attend college.

Arkansas Homeschool Graduation Requirements

Families who will be homeschooling all the way through high school often have many questions related to graduation and preparation for college or career. Ideally, parents and students will sit down together early and often throughout the high school years to discuss educational goals and to make a collaborative plan on how to best achieve them.

There are many differences between the requirements of traditionally schooled students and homeschoolers in regards to high school graduation. Some of these are outlined in the chart below. For homeschoolers who have plans to further their education after graduation, one of the most helpful ways to plan out coursework is to research the requirements of colleges he/she may wish to apply to. Then, they can align their course of study with the expectations of those institutions.

  Public/Private School Homeschool
Arkansas diploma requirements Students graduating from an AR public school must have a minimum of 22 credit hours, according to Smart Core requirements. Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements and can issue their own homeschool diploma; students of private/online schools may receive diplomas from those institutions.
Arkansas high school testing requirements All students must pass the Arkansas Civics exam. Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation.
Arkansas high school transcripts AR public school transcripts include personal history of the student, current academic status, courses completed with grades earned, degrees and diplomas awarded, health information and testing information. Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.
Arkansas high school course credits Requirements of 4 credits of English language arts, 4 credits of math, 3 science credits, 3 social studies credits, 6 career development credits, plus half credits in oral communication, physical education, health and safety, and fine arts. Students must also complete a digital course for credit. Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.
GED eligibility Anyone who is 16 years or older, not enrolled in or graduated from high school, and who meets the state eligibility requirements, can earn an Arkansas High School Diploma by passing the GED® assessment. The same requirements for eligibility apply to homeschoolers as to public school students.

Switching from Homeschool to Public School in Arkansas

Not every family will homeschool from kindergarten through graduation, of course. Homeschooling is a tremendous option, but most families make the decision year to year whether or not to continue home education. In Arkansas, state law specifies that any course credits earned while homeschooling be transferable to public school when re-enrolling. It also assures the right of homeschoolers to be placed in the proper grade level and be promoted to the next level at end of school year.

When enrolling or re-enrolling in public school after homeschooling, families should submit to the school:

  • A transcript detailing courses taken and grades received
  • A portfolio indicating the student’s progress while homeschooling

It is also possible, if the student has not recently completed a nationally-normed standardized test, that the school may require one prior to admission. Students who plan on graduating from a public high school after a period of homeschooling must attend classes at the school for at least nine months before becoming eligible for a diploma.

Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Arkansas

Have other questions about homeschooling in Arkansas? You may find the following pages helpful.

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