We look forward to helping support you and your home learning journey. We work with a wide variety of families, from those who like a very child-centered philosophy to those who like the stability of a more structured approach.
The teachers at Island Discovery are all B.C. Certified, and we all have a deep belief in the power of homeschooling. Many of us, me included, have homeschooled our own kids, and we have seen first-hand that when a child learns through self-direction and attachment, they grow to be very productive and engaged learners, as well as confident and happy people.
Our program was started 12 years ago by a group of parents just like you, for the same reasons you have chosen to homeschool. We like to think of ourselves as homeschooling people helping other homeschooling people. We hope to establish a relationship with you where you feel like we are working alongside you to help your child thrive this year, socially, academically, and emotionally, too.
Each family is responsible for following the B.C. Curriculum. You will need to follow a certified learning plan, created by your teacher, with input from you. In late August (or soon after you register), we will send an email to you explaining the details of this learning plan. Then, in early September, a meeting will be set up where the learning plan will be discussed and finalized. This must be completed, signed, and on file before September 30th, or else we cannot enrol your child in our program.
There will be ample opportunity to customize the plan to suit the interests of your child! We understand that when children follow their passions, it is incredible how much and how quickly they can learn. During the year, it is inevitable that changes will need to be made to the plan as emerging interests and ideas come forth, which is totally fine, so don't worry that we need to figure out the entire year in advance.
Contact, Assessment and Reporting
The teacher will be available to either meet live, or by email or phone, at any time of the year. We want you to feel supported, especially when you are feeling unsure about how things are going. We will always promptly return your emails or calls, usually within 24 hrs. It is important that we touch base with you at least once a month. Please never feel shy about contacting us if you need help.
After the learning plan meeting in early September, we will follow up with you in early October to see how you are doing with implementing your learning plan, just like when a server at a restaurant comes to check on you after you have received your food. We want you to feel like you are off and running, and are happy with how things are going. At this time, we will also ask for a writing sample from each child and we will complete a series of checklists to determine some baseline data on the ability levels of your child in various subject areas. This can all be done very gently, without making your child feel they are being “tested” by a stranger, mostly be looking at their work and discussing their abilities with you.
At the end of each term, the teacher will meet with you to discuss progress to date, and to hear about all the learning adventures you have been having at home and in the community. After this meeting the teacher will create a report card. Reports are done in early December, March, and June. During these check-ins, we will also need to discuss progress related to Daily Physical Activity and second language for those in grades 5-9.
We try our best to make this process as helpful and as non-intrusive as we can, so that it feels like a worthwhile experience to you. We believe that the most important thing is that we use these times to simply celebrate the child for who they are and what they have done, rather than making them feel insecure or inadequate in any way :)
We offer individualized funds for each child, which can be used for classes and materials. This money can be accessed after September 1st, with spending done directly by us. All spending needs to be approved by one of our teachers before monies are spent. Please contact us to find out what the current amounts are per child.
There are three ways to access these funds.
- School credit card – online or phone purchases can be made by us using our school credit card. This is a quick and easy way for us to purchase things for you very quickly.
- Cheques – we can write cheques for materials or classes if we receive a properly filled out invoice from the service provider or business.
- Store accounts – we have a number of accounts at shops in your area, where you can pick up materials for learning at home.
We try to approve and make purchases for you very quickly, usually within a day or two. Please note that the end-of-year deadline is April 30th.
There is also additional funding available for other things, including online subscriptions, and group purchases. After you enrol, you will receive more information and details about all of this in our Financial Handbook.