Home School Feature: articles, profiles, resources
Home School Feature:
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by Lavone Li (with Julia Cheung)
During this time of COVID-19 isolation, many moms have had to become homeschool moms. It is not easy, especially if you have to work from home too.
“What’s so bad about princesses and handsome princes?”
“Well, for the most part, princesses have long, blond hair and a tiny waist waiting to be rescued by handsome princes. You, my darling girls, don’t look anything like that. But you are absolutely beautiful without copying anyone or anything. And by the way, your father can’t ride a horse or use a sword and darts the other direction when a dragon comes – but he is wonderful and charming the way he seeks after God.”
We spend a lot of time together. I love hearing their thoughts. From last night’s dreams to their interpretation of the world, little nuggets bubble up sporadically throughout the day. As our dialogue about princesses and princes shows, we’ve recently been especially focused on manhood and womanhood. (I discouraged my girls away from fairytales, even from the beginning.)
But I love homeschooling. As we go through all the academic subjects, I feel like I get to have a second chance to learn what I took for granted when I was younger. I recall shrieking while jumping up and down when Charis, Alethea, and I went through a unit on our solar system – I had just realized the moon spins while going around the earth, while the earth spins going around the sun. My daughters simply took it for face value, but the little child in me was bewildered by God’s vast and wonderful creation.
Homeschooling has its challenges. I do not always handle meltdowns with grace and love. In fact, when I react to those moments lovingly, that is when I know there is a God. So many times, I have asked my children to forgive me for being critical, for saying things out of anger, or for disciplining without love. Even that apologizing moment is beautiful in the end because they see that mommy needs Jesus too. I just really want to do life together.
Homeschooling can be a daunting task. I comfort myself by admitting that homeschool is not a perfect educational approach. I tend to lean towards my interests (literary arts) and lax on science and math.
I get a lot of both praise and criticism because of my choice to homeschool. Honestly, I do not care for either. Deep down, I just want to do what is right for our family. I need to search my heart daily and understand what my intentions are for doing this. Very soon, my girls will be independent from us and I hope I can bless them by letting them go freely, whether they choose the princess route, the scientist route, or any other route in between.
Lavone Li homeschools with Kelowna-based Heritage Christian Online School.
What do you do when faced with an unprecedented budget cut in the middle of a pandemic? Heritage Christian Online School (HCOS), reeling from a shocking and surprising $2.7 million funding cut (announced in early May by NDP Minister of Education Rob Fleming, see story here), decided to tap into its roots as a creative innovator in the world of home learning (distributed learning).
A new and innovative idea for Home School support
Forward Together, a fundraising campaign, is a new idea in the BC home education community that arose after schools had to institute tuitions to mitigate the loss in government funding. HCOS has committed to keep their personalised style of education accessible to all students, regardless of finances, which also helps to preserve educational choice and freedom. Home education has always had a grassroots flavour, and with dwindling government support, Forward Together demonstrates the home education community’s commitment to freedom, and to one another.
Sara Kraushar, Academic Head of HCOS says, “Forward together is about a community of people, dedicated to home education, coming together to extend practical care and ensure every family who wants to home educate can do so without financial barriers.”
So far, the community response to this brand-new idea has been incredible – especially in the midst of challenging times. Businesses, families, teachers, and individuals have been generously contributing in order to support those who need it most.
One local business that has set up a named bursary is House of James. A Christian bookstore that has been a go-to for resources for homeschool families for years, a cultural icon in the Fraser Valley, and HCOS greatly appreciates this generous support.
HCOS has launched a sponsors program, featuring businesses like House of James on its brand new sponsors’ page https://onlineschool.ca/forward/ and blog https://forward-together.raisely.com/blog. HCOS is looking forward to hosting an annual event (when allowed again) where sponsors and donors are celebrated and brought together.
Sponsors and donors are also featured in weekly updates and monthly newsletters to the school community of over 5,000 students.
Family and community
The strength of any school is in its families and community and HCOS has been encouraged by the generous donations so far. One generous family, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “My son is actually currently participating at Heritage Christian Online School. We are disappointed about the cutting of funding from the Ministry of Education. We understand that we are not the only education sector being cut down on funding, but HCOS offers good programs and we wish that more students are able to participate! We are blessed to have the ability to donate and we wish everyone in HCOS can stay too!”
Daleen Bybee (pictured with her family to the right), a mum from another HCOS family who donated explains, “We have been with HCOS for 5 years. My kids have learned and thrived within the flexible and individualized framework that Heritage offers their students. We have had awesome teachers and have found the overarching support top-notch. We choose to give to the Forward Together bursary campaign because we want other families to have the same opportunity we have had, regardless of financial constraints. Tuition and decreased resource funding should not be a deciding factor for families when considering distributed (home) learning and HCOS.”
Advancement, moving forward together, reminds us that educational choice does come with a cost. The cost involves commitment and sacrifice. In moving forward together, no one is left behind. Educational choice is preserved. Everyone is essential in this educational ecosystem.
HCOS’ flavour, as a school, has always been one of warmth, creativity, and flexibility. Its first-ever bursary fundraising campaign is a reflection of this, drawing people together, learning about community businesses, hearing life stories, feeling inspired by the dedication to educational choice and families. Advancement, foundationally, is about bringing people together.
If you would like to be part of this fundraising campaign in the home education community, please contact Chantelle Olsson-Chang, Advancement & Donor Relations, HCOS at firstname.lastname@example.org. The HCOS Forward Together campaign is growing by the day, including an exciting sponsorship program, tax receipts for donations, named bursaries, naming opportunities for community classes, and memorial/planned giving.
HCOS thanks its amazing sponsors and donors for their incredible kindness, generosity, and sacrifice in the midst of this pandemic. Thank you for helping us move forward together. Thank you for being part of this exciting new idea.
Online Schools and Home Education Programs:
|Anchor Academic Services||www.anchoracademic.com|
|Salmon Arm 250 email@example.com|
|CHEK Across BC||https://chekabc.ca/|
|Christian Home Learners eStreams||www.estreams.ca|
|Heritage Christian Online School||www.onlineschool.ca|
|Regent Christian Online Academy||https://www.rcoa.ca|
|Traditional Learning Academy Online||www.schoolathome.ca|
Support Groups and associations