Alot of you have asked whether I’ll be following the Ontario curriculum or if I’ve purchased another curriculum to follow so I’ll be addressing that in this post. Homeschooling can be simple and traditional in which children study exactly the same things at home as their peer counterparts do at their local school. Homeschooling can also be as extreme as “unschooling” where the lessons are interest-based and free of homework and tests.
I’ve chosen to utilize a combination of both practices with the emphasis being on “unschooling” which is essentially interest-led/student-led learning. That isn’t to say that we will only be learning subjects that the kids are interested in or that I will not be evaluating the kids with tests. I will be following the Ontario curriculum for math, English, and French simply because I feel that it is important to build a good math and language foundation and if I let my children lead by interest, I’m sure we won’t be visiting these subjects too often.
However, the unschooling aspect allows me to a set a personalized pace for each child and dedicate as much time as necessary to ensure thorough competency of subjects. I’ve also chosen to focus on grammar and spelling more than a conventional school currently does. To help teach these subjects, I’ve purchased Canadian-curriculum based workbooks to start off with and will be supplementing with worksheets of my own for extra practice when necessary.
Interest-based learning will be definitely taking over when it comes to science, social studies, music and the arts as we will not be following the Ontario curriculum for these subjects. Both Akshaya and Udayan love science so there is no doubt in my mind that we will be unintentionally covering topics from all four strands of science set out by the Ontario government. When it comes to social studies we plan on learning about the Aboriginals, the early settlers, and Canadian geography throughout the year. To help us cover Canadian geography in depth, in a fun and interactive way, I’ll be purchasing the Geography Series from The Great Canadian Adventure.
Both Akshaya and Udayan have expressed interest in learning piano so we will be learning to read music and play the piano this year at the pace they choose to do so. In addition to the core elementary school subjects we will be incorporating yoga and meditation daily, cooking, health studies, Tamil, religion, and botany/horticulture. This way I will be making sure the kids will be able to seamlessly integrate back into a conventional school system if we choose to go back while reaping the benefits of homeschooling at the same time.