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Agate Private School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Nursery/Toddler TO Gr. 12 — St Catharines, ON (Map)

Agate Private School:

REVIEW OF Agate Private School BY student, Kathy Parris

  • Date of Review
    February 28, 2024
  • Grades
    Gr. 3 - Gr. 4 (current)
  • Enrollment
    Homestay Student

(5) Student Experience

I love Agate Private School. My son is learning at a faster rate with far more retention. I am able to accommodate his needs. He loves school, loves learning, and asks intelligent questions. I wish I knew about this school from the beginning of my child's school journey, I would have started him much sooner. I wouldn't change anything about our school. There is no pressure, he can learn at his own pace. His rate of learning has increased, and his ability to have input on his own schedule and learning has increased his confidence and independence. Our principal goes over and above, giving academic support for my son as well as emotional/mental support for me! We have the freedom to really learn with our school. So happy!

(5) School Leadership

I have great respect for our founder and Principal, Gayle Hanlon. She is generous and kind. She also has extensive education in teaching with worldwide experience. She is always checking with us to see our progress. She has been a valuable resource for teaching methods that work, as well as understanding and assisting with behavioral training and helping my son with self-regulation. I don't want her to do more, I am very happy with the level of assistance and support my son and I receive.

(5) Teaching

I am my son's teacher, and I am great at it, because of the support I received from my son's school. I had very negative experiences with public school teachers overstepping their boundaries and being dishonest with me. Because I am effectively teaching my son thanks to the support I receive from his school, my son has recovered from the trauma he endured in public school. He is happy and confident. He says, "I am good at math!" And he is. I'm thrilled to see him shine this way. Before we started homeschooling with Agate, my son was insecure, afraid, and deeply unhappy. Now, he will start school independently. He also is learning self-regulation and has compassion for himself when he makes a mistake. Public schools are not equipped or trained to teach children like my son. Instead of sitting in a hallway, he is learning every day he goes to school.

(5) Academics

I am able to work one-on-one with my son and support his needs. I can also assess where he needs more support. For example, he needed to learn consonant sounds to be able to spell. Agate school helped guide me to the best methods to teach him to spell. His spelling, which was behind, gets better daily now. Because we can homeschool, we are able to relate our studies to daily life. Learning fractions makes sense when you are also learning to cook, and understanding fractions helps when needing to double or halve a recipe. So he learns to cook and do math simultaneously. Since the brain learns from the law of association, it retains knowledge. He is not resentful of a difficult concept that makes no practical sense to him. School and learning are supposed to prepare children to become independent adults. Seeing connections early on helps kids be more independent and confident in what they know. That being said, my son's academic materials are flexible to match his specific needs. His education is cohesive. He is not "stuck" because he doesn't know a concept. He is helped, and if there is a concept he doesn't understand, we can work together to help him complete that aspect of his education. When he moves forward onto new material, he is fully prepared, and relaxed because he knows he will get the support he needs.

(5) Extracurriculars

Yes, we do! We have outdoor school, meet-ups, and activities (like bowling) that we can participate in if we wish to. Because it is homeschooling, we can also have input on what types of activities we participate in, and what we would like to do. Most important: we can do what is best for our child. If they have had enough, need a break, or don't like an activity, we don't continue. We are not obligated to do anything or be anywhere we don't want to be! This freedom adds to the enjoyment of the activities.

(5) Students

The students of our school are all across the board. We have students all over the world. Students who would do best here are kids who have high support needs and need flexible schedules. Students that need to work at their own pace also thrive here. I have not seen any of the students struggle here, as being with your family as a child is the most natural thing in the world. Having such a variety of students prepares our kids to socialize with other kids of all ages, have compassion and understanding, and create an atmosphere of true inclusivity. Our school structure is different. We are free to come together or part according to our needs. Our school is like a village, where people are all helping one another, communicating with each other, passing knowledge to each other, and supporting one another. Our school is like a good, functional, supportive FAMILY.

(5) School Life

I would ask what worked best for the people who are interested. We are so flexible that parents can access our website, social media sites, and message or speak to our principal directly. I could invite them into our house and show them how we have set up our homeschool while explaining that they have the freedom to do what works for them. The most important part of the tour, in my opinion, would be meeting my son. Everyone who meets him remarks on his intelligence, wit, composure and confidence. He is the shining star of this experience. When people meet my son, who had great difficulty learning in public school, they can't believe how well he is doing. People think what we do is difficult. People should see how natural and enjoyable homeschooling can be, and the personal growth that my child has achieved.

(5) Community

The school is literally home to me. I have never felt anything but included and appreciated. My principal has even stopped by for visits! We are at home. We save SO MUCH MONEY! My son can eat peanut butter every day. We are safe and secure. We can exercise how we want. PLUS: We can meet via Zoom, so kids can see each other, or meet up in person. No one I have spoken to gave me the impression that they feel anything but included. We can share tips and support one another. We are grateful to have each other's support. We all help each other and enjoy each other. It is a true community in every sense of the word. We are all here to support each other!

(5) School Location

We home-school. We are always on campus! Everywhere we go is a learning experience, and a chance to relate what's seen in a textbook to real life. We also do field trips. Last spring, we went to Fort George in Niagara on the Lake. We got to see hosts in full regalia, explore all the buildings, and see a demonstration of how to shoot a musket. Our "campus" is everywhere!

(5) Admissions

The admission process is flexible and easy. Our principal is available for every step of the process. I filled out a form from the website, with my child's information and hit submit. I think it took less than 15 minutes. The advice I would give is this. It is much easier than people believe. You and your child's information is secure. Since it is homeschooling, the transition is seamless and smooth. If you are stuck on a question or have any questions, YOU CAN CALL AND SPEAK DIRECTLY TO A REAL PERSON! And, you can get support for every step of the process if you need to.


More about Agate Private School

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More written reviews


Parent, Tess Fairbridge (2024)

Gr. 2 to Gr. 5 (current),Gr. 2 to Gr. 5 (current) — My children love the freedom to follow the topics and interests that currently have their natural focus; they have the support to learn what they want to and aren't forced to memorize anything they're...


Parent, Tracy Stirling (2024)

Gr. 11,K to Gr. 12,Gr. 4 to Gr. 7 (current) — My grandchild truly enjoys the freedom to follow her own curiosities and be able to dig deep as her curiosity dictates. She enjoys the interactions she has online with other pupils as well as the prin...


Parent, Celene Dobson (2024)

JK to Gr. 2 (current),JK to SK (current) — At Agate Private School, my child's homeschooling experience has been nothing short of exceptional. The flexibility to tailor the curriculum to my child's unique learning style and interests has been ...
See all written reviews (4 total)

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Agate Private School

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