Homeschooling

What about school?  Will the kids need to repeat a grade?  How will they learn?School House

Many people have asked these questions.  Our intention is to homeschool Matthew and Alex this year while on the road.  As Ontario residents, we will be responsible to educate our children using the Ontario elementary curriculum documents provided by the Ministry of Education.  Therefore, Matthew will be required to complete the Ontario grade 5 curriculum and Alex will need to cover the grade 8 curriculum.

As a teacher, I have access to the many online resources provided by the Ministry of Education and the Toronto DSB; however, there are many sites available to support homeschooling while on the road.  Sorting through these sites can be challenging at times.  Below are some resources that we hope to find useful during our travels.

hand drawn type effect spelling education with letters, numbers and math symbols

General Education

Ontario Educational Resource Bank is a collection of over 31,000 K-12 resources and 8,700 videos that are available at no cost to teachers, students, and parents of students in publicly funded schools in Ontario. A userid and password are required and can be obtained from your local school board.  These resources are created by Ontario teachers for Ontario teachers and students, and include worksheets, lesson plans, tests, interactive learning objects, and even entire teaching units.

Khan Academy is a free online educational site that provides ‘chalk and talk’ videos organized by subject. This California based not-for-profit organization’s mission is to provide free, world-class education to everyone.

Learn360 is an online educational video streaming site. This site provides access to over 100,000 videos produced for education. The Toronto District School Board provides access for free to all staff and students. Username and passwords can be obtained from the school.

Toronto District School Board Virtual Library – Elementary provides access to numerous online resources.  Many of which are provided free by the Ministry (and are password protected) and many of which are purchased by the Toronto DSB for enrolled staff and students (again which are password protected).

Toronto Public Library provides a rich collection of online materials and databanks that can be access for free if you work or live in Toronto.  A vast collection of e-books can be easily downloaded to a Kobo (or other reading platforms) for free as long as your library card is valid and up-to-date.  Library cards in Toronto expire after one year and need to be renewed in person.

Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents provides resources in both English and French to support parents who choose to home school their children.

hand drawn effect lettering spelling mathematics surrounded by various math related symbols

Mathematics & Science

Homework Help is a free online interactive math site that provides online math tutoring from Ontario teachers for Ontario students grades 7 to 10. Registration is required and available to all Ontario students in grades 7 through 10.

IXL is a paid site that aligns with the Ontario math curriculum. A yearly fee of $79 for the first child, and an additional $20 for each additional child will allow access to the site.

Illuminations is an American website provided by the National Council for Teaching Math that allows access to 105 interactive online math activities, over 600 lesson plans, and links to 724 other online math resources!   The site is organized around the math standards of: Number & Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Data Management, and Data Analysis & Probability.

Learn Alberta is a site that is published by the Alberta provincial government that houses digital learning and teaching resources to support the Alberta curriculum. The link provided here will connect to interactive math learning objects.

Math Frame provides interactive whiteboard math activities designed for the UK elementary student. These activities would be useful to assist with acquisition, reinforcement and practicing of key mathematical skills.

PhET Interactive Simulations Project provides math and science simulations that are organized by topic as well as by grade. Designed by the University of Colorado Boulder to be downloaded, embedded or run off the site.   All simulations are distributed under the Creative Commons licensing for educational purposes.

Problem of the Week, designed by The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing at the University of Waterloo, challenges grade 5 to 12 math students to answer a math word problem each week during the school year. Problem and solution archives for the previous two school years are available as well.

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Social Studies – Geography & History

Since we will be travelling around the world, we’re hoping that covering the social sciences will be easy!  The kids will be responsible to blog and vlog about what they see and experience so we’re hoping this might just cover the curriculum.  The Culture Grams databank on the Toronto DSB elementary website and the World Fact Book will both help with getting to know our various travel destinations.

Some sites that will also be useful are as follows:

BBC Schools, although British and presently archived, provides excellent resources on history for the elementary grades.

National Geographic provides access to many online activities and stories for kids, as well as an area dedicated to teaching ideas and resources.

hand drawn effect type spelling Language and various language education related concepts

English & French

Alex and Matthew are registered in French Immersion and thus we’ll need to ensure that they are keeping up with both English and French during our travels.  Both Alex and Matthew will be blogging here on this site, and vlogging on our Dust On Our Shoes youtube channel.  We also plan to spend over a month in France and hopefully this immersion experience will reap rewards!  Some resources that we plan to use to support our language studies are:

Le Grand Dictionnaire “est une banque de fiches terminologiques rédigées par l’Office québécois de la langue française ou des partenaires de l’Office. Chaque fiche renseigne sur un concept lié à un domaine d’emploi spécialisé et présente les termes qui le désignent en français, en anglais et, parfois, dans d’autres langues.”