Our family began our homeschooling journey just after my daughter’s fourth birthday. What
began as a means to prepare our children for school soon became an instrument to prepareour children for life. Our daughter, Faith, is now 14, and our son, Caleb, is almost 12. Weare so thankful to God for gently leading us into homeschooling, which has allowed us totruly walk alongside our children as God directs their paths.
One of the challenges we encountered early in our homeschooling came as a result of purchasing much of our curriculum from U.S. suppliers. Some of the issues were easilyrectified. Canadian play money from a game supplier was substituted for the Americanmoney in our math manipulatives. Metric workbooks replaced the Imperial measurementlessons. Spelling words such as
were effortlessly changed to
Particularly challenging were the history lessons. Many of the language arts programsincluded books that introduced U.S. history. If a book about George Washington wassuggested, should we replace it with one about Sir John A. Macdonald? Should we readboth? Was there a way to combine the two histories?
With a little research, I found some resources that worked for our family. For the most part,when a schoolbook that dealt with U.S. history was introduced in a language arts program,we read it. Many of the grammar, spelling, and writing activities referred to those books, so
we left them in the program. The extra information about another country’s history proved
to be interesting for our children.I was thrilled to learn that
had Canadian pages at
.This website had many resources that helpedme to design our own Canadian history studies. Other resources we used were books byDonna Ward, including
Courage and Conquest: Discovering Canadian History
Because of our close proximity to the U.S., what I really wanted was a way to combineCanadian and U.S. history into one story. What was going on in the U.S when Canadabecame a country in 1867? Why did so many Loyalists leave the U.S. and settle in Canada?To what location were the French settlers from Nova Scotia taken during the expulsion of the Acadians? I found an out-of-
print set of two books published in 1967, George Brown’s
Canada in North America,
Volumes 1 and 2. This set of books brought the histories of thetwo nations together into one, and they became the spine of our history studies. Anunderstanding of the conflicts between England and France was also important to complete
my children’s understanding of our country’s history and unique identity.
The War of 1812 was especially interesting to study from both a Canadian and Americanperspective. Because of the fact that no borders moved at the end of the war, and due tothe indecisive way in which the war ended, there were times when it seemed that Canadianhistory books and American history books were describing two different wars! In the end,this war did promote unity among the inhabitants of Canada. It brought the English, French,