How Does Homeschooling Work?
There are many homeschooling theories and styles. For homeschooling in Ontario, legal requirements have been put in place to ensure that homeschooled children receive a satisfactory education. In general, the parent at home becomes the teacher, and the student does not attend a day school. When students leave the school system to begin homeschooling, home educators are required to submit a letter of intent to their local school board indicating that the child will be homeschooled each year. The school board may investigate the student’s learning to ensure they are receiving a satisfactory education at home. Please refer to Policy/Program Memorandum No. 131 for complete information about homeschooling in Ontario. If you are located outside of Ontario, refer to the homeschooling laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.
A Universal Human Right
The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Article 26: Right to Education states in Part 3, “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”
Homeschooling in Ontario
In Ontario, there are some legal requirements that have been put in place to ensure all children receive a satisfactory education. Though your relationship with your local board will be different than if your child were attending a funded school, you will still have some interaction with them. By following some basic guidelines, you can have a positive relationship with your local board.
Letter of Intent
In Ontario, home educators must submit a letter of intent to their local school board in order to homeschool their children. A letter of intent provides basic statistical information about the homeschooled student, as well as the contact information of the family. Submitting this form is only a legal requirement if your student has attended a funded school before being homeschooled. However, even if it’s not a legal requirement for your situation, it is a courtesy. Be sure to keep a copy of these forms in your records for reference. You may also wish to send a copy of the letter to the local school’s principal to ensure it is communicated to all necessary parties. This letter of intent should be sent to the local school board each year
You have the right to homeschool in Ontario. However, provincial school boards also have the duty of ensuring that every child in their jurisdiction receives their right to an education. These conflicting rights and duties can result in challenges for families who choose to homeschool. Therefore, it is best to ensure you have the legal protection you need by being a member of a recognized homeschool legal support group. There are multiple legal support groups for you to choose from: the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents, the Ontario Christian Home Educators’ Connection, and the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada
Educational Planning Processes
There are many different ways to approach education, so never be afraid to use a variety of styles and take note of the ones that work best for your student. Different approaches allow students to build knowledge in different ways. Remember to record what you teach, the methods you use, how successful you felt the experience was, and which processes work best for you and your family. Document as much as you can about your student’s progress and your approaches to best support your developing practice.
Building Your Curriculum
Ontario homeschooling families may refer to the Ontario curriculum documents. These documents are utilized in publicly funded schools in Ontario where students build concepts and learn skills that prepare them for secondary school. VES courses align with the Ontario curriculum and can easily be used with other content resources to build out a homeschool curriculum.
The structure and activities you do each day are up to you. You can move as quickly or as slowly as you like through concepts or skills depending on how your student progresses. You get to design and present the knowledge that is important to you and your learner each day.
How VES Supports Homeschooling
Virtual Elementary School (VES) is an online course provider in the core areas of elementary courses. Our safe, online learning environment supports learners through engaging content aligned with the Ontario curriculum, while helping them to develop 21st century skills. VES courses can easily be used with other content resources to build out your homeschool curriculum.
Each VES course includes the following:
- Detailed course outline
- In-depth lesson content
- Practice activities
- Assessment tools
- Tools to track student achievement
VES also offers the option for you to have qualified teacher support in our facilitated courses. Your teacher will be responsible for the following:
- Answering content-based questions
- Marking activities and assignments
- Providing detailed feedback on coursework
- Submitting a progress report, midterm report, final report, and certificate of completion
If you have any questions about selecting VES as your homeschooling resource, please contact us.