Tag Archives: skating

Homeschooling in the winter – Yukon style


We live in the Yukon, which means that in any given year winter can go from mid September until mid May… That’s 8 months or 8/12ths of the year or 66% of the year – ACK!

Last year we dealt with homeschooling during the winter by intentionally running away and it was GREAT. We travelled for 8 months and had a life of adventure that did not involve snow, other than a few incidental days. The ability to be outside most days is definitely a positive influencer on homeschooling options and our state of mind…

This year Hunter claimed that winter is his favourite season and he absolutely had to stay home to hang out with friends and snowboard. We, the silly parents, agreed (never again does he get a trump vote!).

While we have sprinkled our winter with intermittent adventures like heading to Tofino for Thanksgiving, Mexico and Houston for American Thanksgiving, Ecuador for New Years and California for spring break, we still find ourselves spending a decent amount of time here during a Yukon winter, which is challenging…

beautiful backdrop

beautiful backdrop

The saviour of our sanity is the local homeschool association – the Yukon Home Educators Society. Thanks to the efforts of these passionate parents, we have a broad array of programming, with something going on every week. This allows us to build a strong community and create connections – both for the kids and the parents.

first carving class

first carving class

Through out the winter we have group skating, dance, gymnastics and various arts programs. This year a small group of kids have started a first nations carving class that will run all winter long.

pre-season opening day

Mount Sima

We have also bought season passes to Mount Sima (our local ski hill) to help ensure that we get out and play as much as possible, even when it does feel cold and yucky. Hunter is taking part in a snowboarding program for kids each Saturday and this again forces us to ensure we engage with winter, whether we want to or not.

Making the most of what’s in front of us…

IMG_0406The last few months have been a learning experience for our house. Tim and I have learned that it was not our best parenting moment when we decided to stay home this winter because Hunter wanted to… WHAT WERE WE THINKING???  Who gives their kid the trump vote?? Hunter, who proudly claims that winter is his favourite season, doesn’t understand why we are not as thrilled as him when we wake up every day to a wintery world outside.

Since we are here, and winter won’t be leaving any time soon, we are trying to make the most of it… We hit preseason snowboarding at Mt. Sima in November, where they did a very impressive job building a terrain park on the bunny hill. We’ve never seen that many people on the rope tow! Tim and I have opted to go hiking instead of hanging with the mob of youth on the hill.

We skate with the Homeschool group for 90 minutes every Thursday and there are a core group of kids, Hunter included, that play an ongoing shinny game for the full 90 minutes. This has become Hunter’s new passion and we are often also at the rink on Wednesday afternoons for public drop in. The best part is that it runs from 3:00 – 4:15 so we often have the ice to ourselves!

We participated in speed skating lessons in November as part of a home school program with the local speed skating club. It was a fun learning experience for all of us and motivated Hunter to learn the skill of cross-overs.

We’ve had fun getting out on a local lake a few times with friends and playing boot hockey. The temperatures have been unseasonably warm (-5c to -10c) and that makes it much more fun to run around for hours outside. As part of Hunter’s new found passion, he’s the first on the ice and the last off.

This week Hunter started a carving class with the Northern Expressions Carving Studio. This is another homeschool program that we decided to organize based on the fun we had carving this summer. Day one was all about learning to draw the core first nation shapes. Eventually the kids will create paddles, bowls and inlaid plaques.

While it’s definitely not life at the beach with some surfing and biking sprinkled throughout the day, we are doing our best to be accountable for our own happiness and make active choices every day. I won’t pretend that it’s easy… it’s a conscious challenge that we are invested in!