Homeschooling in Arkansas & Homeschool Laws

Homeschooling in Arkansas & Homeschool Laws

You may be considering homeschooling your children in Arkansas, but don’t know where to start regarding state laws and requirements. This guide will walk you through what you need to know to successfully set up your own Arkansas homeschool according to state law. We’ll cover the history of homeschooling in Arkansas, current state laws, required notifications and filings, curriculum and testing choices, transcripts, extracurricular activities, graduation requirements, and special education services.

History of Homeschooling in Arkansas

In 1985, the state established the legal framework for an Arkansas homeschool. In 2015, Utah eliminated the state law regarding the testing requirement, which mandated annual testing for grades 3 through 9.

Additional state laws passed in 2017, addressed participation in interscholastic activities and implemented changes to the annual notice to home school, relieving families of the obligation to disclose instructional details and a waiting period under state law.

Today, it’s estimated that around 25,000 children are homeschooled in Arkansas, comprising 5-6% of the total Kindergarten-12 student population. Arkansas is considered one of the most homeschool-friendly states in the nation thanks to its relatively minimal regulations compared to many other states.

Current Arkansas Homeschool Laws and Regulations

  • Act 429 of 2019: Prohibits public schools from charging home school pupils for concurrent enrollment courses unless public school pupils are similarly charged.

  • Act 430 of 2019: Mandates public schools to allow private school or home school children to enroll in academic courses.

  • Act 617 of 2019: Amends the law concerning the requirements for a driver’s license or instruction permit removing the requirement for a notarized Notice, streamlining the process for a home-schooled student to obtain driving privileges.

  • Act 656 of 2019: Concerns the participation of a home-schooled student in interscholastic activities at private schools.

These Acts collectively shape the legal landscape for home schooling in Arkansas, influencing aspects of home education, such as participation in school activities, enrollment processes, and financial considerations. See reference here.

How to Set Up a Homeschool In Arkansas

To ensure a smooth and compliant home instructional experience in Arkansas, follow these enhanced guidelines to start homeschooling:

Begin each school year by notifying your local school district of your decision to homeschool. This is a crucial step, achieved by submitting a Notice of Intent to Homeschool annually by August 15th. The NOI must contain:

  • Names, birth dates, gender, and grade levels of your children.

  • Names and addresses of the last institution each child attended.

  • Your homeschool’s mailing address and telephone number.

  • A declaration of parental responsibility for the child’s learning.

  • The signature of the homeschool Arkansas provider.

Always retain proof of your submitted notice for your records.

Maintaining Your Arkansas Homeschool

Maintaining a homeschool in Arkansas involves following the state’s legal requirements and creating a supportive learning environment for your child. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Understand Arkansas Homeschool Laws: Familiarize yourself with Arkansas homeschooling law, which may include annual notification, record-keeping, and other requirements.

  • Submit Annual Notice of Intent: Annually notify the local public school about your intent to homeschool. Check the specific requirements outlined in the Arkansas homeschooling laws.

  • Create a Curriculum: Develop a plan that aligns with your child’s grade level and educational goals.

  • Keep Records: Maintain organized records of your activities. This may include attendance records, samples of your child’s work, and any standardized test results if applicable.

  • Stay Updated on Legislative Changes: Regularly check for updates or changes in state laws and regulations in Arkansas.

  • Join Support Groups: Connect with local support groups. These groups can provide valuable insights and a sense of community.

  • Utilize Educational Materials: Libraries, online educational platforms, museums, and community programs can supplement your instruction and provide diverse learning experiences.

  • Assess Progress: Regularly assess your child’s progress and adjust your approach as needed. Be flexible and responsive to your child’s learning needs, adapting the plan to keep them engaged and challenged.

  • Consider Extracurricular Activities: Explore opportunities for your child to participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports, arts, or music programs. Some states have specific regulations regarding homeschoolers’ participation in public school activities.

  • Prepare for Transitions: If your child transitions back to public school or plans to attend college, familiarize yourself with the requirements for admission and any additional documentation needed.

Arkansas Homeschool Reporting Requirements

The significance of maintaining thorough records for your homeschool cannot be overstated. Comprehensive documentation not only serves as a vital tool for your student’s educational journey but also plays a pivotal role in facilitating their transition to college, military service, or even navigating the scrutiny of an employer’s background check. Furthermore, maintaining meticulous records can prove invaluable in addressing any inquiries about your approach.

While Arkansas’ new homeschoolers’ statute does not explicitly mandate recordkeeping, it is highly advisable to keep the following essential records for your homeschool:

  • Attendance Records: Keep a detailed record of your student’s attendance. This information provides a clear timeline of their educational engagement.

  • Textbooks Information: Document the textbooks and workbooks utilized in your instruction. This record showcases the educational materials employed during their learning journey.

  • Samples of Student’s Schoolwork: Maintain samples of your student’s schoolwork, providing tangible evidence of their academic progress and achievements.

  • Correspondence with School Officials: This includes communication related to your home arrangements and can serve as a record of your compliance with relevant regulations.

  • Portfolios and Test Results: Compile portfolios containing your student’s noteworthy projects and test results. These items serve as tangible representations of their academic accomplishments and proficiency.

  • Other Documents Demonstrating Compliance: Store any additional documents that demonstrate your child’s learning in adherence to the law. This may include certificates, awards, or other relevant documentation.

It is recommended to retain these records for a minimum of two years. However, for your student’s high school records and documentation of compliance with home education laws throughout their high school years, it is advisable to keep these files indefinitely.


In Arkansas, homeschooled students are not required to participate in standardized testing. The state leaves the decision to administer tests and monitor the progress of homeschooled children up to the parent. However, the parent must submit a written notice of intent to begin homeschooling to their local superintendent by August 15th each year. This notice must include the name, date of birth, and grade level of each homeschooled child, as well as the name and address of the homeschool. The parent must also agree to use a curriculum that includes reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. While there are no mandatory testing requirements, it is encouraged to maintain records including test results, grades, and portfolios of work.

Funding Your Arkansas Homeschool

An Arkansas homeschool is primarily funded by the families who choose to homeschool. Unlike public schools, which receive public funding based on student enrollment, homeschool programs in Arkansas operate as a private educational arrangement. Families on the homeschool journey are responsible for covering the costs associated with curriculum and any other expenses related to their program.

In some cases, homeschool families may be eligible for certain services provided by the state or local school districts.

  • Arkansas LEARNS:  The legislation provides families with financial support through vouchers, allowing their children to attend school in a home. Currently, participants in the program receive over $6,000 annually from the state.

It’s important for families in Arkansas to be aware of support services provided by the state. This could include access to educational materials, standardized testing, or participation in extracurricular activities offered by the public or private school system. However, the financial responsibility typically rests with the families who choose this educational path.

Federal Tax Breaks

Families may be eligible for certain federal tax benefits to help offset educational expenses. One option is a Coverdell Education Savings Account, which allows money to grow tax-free when used for qualified costs. A parent might also be able to deduct a portion of mortgage interest or rent if part of the home is used regularly and exclusively for schooling. Finally, tax credits or deductions could be available for required books, supplies, equipment and curricula used for homeschool instruction. To learn more about these potential tax advantages, families should review the information and resources provided by the IRS.

Arkansas Immunization Requirements

Homeschooling in Arkansas generally does not have specific immunization requirements enforced by the state. Immunization requirements typically apply to students enrolled in public or private schools. However, it’s essential to have up to date information on any changes to the state’s regulations and health-related policies.

Arkansas State Homeschool Graduation Requirements

Families embarking on the journey of homeschooling through high school often find themselves with a myriad of questions concerning graduation and preparations for college or career paths. Ideally, both parents and students should engage in frequent, early discussions to collaboratively set educational goals and formulate a strategic plan for their attainment throughout the high school years.

Distinguishing between the requirements for traditionally schooled students and homeschoolers regarding high school graduation can be complex. For homeschoolers aspiring to pursue further instruction post-graduation, a highly effective strategy is to research the requirements of the colleges they intend to apply to. By aligning their course of study with the expectations of these institutions, they can tailor their educational journey to meet both personal and higher education objectives. 

  • Diploma: Parents hold the authority to assess when their students have met the criteria for graduation and are empowered to issue their own homeschool diploma. Conversely, students enrolled in private or online schools have the opportunity to receive diplomas directly from those educational institutions.

  • High School Testing Requirements: Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation.

  • High School Transcripts: Homeschool parents have the flexibility to craft personalized student transcripts, incorporating any relevant information they consider valuable for college applications, military service, and future employment opportunities.

  • High School Course Credits: Parents have the authority to ascertain when their students have met graduation requirements. In the process of constructing transcripts, some homeschooling parents choose to assign credits to individual courses.

  • GED Eligibility: The same requirements for eligibility apply to homeschoolers as to public school students.

Arkansas Homeschool Charters

Arkansas hosts a variety of virtual charter schools that provide online programs, which can be an option for families looking for alternatives to traditional public schooling or homeschooling. It’s important to research each option thoroughly to understand their specific enrollment processes, curriculum offerings, and whether they align with your educational goals for your children.

Local Arkansas Homeschooling Resources

In Arkansas, homeschooling families have access to a variety of resources designed to support a child’s education. Here’s a brief overview of some Arkansas homeschool associations:

  • The Education Alliance ( This is a statewide organization in Arkansas that provides support to homeschooling families including co ops. They offer legal information, advice on curriculum, networking with other homeschoolers, and updates on Arkansas homeschool laws. Their website is a comprehensive resource for new and experienced homeschoolers alike.

  • Homeschool Facts: There are numerous homeschool support groups across the state, offering a community of support, resources, and activities for homeschooling families. These groups often organize field trips, co ops, and social gatherings. The Education Alliance provides a directory of homeschool support groups in Arkansas.

  • Arkansas Department of Education: The ADE website provides information on Arkansas homeschool laws and the process for notifying the state of your intent to homeschool.

  • Local Libraries – Public libraries in Arkansas can be invaluable resources for homeschooling including field trips.

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