Homeschooling numbers up; many through school boards

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Mary Dyck, from Widewater, is a homeschool coordinator based in the Slave Lake area.

“I have a few more, not a lot,” she says. “There are a lot more homeschoolers, I know, but a lot are connected with their schools.”

Kathryn Adams, in Slave Lake, started homeschooling this year.

“I started a homeschool Facebook group,” she says. There are at least 50 parents, who have joined. Some of these have been homeschooling for a while. Many are new.

“I’m a teacher,” Adams says, “and I’m on maternity leave. I didn’t think I would homeschool. We’re very fortunate that we can.”

Adams works at Slave Lake Koinonia Christian School. Previously, that is where her two older boys attended school. She’s homeschooling through Koinonia At Home.

Adams decided to homeschool this year because of the pandemic and “choice in what they learn and how they learn it.” Choice was why she decided to homeschool, not do at-home learning.

“Homeschooling is having the choice of what your child is learning,” says Adams. “That can be changing the curriculum, how they’re challenged, creating a better at–home environment as well.”

“All kids learn differently as well,” says Adams. “As a teacher, I’ve discovered that education is changing. The cool thing about homeschooling is you have flexibility.”

For example, the family is currently learning about space, says Adams. One night, the sky was clear, so they took blankets and hot chocolate out to the deck to stargaze. Adam’s husband also gets involved in teaching on the weekends.

The Adams’ boys are Keegan (Grade 5) Emery (Grade 2) and Rowan (five months). Other space-related learning included throwing asteroid chocolate chips into brownies, drawing asteroids with human characteristics, and learning about Galileo and his telescope.

The boys chose some subjects they wanted to learn, says Adams. They are learning computer coding and animation. “They also want to do a unit on engineering. They enjoy Lego and building.”

Asked what he didn’t like about homeschooling, Emery says, “I miss my friends.”

Asked about the upside of homeschooling, he says, “The upside is I can play Legos, and I can have naps.”

“Learning what I want to learn,” he adds, with a bit of prompting. He’s excited to take drum lessons.

“I like that we get to read more,” says Keegan, “and we get breaks whenever we want, there’s not a specific time. And it’s fun.” It’s a lot of fun.”

Keegan can’t think of a downside.

Clockwise from left right: Emery, Kathryn, and Keegan Adams homeschooling.

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