Meet Bill Mart – Parent, Board Member and Outdoor Activity Coordinator

I’m Bill Mart and I’m the parent representative on the Phoenix board of directors for almost a year now, and yes we home school out two kids. We came to home schooling 3 years ago after a very failed and traumatic experience in the public school system.

My wife and I work together to guide our kids’ education. I handle the day time load and she works with needed improvements and testing. Oops I swore, yes we test our kids. My wife teaches in post-secondary and has a Masters of Education. Up until recently I worked nights. I’m a licenced Red Seal HD Diesel mechanic, but I was injured at work and my career came to a screeching end. So we decided that I should take this being a dad thing to a new level, I turned pro. My job now is to be Dad, look after the kids and house full time. Gasp!! A stay at home dad! Who home schools the kids. There goes the norm right out the window.

I’m not much for writing letters or documents, I get way to distracted and usually end up so way off topic. Where was I? Oh yeah home schooling. I know how hard it can be and frustrating it can get, and it gets there fast. Ooh shiny object! Darn there I go again.

It is October 21, 2015 as I’m writing this, whenever I look up from my laptop to see what the kids are up to. The scenery distracts me as it does them. You see we’re camped in Jasper National Park on the shores of the Athabasca River. That’s the nice thing about home schooling, we can go anywhere we want to and still get our school work done. We’re here for the Dark Night Festival to view the stars, and of course the clouds are not cooperating so well. We’ve been discussing the Athabasca River and how it was used for trade and transportation, how our changing climate is affecting the glaciers. Discussing ways we can reduce our foot print on this world. Watching a grizzly bear forage for food and how important they are to the ecosystem. Having a grizzly walk right through our camp and not have anything happen. Watching the Elk and discussing where they are in the food chain.

Home schooling doesn’t have to be about what workshops to put them in, or what books to use. We follow the Alberta ED curriculum, we use work books, DVDs, workshops, and the list goes on and on. We also use the National and Provincial Parks interpretative programs. We get out and explore our world as much as we can. Any trip we do we try to tie it to some part of the curriculum. We did a back country canoe trip to learn about what it would be like to have been a voyageur.

Try not to get stressed over meeting requirements, if you’re having trouble come talk to anyone of us at Phoenix. You’re not alone in this voyage. Getting lost and finding your way back can be an adventure if you let it.

The frost is melting and the day is warming here, I’m so going to regret telling my two I’ll take them winter camping in the back country. But for this week our RV is our base of operations and Jasper our class room. Life is an adventure get out and live it.

Bill Mart

The fall never hurts but the sudden stop at the bottom does.

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