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E-News Issue #2 April 2007
 Promoting and Protecting the Freedoms of HomeschoolersGreetings!

Convention season is upon us! In this issue, we have tips and tricks to help you weave your way through the curriculum halls and seminar choices.

Spring is a time for change - and our website has changed along with the outside view from your window.
User-friendly and easy to navigate, with all the important information right at your fingertips. We are aiming to have the new and improved curriculum forums installed and ready to go by the end of the first week of May. Check out the changes!

Also see the article below for important information on the up-coming AGM. We have changed the date of our AGM to coincide with the convention in Surrey this year. If you are a member and you will be at the convention, we look forward to seeing you at the AGM as well as at the booth!
President's Pen President's Pen

 Education Minister Shirley Bond and "Homeschool 101"

 Last month, Coleen Hein, one of the members of the BCHLA board, was able to attend an informal meeting regarding homeschooling in BC with the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Education and Minister responsible for Early Learning and Literacy. The meeting was very encouraging on all counts. Coleen has submitted her summary of this meeting under our President's Pen column.

Sherri Piechnik

This article does not represent partisan opinions of BCHLA nor it's members.

March 18, 2007 found seven ladies and a couple of gentlemen seated around a dining table at a home in Prince George. One of those ladies was BC's Minister of Education, Shirley Bond. She had indicated a desire to speak with homeschoolers at a previous roundtable in Prince George. A meeting was subsequently set up and six local homeschooling mothers were able to attend, all with various homeschool backgrounds and experience but equally representing among us both registration and enrollment home learning options.

As the meeting began, Minister Bond stated that she would really like us to give her "Homeschooling 101" - what was homeschooling like for us, for families in BC, what worked and what didn't, what issues did we feel needed attention, etc. We were able to address several topics with her...

AGM Annual General Meeting

June 1, 2007
6:45 - 8:30 pm
Guildford Recreation Center
15105-105th Ave., Surrey, BC
Across and down the street from the Sheraton Guildford

To ensure we have adequate refreshments (vegetable platter, fruit platter, cheesecake, coffee, tea, etc) please e-mail our president by clicking here. You will be emailed closer to the date of the meeting with the room number at the Guildford Rec Center.
Honour the Children
Visit the Vancouver Waldorf School online at
The Unschool Mambo
By Lisa Rivero

Several months into our homeschooling journey, I took our son and two of his schooled friends, home on a school holiday, to our city's public museum. Listening to one of the children, a former classmate of our son, rattle off a list, in order, of the Ancient Chinese dynasties as we entered the Asian exhibit, I was briefly plagued by doubts about whether our son was "learning enough." I even wondered--just for a tiny moment--if I should plan an ancient history unit so that he would "keep up" with his peers in the classroom, even though he had expressed little interest in ancient history at the time and we weren't doing formal unit studies.

Most homeschooling parents have experienced these attacks of doubt at one time or another, especially when we unconsciously measure our own child's accomplishments and progress against those of children in more traditional learning environments. Such disquieting moments can not only wreak havoc with our moods but also shatter our confidence.

Fortunately, later that evening, after giving the matter more careful thought. . .

 What is Christian Unschooling?

The following 'article' was taken from a blog, found on the internet.  Unfortunately there was nothing on the site to identify the author.

We are a Christian family that has embraced radical unschooling as a lifestyle, believing it is the best way for us to Glorify God as a family, to represent Him through our relationships with each other, and serve as examples of Christ in our community.

What is unschooling? It is, simply, the absence of school. It is living life as if school and school-related activities didn't exist. It is believing that children will learn better and grow better when they don't have to conform to someone else's agenda and timetable for when they should learn anything, but are instead free to choose how, what, where, and when to learn. It is learning that happens every day, all the time, through the pursuit of one's own interests and daily living, without assignments and tests and textbooks and workbooks.

For the Christian, it is believing that God has created us to be learning beings, to seek out what we need to know when we need to know it. It is making a conscious decision not to interfere with God's plan for our children's education, but instead...
Help Needed

British Columbia Home Learners' Association has always operated as a volunteer organization.  We have been standing for the freedoms of home schooling for many years.  Often, when our freedoms are not challenged and life moves along smoothly, we forget the needs of the organization that lobbies for the freedoms we enjoy.

BCHLA is currently in need of directors. With many hands the work is light. We are looking for home schooling couples to join the board of BCHLA and help carry on the important task of lobbying for and representing the families of our province who value the home school freedoms we now enjoy.

Qualification for board members are:

  • A member of BCHLA for a minimum of one year.
  • A commitment to home schooling your children in the "traditional" sense.  This means that all school-aged children are registered
    School Act with a school in BC.(Because of the changes that have taken place in the past year with the MoE allowing registered home school students to enrol in DL classes, the board has determined that board members must have children that are not enrolled in any DL classes.  We are waiting to see where the new options for registered students takes us in the next year or so before making ammendments to this policy.)
    under Section 12 of The
  • A willingness to support all forms of home schooling: secular and faith-based, textbook and unschooling, Charlotte Mason and classical, etc.
  • A willingness to take on an area of responsibility with the board
  • Membership
  • Secretary
  • Newsletter
  • Website
  • Advertising
  • etc.
  • The ability to communicate via email.
If you have any questions regarding becoming a director or are interested in joining our team, please contact me at

Sherri Piechnik - President BCHLA
Click the graphic to link to our website for all the great details!

Visit Math-U-See online at
Curriculum Getting Through the Convention Maze

Homeschool convention time is just around the corner.  Now's the time to prepare. Here are some tips for navigating the convention halls and simposiums.


  1. Do your research.  Order catalogues.  Search through websites.  Talk to other parents and look at their curriculum. 
  2. Include your husband in the decision making process.  He will probably have some very wise input.  Often we forget to consult him because he's not there for the day-to-day workings of our home school experience.
  3. Make a list of what you want to look at and where to find it.  Don't trust your memory.  Vendor halls can be overwhelming, especially for newbies.  Most conventions will list the vendors who will be attending.  Make notes of which vendors will probably carry your item.  Remember that vendors only come with a certain number of each product so if you know what you want, do your shopping early.
  4. If you have older children consider bringing them along to help pick out materials they will find interesting. 
  5. Bring a backpack or small rolling carrier to carry your books.  Books become very heavy very fast and there is not likely to be a place to store them.  (Husbands can come in handy here as well.)  Remember, the vendor hall can become crowded so use the smallest piece of luggage that will work for you.
  6. Most vendors will accept VISA or Mastercard but you may also need cash for lunch money and incidentals.
  7. Choose your workshops wisely.  Focus on your needs as well as your children's needs.  Remember to leave yourself some breathing space.  By the way, if you decide not to attend a workshop that you had signed up for, no one will come looking for you. You can always order the CD of a workshop and listen to it later. 
  8. Decide ahead of time which CD's you will be ordering.  Then talk to other moms to find out which workshops they found the most helpful.  You may choose to cut back on your list or add to it. 
  9. Bring tissue.  You never know when a workshop/keynote speaker might touch your heart.
  10. Some moms find that going with a friend can enhance their conference experience but others find it 'binding'.  Think about what you are wanting out of this experience and choose appropriately.  It may be that you arrive together but go your separate ways and meet up for lunch at a specific time.  As homeschooling moms we don't often get the time for a lunch without the kids and a chance to talk about curriculum, uninterrupted. 
  11. Enjoy yourself!  Relax!  If this is your first conference you will be overwhelmed.   But if you are prepared as much as possible, in advance, you will have a great time. 

Sherri Piechnik

Children's Fitness Tax Credit
The Government of Canada proposes to allow, starting in 2007, a non-refundable tax credit on eligible amounts of up to $500 paid by parents to register a child in an eligible program of physical activity.

In This Issue
President's Pen
Annual General Meeting
The Unschool Mambo
What is Christian Unschooling?
Help Needed
Convention Maze
New Tax Credit
Upcoming Events
E-Mail Policy
Contact Information
Quick Links

Newsletter Archive
Take out a Membership!

Click the button above to open or renew a membership with BCHLA right online using our PayPal option! Safe, secure, and convenient. Help us to continue the work of promoting and protecting the freedoms of home educators in BC.
Our Condolences
White Rose

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Livingstone family over the loss of Mark, a wonderful husband and father, in a tragic industrial truck accident. Mark and Doris have served as BCHLA reps in the Tofina/Ucluelet area for many years and are well-known in the homeschool community on Vancouver Island. Their eldest child will be graduating this June at the homeschool convention and Doris plans to continue homeschooling her two younger daughters. Please join with us in remembering them in the coming months/years.

Upcoming Events
BCHLA Directors will be in attendance at the following events:

BC Homeschool Convention, June 1-2, 2007, Surrey, BC     Website
Please come by the booth and introduce yourself! We love meeting members and getting a chance to talk "face to face"!

BCHLA Annual General Meeting, June 1, 2007, 6:45pm, Guildford Recreation Center in Surrey, BC
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