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Homeschooling: working through the basics

By Kristen Hogeterp

Published 12:48 PDT, Fri September 11, 2020

Mention home learning to a stay-at-home parent of young children during COVID-19 and they’ll probably look at you like, “Are you crazy?” But every year, many families across BC educate their children at home.

So, where does a parent begin? Do they bring the classroom experience to their child or create a brand-new environment, follow the government-approved curriculum, or cherry pick a program to suit their child? 

A misconception many parents have is that home learning brings the classroom to the dining room. Many home educators find that the rigid structures of a classroom do not fit home learning, especially since they are designed for large groups of children instead of just a handful.

“We use the curriculum set out by our DL (distributed learning), but I supplement it with other materials if the set curriculum does not interest the kids, or if it doesn’t fit with their needs,” says Richmond parent Jeanette Dyck.

Each family’s choice is different. Some families buy all their curricula from the same publisher as public schools do, and some select different curricula for different subjects based on their religious, academic or personal preferences. 

“This is the beauty of [home learning],” says a father of a homeschooled child. “It’s very flexible. There are many resources and with the help of technology like the internet anyone can home educate.”

Even with all the resources available, many home learning parents choose not to use a standard curriculum, especially in the younger years. They prefer to use real-life experiences and choose topics based on what is currently available or interesting to fulfill their schooling requirements. This enables them to use more instances where they leave the house as learning opportunities, regardless of whether or not they have papers, notebooks and worksheets with them.

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