“Homeschooling is against the law!” These words were spoken to my children by a neighbor one afternoon a few weeks ago. My children didn’t know what to say to her, they were in shock! Of course, homeschooling is not
against the law, but there are some laws that apply to me as a homeschooling parent. The laws vary from state to state. To find out what law applies to you in your state, click here
I am so thankful that homeschooling in the United States is still legal! I consider homeschooling to be my right as a parent, but I also realize that there are many places on the globe where I would not be able to enjoy this God given right. While homeschooling is legal in the state of Arkansas – as in all 50 states – there are some laws by which homeschoolers here in the Natural State must abide. Here is a brief rundown of our laws.
1. Homeschooling parents must file a “Notice of Intent” form with their local superintendent of schools.
2. Homeschooled students in grades 3-9 must take a state mandated standarized test each year they are homeschooled. This test is paid for by the state and only covers math and reading. There is no penalty if your child performs poorly. The tests are graded and the results are sent to the parents a few weeks after the test is completed. It is all organized by the state and the test only takes two hours of your time.
The deadline to file your “notice of intent” forms for this school year is August 15, 2010. It only takes a moment to print out the three forms and not much longer than that to fill them out. They need not be typed, print is fine. You need not get the forms notarized, unless your child will be applying for a driver’s permit or license this school year. If so, you will need a notarized copy of the forms. The instructions for doing this are on the form itself.
You must know the name of your school district’s superintendent and his office address. You can submit your forms in person or mail them.
I use the website for The Education Alliance
to access my forms each year. If you go to their homepage, you will find a wealth of information! The link for obtaining your forms is clearly marked, “Notice of Intent”. (See arrow in screenshot, below.) Click this link and then download the forms to your computer and print them out. You will need Adobe Reader on the your computer to download the forms. (Click to enlarge screenshot)
Once you’ve printed out your forms, simply fill them out and send them in. In March, you will receive the testing information for the students in your home who are between grades 3-9.
Please note that there are no laws regarding the type of curriculum you use, the depth of training you as the parent have received, or any other specific boundaries to your homeschooling methods. The state would simply like to know what you’re doing in your homeschool.
Because I love homeschooling, I refuse to break the laws. I don’t mind being accountable to the state for how I educate my children because I’m doing my best. I’m not ashamed. As a Christian, I also want to keep a right testimony with my government officials. If you homeschool in the great state of Arkansas, then stand up and be counted! Be a law abiding homeschooler! 🙂