A Celebration of Homeschool Freedom in Arizona!

Arizona homeschool families enjoy one of the best homeschool laws in the nation, affording us the liberty to teach our children at home in ways that work best for each individual child.

Hosted by AFHE every couple of years, Homeschool Day at the Capitol is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate the freedom we enjoy in directing our children’s education. It’s a great reminder of the importance of protecting the freedom we currently enjoy to  homeschool with the least restrictive regulations possible. Legislators and elected officials get the opportunity to interact with a growing constituency of families dedicated to their children’s well being and quality of education. What a beautiful testimony to the success of parent-led, privately funded home education!

This is a family event for parents and children of all ages, homeschool graduates, and grandparents, too! Attendees enjoy a number of performances by homeschooled students, sing patriotic songs together, and hear several special guest speakers. Free of charge.

Our next Homeschool Day at the Capitol event is targeted to be held in 2020. Sign up for the AFHE email list to get updates as information comes available.

QUESTIONS: events@afhe.org

On Monday, April 23, 2018, approximately 250 parents, kids, teens, grandparents, and friends of homeschooling gathered on the north lawn of the Arizona State Capitol. In spite of the heat, we enjoyed a lovely morning celebrating the freedom we have to direct our children’s education.

We enjoyed several special guest speakers including Tom Lewis (AFHE Lobbyist), Scott McKown (AFHE President), Senator Kimberly Yee, Cathi Herrod (President, Center for Arizona Policy), and Michael Farris (President, Alliance Defending Freedom). What a rich message of hope, with a passion for freedom and educational excellence was shared by each speaker!

Bethany Boone, Flagstaff, winner of the National Anthem contest held by AFHE, led us in singing The Star Spangled Banner. Families joined in singing several patriotic songs led by homeschool graduate and accomplished singer, Samuel Stefanski. And 11-year-old Mary Sannapu, Phoenix, regaled us with an energetic recitation of the Declaration of Independence. Following Homeschool Day at the Capitol, Bethany was invited to open both the House of Representatives floor and the Senate floor with the National Anthem that afternoon.

AFHE President Scott McKown and AFHE Legislative and Government Affairs Liaison Peter Gentala read the Homeschool Week Proclamation issued by Governor Doug Ducey.

Many families brought a picnic lunch and stayed to visit after our program concluded. It’s such a blessing to see our community come together to celebrate freedom and the highly successful model of education that homeschooling can be. Homeschool Day at the Capitol is hosted by AFHE every other year.

Mary Sannapu
Declaration of Independence

Samuel Stefanski
Patriotic Song Leader

Scott McKown and
Peter Gentala

Homeschool Week Proclamation

Bethany Boone
National Anthem

Tom Lewis
AFHE Lobbyist
Legislative Update

Kimberly Yee
Arizona State Senate

Michael Farris
President, CEO, General Counsel
Alliance Defending Freedom

2018 Homeschool Day at the Capitol

AFHE Board & Capitol Day Team

Capitol Day Programs

Activity Sheet

for children and teens

Scott McKown

AFHE President

Tom Lewis

AFHE Lobbyist

Color Guard

Bethany Boone

National Anthem

Kimberly Yee

Arizona State Senate

Cathi Herrod

President, Center for Arizona Policy

Michael Farris

President, CEO, and General Counsel
Alliance Defending Freedom

Peter Gentala

AFHE Legislative & Government Affairs Liaison

Homeschool Week Proclamation

Issued by Governor Doug Ducey
Presented by Scott McKown and Peter Gentala

Samuel Stefanski

Patriotic Song Leader

Singing Patriotic Songs

Family fun at the Capitol

AFHE has created a week-long unit study for families with students of all ages to enjoy together. This interactive, fun, and engaging unit study covers information about the Arizona State Capitol, the three branches of government, how a bill becomes a law, and more. It includes Bible, vocabulary, literature, crafts, enrichment activities, cooking, music, writing, drama, and links to videos to watch.

AUTHOR:  Allison Gentala, AFHE Board Member, lifeasamotherofmany.com
PUBLISHER: Arizona Families for Home Education (c) 2018. All Rights Reserved.
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Zane and Angel Willis, Ardent Communications, ardentspeaks.com

Download the PDF by clicking on the Unit Study image to the right to order through the AFHE Store. For use by your immediately family/household only. Free for AFHE Members and $5 for non-members through December 31, 2018.

Tom Lewis, AFHE Legislative Liaison

Tom Lewis has been active in the homeschool movement since the mid-1980s. He and his wife Colene served on the AFHE Board of Directors for over 12 years, serving as President, Director of Public Relations, and Director of Legislative Affairs. Tom played a crucial role in those early years in developing a positive media image of homeschooling, unifying homeschoolers at the Capitol, and architecting the strategy that led to Arizona’s exceptional homeschool law. Tom also launched the AFHE Scholarship Fund program, providing scholarships to homeschool graduates pursuing post-secondary education. More than $98,000 has been awarded to 80 recipients since the fund was launched in 2001.

After retiring from SRP, Tom rejoined AFHE as a volunteer lobbyist and legislative liaison. In the past several years, he has successfully negotiated for equal treatment for homeschoolers in a number of areas, including the pivotal passage of HB2389, which was signed into law by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in 2017. This law ensures diploma equivalency for homeschool graduates with all Arizona state agencies and government entities. This bill, when combined with AFHE’s previous legislative wins, makes Arizona a premier state in which to homeschool.

Tom and his wife Colene live in Gilbert where they completed homeschooling their three daughters. These three now-married daughters have provided them with eleven beautiful grandchildren and more exciting times as the next generation continues the homeschool adventure.

Michael P. Farris


Michael Farris is president, CEO, and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, In January 2017, he became only the second person to occupy that position in the organization’s 23-year history. He brings to the role a remarkably diverse background as an effective litigator, educator, public advocate, pastor, and communicator, and has wide recognition for his successful work on both the national and international stage. Mike was founding president of both Home School Legal Defense Association (1983) and Patrick Henry College (2000). He continues to serve as chairman of the board of HSLDA and chancellor emeritus of PHC. He graduated from Western Washington State College, magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, followed by a Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University with honors. At Gonzaga, he was articles editor of the Law Review and winner of the Linden Cup Moot Court Competition. He also earned an LL.M. in Public International Law with honors from the University of London.

Mike is nationally known as a pioneering leader of the modern homeschooling movement. His leadership of HSLDA has taken him to nearly every state and a growing number of other nations. He is the author of over 15 books, law review and other scholarly articles, and countless pieces for the popular press.He has appeared on every national television network, dozens of talk shows, and played himself in a motion picture. He and his wife Vickie have 10 children and 21 grandchildren.

Cathi Herrod, J.D.


Cathi Herrod is president of Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), a nonprofit advocacy organization committed to promoting and defending the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. A total 156 CAP-supported bills have been passed into law since CAP made its first appearance at the state Capitol in 1995. As a mother, lawyer and family advocate, Cathi knows that what happens at the state Capitol directly impacts our daily lives. Cathi is an award-winning public policy leader. Arizona newspapers have recognized her as one of the ten most influential leaders and as one of the key people “with the juice” at the Arizona Capitol. She is the recipient of the Family Champion Award from Focus on the Family, the William Wilberforce Award from Students for Life of America, and the Deborah Award from Family Life Radio. Alliance Defending Freedom recognized Cathi and CAP with the Alliance Award in 2014.

This past year, Cathi played a lead role in successfully defeating Proposition 205, making Arizona the only state out of five that election year to reject recreational marijuana. In 2008, Cathi led the YESforMarriage Coalition that spearheaded the successful passage of Proposition 102 to define marriage in the Arizona Constitution as only the union of one man and one woman. At the state Capitol, Cathi has led the effort to pass significant pro-life legislation, including the Abortion Consent Act, Abortion Clinic Regulations, and Mother’s Health and Safety Act. Cathi joined Center for Arizona Policy as Legislative Counsel in 1997 and in 2005 became CAP’s President. Cathi earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors and Juris Doctor from the University of Texas at Austin. Cathi and her husband, Mike, reside in Phoenix and have two adult children.

Following AFHE’s Homeschool Day event (or at another time), there are a number of opportunities your family might enjoy.

Self-Guided Tour of the Capitol Building Exhibits and Museum

Families can tour the Capitol building exhibits and Arizona Capitol Museum on your own between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. (Note, the north wings of the 2nd and 3rd floors are only accessible when on a reserved, guided tour)
CURRENT EXHIBITS:  azlibrary.gov/azcm/exhibits

Tour the House and/or Senate Buildings

Tour the current House of Representatives and/or the Senate buildings by contacting your Representative or Senator for a tour.
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR: azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp

Sit in on House or Senate Proceedings

Sit in on the proceedings in the House or Senate following the Homeschool Day at the Capitol program. Check in with the security guard at each legislative session.
SCHEDULE OF PROCEEDINGS: azleg.gov (Under either Senate or House click on Weekly Schedule.)

Get Involved in the Legislative Process

At the State Capitol, you can register at the Request to Speak kiosk in the Senate or House of Representatives buildings. Once you are registered, Request to Speak is a system that allows citizens to use the Internet to submit their opinion on any bill pending in the Arizona Legislature. You need to register at one of the kiosks at the State Capitol and then you can track bills online at home and register your position for or against a particular bill.

Explore the Capitol

Additional information can be found on the Secretary of State’s webpage

Guided Tour

We have scheduled a guided tour at 12:45 PM Monday, April 23. Only 60 spots available.

UPDATE: We have reached the limit for this guided tour and cannot accept any additional reservations at this time. Thank you for your interest. Self-guided tours are still an option. See above. We look forward to having you join us for AFHE’s Homeschool Day at the Capitol on Monday, April 23.

Enjoy Downtown after Capitol Day!

While you’re in town for AFHE’s Homeschool Day at the Capitol, make a day of it and enjoy one of the great museums or activities in the Downtown Phoenix area!

Note, several downtown area museums are closed on Mondays and so we have not included those venues in this list.

Arizona Science Center

600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, 85004
Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
WEBSITE: azscience.org

Heard Museum

2301 N. Central Ave, Phoenix, 85004
Hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
WEBSITE: heard.org 

Maricopa County Justice Museum & Learning Center

125 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 85003
Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
WEBSITE: justicemuseum.org
SCHEDULE A GROUP TOUR: tours.justicemuseumphx@gmail.com

Phoenix Historic Jail

125 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, 85003
Free museum and tour Monday-Thursday 12:00-1:30 pm

Phoenix Police Museum

Northeast corner of 2nd Ave and Jefferson
Historic City Hall, 1st floor, Phoenix, 85003
WEBSITE: phoenixpolicemuseum.org
PHONE: 602-534-7278

Wells Fargo History Museum

145 W. Adams Street, Phoenix, 85003
Visit at your leisure or book a guided tour 602-378-1852
WEBSITE: wellsfargohistory.com/museums/phoenix

In preparation for Homeschool Day at the Capitol, we encourage all Arizona homeschool students to write your legislators.

Thank them for their service

Whether you agree with their politics or positions or not, this is a great opportunity to simply express gratitude for the men and women who serve our state at the legislature. It’s a great way to represent homeschooling in a positive light and to show them that homeschoolers are respectful, articulate, thoughtful individuals who have chosen a model of education that works.

Let them know you are a constituent

When you write to the legislators in your district, be sure to mention that you are a constituent. They want to know they are hearing from people who live in the area they represent. Sample letter included below.

Invite them to Homeschool Day at the Capitol

Legislators are busy people and they receive many invitations to events on the lawn hosted by groups of all kinds. A personal invitation from a student in their legislative district may be just the invitation to inspire them to take a few minutes out of their busy day to stop down and meet homeschooling families who are gathering to celebrate freedom at the Capitol.


Below is a sample letter to give you some ideas. Use your own words and feel free to change up the order of things. We don’t want legislators to receive what could seem like a form letter, but rather share this sample to give you a place to start and some talking point ideas. Thank you for joining us in showing appreciation to our legislators and for demonstrating what a wonderful and successful model of education homeschooling can be!


Dear Represenatative / Senator __[last name]__,

My name is ____ and I am ___ years old. I live in __[city]__ and I am writing to thank you for your service to our community and state.

I am one of the more than 35,000 students being homeschooled in Arizona. I love homeschooling because ___. I appreciate the sacrifice my parents make to teach me at home.

On Monday, April 23, 2018, we will be at the Arizona State Capitol on the House Lawn for Homeschool Day at the Capitol. I’d like to invite you as my state __[representative / senator]__ to join us as we celebrate homeschool freedom and patriotism with hundreds of other moms, dads, children, and teens from across the state.. Stop down between 10:00 and 11:30 am to enjoy some of the special presentations, singing of patriotic songs, and guest speakers with us. Learn more at afhe.org/capitol-day.

Thank you again for the work you do as a legislator in Arizona. Your service is appreciated.

[your signature; include your age if you like also]