Time for the Government Forms…
Some of you are wondering, “How do I fill out my forms the right way?” Great question! I’m excited to tell you, there is no “right” way. These forms were developed for us as parents to let the government know what we are planning to do to educate our kids. It doesn’t matter what you are planning to do, just write that down, and it will be the “right” thing to say.
For example, in Language Arts, if you have a curriculum for writing, but are planning to teach reading by just reading books together, write down “Writing Program X, group read alouds”. Nothing more specific is needed, no matter the age of your child.
Since different children of different ages can learn in a group setting with the same material, there is nothing wrong with describing your Gr. 2 and Gr. 11 studies in the same way. Take a look at the example I’ve uploaded here. This our Grade 11 form from 2016, only the personal info is erased. I used exactly the same words on my Gr. 2 form and for everyone in between.
When you describe your planned outline, use simple but explanatory language that takes an educational mindset into account. For example, under science, instead of “we go outside everyday”, you could say “plant and animal studies, including anatomy”. Or for math, you could say “personal money management using charts” instead of “he gets an allowance”. These differences are stylistic rather than adding more detail.
Why would we give more detail, even when more is politely requested? Because we believe in the fundamental choice of parents to direct the education of their own children. When all home educating families band together to prove that we are not asking for approval, but simply informing the government of our choice and methods within the law of Manitoba, we can maintain freedom from intrusion into all our homes and parenting choices.
And more detail will be politely requested. Most homeschool families have been receiving requests for additional reporting information. These look like personal letters, but are actually being sent with similar wording to everyone. There is no need to respond to these requests. More on these letters requesting additional reporting appear in a separate article.
A great description of the forms, the reasons to keep it simple and the boundaries that can be maintained around the homeschooling office at the Department of Education can be found in this video (below) of a presentation at the Intro to Homeschooling night in August 2017.