The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents

Find the OFTP’s definition of frequently used terms. If we’re missing a term, please contact us:

Homeschooling: when the responsibility of the child(ren)’s education is taken on by the parent(s) rather than the state.

Deschooling: the process of transitioning from an institutional school environment to homeschooling. Can take weeks to months, depending on age of child(ren), time in school, and reason for homeschooling.

Unschooling: a method of homeschooling, usually involving child-directed learning, minimal to no textbook/workbook use, minimal to no set curriculum, minimal to no “scheduled learning” or “formal academics” of any kind, unless requested by the child(ren).

Radical Unschooling: where the principles of unschooling are extended to parenting as well.

Socialization: used in two different ways: 1) the healthy and typical development of social skills in children, including etiquette and manners; and 2) the healthy and typical exposure of children to peers, authority figures, and the general public.

Letter of Intent: the written communication given to an Ontario school board to notify them of a family’s decision to homeschool their child(ren), and easily withdraw said child(ren) from the publicly funded school system. The OFTP has a sample template available for your convenience here.

Curriculum: the program of lessons and activities designed to teach a subject, topic or skill. May be used to refer to a complete curriculum covering all topics & subjects for one year, or to refer to a specific set of materials for one topic or subject.