Education Methods

Umbrella Program

An Umbrella or Cover school will approve and oversee a homeschool program. They may offer distance learning that can be used for one subject or as a complete curriculum. Some provide the learning materials while others work with the parents to find curriculum choices that are the best fit for the family.

There are umbrella programs that offer courses that are similar to what is offered in a public school and others that follow an alternative educational style. Some offer accreditation while others do not.

A typical homeschool day under an umbrella program is often like a traditional school day, but that depends on the educational style of the program. Usually the school will keep a record of students’ marks. Sometimes field trips or other activities are organized through an umbrella school as well.

Mother helping daughter and son with homework


  • Some parents are more comfortable with a third party overseeing their child’s education, especially for high school level classes;
  • When accountable to a governing body, parents are often motivated to homeschool more consistently;
  • Student diplomas are recognized by most postsecondary institutions;
  • Umbrella programs that follow provincial standards can make future transition back to traditional school easier for the child;
  • Long-term assurance that subjects and skills are covered.

Points to consider

  • Some umbrella schools may offer a guidance counselling service to help with postsecondary school applications;
  • Annual fees could be charged;
  • Religious affiliations could mandate some of what is taught in the homeschool.

* The Resources on this page are examples of resource options that many homeschooling parents have found helpful. Note that they are not created or distributed by HOMESCHOOL.TODAY. For your convenience we occasionally add links to helpful websites, books, etc. but these will open in a separate tab.