HS Update: The Button Brigade

Can y’all believe that we’re nearly 3 months into the school year already! I can’t wrap my mind around it being the mid-November! It seems like it went so fast this year. SO far this year has been interesting, to say the least. We’re in a new town, in a new province and it comes with it’s ups and downs.

One of the things I count as a pro of homeschooling is that the Buttons don’t have to be pulled out of school every time we move. Due to my husbands job we’re on our 3rd base since O started kindergarten. Had he been to preschool, he would have tagged a 4th school onto that list. This move was also the first one we did during the Summer, so they would have been pulled mid-year for the other moves. That can be a lot for little kids. New school, new schedules, new teachers and kids. We don’t have to deal with any of that so it’s they get to ease in a little slower. Their routine has changed much. Their classroom is still familiar. Their teacher is a constant.

Another great thing is that I (as their teacher) know exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are. I know where they are in the material and what they need to focus on. We have out own learning curve, of course, but its constant and measured. We don’t have to start over as student and teacher each year or every move. It takes some of the guess work out of those first months of school.

This year has been different in that we’ve never lived outside of Ontario before. Our other moves were around the province, so the homeschool “rules” stayed the same. For those who don’t know this, it is legal to homeshool in every province, but each province has there own regulations. Ontario though, has the least. If you’ve enrolled your children in public school and are now pulling them out to homeschool you have to provide a letter of intent to the school board every September. All this does is let them know that your kids (who are still in the system) are not just missing but in fact being homechooled. If you’ve never enrolled your children in school though, you don’t have to provide anyone with anything. Newfoundland does not have the same regulations and so this year, for the first time ever, I had to “fake” enroll my children in school and be “approved” for homeschooling. (I do not care for that wording as it’s my legal right to homeschool them and I don’t need their approval, but I digress…) The school board liason has been very pleasant (plus she’s just doing her job!) so that’s a plus.

On top of the “approval” I’m supposed to send in 3 reports in the first year to show them that The Buttons are making progress. It’s kind of a hassle since I have to write 3 separate reports (and attach samples) but I do get it. They want to ensure that we’re not shady parents, but it also feels a little intrusive. I’m not concerned about it though because we’re obviously killin’ it! I’m able to e-mail in my reports which is great and there’s a pdf for the write up, which makes it pretty simple. After reading about what some of the other local homeschoolers are submitting it seems I can include scans of their work and photos of them doing activities, which I think is good because it gives a better idea of what we’re doing here. We certainly don’t sit at the table all day toiling through workbooks!

A fun thing we did this year was pick a homeschool name! I finally encountered a form that asked for one and decided to go with The Button Brigade. I think it has a nice ring to it!

As far as a day to day update goes we’ve spent a good amount of time getting to know our new town/province, meeting new people, doing some review, and getting into our schedule. It’s still early on and we have so much more to learn this year!

How has your school year been going so far?