2000 – Home Education Fact Sheet

Historical Record: In the Spring of 2000, this document was included in three of OFTP's information packages:
  • the School Board initiative
  • the Social Services initiative
  • the information package sent to members
Developed by the Cormiers. Most OFTP members were given a print copy. Nowadays most homeschoolers have internet access so we don't send out printed materials unless specifically requested. Our FAQ webpage is more detailed and current than this brief handout.

Introduction

Home schooling is a growing movement that affords parents a chance to take responsibility for their child’s education and help develop the child’s interests.

Is it Legal?

Yes! According to the Ontario Education Act (Section 21) a child is excused from attendance when the child is receiving satisfactory instruction at home or elsewhere. Many school boards make demands on parents who home educate. Most, if not all, of these demands are not supported by law.

What About Socialization?

This is probably the most misunderstood aspect of home schooling. Homeschoolers enjoy far more opportunities than children in the school system to learn to relate to others and get along with a wide variety of people. This happens as a normal part of family life - by living in the community, meeting regularly in community and home education groups, attending field trips and participating in countless other everyday activities. Many homeschooling parents say it is the positive aspects of socialization through the home that attracts them to this lifestyle.

Will Home Taught Children Be Able To Go On To Higher Education and Careers?

A number of high school correspondence programs are available. In Ontario, the Simcoe Board of Education - EDEN Project has begun offering high school credit courses over the internet. Some home schooled children have taken college courses to prepare for university. Many universities in the U.S. are actively recruiting home schooled students because of their creativity, independence and ability to work on their own. A recent study found that many home schoolers become entrepreneurs.

Famous Home Learners

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."
- Albert Einstein

John Quincy Adams
Winston Churchill
Alexander Graham Bell
Albert Einstein
Agatha Christie
Astronaut Sally Ride
Noel Coward
Mark Twain
Thomas Edison
George Bernard Shaw
Benjamin Franklin
Theodore Roosevelt

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
- Mark Twain

What Do You Teach? Must You 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 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 her interests in other subjects. There are many texts, workbooks, curriculums and video taped lectures available. Home schooling conferences are excellent places to examine and purchase materials. However, much of what families use to home school is available at local public libraries and bookstores.

How Many Kids Are Being Home Schooled?

Many home educating parents do not register with local school officials. Reliable estimates put the number at between 1% and 2% of all school children. In Ontario that would translate into 20,000 children. Estimates for the United States range between 700,000 and 1.2 million children.

What About Testing? How Do You Know How They Are Doing?

Home schooling parents are monitoring each child’s progress every day. These parents may have a better idea of the progress than if the child were in school. Every child is unique. What is important is to allow the child to work up to his/her potential.

Must A Home Schooling Parent Be A Certified Teacher?

No. Any parent willing to continue to learn can be a superb home teacher. Though many teachers have chosen home schooling for their children, parents from a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds successfully educate their children at home.

Home Schooling Benefits:

Closer family bonds.

Course of study can be tailored to the child’s individual interests and abilities.

The learning environment is more relaxed and natural.

Children can learn free from physical and psychological bullying.

Diminished influence of peers.

Why Do Parents Choose Home Schooling?

There are as many reasons to home school as there are homeschooling families. Every child is different, every family is different, and no single system can be right for all of them. Everyone who home educates discovers a greater depth to the meaning of family.

How Long Can You Home School?

From birth to whatever age the child leaves home.

How Do Home Schoolers Feel About Teachers And The Education System?

We hold teachers in the highest regard. Home teaching parents educate only their own children, often no more than 2 or 3. Teachers must work with as many as 30 or more children in one room for several hours a day. It is a difficult balancing act for the school teacher to help the slow ones along, stimulate the quick ones, entice the reluctant learners and set limits for the children who do not do, or are not able to do, as they are told. The type of education a family chooses for its children is often dictated by many factors. Home educating does not fit everyone’s needs. For the majority of families the public run school system meets their requirements.

How Do Home Schooling Parents Avoid Burnout?

Academic pursuits take fewer hours a week than in school because of the one-on-one tutoring. Learning to work independently teaches children how to fill their time wisely. It has often been noticed that when a child is ready, many concepts that can take years to learn in the school system are mastered within a matter of weeks. Readiness is everything.