So you’ve decided to take the plunge and homeschool, but don’t know where to start? Sure, the idea of not running around all day and packing lunches – ah, the famous no-nuts lunches! – may seem like a great prospect, but homeschooling requires careful preparation and monitoring. Here are some tips and information to help you make the right choice, but more importantly, to ensure that your child follows the same path as at school.
From the age of 6 until the age of 16, all children residing in Quebec must attend school. However, the Education Act allows you to make a written request to teach at home. This request must be sent to the Ministry of Education and to the school service center. If approved, that’s when you’ll step into the teacher’s shoes!
Tools to help you homeschool
First, parents, know that you won’t be left completely on your own; in fact, when you homeschool, you will be entitled to :
- Textbooks that are approved by the school principals and required for teaching;
- free instructional materials that are approved by principals and required for teaching, as well as access to certain resources and equipment related to their use in the school;
- certain equipment related to their use in at least one of their schools, subject to availability.
To begin your homeschooling application:
Direction de l’enseignement à la maison
Ministère de l’Éducation
600, rue Fullum, 11e étage
Montréal (Québec) H2K 4L1
514-787-3583 ext. 5265
A rigorous pathway by level and field
Where do you start when homeschooling? Everything you need to know for your child is here. In fact, the Quebec Education Program, which you can consult here for elementary and here for secondary school, lists all the concepts that must be mastered at the end of the year, depending on the child’s grade level. We have also prepared a list of essential knowledge for each level to help you.
A Guide filled with all kinds of suggestions
In addition, a Guide d’accompagnement that you can consult here and that is written by the Quebec government explains in detail all the aspects of home schooling. You will find tips, ideas for activities and stimulating projects to help you in your task. The subjects are detailed, so you will be able to follow the learning that takes place in languages, mathematics, history or other subjects depending on your child’s grade level. Here are some examples of suggestions for developing your child’s literacy:
- An outing and activity at the museum can become an opportunity to concretize learning: in visual arts (appreciation of works of art, of his or her own productions and those of his or her peers); in history (construction of historical landmarks); and to develop cross-curricular skills (implementation of his or her creative thinking);
- The creation of a play can be an opportunity to learn: in French (writing various texts and oral communication); in dramatic art (using acting techniques); and to develop cross-curricular skills (cooperation);
Motivation, one of the greatest challenges
The great challenge of teaching lies in the motivation of the student as well as the teacher. The parent-learner is encouraged to find ideas to capture the attention of his or her child, to stimulate his or her learning, and to stimulate his or her thirst for knowledge. This will help them develop a sense of self-efficacy and will make them more attentive and more involved during the lessons. Here are a few tips to vary the monotony of office work. As a parent, you can :
- Subscribe to educational magazines for young people
- Check out public cultural, scientific, government, educational and television resource sites that offer free information and activities;
- Take field trips with your child (aquarium, science museum, etc.)
- Go to the library
Assessments (if mandatory)
Children who are home schooled must pass the same tests as students in school. School service centers must arrange for a child who is being educated at home and who may be a candidate for a test imposed by the Minister under the Education Act to attend a test session held at a school service centre. There shall be no charge for taking such tests or for any preparatory activities in connection therewith.
In addition, the Department of Education recently announced new provisions to better regulate home schooling beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, which will allow for an upgrade in learning for the children concerned in order to offer them better conditions for success. In addition, school service centers are required to offer preparatory activities for the ministerial tests, applicable as of the 2021-2022 school year.
The mandatory tests are as follows:
Grade 4, Elementary: French, language of instruction (reading and writing) ;
Grade 6, elementary: French, language of instruction, or English Language Arts (reading and writing) and mathematics;
Secondary 2: French, language of instruction (writing).
And single tests:
Secondary 4: – mathematics, Natural Sciences sequence, or Technico-sciences or Culture, Society and Technology; – science and technology or Technological and Scientific Applications; – history of Quebec and Canada ;
Secondary 5: – French as a language of instruction, or English Language Arts; – English as a second language (core or enriched program), or French as a second language (core or enriched program).
Finally, many resources are available to parents to help them in this task. You will find here several organizations that are there to help parents make the transition to home schooling with their child.
- Ministère de l’Éducationet de l’Enseignement supérieur
- L’Association Chrétienne des Parents-Éducateurs du Québec: https://acpeq.org/
- The Canadian Home School Legal Association: https://hslda.ca/fr/
- The Quebec Association for Home Education: https://www.aqed.qc.ca/