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  • © 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.

Covenant Homeschool Resource Center: Setting the standard, providing resources

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 

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


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Earn money for college with every dollar you spend on new homeschool curriculum

Bob Jones University Press is a popular homeschool textbook program that gives an added incentive of creating a college fund with every curriculum purchase.  If you homeschool your child for 12 years, you could have a nest egg of $3000 or more that can be applied to tuition at Bob Jones University (BJU) in Greenville, South Carolina.

Here is how it works.

  • Student must be enrolled in AHE (Academy of Home Education) or Bridgeway Academy
    (Both are record keeping options with customer support for homeschooling questions.)
  • For every $2 spent on BJU Press materials and curriculum (Distance Learning products, Testing & Evaluation services, SoundForth products, JourneyForth products, Bob Jones University Press books, and ShowForth DVDs), $1 is set aside in a college fund.
  • Children of purchasers who enroll at BJU may use the credit for on-campus classes.
  • Grandparents or others may purchase materials in the name of the parent, and have these amounts added to the college fund.
  • The student materials alone cost around $300+ for a full set for each grade level, and the complete package with student and teacher books is $700+.  Since all items may not be needed, an average of $500 per student per school year can be used for an estimate. Over the course of 12 years, $6000 will be spent, leaving $3000 in the college fund.  This is a return of 50% on money that would have been spent somewhere for homeschool curriculum

Many families in the Phoenix area use BJU curriculum on their own.  A modest annual fee can enroll the student in the record keeping portions of the company and give access to transcripts and testing provided through Bob Jones.  This fee could be seen as an investment into the future of your child with a guaranteed scholarship fund that you are building bit by bit over the years.

Covenant Home School Resource Center in Phoenix (1114 E. Devonshire Ave, Phoenix, Arizona  85014) carries new and used BJU materials.  It is recommended that parents who wish to explore this curriculum spend some time at CHSRC to look over the texts to see how they fit the needs and learning styles of your family.  If you decide to go this direction, it may help you get a jump start on a nice college fund for your kids.

Earn money for college with every dollar you spend on new homeschool curriculum – Phoenix Homeschooling | Examiner.com.

Gov’t intrusion in homeschooling: Alberta bill to outlaw Bible teaching on gays

Canada's education law will prohibit homeschool curriculum using Bible statements on gays

The Alberta Province of Canada is moving forward with an education bill that will redefine acceptable instruction regarding homosexuality.  The Alberta Education Act passed through the Second Hearing on February 22, and mandates that the diverse nature of the province be reflected in all curriculum, including that of homeschoolers.  Each school entity is called to “honor and respect” the Alberta Human Rights Act that protects gays from discrimination.

“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,”  stated Donna McColl, assistant director of communications for the Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

McColl went on to clarify that homeschoolers could use the Bible‘s teaching in personal, family time, but not as part of the curriculum.  The difficulty is that many homeschoolers are in teaching mode all day long, informally and formally, and teaching foundational beliefs is part of their lifestyle.

According to Paul Faris of Home School Legal Defense Association, the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes.  A government that seeks that sort of control over our personal lives should be feared and opposed.”

The bill still has some more steps in the legislative process before it can become law, but has picked up strong momentum.  This legislation could open the door for greater policing of homeschooling families and imposition of a politically correct agenda, the very thing that causes many families to take their children out of public schools.

Homeschooling parents, Eric and Celeste Chamberlain of El Mirage, Arizona had some strong reactions to the idea of a bill like this in our state. They have chosen to homeschool so that they can have the freedom to teach Biblically based material as part of the curriculum.

“If I was told not to use Bible, I would be angry about that. It is my right to teach my children the Bible, and especially in homeschool. I don’t think gays should be disrespected, but people can respectfully disagree,” commented Celeste.

Eric added, “I don’t think the government should dictate how every school entity instructs. My curriculum is based on Scripture, which is clear on certain things such as marriage between a man and woman.  You can’t teach two things that are polar opposites as both being correct.” He continued with stating he has no problem teaching cultural diversity and treating all people with respect and kindness.

Every legislative session brings the possibility that bills will be introduced that are designed to curtail individual freedom.  With the US courts often deferring to international law, what happens in Canada could become grist for new interpretations of domestic statutes.

Gov’t intrusion in homeschooling: Alberta bill to outlaw Bible teaching on gays – Phoenix Homeschooling | Examiner.com.

Challenges of providing homeschool services with a non-profit resource center

At the turn of the 21st century, homeschool materials and resources were starting to have a significant place in the educational marketplace, but there were very few places, and none in Arizona, for a homeschooler to find information in one place.  Karen Borg and a small handful of others dreamed of a one-stop location that would be a hub for the most important things homeschool families needed: Encouragement and knowledge, access to curriculum, classes to aid parents in subjects they couldn’t handle, student testing, and a place to network with other like-minded folks.  Covenant Home School Resource Center in Phoenixbecame the fulfillment of that dream in 2001. (Read Part 1and Part 2)

There have been many challenges for Karen and CHSRC in ten years.  Most years, staffing levels have been minimal, so everyone has several roles.  Karen generally spends 10-12 hours a day at the center—teaching, preparing lessons and labs, and overseeing all the operations.

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Covenant Home School Resource Center: Measuring Karen Borg’s leadership impact

As a principal of a tiny Christian school in Phoenix, Arizona, Karen Borg personally knew the needs of families wanting a quality education for their children.  Many families were homeschoolers and embraced the freedom of home education.  When the school closed in 2001, Karen became the foundress of Covenant Home School Resource Center, a fitting next step in her passion for teaching and nurturing a generation of students who have the drive to succeed.  (Read Part 1)

Parental choice in education is a strong core of Karen’s approach to her work.  She believes the family is the most important institution, and home schooling, or small parent-run schools are an extension of the family.  She wants other families to have the same educational options that she had for her children.

Over the years, Karen has helped create workshops for parents, study aids for the students, and a network of relationships within the larger homeschool and private school community.   The resource center has been a perfect venue for imparting love of learning to the children and tools for parents for helping their children excel.

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