Sudbury

N.Ont homeschoolers to network at Sault convention

It's out of the house — and into a convention space — for many homeschooling families on Saturday, as they take part in the first-ever Northern Ontario Homeschool Convention in Sault Ste. Marie.

Participants hope to make first-ever gathering an annual event for homeschoolers

It's out of the house — and into a convention space — for many homeschooling families on Saturday, as they take part in the first-ever Northern Ontario Homeschool Convention in Sault Ste. Marie.

Susanne Anderson helped to plan the event that she says is not just for homeschooling parents.

"We do have people that are interested in homeschooling but are not sure where to start, so this is a good place for them to come and hear from other people that were homeschooled, so it will be quite informative," she said.

Anderson said the day will also be a good opportunity to network and hear about everything from planning a curriculum to how homeschooling can affect marriage. Organizers hope to attract about 100 people from across the region.

Nice to meet 'in person'

Amber Flinn, who is also one of the convention's organizers, has homeschooled her two children for almost four years.

"In northern Ontario you're sort of isolated from the larger pictures," Flinn said. "So I thought it would be a really great idea if we could just get together and try and make something that was easier for people to see what's available for people to use in their home school."

Anderson and her husband have been homeschooling their 10 and eight-year-old children since junior kindergarten.

"It is important for people to get together to … learn and bounce things off each other," Anderson said. "There's a group of us on Facebook, but it's nice to meet them in person."

Flinn said she hopes this year's convention will be the start of an annual gathering of homeschooling parents in the north.

The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents reports that about 20,000 students are homeschooled in Ontario — part of the 60,000 students who are homeschooled across Canada.

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