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Tell me about Phoenix/Valley of the Sun

Desert Strawberry

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We are planning to buy a piece of land off the grid and do some homesteading. We are looking at Buckeye, but ope to other areas. 

I have family in Phoenix. I am not familiar with the area. I have been there many, many years ago. 


I understand the homeschooling laws only require a one-time (?) registration letter and then we are on our own. 


Aside from the heat and desertyness of it, what can you tell me? 



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I'm a native to the greater PHX area. Buckeye is on the west side.  I’m in the SE, so I can’t give too much specific information about over there.


Here's our state homeschooling organization that handles some lobbying and hosts the AZ Homeschool Convention. http://afhe.org/ Overall, they’ve been very fundamentalist Christian focused in the past, but it’s sort of changing lately.  We’re getting a few more homeschool workshops on things like neurobiology as it relates to learning as opposed to mostly workshops that help you incorporate your Christian faith into each subject and household management information.  (Not that those things are bad-my issue is with proportion and less variety when it comes to academic focused workshops.) The convention should already be lined up so you can probably read the workshop details there now at that site.

A warning: a few years ago at the convention the attendees all sang a hymn together and had a long prayer just before or just after the keynote address.  It was my favorite hymn and I’m a devout Christian and I was infuriated by it. It wasn’t the right time or place for that.  I can only imagine how non-Christians in attendance responded to it.  Be aware.

Here you have to send your child’s original birth certificate in with your notarized affidavit. Get those as soon as you can if you don’t have them on hand already.  They can be a real pain to get sometimes. You also have the option of not starting formal schooling until your child is 8.  That’s on the affidavit.  You still have to send in the birth certificate and the notarized affidavit selecting that option.  There are technically laws here.  You have to teach reading, writing, math, science and social studies.  They don’t tell you when or how. No one check up on you. There is not required testing. All of the state universities are very used to homeschoolers.  So are all the community colleges. 


If you're looking to homestead, remember that it's not like anywhere else. Be aware of your water source.  Irrigated land is the most practical for larger scale homesteading. Look into that and all the related issues that go with it. 

A very good book on the topic of organic, harvestable gardening is this one: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=extreme+gardening  It even includes a plan for planting harvestable landscaping that meets the requirements of most HOA requirement in the suburbs.  My cousin lives in the NW Valley and has started urban gardening.  Last night she posted the name of someone in the Tempe area who has a fantastic garden.  His name is Jake Mace and he’s known as Vegan Athlete. He has a facebook page and I think he teaches classes on harvestable gardening.  I jotted it down last night but won’t get around to viewing it for a while.


If you’re an unschooler, there’s a huge group of them here. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Phoenix_Unschoolers/info .


Summit View is a secular Co-Op that I think is all over the PHX area: http://www.homeschoolinginarizona.com/support/supportgroups/co-ops.aspx


Homeschool PE is an option here too.  We love this group that we’ve been a part of off and on for about 12 years now http://www.sportskidzaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/2014-2015-Class-Locations.pdf.  They’re all over the greater PHX area. There is a prayer at the end about being nice to each other and a required T-shirt that reads this year, “Nothing will be able to separate us†which is part of a Bible quote about the love of God. No statement of faith is required and there are lots of different kinds of homeschoolers that attend them.


It got to 97 degrees on Sunday.  We expect it to cool back down right before Halloween.  That's a long summer.



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I live down the road in Tucson. Personally, I like Tucson better. The temps aren't as high in the summer, we occasionally see snow in the winter and is generally a nice place to live. Lots of homeschoolers around here, too.We get monsoons in the summer (without the dust storms) and have pretty mountain views. There are a variety of different farms around town (a lot to the SE), so they must be doing something right. 


It only hit 91 here over the weekend, and the weather people said its about 2 weeks too early for 90s. 

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