FAQ’s

All the information provided below has been taken, in part, from the http://ontariohomeschool.org. Should you require more information or you are seeking answers to your legal/political questions, visit the website for assistance.

Is homeschooling legal? What does the law say about it?

Yes, homeschooling is legal in all Canadian provinces and territories. In Ontario, the Education Act states the following under Section 21(2)(a):a person is excused from attendance at school if […] the person is receiving satisfactory instruction at home or elsewhere

I would like to start homeschooling my children. What do I need to do to make it legal? Do I need to register with the government?

In Ontario there is no legal requirement to register with any government body in order to educate your children at home. If they have never been registered in school, you may simply proceed with your plans to provide for their education in whatever way you see fit. If the children have been attending school or are registered to attend school, you will, of course, need to let the principal and school board know of your decision to withdraw them (see below).

How do I remove my child from the school system?

It is your parental prerogative to switch to home based education at any time of the year if you so choose. If your child is already attending or registered to attend a publicly funded school, you must notify the school authorities that you will be withdrawing your child from the school system in order to home school.

PPM131 includes an Appendix B: Sample Letter Indicating Notification of Intent to Provide Home Schooling, but all the appendices are included in a single PDF, which has misled some parents to think they need to fill out the Appendix C form as well. You should not fill out Appendix C. To make things easier, we’ve created our own sample letter of intent for you to use instead. You can use this to notify the school board that you will be homeschooling your child. Just print a copy of the sample letter, complete it and send it to the local school board, and a copy to the principal of the school.

What do I teach? Must I follow a curriculum?

The goal of education is to understand the world we live in, to gain self-awareness, and to be able to find out what we want to know. Curriculum is a tool, a context within which education takes place. Some parents use a structured learning curriculum. Others follow a child-centered approach, believing that a child learns best when he/she is fully engaged and interested in the subjects being studied. Some families use a mixture of the two approaches – concentrating on a few core subjects: reading, writing, math, and research, and allowing the child to follow his/her interests in other subjects. There are many texts, workbooks, curricula, video taped lectures and other resources available. Please note that there is nothing in the Ontario Education Act that states you must use curriculum. Therefore, the decision of whether or not to use curriculum is determined by each homeschooling family.

For more thoughts on the subject, see our page on Curriculum. For ideas and suppliers, see our pages of Resources. If you wish to follow the same grade-by-grade sequence as the public school system, see the Ministry of Education’s Ontario curriculum guidelines.