Northeastern Arizona Homeschoolers (NAZH) is in its second year as a homeschool support group in the White Mountains. As more families are choosing to homeschool their children instead of utilizing the public, private or charter schools, NAZH has seen a nearly quadrupled number of families joining their group.
In the 2015-2016 school year, there were roughly 20 families in the group. Starting the 2016-2017 school year there are now about 70 families in the NAZH group. Families are joining NAZH as a support system with structured activities. Activities vary from educational to social activities. The support helps moms, the family unit as a whole, and the children being home educated. Statewide in Arizona, it is estimated that there are roughly 35,000 school-aged children homeschooling, with that number increasing each year.
NAZH meets every Friday for a group activity. In addition they meet one Tuesday a month to serve at the Love Kitchen in Pinetop-Lakeside, and once a month for a Moms Bunco Night. Where families were once anxious about homeschooling, they are finding the resources, support, connections, educational and social activities they need to feel confident in their home education.
This school year NAZH kicked off the back-to-school year with a family campout at Green’s Peak, the beginning of August. Families enjoyed a night under the stars, s’mores around the campfire, and playing in the forest finding horny toads and making forts. The parents enjoyed chatting about life and homeschool.
The following week, White Mountain Reptile Rescue (WMRR) provided a complimentary presentation to the NAZH group. Duane with WMRR brought an amazing array of reptiles including a bearded dragon, leopard gecko, boa constrictor, turtles, and other reptile variations. Families learned about reptile safety, how to care for reptiles, the commitment of adopting a reptile, natural environments of reptiles, dietary needs and cost of food for reptiles, and they even got to hold and pet the reptiles. Later the families had the opportunity to write letters of appreciation to Duane of WMRR. WMRR is a non-profit organization that is working to receive grants to provide a new facility where schools and groups could come to tour and learn.
NAZH Activities for the remainder of the school year include: Moms Bunco Nights; Parent Workshops; Teen Scene Parties; Field Trips; Love Kitchen Service Projects; Chess & Checkers Club; Knitting Club; Computer Coding Club; Hour of Code Day; Park Days; Bowling Day; Swim Days; Ski Days; Scripps Spelling Bee; Career Day; Variety (Talent) Show; Trunk-or-Treat; Christmas Party; and Valentine’s Day Party.
Northeastern Arizona Homeschoolers are families working together to bring support, resources and opportunity to home education in the White Mountains and surrounding areas including Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, Snowflake, Taylor, Concho, St. Johns, Eagar, and Springerville. You can learn more about NAZH and their activities, membership and resources at www.nazhomeschoolers.org.