FAQ

1. How do home school students do on standardized tests when compared to their public school counterparts?

Answer: Every year for 20 years in a row, Arkansas home school students have outperformed their public school counterparts on standardized tests.

2. Are home school standardized test scores made available to anyone other than the child’s parents?

Answer: Parents are the only ones who are supposed to receive personally identifiable data regarding their child’s home school test. The Arkansas Department of Education does collect data on home schoolers as a group for statistical purposes only.

Academics

1. Can home school students take courses at the local public school?

Answer: Home school students are allowed to take academic courses at the local public school if the local school board approves it. Most public schools in Arkansas make no provision for home school students to take classes at the public school.

2. Can home school students take courses at a private school?

Answer: Yes. If the private school approves it.

3. Can home school students participate in regional science fairs, orchestra and voice competitions, spelling bees, and other similar competitions?

Answer: The organization(s) sponsoring these events establish(es) the rules regarding who can participate in these competitions. If the competition is sponsored or sanctioned by the Arkansas Activities Association, they only allow home school students to compete in “academic” competitions. This means that home school students can enter science fair competitions that are sanctioned by AAA, but not orchestra or sports related competitions that AAA sanctions.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities

1. What opportunities for extracurricular activities exist for home schoolers?

Answer: Larger cities and towns usually have sports and other extracurricular activities for home schoolers. Choices may be more limited in rural areas.

2. Can home school students play sports at the local public or private school?

Answer: All public schools and many private schools are members of the Arkansas Activities Association. The Arkansas Activities Association requires that eligible athletes be enrolled in at least 4 courses at the school and that they have at least a 2 point GPA in order to be eligible to play sports for a particular school. A small number of private school with athletic programs are not members of AAA. Home schoolers can play for those schools subject to their approval.

3. Can home school students participate in extracurricular activities at public schools?

Answer: The local public school may allow home school students to participate in band, choir, school clubs, and other extracurricular activities as long as the home school student does not participate in competition against other schools that are members of the Arkansas Activities Association.

Schedule

1. When can a home school student drop out of school?

Answer: Like students and public and private schools, home school students must remain in school until their 18th birthday or until they graduate from high school.

2. Can home school students work during the day?

Answer: Yes. There are no state requirements regarding when a home school student must attend classes.

3. Can home school students take holidays at times that are different from public schools?

Answer: Yes. Many home school families conduct school year round and enjoy taking holidays at times when other students are in school.

Other Questions

1. Can public school superintendents encourage their “undesirable” students to leave public school and begin home schooling?

Answer: Yes

2. Can home school children be out of the home during normal school hours?

Answer: Little Rock and some other cities may have a daytime curfews for children. These do not apply if they are accompanied by a parent or if they have legitimate business such as a teenager on his or her way to or from work. Otherwise, there is nothing illegal about home school children being outside during the day. Allowing home school children to roam the neighborhood during normal school hours may provide anyone who does not approve of home schooling with a reason to contact authorities.

3. How many home school students are there in Arkansas?

Answer: The number of home school students increases each year. At the end of the 2004 school year, over 13,000 students were enrolled in Arkansas home schools.

4. If I stop home schooling, do I have to report this to my local school district?

Answer: No

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