Homeschooling Frequently Asked Questions

When parents choose to homeschool their children, they usually have a myriad of questions running through their heads. We've covered the basics in our answers to the frequently asked questions listed below. The rest of our website will help you explore each issue or topic in greater detail. If you can't find answers on these pages, please feel free to contact OFTP for further information and assistance.

Thanks to the American Homeschool Association for some of the material in this collection of FAQ's.

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What is homeschooling? How does it work?

"Homeschooling" is probably the most common term currently in use to describe parents taking direct responsibility for their children's education instead of sending the children to school. Other phrases used include: home-based learning, family- and community-based learning, homelearning.

There are a number of different approaches that can be taken by homeschooling parents according to their values, beliefs and personal styles and also according to what works for their own individual children. On the spectrum between structure and freedom, at one end there is the structured approach of "school-at-home" in which the family follows a grade-based curriculum using textbooks and worksheets, and at the other end of the spectrum there is what is sometimes called "unschooling" or "child-led learning," which is more informal and integrated into daily life. There are also approaches in-between these two poles, that combine structure and natural learning in different measures, and for each of all these approaches there are variations according to the family's values and beliefs and particular philosophies of life.

It's up to you to decide what form homeschooling will take in your own family. We recommend you find out more about the different approaches before settling on one. You may find, as well, that your approach changes over time as you respond to the needs and interests of your children and the logistics and economics of providing for their education at home. For further exploration of your options, please see the next question (How do I decide what approach to take?) and visit our page on Teaching Methods and Learning Philosophies.

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How do I decide what approach to take?

Start by questioning any assumptions or preconceptions you might have about childhood education, and redefine it according to your own beliefs and in the context of your own overall parenting goals. How we approach the academic aspect of our children's learning has an impact on their development and well-being in other dimensions of their being as well: physical, social, psychological, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you explore the issues:

Is education about preparing children to enter the job market as adults? Giving them a foundation of culture (helping them become "educated" persons)? Developing their intelligence? Developing their talents? Overcoming their weaknesses? Drawing out their full potential?

Is it important to conform to the predetermined set of knowledge and skills delineated by the standard school curriculum? What are the minimum skills and knowledge children should have acquired by the time they are adult? How can I best help my children acquire that set of skills and knowledge? What is their learning style? What approach will they respond to with the most positive results in terms of overall learning (i.e. not just academic learning, but what they learn about themselves, life and relationships, through interacting with me as I parent them through my chosen approach to the academic)?

Having explored some of these questions, you can more clearly see what approaches are aligned with your beliefs and overall parenting philosophy and goals. A number of approaches to homeschooling are described on our page on teaching methods and learning philosophies.

What are some of the benefits of homeschooling?

Response written by Marian Buchanan

Different approaches to home-based learning offer different benefits to some degree, but there are also major benefits that all approaches share in common.

Academically, the main benefit of homeschooling is that each child receives individual attention that is tailored to his or her own abilities and readiness to progress. Each child can therefore learn at his or her own pace. Even in a curriculum-based or grade-based approach to learning, in the home setting there is no need to push a child through to a certain lesson by a certain date. When a child isn't understanding what is presented or is having difficulty retaining the information given, the parent can continue working with the child until the lesson is assimilated before moving on to later lessons that build on it. In this way, homeschooling children are never left behind if they are having difficulties, which makes homeschooling ideally suited to those with learning differences ("learning disabilities"). By the same token, neither are they held back if they are ready to advance, which makes homeschooling ideal as well for gifted children. The "average" child benefits in a similar way, since there really is no such thing as an "average" child — each child is a unique individual with a unique set of talents and interests that make some things harder for them to learn and others quite easy.

Another major benefit is positive socialization. From the point of view of both social and psychological development, there have been a number of studies that confirm what homeschooling families witness firsthand, which is that homeschooled children tend to have more developed, positive social skills than their schooled counterparts. Homeschooled children learn their social skills from their parents rather than their peers, so they are learning from adult role models. Because they don't spend much time in peer-intensive environments like school, but do interact with other children in smaller or more supervised groups, homeschooled children don't experience too much peer pressure or bullying, so they don't tend to develop dysfunctional bully-survival strategies nor the excessive peer orientation that is of such concern these days.

As Vancouver psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld warns, excessive peer orientation undermines the natural authority of parents and thus impedes the natural course of the child's psychological development. By contrast, not having excessive peer orientation to contend with, homeschooling parents retain the ability to guide their children gradually to a connected type of independence by way of the natural dependency of childhood, which is what children are developmentally supposed to have in relation to their parents, in whose care Nature/God has placed them.

Which leads us to another one of the main benefits of homeschooling: the developing and nurturing of strong family bonds. As family members —parents, children, siblings— spend time together, sharing their lives, learning and playing and working together, they develop close ties with each other and a secure emotional base from which children can venture out into the world as they grow older and more independent.

The flexibility afforded by being able to set your own timetable is another advantage, both in terms of the logistics of family life and in terms of children's readiness to learn.

In point form, the short-version list of benefits of homeschooling include:

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How many children are homeschooled?

Many home educating parents do not register with local school officials so an exact number is not known. However, it is estimated that approximately 1% to 2% of all school-age children are homeschooled in North America, which translates as around 20,000 children in Ontario. The number for Canada as a whole is estimated at approximately 60,000 homeschooled children. Estimates for the United States range between 1 million to 2 million children being homeschooled.

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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 child is excused from attendance at school if, the child is receiving satisfactory instruction at home or elsewhere.

Satisfactory instruction is not defined in the Ontario Education Act nor does it say who should make this determination. In the past, school boards assumed it was up to them to make that determination, and therefore adopted a policy of making demands of homeschooling parents that OFTP believed exceeded the authority given them by the Education Act. Such demands included requesting forms be completed (detailing the curriculum used, activities engaged in, hours of instruction, methods of assessment, etc.), and/or having an attendance counsellor visit them in their home.

As a result of OFTP's efforts to have this non-legal policy changed, the Ministry of Education drafted a new official policy, released in June 2002 as Policy/Program Memorandum No.131, which directs school boards to accept a family's letter of intent to homeschool as sufficient evidence that the parents are providing satisfactory instruction. School boards are directed to investigate only if there are "reasonable grounds" to suspect that the instruction is not satisfactory, and are given to understand that homeschooling methods and schedules etc. may be very different from the kind of instruction provided in schools.

Some school boards continue to attempt a more routine monitoring of homeschooling families. If this is the case for you, you may wish to refer them to PPM131.

It should be emphasized that both the previous policy of routine monitoring and the current policy detailed in PPM131 are policies only, not laws. The only legally enforceable document is the Education Act. Therefore, if a homeschooling family chooses not to cooperate with a school board's attempts to monitor or investigate them, they are not breaking any laws. A provincial inquiry is the only investigation with which parents are obligated by law to comply.

The provincial inquiry is the procedure provided by the Education Act to be followed in cases where there is a dispute between the parents and the school attendance counsellor concerning the applicability of Section 21(2). Under Section 24, the procedure to be followed is a provincial inquiry by officials appointed by the Provincial School Attendance Counseller. The Act states explicitly that these inquiry officials should not be from the school board that operates the school that the child has the right to attend.

Nevertheless, the policy outlined by PPM131 includes the possibility of a school board investigation. The decision about whether or not to cooperate with a school board investigation is up to each individual homeschooling family.

See our pages on homeschooling legal issues for more details.

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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).

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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.

The government's current home schooling policy was released on June 17, 2002 as Policy/Program Memorandum No. 131 (PPM131). We recommend you read this document on the Ministry of Education website and OFTP's reaction to it as it sets new ground rules and expectations for school boards in their dealings with parents who choose to home educate their children in Ontario.

PPM131 includes an Appendix B: Sample Letter Indicating Notification of Intent to Provide Home Schooling. 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.

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To whom should I send my letter of intent?

When withdrawing children from the school system with the intention of homeschooling them instead, a written notification should be sent to the school board so that the children are not considered truant. For the same reason, and out of common courtesy, it makes sense for you to inform the principal as well. You might, for instance, provide the principal with a copy of the notice to the school board.

You can find the list of all Ontario school boards, with addresses and phone numbers, on the website of the Ministry of Education.

Is there a sample letter of intent I could use?

You can use the government's Sample Letter in Appendix B of Policy/Program Memorandum No.131.

Do I have to send a letter of intent every year?

As per the policy document, PPM131, the government would prefer that all parents notify the school board in each school year that they will be homeschooling a child of compulsory school age (age 6 to 18). This is not technically a requirement, however, since it is merely a policy rather than the law. See our PPM131 FAQ.

Do I have to send a letter of intent even if my child has never attended school?

Because PPM131 is a policy rather than the law, many parents whose children have never attended school do not notify the school board. However, if you are contacted by the school or school board authorities asking why your child is not attending school, it makes sense for you to reply in writing or fill out the basic notification form they may wish you to fill out for their official records. While a request for any detailed information (about curriculum, schedules, assessment techniques, etc.) would amount to an investigation, a request for a written statement confirming your intention to homeschool would be a perfectly reasonable request. Refusing to comply with it would create an adversarial dynamic unnecessarily and could escalate it to an investigation. See our PPM131 FAQ.

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Do I need to keep records of our homeschooling?

There is no legal requirement in Ontario to keep home education records.

Your child might choose to document his/her learning during the 'high school years,' in other words once he/she gets within a few years of applying for university if that is the route she/he decides to take. The documentation needed for the admissions process changes from one university to another. We recommend the young person find out specifically what is required for admissions at the particular universities to which they will be applying, with enough advance to have time to tailor their studies accordingly and gather the documentation together. The university admissions policies listed on our site are not just for Ontario, but for all of Canada.

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Do I need to be a certified teacher to homeschool my children?

No, there is no requirement in the Ontario Education Act for a parent to be a certified teacher in order to homeschool their children. Although 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. Research has shown that homeschooling parents who are not professional teachers do just as well, if not better, than homeschooling parents who are certified teachers.

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I can't quit my job to homeschool. Can I have my children homeschooled by someone else? Is that legal?

There is nothing in the Education Act nor PPM131 that would disallow it. The educational part of it is covered by "at home or elsewhere" and it would be like attending a non-registered private school or hiring a tutor. For the care-provider aspect of it, it depends on the ages of the children. If there are children under age 5, the person providing the service has to abide by the rules and ratios in the Day Nurseries Act. Assuming all the children are of school age, though, the situation is similar to that of the many after-school daycare providers who take several children into their own homes after school while waiting for their parents to be off work. The only difference, aside from which hours are involved, is the fact that the care-provider would be taking care of their education as well.

Can I work at a job (or be on Ontario Works) and still homeschool my own children?

Yes. If you work (or are on Ontario Works) but still wish to be the one homeschooling your children, you will simply need to find a "babysitting" solution for the hours you work (or are involved in OW job-related activities). Then, during your free hours at home, you can provide any instructional or non-instructional learning opportunities you wish. Your children will, of course, still be learning during their other hours as well, but if you want to provide a specific education and you want to be the one to provide it, it doesn't matter what hours of the day the "official" homeschooling happens -- as long as you're not keeping your children up at hours when they should be in bed for their health and wellbeing.

Homeschooling families have often been portrayed as "Dad going to work, Mom staying at home with the kids." The reality, for many families, is much different: single parents homeschool, working parents homeschool, dads at home homeschool, parents with ongoing illnesses homeschool. Some families homeschool some of their children but not others. Grandparents homeschool grandchildren. It may take a little creative juggling, but many of the perceived barriers can be gotten around with some thoughtful problem-solving.

I'd like to homeschool other people's children. Is that legal? How can I go about offering the service?

Tutoring is, of course, legal, and so is daycare. If you'd like to offer a full-day solution for several families in which the parents work full-time and still want their children to be homeschooled, there is nothing in the Education Act nor PPM131 that would disallow it. The parents still retain responsibility for ensuring the children receive "satisfactory instruction," and hiring a full-day tutor or educational daycare provider is one way they can do that. The educational aspect of it is covered by the Act's phrase "at home or elsewhere." For the care-provider aspect of it, you must abide by any relevant rules and ratios in the Day Nurseries Act if there are any children under the age of 5. Assuming all the children are of school age, though, the situation is similar to that of the many after-school daycare providers who take several children into their own homes after school while waiting for the parents to be off work. The difference is that you would be taking care of the children's education as well, and the hours would be school hours (or whatever hours the parents work) rather than after-school hours.

To offer this service to parents, you may send your information to the OFTP and we will pass it along to parents who enquire about options in their area.

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How long can you home school?

From birth to whatever age the child leaves home.

How do home schooling parents avoid burnout?

Academic pursuits take fewer hours a week than in school because of the one-on-one tutoring, therefore a homeschooling parent does not need to spend the same amount of time as the school system to teach their children. Learning to work independently teaches children how to fill their time wisely which is more feasible in the homeschooling environment with the parent acting as a resource and facilitator. 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. Here are some ways to avoid burnout:

Many families do not experience the feeling of burnout since they fall into a natural rhythm of being home with their children on a regular basis. If the child attended school then the family usually follows the schedule of the school - i.e. getting their child to school, picking them up at the end of the day, finding alternative child care on school closure days, March break, summer break, staying home from work with sick children and taking paid vacation days or unpaid days, etc. In the homeschool environment the family can set their own schedule. If a child is sick then any activities that were scheduled can be canceled with minimum fuss. Parents do not have to worry about who is going to watch their children when they are not in school due to illness or school closure days since they are home with their children on a daily basis and have taken full responsibility for the care and education of their children.

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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 on 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.

 

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Is homeschooling expensive?

Homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive, although it certainly can be if you take advantage of all the educational products and services that are available on the market.

Your homeschooling costs can be tailored to your budget and the approach you have chosen, and can depend as well on what your children's interests are (if your child is going to be a computer programmer when she grows up, she will need a computer; if he hopes to be a research scientist, a microscope might be a worthwhile investment). If you have decided to buy a ready-made curriculum package for each grade, you will of course spend a lot more than if you use only free or low cost resources such as the library, the internet, or learning opportunities that are available in the community (museums, tours, demonstrations, field trips) or through your local support group. Even with prepackaged materials, though, you can often buy them second hand, either online or from other homeschoolers, used book stores, garage sales and curriculum fairs.

Expect to pay a few hundred dollars a year if you use mostly free or low cost resources, and several thousand if you are buying prepackaged curriculum for a family of several children at different grade levels.

Please note that in Ontario the Ministry of Education does not provide any funding to homeschooling families. Therefore, if you plan to purchase any curriculum materials or resources you will have to pay for them yourself.

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How do I know which materials and resources to use?

The place to start is to decide what approach you'd like to take. (It will likely change over time as you observe how your children respond to your methods and materials, but you have to start somewhere.) The reason to consider the question of approach first, is that it will make a difference in your choice of materials. There's no point in investing in expensive materials if it turns out you won't be using them after all.

If you haven't explored the question of approach yet, consider the following: education as provided in schools is institutional mass education, in other words it is based on delivering instruction towards a predetermined set of knowledge and skills, to a group of 25 to 35 children simultaneously, on a set schedule, in a set order. The standardized curriculum that informs that instruction is designed to conform to the logistics of that type of mass education, not to the interests, abilities and readiness of any particular individual child. As a parent, you have the opportunity to tailor your child's education to his or her own style of learning, growing abilities, state of readiness, and personal interests. You may or may not be able to do that with a standard curriculum and the materials that support it. You will need to decide what your parental and educational priorities are and how best to fulfill them in practical terms.

No matter what your approach, your children will learn through daily life, conversations and exploration of the world around them -- it's just a natural part of their development. The materials that support this type of learning will therefore naturally include household objects, toys and boardgames, bikes and baseballs, tools and gadgets, CDs, DVDs and books, and whatever else you already own or have access to (e.g. through the library). If you choose to, you can supplement this natural learning with deliberately educational materials to whatever extent you feel is needed or desired.

If you're planning on following a child-led approach, you likely won't be looking at curriculum packages (although you might if your child asks for them) but you still might want to have certain reference books on hand (e.g. dictionary, atlas). You might also find some of the hands-on educational supplies (math manipulatives, science kits) fit in with your perspective on how to stimulate your child's creativity, curiosity and experimentation.

If you're planning on following a curriculum-based approach, you'll be wondering which brand is best suited to your own philosophy and beliefs and to your child's learning style and interests. Eventually we hope to provide product reviews of some of the materials available, to help you in your decision. Meanwhile, you can ask fellow homeschoolers to share their opinions, advice and experience of what worked well for their own children, and this might give you an idea of what could work well for yours. You can contact fellow homeschooling parents through local and online support groups.

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Where can I get materials and resources?

Materials and resources come in all sizes and shapes - and many don't look 'schoolish' at all. Many families find their most treasured learning resources at garage sales and thrift shops. Think of building and needlework materials, cooking tools, books, magazines, motors, gears, etc... Other families frequent the bookstores and educational supply stores in their communities. Some find videos from the video rental store valuable. Most think the public library is the best possible resource. Send for the catalogs that look interesting to you. They are filled with resources which you may find helpful. If you are interested in finding out more about prepackaged curriculum or correspondence schools write for their brochures and informative flyers. Homeschooling conferences and learning fairs are another place for looking at materials and getting ideas.

See our pages on resources for ideas and suppliers.

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What if my child wants to learn something I can't teach?

Children have the most amazing ability to want to learn the one thing about which we know absolutely nothing! It's a universal attribute. Homeschooling families are blessed in having the 'world as their classroom.' There are classes (correspondence, video, support groups, community centers, colleges, etc...) taught by experts, but many children are very capable of teaching themselves - just as adults do when they have something new they want to learn. One of the most powerful learning experiences for a child is to have a parent learning right alongside the child. Parents, thankfully, do not have to be the expert in every area. Learn with your child, or search your community for resources that will help your child learn. And when searching for 'teachers,' don't overlook friends, acquaintances, and businesspeople in your community - most people are delighted to have a young person around who is sincerely interested in what they do and know.

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What about socialization? How will my child learn to get along in the world?

One of the many benefits of homeschooling is positive socialization. See the FAQ on benefits and our page on Socialization.

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How do I know if my children are learning?

Children are always learning - they just can't help it! Just like when they were babies and toddlers, you can discover what they are learning by spending time with them and observing the growth in their understanding of the world. Observation as an assessment (titled 'authentic assessment' and a big educational buzzword these days) acknowledges growth in understanding and skill level. Homeschooling allows for direct observation by the parents who know their child better than anyone else. There is a smaller child-to-adult ratio in the home environment (compared to 25:1 or 30:1 in schools) so it is easier to observe the progress of the child. Unlike standardized testing, direct observation by the parent doesn't give a 'snapshot' that attempts to quantify learning at one point in time. It is fluid and flexible and has no preconceived notions about what a child 'should' be able to do. You can look at the whole person and concentrate on what your child knows, instead of what your child does not know.

Children are constantly asking questions so we know that they are thinking and curious. Everyone has their own internal schedule for learning (i.e. not every child is ready to read at the age of 5 - some may start to read as early as age 3 and others may not be ready until they are 8 or 9, or as late as 13) and we need to try to respect the internal schedule of each child. If you use a curriculum package with your child you will know whether or not they understand the material they are learning when you review the lessons with them and look at their work.

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Should I test my child?

Testing, like many other educational concerns, should be a personal decision. Some questions to consider before making this decision include: which tests will be used and why, how might the testing process affect the learner, how will the test results be used, and are there less intrusive alternatives that can be utilized instead? Testing, in the home environment where parents are always very aware of how well their children are doing, is unnecessary and intrusive. Testing is under fire from many teachers and educators, and many educational establishments are attempting to eliminate standardized testing in their schools. Very careful consideration should be taken before any testing is done to children for any reason.

See our page on testing for more information.

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What about higher education?

Homeschooled children can and do attend college and university. Some homeschool through the elementary years and then attend high school to get their diploma or obtain credits through correspondence schools and virtual schools. Others homeschool through the high school years and are accepted at post-secondary institutions without an official high school diploma. Many universities and colleges in Ontario are starting to prepare admissions policies for homeschoolers. However, even if a college or university does not have a specific policy, homeschoolers have still been able to gain admittance to many of these institutions. It is recommended that you determine what the admissions policy is for homeschoolers (if a policy exists) or determine what the general admissions policy is, for any particular college or university that you are interested in attending. It is also a good idea to speak to the Registrar to inform them of your particular situation in order to determine what criteria are necessary for you to gain admittance.

Universities like Harvard and Stanford actively recruit homelearners because of the creativity, independence and motivation that comes from being a self-directed learner at home. These universities are more interested in the student's actual ability and attitude than in the formal documents (transcripts, diplomas,...) that are meant to serve as evidence of these qualities.

Many teens will find their chosen career does not require them to attend a post-secondary institution but is much more quickly and appropriately accessed through a different venue: apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and career colleges are some of the other options.

It's also never too late to pursue higher education, as universities and colleges welcome older applicants as "mature students" without the need for a secondary school diploma. An option for homeschoolers who do not have a secondary school diploma, is therefore to wait to attend college or university until they can do so as a mature student - age 21 for university and age 19 for college - since the criteria for the admission of a mature student are different from those for a student under the age of 19 or 21.

See our pages on University/College Information for more details.

Cafi Cohen's book "And What About College?" (Holt Associates, 1998) and Grace Llewellyn's "Teenage Liberation Handbook" can be great helps to families working through these decisions.

Some well-known homeschoolers include: 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 and Theodore Roosevelt.

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." ~ Albert Einstein
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~ Mark Twain

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Is there a support group in my area?

OFTP maintains a list of support groups that we are aware of. (We also provide support through our OFTP Area Reps.) If you do not see a group in your area on the OFTP list, then perhaps you could place a notice in your library or community centre indicating that you are looking for a homeschooling support group. If one does not exist in your community then perhaps you may want to consider starting one. Post a notice in your local library indicating that you are wanting to start a support group and invite other homeschoolers in your area to join you. If you know of a group, or are forming a new group, please let us know. We will let others know of its existence.

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Is there any funding for home-based education? Are there any tax credits?

In provinces where funding is available to homeschoolers, it goes hand-in-hand with compulsory registration and government supervision. In Ontario, there is no funding nor tax credits but there is also no routine monitoring. Many parents prefer greater autonomy over funding. The government can still conduct investigations if need be, but that's a lot different from routine supervision and related requirements.

For students who attend school part-time and do homeschooling the rest of the time, school boards do receive proportionate funding for the part-time attendance. The funding is for the school board, not the family. (The Ministry of Education does allow homeschoolers to attend school part-time; however, it is at the principal's discretion whether or not to accept a homeschooled student for part-time attendance. Please see our page on Part Time Attendance for more details.)

Shouldn't I be exempt from school support taxes if I don't use the system?

Homeschoolers are in the same position as anyone else. Everyone pays taxes for roads and bridges, even those who have no cars. In the same way, everyone pays for public schools, even those who have no children or whose children attend private schools or homeschool. We are not paying for schools as homeschoolers but as taxpaying citizens, supporting the infrastructure of services that our government provides.

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Other FAQ pages

Please note that the legal requirements and information are different in the U.S. than in Canada, and even from province to province within Canada, so any specific legal information on the following pages should be disregarded if it's not geared directly to your province.

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