© 2017 Peppermint Stick Learning Company Inc. All rights reserved.
“...lessons that stick with a refreshing touch of sweetness.”
This page and its related downloads are under construction; hopefully very soon completed.
The type of curriculum you use DOES make a difference! We have continued to find this out over the years.
Features we like:
· Academic—While we do not stand behind all opinions/perspectives/views, methods, or activities taught within the current public school system, as Christians and Canadian citizens who are responsible for educating children how to live in 21st century society with Biblical values, we do uphold the overall skill-levels and general topics of study that are in our government standards. We try to meet or exceed them, not fall behind. Today, there are still some good teachers in the public school system however, they face increasing pressures to provide a very different education than previous generations. And they often struggle to have the classroom time to teach high enough standards, which shows up in testing scores, student insights on their day’s work, need for homework tutored by parents in the evenings, and secondary school classes where many students struggle to remember what should be well remembered by that stage. Because the public school system has changed to be so different in its focus and time management, we and a number of other parents, have found it much easier and more effective to meet (and exceed) Canadian standards and better prepare our children for life beyond the elementary years by home schooling them.
· Canadian students should have a strong Canadian focus in their curriculum, even though there are useful resources from some non-Canadian curriculum publishers.
· Effective for Wide-Use and Fun—Interesting to learn by students of all learning styles—we like methods that incorporate a variety of ways of teaching the content (visual, auditory, hands-on) rather than just one style.
· Flexibility—lessons or units often can be rearranged if desired (not a rigid sequence)
· Meaningful words—students should be able to understand what to do without having a parent to look it up every time in a manual. We also avoid wordy lessons and try to keep it short and sweet.
· Practical and Meaningful—academic learning should provide knowledge and skills that are of present interest and future practical use for the students, and avoid the large amounts of entertaining trivia (“trivial”), busywork, boring drills, dull discussions, or other wasteful distractions from learning valuable good stuff.
· Organized into unit chunks and subjects—PSLC curriculum saves time and organizes relevant material into bite-sized chunks at the student’s level so that a busy mom’s day can run smoother and so that children feel a sense of accomplishing something of worth and grow in wisdom.
· Teacher-friendly/Mom-friendly—prep and demos kept to a minimum; independent student learning is encouraged under guidance of teacher; some of our resources are either printable books on disc (for you to print) or printed books that are sold hole-punched and unbound so that moms like me can put the resource in a binder as the “spine” of the coursework but add other tidbits from the internet or other teaching resources or activity ideas or colouring pages in WHERE it fits and can supplement the specific lesson topic; yet PSLC lessons are relatively complete for guidance on their own—one of my “pet peeves” is finding learning gaps/missing lessons in a teaching resource so I do try to write curriculum that covers the topics and skills sufficiently. The methods we like have been successful in classroom and home education settings since the 1950’s/60’s in Canada or have been ideas from our favourite teachers in the 1980’s, or creative but effective ideas that pop into the minds of Poppy or Peppy or our children!
· Mom-tested—Some moms who have liked our methods provided guidance for only one child; others have taught 2 children of “school-age” together and others such as myself, juggle care of babies or toddlers and multi-grades at the same time as sometimes house construction/renovations/packing/unpacking. It is curriculum that I find the easiest to use as a busy mom and I originally created it to be something that was doable AND enjoyable for the long term. It’s “simple”, “fun”, and “it works” to give your child a meaningful education and love of lifelong learning!
· “Kid-tested-and-approved”, AND yes, even longed for! We (the children and I) still “test” various curriculum from other publishers occasionally throughout the year and some become favourites while other stuff is rejected due to frustration or boredom. A common complaint in our household has been for many years that they want more “PSLC schoolwork” when they are on “school break” (e.g. Christmas holidays, fall or spring breaks, etc.) or want me to develop more curriculum for “their grade”. As a writer and illustrator, the “school breaks” we take in our family tends to be for my sake (so I can look after shopping needs, unpacking, or writing & drawing for their schoolwork—the “professional development” days at my computer and clipboard here at home). My children instead, do not want these breaks as much but would prefer to keep doing “school” if it is PSLC or a few other favourites that they are involved in. They are so eager to learn!
PSLC BUSINESS GOALS FOR THE FUTURE...
· We intend to remain a business where orders are handled by a real, live person. We have no plans to have a clicking method of automated ordering; people need people more than machines. We care about our customers! Please continue to e-mail, mail, or phone in your orders throughout the year or come visit us on at a special event when we prepare for “in-person shopping”.
Q: Can I see your products in-person at a home school conference near me? Do you travel? Would you speak at our home school group? Do you have a retail store?
A: We have enjoyed attending a number of home school conferences since 2008. Presently, we have chosen to step back from the travelling aspect of our business for this “season” of our lives and therefore, will not generally be attending future conferences for now. The reason for not attending conferences as vendors includes the difficulty of travel to such since we live in Central Ontario, too far from any of them for an easy trip. Our current responsibilities include caring for a number of children (baby to senior high) plus Joy’s elderly parents who now live with us, and finishing the construction of our house/property. For this season of life, we need to have a business that works “close to home”. We continue to sell across Canada and a growing percentage of sales are out-of-province. Although Joy has presented seminars about homeschooling, for now, this aspect has also been set aside for the same reasons as mentioned. Some past seminar handouts/teaching tips are available by e-mailing her.
If you are in the local area or expect to be for vacation… Our new location provides a greater opportunity to hold occasional “in-person sales” in our community in the future, perhaps beginning this year or next. Join our mailing list if you want to know when/where. (Please understand though, that Peppermint Stick Learning Company is still primarily a “home-based mail order business” and is not a retail store with regular hours.)
· Our focus will remain Canadian for Canadians, offering useful and meaningful lessons that are fun to teach and learn. Because we desire to bring honour to God in our product choices, we preview both secular and “Christian” resources for truthfulness and appropriateness for education that meets or exceeds Canadian standards; we search for the most helpful materials from various suppliers rather than offering a smorgasbord of anything available from them. We also aim for offering unique products that are different from most other educational supply companies or stores. These points will continue to strongly shape our business across Canada.
· Another goal is to provide more Bible-based products for our local community (however, not all of those products are listed in our catalogue).
· Finally, we began as a business that designs and publishes Canadian curriculum with the home school families in mind. So, we hope that more new resources will be published and some of the “older” ones, made into fresher editions. I am currently doing more writing and drawing for these projects. Two examples: Math Sticks 2 is our newest 1st edition release. The popular “Let Me Read” program is in the midst of becoming a second edition and expanded series with some updated graphics and styling with Step 1 for JK hopefully being printed this fall. Our “Pioneers in Upper Canada” was expanded into a 2nd edition too and published last summer (2016).
· The current catalogue is significantly smaller than those in recent years so that my extra time can go towards my publishing efforts. The disadvantage is that not all of the products we sell will be listed. Instead, only people who see our products in-person or ask specifically if we carry a certain item, will know about the non-catalogue items we sell. The teaching tips in the past catalogues will be added by many others in a future resource book. The advantage is that if our catalogue shrinks enough, we will strongly consider providing printed catalogues in 2017 or 2018 like we used to do and we know that many of our customers will be happy with that decision.
· Our newsletters are available to those on our e-mail or mailing list (not on our website at this point). They are not regular or often but I’m aiming to produce a few a year. They tell of any news or updates to what curriculum is being worked on, tips for teaching and home life, stories from what’s happening in our homeschool life, etc. To sign up, just ask to be put on the list by e-mailing us.
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canadian “Peppermint Stick” style includes some elements of various styles and avoids some other elements. It is unique and doesn’t fit exactly under any other “style/approach”. The chart below (downloadable in pdf format) gives comparisons to our unique style, in my opinion, based on general principles and typical understandings of a number of common home schooling styles. (There will be variations, of course, within the styles themselves, since home schooling is very much an individualized learning situation that depends also on a family’s lifestyle, personal values and goals, and circumstances. Even for our own “Peppermint Stick” style, there could be some exceptions not mentioned in the chart. But hopefully, the general comparisons will be reasonably clear and helpful to you.)
Written as a result of requests over the years, this chart gives you a bit of an idea of why the Canadian “Peppermint Stick” approach is really quite different than the other styles yet can also meet the needs of so many educators! We have happy customers who have chosen a variety of overall approaches and use their choice of our products to meet their goals.
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