Welcome to Our Blog!

Celebrating 20 Years of Evidence-Based Education and SpellRead

Guest Blogger -- Kimberly Charron

Kimberly Charron is a homeschool mom of two living with her husband of over 25 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works from home as a homeschool coach and Certified Online Business Manager. In her free time, she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, and volunteer in local theatre.

Recent Posts

Tips for Working at Home and Homeschooling

By Guest Blogger -- Kimberly Charron on Tue, Oct 27, 2020 @ 09:25 PM

Written by Guest blogger, Kimberly Charron.

Kimberly Charron is a homeschool mom of two living with her husband of over 25 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works from home as a homeschool coach and Certified Online Business Manager. In her free time, she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, and volunteer in local theatre.

standsome-worklifestyle-wZJUt5mCbR0-unsplash

In March 2020, many parents suddenly found themselves working at home and homeschooling for the first time. I’ve been working at home and homeschooling since 2005 and it can be challenging at times. It’s even more challenging when things aren’t quite normal – when the whole family is home all day when they’re not used to it, tripping all over each other at times.

Here are tips for working at home and homeschooling and experiencing a happy homeschool, home life, and work life.

Fill up Your Child's Tank Before the Homeschool Day Begins

Fill up your child’s tank with attention at the beginning of the day. This applies if your child is a preschooler, a teenager, or anywhere in between. Kids crave attention and giving them what they need at the beginning of the day means they’ll interrupt you less throughout the day. It could be as simple as eating breakfast together and discussing the day ahead with your child.

For teens, it’s a good idea to start each day with a daily check-in. Discuss what they accomplished yesterday and what the plan is for their homeschool day today. This way you don’t end up realizing they haven’t done their online math for a whole month.

Exercise at the Beginning of the Homeschool Day

Studies show that exercise boosts brain power and academic performance  Encouraging your child to exercise at the beginning of the homeschool day helps them get their wiggles out, burn off their energy, and increase their focus for learning. Besides, exercise also counts as Phys. Ed. class. Anything that works up a sweat counts as Phys. Ed.

If you like to do yoga first thing in the morning, invite your child to do it along with you. Alternatively, dance around to your favourite music together or dance along with a Zumba class on YouTube. I used to send my kids to do laps around the house – they tried to beat their number and do more laps every day. Our mini-trampoline also got a lot of use.

Take Advantage of Homeschooling’s Flexibility

Homeschooling is flexible and can work around your schedule. It can be frustrating to try to get work done while your kids are trying to get homeschool work done. They often need you more than you realize.

You can decide to homeschool your child in the evening or even on weekends if that’s what works best for you and your family. If your work is flexible as well, consider working before everyone wakes up. Then enjoy homeschooling your child in the morning and spending time with them in the afternoon. In the evening once your child is in bed, finish up your work day.

Set Limits for Your Child

You can set limits for even young children with time and patience. Teach your child when it's okay to get your attention, when it's not, and how to get your attention quietly. You can teach your child to knock if your home office door is closed or when a “do not disturb” sign is hung on it. Or you can even get a fancy red do not disturb light that plugs into your computer’s USB port.

Teach your child what to do when you’re on the phone and they need you. One technique that works well is to have them to quietly put their hand on your shoulder to cue they need you. You then place your hand over theirs to acknowledge they need you and you’ll be right with them. Once you can excuse yourself from the phone, you release their hand and find out what they need.

Every family is different and has different daily rhythms. You’ll find yours through trial and error. If something doesn’t feel right, change it up. You will know when you’ve found the rules and routines that work best for you as you are working at home and homeschooling.

 

Continue Reading

Local Homeschool Facebook Groups

By Guest Blogger -- Kimberly Charron on Wed, Oct 14, 2020 @ 02:29 PM

Written by Guest blogger, Kimberly Charron.

Kimberly Charron is a homeschool mom of two living with her husband of over 25 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works from home as a homeschool coach and Certified Online Business Manager. In her free time, she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, and volunteer in local theatre.

download

One of the most important things a homeschool parent needs is support. Your local homeschool Facebook group can help you find playmates for your kids, get suggestions on where to shop for local resources, create and find local field trips, and more. Homeschool groups are incredible sources of support from other parents who have been there, done that. I always recommend new homeschoolers seek out homeschool Facebook groups for support.

Almost all the following groups are Private Facebook groups. You will need to click on the blue Join Group button and then may need to be approved, often by answering questions to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

The Comedy of Errors Homeschool Facebook Group

With over 1400 members, The Comedy of Errors is one of the biggest, most active homeschool Facebook groups in Nova Scotia. It primarily serves the HRM, with field trips and activities being organized and shared for the area. However, many homeschoolers across Nova Scotia congregate here. As their description states:

This group is designed to be a resource for our NS home education community for future, past, and present events taking place. Organized activities, as well as general community events that may be of interest to others can be posted. You may wish to use this forum to meet up with others in the group when it's not an organized gathering.

Homeschool Facebook Groups for Specific Methods or Needs

HEMS Homeschooling 

The HEMS Homeschooling group has almost 800 members. Although everyone is welcome, HEMS has a Christian focus. Activities are organized for the HRM area, including weekly swimming lessons. Their description explains what “HEMS” means:

HEMS is actively committed to helping, encouraging, mentoring and serving homeschooling families; both at home and across Canada. This group will include information, updates and events dedicated to enhancing your homeschool journey.

NS Unschoolers 

The NS Unschoolers group consists of almost 400 homeschoolers. Unschooling is sometimes referred to as delight directed or child-led learning. As the group description elaborates:

NS Unschoolers is a support network and resource page for Unschooling home educating families, with a strong focus on joyful, relationship building, and compassionate parenting. Members here comprise those interested in learning more about Unschooling principles to full on Radical Unschoolers. Home Ed parents on all parts of the researching/deschooling/unschooling process are welcome here.

Secular Homeschoolers of Nova Scotia 

This is a secular (non-religious) group. Their description explains:

Welcome to our little corner: A support network for freethinking, agnostic and non-believers homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

It’s a fairly quiet group with 308 members. One of their focuses is helping others find secular homeschool curricula.

Local Homeschool Facebook Groups in or Near the Halifax Area

Annapolis Valley Homeschoolers 

The Annapolis Valley area has quite a few homeschool families and this is a very active group with over 500 members.

Annapolis Valley Homeschoolers is a group dedicated to the homeschooling families of the Annapolis Valley, of Nova Scotia. It is a place to share information on family friendly events, field trips, and curriculum.

South Shore (Nova Scotia) Homeschoolers 

While this group is primarily for homeschoolers in the South Shore area, as their description explains, others are welcome:

This group has been created with the goal of connecting home educating families in Nova Scotia, as well those who wonder about whether home educating is a good fit for their family, or simply wish to share their encouragement from homeschooling in previous years. The goal is to use this space to communicate group gatherings and opportunities for learning outside home, with field trips, activities and perhaps even the odd BBQ and Co-Operative Learning Day. Let's gather here to introduce ourselves, ask questions and share our experiences in this fantastic journey. This page is for you!

 

Members of this group, just under 400 strong, regularly share resources, support each other, and arrange meetups and field trips.

With so many parents thrust into homeschooling out of necessity due to the pandemic, support is even more important. Do you belong to any homeschool support groups that you would recommend?

Continue Reading