The “right” way to fill in your forms

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.  More examples can be found here. (Link)

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 of a presentation at the Intro to Homeschooling night last week.

 

 

 

 

Have you received a letter from a homeschool liaison?

Most families have been sent longer and longer responses to their submitted forms and reports in the past year.  These are form letters, usually asking parents to add more detail to their forms and reports, and mentioning “required” pieces of an educational program.  The reality is that parents have the right to choose the method and timing of their child’s education.  And only the parents decide the satisfactory outcome.

Any detailed documentation of your child’s progress might be nice for your own sense of accomplishment, but is not useful to present to the government for any future applications.  If some families decide to report in a very detailed way, the government employees may see that as the benchmark for all families and start to request it from everyone.  Since we have heard from the Minister of Education that government interference in homeschools is not part of the intention of his office or necessary for the requirements of the law, MACHS is confident that your reports do not need to include detailed records.  Satisfactory progress should be indicated, and any more specific records or grading can be kept in your own filing if you desire.

The letters that are being addressed to parents of high school students are particularly misguided.  Wording such as “Homeschool students do not graduate” and “credits can only be earned under the supervision of a certified teacher” are being used to scare home educating families into thinking that an alternative method of education outside of a government mandated program are somehow inadequate and will not be accepted by employers or post-secondary institutions.  This is simply false.  These letters are not new information;  they are the repackaging of what has always been true to make it sound as if a Manitoba government program is necessary for a high school education.

Homeschool graduates have always been accepted in all kinds of post-secondary options, with differing requirements of documentation.  The incorrect assumption of the homeschool office is that home educating families want to present a Manitoba diploma at the end of their high school journey.  Homeschool parents are the ones who provide the diploma and graduate their high school students.  The reason we are homeschooling is because we don’t want the government to be the ones who “provide” for our students.  To suggest that unless we enroll in some government high school program, we will be ineligible for future opportunities is ludicrous and basic fear-mongering.

MACHS is working toward a comprehensive catalogue of the requirements of post-secondary opportunities for homeschoolers.  We will be bringing this information to parents as it is collected.  But it should be stated that any well-educated high school graduate can expect to be admitted into these institutions without the intervention of the homeschooling office.  Yes, we agree, the government cannot provide a diploma for you or proof of what you studied;  this is what you signed up for.  You are responsible to prove your students accomplishments.  Further information on how to present these proofs will be outlined in a separate article.

Suffice it to say, do not be concerned about the lengthy statement from any liaison regarding your high school students.  It is a simple attempt to frighten parents into accepting a government education.

The response to the requests for additional information should follow the same principle as the requests for home visits.  None of us have anything to hide, but that does not mean that we need to comply with every request for scrutiny.  If some families politely agree to a request for a home visit or for additional reporting information, then the families who choose to decline appear as if they do have something to hide, rather than simply preferring less government involvement in their family’s educational choices.  For this reason,  please consider including minimal information on your government forms.

Intro to Homeschooling evening

MACHS will be hosting an informational evening
“Intro to Homeschooling”

Wednesday, August 23rd

6:15 pm to 9:30 pm at the Bethesda Church, 1350 Grant Ave. in Winnipeg

The evening will provide you with important information, such as how to notify to the Minister of Education of your intention to homeschool, types of homeschooling methods, curriculum choices, student evaluation;  in addition to:  how to complete your January and June reports to the government and activities of MACHS!    

A panel will share their approach and experiences, in addition to being available to answer every question that you might have. Interactive small group discussions will provide a relaxed and informal setting to put you at ease.

If you are a new homeschooler, thinking about homeschooling, someone who would like to help beginning homeschoolers or just want to brush-up on the basics, this evening is for you!  

Please let us know of your desire to attend by emailing [email protected] or calling 204-488-8361.

Filling out your June reports? Here’s all you need to know.

June is here, and that means most homeschoolers are waltzing into summer, but before you do, remember to hand in your June reports.

It’s not an ordeal, so don’t worry, and everything you need to know is right here.

Click here for the form to fill out.

Wondering what to include?  Click here to see sample notification forms. These are copies of reports from a few families. You can choose how much information you would like to include.

In summary, Manitoba law requires families to send in three forms:  notification by September 1 indicating course of study for each student, and then January and June reports each indicating satisfactory progress.  There is no requirement for elaboration on checking off “satisfactory progress” for each student’s work.

Send in your June report by June 31, and if you get a note back asking for more information, politely decline, and let MACHS know.

If you want to hear someone describe how it works, here is a short video from Homeschooling 101.

Here is a video from the conference explaining MACHS position on notification forms.

MACHS Writing Contest

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MACHS Writing Contest.

From Ages 12-17!

Hey homeschoolers! You like to write stories, right? You like to read them to your friends and siblings, right? How would you like to win a contest? Announcing the First MACHS Short Story Contest! Anyone from ages 12-17 can submit a story under one of these two categories, and the first place winner in each category will receive a prize that will be announced soon. The winning story and two runners-up will be announced on facebook and the stories will be posted on the MACHS website and in the fall newsletter. Age of participant will be taken into consideration in the judging process.

Categories:

*True Experience Max 500 Words

*Fictional Story Max 3000 Words

Feel free to add pictures to a true experience, and drawings to a fictional story.

Send your story to [email protected] by Sept. 31st with the Subject line “Writing Contest”. Please Include:

Your full name

Your age (must be in homeschool to participate)

Your town

The category of your story

The name of your story

Your story in a normal, readable font

And a Declaration of Independence that states: “I (name of author) have written this story without help from my parents, (names of parents), and I hereby declare that every word in it is my own, with only occasional spelling help from my Mom and encouragement from my Dad. Signed, (name of author).”

Homeschool Soccer

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By Ezekiel Thiessen

Every spring, as if to prove that homeschoolers don’t spend every day all consigned to their dining room tables behind mounds of the latest and greatest homeschool curriculum, a good number of the homeschooled children and teens of Manitoba get out and play soccer!
Taking place every Monday afternoon (weather permitting), young children and teens (5-17) take to the soccer field and prove that while homeschooling isn’t always fun and games, it also isn’t characterized by a complete lack of fun and games! Though we extol the virtues of unified families, those of different ages are, nonetheless, divided up into groups to ensure the safety and well-being of participants.
I attend homeschool soccer as much as I am able, and I have for almost ten years. While I am not an exceptionally good player, or a very ‘sporty’ person, this event gives me the chance to exercise and work together with others. It also gives moms a chance to socialize (or, for those of you who hate that word, have fellowship) and take a break from the kids for a little while.

 

Are you up to something? Manitoba Homeschoolers want to see what other homeschoolers are doing.  If your family has done something cool let us know.  Email [email protected]

Home Education Around the World – “Sharing the Joy”

We, Gerald Huebner and Diane Kroeker (father and daughter) had the privilege to recently take a trip to share the joy of home education with people in far away places. We were invited to speak to families in 4 countries (Italy, Hungary, Ukraine and Belarus). These are countries where home education is either very uncommon (Italy and Hungary) or virtually non existent (Ukraine and Belarus).

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Our trip of 19 days, saw us participating and speaking at 5 different conferences in these 4 countries, and spending time meeting and interacting with many, many new friends. It was a truly wonderful trip with results beyond our hopes and expectations. But we should not be surprised as we know from Ephesians 3:20 that God does awesome things “now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”  We safely traveled over 25,000 miles and spoke to hundreds of people at the conferences. Diane as a homeschool graduate and homeschooling mom was able to speak to and connect with folks and share the joys and practicalities of home education.

 

In Rome, Italy we spoke at a European Education Freedom and Homeschool Conference where we met many parents from across Italy. Although home education is legal in Italy the legal requirements can be very onerous for parents and the conference was a great opportunity for them to start discussions on the start of a national home education organization. In Hungary we participated and manned a homeschool booth at the World Congress of Families Conference. This is a huge pro-family, pro-life event with over 1,000 participants. We were able to meet with those interested in home education from Hungary as well as many other countries including Serbia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and France, to name a few.

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Next we travelled to Ukraine where we, together with a Ukrainian veteran homeschool couple, delivered the first ever homeschool conference in Ukraine. We had a lot of interest with 26 people attending. It was great to meet and interact with the homeschoolers of Ukraine and those interested in starting to homeschool. Passing on Christian family values to their children through homeschooling really interested them. We have already been asked to come back to speak in several cities across Ukraine. We spent time learning about Christian Camping in Ukraine as we were hosted and stayed at the Christian Camping International Ukraine Office in Kiev. The Lord is doing exciting things in camps across Ukraine.

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The last stop on our journey was a a marathon of conferences in two different cities in Belarus.(above picture are the attendees in Minsk area conference) Belarus is right beside Russia to the north of Ukraine and remains a communist dictatorship that is more soviet than Russia. In addition to being in Minsk we traveled to the south of the country and spoke in the city of Gomel which is close to Chernobyl in Ukraine. Then we headed back after the evening session to Minsk (over 4 hour hour drive) and did a full day session the next morning. We had a total of over 60 participants in Belarus with a lot of interest in home education. Although there are very few people currently home education in Belarus, we met one family who have home educated for several years already. We spoke about home education, but also about Christian parenting and discipling our children. It was a great time of fellowship and sharing. The folks in Belarus want to arrange a bigger conference for next spring, so we will likely have this in our plans.

 

It was an amazing trip and we were so honored to share our homeschool stories. So many families said the information we shared was completely new to them and they wanted to hear more. They had so many questions and God, through us, provided the answers about how to integrate education to all parts of life (Gerald turned a question about teaching children where meat comes when he talked about raising chickens into a lesson on teaching salvation). Please pray for the families considering homeschooling, and starting homeschooling, in Europe as they have a lot of opposition and it’s always hard to be “the first ones”.

Diane also has a blog for this mission, to access it see the following link dianekroeker.wordpress.com

Homeschool Field Trip – Exchange District in Winnipeg

Homeschool Field Trip – Exchange District in Winnipeg

By  Teresa Bergsma

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Our homeschool group recently had an opportunity to enjoy a guided walking tour of the Eastern Exchange District in downtown Winnipeg. This National Historic Site features an exceptional collection of heritage buildings built between 1880 and 1920. Nicknamed the “Chicago of the North”, the Exchange features massive stone and brick warehouses, elegant terracotta-clad buildings, narrow angled streets as well as cobblestone paths and alleyways.  A very friendly and knowledgeable young lady took us down the streets to some of this beautiful architecture. The stone buildings with numerous floors were  a mixture of warehouse, retail, and apartment block structures built in the early 1900s. During that time Winnipeg was the Gateway to the west and had a robust economy.  We stopped regularly at different sites to hear Winnipeg history.  

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We heard about the wealth of the turn of the century banks, the vibrant Grain Exchange and how the Winnipeg strike in 1919 shaped the Labor movement in Canada for generations to come.  We also heard about the numerous fires that would flow through the buildings and the primitive way they battled with the flames in early days.

The walk was not long or strenuous, and our tour guide kept our interest with lively stories of long ago.   Our group enjoyed this outing and we would recommend it to others.  It was about 1 1/2 hours long and the price is very reasonable.

For more information see: https://www.exchangedistrict.org/tours/historic-walking-tours/

 

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5 ways to maintain a homeschooling mentality after graduation

 

By Isaac Mogilevsky

 

  1. Think with creativity, originality, and “outside the box.”

 

Throughout my homeschooling journey, I was constantly encouraged and given opportunities to think creatively. This was especially important as I developed my problem solving skills. The ability to step outside a situation and evaluated it with a thinking “outside the box” mentality is rare in our conventional thinking society. After graduation, I encourage you to continue to step outside of a situation and think with creativity, originality, and an “outside the box” mentality.  

       

2. Pursue your interests

 

One of the great benefits in homeschooling is the ability to go beyond surface level knowledge of a subject, to dig deeper into what interests us. Going deeper into your interests lead to excellence as your giftedness and talents are fully expressed.  After graduation, continue to pursue your interests with passion.

 

3. Take advantage of flexibility and live with spontaneity

 

I can remember multiple occasions in which I would look outside on a cold winter’s day and see 2 feet of snow. At the sight of this snow, I immediately would become very excited. My mother would let us leave our “seat work” for the morning in order that we would be able to play in the snow. Even after graduation, take advantage when you have some flexibility in your life. Furthermore, taking an opportunity to be spontaneous will continue to add excitement to your life.   

 

4. Look at problems as opportunities to grow

 

Homeschooling provided no shortage of problems. However, being around your family constantly has glorious benefits. One of those benefits is that every problem that we face can be used to develop our character and grow as people. This thought should certainly not stop after graduation. In fact, I believe this time of live  is the perfect opportunity to continue to look at problems as opportunities to grow.

 

5. Continue to live in Christ-centred community

 

Another amazing aspect of homeschooling is that we were a part of a Christ-centered community. This God-given gift of community encourages us, sanctifies us, and loves us.

After graduation, it can be difficult to find this community. If you are a homeschool alumni looking for community, I would encourage you to check out the “Christian Homeschool Alumni Network;” otherwise, known as “CHAN.”

 

Mission Statement

CHAN exists to provide opportunities for like-minded Christian Homeschool alumni in Manitoba to fellowship in a casual group environment through activity’s, meals, group study and great conversation with the goal of building relationships and strengthening friendships. CHAN is specifically geared for young adult Christian Homeschool alumni.

If you are interested in getting involved, you can join our Facebook group, go to our website, like our Facebook page, and/or  join our emailing list!

Join the Facebook group    

Check out our website

Join our email list by emailing: [email protected]

 

Isaac is a homeschool alumnus, blogger for thedailydisciple.blog, Personality on libertyfilm.org, and head coordinator of the Christian Homeschool Alumni Network (CHAN). Isaac has a great passion to serve the Homeschool and Christian community through his platforms.  

2017 MACHS Homeschool Conference in Pictures

Briefing the volunteers Friday morning.01-2017

Browsing the Exhibit Hall.08-2017

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Eating lunch in the hallway…07-2017…and in Room 5…30-2017…and in Room 130.26-2017

Teen Track with Daniel Craig.06-2017Can you spot yourself?03-2017

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Engaging Workshops.21-2017

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Friday Evening Keynote with Heidi St. John.18-201732-2017

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Alumni photo on Saturday – Graduates, come to next year’s!25-2017

Hiedi St. John was great!

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Thanking Gerald and Bev Huebner for 30 years of service to MACHS.20-2017

The Conference Committee.23-2017

Biggest Grad Recognition ever!24-2017

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Conference Committee debrief over supper.16-2017

Thanks everyone for a great conference!

Looking forward to 2018 with Steve Demme at Victoria Inn!