January Homeschool Newsletter

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MCESA is committed to consistently providing resources, leadership and support for the educational needs of all homeschooling families.

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happy new year 2017
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Homeschooling Tips for New Homeschool Families


Helpful tips and suggestions for new homeschool families to spend less time worrying and a lot more time enjoying this amazing first year experience of homeschooling. 

1. Start slowly with realistic expectations - the first year will be a learning experience for both you and your child. 

2. Develop a working relationship with your child - establish that you the parent are the teacher and the child is the student and that both will be dedicated to the goals you have set. 

3. Know your local homeschool laws and regulations - Arizona Revised Statue 15-802, http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/15/00802.htm defines what homeschooling is and the requirements for homeschooling. 

4. Research resources and curriculum - The resources and curriculum available today for homeschool families is amazing. Take the time to research and decide as a family which curriculum would be best, do you want to incorporate your faith in the curriculum or use secular materials or both? Also, research the support groups and co-ops within your area and what the local public school offers for homeschool stu-dents. 

5. Be organized and have a plan - Begin with writing down ideas, resource information, to do lists, meal plans, and outline weekly, monthly and yearly lesson plans. 

6. Designate an area for school - You and your child need a comfortable work space in a well-lighted spot, free from distractions and the obligations of the household. Keep resources, supplies and books within the area. But if you are limited on space, school can happen wherever you are in your home. 

7. Find a homeschool group and/or homeschool co-op group - The internet or local community groups are a good way to find other parents and kids for field trips, science projects, advice and support. Finding homeschool groups for support and encouragement for the parents and the child can only enhance your child’s progress. 

8. Social Realm - A homeschooler can have all the friends in the world. Scouting, sports, neighbors, chil-dren of friends, and other homeschool friends-all the ways schooled kids find friends are open to your child as well. 

9. Have a method of evaluation for your child - If you have clear goals at the outset and communicate them to your child, you will both be working under the same expectations. If your child has met those expectations, then they can pro-gress in their studies.  

10. Have Fun!

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Pueblo Grande Museum Events


Archaeology for Kids
Saturday, January 7| 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
Cost: $15; Discounts for Museum Members 

Children ages 7 to 12 can become a Junior Archaeologist and explore the science of archaeology by doing a simulated excavation of a Hohokam pit house. Learn how to identify artifacts in the field, and discover how archaeologists use these artifacts to learn more about past cultures.  Visit website for more information and how to register: http://www.pueblogrande.org/


Plant Tour of Pueblo Grande
Friday, January 13 | 10 to 11 a.m.
Cost: Free with paid museum admission

Discover some of the edible and medicinal plants of the southwest on an abbreviated walk along the trail at Pueblo Grande. A knowledgeable guide will identify various desert flora and some of the traditional crops (in season) used by the Ancient Sonoran Desert People. This program is included with paid museum admission. Space is limited, please sign up at the front desk to reserve your spot.

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Heritage Square - Homeschool Days

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A Child’s Life In 1900 – Homeschool Days

January 10 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

January 24 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Free - $5.00

Explore what life was like in early Phoenix by engaging in hands-on activities. Our Homeschool Days are reserved especially for home educated families. These afternoons are designed for children ages 4 to 12, but children of all ages are welcome.

At our homeschool days, your family will –

  • Take a child-friendly tour of the Rosson House
  • Learn 19th century chores
  • Play classic games

Policies – We will not cancel due to low enrollment, so be confident in selecting a date. If you need to cancel, please note that no refunds will be made for cancellations less than 14 days before scheduled tour date. Culture passes are not accepted for Homeschool Days at Heritage Square.

Visit website for more information: http://heritagesquarephx.org/events/

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Arizona Science Center Events

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Arizona Science Center offers a variety of homeschool opportunities for students from August through May.
Classes are 90 minutes long. There are extended classes, which are two hours long, and noted in the class description. Classes that will be taught by a state certified educator are denoted with an asterisk (*).

Pricing per child

  • Non-members: $50 
  • Members:  $35

Some classes may include additional fees.


Rocks and Minerals

Grades 1-2 

Work as field geologists to identify igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Explore what rocks are made of while identifying varying common minerals. 

January 10, 2017    10:00am - 11:30am 



Grades 3-5

Explore how various landforms are created through a series of hands-on experiments testing the principles of weathering and erosion.

January 10, 2017     10:00am - 11:30am

January 12, 2017     10:00am - 11:30am


Disaster Zone

Grade 6-8

Would your home survive an earthquake? What about a tsunami? Explore the principles of disaster planning as you work in a team to engineer a disaster resistant structure. 

January 10, 2017   1:30pm - 3:00pm 

January 17, 2017   1:30pm - 3:00pm 

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science fair

Homeschool Science Fair 
May 6, 2017
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Arizona Science Center 

Students will display their experiments and display boards to their peers and other Arizona Science Center Guests. Please plan to arrive at Arizona Science Center by 9 a.m. to set up displays. Students will have approximately one hour to give presentations to each other and/or provide peer review. Arizona Science Center opens to the public at 10 a.m. at which students will be able to present their projects to guests if they choose. The Science Fair will end at 11 a.m. with a "participation" awards ceremony, then displays can be cleaned up and taken back home. 

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As a thank you to teachers, Arizona Science Center is proud to offer educators a free Educator Membership, courtesy of APS. Participate in a Field Trip Orientation, attend the APS Back to School Resource Fair and Reception, or simply visit the Member Zone in the lobby with your school or district identification (paycheck is acceptable) or a home school affidavit. Participants will receive a complimentary single person membership to the Center.

Educators are eligible for a $30 discount when they upgrade their free Educator Membership to any Basic Level membership or above. In order to take advantage of this offer, educators will need to appear in person, with identification at the Member Zone. 

Upgrade your existing Educator Membership by calling the Membership office at 602.716.2029. This offer is available only to Arizona educators.

 For more information on benefits, visit: http://www.azscience.org/learning/free-educator-membership 

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phx art

 Free Phoenix Art Museum admission

Discount Tire Family has made it possible for kids and families to gain free admission on the second weekend of each month. The weekend features scavenger hunts, live performances, story time, tours and a chance to learn about art. January's theme is adventure.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 7 and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. Phoenix. Free. phxart.org.

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Express Yourself: LEGO Mania

Here's your chance to build a LEGO masterpiece with your kiddos. Kids ages 3-12 can work together in groups or alone to make their Lego creations at the Glendale library during Thursdays this spring.

Details: 4 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 12- Feb. 9. Velma Teague Library, 7010 N. 58th Ave., Glendale. Free. 623-930-3437, glendaleaz.com/library.

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Snow Day

Say goodbye to the winter season of Phoenix with Snow Day at Desert Ridge Marketplace. Kids can jump in more than 40 tons of snow, decorate cookies, and dance to live entertainment.

Details: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 14. Desert Ridge Marketplace, 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. Free. shopdesertridge.com/snowday/.

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cat in the hat

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat

Based on the classic tale of a mischievous cat who visits a pair of young kids while their parents are away, this Childsplay production will delight children and adults alike, as one of their favorite bedtime stories comes to life on stage.

Details: Jan. 14-Feb. 19. Saturdays 1 and 4 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m. Tempe Center for the Arts, 900 S. Mitchell Drive, Tempe. $12-$26. 480-921-5700, childsplayaz.org.

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 Arizona PBS family festival

Arizona PBS is celebrating the launch of its new, 24/7 children's channel with a free kids festival that includes appearances by the Cat in the Hat, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George. RSVP at azpbs.org/kids. Children can take pictures and interact with PBS Kids characters, screen the children's programming that will be offered on the new channel and enjoy light refreshments and snacks.

Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16. ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, inside the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, 555 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Free. azpbs.org.

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dog's life

 It's a Dog's Life

It's all about man's best friend from hands-on activities to art on display at the i.d.e.a Museum in Mesa. Families can experience how dogs see their world, feel the size of their footprint and find out about breeds from around the world, including cousins of canines like wolves, foxes, jackals and dingoes. Parents will love the mini kitchen, a tiny stage where little ones can put on a show, and letting babies and toddlers play safely in an area of their own.

Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays. 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa. $8 per person; free for members and children younger than 1. 480-644-2468, ideamuseum.org.

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air park

 Special Needs Jump Day

Children with autism or any sensory special needs are invited to come jump and play at a special jump day event at AZ Air Time trampoline park. The regular bright lights and loud music inside AZ Air Time will be dimmed for the comfort level of the children.  Siblings are welcome to attend.  Beyond Autism is sponsoring the event. Jump socks are required.

Details: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 26. AZ Air Time,13802 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 145, Scottsdale. $5/hour per child. 480-427-2000 or visit azairtime.com.

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Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park

Take the family for a free train ride on one of five routes operated by the Adobe Western Railroad. Trains depart about every 10 minutes. The park includes railroad artifacts and model-train layouts, and you can browse research materials. The museum operates from mid-September to early May. During the summer closure, museum displays are changed, trains and building facades get a fresh coat of paint and play areas are improved.

Details: Noon-4:30 p.m. Sundays. 22822 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale. Free. 623-670-1904, adobemtndesertrrpark.com.

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halle heart

 Halle Heart Children's Museum

This museum brings science alive by taking kids on a journey into the heart to explore how it works, what makes it tick and how to take care of it. At 3 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, kids can compete in the Video Game Olympics with Fruit Ninja, Kinect Sports and Just Dance games. From 2-3 p.m. every Monday, create free “heart art,” and from 2-3 p.m. every Wednesday, join Lub Dub’s Science Hour for a science experiment.

Details: Hours from September to May are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays; noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.. Check for holiday closures. 2929 S. 48th St., Tempe. $5 for age 4 or older. 602-414-2800, halleheartchildrensmuseum.org.

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homeschool graduation 2017

Senior High Graduate Registration

The registration deadline for senior high graduates is February 10, 2017.

Junior High Graduation Registration

The registration deadline for junior high graduates is March 31, 2017.Historically, a separate junior high graduate recognition ceremony has been held during the AFHE Convention weekend in July. Read our blog post about the special ceremony planned for 2017, which will include junior high graduates in a portion of the senior high commencement ceremony.

2017 AFHE Graduation Ceremony

Mark your calendars and join us for a very special evening honoring Arizona homeschooled students graduating from senior high in a formal, reverent, cap and gown ceremony. A portion of the ceremony will honor junior high graduates in celebration of the special milestone of graduating from junior high to high school. Admission is free for friends, family, and the homeschool community to attend.

The 25th annual AFHE Graduate Recognition Ceremony will be held

Friday, May 26, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 PM
Dream City Church
13613 N. Cave Creek Road
Phoenix, AZ 85022

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Chandler Children's Choir Auditions 

Does your child love to sing?  Schedule an audition with the Chandler Children's Choir. Now in its 9th season, the Chandler Children's Choir excels in choral education, using a fun and inspiring program of sight-singing and vocal instruction, classic repertoire, and varied performances at East Valley venues.  Boys and girls ages 7-18  may audition. No experience necessary. Schedule audition through the website. 

WHEN: Saturday, January 7, 2017, 1:00-2:00 pm 

WHERE:  Arizona Music Academy, 1700 E. Elliot Rd, Suite 11, Tempe 

CONTACT:  Melanie Hunter, auditions@chandlerchildrenschoir.org, 480-699-9846 ext 2 

WEBSITE:  chandlerchildrenschoir.org/Audition

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ed resources

Educational Resources from the Chandler Museum 
The Chandler Museum, a division of the City of Chandler, offers a variety of curriculum resources to homeschool groups and educators including field trips, lesson plans, outreach trunks, and public programs. See how the museum can supplement your child's learning. Access these resources in the "For Teachers" section. 

WEBSITE: http://chandlerpedia.com/For_Teachers

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Homeschool Chorus and Band 

Two classes that you do not want to miss are this chorus and/or band class. It is uplifting and fun to sing with fellow homeschoolers. The band plays lots of movie songs that are fun! This chorus class requires no previous experience. The band class is for intermediate players, but I have more information available for beginners. 

WHEN:  Every Friday, starting Jan. 6 at 9:30 am 

WHERE:  620 E. Mesquite, Gilbert 

COST:  $90 per semester  (Small additional fee for band) 


CONTACT:  Josefina Wilson  josefinaralon@yahoo.com 

CHORUS:  facebook.com/groups/821848387918981/

BAND:  facebook.com/groups/880278578658278/

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Covenant Home School Resource Center


Covenant Home School Resource Center will be open starting January 10th, 2017.

Phone: 602-277-3497

Email: info@chsrc.org

Website: www.chsrc.org


We are open 9am-4pm Tuesday-Friday plus one Saturday per month

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We Make History

The Phoenix Liberty Festival

An American Revolution Living History Experience welcoming Homeschoolers

Coming to Phoenix!
Arizona's only educational living history event focused entirely on the American Revolution is now offering TWO days for field trips!

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Phoenix Liberty Festival - Schedule
Thursday, February 9th and Friday, February 10th
The Phoenix Liberty Festival event opens at 9AM and closes at 12:30PM but you are welcome to arrive and depart at any time during those hours. Located at: 16401 N 43rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85053. When you arrive, please turn in your passes at the ticket booth. Though your time at the Liberty Festival is "self-guided" we do recommend gradually visiting all displays and making use of the study guide / questionnaire we send to all attending. For our 2017 Liberty Festival, we are opening up BOTH Thursday, February 9th AND Friday, February 10th for homeschool families at an admission of only $10 per person!

 Medical Programs at the Medical Tent, Fashion Presentations at the Ladies' Tent, Revolutionary Chocolate at the Chocolate Tent, Quill & Ink Writing along with Historic Children's Games in the Historic School area, Wooden Musket Drill at the British and American Camps, Souvenirs, Snacks & Beverages at the Fairfax Mercantile, Interacting with our Living Historians at all Exhibits.
10:20  Battle*
11:40  Battle*
12:30  Students return to the 21st century....
Please enjoy interacting with our living historians who will be demonstrating a variety of historical activities, holding "wooden musket drill" for young recruits, engaging students in quill and ink writing and historic children's games, sharing historical information and displaying period crafts, equipment, weapons and fashions. Don't miss stopping by the medical tent!

Visit website for more information:  www.wemakehistory.com

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Discouted Educational Products



We aspire to provide affordable education to everyone. That’s the idea behind Educents.

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