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BCHLA E-News

E-News Issue #4 September 2007
 Promoting and Protecting the Freedoms of HomeschoolersGreetings!

Congratulations on venturing into a new year of homeschooling! Sometimes the trail is filled with exciting new learning opportunities and sometimes it's just a plodding along to accomplish what must be done. In either case it is worth every effort we put into it!

Consider this an invitation. We're just a phone call away. If the path that marks your journey leaves you with questions, or discouragement or if you have a wonderful experience you want to pass on, please call. I often take phone calls from moms who are feeling bewildered, or sometimes they simply need an ear that will listen, or confirmation that they are moving in the right direction. But every phone call or email reminds me that we are making a difference in the lives of homeschoolers around the province.

Thank you for being part of this provincial community! Together let's continue to work for homeschooling and the freedoms we enjoy.
President's Pen President's Pen

This year, let's pull together to create a BCHLA community newsletter. We're looking for input from BCHLA members to help make this newsletter as informative and encouraging as possible. 

Is there a science fair in your community? Why not add it to our newsletter? Have you read an interesting article on home schooling recently? Send it to us. We'll need to have permission to reprint but that's usually only an email away.

I am currently looking into the insurance/liability issue for homeschool support groups. Do our local groups need insurance? What kind of insurance? How much? Why? For what events? These questions are being asked across Canada and they need to be answered. We hope to have some of those answers in our next newsletter.

This month I've had emails and phone calls from students who want to come home for their education, parents who are sailing around the world with their children, a family who is hiking around the world, parents of children with special needs and those who know nothing about homeschooling but are wanting to learn. All of these calls or emails demand time and thought in compiling a reply. All are looking for the best for their children.

I'm excited about serving the homeschool community of BC for another year. I'm excited about what this year may hold for our province and our organization.

Let's work together for homeschooling and for freedom.

Sherri Piechnik
JALC Homestay  

AGM
 

It's time to renew your

annual membership

              with BCHLA

 

 Sept. 1, 2007 to Aug. 31, 2008

Annual dues are $20

Make cheques payable to:

 BCHLA

6132 Killarney Drive

Surrey, BC

V3S 5W9

Or renew your membership online using Paypal!

Follow the membership links on our website.

www.bchla.bc.ca


Board of Directors
Kool and Child
Visit Kool and Child Online!
Quote

" I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas. "
--Agatha Christie

Our family is beginning this school year, as per other school years,child with bright camera with a camping trip. Dad has our 11 year old son out on Vancouver Island fishing, hiking and camping and enjoying the wonders of creation! I chose to stay at home and use this time to plan for the upcoming year and, to be honest, scrapbook.

I love going through photos of past holidays, birthdays and family get-togethers but sadly missing in all my albums are photos of learning with my children. I have never made a point of documenting our lives from a homeschool perspective. These are good times: building the solar system out of styrofoam balls, growing beans on the window sill and collecting termites in the hopes of discovering the queen. And last week he found her! But I didn't think to take a picture.

This year I want to challenge each of you, as I challenge myself, to document your journey of homeschooling. Perhaps start off with disposable cameras for each of your children as well as yourself. Take photos, put them in an album, encourage your children to journal about their activities and then, when you hit a bump in the journey, you'll be able to look back and remember the great times you had learning.

Sherri Piechnik

  All in a Day's Work...

Click here to visit our site!The following is email correspondence between a mom who is struggling with the choices available to her regarding DL & registration.  I am including it in this email as a small sample of the ongoing work of BCHLA in our province and, I hope, as a means of answering some un-asked questions others may have.  I have substituted initials for the actual names at their request. There has been no editing of these emails.

Hi Sherri,
M. wants to hear your take on the "governments money" in Homeschooling vs Traditional home schooling, from the stand point that her hubbie wants to take advantage of any monies the Gov. wants to offer, no matter the work involved to get it  - and M is a teacher not a facilitator! Which she would be if she had to jump through the hoops for the funding! She may e-mail you, too!
W.L.

Hi W & M,
Your husband is not alone, M, in wanting to take advantage of all the $$$ the government is offering. W is right. If you accept the $$$, in other words if you enrol your child(ren) in a DL, you are no longer seen as the teacher of your children, you simply facilitate their learning. You will be assigned a teacher who will then need to either approve the curriculum choices, choose the curriculum for you or simply hand you a packaged curriculum and expect you to "teach" it.  I, personally, and BCHLA, do not promote this form of education for those who desire to educate their children beyond the government restrictions. (Ed note: Unless there are extenuating circumstances.) We believe that most parents are fully capable of giving their child not only an adequate education but an excellent education. It may not be along the same scope and sequence that the Ministry of Ed has laid out but it is an excellent education, none-the-less.

That being said, you have to live with your husband. If he is very passionate about this you will be better off with enrollment. You may want to ask him to let you do 1/2 the year as an enrolled family and the other 1/2 as registered. Or one year enrolled and one year registered so you can experience both and let him see the differences. 
 
I do not believe this is an issue that is worth alot of conflict between husband and wife.  :-)
 
Hope this helps.
Sherri Piechnik

Sherri,
Thank you very much for this reply. I hear wisdom in it. I want to be wise about funding (a definite high value of my hubby's) as well as homeschool in a way that has availability to be taught the things God shows us. I have some tools right now to explore (homeschooling.com & their bootcamp) that will help me evaluate our family's learning styles and best methods for us. Perhaps those uncoverings will also shed some light on our decision. Since this correspondence last Wednesday, I have discovered that I am
pregnant with my 4th child!!!  Perhaps this year may include a component on Creation (and Gestation!) :)

Thank you again for your excellent reply. I will do my homework, then pray, communicate with my man, and move forward in unity.

Blessings to you.                                                                            M.

Click through to Wondertee's Website
Click here to visit our site! Enjoy It While You Have It!

By Barbara Frank

 Writing my book Life Prep for Homeschooled   Teenagers four years ago helped me through a difficult time of my life: letting go of our two oldest children. Over the course of three weeks, our daughter moved to the city and our son left for college. After homeschooling them all of their lives, it was a tough transition for me. (They held up just fine.) Working on the book kept my mind busy so that I didn't do anything stupid, like body-blocking the front door so they couldn't leave home.

Now we've reached another milestone: our son graduated from college last month and is getting married this weekend. He is already living in another state, where his bride will join him after they say their "I do's."

Isn't this silly? I feel like I'm letting go of him all over again, and yet he's been away at college the past four years. The summers and brief school holidays that he was home were just enough time with him that I never quite let go of him completely. But now he'll be living with his wife six hours away from here. That's ample reason for Mom to let go, don't you think?

But the thing is, after homeschooling them all of their lives, I got used to having them around, and I liked it. I never could understand parents who live for the first day of school each year. I like being with my kids, and all the time I spent with them as they grew up only solidified that feeling.

Fortunately, we still have two children at home; our 16-year-old does not seem to have the independent nature of the older two, so I'm hoping she'll stick around a while. And our youngest, now 14, will probably never live on his own because of his disabilities. God knew what He was doing when he sent that little fellow my way! He is staving off Empty Nest Syndrome for me.

I do have a few regrets, though, and I want to share them with you in hopes that you don't make the mistakes I did. For one thing, I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry for these guys to grow up. With our eldest, particularly, I found each stage of development so exciting that I couldn't wait for the next one. Why did I want to rush things along? Back then I had no idea that even as the days were long, the years would be short.

I also wish I hadn't tuned out my children at times. When we had all four at home, sometimes it was so chaotic that I, a person who needs her quiet time, would stick my nose in a book and get lost in it for an hour (or more, if it was Maeve Binchy's newest novel). I considered it a way to keep my sanity back in those days, but now, on the rare occasions when all four of our kids are together, I sit and watch them interact and just enjoy the pure pleasure of it. But it never lasts long, because someone has to catch a train or get home so they can get up early for work the next morning. Back when all six of us lived here together every day, I never realized how soon that would change. It seemed like it would always be that way.

Before I go completely regretful on you, I should also share what I will never regret. I will never regret choosing to keep our kids home from school. I will never regret the mornings spent doing our version of school in our jammies. I will never regret the chocolate chip pancakes for lunch, the untold hours in our van spent singing along to tapes, or the finger-painting sessions in the basement. I will never regret the hours I spent in the vendor hall at the homeschool convention each year, picking out just the right books for each child, nor will I regret the time I put in searching out art supplies, every color of construction paper known to man, glue sticks on sale, and cool pens that made them want to write. I especially will not regret the money I spent on all these things; we saw much better results from those few dollars than the thousands we pay in property taxes each year to support our local schools.

I'm going to throw in some gratitude while I'm at it. I thank God every day that He led us to homeschooling. I am incredibly grateful that homeschooling gave us so much valuable time as a family. There's a six-year gap between our first and second pairs of children; how close would they have been if they'd gone to school? The older ones would have been gone all day when the younger ones were little. They would not have seen each other much. Instead, they all grew up together, and what a blessing that has been to their relationships with each other!

Are you getting the vibe yet? It may hurt more to let go of my kids because of all the years we had together, but that pain is a small price to pay for the experience of living together as a family for all those years. We were especially fortunate that my husband has worked at home for the past 12 years; most kids nowadays don't even have one parent at home during the day. Homeschooling has been a tremendous blessing to our family.

So... when you're tired, when you're discouraged, when you go through the hard times that make you wonder if it's time to quit and put them on the school bus, please remember that I went through those times, too, and I'm here to tell you that it was all worth it. Tape a little note to your bathroom mirror, where you'll see it every morning:

ENJOY IT WHILE YOU HAVE IT!

Copyright 2007 Barbara Frank/Cardamom Publishers

Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth children ages 14-23, a freelance writer/editor, and the author of "Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers, "The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling,"and "Homeschooling Your Teenagers." To visit her Web site, "The Imperfect Homeschooler," go to www.cardamompublishers.com.  

In This Issue
President's Pen
Membership Renewal
Document Your Learning
Emails to the Office
Enjoy It!
BCHLA Google Group
E-Mail Policy
Contact Information
Quick Links

Newsletter Archive
 
Take out a Membership!

PayPal
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.
 
Message
Bouquet of fall flowers
A huge
THANK YOU
to Coleen Hein
for her 5 years of service on behalf of BCHLA and the homeschoolers of BC. Coleen has faithfully served as our webmaster
with shoes that will be difficult to fill.  We wish
 every success for her and her family in their future endeavours.

Jury Duty?

Several months ago one of our BCHLA members asked what they should do if they are called to jury duty.  The Government of BC website has helpful information. If you are wanting to appeal the call to jury duty you may want to try the following:

1.  Write a letter stating that you are the sole provider of your child's (children's) education and as such they would suffer if you were taken out of the home for jury duty.

2 Failing this, you could appeal to the judge on the first day of court.

The above information is not legal advice.

Make Books Online

Google groups Members Only Google Group
Your access to the Members Only Google Group is dependent upon your membership being current. Please remember to update your membership by October 15 to ensure you remain on our members only
Google Group. 
Web Favourites
This Month: Geography

Bible Maps
Animated MapsDK World Desk Reference
Kidzone Geography
Maps that Teach
Outline Maps
Paddle to the Sea
Mr. Donn's Geography
University of Texas

If you have favourite links please send them to us so we can share them with other homeschoolers.
Quote

" What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child. "
-- George Bernard Shaw


Website Updates
WWW for internet

Our webmaster has been at work updating our website. If you're looking for a school to register with, a support group to join or wondering about post-secondary education just look for the new links in our drop-down menus. Please let us know if there are any futher additions you'd like to see. 
Used Books Forumming Events

Don't forget to check out http://bookforums.bchla.bc.ca/ to buy and sell your used curriculum!

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Contact Information
 
BCHLA
c/o 6132 Killarney Drive, Surrey, BC V3S 5W9
 
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