If there’s one thing that homeschooling parents understand, it’s that a great education can happen anywhere at anytime. While kids attending a physical school often suffer from the summer slump, many home educated students continue to learn throughout the hot months. If your avid learner has you searching for any and every learning opportunity, here are some ideas for incorporating Canada Day into your plan!
Science. The topic of Canada offers a ton of great discussion for ecology, biology, and geology.
Together with your student, you can study how growing cities have disrupted ecosystems in Canada. For example, as we’ve settled across the Great White North, people have killed the vast majority of apex predators (wolves, bears, cougars, etc). This has left a food-chain vacuum that is now being filled by mesopredators (raccoons, coyotes, foxes, etc). How have these changes affected other species? How has the human-mesopredator interaction changed as their population has grown?
Cross Curriculum Idea: have your student choose their favourite Canadian animal and write a research essay on the species.
Social. Canada Day brings up many great questions for history and geography.
You and your student can discuss when Canada really began to exist. Was it during the British Provincial days of Upper Canada and Lower Canada? After confederation in 1867? After the First World War when Britain stopped setting Canada’s foreign and defence policies? You can explore how legal borders have shaped Canada’s nation-state identity and ask how the invisible line between our country and our southern neighbour affects indigenous communities whose traditional territories were undivided by the 49th parallel.
Cross Curriculum Idea: why not take a look at the animals and plants whose natural habitat is along the American-Canadian border? Your student should quickly realize that the ecosystems and natural world don’t change just because people create a political boundary. What does this suggest would happen to the animals if people were to build physical walls instead of invisible borders?
Math. Besides the option of subtracting beavers and counting moose for the younger crowd, Canada Day also presents an opportunity to work on graphing and statistics.
Research and graph how have the demographics of Canada changed over the years. Has the number of young people to older people changed since 1867? How about the number of visible minorities? Has the indigenous population changes mirrored the changes in settler-populations?
Cross Curriculum Idea: Compare and contrast these population statistics and discuss what’s changed culturally in Canada to facilitate the difference between 1867, 1943, and 2018.
English. One of the best ways to celebrate Canada Day is to read some Canadian literature! For younger kids, Jacob-Two-Two may be a fun option. These short novels were written by Montreal author Mordecai Richler. For a slightly older crowd, The Dear Canada series offers a fun blend of real Canadian history in the form of fictional memoirs that are perfect for young teens. I Am Canada is an equivalent series with male protagonists.
An interesting cross curriculum idea may be to read Canadian literature from the past. Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908, is a Canadian classic written by Lucy Maud Montgomery and taking place in 1876, the era of Lucy’s childhood. Reading fiction from over 100 years ago can bring the past to life in a way that non-fiction may fail. Your student can examine the challenges Anne faces and discuss how her problems differ from their own.
One of the best things about home education is your family’s ability to draw on what is happening in the real world. If you’d like more support and ideas for providing your student(s) with a fantastic homeschooling experience, we welcome you to contact The Centre for Learning @ Home today at (403) 938-4119.