School bells are ringing and buses are rolling at the start of this new school year for public schools in Arkansas.
Despite the lack of a brick and mortar building, hundreds of families across the state who’ve chosen to home school their children are also marking the beginning of school.
Jennifer Chosich, of Cabot, has two daughters and 14 years experience as a home school parent.
“I think for most parents today is the start of your homeschooling school year just like the start of the regular school,” said Chosich. “There have been activities prepared all over central Arkansas for homeschoolers today. There were donuts for breakfast, park meet ups…skating events, home school library events.”
Chosich said one of the annual favorite “Not-Back-To-School” events for her network, a meeting in a park for families and students on Monday morning, was cancelled due to rain.
Families who choose educate their children at home cite reasons like a desire for more academic rigor, or the need to meet special learning needs. Nearly 18,000 students were homeschooled in Arkansas during 2014-2015 school year according to a report from Arkansas Department of Education.
In order to legally take responsibility for educating their children, families must file paperwork with their school district declaring the intent to home school. The filing deadline for the 2016-2017 school year was Monday, August 15.