So you've decided to switch from public or private school to home education? Welcome to Learn Resources For Homeschooling. This is a website that holds all of the critical information needed for parents, students, and teachers of the Alberta (or Canada-wide) homeschooling community. This article covers all of the primary questions that parents and students have, why homeschooling is worth it, and how to calmly transition from public education to homeschooling, and how to keep your child interested in school, and have a social life. (If you are transitioning to online learning following COVID, and are considering making the switch to at home learning permanently; we've got you covered.)
The first thing you must have in order to successfully learn from home is motivation. That goes especially for the student, but this applies to parents as well. You have to be willing to put in the effort of teaching your child the concept, and helping them understand how to build a healthy habit of lifelong learning and instilling the curriculum outcomes expected of the student according to Alberta Education's regulations. Don't worry, it's not as difficult as you think.
All you need is patience, motivation, a computer, and the necessary supplies (textbooks, stationary, paper, calculators, binders, etc...). You can see a list of required supplies in this article.
Aside from these things, parents and students alike have many questions about whether or not they should enroll in homeschooling, and what it takes to see through the commitment of education at home. Here are some common questions for parents and students who are considering homeschooling.
What Is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a method of education that is still guided under the curriculum of Alberta Education. You register your student(s) with a school that provides homeschooling registration (my family registered with Argyll Centre, and they provide homeschooling for all EPSB students, even if you live in a different city, province, or country!) Your child still learns all of the fundamental core subjects taught in a school, such as Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science(s), and whatever other courses they wish to pursue (Phys-Ed, Art, Music, etc...)
What Are The Benefits Of Homeschooling?
Homeschooling allows the student to explore the possibilities that homeschooling has to offer. It's a lot of research-based learning. You get to choose what assignments you do (based around a curriculum of course), you get to set the schedule and choose what subject you do that day, and it's a lot more relaxing being able to stay at home and learn in the comfort of your living room (no more out the door before 8 AM), and it allows parents to become more involved and immersed in their child's education.
When I began homeschooling, I was your average 7th grader. I achieved good grades all throughout elementary, but I always found myself bored in class because I was already ten steps ahead of all the other students in my studies, because of this, I was picked on and bullied by both my peers, and the school staff. They didn't see how creative I was, and the school system felt so forced, there was little desire to learn something for yourself, and more desire to just regurgitate information like a mindless robot. Homeschooling is the exact opposite of this. When I started homeschooling, I began learning for myself, and I developed a strong motivation to learn new things because it was fascinating. I had my Mom as a homeschooled teacher for support, and as I continued my homeschooling, I participated in many fun school projects like designing a hydraulic elevator to move a miniature "elevator" inside an "apartment building", or using a 3D floorplan rendering software to create a simulation of a prototype for an astronaut settlement on Mars for a Science project in Grade 9. (Yes, I went above and beyond in that report which landed me a job with NASA but that's a story for another day). Homeschooling has been the most fun, and freest form of education and I wouldn't change anything about it... well, I would have rather had a resource website that helped explain to me and my family what to do (the government of Alberta doesn't provide much of anything when it comes to resources). That's why I started this website!
How Do You Transition From Public School To Homeschooling?
Transitioning from public school to school at home can be frustrating (especially if it was forced because of the pandemic), but it is an exciting adventure that can open a student's mind to learning in a whole new way! Homeschooling teaches kids to think outside the box and learn independently. There are plenty of extracurricular activities for homeschooled students (both online and in person) that keep kids socializing, and when parent's get to see that "ah-ha" moment when their child figures out a new concept, is the best thing ever! There are plenty of resources on my page that help students of all grades (but I focus on primarily junior high and high school), including video resources, worksheets, curriculums, places to buy textbooks, online simulators for science experiments, creative ideas for homeschooling, the sky is the limit! You just take things one day at a time, and enjoy the learning process. At the end of the day, if your child is happy, and learning, that's all that matters.
Is Homeschooling The Right Choice For My Family?
Many people think that because they have a full time job, that they are unable to homeschool their children because it's too much work. (No you don't need to have a teaching degree to homeschool your child, and you can be a full-time working parent and still homeschool your kids.) Yes, granted homeschooling will be easier if there is a parent to stay and help their child learn all day, but if your child is motivated and mature enough to want to learn, and get ahead in school (and thus in life), then homeschooling can be done no matter your family career structure. Parents just have to ensure that their child is getting their work done, and is understanding the concepts taught to them. If the student is having trouble, there are plenty of tutors, online tutorials, and resources for parents to access that can make learning a lot easier; many resources I have listed here on my website. Homeschooling is also very affordable, once you have the right supplies.
There are two main types of homeschooling: teacher directed (a "blended" program where kids attend online classes from a teacher and complete the work assigned to them), and the more hands-on (and personally, more fun) method called parent directed homeschooling, a program where parents are in control of their child's curriculum. This type of homeschooling is more parent-involved, but not only is this a great thing, it also allows parents to control what students learn. Of course, you must closely follow Alberta Education's guidelines and curricular outcomes (for example, a parent directed homeschooled child can choose which questions they respond to in a textbook whereas a teacher directed homeschooler has their questions assigned to them). There's more freedom in parent directed homeschooling; but whichever choice you make, there are still plenty of options and resources for you to use on this website!
There are plenty of options for completing your homeschooling journey, and this is something you will want to talk over with a staff member at the school you register with. But take it from me, I've been in public school from preschool until six grade, and I've been homeschooled for six years; and I would choose the homeschooling route any day.