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.

Homeschool Day at the Capitol, hosted by AFHE every couple of years, 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 will enjoy a number of performances by homeschooled students, sing patriotic songs together, and hear several special guest speakers. Free of charge.

Mark your calendars and make plans to join us! Additional details will be added as they become available.

QUESTIONS: events@afhe.org

Monday, April 23, 2018

10:00 – 11:30 AM
Arizona State Capitol

House Lawn
1700 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Schedule Overview

9:30 – 10:00 AM     Check in and get seated
10:00 – 11:30 AM     Homeschool Day at the Capitol program
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM     Picnic lunch on the lawn (bring your own picnic)










This event will take place outdoors on the lawn in front of the House building. This is not a shady area. We encourage you to bring the following items to enhance your experience:

  • Camp chairs or blanket for you and your family to sit on
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Picnic lunch
  • Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy following the program, if you’d like. It’s a great opportunity to stay and fellowship with other homeschool families.

NOTE: If you bring an umbrella to protect you from the sun, please sit in the back to avoid blocking others from being able to see.

Do NOT bring:

  • Pets
  • Air horns
  • Weapons

We encourage all attendees to dress in a modest, clean, appropriate manner. We will be representing home education and the homeschool community at the State Capitol as we interact with a number of legislators and elected officials. We want to honor the men and women who serve at the Capitol with a respectful demeanor and attire. Business casual is a good approach.

RED, WHITE, & BLUE: You are welcome to wear patriotic colors for this fun celebration, if you like.

Please do not wear short shorts, midriff-revealing tops, or other clothing of that nature.


Please be aware that we will be in a downtown Phoenix location with busy streets surrounding the area where we’ll be. You are responsible for your children’s safety and well-being at Homeschool Day at the Capitol.

We have hosted this event at the State Capitol numerous times over the years and the Capitol has events on the lawn on a daily basis. We do not have reason to be concerned. However, we want to be wise, avoiding any issues that could potentially arise, and being mindful of our surroundings.

Parents should accompany their children to the restroom and to and from the parking lot.

As a group, we set the tone for our event. We expect to have a fun, safe morning enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather and our lovely State Capitol grounds.


There are a number of parking lots around the State Capitol building, including a couple of free lots.


We will be on the House Lawn on 17th Avenue in from of the House of Representatives (building #4 on the Capitol Mall Map). Look for open parking noted with an O on the map.

You might consider carpooling to maximize available parking.

Please check back. More details will be published here as they become available.

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.

Additional speakers to be announced soon!

AFHE is creating a week-long unit study for families with students of all ages to enjoy together. This interactive, fun, and engaging unit study will cover 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.

Sign up for the AFHE email list to be notified when the unit study is ready!

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS: AFHE Members will be able to purchase this great unit study for just $5. (Non-members $15)

FREE PRINTABLE: We’ll have a free activity sheet that everyone can download and enjoy, too.

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]




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.

Guided Tours

We are working on getting a couple of tour times set up for families who are interested in a guided tour of the Capitol to be able to sign up for a spot. Check back here. We’ll post details once we know more.

Explore the Capitol

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

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