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
Charlotte Mason Arizona Support
This group list is for families who wish to find support while following the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. The purpose is to help/support parents and students in Arizona, organize outings, study groups, and more.
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.
Phoenix Unschoolers
A support group for unschoolers who wish to communicate with other like minded individuals. Focused on the entire Phoenix area, with members in North Scottsdale, Phoenix, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear and Desert Hills. Meeting spots are alternated so that meetings are as convenient as possible for everyone.
Phoenix Life Learners Network
A Phoenix-based network of independent home-educating families supporting each other by sharing experiences, information, ideas, and playtimes. Dedicated to the importance of our right to educate our children in the way we feel is best. The structure is informal. Offers field trips and a park day once a month.
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.
Eclectic Homeschoolers of Northern Arizona
Eclectic Homeschoolers of Northern Arizona is a homeschool support group for families in the Northern Arizona region. Offers support, information, and meetings. Based in Flagstaff, Eclectic Homeschoolers of Northern Arizona is a Homeschool Support Group offering friendship and support to homeschooling families of all types, with children of all ages.
West River Academy
West River Academy is a fully accredited independent private school in Colorado designed for families who desire the benefits of private school enrollment but minimal oversight over their educational activities. Families may follow the curriculum and/or learning style of their choice, or may receive assistance from us in designing or choosing a program that fits their needs. Grading of students is optional and if desired, it is done by the parents. West River Academy enrolls students of all ages...
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...
Desert Hills Christian Homeschoolers (DHCH)
Desert Hills Christian Homeschoolers is one of the oldest homeschool support groups in Arizona. Members come from New River, Desert Hills, Black Canyon City, Cave Creek, Anthem, and the surrounding areas. Offers monthly Mentor Mom meetings, weekly P.E. class, co-ops, field trips, used curriculum sales, Field Day, and more.
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.
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...
Covenant Home School Resource Center
1117 E. Devonshire Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85014 Phone: 602-277-3497 Covenant Home School Resource Center offers on-site classes, The Aviary Bookstore with new and used curriculum, a curriculum lending library, testing services, transcript prep assistance, and more.
Eastside Explorers
Eastside Explorers is a co-operative support group for the northeast Valley of The Sun (northeast region of Phoenix, AZ metro area), open to families who educate their children at home. Offers educational opportunities and activities, including parent support meetings, monthly park days with workshops, field trips, special events, and a monthly newsletter. This co-op operates within a framework of Judeo-Christian values.
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...
Resources
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.
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.
  • 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.
    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.
    Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work
    Maria Montessori is important background reading for parents considering Montessori education for their children, as well as for those training to become Montessori teachers. The first woman to win a degree as a Doctor of Medicine in Italy in 1896, Maria Montessori's mission to improve children's education began in the slums of Rome in 1907, and continued throughout her lifetime. Her insights into the minds of children led her to develop prepared environments and other tools and devices that have come to characterize Montessori education today. Her influence in other countries has been profound and many of her teaching methods have been adopted by educators generally. Part biography and part exposition of her ideas, this engaging book reveals through her letters and personal diaries Maria Montessori's humility and delight in the success of her educational experiments and is an ideal introduction to the principals and practices of the greatest educational pioneer of the 20th century.
    The new introduction to Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work by Lee Havis, executive director of the International Montessori Society, discusses the changes that have taken place in Montessori education within recent years.
    An updated appendix of Montessori periodicals, courses, societies, films, and teaching materials.
    A revised bibliography of books by and about Maria Montessori.
    The Story of the World
    This book series by Susan Wise Bauer is another that is best enjoyed as a read aloud rather than seen as a history textbook. It is full of engaging stories, mixing facts and historical legends. The companion study guides offer questions, narration exercises, activities, crafts, and reproducible pages. There are also lists for each chapter of supplemental books that are easily found at your local library.

    Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 1: Ancient Times (From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor)
    Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 2: The Middle Ages (From the From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance)
    Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times (From Elizabeth the First to the Forty-Niners)
    Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age (From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR)
    Montessori Life

    Designed to provoke thought, professional growth and provide a forum for discussion of major issues & ideas in education.
    The Absorbent Mind
    In response to the crisis in American education, more than five thousand public and private schools across the nation have adopted the timeless Montessori Method of teaching, of which this book is the cornerstone. Written by the women whose name is synonymous worldwide with child development theory, The Absorbent Mind takes its title from the phrase that the inspired Italian doctor coined to characterize the child's most crucial developmental stage: the first six years.

    A new foreword by John Chattin-McNichols, Ph.D., President of the American Montessori Society, places this classic book in a contemporary context, offering an intelligent discussion of current thinking in child education.
    Smart Mouth
    Ages: 8 years and up; For 2 or more players

    Smart Mouth is a quick-thinking shout-it-out hilarious word game that helps build vocabulary skills. It includes variations of the rules for category play and for younger players. Players slide the Letter Getter forward and back to get two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters using those letters wins the round. The game includes tips for teachers. This is a fun game to play with children and adults together.

    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. 
    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.
    Tomorrows Child
    Tomorrow's Child magazine offers insights and information that helps parents to feel confident that Montessori will prepare their children for the real world. It will help you understand and appreciate Montessori and apply it in your home.
    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.
    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.
    Montessori Play And Learn : A Parent's Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six
    We all want the best possible starts in life for our children, and one of the best possible starts in life, educationally, is the "method" pioneered by Maria Montessori and taught successfully today throughout the world.

    Now, Lesley Britton, the leading Montessori practitioner in England for more than twenty years, will show parents how to bring Montessori home. If you would like to facilitate the development of your child's unique personality, make it possible for him to develop to his full intellectual capacity, and help him become socially and emotionally well adjusted, then this is the book for you.

    Montessori Play and Learn is packed with ideas, activities, and games that can fit into your normal routine and help supplement preschool learning for your child. For planning your home, introducing your child to the supermarket or the neighborhood, and helping him discover other people and cultures, this book provides valuable tips and insights that help parents and children grow and learn together.
    -- Create hundreds of learning opportunities from everyday life
    -- Learn dozens of games and activities to help prepare children for mathematics, reading, science, and writing
    -- Make your home environment as stimulating for your child as the best Montessori preschool.
    Montessori Reading
    Montessori Reading is a beginning reading and writing program for elementary aged children. This series of books introduce phonetic letter sounds, phonogram combinations, reading simple sentences, and reading and writing words that name everyday objects, animals, etc. A teaching guide and a child's journal are included.
    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
    Freedom and Beyond (Innovators in Education)
    John Holt looks at the role that schooling in society plays in education.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature
    Progeny Press study guides include vocabulary exercises, comprehension, analysis, and application questions, introduction of literary terms, background information, discussion of related Biblical themes, suggestions for activities related to the reading, a complete answer key, and more. These are some of the titles available (grade range is in parentheses):
    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.

    The Complete Home Learning Source Book : The Essential Resource Guide for Homeschoolers, Parents, and Educators Covering Every Subject from Arithmetic to Zoology
    This ambitious reference guide lives up to its name. Practically three inches thick--and we're not talking large print here--it's packed with titles, ordering information, and Web site addresses. From where to send away for a kit to make your own Chilean rain stick to how to order a set of Elizabethan costume paper dolls, the book connects families to a world of learning possibilities. Book titles, short synopses, authors' names, publishers, and years of print make up the bulk of the guide. Classics such as The Cat in the Hat and Curious George share billing with lesser-known titles like Stone Fox, the story of a legendary Indian dog-sled racer. Every entry appears with recommended ages and an icon that shows whether the item is a book, computer disc, or video; an outstretched palm denotes hands-on materials. Most of the resources seem to have been test-driven by the author and her three homeschooled sons. Rebecca Rupp, a former scientist who has been teaching her kids at home for more than 10 years, peppers the guide with anecdotes about her children's experiences in various subject areas, much of it drawn from the family's extensive journals. Along with books, magazines, and kits for reading, math, writing, science, and history, a considerable amount of space is given to computer and television resources, as well as "life skills," a broad category that includes everything from etiquette and carpentry to sewing and sex education. Like a Yellow Pages guide to knowledge, The Complete Home Learning Sourcebook belongs on the shelf of anyone looking for new ways to spark a child's imagination. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
    Create! Press
    Create! Press carries creative approaches to teaching creative writing and composition. Their products include the Create-A-Story game, Writing Adventures, Stepping Stones, and more.
    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.
    Bead Sequencing Set
    Stack the durable, brightly colored wooden beads on 5 hardwood dowels in sequence to match the design on one of the pattern cards. Builds complex reasoning skills as well as sorting and coordination. Includes over 45 brilliantly colored beads, 5 dowels, and 10 patterns that increase in difficulty.
    Easy Grammar Systems
    Easy Grammar Systems publishes the Easy Grammar and Daily Grams teaching texts for use through high school. Students use a “hands on” approach (deleting/marking) and learn correct usage and why that usage is appropriate. Review and using information previously learned to teach new concepts help to insure mastery learning. This method is both easy to teach and easy to learn.
    A Reason For® Handwriting
    A Reason For® Handwriting provides a fun, meaningful approach to developing effective handwriting skills. Each lesson is built around a Scripture verse chosen not only for proper letter combinations, but also inspirational content. “Border Sheets” encourage students to share God's Word with others. You'll find product information about A Reason For® Handwriting here.
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    Minds More Awake: The Vison of Charlotte Mason
    Anne E. White explores what is known as the Charlotte Mason, based on the educational philosophy of the 19th century British educator. The goal is to set a child on the path to an intentional, purposeful life. White explores both the practical and ph...
    A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
    In 1991, shortly after receiving both the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year Awards, John Gatto resigned to begin a new career as an education reform advocate. In this collection of 16 essays, Gatto analyzes the problems of American...
    Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner
    Dr. Linda Silverman coined the term "visual-spatial learner" to describe the special and unique gifts of people who learn best through seeing and with images. This guide is a great resource as you support your homeschooling visual learner in discover...
    Pass Your California DMV Test Guaranteed! 50 Real Test Questions! California DMV Handbook
    This book contains the 50 most common questions and answers to the California DMV Written Test. Written by a former DMV classroom instructor and test creator, this straight forward book tells you the most likely questions and answers that will appear...
    Noah Webster's Reading Handbook
    This is the historic text (originally called the Blue-Backed Speller) that has been updated to teach phonics/beginning reading. The blends and words in this reader are arranged to correlate with the sequence in which the special phonics sounds are ta...