Arizona compulsory school attendance age
Children must attend school or comply with the homeschool laws starting in the school year in which they turn 6 before September 1. They must remain in school until they turn 16 or complete the 10th grade. However, any child who has not reached 8 years of age by September 1 of the school year can be exempted from the compulsory attendance law if his or her parent files an affidavit with the county superintendent of schools stating that the child will not begin home instruction before turning 8.
HSLDA believes that a parent-issued diploma and transcript should be sufficient to demonstrate that a child has completed a secondary education. However, even if your child is beyond compulsory school attendance age, there may be situations where you would want to continue to follow the requirements of a home education option recognized under Arizona law until your child graduates from high school (filing a home education notice, keeping attendance and other records, etc.). These records may be requested in some situations, such as obtaining a driver’s license if your child is a minor, enlisting in the military, applying to colleges, or demonstrating eligibility for Social Security benefits. If you are a member of HSLDA and would like additional details, please contact us.
Withdrawing your child from his or her current school
If you want to start homeschooling during the school year and your child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, HSLDA recommends that you formally withdraw your child from that school. If you are going to start homeschooling after the school year is over, and your child is considered enrolled for the following year, we recommend that you withdraw your child before the next school year begins, so that the school does not mark your child as absent or truant.
We invite you to become a member of HSLDA to receive specific advice about withdrawing your child from school and starting to homeschool. Local schools may have specific forms or withdrawal procedures. HSLDA members are eligible to receive individualized advice about whether complying with those procedures is advisable or required. HSLDA members can also use the sample letter of withdrawal for Arizona available in Member Resources to correspond with school officials.
We generally recommend that any correspondence with authorities be sent by “Certified Mail—Return Receipt Requested.” Keep copies of the withdrawal letter and any other paperwork or correspondence, and any green postal receipts, for your personal records.
Note: If your child has never attended a public or private school, this section does not apply.
Complying with Arizona’s homeschool law
1. File an affidavit of intent.
The parent or guardian must file a one-time affidavit of intent to homeschool with the county school superintendent within 30 days after beginning to homeschool in the county. The affidavit of intent must include the child’s name, the child’s date of birth, the address of the school the child is currently attending (if any), as well as the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of the persons who currently have custody of the child. (A form for the affidavit of intent is available to HSLDA members here.)
2. Provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
The parent or person with custody must provide a certified copy (not a photocopy!) of the child’s birth certificate. If you cannot obtain a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate, you can submit other proof of the child’s identity and age along with an affidavit explaining inability to provide a copy of the birth certificate.
3. Teach the required subjects.
You must include reading, grammar, math, social studies, and science in your homeschool curriculum.
4. File a letter of termination.
If you decide to stop homeschooling, or move out of the county, you should submit a letter of termination to the county superintendent of schools within 30 days of ending your homeschool program. If you begin homeschooling again, or begin homeschooling in a new county, you should submit a new affidavit of intent.
The importance of recordkeeping
You can find Arizona’s specific recordkeeping requirements, if any, above. Regardless of what state you live in, HSLDA recommends that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program. These records may be helpful if you face an investigation regarding your homeschooling or your student needs to furnish proof of education.
These records should include attendance records, information on the textbooks and workbooks your student used, samples of your student’s schoolwork, correspondence with school officials, portfolios and test results, and any other documents showing that your child is receiving an appropriate education in compliance with the law. You should maintain these records for at least two years. You should keep your student’s high school records and proof of compliance with the home education laws during the high school years (including any type of home education notice that you file with state or local officials) on file forever. HSLDA’s high school webpage has additional information about homeschool recordkeeping.