Homeschoolers are welcome and invited, too!
I often get an email here and there from someone new in town who is already homeschooling or someone who is ready to take the plunge into homeschooling. I often get asked about local homeschool Co Ops. Lately, people have been asking if we have a homeschool charter school…like the ones that are popping up in different states like California where kids attend some classes once a month, or once or twice a week, and the parents get the curriculum from the school for “free” or through our tax dollars, just like public school kids, to teach their kids at home. So I want to share with you what I know we have here. I would LOVE for others to help me update this article with additional information about Co Ops or other homeschool communities here. For now, I’ll do my best with what I know.
Homeschool Charter Schools
While we don’t have homeschool charter schools like the ones in CA, we do have some programs that are somewhat similar.
Classical Conversations is a Christian based curriculum with a weekly instructional gathering component. Our area has enough families in this program that they have a weekly group meeting.
Sequoia Choice is the closest thing we have to a homeschool charter school around here. They even have a few different options. You can sign up through their charter to receive textbooks and receive guidance and monitoring through one of their teachers/advisors. It looks like you can take classes PT or FT through them. When they first came to Prescott a few years ago, I attended an informational meeting about it. They were talking about having regular gatherings for kids. Possibly weekly. I didn’t see anything that mentioned that on their website, though.
Williamsburg Academy is an online school that provides real-time, live instruction to a class of students. Right now WA provides classes for MS & HS students. But they may expand to elementary students in the future. WA is a private online school with a private school tuition option (that can be good for families who don’t care for common core standards or state testing or don’t want to report to anyone for their child’s education). However, they have partnered with Sequoia Choice. If you enroll your student for WA for Sequoia Choice, SC pays for your child’s tuition and SC is your child’s charter school. That does mean your child will need to take state exams and you would need to comply with anything else that a state-funded school requires. However, you don’t need to pay the price of a private school for your child to receive a private school education.
There are several families in the area whose kids attend Williamsburg Academy. While their gatherings aren’t weekly, the students do get together for semester kick-off parties or end of semester gatherings. WA encourages its students to interact outside of class and especially in person where feasible.
There are other groups of homeschoolers that meet based on similar interests or who go to the same church or who follow the same educational philosophy. The best thing I’ve found for these special interest groups is to join a Facebook Groups that caters to your style. Email me privately so I can invite you to the closed groups, or do your own FB search to find a group that works for you.
This is even a bit of a mystery to me! I know there are Co Ops in the area. I participate in one and I’ve helped set one up that later dissolved. I know there is a BIG one that meets in a church on Fridays. Word of mouth says that their classes fill up quickly and they rarely have openings. I believe it’s mainly for upper grades. But I could totally be wrong with it. I will try to get more accurate info on this Co Op.
The one I’m in meets in a person’s home and it focuses on Science and Humanities. She accepts students as long as there is room in her home for the extra kids. This one ranges from Pre-K through HS.
Please feel free to email me privately if you’re interested in joining a Co Op. Or, better yet, if you would like to start a Co Op or grow one that you have started, I would be happy to help you advertise it and direct future newbies your way.
Bearizona is doing their $5.00 (Homeschool Day) this Friday, Sept 11. Price would be $5 for each kid and $5 for the first adult with each additional adult would be full price. You will need a copy of your affidavit or homeschool ID card or AFHE card for your children showing that you are homeschooling to get that discount.
Bearizona is a wildlife park featuring North American animals in a natural environment. There are three ways to enjoy Bearizona, all of which are included in your admission fee:
SPIN IT: Drive-thru adventure-Visitors experience a scenic three-mile drive in their own vehicle or coach witnessing North American animals in their natural environment.
STROLL IT: Fort Bearizona-In this area guests leisurely stroll through the forest along winding walkways to get an up-close look at the antics of baby and smaller animals. There is plenty to do and see within the fort walls. Explore the kindergarten bear den to catch a glimpse of juvenile bears in their cave. Interact with their mini farm animals in the Fort Bearizona Barnyard. Make your way through their mine shaft exhibit which houses nocturnal animals as well as some creepy crawly critters
SOAR IT: High Country Raptors Free Flight Show-Feel the breeze as their amazing birds of prey skim directly overhead during this incredible show. Visitors come face-to-face with hawks, owls, falcons and other raptors. Programs also include “on-the-fist” and training demonstrations, all with narrative on natural history, conservation, and other interesting facts.
DAILY SHOW TIMES FOR THE BIRD SHOW: March-December Only (Bird show times are subject to change)
Animals you will see at the park:
-Big Horn Sheep
1500 E. Rt. 66, Williams Arizona, 86046
For the second year, the Sharlot Hall Museum is offering “A Day in the Life” program on June 23 and 24, 9:30 to 3:30 p.m. This program is designed to allow children, ages 6 to 13, to learn about the work and games of both Yavapai and pioneer children during the 19th century. The two-day program involves fun, educational activities such as archery, sewing, reading animal footprints, Victorian games, and butter churning. It is a cross cultural program and the participants will be home schooled youth, as well as children from the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe. Enrollment is limited to 15 homeschooled and 15 Yavapai youngsters.
Children from the same family within the age range of 6-13 may attend. We recommend not bringing younger children, such as toddlers and infants, because they will not be able to join in the activities. One parent from each family may stay at the museum during the program, but this is not required. There will be no charge for the event. Participants will need to bring their own lunch one day, and lunch will be provided another day. To learn more about the program and to register, please contact Mary Melcher at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928-445-3122, ext. 29) Sharlot Hall Museum, 415 W. Gurley St., Prescott, AZ 86301.
This looks like a lot of fun! And that will be the first week of public school, too! (I’ve always thought they start school way too soon here…come on…the beginning of August? It’s still summer vacation!)
Visit the Wet N Wild website to reserve your tickets!
A bunch of homeschoolers are acting in this play. Come support them! Click on a link to see the flier and find out how to get tickets.
Also, the director, Ben Naasz, is willing to give acting classes for homeschoolers only if there is enough demand. He would also be willing to do homeschool only productions/plays with practices in the afternoons if there is enough interest. Comment here if you would be interested in something like that in the future.
Arizona Game and Fish to set up a Fishing event. They will educate kids and include all bait, tackle, poles, etc. No fishing license needed.
Wednesday August 13. There will be 1-1.5 hour of class time than 2-2.5 hour fishing g time. AZGFD will bring all bait,tackle and poles. Kids under 3rd grade should bring their own poles as there is only a few available. AZ game and fish will supply all bait. Also bringing crayfish traps and BBQing crayfish. Park is free that day, event held at Goldwater Lake.