We have shared in previous posts what makes homeschooling in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Alberta unique and enjoyable. While we do not have representatives from each of the ten provinces and three territories in Canada, we had the opportunity to interview a member of The Old Schoolhouse® social media team, Carolyn, to learn more about homeschooling in British Columbia.
Carolyn and her husband both knew very early on that they were being called to homeschool. She said, “We had pretty much made up our minds on the matter long before actually having children. We felt that homeschooling was the best education we could give our children.” As many homeschooling parents share, Carolyn said that homeschooling “would encourage a strong family bond, give freedom in schedule and curriculum choices, and allow us to openly talk about anything and everything that our kids wanted to know.” In addition to affording her family flexibility, homeschooling “also had the added benefits of safety, less social pressures, and way more time to play,” she continued.
How do you start homeschooling in British Columbia?
The provinces in Canada have different requirements for homeschooling. Carolyn shared that in British Columbia you have two options. “The first [one] is to simply register with a homeschooling organization or school. By registering, you are telling the government that you will be educating your children at home. They will have no say in what you teach or how you teach.” The second option is one where you will be enrolling your children. You will be signing up with a homeschool organization or a school and you will also be assigned a teacher to oversee your children’s education.” She said, “you will be expected to adhere to the government’s outline of learning outcomes. The benefit of this is that you will receive a certain amount of funding per child, per year, to go towards the purchase of curriculum. It basically comes down to whether you want total and complete freedom in your homeschooling, or if you’d like more guidance and structure from a BC (British Columbia) certified teacher with the funding bonus. I have experienced doing both, but prefer to simply be registered and have the total freedom.”
Curriculum, Support Networks, and Why Homeschool?
There are various curriculums available to homeschoolers around the world. Depending upon whether a family chooses to enroll their children and have a teacher assigned, there will be more or less freedom for choosing that curriculum in British Columbia. Parents will have more choices when they choose to register with a homeschool organization rather than enroll their children.
If families are looking for more information on homeschooling curriculum, the curriculum division of The Old Schoolhouse® offers many wonderful options for families around the world. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has over 400 courses written by lesson designers around the world. There are even printable charts geared towards Canadian families to help children brush up on their money counting skills.
Homeschoolers in British Columbia can find support through local homeschool organizations or the schools with which they register or enroll. In addition, there are many individuals who are willing to encourage homeschoolers on their journey as well as groups on different social media platforms.
When asked why people choose to homeschool in British Columbia and Canada in general, Carolyn shared, “I think the reasons people choose to homeschool in Canada are the same as anywhere else in the world—they want the freedom. They want the freedom to make their own schedule, follow their passions, learn what they want to learn, and for many of us, bring God back into their education.”
Making Homeschooling Special
Everyone’s homeschooling experiences are similar and different around the world. Yet the best way for our children to explore and learn about the world around them is to be in that world. Carolyn said, “My favourite way to teach our kids about Canada is for them to actually experience it. We live in a beautiful corner of the world in BC, but it’s important to me that our kids grasp how big and different the rest of the world is. They’ve seen towering mountains and huge waterfalls. They’ve been to many a downtown, wandered a field in the prairies, and entered 100 year old buildings at the national historic sites. They’ve been to the beach and the deserts, but also played in the snow. Our children aren’t just reading about their country- they’re seeing it.”
Homeschooling allows families the opportunity to get out and see the world! We can make our own schedules and educate our children using hands-on experiences and by meeting new people. Following the interests of our children affords homeschoolers around the world with learning new things along with their children while teaching valuable life skills. No matter where you homeschool, you can meet the needs of your children each and every day.