There’s no national Canadian curriculum to follow. Provincial governments are responsible for establishing their own common curriculum. Having said that, Provinces and Territories are not far off from one another when it comes to creating their curriculums. That’s because ministries of education across Canada are part of what’s called the Council of Ministers Education, Canada – or CMEC. The CMEC works to establish best practices that are then followed by each Province. Thanks to this collaboration, curriculums across Canada are very similar to one another. So the short answer to this question is – it doesn’t really matter. When searching for Canadian Curriculum Books, there typically is no indication as to which Province those books are based out of, because there’s no need for it. Having said that, there are minor distinctions from one ministry to the next. For example, provinces can choose to incorporate elective subjects – but, it’s not mandatory under CMEC best practices.
Thanks to COVID, homeschooling has become more prevalent and parents are scrambling to provide their children with the best Canadian curriculum books available. Since we’ve established that the curriculum is ultimately the same nationwide, options open up as to which books to choose and what parents should look for. Use this guide to help you navigate the Canadian curriculum books landscape.
What to Look for in the Canadian Curriculum for Language Studies
When it comes to language studies, make sure the Canadian curriculum books you choose offer the following:
Practice, practice, practice! The key to mastering this portion of language studies is…you guessed it – Practice! Look for workbooks that offer your child daily writing work that also ties into different kinds of writing skills – both print and cursive. You might think, “but why cursive? Everything is turning digital these days, what’s the point?” Well, cursive has been proven to improve brain development in working memory, language, and thinking. So there, cursive is still in play! For older kids, book reports are also a great way to practice writing skills. For younger children, look for a good mix of tracing and print/cursive to help them pick up the skill faster.
Verb tenses, punctuation, parts of speech – these are just a few key skills in grammar that students need to memorize and master. That said, grammar lessons should be included in the Canadian curriculum books you choose. Children in higher grade levels should also be able to come up with essays and write longer pieces. Of course, they must do this while using the right grammar rules. Look for Canadian curriculum books that have activities such as ‘Making Nouns Plural’ and ‘Adjectives Before and After Nouns’, along with other activities.
The road to becoming more fluent and coherent in any type of communication involves vocabulary. Canadian curriculum books for language studies should include learning more vocabulary words. Additionally, there should be exercises to master their use. Younger children should practice 2 and 3 letter words, moving onto 4 and 5 letter words. Word families come in handy here as well. Older kids would need to use newly learned vocabulary in sentences with proper context, etc. You’ll find the essentials in Canadian curriculum books, just ensure that daily practice is covered.
The only specific, well thought out plan, needed when it comes to language studies, is making sure you’re following a set of Canadian curriculum books. Choose books that increase in difficulty incrementally. Moving from one group of books to another may throw your child’s learning into a frenzy. Be sure to choose the right group from the get-go and stick with it. If you find that it’s not working for you, or not what you thought it would be, make a complete switch to another set.
Another very important factor is assessing your child’s language skills first and foremost. Providing your child with workbooks that are too difficult may hinder their interest in learning.
Tips for More Effective Language Learning
Let’s be honest. Homeschooling can be super demanding. Parents already have a lot on their plates. You want to choose workbooks that are going to allow your child(ren) to be more independent. The happiest homeschooling parents are the ones that are able to leave even their youngest of children with independent workbooks that are engaging enough to keep their kids interested. Because, let’s face it, too much screen time is bad for kids – even if it’s all educational material.
So when it comes to effective learning, take independence into consideration as well. Oh – and limited screen time. This is critical to choosing the right Canadian curriculum books.
Check out these techniques for independent – no-screen-time – learning.
1. Take 20
Choose the pages you want your child to focus on and lay them out on the table. Go through them one by one. Read the instructions, ask them if they know what to do, and if possible, have them complete one small portion of the page verbally with you to solidify their understanding. This is mostly for younger kids but can work with older kids who could use the help as well. Lastly, give them a simple activity, like a coloring printout or book, and instruct them to work on that if they get stuck and don’t know what to do.
That will give you ample time to work, relax, do house chores, or anything else – and you can pop in for help when you’re free. There are Canadian curriculum books that help with this.
Remember when we mentioned repetition above? Provide your child with similar tasks at the same time. At least 10-15 minutes of Language studies daily, for example. Working on the same activities will provide them with the practice they need and give you the space you need. One of the key learning methods is repetition. It’s through patient practice, over and over again, that will make the lessons stick. By the end of the week, you can try giving some exercises or activities that will jog their memory of previous lessons. This will ensure that the information is stored and understood.
3. Read more
Encourage your child to read more. The best way to do this is to read to them more. Take 20 minutes out of your evening to pick a book you’ll both enjoy. This will enhance your child’s skills and give you both some well needed bonding time.
The Canadian curriculum is pretty much the same across both Provinces and Territories. So you have so many options for Canadian curriculum books, which is both exciting and overwhelming. However, knowing what you know now in terms of what to look for in the right Canadian curriculum books for your child(ren), it should make the selection a lot easier to make. Best of luck to all the parents new to homeschooling and we hope this piece has helped make it just a little bit easier.