You have decided to dive into the wonderful adventure of homeschooling, but don’t know where to start? Undoubtedly, the idea of not preparing lunches – ah, the famous nut-free lunches! – may seem like a very interesting prospect, but homeschooling requires good preparation and a rigorous follow-up. Here is some information to guide you in your choice of homeschooling your child, but more importantly, to ensure that your child benefits from the same learning experience as that provided in schools.
Moreover, from the age of 6 to 16 years old, all children residing in Quebec must attend school. However, the Education Act allows you to make a written request to be authorized to teach at home. This request must be sent to the Ministry of Education and to the school service center. If your request is approved, then you’ll put yourself in the teacher’s shoes!
Tools to help you… to help your child
First of all, you should know that, as parents, you will not be left completely on your own; indeed, you will have access, while homeschooling, to:
- Approved textbooks which are required for teaching;
- Approved teaching materials that are offered free of charge,
- Certain equipment related to their use in at least one of their schools, subject to availability.
A rigorous path to follow according to the grade and the subject
Where do you start with homeschooling your child? Everything you need to know for your child is here. In fact, the Ministry of Education, which you can consult here for elementary school and here for secondary school, lists all the concepts that to be mastered for each grade level.
A Guide full of suggestions for homeschooling your child
In addition, a Quebec government publication, the Home Schooling Support Guide, which you can consult here, explains in detail all aspects of homeschooling. You will find tips, activity ideas, and stimulating projects to help you in your endeavour. You will be able to follow the curriculum for your child’s grade in languages, mathematics, history and other subjects.
Here are a few examples of suggestions to help you develop your child’s literacy skills:
- An outing paired with an activity at a museum can become an opportunity to solidify learning: in visual arts (appreciation of works of art, of one’s own productions and those of one’s classmates), in history (construction of historical reference points), and to develop transversal skills (implementation of one’s creative thinking);
- The creation of a play can be an opportunity to learn: in language arts (writing various texts and oral communication), in dramatic arts (use of acting techniques), and to develop transversal skills (cooperation);
What about motivation while homeschooling?
The great challenge of homeschooling lies in the motivation of the student as well as the teacher. It is optimal if the parent-teacher can find ideas to capture your child’s attention, to stimulate his or her learning: to fuel his or her thirst for knowledge. The child then becomes more engaged and self-motivated, and will be more attentive and more participative during the lessons.
Here are a few tips to vary the activities. As parents, you can:
- Subscribe to educational magazines for young people;
- Consult public cultural, scientific, government, educational and television sites that offer free information and activities;
- Go on field trips with your child (aquarium, science museum, etc.);
- Go to the library and discover great books!
Children who are homeschooled must complete the same tests as students at school. School service centers must arrange for a home-schooled child to take ther Ministry exams on the premises of the school service center. There is no charge for taking these tests nor for the preparatory activities for the test.
In addition, the Ministry of Education recently announced new provisions to better supervise homeschooling starting in the 2020-2021 school year. Among other things, this includes new provisions relating to the Ministerial Tests in 2021-2022, which will allow the children concerned to upgrade their learning. Also, school service centers are required to offer preparatory activities for taking the ministerial exams, applicable as of the 2020-2021 school year.
Different tests for each grade
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 the single tests :
- Secondary 4: Mathematics; Natural Sciences, or Technical Sciences or Culture, Society and Technology Science and Technology or Technological and Scientific Applications; – History of Quebec and Canada ;
- Secondary 5: – French, language of instruction, or English Language Arts; English, second language (basic or enriched program), or French, second language (basic or enriched program).
Finally, you should know that many resources are available to parents to help them in this task. You will find here several organizations that can help parents make a smooth transition towards homeschooling with their child.
Moreover, our tutors at SOSteacher are always available to assist parents and students in their academic success!