Homeschool.Today FAQ

 

    • Is homeschooling legal in Canada?
      Forthcoming

 

    • How can I help my child transition from public school to homeschool?

      If you are planning to homeschool your child who is currently in public school, you may find a time of deschooling very benefiting for your family. When a parent chooses to deschool, they are choosing to implement an intentional transitional time for both parent and child. For example, when your child stops attending public school and when they are fully into their “homeschool schedule.”

      Introducing your child to their new learning community is a natural first step, but deschooling involves much more than this. Having a time “to catch your breath,” as one grade 5 student put it, or to heal from bullying or anxiety is important. Some children need time to settle into the educational changes. During these early days, parents are often amazed at what they learn about their children’s personality, social skills, strengths, and how their children learn. Equally important is what parents learn about themselves and how and where learning happens.

      Also, families often choose experiential learning, becoming familiar with their local community, meeting other local home schoolers as well as reading out loud. For some families, morning routines are started, not to mention learning how to work together on household responsibilities. This can be an exciting time of:
      – getting a library card
      – exploring the local stream
      – meeting up at the rink with other homeschool families
      – reading together
      – music
      – joining a class
      – cooking together
      – completing in-depth research on their hobby
      – etc
      Lots of learning for your child! All while the you learn about your child, how they think, and incorporates this into a plan for what homeschool will be for your family.

      (Note: Ivan Illich wrote an essay in 1971 called Deschooling Society which is focused on de-institutionalizing education, not transitioning home. Click here to learn more about this essay).

 

    • Is there support for families registered and enrolled in their province?
      Yes, a number of provincial support groups exist and many can be accessed through social media outlets like Facebook. HSLDA Canada members can also access this information by calling our office to find out more about local groups.

 

    • How do I notify or report my homeschooling?

      Check the regulations for your province/territory. To find out what the process is for your place of residence, Click here for a Summary of Home Education Laws across Canada.

      Click here to obtain your provincial Homeschool Form

 

    • Is unschooling legal in Canada (or province)?
      Unschooling is legal in Canada. The practice of unschooling can take on many different forms. Parents often do not implement a curriculum while unschooling. Still, it is important for parents to have clear academic goals for their child. Record keeping is beneficial, in the event that parents have an investigation brought against them. For example, in Ontario, parents must “provide satisfactory instruction for their child,” according to Policy/Program Memorandum No. 131 (PPM 131). An investigation may be launched by a school board if they have reason to believe that a child is not receiving satisfactory instruction at home. One way to demonstrate satisfactory instruction is met, is by maintaining a record of the child’s progress. No record means no proof of satisfactory instruction and could warrant an investigation.

 

 

    • How do I homeschool?
      …. my gifted child?
      …. my special needs child?
      …. my anxious child?

        • …. my preschool child?

          Regardless of whether families identify as homeschooling or not, most parents are teachers of their preschoolers.

          These young children learn in a variety of situations.
          – Music – literacy awareness may start with the ABC song.
          – Hands on beside an adult – measuring food in the kitchen.
          – Independent play – science as children play with building blocks and explore outside.
          – Books – learning about the butterfly life cycle in a children’s picture book.
          – Mentoring and Role Models in groups – sharing and taking turns.
          – Observation – looking out the car window at a building under construction.
          – Field Trips – visiting a fire station, apple orchard, or natural park area.
          – Questions – receiving answers to their “Why?” questions … preschool and curiosity go hand in hand.

          Reading out loud is very important at this stage. Growth in language development, fostering imagination, and bonding with parents are just three reasons to read out loud to your preschooler.

          Some families find it helpful to have a scheduled daily reading time and a weekly learning opportunity out of the house (library visits, field trips, play dates at the beach). Preschoolers learn all day long, but some parents who like routine choose a learning time when ‘special’ learning opportunities take place. This isn’t necessary, but can increase the fun and anticipation of learning. John Holt’s book, Learning All The Time, is an excellent resource for all parents of preschool children.

        • …. my elementary school child?

          In elementary school, parents build on the foundation of skills and knowledge that the child has already acquired. Wherever your child is at, you can start from there. This is great news for children who do not learn at the same rate as the provincial curriculum dictates. It is very possible for one homeschooled child to be at a certain ‘grade level’ in math and a different one in engligh. Whatever their area of interest or expertise is, your child can move forward with more learning in that area without needing to wait for the rest of the class to catch up. Thankfully, this also helps children who are struggling in a certain area to take the time to learn concepts before moving on.

          As children progress through the elementary years, parents have many options of how to enable their children to learn and the flexibility to try new options from year to year. Click here to read explanations about different education methods.

          Reading out loud through this stage continues to be important. Vocabulary expansion and understanding character development are just two benefits of reading to children even though they are capable of reading to themselves. As you read with your children, be sure to ask questions or think out loud. “What predictions could you make?”…. “Does this remind you of anything that happened at soccer practice yesterday?”

          Fostering creativity, group learning experiences with peers at a local co-op, and lots of outdoor active learning are commonplace in elementary home education. As children progress toward high school, remember that you aren’t restricted to courses that your local public school offers. It’s OK to have a tech or home economics class. Requesting input from your child during the planning stages can help both you and your child have a successful year.

      …. my secondary school student?

       

 

    • How do I homeschool through high school?

      Learn more here.

      Refer to the Homeschool Grade Chart

 

    • How do I get my student into postsecondary?

      Homeschooling through to postsecondary is an entirely doable and rewarding task. Parents and students should first identify what their goals are for higher education. Some students choose a college or university as their path; others decide on a trade or apprenticeship program. The application process will vary, depending on the type of learning and the institution itself. Connecting with the institution of interest and applying early are two ways families can avoid unnecessary disappointment.

      HSLDA Canada is one organization that has helped homeschooling students in their pursuit of tertiary education. Click here to read this story.

      Homeschoolers can look at online options, including open learning programs. Many of these programs do not have prerequisites and some even offer certificate and diploma programs.

      Here are three sites to look more into:

      https://learnonline.ecampusontario.ca/Online-College-University-Programs/search
      https://www.elearnca.com/
      https://www.tru.ca/distance/about/distance.html

 

    • How do I go about homeschooling my child?

      How to Homeschool

      Deciding to homeschool can be a choice that is rooted in profound convictions or it can be imposed on you due to an unexpected situation. Whatever the case, the decision must be a thought-out family decision. Essentially, this lifestyle can sometimes have a significant impact on the different daily spheres of family members and the children’s educational journey. When united in this choice, the family will be stronger and in a better position to homeschool.

      Discovering your child’s learning style and your own will help you and your child succeed in your homeschool. To learn about multiple intelligence click here and download the Many Ways One Goal now.

 

    • What qualifications do I need to homeschool my child?
      There is no special certification required to homeschool your child. Parents have the option of choosing from a variety of curricula to help enhance the learning experience of their child.

 

    • Ever wonder what it’s like to be homeschooled?

      Hear from students themselves, as they discuss what they enjoy most about being homeschooled in this short video.

 

    • Why should I choose homeschooling as an educational option for my child?

      Families choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons. Here are 10 great reasons to homeschool (click to expand):

      • Flexibility
        Flexibility: Parents can gauge the pace of their child’s learning better and adjust it as necessary. Children can spend more time in each subject, which will allow them to grasp concepts better. This can also mean less time in the books themselves. Homeschooling is a great option for families who must travel during the year, allowing for unhindered study. Home education can also be an asset for families who must take time off during the school season, due to an illness or for other extenuating circumstances.
      • Enriched Learning Environment
        Enriched learning environment: Parents know their children best and this can help enrich their child’s educational experience. Attention may be directed to the child’s areas of interest. The result is the student ‘owning’ the learning process more, which, in turn, can mean they retain more of the information and enjoy the learning process more. Homeschooling is a good option for gifted students who are not being challenged enough intellectually, as well as students who are left behind in the school system.
      • Encourages Critical Thinking
        Encourages critical thinking: The home education model is a more independent model than traditional schooling that helps foster critical thinking and independent learning skills.
      • More Time with Family & Increased Guidance for Child
        More time with family & increased guidance for child: Some families choose homeschooling simply to spend more time with their children. For some, the decision to homeschool came from the parent not being ready to part ways with their youngster. Other parents want to play a greater role in their child’s educational activities. Still others seek out more than only after-school dinnertime conversation.
      • Values & Beliefs
        Values & beliefs: Passing on family values and beliefs is important to many individuals and homeschooling provides the perfect atmosphere in which to do this.
      • Environmental Factors
        Environmental factors: Children who struggle with learning or behavioural difficulties may benefit from a smaller, more familiar environment in which to learn. Children can thrive when they have fewer distractions, and a home setting may provide this framework.
      • A Safe Space
        A safe space: While many schools have anti-bullying laws, bullying remains a real hindrance to students. Home education can provide a safe space for students, especially in the younger, more formative years.
      • Fosters Creativity
        Fosters Creativity: Homeschooling provides an excellent backdrop for children to explore and be creative. The classroom, as Sir Ken Robinson posited, in the most famous TedTalk to date, is not a place for creativity to flourish. Robinson observed that “we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it.” We live in a creative class, where creativity is necessary for economic growth and stability. Homeschooling provides a great space to nurture a creative spirit in your child.
      • Health & Safety Concerns
        Health & safety concerns: Children who have severe allergies or health conditions don’t always receive the support they need in a regular school setting. Some parents are forced to homeschool due to the risks posed by these ailments.
      • Frequent Relocation
        Frequent relocation: For some families, like those involved in the military, settling in one location is not feasible and homeschooling gives them the freedom to maintain consistency in their child’s education, while traveling as a family unit.

 

    • What about socialization?

      This is one of the most commonly questions that homeschoolers receive. Ironically, recent studies have shown homeschoolers outperform their public school peers in a number of subject areas, including the social sciences. Homeschoolers frequently interact with individuals of varying ages and are involved in numerous extracurricular activities.

 

    • How do I pull my child from school?

      HSLDA Canada’s experienced staff will assist you in answering all your homeschool-related questions and options. Give them a call today at 519.913.0318 (English Services) 819.376.9739 (French Services), or send them an email at info@hslda.ca (English Services) or francais@hslda.ca (French Services).

      You can also look at your provincial requirements for homeschooling by visiting you provincial group’s website.
      Click here to drop down to question: ‘Where do I find support in my area?’ 

 

    • What do I do if the school board interferes with my homeschool?
      HSLDA Canada frequently assists their members with questions such as this. This is a great reason to join HSLDA Canada. When you become a member you will have the legal protection and advice you need to homeschool your student (s) with confidence. They are there to help but can’t always assist individuals who delay contacting them. Don’t wait for a crisis to hit. Join today!

 

    • What do I do if the government interferes with my homeschool?
      HSLDA Canada frequently assists their members with questions such as this. This is a great reason to join HSLDA Canada. When you become a member, you will have the legal protection and advice you need to homeschool your student (s) with confidence. They are there to help but can’t always assist individuals who delay contacting them. Don’t wait for a crisis to hit. Join today!

 

    • Is deschooling legal in Canada?

      Yes, deschooling is legal in Canada. To find out more about deschooling, visit our blog. There are many different types of home education methods to choose from. Check out our website for more information at Education Methods.

 

    • How much does it cost to homeschool?

      The initial cost is quite low. There are a number of helpful and free resources for young children available on the internet. Pinterest is a great place to start. In the early years, it is most important to spend time playing with your child, as they develop their fine motor skills and learn about the world around them.

      As knowledge becomes more accessible through technology, so too does the ability to homeschool. In the early years (kindergarten-grade 8), parents can expect to pay anywhere between $300-$500 per year CAD on homeschooling curriculum.This is only a rough estimate. The true cost will vary depending on the individual needs of each student, extracurricular activities, and area of residence.

 

    • Can I receive funding?
      British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan have funding models set up for homeschooling, however other provinces and territories in Canada do not. Refer to question #1 Is homeschooling legal in Canada?

 

    • Can I homeschool if I work full-time?
      Homeschooling while you work is possible but there are factors parents should take into consideration before making such a decision. Social network, a flexible work schedule, and mental and physical demands are some factors that can greatly affect a parent’s ability to home educate. Having no work/home divide may lead to added stress on the parent-child dynamic. Parents should be aware of the possibility of ‘homeschool burnout’. To read more about ‘homeschool burnout’, click here.

 

    • Can I homeschool as a single parent?
      Yes! Single parents receive a discounted rate of $156 on their HSLDA Canada memberships. Single parent networks are a great place to get connected and receive additional support. Read one single parent’s story on this blog.

 

    • How long do I homeschool my child?

      Parents can choose to educate their children in a variety of ways. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that its focused atmosphere allows many students to complete their work faster than in a traditional school setting.

      Hours per day/week:
      Some families may homeschool a full 8 hours per day to speed up their curriculum, while others may opt for half days Monday through Friday. Homeschoolers can also take one day of the week off to participate in a local homeschool co-op group.

      School Year:
      Parents may choose to take summers off, or continue homeschooling, to maintain a consistency in their educational program and avoid the summer slide.

      Homeschooling through High School
      Homeschooling through high school is a feasible option for many parents. This task is possible with online course options. Some postsecondary institutions like Athabasca University, have open programs that high school students can apply to and complete before deciding on further study. This is a great option for indecisive students to gain insight into possible career paths, without spending thousands in the process. Visit Education Centres 

 

    • Where do I find support in my area?

      ….community


      ….online

      Socialization and Homeschool Co-op

      Read more about homeschooling your child and socializing in and out of co-operative groups. This article is written by an experienced homeschool mom (3-5 minute read).

 

 

    • If I homeschool, how does my child receive a high school diploma?
      Students often do not need to show proof of a high school diploma in order to pursue postsecondary education. This is a common misconception. Parents can help their child in the admissions process by keeping a portfolio of their child’s progress throughout their teenage years.
      Click here to read The Truth About Provincial DiplomasClick here to download HSLDA’s Portfolio GuideUnderstand the school’s admission process
      One other way parents can help their student, is by connecting directly with postsecondary institutions of interest to understand their admissions process better. Some schools have separate admissions procedures for homeschoolers. Parents should acquaint themselves with these procedures and have their teen apply early in order to avoid potential disappointment.High school credits
      Your student can participate in online high school credit courses, which can help them obtain a high school diploma.HSLDA Members login here for more info

 

    • What about homeschool burnout?
      Homeschool burnout is a reality for many parents; particularly those who home educate multiple children. There are many ways of addressing this concern. Click here to learn about homeschool burnout.

 

    • Do elementary schools have a ministry of education diploma?

      No. If you are transferring your child from home to a public or private high school, you are not required by law to provide the school with a transcript. A school cannot refuse a child’s enrolment but they may ask to see indications of a student’s progress to better assess their capabilities. A student may first enter into an applied stream for a semester to have their academic achievement assessed.

      The Canadian Admissions Test (CAT4) is one way parents can show their students’ academic progress. Parents can also display a scope and sequence in their child’s portfolio to help gauge their overall academic growth.

      Learn more (5 minute read).

 

    • How do I fit homeschooling into my lifestyle?

      As a parent, you’re always teaching your child. Homeschooling is an extension, albeit a more invested extension of what you’re already doing. In the early years, parents focus on ensuring their child hits their developmental milestones. Later, homeschooling provides a way for parents to be involved in their student’s educational process, providing guidance along the way.

      To suit the needs of their employees, more and more employers are offering flex-time and work from home options. Never before have individuals had as many workplace options, when it comes to the environment they work in. Enter home education. The flexible nature that accompanies homeschooling provides the ideal backdrop for working parents. Homeschooling is more about teaching a child how to learn, than teaching them what to learn. Parents act as coaches for their students, guiding them towards greater critical reasoning skills. Refer to question 2.

 

    • Still have questions?
      We’re happy to help. Simply fill out the form below and one of our staff will connect with you.