Welcome to the North Shore Home Learners Group Website!
If you would like to become a member of the NSHLG, (North Shore Homelearners Group in Vancouver, Canada) we ask that you come to a meeting or a group event/activity first to meet the other members of our group, before we add your name to our email list.
On our group email list, members can share information about activities and events, connect with one another, ask questions about home learning, and have supportive conversations about homeschooling, home learning, unschooling, deschooling, parenting, fabulous resources... and so on!
If you are a parent interested in homeschooling, in the North Shore area, please contact us at [email protected]
If you are a service provider interestested in promoting your academic class, sport group or field trips to our memebers, please contact us at [email protected]
Please be aware that we have implemented a yearly $25 membership fee, paid when you sign up, as well as each September.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the NSHLG?
North Shore Home Learner’s Group is a parent support group for home learning families who live on or near the North Shore of Vancouver. We welcome registered and enrolled home learning families of all kinds, knowing that families choose to educate their children at home for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. We communicate through a group email list and host parent support meetings throughout the school year. At key times in the year, we host special meetings for new and inquiring parents to answer questions about beginning the homeschool journey.
2. How can I join the NSHLG email list?
To join the list, you must be a parent/guardian/caregiver to a home educated child and live on or near the North Shore. Some past home learning families also choose to keep in touch with our community by renewing their annual membership. We ask to meet you in person or speak with you in depth by phone or video call to ensure the safety of our email correspondence and the integrity of our group. New parents can send inquiries to [email protected]. Parents must identify themselves in our email directory by first and last name and we encourage you to add your photo and a family description to your profile to foster depth of community.
3. What does the email list offer?
As well as receiving email postings from group members, access to the email list allows you to view our group calendar of events (and see the calendar history), view our shared files (including minutes from past parent meetings), and edit wiki files (like our home learning resources list). You can also look up members in the group directory and contact individuals directly by email. Your subscription to the email list can be personalised to your specifications (such as muting emails while on vacation or receiving emails as a daily digest). You can search the group messages by keyword or hashtag to find notices you have missed or to see the history of discussion on a topic.
4. What activities, classes, or field trips are available for home learning families?
All activities are run by parent volunteers who choose to organise events for their own families and for the good of the wider North Shore home learning community. Parents who want to form a class, event or field trip are welcome to gather a group through the email list and arrange details and payments amongst themselves. Using e-transfer to collect fees and using payment to confirm a spot in a program can be good practices for parent organisers. In general, children remain under the supervision of the parent/guardian (unless arrangements are made otherwise with a coach or instructor). In the past, NSHLG members have organised many sport groups (ultimate frisbee, swimming lessons, gymnastics, soccer, fencing, etc), academic classes (science, art, public speaking, computer coding, etc), and field trips (Pumpkin Patch, Science World, Fort Langley, etc). Large-group events have included the Not-Going-Back-to-School Picnic, History Fair, Handmade Fair, Christmas Party, Family Square Dance, Science Fair, Sports Day and Year-End Showcase.
5. How much does membership cost? How are the fees put to use?
In a typical year, the fee to join the email list is $25 per family. This year, the fee has been reduced to $15 (see details below). This fee covers room/park rentals for large events, insurance, party supplies and prizes, and fees for digital storage and communication (Zoom). The fees are due each year (usually by October 15) and members who do not renew will be removed from the list. Members must also agree with and abide by our Email Etiquette Guidelines.
6. Who moderates the NSHLG email list?
The group is self-moderated according to the Etiquette Guidelines. Most questions can be easily answered by searching past email topics, emailing the group, or by attending a parent support meeting. Occasionally, a member can direct a question to [email protected] for discussion of a difficult or sensitive topic.
7. Will you teach my child or supervise my child’s learning?
No, the responsibility of home education falls to parents. NSHLG is a parent support network where many parents find encouragment, ideas and community but we are not able to teach or supervise your child. Many families choose to enrol with a Distributed Learning school and enlist the support of a teacher and gain access to specific services and funding offered by schools. Various public and private distributed learning schools offer teacher guidance and evaluation, loan materials or host classes, offer day programs or online classes and organise field trips. Other families choose to be registered homeschoolers and take sole responsibility for creating the education they want for their children.
8. Will you help my child find a friendship group?
Many families do find friendships for both parents and children by taking part in the events that parents organise for our group. Often, though, finding friendship and community takes time and depends on seeking out families with similar values and interests. If you don’t find activities that appeal to your kids, use the email group to start up a new class, or initiate a new event where friendships can flourish.
9. How has Covid-19 impacted the NSHLG?
This year we cannot organise large group events. In past years, parent volunteers have organized events open to the whole group such as a History Fair, Science Fair, Craft Fair, Christmas Party, Square Dance, Sports Day and Year-End Showcase. Many smaller, outdoor events can still run and many parents are finding creative ways to meet in smaller groups, host events online and plan field trips and activities outdoors. We predict a lower cost for venue rentals, so for the 2020/21 school year, we have reduced the membership fee to $15. We are still looking for volunteers to adapt the science and history fairs so they can run under the current restrictions.
10. Are there additional support groups for parents of home learners?
Yes. The Greater Vancouver Home Learners website lists many additional service providers, classes, and field trips for home learning families. You can join their email list or Facebook group to find out more about what is happening in the region. The BC Home Educator's Association advocates for parent's rights to educate their children at home in BC with minimal government intervention. Their website contains much valualbe information for new home learning families.