Home Schooling in Ontario

What is Expected?

Schools don't expect home schoolers to register their children at kindergarten age.

It has been expected in Ontario that children will be taught from age 6 to 16.

However, the Ontario government has introduced legislation to raise the compulsory school attendance age in Ontario to 18. Introduced on December 13, 2005, Bill 52 will enforce the new age of attendance through several means including:

-Imposing fines on employers who hire students who should be in school,

- Requiring proof of school attendance to obtain a drivers license, and

- Imposing fines against parents and children who do not attend school and are not legitimately excused.

To read more about this Bill, check out: Bill 52 - HSLDA E-Report Vol. 6 No. 4 The article includes links to the complete draft of Bill 52.

To read more about what is required in Ontario, check out:

Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA) - Ontario

Canadian Home Based Learning Resource Page - Ontario

The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents - Homeschooling Frequently Asked Questions

Ontario Ministry of Education - Policy/Program Memorandum No. 131

Where Should You Start?

If your child is going to be six soon, or is already over six, and you'd like to home school, you should let your applicable school board know. To find your school board, check out: Find a School or School Board

How do you let them know? You send them a letter, using the Appendix B: Notification of Intent to Provide Home Schooling as a sample.

You'll get a letter back that looks something like the sample Appendix C. Keep this for your records.

You don't have to complete Appendix D: Gathering Information in an Investigation, unless you've been asked to do so. However, you might want to read through it to have an idea of what could be asked of you at a later time if there's a problem. It might even give you some ideas of other community resources or materials that you could use in teaching your children.

If you like, you might want to let your neighbours know, so they won't wonder why your children are running around outside during school hours, but you don't have to. If one of your neighbours should happen to wonder why your children aren't in school, and report you to the School Board, the School Board will already have your name on file as a home schooler, and you'll save yourself some grief.

Ontario Curriculum

Not all home schoolers keep to the grade level curriculum of Ontario schools. That being said, you might find it helpful to know what other children in your neighbourhood are learning, and the skills they are supposed to be developing.

Elementary Curriculum - Kindergarten and Grades 1 to 8

Secondary Curriculum - Grades 9 to 12

High School and Home Schooling

Are you wondering about what to do with your children when they reach high school, or how home schooling could affect acceptance to College or University? The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents has good information on the topic of High School and homeschooling.

As well, you might want to check out their site on University and College information for homeschoolers.

Yes, you can teach your teenagers at home. In fact, it seems that many parents and children actually decide to start home schooling when they reach high school age.

Home Education Support Groups and Organizations

You can do this all by yourself if you would like, but you don't have to. Maybe some of your friends are already home schooling, or maybe they're thinking about it, and just need some encouragement. For more ideas about networking with other home schoolers, check out: Home Education Support Groups and Organizations

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