Posted in Homeschool Information

Save Money on Printing Costs in Your Homeschool

Printing out your digital curricula, assignments, eBooks, planners, and research for your homeschool can add up quickly. And if you’re like me, you’d rather spend more money on curricula than on printing. Here are some tricks and tips to help you save money on printing costs in your homeschool.

Change Print Settings

In your printer’s settings, choose “fast” mode, lowering the quality of the print and using less in. It’s still readable enough for your kids to complete their homeschool work.

Use Less Paper

Besides printing on both sides of the paper (which, let’s face it, can be difficult or even impossible on some printers), you can choose to print two to four “pages per sheet.” This can be an especially good choice for reading material.

Use a Different Font

Not all fonts are created equal – some use more ink than others. To use the least ink possible, download the Ecofont font.

Print a Webpage without the Ads

If you’re printing out a web page, use the Print What You Like website. It’s a free service that eliminates ads and creates a printer-friendly version of the page that saves on ink and paper.

Fool the Printer

When the printer tells you it’s empty, take out the ink cartridge and put it back in again. If it’s a laser printer, give it a good shake first. Of course, this won’t work forever, but it can often let you eke out a few more printouts.

Don’t Print

Rethink printing. Do you really need to print it? Your could fill out the answers to worksheets on a tablet with Adobe Acrobat Reader or a similar free app. And eBooks can be read on a tablet, reader, or laptop. There are many benefits of a paperless homeschool, including saving money and space and reducing clutter!

Buy Brand Compatible Ink Cartridges

The Staples store offers Staples brand ink cartridges that cost less and are designed to be used for each specific brand and style printer.

Change your Printer

Get a new printer, such as a laser printer, which use toner cartridges instead of ink. Or banish cartridges forever with an EcoTank printer. These printers have tanks that you refill instead of cartridges – the refills save you about 80 percent on the cost of ink. EcoTank printers come with enough ink to last about 2 years (5200 colour or 6500 black and white pages). We need a new printer and I’m seriously considering an EcoTank. I used to refill printer cartridges myself, by boring a hole in them and using a refill kit, but it was a real hassle and doesn’t work with some cartridge brands.

Do you have more tips to save money on printing costs in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.

If you’d like more real-life, money-saving strategies from people who know what it’s like to live in expensive areas, have large families, and want to enjoy the little extras (even on a tight budget), then check out the Master Your Money Super Bundle! You’ll get:

  • 12 eBooks
  • 11 eCourses
  • 12 videos
  • 7 printables & workbooks (that you can use the above tricks to print out affordably!)
  • Plus bonuses! (Right now, I’m checking out my two months of free access to WalletWin Academy)

The Master Your Money Super Bundle ends April 1st, 2019. Get help paying off debt, budgeting like a boss, and reaching your financial goals now! Learn more about the Master Your Money Super Bundle here.

What's inside the Master Your Money Super Bundle! Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Events, Homeschool Information

2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference Feb 6-11

The 2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference starts this Wednesday! It is a six-day online event featuring knowledgeable speakers, a vendor hall, opportunities to interact with other attendees, fun, and giveaways! The best part is that you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home (or pay for gas or other travel expenses). It is free to attend live. Plus you can grab a lifetime pass so you don’t miss a thing.

Speakers and Sessions

The 2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference features a variety of speakers, from homeschooling moms to business owners and organizations in the homeschool and education realm. Speakers include Lisa Marie Fletcher (The Canadian Homeschooler), Kathleen Cotter Lawler (RightStart Math), Dr. Lisa Roman-Dwyer (Social Worker and Therapist), and more! There are sessions for parents, youth, and kids – something for the whole family! Sessions include topics such as teaching kids to cook, special needs, unschooling, Google maps (for kids), story writing (for youth), and more.

Vendor Hall

Visit with some of your favourite homeschooling vendors and learn about some fantastic new ones in the vendor hall! Check out The Learning House, Usborne Books, HSLDA, Tree of Life, Crayola Teachers and more! You’ll get a goodie bag from the vendors full of coupons and special offers!

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t miss this amazing conference. Register for the 2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference now! Choose free Live Conference Access for access until February 12th. OR banish the fear of missing out and get Lifetime Access for only $35 for the whole family.

Get Live Conference Access or Lifetime Access here. See you at the conference! I’m looking forward to it!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information

The Key to Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

It’s the time of year when homeschool parents typically experience burnout. So, I’ve been thinking about the key to avoiding homeschool burnout this week. As I chatted with my husband one day, I realized that, for me, “keeping fresh” centres around one thing – one of the things that I consider to be a wonderful advantage that we have as homeschoolers – Flexibility.

I love to take advantage of our flexibility as homeschoolers!

Flexibility with …

Our Homeschool Day

I realized early on, from chatting with many homeschoolers at first and then through working with my son while my daughter was a toddler, that keeping traditional school day hours isn’t necessary when homeschooling. We can get so much done in merely a few hours, leaving time for all of us to enjoy interests and pursuits together or separately – and not feeling burnt out because we still get down-time, even though we participate in many outside activities.

I also have never worried about what time my children get up in the morning. When they were younger, my daughter slept in until 10am and my son was up by 7am at the latest. As they got older, and approached the teen years, they both started to sleep in until around 10am or even until closer to noon. They’ve always been able to go to sleep and wake as their body rhythms dictate and I am so glad that we have been able to accommodate that in our homeschool.

At age 15 and 20 now, they are still easily able to get up on their own when they need to go to an early dance class or work respectively. Not fighting my kids over sleep for all these years has definitely helped us all keep less stressed.

Field Trips

At times, we find out about an activity that would make a great field trip at the last minute. So, we simply drop everything and go! Sometimes I can tell we need a change of venue and dropping everything and going on a field trip is exactly what we need. Instead of a field trip, a good change of pace can also be as simple as a walk or relocating to finish up homeschool work outside.

Scheduling Homeschool Breaks

I can feel when I need a break from homeschool or my child needs a break, or all of us need a break! I’ve always liked making the announcement, “Guess what, no school today,” or “Guess what, no school this week.” There are so many things we are interested in doing that we are rarely bored – from fibre arts like knitting, to drawing, to writing, reading, or relaxing and playing some video games. There is plenty to do and enjoy.

Curricula

A wise homeschooler I know once said that you should never be a slave to curriculum, it should be your slave. If I want to cover a subject a different way for a time, I do. For instance, when studying the World Wars, we’re likely to play the board game, “Axis & Allies” to learn about it. We love using board games as much as possible in our homeschool (and puppet shows when my kids were younger)! I also don’t worry if we leave things out of the curriculum – with Tapestry of Grace (which we often use as our core curriculum) that is expected anyway, as you can’t possible cover everything in it; it’s like a buffet of options

You Can Be Successful at Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

Acknowledge that you and your kids all need a break sometimes. Remain flexible so you can enjoy all those unexpected moments that come up and can enjoy your children while you homeschool.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in January 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Homeschool Information

Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Homeschooling

Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Homeschooling

Don’t believe everything you read about homeschooling. This recent article, Home-schooled Students May Not Be Getting Best Education in the Vancouver Sun, is full of egregious errors. I will attempt to set at least some of it straight (without writing a book).

  1. BC does not have “among the laxest home-schooling rules in North America.” If the writer did her homework, she would see that, in almost every province across Canada (and much of the U.S.), parents homeschool their children without being supervised or evaluated by certified teachers and with no “government certificate” upon graduation. If she checked out the homeschool research, she would see that not only do homeschooled kids perform better than public schooled kids regardless, they are also sought out by colleges even with their homemade diplomas. Indeed, in most provinces “there is no requirement that home-schoolers follow the provincial curriculum, use any specific textbooks or teach any particular subjects and concepts.” Yes, she is right that BC dictates that “Parents seeking to home-school their children … exercise complete independence and control over their children’s education,” as do most jurisdictions across North America. And this is as it should be – education is a parent’s responsibility after all and parent involvement in a child’s education is the primary indicator of success.
  2. She states “Those kids are not eligible to get a high-school diploma.” This is incorrect as homeschooled kids (in the traditional option in BC) don’t get a public school diploma, but they do earn a homeschool diploma, which as I said is good enough for most institutions of higher learning. True, admission to university is often “done on an individual basis” but many universities across Canada have homeschool policies and actively seek out homeschoolers. If you’ve been to the homeschool conference here in Nova Scotia, you’ve seen colleges and universities present to recruit homeschoolers every year.
  3. After criticizing conservative homeschoolers, the writer ends her piece with these inflammatory sentences.

But the Supreme Court also affirmed that governments have the right to ensure that home-schooling parents provide sufficient instruction. British Columbia isn’t doing that. And, by not exercising its right, the government has for years failed in its duty to children, who all have the right to reach their full potential.

She is assuming here, incorrectly, that homeschoolers are guilty of not properly educating their children. Without proof. In fact, as I have already mentioned, studies show quite the opposite. Assuming all parents are neglecting their duties on the educational front is the same as assuming all parents are abusing their children. It would be just as ridiculous to suggest every family needs regular state visits to ensure they are not abusing their kids as to suggest homeschoolers need regular educational checkups.

Always look to the research on homeschooling! Parents are their children’s first and best teachers, hands down.

Have you read anything recently that made you realize you can’t believe everything you read about homeschooling? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Thinking of homeschooling or want to get started? Get more information and check out the free Getting Started Checklist here.

Posted in Homeschool Information

It’s Homeschool Registration Time in Nova Scotia

It’s Homeschool Registration Time in Nova Scotia!

If you have already decided to homeschool your child this year, it’s homeschool registration time. September 20th is the deadline to register your child in Nova Scotia. It’s easy to register! Just follow these steps:

1) Click HERE to download the Nova Scotia Department of Education registration form.

All children ages 5 to 16 (re Amendment to Education Act Regulations, Section 3(1)) must be registered by September 20th of the coming school year (although if you’re starting mid-year this doesn’t apply). Registration must include:

in the case of previous public school experience, the last grade level attained; in the case of previous home education experience, the program level of achievement and estimated equivalent public school grade level; and identification of the proposed home education program” (Regulations Section 39 (2))

2) Fill out (online or on paper) your registration form, or you may choose to send in a letter of intent with the required information (if you are an HSLDA member, they provide a template). If you are registering your child for the first time (they have never been in a Nova Scotia school before), the Ministry will demand a copy of your child’s birth certificate, so you may want to include one with your registration.

In the Regulations, reference is only made to providing your children with an “educational program”. There are no stipulations as to what the “educational program” must be and can be whatever you feel is appropriate to give your child a well-rounded education. So, don’t agonize over filling out the registration form because this gives you complete freedom to choose whatever materials (religious or secular) you want and to design your own program that meets your child’s needs.

If you are using a curriculum that you purchased, you can say yes, your curriculum is commercially available, fill out the name and level of the curriculum and then your registration ends there – no need to fill out all the little subject boxes. But don’t forget to sign it (they will send it back for a signature – ask me how I know)!

3) Mail or send your registration digitally.

All done! Homeschool registration time doesn’t have to be stressful.

Can you decide to homeschool in the middle of the school year?

Yes! Simply fill out the registration form and send it in whenever you decide to start. The September 20th deadline is just for those who have decided at the beginning of the school year.

For more information on starting to homeschool, check out the Getting Started Page. And if you’re in the Halifax area, come to the Homeschool Informational Tea this Saturday!

it's homeschool registration time

If you have any questions about homeschool registration time in Nova Scotia, or homeschooling in general, please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics, Homeschool Information

Culinary Arts in the Homeschool: Enjoy Cake Decorating

Are you enjoying home economics in your homeschool? One of the benefits of homeschooling is having the time to teach your kids all the skills they will need to use after they leave the nest, and being able to make it a fun part of your homeschool day! Another great benefit is that your kids can focus on a home economics subject if it’s one of their passions, such as the culinary arts – including cake decorating.

cake decorating

Culinary Arts in the Homeschool:

Enjoy Cake Decorating

The culinary arts are a big hit with both my 18 year old son and my 13 year old daughter. My son has even been working in a kitchen for two years now. They each started helping me in the kitchen when they were toddlers and could cook simple meals by the time they were 6 years old. Many days, you can find my kids both singing and dancing to music in the kitchen while they cook homemade chicken nuggets and fries or beef stroganoff, or bake chocolate chip cookies or homemade brownies. I love moments like that – especially when I get to enjoy the fruits of their labour!

My daughter developed a particular interest in cake decorating, years ago. I’m no expert, but I love making fancy cakes for birthdays. Kids love piping frosting on cakes so we often allow guests to decorate their own cupcakes or collaboratively decorate a cake at her birthday parties.

At first, my daughter enjoyed simply baking cakes from scratch with me. Then she started to experiment with decorating them. A lot of her inspiration and information at first came from videos she watched through Always Icecream.

She started to get interested in making and decorating with fondant. I knew absolutely nothing about it, so we turned to Craftsy. There’s a great, free, step-by-step mini-course called Basic Fondant Techniques that has taught my daughter how to make fondant and use it to great effect! She has watched it countless times, and each time she wants to use one of the techniques, she watches the video while she works. My daughter has insisted on making her own birthday cakes for years now!

She made this dragon egg (nesting in the sand) cake for her dragon themed birthday party a few years ago:

Cake decorating

This cake is a masterpiece from a few years ago:

cake decorating

She also enjoys making fondant flowers:

cake decorating

And my daughter still loves having fun decorating with buttercream frosting as well. Here is a Pinky Pie (from My Little Pony) cake that she created freehand:

cake decorating

Craftsy offers a bunch of great, free mini-courses, many of them in the culinary arts, so be sure to check them out! And then, if your child loves them, they can move on to classes such as Advanced Fondant Techniques and The Art of Painted Cakes.

Does your child have an interest in the culinary arts? Do you have any fun ideas to share? Please let me know in the comments below!

If you’d like to see how other homeschoolers cover home economics and life skills in their homeschools, check out Add Life Skills to Your Homeschool at The Canadian Homeschooler.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links, if you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Please note: This article was originally published in October, 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Contests, Free Homeschooling Resources, Homeschool Events, Homeschool Information

Canadian Online Homeschool Conference AND Giveaway!

canadian online homeschool conference

The Canadian Online Homeschool Conference

**This event and giveaway are over. Did you miss it? No worries, you can get an All Access Pass with lifetime access to all the recordings HERE.**

The Canadian Online Homeschool Conference starts Friday! It is a five-day virtual event featuring knowledgeable speakers, a vendor hall, opportunities to interact with other attendees, fun, and giveaways! All without leaving the comfort of your own home (or paying for gas or other travel expenses). It is free to attend live (with the option to buy a complete access pass after it ends). I am excited to be a part of it!

Speakers and Sessions

This conference features a variety of speakers, from homeschooling moms to owners of businesses you’ll want to hear from. Speakers include Lisa Marie Fletcher (the host of the conference), Donna Ward, Louise House, Bev Rempel and me! Sessions include topics such as getting started, homeschool methods, all ages and stages including high school, subjects such as math and reading, and more.

Homeschool Community

Chats. Parties. Prizes. Used Book Buy & Sell. Connect with other homeschoolers and help create an environment of community and fun during this conference.

Vendor Hall

Visit with some of your favourite homeschooling vendors and learn about some fantastic new ones in the vendor hall!

Don’t miss this amazing event. Register now, free!

Giveaway!

And now for the giveaway! One of my lucky readers will win an all access pass, which means lifetime access to ALL the recordings from this event! A $97 value!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends at midnight Atlantic Time on Friday, February 10th. Winner will be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberlycanadian online homeschool conference

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

 

Posted in Homeschool Information, Resources

Homeschool Curriculum Choices in Nova Scotia

homeschool curriculum choices

Homeschool Curriculum Choices in Nova Scotia

Parents interested in homeschooling always ask me where they can get homeschool books, often assuming they are issued by the Department of Education. The good news is, we have endless homeschool curriculum choices in Nova Scotia.

Since the Department of Education does not specify what course of study we have to follow, homeschoolers can decide for ourselves. Under the Regulations of the Education Act, Section 39 (Home Education) refers to “a parent providing a home education” and states:

A registration form required by subsection (1) shall include,

                (a)    in the case of previous public school experience, the last grade level attained;

                (b)    in the case of previous home education experience, the program level of achievement and estimated equivalent public school grade level; and

                (c)    identification of the proposed home education program.

Therefore, homeschooling parents in the province of Nova Scotia are free to determine what our “education program” looks like, and are simply required to provide this information to the Department of Education.

Some of the more popular homeschooling approaches and a few of the many curriculum options …

Traditional or School-at-Home

Traditional or School-at-Home involves using a boxed curriculum and/or textbooks.
Curriculum examples: A Beka, Alpha Omega, Calvert

Classical

The Classical method involves using real/living books to teach the children to learn and think for themselves.
Curriculum examples: The Well-Trained Mind, Teaching the Trivium, Tapestry of Grace

Charlotte Mason

The Charlotte Mason approach is similar to Classical, but with more of an emphasis on nature.
Curriculum examples: A Charlotte Mason Education, Ambleside Online

Unschooling

Unschooling involves child-led learning. The child decides what they want to learn about.
Curriculum example:  Does not follow a curriculum, but reading Learning at Home by Marty Layne and the works of John Holt will give an idea what it’s about.

Montessori

Montessori is a private school system, based on the works of Maria Montessori, with an emphasis on wooden tools and toys, and organization and order.
Curriculum examples: Lisa Nolan Montessori, Montessori Homeschool

Waldorf

Waldorf is also a private school system, based on the works of Rudolf Steiner, with an emphasis on arts and hand-crafts, music, natural materials, and nature.
Curriculum example: Oak Meadow

Eclectic

Many homeschoolers put together their own curriculum from a wide variety of curriculum choices, using a separate curriculum for each subject.

Curriculum examples: Teaching Textbooks (math), A Child’s GeographyVisual Latin

Where to Buy

There is one homeschool curriculum store in Atlantic Canada where homeschool materials and curricula are available, Tree of Life, located in New Brunswick. A used homeschool curriculum store is also located in Berwick, Nova Scotia, Homegrown Homeschool Consignment. Many homeschoolers depend on their local library for wonderful books for their children, both fiction and non-fiction.

Online Public School Classes

Also, here in Nova Scotia, we can choose to have our Grade 7-12 students take Correspondence Study Program courses for some subjects. Although a full course load is not available, our children can take a few classes each year such as English, math, and science. These online courses are expensive, however, and tend to be full of the busywork typical of public school programs.

If you’re looking for more help getting started, click here for your FREE Getting Started Checklist!

getting started

If you’re already homeschooling in Nova Scotia, please help new homeschoolers by sharing what curriculum you use in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally posted in April 2010 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

This article contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information, Resources

Homeschooling Your Child with Special Needs

homeschooling your child with special needs

Homeschooling Your Child with Special Needs

Are you considering homeschooling your child with special needs? Many parents choose to homeschool their children with various special needs such as autism, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, giftedness, diabetes, and deafness.

A friend of mine started homeschooling her special needs child a few years ago, because his medical issues made being in the classroom downright dangerous. A simple fall could be deadly and the public school wasn’t willing to out necessary measures into effect. We started homeschooling our son in part because he was playing chess at age three and was bored when we put him into public school for his Kindergarten/Primary year.

The article, Homeschool Best Option for More and More Families With Special Needs Children, mentions a poll of homeschoolers that found 38% were homeschooling special needs children. If you are homeschooling your child with special needs, you’re not alone! Here is another article, sharing Perspectives on Teaching Special Needs for some encouragement from fellow homeschoolers.

If you are homeschooling your child with special needs, there are resources you can take advantage of:

I hope this helps you on your journey, whether you are homeschooling a child with special needs or considering it. Check out more articles on Meeting Your Child’s Learning Needs at The Canadian Homeschooler website.

 

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Free Homeschooling Resources, Homeschool Information

Free Online Homeschool Conference!

free online homeschool conference

Free Online Homeschool Conference!

I love homeschool conferences! They are a great way to learn about different curricula and meet new homeschooling families, and the sessions can be invaluable. I always leave refreshed and energized to tackle a new year of homeschooling.

I try to make it to as many as I can but since the Nova Scotia conference is usually the same weekend as my daughter’s dance recitals (as it was again this year), I usually don’t get to go. Of course, there’s also the fact that it’s almost a five hour drive to get there! Some years I haven’t been able to go due to finances or a lack thereof.

Now there’s an online conference I can attend, yay! The Digital Homeschool Convention offers more than 30 different sessions over four days next month. Topics vary from special needs homeschooling, to creating homeschool portfolios, to finding margin as a homeschool mom! You will enjoy these encouraging uplifting words from amazing homeschool moms.

I am especially looking forward to Creating Margin as a Homeschool Mom (something I often struggle with) by Heather Bowen and How to Make Art Appreciation a Natural Part of Your Homeschool Life (because I would love to) by Erica Johns.

The best part of this conference is that you don’t need to leave your house. You don’t have to spend money on food, gas, or hotels, and registration is free as are the sessions! Mark it on your calendar now – it all happens July 22-25. You can register here, free!

Have you been to a homeschool conference? What do you think is the best part about attending a homeschool conference? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

 

Please note: This article includes affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!