Homeschooling in Arizona
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Homeschooling in Arizona has a long and rich history. It started with the requirement that homeschooling had to be done by a competent teacher. At the beginning a competent teacher was undefined, but later became defined as a certified teacher. This meant that if a family wanted to homeschool, one of the parents had to become a certified teacher. From this definition, the law eventually changed to the requirement that the parent had to pass the Arizona Teacher Proficiency Examination to homeschool. In addition to the parent requirement, the homeschool student had the requirement of taking a standardized test to prove they were learning. All of this changed between 1995 and 1999. Through the efforts of Arizona Families for Home Education the law for homeschooling in Arizona is one of the friendliest and best in the nation.

Arizona’s homeschooling laws allow for children to have access to interscholastic sports as well as public college scholarships. There is no requirement to turn in any sort of records, and there is no required state testing for students. The only requirement to legally homeschool in Arizona is to file an affidavit of intent with your county superintendent to homeschool 30 days prior to starting. You can do this in person or through the mail. You will need to either have or send in your child’s birth certificate. The law states you must give instruction in these subjects: reading, grammar, math, social studies, and science. However, how you teach, curriculum choice, and what you require is completely up to you as the parent/teacher. You can also set your own high school graduation requirements. You do not have to follow the state graduation requirements. You can find more information on Arizona’s Homeschool Law and how to file your affidavit here.

Arizona Families for Home Education (AFHE) is the statewide organization that supports Arizona homeschooling families and defends homeschooling in the state. This organization has many roles. They keep an eye on laws moving through the state legislature to make sure that they do not infringe on homeschooling rights or adversely affect homeschool families. Each year they host a variety of events. The biggest is the annual AFHE Homeschool Convention in July. You can find out more about AFHE here.

AFHE also does a lot to support the local homeschool support groups around the state. They host a leadership conference in the Spring. They also go to different parts of the state to meet and share with different support groups. They do their best to support and promote these groups. There are many support groups and co-ops throughout the state. Both Phoenix and Tucson have several groups in various part of each city that a homeschool family can tap into for resources, encouragement, and help. If you live in one of the smaller communities of the state, you can usually find one or two groups that you can connect with to get the resources, encouragement, and help. You can find a local support group here. In addition to these attractions, there are several places of interests in Arizona that offer an opportunity to learn about the rich history of the state or to learn about the plant and animal life that can be found here. There are also just some places to just have fun. If you are in the Tucson area you might want to check out these places: San Xavier Mission, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Monument East and West, Pima Air Museum, Tombstone, Bisbee ( an old mining town), Colossal Cave, and Tumacacori National Historical Park that has ruins of three early Spanish Colonial Missions. In the Northern part of the state you might like to explore the Grand Canyon, the Petrified National Forest, and Jerome which is an old mining and ghost that has a state park, and the Gold King Mine Museum. In the Yuma area some fun places to take a field trip are: Castle Dome Ghost Town, Yuma Crossing Historical State Park, Yuma Territorial Prison, the Camel Farm, and the Peanut Patch.

Arizona is a great place to homeschool. From its homeschool friendly laws to a supportive homeschool community to various and fun field trips, there is something for every homeschool family.

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Nicole Haney - HomeWorks by Precept Senior Consultant


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