Getting Started

Updated September 2015

So, where do you start?

First things first. By Arizona law, you must submit an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool to the county superintendent’s office (which you can find here). Make sure to bring an official birth certificate. They will make a copy of it at the office and return it to you, but you cannot bring or mail a copy. I recommend bringing it to their office in person verses mailing it to them so you can keep your birth certificate.

After that…

I recommend selecting an educational style/method/philosophy to follow. It helps you keep out of ruts and keeps you going when the going gets tough. Don’t get hung up on trying to figure out EVERYTHING before just starting (I have a problem with that). Start with the basics and then just go from there. This website has a bunch of great resources for someone just starting:

  • FAQs
  • recorded pod casts
  • book recommendations about homeschooling and methodologies
  • curriculum links and reviews
  • on–line school links This website has a bunch of on-line classes and curriculum at low costs. They also have frequent freebies.

Does your High Schooler need a transcript to get into college?

My oldest is 10 years old, so I haven’t crossed this threshold yet. I believe the answer is yes and no, depending on the college you plan on sending your child to. But, to keep things safe, there are ways to get a transcript.

Scott Meadows, the developer of the transcript software for HSLDA, contacted me and let me know about this transcript opportunity.

Fast Transcripts

How do you do it?

Homeschooling is a whole lot like teaching your child to use the potty independently. There are a lot of different ways to do it successfully. In this section, I’ll highlight several types of homeschool styles/methods/philosophies. I would also love to spotlight different local homeschool families who incorporate these methods into their home education. Contact me if you are interested in being spotlighted.

School at Home

One popular way of homeschooling is by selecting a private or public on-line school for your child’s education. Just go here for more information.

Private Instruction

For many ages up until about a century ago, it was common for a wealthy family to hire a governess or private tutors for their children. For those who couldn’t afford private instruction, the parents in a community would band together to build a schoolhouse and pay the salary of a school teacher and provide room and board for him/her.

Lately, I have also met more and more homeschooling families who pay a private teacher to come into their home to teach their children a few days a week. Some families group together and pay a teacher to teach their children for a monthly fee. In each of these cases, the parents will choose the curriculum and method of instruction. This gives the parents the opportunity to provide the curriculum they feel their children need along with relieving them the responsibility of being the sole teacher.

Classical Education

Check out the book, The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise, at the library to learn about this method. This is a classical approach to education using the trivium of grammar, logic, and reasoning to learn all subjects. The book gives curriculum ideas, scheduling tips, and breaks down how to teach this method.

Online resource:
Well-Trained Mind


Unschooling is a popular style of homeschooling everywhere, including here. Unschooling is an educational philosophy and movement that was started by John Holt, who was a public school teacher for many years and felt like the education system in public school squashed the natural curiosity and learning desires of children. This method basically asks that the parent/teacher guide the child in their learning based on their strengths, talents, and interests. It steers away from a “one-size-fits-all” kind of education where certain things are learned at certain ages/grade levels. Instead, the teacher/parents guide the children through their natural curiosities and at their own pace. The basis of this is trusting that each person has unique gifts/talents to bless the world and they will gravitate to learning all they can learn in that area.

Online resources:


John Holt Website

Local Unschool Group:

Join the Facebook Group

Charlotte Mason

Taken from Simply Charlotte Mason: “The Charlotte Mason method is based on Charlotte’s firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, ‘Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.'”

Online Resource:

Simply Charlotte Mason

Ambleside Online, which has several digitized Charlotte Mason resources

Thomas Jefferson Leadership Education

The Thomas Jefferson Leadership Education, TJed, is a model of education using a mentoring approach to teaching students through reading and internalizing classical books and literature. It’s a model based on studying the education of the great American leaders in the era of the Revolution. The DeMilles, who codified the leadership education model after studying the education of early American leaders, identify 7 Keys of learning and identify 4 phases of learning that children and youth naturally pass through as they grow towards adulthood.

Online resource:

Thomas Jefferson Leadership Education

Tjed on Design Your Homeschool

TJed Spotlights:

Angie’s Curriculum Review



Most people probably fit into the eclectic homeschooling approach. They will have their kids take a class or two online, take some academic or extra curricular classes from a teacher/coach/mentor, use curriculum from a variety of sources for teaching their children (classic for some classes, religious for some classes, contemporary for some classes).


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