About, FAQ & Registration

The Program

The Vancouver Home Learners’ Program, housed at Lord Beaconsfield Elementary School, 3663 Penticton St., Vancouver, incorporates grades Kindergarten through 7.  The Program welcomes families who are looking for a balance between full time home schooling and structured classroom learning for their children who are self-motivated, independent learners.   It should be noted that the Home Learner program is a boisterous, high-energy program. Students typically work on projects, in teams and in multi-aged groupings.   Students in our program are typically intrinsically motivated to learn and are very much self-directed learners who require less, rather than more support and direction in their daily activities.

Each child, in collaboration with her or his parent/guardian and teacher develops an individual Student Learning Plan which forms the goals and objectives for the child’s learning year.

Children are invited to attend their optional two days of programming each week:  Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for Grades K through 2, or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for Grades 3 to  7 .    Programs vary by semester and include such things as Gardening, Medieval Times, Global Learning, Science, Conservation, Robotics, Gym, Art, Language Arts, Book Making, Bowling, Skating, Badminton, Quilting, Languages and Music.  The emphasis is on hands-on, experiential learning and project-based learning.

In a nutshell, the Vancouver Home Learners’ Program is not a Home Schooling program where one might register then pursue their own path – the Ministry of BC curriculum must be met for each student registered in our program. In the Home Learner’s Program,  a high degree of parent participation in the student’s learning, and collaboration with your teacher is expected.  Student attendance on their two days/week is expected also.

****Please Note:  As the School Board is still finalizing budget decisions for the upcoming school year, we are not returning inquiry calls until we are able to provide definitive answers.  If you are interested in the program, fill out a registration form and submit it to the school office to place yourself on the waitlist.  You will be contacted once things are determined.****

FAQ

I am interested in your program.  May I drop-in to observe?

No.  Due to the nature of the program, and the high volume of requests we receive, we cannot accommodate observations or meetings to drop by the program.  However, for families interested in enrolling their child for Kindergarten, we do offer the ‘Welcome to Kindergarten’ afternoon every year in May.  Please call the Beaconsfield office to register for this event. The office number is 604-713-4605.

What days would my child attend?

For the 2015/2016 school year, Kindergarten to Grade 2’s attend on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Grade 3’s to Grade 7’s attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

What does a typical day in the classroom look like?

The Home Learner program is a boisterous, high-energy program, focusing on hands-on, experiential, multi-modal learning. Students are encouraged to work with peers and/or on teams to enhance their learning.  Being a multi-aged program, students also learn to work with and help others. Frequent field trips enhance the experiential learning experience for the students.

You cover the curriculum, so I don’t have to, right?

No.  It is expected that parents/guardians cover learning outcomes at home with their children.  While our programs are cross-curricular and do align with the BC curriculum, they cannot be expected to cover all areas for all grades and subjects.

Student Learning  Plans

Student learning for the year is planned out in a three-way collaboration between the student, parent and teacher at the beginning of the school year, or upon entry to the program.  This ensures that your child’s learning plan is unique to her or his learning needs and interests.  Student Learning Plans are dynamic, living documents that may grow and develop with your student.

When is the deadline for registration?

There is currently a waiting list for possible registration.  However, please come in and register for the waiting list ASAP as that is the only way we can plan for the upcoming school year and staffing.

How do I register? 

You can pick up a registration form from the Lord Beaconsfield office Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., September through June. You can bring the form home to complete it, or you can complete it at the school.  You will need to bring in your child’s birth certificate, proof of residency (rental agreement, tax assessment), and immunization record, if you have one, for your child’s registration to be complete.  Registrations are dated and processed only when they are completed and the above noted documents have been brought in to the office.

If you wish to complete a registration form and have everything ready to go to register for our program, you may obtain and complete a registration form here:

http://www.vsb.bc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/VSB_Student_App_Schools_Nov2011.pdf

Do you have spaces available?

We currently have a waiting list for the first available openings for the 2016/17 school year.

Do I need to use certain curricular material ?

You can chose any curriculum/materials that work best for your child.  The teachers are here to help guide you in your decisions regarding materials if you wish and are familiar with most of the programs and materials available.  The idea is that children achieve the outcomes for their grade levels, therefore, there is ultimate flexibility in how that is achieved.

Is there homework?

Occasionally, assignments or activities will be sent home with children to augment the learning and exploration that is happening in the program at that time.  For example, during our study of Space, children were tasked with recording the phases of the moon for one month.

Is attendance mandatory?

No, attendance is not mandatory.  Most students chose to participate two days a week, but some participate one day or one morning or just on field trips. Some families travel during the school year also, which is perfectly fine.  The only aspects that are mandatory are:  1.   The “activation assignment” when students first register. This is mandated by the ministry and is an assignment the teachers design for the students to get them started on their learning journey for the school year.  2.  Three portfolio meetings a year with the student/parents to share with the teacher what the student has been learning.