• Categories

  • Top Posts

  • © Holly Craw and Home-School-Community, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holly Craw and Home-School-Community with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Phoenix homeschooling: July 30-August 4

Phoenix homeschool events this week include free admission for teachers to the Musical Instrument Museum.


Summer is winding quickly to a close, so Phoenix homeschoolers have a short time to take advantage of special summer activities

Here is what is happening July 30-August 4

This week and all month long:

All year long free activities in the Phoenix area

Other Events and Opportunities

If you want to try out some unit studies, check out some of the special days in July for ideas.

July 30:

  • Cheesecake Day
  • Father-in-law Day
  • Paperback Book Day

July 31

Whatever your interests, there is probably an event in the Phoenix area that will be a great fit.

If you have an event that you would like to have featured on this column, please send an emailwith the details. The more advance notice that is given, the more opportunity homeschoolers in Phoenix and surrounding areas will have to know about it and put it on their calendars.


Phoenix homeschooling: July 30-August 4 – Phoenix Homeschooling | Examiner.com.

Homeschool families invited to host international students for 2012-2013

Hosting  a foreign exchange student is a great way to share cross-cultural experiences and develop international friendships.

Educatius International is a non-profit organization the matches foreign F1 Visa students with host families in the United States. Currently, 10 families in the Phoenix area, including homeschoolers, are needed to open their homes to Brazilian high schoolers who will be here for the school year. Hosts will receive $500 per month, and the students pay for their own activities.

The students are on a scholarship program through the government called “Win the World”, which has a goal of improving the foreign language learning in the public high schools. A letter from the U.S. Consulate in Recife describes the program:

Brazil, and particularly the Brazilian Northeast, is undergoing a period of rapid economic growth while preparing to host the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. Foreign language skills–particularly English–are vital for increased international commerce as well as receiving tourists for these mega events. Traditionally, the public school system has served youth from lower socio-economic classes. These students rarely have access to extracurricular English courses. Win the World was created with this challenge in mind. Win the World began in October 2011, offering special English classes to 18,000 public high school youth in Pernambuco. The best students from the first semester were chosen to participate in an exchange program to spend a semester overseas, including in the US, all expenses paid.

In order to choose the students that would be sent abroad, the secretariat analyzed the students’ academic history, grades, attendance record, class participation, etc., choosing only the best and most dedicated students.

Hosts are needed in the Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Deer Valley areas. Even though it is short notice before school begins again, interested families are asked to respond to this cultural opportunity very quickly so the students can be placed. For more information, please contact Lisa Partridge, a homeschool mom who has hosted students previously through Educatius International and will be hosting again this year.

The local contact for the exchange program is Melanie Smith.

Cell: 602-820-6642
Fax: 480-323-2635

Homeschool families invited to host international students for 2012-2013 – Phoenix Homeschooling | Examiner.com.

NSHSS: An honor society that welcomes homeschool students of excellence

Homeschool students are not eligible to join the National Honor Society due to the criteria established by the organization. However, there are two similar groups that welcome homeschoolers.

Eta Sigma Alpha is an honor society started by homeschoolers for homeschoolers. Arizona has two chapters, one in Lake Havasu City and one in Phoenix. The Omicron Beta Chapter in Maricopa County has over 30 students who gather monthly for service projects and educational speakers. Qualifying students will have a composite score of 90th percentile or higher on a standardized test such as the Iowa or Stanford, or predetermined scores for the PSAT, SAT or ACT. This article gives a detailed description of the organization and the membership process.

National Society for High School Scholars (NSHSS) is open to all 9th-12th graders who have a 3.5 cumulative GPA for the high school years, or designated college entrance test scores. Potential members must be nominated by high school teachers or counselors, and homeschool students need a nomination from an approved educator who can verify their documents.

Read more:

NSHSS: An honor society that welcomes homeschool students of excellence 

August homeschool book sales offer last minute curriculum bargains

Perhaps you are brand new to homeschooling or you suddenly realize that you are missing a few key pieces of your curriculum, and school is about to begin.

If you are in the Phoenix area, there are still some great opportunities for getting what you need at bargain prices.

Covenant Home School Resource Centerin Phoenix is a distributor for many popular publishers such as Alpha Omega, Apologia, Common Sense Press, Bob Jones and Saxon. They also carry a well-stocked used bookstore with lots of these materials as well as many others.

During the August sale, used materials will be deeply discounted, plus the famous $1 wall has a great selection of various materials literally for $1 each. You can also get teacher and student ID cards for $5 each.

Read more: August homeschool book sales offer last minute curriculum bargains 

Music museum educator month: Free admission for homeschoolers, teachers

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in north Phoenix has established July as Educator Appreciation Month, which means all teachers and homeschoolers can get in free all month long. The museum staff wants you to visit and get excited about the incredible learning opportunities so that you will want to come back for a field trip with your students. Additionally, there are three special Educator Preview Days with free teacher admission, a free performance by one of the 2012-2013 Artists in Residence, light refreshments, and preview of the instrument cart tour.

Dozens of galleries at MIM present sensual stimuli that will touch the hearts and souls of any type of learner, with collections of instruments and video recordings of music and dance from around the world.

Read more: Music museum educator month: Free admission for homeschoolers, teachers 

Back-to-school sales, Teacher Appreciation Days offer bargains for homeschoolers

That was Easy! Staples and OfficeMax honor homeschool teachers with special days and great school bargains. Credit:  Holly Craw

It is the hottest part of the summer in Phoenix, and the hottest back-to-school sales are already happening at a variety of stores in the valley. Local Staples and OfficeMax stores have sales that can excite homeschool moms who are looking for rock bottom bargains. They also have Teacher Appreciation Days coming soon, and homeschoolers qualify for the extra bonuses.

Some examples from this week’s ads, which are good through Saturday, July 14, include classroom essentials for nearly free.


  • Max Rewards that cover nearly all the cost: 500 sheet copy paper and 20-pack batteries ($.01 after reward)
  • Special coupons: $5 off purchase of $25 or more
  • Other offers: Up to 10 free folders after $5 minimum purchase
  • Rewards card: MaxPerks Rewards for Teachers (get back $10 credit for every $75 spent in a quarter) with additional bonuses for recycled cartridges and ink and toner.
  • See this week’s complete ad here.
  • Teacher Appreciation Days: Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22, 2012
    25% discount on your purchase, including sale items, a free reusable tote bag, limits of 20 each of sale items instead of regular limits of one or two per customer.

Read more:

Back-to-school sales, Teacher Appreciation Days offer bargains for homeschoolers 

AFHE Homeschool convention weekend includes comedy, graduation, curriculum

Several dozen homeschool junior high graduates will be recognized at the AFHE homeschool convention.

Most homeschool activities close down over the summer in Phoenix, but there is one event that thousands of homeschoolers won’t miss. It is the Arizona Families for Home Education Convention and Curriculum Fair and it takes place in the middle of July. This year’s theme is “Dream Big” with keynote speakers Heidi St. John and Todd Wilson.

With over 130 vendors, families can find everything from curriculum and lab supplies to college information, missions and sports opportunities, field trips and health items. A wide range of speakers will share their expertise, leaving very little of the homeschool experience untouched. Last year, over 1800 families, for a total of 5100 individuals, attended the two-day event, and more are expected this year.

The convention weekend begins Thursday, July 19 and lasts until the night of Saturday, July 21. It is the longest and most activity-packed session of all the 28 previous years. Highlights of the convention include:

  • July 19: Free pre-convention mini conference, 3:00-6:00 p.m.
  • July 20: Convention begins, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • July 20: Comedy Night with John Branyan, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
  • July 21: Convention continues, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • July 21: Junior High Graduate Recognition Ceremony, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

 Arizona Families for Home Education Convention and Curriculum Fair details

Continue reading

Free science center visit is reward for Governor Brewer’s summer reading program

Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, believes that strong reading and writing abilities and habits are the foundation blocks for future academic success.  In keeping with her goals to improve the state’s overall academic markers, such as third grade literacy levels, high school dropout rates and college degrees granted, she has introduced the Governor’s Summer Reading Program.  This literacy incentive is in addition to the city and county reading programs that are open to homeschoolers and all other students.

Age appropriate book lists have been compiled for the following levels:

  • Ages 5 and Under
  • Kindergarten – First Grade
  • Second – Third Grade
  • Fourth – Fifth Grade
  • Sixth – Eighth Grade
  • Ninth – Tenth Grade
  • Eleventh Grade – College and Career Ready

Students will read five books from the list and then complete a Summer Reading Coupon form that will be submitted to the Governor’s office.  Each participant will receive a certificate from Governor Jan Brewer and a printable coupon for free admission to the Arizona Science Center.  Students 18 and over, or those with parental permission, will also be listed on the Arizona Ready Readers’ Wall.

The Governor’s Summer Reading Program has begun, and student names are already being listed on the website.  Keep your mind active over the summer to be prepared for new learning adventures when school begins again in the fall.

Free science center visit is reward for Governor Brewer’s summer reading program – Phoenix Homeschooling | Examiner.com.

Our State, Our Story is theme of Maricopa County summer reading program

Children are encouraged to dress in Western attire for the Summer Reading Kickoff at the Maricopa County Southeast Regional Library.

In addition to earning free Diamondbacks tickets and other prizes through the Phoenix metro city libraries, homeschool students and other scholars can participate in the Maricopa County Library summer reading program.  The theme of Our State, Our Story focuses on the Arizona Centennial, and there are numerous enrichment events to learn more about our state’s history.

The program begins May 24 and ends July 21, 2012.  All ages from birth to adult are invited to take part.  All of the Maricopa County Regional Library branches are involved, and many have kickoff celebrations as noted.

Maricopa County Regional Library branches:

In addition, many of the branches are looking for teen volunteers to help with the reading programs.  See more details and the orientation schedules.

The summer reading program with the county libraries presents a great opportunity to start a homeschool unit study on Arizona’s 100 years of statehood.

Our State, Our Story is theme of Maricopa County summer reading program – Phoenix Homeschooling | Examiner.com.