Lisa Hamoline

School PODs Educator and Mother in Saskatchewan

A Teacher’s Perspective: Why I Made the Choice to Start Homeschooling Mid-Year

Feb 18, 2021

My name is Lisa Hamoline and I am an educator based in Saskatchewan.  I have my Bachelor of Education, I’m Montessori trained and certified, and I was a teacher/vice principal for Saskatchewan’s only online Qualified Independent School for 6 years.  I believe that each child should have the opportunity to learn in a way that is the most meaningful to them, and that educational programs should be individualized to meet specific needs and interests.  Even with my varied and alternative experience in education, and my personal philosophy being what it is, homeschooling my own children has never occurred to me, at least not until recently…

Let me back up…As Covid hit in March of last year, the online school that I worked for was flooded with inquiries, and registration went through the roof.  It was through the growth of the school that I realized it was time for me to move on professionally.  However, I kept my youngest son in the online program for the 20/21 school year.  

Why would I keep my son in a school that I no longer worked for? This wasn’t just a school, it was my son’s community, both in person and online, AND it provided an individualized education based on the needs of my son.  For 5 years we had travelled around Saskatchewan, experiencing different sights and communities, all while being registered with a school and meeting the curricular components laid out by the Ministry of Saskatchewan.  This lifestyle helped us to grow closer as a family, it provided us peace of mind, and my son thrived. What a life!

Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ As the 20/21 school year progressed, it became apparent that with the growth of the school, teachers no longer had time to individualize education as they had in the past, and the online and in person community events that we had become so accustomed to, went by the way side, as the teachers struggled to keep their heads above water.  Covid has not just hit traditional schools with a vengeance, it has hit the online school community hard as well…

School PODs: Accredited Teacher

Teaches: Lower & Middle School

Location: Warman, Saskatchewan

¨School no longer made him feel joy and instead it had become a heavy weight.¨

 

Before the December break I started to struggle with the fact that the online school that I used to work for, the school that my son was currently enrolled in, had changed and it just didn’t serve our needs anymore.  Without the in person and online community events and without the individualized education for my son, it was just a platform to read information, complete an assignment, and then submit the assignment for marking.  This hit me hard and it took me some time to accept that this was how I was feeling.

It took me until mid-January to finally accept that we needed to make a change.  Not only for my son’s education, but for us as a family as well. I finally admitted to my husband how I was feeling and together we decided that I would homeschool our son starting next school year.  I felt SO much better, however, after sleeping on it, I realized that I just didn’t want to wait until the next school year.  

I talked to my son, who is in grade 7, I told him my thoughts and his face just beamed.  He told me that he had been feeling that it wasn’t working for him and he had been trying to figure out how to talk to me.  He told me that the school no longer made him feel joy and instead it had become a heavy weight. To my surprise, he then came forward with a list of topics that he wanted to discuss, research, and learn about.  So the decision to homeschool was made on the spot.  The next day I pulled him from his online school, I registered him with my local division as a homeschooler, and my son and I felt about 1000 pounds lighter.

As an educator I have always felt that each child’s educational journey is unique and should be treated with respect.  As a parent I have learned that I need to be able to assess my child’s needs and have the courage to provide him with an education that meets him where he is at, even if it seems against the grain or the unpopular choice.  My son is thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to learn about things that are of interest to him, to speed up or slow down as necessary, and to have fun again. My child’s educational journey is not one size fits all, it is ever changing, and most importantly, it is HIS journey.

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