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E-News Issue #3 June 2007
 Promoting and Protecting the Freedoms of HomeschoolersGreetings!

Summer has officially arrived, which means summer breaks for most. Enjoy those camping and fishing trips!

If you're organizing books over the summer and find you have a few to get rid of, consider listing your goods for sale on
BCHLA's Used Book Forums
. Anyone can browse the ads. To post an ad or respond to someone, simply sign up with our automated system and list away! You can use your profile settings to ensure you receive e-mail alerts when responses to your posts are made.
President's Pen President's Pen

"If I continue to homeschool my child as a registered student, how will they gain admissions to university or college?  Don't I need a Dogwood Diploma?  Will I prevent my child from achieving their post-secondary goals if they don't take those Distributed Learning classes that are now being offered?"

This year, Grace Jorgensen asked me to teach a workshop at the homeschool convention on "Preparing our Homeschoolers for College".  I welcomed the opportunity to present the post-secondary options for those families who have chosen the 'registered' route with their children.  I spoke with almost a dozen universities, colleges and university colleges throughout BC.  Here were just a few of my findings. 

University - A prerequisite is graduation from a recognized educational institution.  If you cannot meet this requirement then you must document the reasons and provide Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) scores plus a letter of appeal and any other relevant documentation for consideration by the Senate Committee on Admissions, Re-registration and Transfer (SCART).

 Another option is Accelerated Entry.  You must present -

  1. Letter of recommendation from your school principal (Homeschool father?)
  2. Transcript of learning thus far (Homeschool mother?)
  3. Approach the department and explain your situation.

Another option is to apply to take one or two classes at the university.  This will help you get an "in" and will allow the professors to see what you are capable of doing.  If you do well, you may have a professor who is willing to speak on your behalf with regards to admissions.

College/University College - depending on the course you choose to enroll in, most require an entrance exam for English and math.  Some will have prerequisites such as biology or chemistry.  My son wanted to attend Kwantlen College for Business Marketing.  He has never been to a public school so he paid the fee to write the test.  He passed and was accepted.  (He since chose another direction and was accepted into the Art Institute of Vancouver based on his portfolio.  He had never attended an art class.)

College is a wonderful option for first year of post-secondary.  The cost is usually lower and it allows most students to remain at home while attending.

Portfolios - A portfolio is always helpful when applying for post-secondary.  The best approach is to have it on a disc.   This makes it easy for the admissions coordinator to not only look at your portfolio but also to pass it on to others who will be part of the decision-making process.  Have your children begin compiling portfolios of their work on the computer when they are young.  By the time they need 'the real thing' it will be second nature for them. 

Open Learning Institutes - Open learning online schools have no admissions requirements but there may be requirements for individual courses.  If your student begins taking four courses per year when he/she is 16 years old they would be able to complete first year university before high school graduation and enter second year university the following year.  The two open learning institutes I looked into were Athabasca Online and Thompson River Open Learning. 

BCHLA is excited about the possibilities that are open to our homeschooled children.  If you have a child who has been homeschooled through high school and has gone on to post-secondary, we would love to hear your story.

BCHLA will continue to research post-secondary admissions for homeschool students and will post our findings on the website.  If you have any information you would like us to include, please contact us at

Sherri Piechnik

AGM AGM Report

Here's a quick re-cap of the AGM held June 1, 2007 in Surrey:

  • Shayne and Gayleen Davis were voted to the Board of Directors.
  • A members'-only e-mail list will be created to discuss BCHLA business among members.
  • A BCHLA Costco Executive Membership will be taken out so that those members of BCHLA who have not had prior access to purchasing a Costco account may do so at a discount.
  • Coleen Hein will be stepping down from the Board when her term ends in September.
Thanks to all the members who made it out to the AGM! We appreciated your participation.

Board of Directors
Kool and Child
Visit Kool and Child Online!
Homegrown Education Catching on in Canada

By Sharda Vaidyanath
Epoch Times Parliament Hill Reporter
Feb 24, 2007

Having taken more than three decades to evolve, home-schooling is presently thriving in Canada.

From Victoria to St. John's, parents across the country are increasingly choosing to conduct class at the kitchen table rather than have their children taught in a conventional school.

"We have a very, very rich community in terms of collaboration in home-schooling in Canada," says Deani Van Pelt, assistant professor in Education at Redeemer University College in Hamilton.

Lead researcher of an in-depth study on home-schooling released in 2004, Van Pelt says home-schooling is not only surging in Canada...

Click through to Wondertee's Website
G.I.F.T.S. (Gulf Island Film & Television School) Scholarship News

The Gulf Islands Film and Television School (GIFTS) has become a legend in the film and television industry and among teachers, parents and teenagers alike. The summer camp located on Galiano Island, which doubles as a live-in media training facility, has been recognized as one of the most exceptional experiences available to teenagers in British Columbia; and today, GIFTS announced the creation of their largest ever youth scholarship program.

With teens coming from around the world, a growing number of "local" students are now making the one hour ferry ride to Galiano to take advantage of this award winning school.  GIFTS prides itself with over 200 national and international film festival awards; and with a top-notch staff roster that boasts some of Canada's most successful filmmakers it's not surprising that their unique programs have received international attention. Following the enormous success of their recent "GIFTS Lucky7 Contest" which was produced through a strategic partnership with YouTube, GIFTS is now getting ready to host their 13th AnnualEyeLens Film, Video and Animation Festival, and nearly 80 BC teens are now in the running for an award. The festival will taking place entirely online at the GIFTSfilms YouTube Channel. The festival will premiere on June 18th with all nominated films available for viewing at Winners will be announced on July 2nd.

GIFTS Director, George Harris, credits the immense success of his students to the intensity of their accelerated hands-on training. "I still remember 12 years ago when I pitched this idea that students would make a film in 6 days," remarks Harris. "They thought we were crazy. Now over a decade later we're still going strong. It's just so rewarding to watch these students, often from very different backgrounds, come together and share in this unique experience. They pitch an idea for a story on Monday and then fast forward to Saturday, leaving with a film of their own. This one-week program is such a boost in confidence. Novice filmmakers leave with a sense that they can do anything they put their minds to. There really is no better GIFT than that!"

Harris is also thrilled that a recent endowment bequeathed to the school by long time islander Pauline Topp, will mean that an additional 42 youth will get their own chance to experience the magic of GIFTS.  According to Harris, 20 of these 42 summer scholarships are being reserved for BC Home Learners. "We are just so excited to extend an opportunity like this to teens around BC, and this year we have shifted our focus to a group of students which are often forgotten in programs such as this: BC Home Learners. Since 1995 our Scholarship and Bursary Fundhas been a vital resource to teens seeking media training, and to date, this effort has just been a tremendous success: we have provided over $350,000 to community groups, disadvantaged youth, and activist organizations across the country," explains Harris. "We've set up a page on our website just for students to apply for one of these 42 scholarships and we are doing our best to get the word out to high schools and home learning organizations across BC. This is our largest single scholarship initiative ever, and if we have our way, this trend will continue for many years to come." To apply, parents or teens can call the school directly at 1-800-813-9993 or visit their site for full details (

Their latest slogan is ringing true - GIFTS actually is turning "Dreamers into Filmmakers!"

Playing ChessShouldn't Your Children's Curriculum Include Chess?
By Richard Driggers
Printed in PHS #19, 1997

Chess improves thinking skills. For years research has clearly shown that playing chess improves academic performance. In many cases, the child develops an intellectual confidence that leads to better grades and higher self-esteem. Overwhelming evidence of improved learning skills can be obtained by asking the U.S. Chess Federation, which offers over 40 articles and research findings available at no charge.

Chess is wholesome and has a number of practical advantages over many other activities. After you get the set, it's free; and it can be played anywhere, year-round, for a lifetime. There is no risk of injuries. It only takes two to play (one if you have a hand-held or conventional computer). It is usually a quiet game. Siblings of different ages can make games interesting by taking away pieces from the stronger player (similar to using a handicap in golf). You can use clocks to shorten the length of the game (Blitz chess). There is a great team variation called "Bughouse" in which it's two against two, side by side. Captured pieces are passed to one's partner who, on his next move, can place that piece anywhere on his board. All four players are timed. Your team wins if there is a checkmate on either board or if either of your opponents run out of time before you or your partner (5 minutes for each player). This team variation is extremely popular all over the country. At tournaments, the winners stay "up" and a new team replaces the losing team. It is great fun!

Read more of this great article on the PHS Site

Reading TogetherWhy the Internet will Never Replace Books

By Sam Blumenfeld
Printed in PHS #27, 1999.

The Internet is very much like television in that it takes time away from other pursuits, provides entertainment and information, but in no way can compare with the warm, personal experience of reading a good book. This is not the only reason why the Internet will never replace books, for books provide the in-depth knowledge of a subject that sitting in front of a computer monitor cannot provide. We can download text from an Internet source, but the aesthetic quality of sheets of downloaded text leave much to be desired. A well-designed book enhances the reading experience.

The book is still the most compact and inexpensive means of conveying a dense amount of knowledge in a convenient package. The easy portability of the book is what makes it the most user-friendly format for knowledge ever invented. The idea that one can carry in one's pocket a play by Shakespeare, a novel by Charles Dickens or Tom Clancy, Plato's Dialogues, or the Bible in a small paperback edition is mind-boggling. We take such uncommon convenience for granted, not realizing that the book itself has undergone quite an evolution since the production of the Gutenberg Bible in 1455 and Shakespeare's First Folio in 1623, just three years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth to colonize the New World.

Not only has the art and craft of printing and book manufacturing been greatly improved over the centuries, . . .

In This Issue
President's Pen
AGM Report
Homegrown Ed
Gulf Island Film & TV Scholarship
Chess for Learning
Books Rule!
E-Mail Policy
Contact Information
Quick Links

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Life Learning Magazine

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"The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions."
~Bishop Mandell Creighton

Burns Bog Day Camps

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"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

Math U See

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Web Favourites
Enchanted Learning


Click here to visit Gulf Islands Film & Television School Online


"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn."
John Cotton Dana

Used Books Forumming Events

Don't forget to check out to buy and sell your used curriculum! Spread the word among your fellow Canadian homeschoolers. The more who use, the better the deals.

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