Deciding to homeschool your kids is not always easy, especially when you live in a world that views homeschooling as an unconventional approach to education. Now that you’ve made up your mind. Your next step is figuring out how to homeschool in Canada.
Fortunately, homeschooling in Canada is not as difficult as you may think. It’s legal in every province. There may be some variations per your province, but everyone has a right to homeschool if they choose.
Let’s take a look at how to homeschool in Canada.
How to Homeschool In Canada
Step 1. What are your reasons for homeschooling
Everyone’s reasons for homeschooling vary. Some may have similar reasoning when it comes to homeschooling, but at the end of the day, everyone’s reason for homeschooling is unique.
What are your reasons for homeschooling? Why did you decide to homeschool?
Is it because the school system has failed you and your child? And you’ve decided to pull her out?
Maybe the school is not inclusive of your child’s needs.
Was your child being bullied at school, and administrators turned a blind eye to it?
You’ve been homeschooled and want the same upbringing for your kids?
Take a few minutes and clarify why you’ve decided to homeschool.
For me – it was moving to a new province in the middle of the school term and not knowing what to expect—not knowing anyone and trusting my gut instinct, which didn’t fail me.
Once you’ve gotten clear on your why for choosing to homeschool. Please write it down somewhere where you can quickly return and remind yourself why you chose this path.
This will be helpful on days you feel like you are failing your kids. Or your kids are driving you bananas. These days are pretty standard, by the way.
Step 2. Get familiar with your province’s requirements for homeschooling
Like everything else in Canada, each province has its requirements for homeschooling. I have linked each province and the territory’s homeschooling rules and regulations.
Every province requires parents to notify the school system of their intent to withdraw their child from the public school system and to begin homeschooling.
Click on your province’s link to learn more about what is required to homeschool.
Alberta → Alberta Homeschooling Association
British Columbia → Homeschooling in the province of British Colombia
New Brunswick → Homeschooling in New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador → Homeschooling in Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia → Nova Scotia Home Education Association
Prince Edward Island → Home education in Prince Edward Island
Quebec → Get started with AQED
Saskatchewan → Homeschooling Education in Saskatchewan
Northwest Territories → Coalition for responsible home education
Nunavut → Homeschooling Regulations
Yukon → Yukon Home Education Society
Step 3. Comply with your province’s requirements and become a homeschooler
Now that you’ve gotten familiar with your province’s requirements on how to homeschool in Canada, go ahead and take the necessary actions to withdraw your child from school by informing the school he’s attending or submitting that letter of intent to homeschool if your child is not already enrolled in the public school system.
Step 4. Have a plan
Everything in life starts with a plan. That same concept does apply to homeschooling as well!
As a new homeschooling parent, you may not know where to start, and that’s okay. Reflect on your why for homeschooling, the reasons you want to homeschool your child, and the time you have available to homeschool your child.
What values do you want to instill in your child?
Recognize your child’s learning needs and abilities.
Your child’s learning style may be:
Visual if your child learns better visually through videos, pictures, and flashcards.
Kinesthetic if your child finds sitting for an extended period difficult and prefers to move around. She likes feeling textures and will remember things better if she writes them.
Auditory learning – this is where kids learn most effectively by listening. They will learn faster by listening to songs and videos rather than reading a book.
As part of your planning process, identify the subject areas on which you want to focus more. What time do you want to homeschool (is your child a morning person, midday, or afternoon)?
Be reminded that homeschooling can happen at any time of the day.
What method of homeschooling will you be following?
Here’s a list of homeschooling methods:
Traditional homeschooling: most homeschooling families often start with this approach and move away from it as they gain confidence.
The traditional homeschooling approach mimics the public school system and follows the public school curriculum, with a set schedule and a designated homeschool spot for learning.
Unschooling: a style of homeschooling that focuses primarily on experimental learning.
Unschooling allows kids’ curiosity and interests to spark their love for learning instead of working with a set curriculum.
The goal is to have children think for themselves.
This method of homeschooling is based on the historical concept known as the trivium, which focuses on logic and reasoning as the center of learning—broken up into three stages: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.
Montessori Homeschool :
With this method of homeschooling, the child leads the learning, while educators facilitate the child’s education through resources and curricula that meet the child’s interest.
Kids can tap into their creativity and curiosity through hands-on learning and play-based activities.
Charlotte Mason Homeschool:
This method of homeschooling is based on a firm belief that a child is a person and that the whole person must be educated, not just his mind.
Waldorf Homeschool :
This approach to homeschooling incorporates the mind, body, and spirit while focusing heavily on arts, mythology, and the natural world.
If you’re like me – you can take what you like from each method of homeschooling, add your twist, and marinate them to fit your homeschooling lifestyle. That’s what we do, and it’s been working amazingly for us.
Step 5. Choose a curriculum
Now that you’ve put your plan together and decided on which homeschooling method you will be using, the next step is to find a curriculum that works best for you and your child.
Sometimes this means trying a variety of curricula or mixing and matching curricula to find ones that work for you.
When I first began homeschooling, I purchased the Canadian curriculum and rolled with that—and supplemented it with online printables and workbooks.
For a list of free resources, you can visit free homeschool resources for K – Grade 3.
And for a list of the best homeschool resources and curricula, check out my blog post, best homeschool programs and Curricula.
Step 6. Join a homeschool community
Homeschooling can be lonely, especially when no one else understands your reasoning for homeschooling, or you’ve just moved to a new community. I know for us, it was lonely at the beginning.
Since then, we’ve come a long way; at first, it can feel overwhelming to put yourself out there. But if you are homeschooling, I’m sure someone else is, or maybe an entire group is.
Search on Facebook or Google for a homeschooling group in your community and connect with like-minded individuals.
Join a Facebook homeschooling group, share your wins and mishaps, and ask for help or suggestions in areas you struggle with. Your homeschooling journey doesn’t have to feel lonely.
Step 7. Create a fun learning environment
No two days in your homeschooling journey will be the same. Some days your kids will be willing and eager to learn. On other days they will want to play and sit around. Some days you won’t feel like doing a thing.
Homeschooling should not feel stressful. You, kids, shouldn’t dread learning. And you shouldn’t feel burned out.
Creating a fun, loving learning environment should be given priority over how much you are getting done.
Quality over quantity!
Give yourself and your kid grace on days when you have to. Make learning fun by making your grocery shopping into a field trip.
Going on nature walks and exploring rocks outside is a great way to cover your rocks unit in science, all while getting some physical education there.
As per my example above, learning doesn’t always have to look like workbooks and screens. Create a homeschooling lifestyle that you and your kids love!
Homeschooling in Canada is legal in every province. Now that you know how to homeschool in Canada, share what province you will homeschool from in the comments.
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