Beginning this year, Arkansas home schoolers will be able to participate in interscholastic, extracurricular activities at their local public school.  Rep. Gunner Delay first introduced this concept in the Arkansas Legislature back in 2001.  It only took 12 years for this law to pass.

Why did it take so long?  Some in the education establishment seem to think it is their mission to preserve the status quo at all costs—even the education of our children.  That’s why they oppose anything that looks or smells like school choice.  The worst thing some of these folks can imagine is allowing parents the freedom to choose how to educate their children.  They don’t even want kids to be able to choose a different public school.

Thankfully, not everyone wants to build a “Berlin Wall” around the public schools.   In fact, some superintendents are viewing this new law as a way to roll out the red carpet and recruit some new students for their school.  They know that school choice is a two-way street and that some home schoolers just might choose to return to public school.

When all is said and done, this new law is about empowering parents to choose how their children are educated and that’s how it should be.


  1. Skipper

    But you still have to LIVE in the district where you participate in these activities. So, because I live in RURAL Lead Hill, which does NOT have football, my homeschooler isnot allowed to play football in say, Harrison, because we don’t LIVE in that district. They still got a bit of their Berlin wall. 🙂

  2. Kathrine

    And the law is still incredibly confusing. Well, the law itself might not be, but implementing it is. I still have no idea what activities my kids can do, when the deadline is for applying for those activities, who I’m supposed to contact in my district to apply, etc.

  3. Meleasa

    Yeah, you start making participation in public school activities available to homeschoolers, which is NOT an educational choice, some homeschoolers will find it more convenient to let their kids start going to that ps. I don’t see how Family Council or any Christian homeschool organization stands behind or promotes the Tim Tebow law. And no, I haven’t read the entire law, or know exactly what it says. That’s because I don’t care anything about it. All I have to know is that it opens a door for homeschoolers into the public school arena.

    The idea behind Christian homeschooling is that we reject the premise that a government run SECULAR institution is where our children should be. I didn’t make a “choice” to homeschool; I made a choice to follow God’s plan for education and it doesn’t include participation in ps activities of any kind.

    IF you are going to support the idea that homeschoolers should have some freedoms to use anything that the public school system offers it should be the library, or computer labs. We all pay taxes to our local school districts so if we push for something in return for those dollars it should be Education related….not sports.

    Choose this day who you will serve.

  4. Shenandoah

    It is amazing to me that some homeschoolers can criticize this initiative! Meleasa, I HAVE read the law, and it allows homeschoolers to participate in all other extracurricular activities, including band, choir, science fair, etc. However, it still allows you to stay completely away from public schools. And Skipper, your son is given the same right as any student in the Lead Hill district, but the rule has to be there to keep players from being “recruited.” It’s not perfect, but a great start toward fairness to home schooled students.

  5. Ron


    I personally talked with Lisa Crook at the Ark Dept. of Ed., she is an excellant resource. The told me that a homeschool student may particapate in any extracurricular activity that their school of residence offers that involves competition and that it is not limited to hifg school. (Chess club, band, chior, sports and the like) It is my understanding that you must start with the principal of the school. Please realize that it is all new to them, so they may not be well versed in handling your request yet! If you have a problem you can contact Lisa. Also, there is a requirement to attend one class period! Many of the activites have a class period of their own but some don’t! I hope this was helpful.

  6. Amber

    Meleasa, I can understand where your coming from. However, if you don’t want your child anywhere near the public school, no one says you have to have your child participate.
    For my family, this is what we’ve been hoping for since day one when we started homeschooling. My reasoning for homeschooling is because my husband works second shift, and I want my kids to actually have a relationship with their father. However, my son, still to this day, wants to play football for the Razorbacks. So if the Tim Tebow bill had not passed, my son would have to eventually choose between his dream of playing football, or his relationship with his father. Why should he have to choose?

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