Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Homeschooling is not for everyone but I have been asked quite a few times recently about homeschooling  so I thought I would write a blog post about it because it really is hard to come up with a short answer in a conversation to explain why I love homeschooling so much!

Here are the answers to a few questions I get asked a lot:

 What do you need to do legally to homeschool?

People are often surprised when I tell them you are not legally required to send in paperwork, testing scores etc. to show proof of schooling. There are some states in the U.S. that have state law requirements but in Canada you are not required to report anything.
I see tis as a benefit because as a parent you are able to take the role of teacher and main influence in your child's schooling & life in general.

If you have children already enrolled and wish to pull them from public school they recommend you send a “letter of intent” to the school principal & the ministry (that is what I did.) I then received a letter back from the ministry of education that stated they received my letter and that if I needed any help with materials, resources etc. to contact them.

What curriculum do you use?

I use a combination of things that have been working great for us  so far and I will continue using them as long as they fit our needs.  I love the fact that homeschooling is SO flexible and if something is not working as well as we would like then we can change it!

Math:  For grade one & two we used Math-u-see
We loved this curriculum, which included great manipulatives for early learners!

Grade 3 and 4 we used/are using Teaching Textbooks.
We love this curriculum. It offers a CD so it can be done on the computer of in the workbook (we chose to do it in the workbook) This curriculum is so easy to teach with and my son was able to get a half a grade ahead because he just loves it SO much!
Reading: We have been using  for reading & spelling for 3 years now & I LOVE it! It is fun for the kids to use & gives them fun games and incentives to keep them motivated and it is is awesome in that it emails me all his quiz/test results and tells me what reading level my kids are at (based on the skills knowledge within the program)
I have just started using it with my 3 yr old and she LOVE it and is already learning SO much from it!

Spelling: For grade 1-2 we used All about spelling~
For grade 3 I did not buy this curriculum again. I decided to create my own spelling lists etc. using the internet (I googled Grade 3 sight words) and based out learning from there. We do not do regular spelling tests but we do read a lot and my son has made great progress!

History:  We use 
and pinterest. This curriculum will last us years as we do not do history ALL the time but it is still nicely designed/

I buy workbooks from Costco, Walmart, Chapter’s and thrift stores. Honestly I have way too many & will never use them all! I also buy lots of books & use Pinterest for unit studies, there are also plenty of free printables online.
Pinterest is a fabulous tool for homeschooling and there is also a great online FREE curriculum that is very easy to use (we use it occasionally and will likely use it more as my son gets older).

Researching homeschooling on the internet can be very overwhelming because there are so many different “styles” people teach with (unschooling, charlotte mason, montessori, FIAR, workboxes and more) There are also a TON of different types of curriculum to use as well!
When I first started researching I felt very overwhelmed & even a bit discouraged because certain articles and websites made me feel like I needed to use expensive curriculum to be successful. There is no need to feel this way and as you become more comfortable and get into your routine of schooling your child(ren) would will gain your confidence in what you are doing. One of my huge motivators for homeschooling is the relationship that I have with my children and the relationship that they have with each other. I love the fact that they learn so much with and from each other!
There are plenty of facebook groups and blogs available to help you team up with other homeschoolers to share ideas and resources and ask questions.

What about college?

Colleges are very enthusiastic about accepting homeschooling students. In fact, some prefer them over public schooled. Apparently there have been several studies published indicating that kids that have been homeschooled are showing better test scores and better study skills. I can totally understand this thought because I can see just in the 3 years we have been schooling at home that my son has learned to be more independent and he is not a lot more responsible for himself. I do not know many other 8 yr olds that know how to cook a full meal or go grocery shopping (he does this weekly with his dad!)
I look forward to my son hitting high school age because then he will be able to follow his interests to enroll early in college courses :)

 Now onto my personal reasons for homeschooling:

 1. I get lots of time with my kids! 

I know there are parents that are tremendously excited to send their kids off to school in September. I have never been one of those parents.  I know homeschoolers & non-homeschoolers who feel the same as I do and this is just one of the reasons I like to homeschool.
I won’t miss out on their childhood because I get to discover new & fun things with them all the time. I get to see their faces light up when they learn something new, be there when a math lesson sinks in and they really “get it”.  I get those excited hugs.
I am there for the conversations when they realise that they just learned something new & they want to explain it all & share it with someone because they are SO proud of themselves! It really is an experience like no other & I am so truly grateful for it!

2. Our family bond is stronger.
I feel like because we are together so much we have the opportunity to bond more as a family. When my son was in public school it always felt like there was so little time in the evenings to really connect. You rush to have dinner, do a little running around, homework, bath the kids, read a story & get them to bed.
For our family we are done all “formal” schooling by 3:30pm and then we have time to be together. I also like the fact that there is a continuity to what we are learning.  If we go to the grocery store for example we can continue our math lesson on money by talking about prices and adding things up as we go (something my son loves to do!)

 3. Curriculum custom made for my children.

My son is a hands-on learner so I love the fact that I can plan and customize our learning to suit his learning style. A lot of our learning is child led and I often let my son make decisions or ask for his input when I comes to what we are going to learn about. I really want my kids to develop a love for learning, not just do that work that is put in front of them. I also love the fact that when we are working on a skill we work on it to master the concept without just moving onto the next thing because the schedule says so. If there is something my son is struggling with we can skip it for now & come back to it later because maybe it just doesn’t “click” yet.

 I’d like to share an example of how we learn. My son is in Grade 2 and last week he said to me with excitement “Mom,  I want to learn about bears!”  we  talked about different kids of bears and that night I got to work on our bears study unit.  Over the weekend I had gathered ideas for both him and his sister to work on for the week!

So far this week we have:
  • Read & discussed “Goldilocks & the three bears”.

  • Watched videos about bears (how they catch fish & how in some areas people are feeding the bears too much so bears are learning to rely on humans for food).

  • Read about polar bears & how global warming is affecting them (followed by a reading comprehension sheet, journal writing prompt and a couple of note booking pages).

  • My son also made a clay bear &  fish and started working on building a habitat.
I love that we are able to include things into our curriculum that are important to us as a family. This for some families may include religion. We are not a religious family but I do love doing things for our community & for others and I love finding ways to teach my kids how to be kind to others.
I love volunteering my time to help others and my goal is for our children to do the same as they get older.
Right now my son has been helping me make bracelets to raise money for a boy in our neighbourhood who was the victim of a hit & run accident.  Every year we organize a "Christmas Ambush" so we collect hats, mitts, scarves etc. for the homeless in our community and our son participates in collecting, organizing & counting items to make care packages for homeless individuals.
4. My kids spend less time schooling
Believe it or not my son spends less time schooling at home (we spend about 3 hrs. or so per day) because we don’t have to worry about things like recess, “busy work”, transition times etc.
There is lots of time left in our day for free time (doing puzzles, playing games, sensory bins, journaling, reading, drawing etc.)  These things are so important in a child’s development!

 5. The benefits of socializing without bullying
One thing I hear ALL. THE. TIME. (even from family members) is that they worry my kids will not be socialized properly.   
I just don’t get how it is that people worry my child is missing something by not sitting in a classroom with 20+ other children the same age trying to learn while being told they can’t talk to each other?
We all know how influential children are & I am very happy that I have the time to ensure that I pass my values onto my children instead of other children passing their/their parents values onto my children. 
While homeschooling I don’t need to worry that my kids will be bullied.  This reason is important to us because when our son was attending school we had a really bad experience with bullying.  We spoke to the school a number of times and still it continued. The other child was eventually suspended numerous times…but still the bullying continued as soon as he returned.
I am not by any means trying to say that kids that attend school are “bad”. I have a 13 yr old stepson & I know firsthand that kids are not always themselves at school. I am happy that my kids are not left to fend for themselves to deal with bullies and that when they are around other kids (of various ages I should add) they are properly supervised without the ratio of 20+ kids per one teacher & more  then that when they go out onto the schoolyard for recess.
I like the fact that my kids are being taught to socialize well with people of all age groups!
My son has some issues socially anyway (because he has ADHD) so socializing has never come easy to him. It is a work in progress with him and I am proud of him for how far he has come.

** I have to EDIT TO ADD now that my son has been out of public school for 3 years SO many people have commented on how mature & smart my son is! He talks great with those his age and can socialize just fine with adults as well :) **

I don’t care if my kids have a ton of friends! I don't know many people as grown adults who have a ton of close friends. I am pretty sure most of a strive to have a couple of great friendships. I care that my children have healthy, lasting relationships with people.
My son has one best friend. The two were born a month apart & have lived beside each other since birth up until he moved away a couple months ago.  They still see each other on a weekly/bi weekly basis (it was very tough at first but they are both starting to adjust to it) They still hang out with each other often and are best buds!
K also has 4 other very good friends (2 boys, 2 girls) that he does things with off & on. I do not feel he is isolated in any way and I know that he is happy with his friendships.  

Hubby brought up some concern to me in the beginning about our son missing out on “learning in a group setting, like in school” so after much thought about it my response is this:

My son is 7 and he takes the time to help his little sister (who is 2.5 yrs old) and all her 2-2.5 yr old friends (there are 5 of them because I run a home daycare) to make crafts, paint, and do daily exercises. He reads them stories,  teaches them new things, sings songs to them and kisses their boo boos when they are hurt. These are the group activities and values I am happy to have him learning and practising on a daily basis!
When our 7 & 13 yr old are playing Minecraft or Roblox together during their free time you should see the group work that happens!  They are analyzing things, making decisions together and problem solving as a (small) group.
Don’t you remember what it was like in school working on a group project? The “smart” person did all the work but everyone got the same mark… Which student were you? ;)

 6. My children will not fall through the cracks.
As parents we are our kids’ biggest advocates and we know them better than anyone.
I know where my son excels and where he needs help in subjects. I also know what behaviour issues my son has (which ones are simply him being lazy/manipulating and which ones are true issues) & I think having him at home makes it a lot easier to address and identify these issues sooner as a parent.
My son has ADHD and when he was in school we started to suspect it by what teachers were saying and by what his report cards were telling us but once he was pulled from school it was all of a sudden so obvious to us. Spending more time with him simply meant that we were able to see more of the difficulties he was having and how much of a struggle it was for him to focus for any length to get his work finished.
There are some days that we don’t get any of the homeschooling things done I had planned because of his behaviour issues but I have come to expect that those days will happen...heck, as humans we all have bad days!

I understand that homeschooling is not for everyone but I am really glad that homeschooling is for us!

If you have any questions at all about homeschooling please feel free to email me at I would be happy to help in any way I can :)












  1. Thank you for sharing your reasons for homeschooling. What a wonderful opportunity it is for your children to have you there for them as they grow and learn. Who better than a mom to help her children learn to deal with navigating the social situations that come up as they explore the world around them.

  2. Thanks Evelyn for your support! I am thrilled to be here for my children as they grow & learn....they grow up so quickly!