Many Arkansas homeschool parents are unaware that they can administer the mandatory standardized tests at home if they want to. According to Arkansas homeschool law, all students in grades three through nine must take a norm-referenced, standardized test each year. Testing is usually done in the spring.
Test at home
The most common way for homeschool parents to meet the state requirements is to sign up for testing in the spring. Testing packets are sent out each year in late January or early February to registered homeschools with students who must take the tests. Testing at home is one option.
You will not see a test-at-home option in your testing packet--look for testing with a private testing service. Parents pay for all costs associated with testing at home. I compared the state recommended testing services in my article, “Comparing private testing companies for Arkansas Homeschoolers.”
Meeting the state requirements
To meet the state requirements when testing at home, you must submit proof that you purchased the test to the Arkansas Homeschool Testing Office. The deadline is usually the first week in March. You can mail in a copy of your receipt or you can scan it into your computer and send it to the testing office via email. Make sure you include your family code so the testing office knows who you are. You will get an email or letter stating that you are in compliance with state laws once the testing office receives your information.
Testing at home is an important option for homeschool families. It allows families flexibility while being able to satisfy state regulations.
Lynda Altman has been homeschooling for 15 years. She currently homeschools two of her four children. You can contact her on twitter @fusgeyer or through her blog Arkansas Homeschoolers.