How to Use American Curriculum as a Canadian Homeschooler
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How to Use American Curriculum as a Canadian Homeschooler

How to Use American Curriculum as a Canadian Homeschooler

Just because you live in Canada, you don’t have to use specifically Canadian homeschool curriculum. Many Canadian homeschoolers choose to use American curriculum materials for a wide variety of reasons, such as availability, format, quality, price point, etc. However sometimes, there can be challenges when using American focused materials – as the content isn’t always relevant to our life experiences or are missing things that we want to be sure to include, such as history, geography, money, and measurements. In this post, let’s talk about how to use American curriculum as a Canadian homeschooler.

An American and Canadian Flag together with the text "Using American Homeschool Curriculum as a Canadian"

If you have decided to use an American curriculum, and are wondering how to adapt it to fit your needs here in Canada, here are a few suggestions:

Canadian Supplement or Edition

The first idea is to see whether the curriculum you want to use has a Canadian version or supplement that you can use instead. Some companies offer a Canadian supplement or at least information on how to adapt their materials. Sometimes other homeschooling parents have put the time and work into making and providing curriculum changes to help their fellow homeschoolers here in Canada. 

Math-U-See is a company based out of Pennsylvania. However, they do have Canadian editions of their programs. For example, their high school level program about personal finance (known as Stewardship) also has a Canadian supplement, which covers the areas which are different than the US version. Canadian editions can be purchased from

Some other examples are : 


If you are using an American Curriculum, and there are units or topics that you don’t think are relevant to your child’s education as a Canadian or that would be better to cover from a Canadian perspective, just skip that section and change it out for something else. 

There are lots of options out there for topic, unit, or theme specific resources to substitute out for Canadian content. 

This is especially common when you’ve found a great curriculum that works for your family and there is a year or study about American history. Many times homeschoolers in Canada want to cover Canadian history instead. So, for that year, or that unit – they choose something else that will work instead. It doesn’t mean they have to throw away their favourite program. It just means that for that subject, they are doing something else. 

Other common subjects that are substituted out are units about money and Canadian geography. 

Where can you find resources just for a single subject? All over the place! For example, here at The Canadian Homeschooler, I have a Canadian geography (The Canadian Adventure: A Virtual Trip Across Canada) and a Canadian history program (My Canadian Time Capsule). I also have Canadian coins worksheets

But you can also look at this list of Canadian curriculum companies who make resources specifically for this to find something that might work for you. Or check out a site like Teachers Pay Teachers for a plethora of options in all different formats.  

And then, when your favourite curriculum moves onto another topic, you can jump back in as if you’d never left. 

Cover It Up

If a program is working great – there isn’t a need to change what you are doing just because it has something non-Canadian in it! You can simply cover it up and pretend that it’s Canadian. 

This is especially true with math during the years that involve money. If your book has American coins featured on the page, you can cover up the images with Canadian ones. Take some real or play Canadian coins and put them on the page in place of the American ones. 

In all books, but especially with language arts, one of my personal favourite things to do is add a little u to all the American spellings of words. 

image of the word color with an editing mark to add the letter "u" with subheading "struggles of a CAnadian homeschooler"

Parallel the Content

If there are things in your curriculum that are explicitly American and you really want to make sure that your child knows the Canadian version of that topic as well, you can use some parallel content. 

Parallel content is when instead of substituting out the lesson, you add in more to give a Canadian perspective alongside what you are doing already. That way, you don’t have to remove anything or change anything from the resource that you are using. 

In math, for example, you can do both metric and imperial at the same time, or add in Celsius to compare and contrast with Fahrenheit. There are programs that include both – which is nice. (For example, The Good and the Beautiful have kids learn both, as does Teaching Textbooks.)

History is easy to parallel American and Canadian history. They intertwine quite a lot, which makes merging the two together into a single study possible. You can make a timeline and have Canadian events on the top and American events on the bottom – so you can see how they connect and correlate, for example. 

Add Canadian Extras

You don’t have to do anything specific to change or substitute your curriculum if you don’t want to. But you might want to add in some Canadian extras to your homeschool such as including Canadian holidays and traditions, encouraging books from Canadian authors, or taking field trips to locations near you that offer experiences or learning opportunities for Canadian themes such as history, art, or culture. Discover the Indigenous communities near you. Include your kids in current events from a Canadian perspective, participate and talk about what’s going on in politics (especially around election times), and see how you can help with social issues in your local community or province. It’s not so much about adding more to your already busy homeschool life – it’s more about how to integrate Canada into your every day already!

Just Go With It

And finally, if you’ve chosen to use an American curriculum, you can just go with what it teaches. There’s no obligation or requirement to add in, replace, or include Canadian content into your homeschooling adventures. Teach your child the richness of American history, the vastness of their geography, and all the other small differences between our two cultures without guilt. Learning is learning!

Do you use an American curriculum as a Canadian Homeschooler? What are your tips?

This post was originally posted in April 2016. It has been updated in 2024.

Lisa Marie Fletcher
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