Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular as an alternative choice for education. Perhaps you aren't happy with your local public school, or your child has special needs, or perhaps the nearest private school is too expensive. While homeschooling can be extremely beneficial to both the parent and child if done properly, it can also be lonely and frustrating. This article will give you ways to connect with other parents and ideas for activities for homeschoolers living in the province of Ontario, Canada.
Do your homework! You will need to choose curriculum and set up a schedule for schooling your child. You can choose to use the same curriculum as the local public schools use, or you can choose something else such as a religious curriculum. You will also need to match your learning expectations to the guidelines posted on the Ontario's Ministry of Education website (see link below).
Get organized! Set up a dedicated schooling center in your home. Make sure your child has as comfortable writing table and chair, a place to keep books, and a place for materials such as paper, pens, and art supplies. You may also want to consider a bulletin board area on which you can post maps, drawings, and other visual aids. Finally, consider installing a dry erase board, or even outfitting your child with a laptop computer.
Know your legal rights! Visit the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents website (see link below). They offer a newsletter, online homeschool discussion groups and home-based learning conferences. Here, you will find useful information about the legalities of home schooling, along with resources and curriculum materials that are available to home learners.
Join a group of other homeschooling parents! Ontario is a large province, so you are going to want to try to find other homeschooling parents in your hometown. If you live in Toronto, you can join the Toronto Home Educators group (see link below). Otherwise, contact the OFTP website to find a local group in your area.
Remember that education can happen anywhere, at any time! Anything can be a lesson: A sudden storm that interrupts electricity (how does power "go out", anyway?), a bird that lands nearby while your child is doing math, or even lunchtime. Baking, after all, is simple chemistry! Homeschooling is unique in that opportunities for educating your child exist all day, every day.