Last time, in Part 2 of this series I helped you sort out the Ministry of Education’s requirements and helped explain the difference between Distributed Learning and Homeschooling. The link to that article is here.
Once you have chosen to either Homeschool or enrol your child in a Distributed Learning Program, you have so many choices! Right now we will focus on the options we have in BC for Distributed Learning. A DL program can be offered in many ways, however the main ways are either through a paper-based program and online. A paper based program is led by the parent using regular school textbooks, information and resources and the student’s work is then submitted back to the teacher in charge of monitoring the program. An online program is situated where coursework is presented online in a variety of ways (text, links, videos, Skype sessions, group discussions or forums, audio clips and virtual online classrooms) with the student most often communicating directly with the teacher.
Each school district has its own DL program such as our own SD#28 Distributed Learning Program, or another such as EBUS Academy located in Vanderhoof. Recently, the Fraser Valley Distance Education School through SD#33 has been recently brought to my attention because of its use of the Fast ForWord program (which I had never heard about and had to investigate here!) Another two common school district DL schools are Central Interior Distance Education and South Central Interior Distance Education (depending on your location in the province).
Your local DL program is a great way to start your learning-at-home program. This way you are able to receive support, learning materials and results face-to-face on a regular basis. Once you feel you have the “hang of it” you can explore your many other homeschooling options.
Independent schools can also have DL programs. Two schools I am very familiar with are Heritiage Christian Online School and Self Design. Both schools offer traditional homeschooling registration as well as DL. These schools offer their DL programs in a variety of ways including both paper-based and online. For a complete list of Independent schools offering Distributed Learning programs, click here.
I hope that this three part series has been able to clarify the multi-faceted world of homeschooling. Whether your child is in a brick-and-mortar school, an online school, or learning in the comfort of your own home, you are doing what is right for your family! Congratulations, what a great job you are doing!