As the start of public school approaches and COVID 19 cases rising on Vancouver Island, more parents may be considering homeschooling their kids.
The increase in interest has inspired the creation of a new homeschooling support program in the Comox Valley.
It’s called Daily Wonder Home Learning and was started by three Comox Valley educators.
The online home learning hub allows parents to access daily lesson plans and is designed for those who are wanting to homeschool but are feeling overwhelmed with lesson planning.
Jennifer Ross is the curriculum content developer for the program and has over 20 years of teaching experience, including at the now-closed Waldorf school in the Comox Valley.
She says with the COVID-19 pandemic taking a toll on families this year, homeschooling is becoming a more viable option for many families whose kids feel nervous about heading back to school.
“I’ve personally noticed over the last 20 years a huge increase in anxiety in children, just for a variety of reasons. I think the modern world is anxiety-producing and with this pandemic, if you have a very sensitive child, they’re operating on a lot of fear and stress which is not an optimal learning condition. A huge benefit is your child can relax and when they’re relaxed and grounded and settle thier learning is so much more productive”, explained Ross.
She adds that a common misconception about teaching from home is that parents need to spend the whole day with thier children when really a lesson only takes an hour or two.
“When you break down a regular school day in the class, there’s only a certain amount of time that is hardcore focused academic time and then there’s a lot of transitions and recess and various activities that happen naturally.”
“What’s expected of it is one to two hours of your academic work each morning. The curriculum can be done in that period of time, but it requires the parent to be there for that one to two hours and after that whatever activities your family does as thier routine can all be worked into learning outcomes.”
Ross explains that although not a requirement, the Daily Wonder curriculum can be very effective when used in the new grassroots idea of learning pods, where a cluster of families come together to educate their children.
“One of the biggest things you want your child to have is a social circle and if parents find their small community of people, these learning pods are becoming very popular now so you might team up with three other families with the same age group of children. So you could use daily wonder with a small group of children. That’s one option that might satisfy the burnout for parents as well as the social circle the kids want.”
Daily Wonder will be accessed by parents who become members and once signed on, receive support, tutorials, inspiration, parent education, and step-by-step daily curriculum guides.
Once students are registered as homeschoolers, they can use the Daily Wonder curriculum as their entire educational program.
If students are enrolled as home learners at a Distance Learning (DL) school, Daily Wonder can be used as part of their Student Learning Plan in consultation with their assigned teacher at their DL school.
A virtual Zoom information session for interested parents is being hosted on August 31st before kids return to class in September.
For more information, visit their website www.dailywonderhomelearning.com.