Adventures in Parenting – Homeschooling

More Harm Than Good?

strikeWith the teacher’s strike on BC looking hopelessly deadlocked, it seemed like it was time for me to do some home edumakation. You know, reading, writing, arithmetic. All that kind of stuff.

But where to start? Was there a good website? A good program for homeschooling?

You know what, there probably is, but I haven’t been able to find a great one just yet. Any suggestions would be awesome, but for now, I’m using the BC Exam Bank as my starting point for grade 7 lessons. Hey, anything’s better than the Oldest just playing video games all day long, cuz, you know, that’s my job.

BCBookmarkSo, the BCEB would be a good start, thought I. It’s free because of the strike, so that’s a major plus.

Then I took a look at the tests.

I would have scored 4/10 on the science one, about 2/10 on grammar (wft is a concrete noun, I have no idea?) How is igneous rock created? Apparently it is not farted out a giant’s butt. And don’t even get me started on mathematics. I barely understood it when I was in grade 7 and now it just seems like a ton of symbols written in a drunken rage.

At some point in my life, I knew this stuff. In some part of my brain, it still may be stored. Maybe that brain cell that held the answer to ‘who was Emily Stowe?‘, died when I hit myself in the head with a golf club. Or maybe I was too busy gazing at the lovely, dark-haired woman of my dreams when the teacher told us a what a colloid was (I thought it was something you treated with hemorrhoid cream.)

So how can I do any schooling when I don’t have the answers to the questions?

The truth is, I don’t need them.

See, there’s this cool invention. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

googleIt’s called google. And every time the Oldest gets something he doesn’t understand, (like what the hell is assonance?) he gets the joy of looking it up on google.

Hey, back in my day (a phrase I will have tattooed to my butt very soon), we had to look it up in a dictionary that weighed 100lbs. I kid you not. Or look it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica – which I still have, thank you very much.

So it’s Google for the Oldest, a reasonable substitute for what’s in my brain (or the Encyclopedia Britannica.)

Not that we’ll just tackle all that learning stuff. No. There’s a bus-load of life lessons that I’m dying to teach the Oldest. No, I have no idea how to pick up women – which is lucky since he still thinks they’re icky – but I can teach him how to pump gas, or use his phone to find the nearest starbucks (for his teacher), or show him how to make funny fonts on Word. All important stuff, yes?

I’ll try not to make it completely un-fun. I’ll see what I can do about linking lessons to real life (oh, math, yeah, let’s go measure that cabinet and see how we put it dead-center on the wall) and I will try to make sure I get the Oldest thinking and not just regurgitating facts back to me. Or we’ll even try watching and learning from youtube vids (though his linking of watching how to make stuff on ‘crazycraft’ to learning about architecture was not what I had in mind.)

Oh, sure, it’s going to take a lot of time out of my already nutso day, as I try to get my novel off, a new one started and written, as I try to keep up my blog, as I deal with contractors and unpacking and trying to find where I hid my gorilla glue. But it’s time well spent, I think.

It’s another amazing adventure to go on.

Below is our first day’s lesson. Let’s hope I don’t do more harm than good.

Homeschooling – Sept 10th

  • Organize phone
    1. Put in phone numbers found on contact sheet
    2. Put in address of dad’s house and Joe/mom’s house
    3. Figure out route to school.
    4. Figure out a different route.
    5. Figure out how to put a ‘favourite’ website onto your phone
  • Shopping Trip With Joe
    1. Find note book
    2. Find good book to read
    3. Look for learning programs
  • 20 minutes of Trumpet
    1. Find music
    2. Clean trumpet
    3. Play 20 minutes
  • 1 math quiz (on computer)
    1. Discuss with Joe
    2. Print out
  • 1 grammar quiz
    1. Discuss with Joe
    2. Print out
  • Megalodon
    1. Watch with Joe
    2. Type out 5 of the coolest things about Megalodon.
    3. Print out the list of 5 things
  • Ancient Egypt Study
    1. Draw a picture of the Sphinx
    2. Draw a picture of what could be hidden under the sphinx. Use your imagination.
  • Jujitsu
  • Learn any and all things you don’t understand by googling solutions.
  • Set up Diary of Work
    1. Find note book
    2. Put date on page
    3. Write out how the day was spent (You could do this earlier if need be)



Hey, anyone who’s doing something similar, let me know.

Have you found a good website?

Are there any programs you’d recommend?

Please share this far and wide as I need ideas on moving forward. Thanks!




About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
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3 Responses to Adventures in Parenting – Homeschooling

  1. michaelscummings says:

    Don’t forget Latin!

    Oh my, homeschooling is so huge in the U.S. (where it isn’t automatically seen as a reactionary Christian plot; oddly enough the home schoolers I know are holistic granola punchers, but wonderful people) you should be able to find more sites than you can use. Tuning it all to the B.C. curriculum is the challenge, but I figure just so long as the boys are learning….

  2. Sheila says:

    Oooh. How about a social justice project? Like a poster he might put up at school for a subject he feels strongly about that he could research and then get creative with.

    Or how about designing an app which solves an everyday problem?

    If he likes to cook how about have him plan a week’s worth of family meals, make a grocery list, cost it out. Maybe even order the groceries online. Maybe challenge him to do $5 a day.

    Have him learn some basic “how to get around” phrases in another language and teach them to the family.

  3. bevcooke says:

    If you’re serious about the homeschooling, you might want to take a look through the BC government education website for learning outcomes and curriculum, which could give you a starting point, Joe. Learning outcomes:

    My suggestion is to use these as jumping off points and find interesting and creative ways to get the outcomes that don’t necessarily involve hours and hours at a desk – if you can get the boys to be active in the learning, that’ll be better for you all, I think. Anyway – there’s a couple of links to think about anyway.

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