Deciding to homeschool can be a choice that is rooted in profound convictions or it can be imposed on you due to an unexpected situation. Whatever the case, the decision must be a thought-out family decision. Essentially, this lifestyle can sometimes have a significant impact on the different daily spheres of family members and the children’s educational journey. When united in this choice, the family will be stronger and in a better position to homeschool.
Find out about your province’s requirements
In Canada, the laws are largely favorable to homeschooling. However, each province has its own requirements and it can vary considerably from one end of the country to another. In Manitoba, for example, two annual progress reports are required for each child; but, in Ontario a child who has never been registered in school does not need to notify the school board. It is essential, therefore, to be informed of your rights and the particular details so that you can respond to the expectations of your province.
Choose an adequate curriculum
There are almost as many curriculums as families. Again, depending on your place of residence, your choice could be influenced by provincial requirements. Correspondence programs are offered by different establishments. You can also create your own from existing resources or let your imagination run wild. You can also gain inspiration from pedagogical methods such as Maria Montessori, Steiner-Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, Freiner, etc. Whatever your choices, they can be adapted to suit your children, their interests, challenges, and rhythm of learning.
Organization will probably be one of the keys to your success. Certainly, it is necessary to find an adequate space in your house in which each child can work. While some families work on the dining room table, others dedicate an entire room to homeschool. The same holds true for organizing your time - some families adopt regular hours, while others do not. Also, throughout the year keep your children’s work samples and organize them in a portfolio. This document will show your children’s program and progress. Depending on your province, it could be required by the authorities for the purpose of evaluation.
Find a support group
Even if there is no actual obligation to belong to one, support groups will soon seem a necessity in your homeschooling life. First of all, they create opportunities for children and parents to meet on a regular or occasional basis. Secondly, they often have educational outings or stimulating sports activities, and even moral support. Also, they can offer you the opportunity to get involved in your homeschooling community. Lastly, they can give you encouragement along your journey as you face opposition and the tired argument about the lack of socialization.
Adjust bit by bit
All homeschooling journeys require adjustments, as much for you as for your children. This can be with regards to ways of working, use of time, pedagogical methods, family life, activities, etc. Some things will work well, others not so much. With time, you will adjust to homeschooling just as you adjust in everyday life because homeschooling is also the school of life!