School work, kids schedules, work schedules, large class sizes and personalized education are just some of the reasons that people are thinking about homeschooling in Arizona. If you have contemplated it and are wondering more about it, I’m here to help!
Some basics of homeschooling in Arizona
There are online schools that are actually public schools but aren’t considered traditional homeschooling, however the child will “school at home”. These programs use public funds (taxes) to pay for the materials to educate the child and must follow a curriculum similar to a traditional school. Some people really love them, and some people really dislike them. As a parent, there is no need to sign an affidavit of intent to homeschool for these online schools because they are still considered public schools
Homeschooling in Arizona is identified as “ARS §15-802 G 2. Homeschool means a nonpublic school conducted primarily by the parent, guardian or other person who has custody of the child or nonpublic instruction provided in the child’s home.”
Tax monies are not used for homeschool, nor can you get a credit for your taxes. However, there are Homeschool Education Savings Accounts that some homeschoolers may qualify for. I am not well versed in this, so I suggest going to the linked site for more information
What is a Co-Op?
A “Co-Op” or Cooperative, is many different parents who trade teaching of each others children. Some Co-Ops will happen at a person’s home, or perhaps at a public places like a library. There may be many families involved of just a few. There may be a cost associated with it, or possibly no cost at all. Many large Homeschool Groups will have smaller co-ops, but not all members of a homeschool group need to be involved in a Co-op (Our family is not involved with a Co-op at this time).
Hybrid Homeschool Models
A hybrid Homeschool Model (and is also known in other terms) may be a classroom setting for part of the week and parent led lessons for the remainder of the week. Churches and grops often offer this to families for pay, but may have parent volunteers as well. Some of the hybrid homeschool options in the valley are
Options with Homeschooling
In Arizona, you must fill out paperwork around the time the child turns 6 years of age, and this does not necessarily correspond to the time they enter Kindergarten. Within 30 days of a child turning 6, the affidavit of intent to homeschool must be filled out if they are not attending school. You can put off teaching until they are 8 ( but you must fill that out on the affidavit of intent to homeschool form). In Maricopa County, you can either mail in the affidavit with the birth certificate or take it to the offices in Downtown Phoenix. The building actually has very little information on it, other than saying it is an IRS building on the window! It takes just a few minutes to have everything recorded and then you are on your way!
Things to know:
- There is no checking in or explaining your curricula choices. You can really pick whatever you choose
- There is no mandatory times required to school your child
- There is no mandatory state testing
- There is no mandatory umbrella school
- There ARE a lot of groups, support and fun things to do with schools. AFHE (Arizona Families for Home Education) has a wide variety of groups listed, resources, a great convention for homeschoolers and a Facebook group for support. They are a Christian Organization, but accept secular families as well (know that praying and God First, Christian Values will be at each event).
- There are a lot of homeschoolers in Arizona. Homeschoolers are not one type of person. There are lots of different types of families, ages, beliefs and education styles. You will find that there are very few people who do homeschooling the same way!
- There are online homeschooling options. You do have to pay for these out of pocket, but there are all in one programs or you can pick and choose your curricula!
- There are lots of businesses, museums and libraries that offer classes at low or no cost!
- You can dual enroll your children in high school and college classes
Need more info? See our other posts!