We are a Christian support group of homeschooling parents who meet monthly in the Burnaby, B.C. area to encourage each other, share information and resources, and learn new ways to help our children learn. Our meetings are generally held on the first Monday of each month (September to June). Check the Calendar to see when our next meeting is due. Anyone is welcome and these meetings are usually free, however, certain presentations may incur a small registration fee for non-members (refundable if you decide to join!). Whether you're an experienced home learning family or just thinking about it, this is the group for you! Our members are from Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster and other communities of Greater Vancouver. If you decide to join the group, the $35.00 annual membership fee will give you access to our great library, specially organised field trips, annual activities and free monthly meetings. If you still have questions at the end of a New Life meeting, or just want some social time, just plan to stay later after the meeting. It's a good time for us to get to know each other as people, not just parents!


Please take time to browse our website and our events Calendar. For general homeschooling info for B.C., see our Teaching Options or check out the B.C. Home Educators' Association.

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What plans do you have for the summer as a homeschooling family?

TOPIC: I would really like to know what people do for the summer. How do they schedule, do they take a complete break, or only from some things? Do they find any disadvantages to the kids by taking a full summer break? ANSWERS: We have traditionally taken a full summer break, but... this year I am hoping to focus on very deliberate, yet fun, focused learning through life experiences rather than just a lazy summer. We will definitely keep going with devotions and character building. I am also hoping to do some sort of math drill practice at least a few times a month so as to keep that left side of the brain going and not lose those skills. Previously we have taken a break over the summer and 1. it doesn't make sense, life goes on, so why should the learning stop? 2. starting again in September can be such a grind after coming to a complete halt 3. the summer offers so many rich learning opportunities so we will enjoy those ------- I usually schedule a week of swimming lessons in July and a week of another type of camp in August - we have done sailing at Jericho beach, and horseback riding on the North shore. We usually have 2 weeks of holidays, so that leaves 4 weeks of lazy days. My daughter may do a little catch up if something is behind... Last summer it was math, and I usually have a couple of good books for her to read. There are lots of 'day' camps in different areas for an amazing array of... read more

How do you develop an appreciation for nature?

TOPIC: What do you do to develop an appreciation of nature and the outdoors in your family? Are there any activities you particularly enjoy? What resources have you found most helpful? Any other tips you have for other homeschooling families? ANSWERS: I remember a time when on our nature walk we "collected words". We had a notebook in which we jotted down phrases that came to mind - for example, "waters sparkling like diamonds", or "ducks squawking", or... Then we went home and created a free verse poem with our words. Our efforts were collective and we were all quite happy with the result. Another time we brought home leaves and sticks and moss and used them to create a 3D collage of what we saw. I love the times we take our books to a park and hang out in the great outdoors. Of course just playing and being in nature is good and we enjoy gardening and feeding the birds in our own back yard. ------- We love to go for walks through forested parks. We take our time pointing out interesting plants, birds etc. along the way. Many times we bring home leaves, cones, and mushrooms to see what they are using our field guides. We also keep our bird field guide handy so whenever an unusual bird appears in our yard we can find out what it is. After we identify the bird, we use http://AllAboutBirds.org to hear the birds song, see where it lives, migration habits and similar birds. We LOVE that website. Also, http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com has a wealth of ideas for nature study. There... read more

What are your Christmas traditions?

TOPIC: What are your best tips for homeschooling in December? What Christmas resources have helped you most both as a homeschooler and as a Christian family? What is your favourite Christmas tradition? What are you most looking forward to doing or focusing on this Christmas? Are you trying any new traditions this year? ANSWERS: Generally we don’t homeschool in December as the season is too busy and stressful, but this year, thanks to the suggestion of a friend, we’re going to adopt a country (Germany), and study and do their Christmas traditions so that we can tie school in. We’re learning about Martin Luther as he was the one who started a lot of the German traditions. We’re also reading "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, as well as a Dickens biography. ------- Here are some resources and traditions that my family has enjoyed during Advent. Reading together -- "Jotham's Journey" by Arnold Ytreeide is a fictional story set at the time of Jesus birth which is meant to be read one short chapter a night during Advent. "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is a good family read, probably for grade 4 or 5 and up. While not a story about the birth of Jesus, it is a story about values and priorities. "The Family Under the Bridge" is a great read for younger children (I think it is in the Sonlight grade 1 read aloud list). It is about a homeless family in Paris. Advent Wreath -- We always make an advent wreath. Every Sunday we light another candle and have a family devotional. Singing -- We... read more


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