How To Homeschool
Homeschooling offers parents the flexibility to choose the best educational method for their children. The spectrum of homeschooling models runs from unschooling, also called self-learning or child-led learning, to a structured "school at home" type of environment. In addition, there are many schools of thought, fostered by educators such as Raymond and Dorothy Moore, John Holt, Maria Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and many other. Explore the different methods and styles of homeschooling. You'll be inspired, intrigued, and equipped with the tools to make the best educational choices for your own family.
Methods
Homeschoolers cover an entire spectrum of different educational methods. On the one end, you have unschoolers, families that believe in self- or child-led learning. Relying on real world experiences, they learn by living. On the other end of the spectrum, you find parents who have "school at home." They may set up a classroom environment, use structured curriculums, and rely on schedules to keep things moving smoothly. And of course, there is everything in between. There are as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. Explore the different methods, ideas, and approaches that make the homeschooling experience so rich.
Homeschool Curriculum
There is a smorgasbord of choices when deciding on curricula for your family. It is often trial and error until you find what works best for you and your child. We offer you a complete look at the curriculum choices available.
Teaching Aids
Past the basics, teaching aids, manipulaties, games, and toys can make learning more fun. There are many innovative learning tools and educational games to choose from. We've compiled many of the best here.
Testing
Testing is a requirement in many states. We make it easy to comply with testing requirements by gathering information and resources for testing services all in one place.
Online Resources
Are you looking for free worksheets? Want to find online educational games? Do you need a unit study? Here is the place to find them all. From online lesson plans to reading lists to academic and content standards, you'll find tools that will help you successfully homeschool.
What's Popular
Happy Homeschoolers of Scottsdale and N.E. Phoenix
Support group for homeschoolers who apprciate attachment parenting and alternative methods of living. Offers co-op type activities, child interest field trips, and lots of playtime.
Western Region Unschoolers
The Western Region Unschoolers is a group for unschoolers who live in the Western U.S. covering: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and California. This is a forum to announce and organize conferences, travel, camping, and other places to get together.
Christian Cottage Schools
This private school offers services to homeschoolers including assessment, custom curriculum development, mentorship, and support, and involvement and protection. We offer a full service home schooling solution for your family regardless of the educational challenges or questions you may have so you can be successful having school at home. They specialize in special needs curriculum.
eXL Learning Homeschool Hangout
This resource center offers homeschool assessments, speakers and events related to homeschooling topics, classes and tutoring, portfolio development and college preparation, and additional diagnostic assessments.
Phoenix Unschoolers
Phoenix Unschoolers is a support group for unschoolers who wish to communicate with other like minded individuals. Members come from all over the entire Phoenix area, including North Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, Glendale, and Goodyear.
Summit View Homeschool Cooperative
This is a secular parent-run homeschool cooperative that spans the entire Phoenix metropolitan area. Offers field trips, co-op classes, park days, and more. Summit View Homeschool Cooperative includes families from the East Side of the Valley in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Ahwatukee, and Gold Canyon. Ages of the children in the group range from toddlers to high school. The main function of Summit View is to provide support, as well as a social outlet for homeschooling famili...
AO In Arizona (Ambleside In Arizona)
AO In Arizona (Ambleside In Arizona) is a support group for families following the educational philosophy and teaching methods of Charlotte Mason and using all or parts of the Ambleside Online and/or House of Education curriculum. Our purpose is to provide homeschooling support to families as they strive to implement a Charlotte Mason Homeschool program.
Arizona Connections Academy
Arizona Connections Academy provides a new form of public school that students can attend from home. This is a unique program that combines strong parental involvement, the expertise and accountability of publicly funded education, and the flexibility of online classes. Connections Academy operates one school in Arizona under contract to the Arizona Connections Academy (ACA). ACA is a public charter virtual pilot school that was approved by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools to serve gr...
The Home Schooling Family and the AIMS Test--How DoThey Relate?
The AIMS (Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards) test is the current instrument being used by the Arizona Department of Education to assess the learning of the public school students. The test is based on the Arizona Academic Standards, which are the benchmarks of knowledge the educators have determined that all students should master. When the AIMS was developed, home schoolers were specifically exempted from the test. No testing has been required of either home schooling students or paren...
Central AZ Life Learners
Central AZ Life Learners is a support group for Life Learners and Unschoolers in both the East and West Valley.
Sonlight Arizona
Support group for Arizona homeschool families using Sonlight Curriculum. Offers discussions, monthly field trips, activities, and more.
Better Education Through Tradition (BETT) Home Educators
BETT places an emphasis on cooperative teaching, strong family values, and the importance of education. BETT has a Tucson-wide membership base. Monthly field trips and cooperative teaching are offered to facilitate a lifelong enjoyment of learning.
Red Mountain Life Learners (RMLL)
Red Mountain Life Learners is an East Valley network of unschooling families focused on life learning. Members are expected to support the group by sharing their passions i.e. organizing group activities such as field trips, park days, foreign language classes, chess club, camping trips, drama, yoga, art and cooking classes, etc.
Phoenix Unschoolers
Support group for homeschoolers who follow a child-led method of education. Meeting spots alternate between the East, West, North, and South Valley, and members live in North Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Goodyear, and other surrounding communities. Meetings are primarily for socialization and support.
North Phoenix Unschoolers - Life Long Learning in North Phoenix
Do you unschool your children and live in the North Phoenix, Arizona area (Paradise Valley, North Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Anthem, New River, Black Canyon City, Desert Hills)? North Phoenix Unschoolers is a Yahoo group that offers support and opportunities to connect with other unschoolers in your area.
Resources
Homeschooling: The Teen Years : Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old (Prima Home Learning Library)
The teen years are when many homeschooling parents start to question or abandon their efforts. It's a precarious time, with challenging academics, pressing social issues, and the prospect of college looming. Parents can now breathe easy: this guide calms the teen-time jitters and even offers hope to those just turning to homeschooling now that their child is about to enter high school. With brief "how we did it" testimonies from other parents sprinkled throughout the book, author Cafi Cohen offers sage advice with the turn of every page. A columnist for Home Education Magazine and Homeschooling Today, two of the most respected periodicals on the subject, Cohen has also homeschooled her two children into college. To comfort doubters, she begins with 10 reasons for homeschooling your teenager (work experience, limited peer pressure, and family togetherness, among them). She goes on to devote long chapters to traditional subjects such as math and history, and even gets to those you might not have considered, like driver education. Her suggestions for parents new to homeschooling: decompress slowly, study only one subject a month at first, and read at least one book on learning styles. This approach will save much time and reduce those trial-and-error episodes.

The guide is neatly packaged and easy to read in the same style of its sister publications, Homeschooling: The Early Years and Homeschooling: The Middle Years. A large collection of lists and quick tips offer everything from the top 10 books for teens and the most popular math programs to money-saver suggestions such as joining a local college's foreign-language club and asking for discarded equipment from local schools. The last chapter contains two college application essays written by teenage homeschoolers. It also provides reassuring information about diplomas. Many universities follow Harvard's policy of not requiring a diploma, but if you or your homeschooling support group do issue one, your teenager can answer "yes" to the diploma question on most job applications--a fact sure to illicit a collective sigh of relief from thousands of parents who homeschool their teens. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

Phonics Pathways
Phonics Pathways begins with short-vowel sounds, slowly progressing to whole words, phrases, and sentences of gradually increasing complexity. Special teaching tips, extensive examples, and 100% decodable practice readings reinforce each lesson. Contains all spelling rules with a spelling index, spelling charts, spelling short-cuts, diacritical markings, and a wealth of inspirational proverbs. The new 9th edition of Phonics Pathways features many new enhancements including a wealth of reproducible games, a step-by-step spelling guide, teacher/student record sheets, a Dewey-the-Bookworm Bookmark and a new carefully-researched appendix detailing how Phonics Pathways aligns with most State Standards. Supplements to this program include The Train Game (to teach letter sounds), WordWorks (a set of cards used to reinforce phonics reading skills), and Blendit! (a set of eleven board games that reinforces knowledge of specific begining spelling patterns). For product information on Phonics Pathways, click here or visit their website.
A History of Science
A History of Science is not a textbook, but is a guide to help parents and children study science through literature. It is intended for children in elementary grades.
Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child
Nothing beats seeking the voice of experience if you want to join the estimated 1 to 3 million parents who teach their children at home. Here's a guide that comes direct from the experts: a mother of two homeschooled, now-grown children and 83 homeschooling families she surveyed. Their stories make reading this starter kit on teaching ages 3 to 7 worthwhile. For those ready to take on what author Linda Dobson calls "a natural extension of being a good parent," the manual provides at-a-glance boxes of insightful anecdotes called "How We Did It," as well as lists at the end of each chapter of helpful books, magazines, Web sites, software, and computer message boards that connect homeschooling households. The straightforward writing covers the basics on reading, writing, and math; different teaching approaches; organizing a curriculum; even how to deal with skeptical relatives and spouses. There are no specifics on each states' homeschooling requirements, which vary widely. But as a primer for parents starting out, the book serves as a confidence builder and an inspiring how-to guide. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
A Child's Story of America
This text reads like a story book more than a history textbook. This book has a decidedly Christian bent. Students are given a comprehensive overview of U.S. history from Columbus to the present. Review questions are included throughout, as well as helpful maps. The text contains numerous pictures and large print. An optional test packet and answer key is available.
Reading Made Easy
Reading Made Easy is a phonics-based program, featuring 108 easy lessons, designed to be taught in less than 30 minutes per day. It is fully scripted and has original Christian content and stories. Includes hands-on writing and drawing activities. Reading Made Easy can be purchased here.
Diana Waring--History Alive!
Diana Waring--History Alive! produces books, tapes, videos, and history curriculum for the homeschool market.
Explode The Code
Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously learned concepts helps increase retention. Each workbook in this series contains exercises that incorporate reading, writing, matching and copying. The consistent format of the books helps facilitate independent work. This series includes primers—Get Ready for The Code, Get Set for The Code, and Go for The Code—which introduce initial consonant sounds. In addition, Beyond The Code provides a comprehension component introducing basic comprehension skills with phonetically controlled stories. You'll find product information here.
Understanding Waldorf Education : Teaching from the Inside Out

Written by a teacher with more than 25 years of experience, this book offers a jargon-free view of Waldorf schools with their philosophy of the importance of a three-dimensional education. Through learning experiences that involve all of the senses, children use a variety of intelligences to develop thought, feeling, and intentional, purposeful activity. Whether you_re a Waldorf parent or teacher, or you just want to learn more about these innovative educational concepts, this book contains important ideas on learning that you can apply today.

Learning Adventures
Each book in the Learning Adventures series covers skills and concepts for grades 4-8, with a history-based approach. Each contains a year's worth of lesson plans in a daily format. All subjects except math are covered.
Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School
Grace Llewellyn, author of the The Teenage Liberation Handbook, offers the stories of 11 teens who made the decision to reject traditional schooling methodologies and take their education into their own hands. The essays highlight offer a day-in-the-life look at teen homeschooling and unschooling, as the teens embraced self-education and increased in their self-confidence and motivation. 
Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
A short, illustrated guide to the use of Montessori classroom materials. Describes how to set up a "children's house" - an environment for learning where children can be their own masters.
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
This radical treatise on public education has been a New Society Publishers' bestseller for 10 years! Thirty years of award-winning teaching in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders as cogs in the industrial machine. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Dumbing Us Down and to keep this classic current, we are renewing the cover art, adding new material about John and the impact of the book, and a new Foreword.
KONOS
KONOS offers unit studies for homeschoolers, with a focus on character building and the study of history.
Beautiful Feet Books
Beautiful Feet Books publishes Rea Berg's "History Through Literature" study guides. They offer fine children's literature, including the D'Aulaire biographies and Genevieve Foster's "World" titles. This is a great resource for anyone wishing to utilize an approach that studies history through literature.
Discovery of the Child
Maria Montessori went beyond the conventions of the day to seek a new way of knowing and loving a child. In THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD, she describes the nature of the child and her method of working more fully with the child's urge to learn. With 16 pages of photographs.
Catholic Home Schooling: A Handbook for Parents
Mary Kay Clark, the director of the accredited and successful Seton Home Study School shows parents why and how to teach their children at home, giving scores of practical examples and setting forth the spiritual, moral and academic advantages. The book includes chapters by several experts and covers Catholic curriculum, textbooks, Catholic family life, legal aspects, discipline, socialization, home management, using computers, children with learning disabilities, single-parent home schooling, the father's role, Catholic home schooling support groups, and much more. Perfect for mothers who are considering home schooling, or who want to convince their husbands or relatives that home schooling is a good idea. Parents already know the problems in the schools (both public and Catholic). This book gives the solution! A tremendously encouraging, uplifting and practical handbook. 
Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child
Based on the key Montessori principle that children learn best through active experience, Teach Me to Do It Myself presents simple activities through which children explore and develop their skills. These skill areas include sensory perceptions, body coordination, language, understanding of numbers, and movement. This practical, color-illustrated parenting book is filled with activities and instructions for overseeing children as they carry out a variety of learning activities. Most activities will seem simple to parents, because once mastered, adults perform them automatically. However, toddlers experience a sense of accomplishment and self-worth when they learn to perform them independently. The many activities start with dressing and personal hygiene, then go on to include . . .
  • Pouring activities
  • Threading and sewing activities
  • Peg activities
  • Cutting with scissors
  • Sorting activities by touch
  • A color matching game
  • Making musical scales with bottles and water
  • Using alphabet tiles to make words
  • Growing things in a window box
  • Making finger puppetsActivities are described in detail and include checklists of needed items, as well as variations and related activities for children to try.
  • Total Language Plus
    Total Language Plus is an innovative curriculum focused on teaching thinking and communication skills using literature as a base. The authors believe an integrated system is more efficient than a fragmented approach, discovery style learning is the most effective and learning should be enjoyable. The "discover, do, drill" method is employed throughout the TLP program with activities focusing on thinking skills. These comprehensive novel studies cover spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, analytical and critical thinking, comprehension, writing, listening, and field trips and projects.
    Freedom and Beyond (Innovators in Education)
    John Holt looks at the role that schooling in society plays in education.
    The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12
    Fun and Effective Home Learning Activities for Every Subject
    As a homeschooling parent, you're always looking for new and creative ways to teach your child the basics. Look no longer! Inside this innovative helper, you'll find kid-tested and parent-approved techniques for learning math, science, writing, history, manners, and more that you can easily adapt to your family's homeschooling needs. And even if you don't homeschool, you'll find this book a great teaching tool outside the classroom. You'll discover fun and educational activities for kids ages 3 to 12, including how to:
    ·Create maps based on favorite stories, such as Treasure Island or The Wizard of Oz
    ·Make letters out of French fries as an alphabet learning aid
    ·Explore architecture by building igloos, castles, and bridges with sugar cubes and icing
    ·Review spelling words by writing them on the sidewalk with chalk
    ·And many more!
    This comprehensive collection of tried-and-true—and generally inexpensive—ideas provides the best-of-the-best homeschooling activities that can be done anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.
    TruthQuest History
    The TruthQuest History series consists of ten volumes that serve as guides for parent wishing to use real books in their approach to history education. They are full of book recommendations, along with information on the topics of study. There are also writing exercises included in these texts.
    Montessori International
    Montessori International is the magazine for all parents and teachers. Montessori International magazine is a high quality colour education magazine with a Montessori focus and a truly child-centred approach. The magazine is for Montessori parents, nursery owners, teachers, and students with an interest in Montessori education.
    Cuisenaire Rods Multi-Pack
    Grades Pre K & up. An economical way to bring rods into the classroom. Pack contains six sets of 74 rods, six trays with, and Teacher's Guide. For use with 12-18 students.
    Secret of Childhood
    Maria Montessori describes the child with warmth and the exactness of a scientist. She also discusses the array of materials and techniques needed to release his learning potential.
    H. A. Guerber's Histories
    Helene A. Guerber wrote histories for grammar school children in the 19th century. Published in 1896 by the American Book Company, ‘Guerber’s Historical Readers in the Eclectic Readings Series’ were used to introduce children to the histories of the ancient and classical world. These engaging narratives are richly detailed accounts of the lives and times of the most important people of the period, arranged chronologically. The people are placed within the context of their times, and their history is presented with interesting background information so that the entire narrative flows as a single, unbroken story. Dates are given in the narrative where they are known; the pronunciation of place and personal names is carefully marked at its first encounter in the text; and illustrations abound. The text includes maps, a comprehensive timeline of all the persons and events encountered in the history, a comprehensive Recommended Reading list of wonderful historical fiction and non-fiction keyed to the chapters; and a complete bibliography and index round out the book. These books are intended as a child’s first introduction to history in grades 2-6 (the grammer stage). They make wonderful read alouds, and the Recommended Reading suggestions keyed to the chapters provide additional detail and fascinating excursions into topics introduced in the narrative, often with books children can look at or read on their own.
    LeapPad Game - Mind Wars Jr. Interactive Game
    Bring a friend and try this brand new way to play with your LeapPad! Race around the board in this fast-paced, wonderfully wacky game. Be the first to close all five windows and you will become the Mind Wars master and learn important 1st and 2nd grade skills in math, language arts, life science, physical science, and social studies!
    Montessori: A Modern Approach
    Montessori: A Modern Approach has been called the single best book for anyone -- educator, childcare professional, and especially parent -- seeking answers to the questions: What is the Montessori method? Are its revolutionary ideas about early childhood education relevant to today's world? And most important, especially for today's dual-career couples. Is a Montessori education right for my child?

    Paula Polk Lillard writes both as a trained educators and as a concerned parent -- she has many years as a public school teacher, but it was her enthusiasm for the education her own child experienced in a Montessori school that led her to become a leading voice in the Montessori movement in this country.

    Her book offers the clearest and most concise statement of the Montessori method of child development and education available today.
    English from the Roots Up
    English from the Roots Up explores the Latin and Greek roots of words. Many people haven't realized how valuable the Latin and Greek vocabulary is in the formulation of the finely structured English vocabulary of today. Even learning a few Latin and Greek root words gets you hooked and you want to learn more. Why? Because you can move from "what words mean" to "why words mean"&mdashin short, a thinking vocabulary. You'll find product information here.
    A Reason For® Spelling
    A Reason For® Spelling combines the latest research on how children learn to spell with all the strengths of traditional programs. It teaches highfrequency base words, plus hundreds of other word forms. Values-based stories set the theme each week and help make spelling fun. You'll find product information about A Reason For® Spelling here.
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