Are you thinking about homeschooling your children? In Canada, the legal details for homeschooling vary by province but it is overall a pretty simple process to properly start teaching your kids at home. As a mom who is just starting down this path myself, this is what I’ve recently learned about homeschooling in Canada, on a province-by-province basis.
You are required to register your child as being homeschooled with your local school board, or with the school itself. I believe you only have to register once, and would only have to contact them again if you change your plans and return your child to school. There is no further monitoring.
All homeschool children in Alberta have to be registered with a “willing” school board, even if it is not the board where you reside. You are assigned a facilitator and are required to have at least 2 visits each year to manage your study plan and to monitor your progress. Depending on how closely you agree to stick to the official provincial curriculum, you can get a substantial amount of money from the government to cover the costs of your materials.
There is a homeschool registration process each year, and you also have to submit a plan for each year’s studies to your local district administrator. As well, you need to provide a completed portfolio of work at the end of each year to show that your educational goals were met.
Again, you need to notify the government of your intent to homeschool, except you contact the Ministry of Education directly rather than the local school board. You also need to keep them apprised of your progress by submitting reports twice a year (typically January and June). You aren’t limited to the official curriculum though.
This is where I live. You only need to make your intentions to homeschool known to your local school board, in writing, each year. A letter is sufficient, and there are no other regulations or paperwork requirements. You are not required to provide any progress reports or submit to testing or visits.
Like Ontario, you just have to notify the school board that you will be homeschooling and that is all. But the attitude towards schooling at home is not very good and you are likely to get aggressive or threatening behaviour from the board when you do so. Just be aware that it is perfectly legal, regardless of what they may imply.
Newfoundland and Labrador requires not only that you notify the school board, but also that you get their approval. Your request needs to include your own credentials (or whoever will be doing the majority of the teaching) as well as a guide for curriculum that you are going to follow. You’ll need to do this each year. The boards generally accept applications unless there is something considerably questionable about your intentions.
Your notification needs to go to the Department of Education, not the local school board and it needs to be done annually. At the end of the school year (around June), you also need to provide a report or portfolio to show that you are meeting your educational goals (which need to be in line with provincial standards).
There is an annual notification form that goes to the local school board that announces your intent to homeschool that year, and that is the extent of your obligations in New Brunswick.
Prince Edward Island
This is another simple province with a single notification that you have to send to the school board. There is no monitoring or other forms of reporting required.
Registration for homeschooling in the Yukon consists of documents that announce your intent to homeschool, as well as providing a plan or curriculum that you intend to follow. You only have to register once, but the other plan must be updated each year. Some board resources, such as textbooks, may be available for homeschool use as well.
North West Territories
Unfortunately, at the time I was writing this article, I really couldn’t find any details on NWT homeschooling. Their ministry of education website offered nothing though I do know that it is legal, just like the rest of Canada. I hope to update this with some details when I can find them.
Nunavut uses the Alberta educational program, so you have the same process with registration and facilitators. Check with the school board for more details.