One component of our trip that was always going to give me some anxiety was that of schooling our children on the road. I do not believe I would shirk the responsibility but I think I would have had doubts as to if I was doing it the “right way”. It is something completely new to the family and I imagined I was going to have a tough time doing the right research and pulling it altogether. Right now nothing could be further from the truth as I have been inundated with suggestions and resources around teaching children when faced with a prolong absence from the classroom.
Let me start by sharing some more details on our current schooling. Isabella our oldest child is in Senior Kindergarten at the local public school. When we leave for our trip she will be entering grade 3 and will miss that school year. Upon her return she will begin french immersion as our local school starts it at grade 4. This was a contributing factor to the target date for our trip as we did not want her to miss out on those early years of french immersion. Julie will miss her Senior Kindergarten year. When she comes back she will be enrolled in grade 1. At our local school all the kindergarten classes are JK/SK splits so we are hoping a minimal impact will be noticed.
As for what we have learned. For our local school board, all that is required is a simple notification to the board and our principal that we will be pulling our children out of school for the year. I had some feeling that I would have to go through interviews ,be filling out forms and then get approval from someone. In the end, for us, it should be that easy.
In our province, the education ministry actually publishes a very detailed breakdown by grade and by subject what should be covered in course curriculum. It has proven to be a useful resource to me as it delineates what the expectations are for students in those respective classes. Teachers are encouraged to build plans around those deliverables and any parent wanting to teach at home can use them as the framework. I will share more on this front as I continue to read through them but I did get excited about thinking how I am going to cover the basics in math for them when on the road.
Beyond the official government material, this past month an enormous amount of material has been shared with us from our local school board and our daycare administration as we all deal with the shutdown of our schools. I have been surprised with the volume of resources that exist out there both on a fee-based service model but also as free collective learning material. We have been archiving many of these resources and signing up for everything that has recently been made available to us for free. The one that we have already started using is a Canadian reference website for French educational content. Now Isabella has to do more than just play french Bingo.
More to come on this as I get to practice it real time this week.