Canadian Homeschool Laws: Ontario

chslawsONI was asked by The Canadian Homeschooler to write a blog post about starting homeschooling in my province.

Here in Ontario we’re pretty lucky to live in a no reporting area. We need to provide a letter of intent to homeschool to our local school board and that’s about it!

If you are pulling your child from public school, you should do this so your child isn’t considered truant. You do not need to send a copy of the letter to your child’s principal, but it is generally considered to be a common courtesy. If you are homeschooling from the start, it’s not completely necessary to do this unless you are “discovered” by the local board, but people often do file the letter of intent just to cover all bases.

In my case, I pulled my daughter Brianna from public school, so send a letter of intent each year. For my younger daughter Olivia, who will never be in the public school system, I will just add her to Brianna’s letter of intent when the time comes (6 years old in Ontario).

Some school boards will try to tell you that you have to inform them of curriculum plans or do testing. This is not true. In Ontario there are no laws for homeschoolers that require you to submit curriculum plans, text book lists or reading lists. There are also no required testings in Ontario. You do not need to have approval to teach what you wish to you child.

You do have the legal option for your children to take the EQAO in grades 3, 6 and 9 and the Literacy test in Gr. 10, but they are not required. If you choose to have your children take these tests simply notify your child’s old school (or in the case of homeschooling from the beginning or due to school closure, a nearby school) the year your child will need to take the test (the earlier the better) and the school is required to provide your child with space to take the test. The results will be returned to the school the test was taken at and the school is then to forward the results to you.

If you’d like, the Ministry of Education has the general Ontario curriculum on their website, Elementary and Secondary and also the French Language Education. You can closely or loosely follow this curriculum. Some parents choose to do this so their children will stay at the same level as their classmates in the case that they would have to be re-integrated into the public system.

Other parents choose other methods of homeschooling that have nothing to do with the Ministry of Education’s planned curriculum. These are all perfectly legal for parents to do. If there was a point in time that you had no choice but to place you child back in public school, the school would simply administer a placement test to verify learning levels.

The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents is the best resource for parents new to homeschooling. It give a breakdown of the laws and provides parents with blank letters of intent that they can fill out and mail to provided school board addresses. The site also provides a list of homeschooling groups by area. You can use the information on their site for free and/or become a member of the OFPT for a small fee.

Some people will make out homeschooling to be difficult. In some ways it is, but at least in Ontario you don’t have the added problems of cutting through miles of red tape from the government.

Links
Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents –  http://ontariohomeschool.org/index.shtml
Compiled by: Sandra Hart
Sandra – mother of 4, homeschooling 2 living at home (almost 3 and 9) and niece (11). Relaxed, eclectic homeschooler. Her blog – www.homeschoolingnewbie.blogspot.com

119 thoughts on “Canadian Homeschool Laws: Ontario”

  1. Dr. Mobarak Ali

    To Whom It May Concern
    We are Canadians from Toronto, ON living in Saudi Arabia and would very much like to have our children homeschooled here with Canadian curriculum. They have been here for about 8 years now and are not satisfied with the educational system here. Son GR 9; Son GR 8, & Daughter GR 4.
    Please advise how we can benefit from your homeschool program and how we can register to start right away.
    We would like to know how the program works, costs and recognition by Canadian Colleges and Universities.
    Thank you and hoping to hear from you soon.

    1. Hi,

      I am providing homeschooling and tutoring, I have three years experience with the Ontario Curriculum and French Immersion.
      if interested, please contact me @lovetoteach2010@gmail.com

        1. Hello, I would like to homeschool other children as well as my own. Kind of like a home School daycare for elementary aged children. Does this concept exist in Ontario?

          1. As far as I know, this is an acceptable option in Ontario, yes. From http://ontariohomeschool.org/homeschooling-faq/

            “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.”

          2. Hi Natalie, I am also looking to do what you are. The intensity of bullying is so out of control it’s awful. Please advise me if u know how can I home school up to ten children out of a home that is currently empty but will be renovated to help these victims,, ty

    2. hi Dr.Mubarak
      I am a mom of 2 boys we are also Canadian but from Alberta and we live currently at Saudi Arabia at The Eastern Province Al Hassa. we have been here for 5 months but I am shocked with the schools and education system and I am very interested at canadian home schooling, i came across your message and was interested, if you don’t mind, to know what are you up to in this issue and if you were able to figure out a way to get your kids registered in homeschooling. thanks for your time

      1. You would have to live in Canada to be able to register for homeschooling. Sorry about your experience with their education system.

  2. I have a child who was being bulled in school and now is being the buller so I was considering taking her out and teaching her at home. Some other mother’s were saying that if I choose to teach her at home I would lose the childtax and the trillium and gst apparently: I just wanted to know is that true.

    1. From What I know and the peopleI have asked you do not lost any money. I haven’t lost anything and neither has anyone else. -Lee

      1. I just recently contacted the Government to ask this question because I am thinking very seriously of homeschooling my kids and I was told that NO you don’t lose any benefits because it is none of the governments business (that is what the person I spoke to said). You just have to keep the government informed of any changes in your home ie: moving, divorce/separation, kids going to live with a relative and no longer living in your home.

    2. That’s not true because I Homeachool my daughter and I still recieve the child tax and alL that. Don’t listen to them, you are the parent. To h&%# with him.

  3. Stephanie Williams

    Can I homeschool my child even though I have no high school diploma ? I don’t have a diploma due to bullies . I want my child to learn in a fun , safe and loving environment.

  4. Jefferson Wagenknecht

    Hi, i’m from Brazil and I have a six months daughter, but I’m really concerned about hers education, here in Brazil homeschooling it’s prohibited, people went arrested some times because of it, I have a friend there in Canada, and I would like to know if the fact that I want to practice the homeschooling would help me to get a permanent visa, of course I’ll work too, but the most important for me is her education, here in Brazil the schools are terrible and things are getting worse every day…

    1. Wanting to homeschool won’t help you get into the country but I don’t believe it would hinder it either. Good luck and if you need any more information about homeschooling in our country feel free to contact us.

  5. i have been homeschooling my kids for 2 years now.I pulled them out of school because of bullying issues but didn’t tell the school as i did not wan tto be frowned upon and now after 1.5 yrs Canada revenue is reviewing my benefits and asking for teh money back as i dont have school letter and did not register tehm for homeschooling.I thought it was not mandatory and now we r in trouble.

    1. I contacted the government and I was told that they can review your file and ask for any money to be paid back to them if you don’t let them know of any changes in your home.

  6. Hi, I have a 2yr old son who I want to homeschool starting at around age 4yrs. How can I find educational materials to help him transition to full-time homeschooling over the next 2 years?

    1. Hi Krystle, I have some contacts in Ontario that would be able to help you plus we run a store that sells curriculum for 50% off of regular price. You can email us for more information.

  7. i need a lot more info on home schooling, i want to take mine out of the school system i am having a lot of problems with teachers, my children are begging to not go back, bu ti am being told i have to pass a test first. i am in mississauga, can someone email me more info in regards to this how i start home schooling them, support groups in my area, and if i actually need to pass a test, i have a 13 year old special needs, 12 year old, 9 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old. thanks so much

    1. Hi Jennifer, You do NOT have to pass a test and can pull your children and start homeschooling at anytime. I have some support people who can help you so email us or more information. -Lee

    2. Hi Jennifer. I have a 13 year old special kid too. I will be homeschooling her for high school. I live in Mississauga. Feel free to email me if you wish to chatt.

  8. Hello. I’m considering removing my son from gr 9. He is being bullied constantly and HHS school does nothing about it. But I’m scared. He is already on an iep and taking essential. I don’t know where to start. Please some advice. Ty

  9. The things I’m reading about informing an Ontario school board of intent to homeschool all talk about submitting the letter every year “before September.” Does that mean that my child has to stay enrolled in her public high school school until June is done? Or can I send in my letter of intent and have her be officially withdrawn to homeschool starting now, in January? And if *can* do that, what happens to her currently enrolled courses on her transcript?

      1. Hello.
        I live in Lindsay, ON, and would also like to know if I can have my son exempted from school part way through the school year.

  10. I am interested in having my son homeschool. Is there a group of teachers in Toronto that provides homeschooling or do I have to quit my job and do it myself?

    1. Usually homeschooling is done by the parents all though I have heard of families hiring private teachers to help with their children’s education.

    2. Lots of homeschooling families also have to work. Depending on the age of the child and curriculum used (online, book & paper, etc) they can do a lot of the work themselves. Virtual schools and online curriculum are options if the child is motivated and old enough to be home while you are at work.
      If the child is not old enough to be home alone, homeschooling families sometimes swap with each other to help each other out. the great thing about homeschooling is that it doesn’t have to happen between 8:30am and 3pm. It can be done in the evenings, on holidays and weekends. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Homeschool Essentials: Understand The Rules | The Canadian Homeschooler - Canada Homeschool Curriculum Resources

  12. Hey I’m Carrie from ontario Canada and I was wondering can my child be pulled from school at any given moment to be homeschooled? And when I send the intent letter do I have to wait for a response before I pull my kid out of her school? She’s in high school and all her work is online. We go through an online homeschooling system.

  13. Hello Lee, I have a child in grade 9 in Toronto and I am planning to homeschool my child. What I have to tell the high school office when I shall pull my child from school? Furthermore, do You have a list of reliable online schools that offer low price high school classes in Ontario or Canada? I have done a research and the prices are around 450 $cad per course for online courses. Thank You for Your time. – Loreta

    1. Hi Loreta, Please email us and I can get you in touch with my Ontario contact and other support groups!! -Lee

    2. You can check out the independent learning centre as well. Because you are in toronto they can offer the courses in school or at home. I think your child would already have to be out of school to start. But there courses are only $40/each. I myself had completed 8 courses in one year. And you work at your own pace. If you need help they are more than happy to do so.

  14. Hello, I am very interested in pulling my grade 7 daughter out of school for the remainder of the year and possibly grade 8. Our school has asked us to leave because we had no place to live, so we opted for a house that is considered “out of district” They won’t even let her finish the school year, and have cancelled bussing. Please help!

  15. Hello, I was enrolled as a home schooler for grade ten. I was for that year following curriculum books on my own and for the following years(11 and 12 ) doing Ilc courses. I have a few optional courses left but now Ilc has asked me to show documentation for grade ten to prove my credits.I was wondering if you could tell me how homeschoolers can attain credits for their homeschooling years. Furthermore, I was wondering if credits from schools abroad can be transferred to your ost. I’d really appreciate any information I can get regarding attaining equivalency credits for my grade ten,
    Thanks

  16. I was also hoping if you can give me any information regarding Plar assessment for mature students. Does Plar give equivalency for Canadians who took some courses abroad, thanks

  17. My girls are in Montessori and have never been in Public School. If I decide to homeschool them in September will I need to send a note to the board anyway?

  18. Hi, I have pulled my son out off school due to they way he was being treated at the school from the teachers, and am going to home school him until school starts again in the fall, (hopefully a new school) and was looking for any ideas of where I can come up with work to finish off his Grade 6 year. Any input would be helpful. Thanks

  19. I live in Mississauga and would like to homeschool my daughter for the last few months of grade 5. She is wasting her time at school and I believe I am better able to prepare her for middle school than her current teacher. If I remove her now how easily will I be able to re-register her – or ‘put her back in the system’ – for middle school?

  20. Hi,
    I have a seven years old son and I have been home schooling him since 2011. Now I received mail from Canada revenue and they are asking for his school attendance and I never registered him because I did not know about it. So what should I do?
    Any help will greatly be appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Samina

    1. Sorry that it’s so late in response, but I’ve sent you an email.

      In Ontario, it’s only recommended that you inform the board of your intent to homeschool – it’s not required. I’m not sure why Revenue Canada needs to know anything. I hope that you have found some answers!

  21. Hello Lee,

    I live in North Bay, ON and I’m planning on homeschooling my 11 year old son starting in September. I don’t feel the local school board is helping to prepare him for the demands of high school and university. Is there a homeschooling support group in North Bay or someone I could contact to get some direction regarding pulling him from his current school and choices of curriculum? Thank you in advance for your help.

  22. Hi there, I am pulling out my 7th grader for the remainder of the year and possibly grd 8. Can you tell me where I may find virtual courses on-line? Or the best curriculum for Ontario. He may re-enter school in ged 9 so i want to keep him up to date.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi there. If you are looking for online schooling for Ontario, you might want to check out http://www.linkonlearning.com/ – Admittedly I’m not completely familiar with it, but it is an online option. Other than that, you can either mix and match your own materials based on what the Ontario curriculum outline is, or based on what you want to learn with your child this year. Here’s a link to the Government outlines: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/

  23. I’m a concerned grandmother. If no one checks on children who are being homeschooled what’s to stop those children who get very limited homeschool eduction falling through the cracks? I’m very concerned about the lack of education my grandchildren receive. They range from age 8 to 14yrs.

    1. I can understand your concern, but remember, homeschool does not equal public school. There is a system in place that the government set to make sure that school to school are somewhat synchonious in their learning, but it doesn’t mean that is the only way or the best way for kids to learn. Lots of homeschool kids don’t follow the same ideals or expectations of a government curriculum and succeed in life just fine. That’s one of the beauties of homeschooling – teaching what kids want to learn about – tailoring their education to their passions instead of forcing them to learn something just because it’s on the list. From the outside looking in, I could see how it looks like failing (and there probably are instances where they really aren’t learning much), but most of the time, things are just different than you are looking for. I hope that helps a little.

  24. I have a gifted child in Grade 1. The school is making no accommodations for her and in fact will not even allow her to read at her own level. She is an only child and I would like to homeschool for math and English but leave her in school for the remaining subjects. Do you know if the board allows this?

    1. Hi Christine,

      Here’s some information from http://www.ontariohomeschool.org about part-time school enrollment in Ontario. http://ontariohomeschool.org/parttime/ It sounds like it’s on a school by school / case by case situation. If your school won’t work with you on this plan, another option could be to enrich her learning at home in addition to what she’s doing at school? Since you know your child best – you are likely to be able to find a way to keep her challenged enough!

      I hope that helps.

    1. The laws for homeschooling in high school are the same for any grade. I believe the law states something to the effect that “a child is excused from school so long as are receiving a satisfactory education at home or elsewhere”. We are starting to homeschool two of our kids in grade 9 in September using an accredited program called ABEKA, but there is lots of material available out there.

  25. I see a lot of comments from people in Mississauga, Ontario. I am also in Mississauga and have just finished our first year of homeschooling five of my children (two in GR.8, one in GR.6, one in GR.1 and one in GR.2. We pulled them out of a Christian school previously. I get a lot of questions about how we can do it – who do we report to, what about testing, etc. People cannot understand that we do not need to “report” to anyone and we are not required to do testing. This just shows you how the public school has indoctrinated parents as well as children. Our children belong to us, not the government/public schools. In this country we can educate our children however we see fit. Since we were not in the public schools, we do not send a letter of intent to our local schools. I will admit however that I am waiting for that knock on the door by someone questioning why our kids are not in school. There are people in our school boards who are also indoctrinated into thinking they own our children.

    1. HI Dorothy, I also live in mississauga and cannot find any homeschooling support groups or homeschooling parents. I would like to home school my kids and connecting with other moms and kids will be a big help. Any homeschoolers in Mississauga can please email me..would be greatly appreciated soniyamystical@gmail.com

  26. There is a very good documentary out there called “IndoctriNation – Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America” (there is also a website/blog). I would highly recommend this to any parent with children in a government/public school.

  27. This was a great article.

    I’m part of a new group that just started an online high school.

    We are only doing math; with the goal of being the best at it! Many of the new virtual high schools are attempting to launch with 40 courses over night… We are taking a slow route and trying to do things right…

    It’s a great and affordable option if you’re interested in doing your math online (courses range from $349 to $449)…

    If you have any interest feel free to email me at steve@ontarioonlineacademy.com

    Or see our website: http://www.ontarioonlineacademy.com

  28. It build up my confidence in finding this website, comments and links about the different ways to transition from public school to homeschool. My son has a physical disability and eventhough we tried for many a yearfor him to adapt to the general educational system, I feel their methods enabled him to be more depend, and in someways depress the desire to learn. Now, since late September we have moved, temporarily located in Toronto, submitted a letter of intent and he has started homeschooling. Unfortunately, a Social worker decided to call Family and Children Services to see how he is doing! WHY? In my books she was out of line, and has no premise for this call. The Social Worker based out of Sickkids only had to send me an email or phone call as a polite courtesy. There is no legal monitoring of children who are homeschooling in Ontario , as per documentation.
    It is true there is this brain washed indoctrination that we as parents/ society feed into by compiling with a system; if it worked properly- wholistically, mindful of the individual and enable his or her learning, instead of being a ‘machine’, the ‘blah,blah,blah meetings, just to get the child/student on to the next grade, then I would not be reading the frustration of other parents words as I type out my own comments. I was raised to be polite and compile with the status quo; not to question authority. However, I have realized through out my adult life and raised 5 children the following: the educational system doesnot and will NEVER fit all our childrens’ learning needs. As parents to realize and truly explore the learning journery for your child(ren) is a wonderful gift, and I applaud the eadeavors of the homeschooling-i.e., ‘thinking outside the box’/expertial learning.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry that you had to deal with the hassle of a check. And I 100% agree with you. Every child is completely different – how is a cookie cutter program supposed to fit the needs of each one.

  29. Hello,
    Great website!
    I am considering withdawing my son (age 11) from the Public School system in Orangeville due to his anxiety and ‘School Refusal’. I was wondering if the Letter of Intenet has to be hand delivered to the School Board and Pricipal, or is it satisfactory to fax or mail it?
    Also, are there any parents of kids with anxiety and/or ‘School Refusal’ that have any suggestions? I’m trying to do what is best for his education and hoping this is the right decision.

    1. I’m pretty sure mailing it is a totally acceptable option. You can find a list of board addresses (and a sample letter) here: http://ontariohomeschool.org/letter-of-intent/

      If you are on Facebook, join our Homeschool Swap: Canada fb group – there are a LOT of amazing homeschooling parents there that I’m sure will be able to help you with answers about your anxiety issues and your son. 🙂

    2. I have 3 children that I pulled out of the public school system due high anxieties and social phobias. It is very rough and intense for them to be in school at the hands of bullies and peer pressure to the point that they end up being traumatized. The public school system leaves a lot to be desired.

    3. I am in a similar situation I have a 11 year old daughter in Grade 6 and she has always not liked school and has anxiety! I am nervous and don’t know what to do. I want to make sure she receives and education but don’t know where to start as well. I have found the Complete Curriculum at Costco for grade 7 but don’t know if that would work. I too am looking for support or help on where even to start so she doesn’t get behind. In the end we want to make sure she graduates high school with OSSD. If you have found any information send my way please. kkjohnston01@yahoo.ca. Kim

      1. The only way to get an OSSD is to take accredited courses through a program like ILC, Virtual Learning Centre, or an online high school like Virtual High School or Blyth Academy. As you get started, your first step is to plan out what method of education meshes best with your child’s learning style and how you want to approach school. Then you find the curriculum you need that will meet that. 🙂 Have you checked out the How To ebook yet? 🙂 I have some ideas in there that might help.

  30. Influenced by the recent steps taken by the Ontario Government to mandate vaccinations and to update the questionable Sex Education Curriculum, I am considering coming out of retirement to be of help to parents who are not in agreement with these co-parenting antics and are choosing an alternative approach to schooling by way of Homeschooling and/or Tutoring assistance.

    I am a retired Elementary Primary Teacher ( Kgtn./Grade1/ Grade2) of 35 years and a retired Tutor, whose teaching approach has been based on ‘old school’ expectations.

    My specialties include Literacy… Sight Reading, Comprehension, Phonics, Spelling, Printing, Journaling/Story Writing and Poetry; Basic Math…providing concepts for the mastery and retention of addition/subtraction & multiplication facts; Nature Studies/Stories… to instill a love of animals, ‘little creatures’, plant life and nature in general.

    ALSO…(as yet to be Marketed for public use )…
    I have created a UNIQUE and HIGHLY EFFECTIVE … READING PROGRAM… and …PHONICS PROGRAM …which guarantee success in both areas as well as with Spelling.

    I am in Mississauga.

    Responses indicating if there is a need for my help.. ( possibly Coaching parent groups with regard to proven Methods/Programs;/ possibly Tutoring )…will determine my ‘back to work’ decisions from here.

    I can be reached at dwatsoc645@rogers.com (NOTE: watsoc…NOT watson)

    Wishing the best to all in your schooling endeavours. (Ms.) D. Watson M.of ED.

  31. Pingback: Homeschool Essentials: Understand The Rules

  32. I live in Toronto and I have a 12 year old daughter who has been home schooled since midway through Grade 5. She initially was in a French Immersion school and not only found it very difficult with the French language but she was bullied and cyber bullied by a student in the same class as her and the school didn’t do anything to stop it.

    I would like to use ILC for high school home schooling but I don’t understand what it means when they say an “achievement record for Grade 8” is required along with the signed “letter of intent to home school” from the school board when registering for the Grade 9 courses. If testing is not required throughout elementary school, and I am doing the teaching, how do I provide this record?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Laura,

      I’ve heard mixed reviews of the ILC in terms of homeschooling through high school. Some people have really had a hard time with their administration and others seem to have been accepted ok. One reader in 2011 told me that the ILC wanted the actual physical copies of the books they had used in Grade 8 to make sure it aligned to the curriculum.

      I’d recommend connecting directly with them to see what they require explicitly in terms of the Grade 8 record. Here is where to find their information: http://www.ilc.org/about/contact/for_students.php

      Hopefully that can help.

  33. Is there anyway I can get a teacher in to my home to teach my child so she does not have to go to schoo.it will be easier not having to teach her myself, because of my job.School had just out to much stress onto her so I feel homeschooling is the best option.

    1. Hi Jessica,

      In Ontario, you can teach your child however works best. So if a tutor works, that should be fine!

      Just know, though, that you will have to pay for the tutor yourself and that your child will still not get credit towards a diploma through a tutor if they are working on high school. (But don’t let that stop you! I just wanted you to be aware!)

      All the best!
      Lisa Marie.

  34. Hi, The school system has let us down in so many ways since my 6yr old Daughter began school 1 and half yrs ago,and even worse problems with my just-turned-5yr old Son’s jk teacher.As a result I desperately have decided to homeschool.I have my letter of intent signed and ready.The problem is I am a single Mother on SocialAssistance(OntarioWorks),and today O.W’s told me that they have their OWN Legislation which requires I not only follow a curriculum but their policy is to call ChildrensAid immediately following my decision!I am so upset and confused by this!Is this true?Any answers would be greatly appreciated.Our decision to homeschool is also to allieviate my Children’s anxiety and mine,not make it even worse.The Principal even signed off on my intent form,tho I was told she didn’t have to,how is it I can do everything right in regards to this,but still end up threatened with an investigation?

    1. Hi there. I’m so so sorry that you are having this problem. I wish that the various levels of government and community support services were more educated on homeschooling, how it works, and the rights & responsibilities of homeschoolers.

      You are right – the letter of intent is all you need. There is no obligation by law to follow any curriculum. Why they think they should call the CAS on your decision is beyond me – choosing to homeschool your child because it’s in their best interest sounds like a caring and concerned parent, not a neglectful one. What a silly thing to say.

      I recommend checking out this resource: http://ontariohomeschool.org/ontarioworks/ – in fact the whole website is extremely helpful. Plus, if it’s possible to get some money – it might be worth investing in either joining the OFTP or the HSLDA (www.hslda.ca) – the legal defence group for homeschoolers. They would be able to back you if needed.

      All the best. I hope you get a positive outcome.

      Lisa Marie.

  35. Hi there. I have SO many questions. For starters, my 15 year old son with aspergers has. Just started a new high school after we moved across the province. I am a single sahm to 5 kids. My son has an IEP etc, but hates his new school, the bullying is awful. He is stating he will drop out at 16, and I can’t blame him! I need to know if I can legally pull him from school now, what steps are to be taken to do it properly, and how I could start home schooling him near the end of the school year. If someone could help out with answers asap I would be eternally grateful.

  36. I am an Ontario resident looking to take our kids out of school and home school them – we want them to experience more of the world and travel with them. Can I still home school them, if were not always living in Ontario?

  37. Hi there!
    My son is 13 and his school is holding him back in grade 7 because he was absent a lot due to social anxiety. They made that choice with notifying me and I found out threw a letter the psychiatrist sent me, is that even legal? Anyway, the school has mentioned my son is well above average. Im thinking the v.p is being judgemental based on her son suffering from anxiety and severe depression and thinks she has the right to diagnose my child based on her experiences ( she tells me I should get different medical opinions because when I let her know that the family doctor doesn’t feel that my child suffers from what she wants to believe he has.) all together, she has a problem. She has mentally and emotionally impacted me and my child. So I want to home school. Would I have to redo grade 7 with him, like will it be recorded somewhere? Or do I just get into grade 8? When it get to going to high school, I want him back in school and I’m confused on how will they accept him back. Will he need to be tested or something?
    Sorry for the long comment and hope to hear back from you.

    1. Hi Marlene,

      Everyone I’ve spoken to about this idea has said that you can take your child out and put them back into high school simply by registering at the high school when it’s time. That they classify by age not by skill level. No one I spoke to had any testing or required documentation. All you do is register and sign up for the classes he wants to take.

      That being said, I don’t know if your experiences will be different so I apologize if that happens to be the case.

      I hope you can find a positive solution for both you and your son.

      Lisa Marie.

  38. ISSUES IN QC (surprise….)

    wondering if anyone can help me get around the ridiculous nonsense of the quebec school board.
    I am currently ZEN schooling my almost 9 yr old daughter (would be starting gr 4 in sept)
    We were born and raised in ontario, she went to private school in ontario for 2 yrs and then we moved to quebec following a divorce, because of the adjustment, i felt it best for both of us she go to school, I had the right under the charter to put her in english school but I put her in french school so she’d learn and she did, fast. by age 6 she was fluent in eng and french both spoken and written, reading at a grade 5 level in english and grade 1 level in french. after grade 2, (2 yrs in french school), many $$$ in ridiculous fees and expenses to the school board (and i mean 300-600 per year! when meanwhile I work from home anyways….) and allot of disappointment with the BS, my girl constantly coming home crying for being bullied and beaten up for being an anglophone (she never had problem anywhere else, just here, different up bringing i guess) and I mean some of the nasty vulgar things she reluctantly repeated….coming from kids age 5-7? wheres it really come from?…
    Despite “anti bully laws” teachers told her many times, they didn’t want to hear it, and my daughter was miserable. On top of that, the english education part is a joke… dog, blue, etc… she was not learning proper english and forgetting what she already knew.
    It seemed to me that the school was UNteaching her everything I worked hard to teach her!

    We decided to try switching her to the english board for grade 3 and aside from getting a truly amazing teacher who quickly realized how gifted she is, she want much happier… mostly same kids…. and she still wasn’t learning. I suspected she has ADD, Ive been treating her naturally (as a lic pract.) and it became clear the school couldn’t give her the learning methodologies she required in order to get back to where she once was.

    So I made the switch and what do you know? The fraction-decimal conversions shed struggled with all year suddenly made sense once i taught her. She now taking university level courses and we have a broad Zen/Buddhist centered curriculum including all extensive learning on all regions as well and she has a project proposal book in which she can be active in choosing some of the things shed like to learn about. (she’s the type of kid who asked what the meaning of life was at age 4 on the playground lol…always full of questions and i know that with the right direction and education, her limit in life is galaxy high….i mean, even after 11 years of university and college, she teaches me things all the time lol)

    Problem.

    Ive recently been targeted by DPJ (youth protection) telling me that I am “neglecting my child” and “her wellbeing is at risk”. The extent of this report would make smoke come out of your ears if you’re a home scholar.
    Today i spent the second full day waiting around a courtroom only to be told to come back again next week. wasting MY workday, my child schedule (who’s looking out for her education and stability here?…ironic eh?)

    its seriously making me want to jump ship and high tail it back to ontario. but i have small roots down finally and don’t want to if i don’t have to.

    anyone had similar issues? and how did you overcome?

    i mean, I’ve asked school and DPJ workers for months to help me out with the procedure they would like me to take to make this acceptable to them and all they’ve told me is that i have to register her anyway and then ask the school boards PERMISSION to home school after filing an application and being interviewed and proving all lesson plans, curriculum, etc etc…. i mean, it would take me more time to do all that than it takes me to teach my kid! what a waste of time! and yet i still have to pay the insane taxes…. ugh!

    even after i said, ok, ill do what you want, then can we discontinue this inefficient use of everyones time and limited resources? (i happen to have recently encountered a pregnant mother of 3 who drinks like a lush and smokes this and “that”, abuses her kids and only talks about how much more money she’ll get after the fourth one. and then found out she’s been reported to DPJ several times but they never did anything! I grew to love 3 of her kids as an acquaintance of the fathers who has them part time and i ended up caring for them often (days at a time on my own!) and eventually housing them and being the first one to bake with them, show them what carving a pumpkin was, doing crafts with them, teaching them a song, READING to them!…..I did this only because they needed a mom so much and i felt that they should be removed from the parents care completely but didn’t want to see them go through that. the youngest is 2 and swears non stop, even in her sleep, its really scary….the oldest is 6 and can’t even spell her name in her first language. and she has gone to daycare and then school every day of her life pretty much. (where mine was reading and wring before stepping foot in school and daycare? hell no!) I realize all kids are different but parent enrichment has ALLOT to do with it and IM the one being attacked here? infuriating for me as I want nothing more than to have another, ended my marriage after years of fertility …. i came to qc thinking it was my only hope, as per the free invert and donor program that was abolished 3 years after i started making 90 min trips into montreal to see a dr that did nothing but run tests on me only to tell me the same thing i told him at the start and now, whoops the program is abolished. so all this, ,giving up my marriage and company, as perfect as a life as you could want, minus the baby i longed for and my daughter asked for non stop, breaks my heart to pieces 🙁

    The whole process, the workers have lied again and again, saying things that aren’t true and I have proof to state that. I feel they are just trying to give themselves an easy job…infiltrating themselves into my life wasting my time, messing up our schedule we worked hard to maintain and discriminating aghast me as an anglophone and home schooler, telling me I have to prove I am qualified to teach my kid (while I have miles of higher education than them lol)

    oh plus having 9 yr exp teaching kids yoga and starting the program in many schools as well as having always run the literacy program for every school my child attended.

    sorry for the long post here, hoping someone can relate and let me know if theres anything I can do to get the vipers teeth out of my back. thanks in advance 🙂
    Namaste

  39. Hello
    Really need some advice. I have a 6 year old son who has Down Syndrome and Autism. He had heart surgery at 5 months of age to repair his heart valves. He currently can’t stand without the help of a stander, doesn’t speak, and still in diapers. He has a team of workers (physio,OT,speech therapy) who come by regularly and keep pushing us to register him for school for this September. At this point I feel absolutely uncomfortable sending him to school at this point. I would like to work on his mobility and communication a little bit longer before (throwing him to the lions) . We have no problem eventually sending him to school if and when he can communicate and participate in different activitities rather than being left out of activities due to his condition. His workers do not seem to be very helpful as to our requirements or path to homeschool him because of their own opinions. I feel it would be in his best interest to be homeschooled until his communication skills are stronger and possibly send him to school when he is 7. Just wondering how to go about it and what our rights are in the matter. Thank you kindly.

    1. Hi there,

      It sounds like your little guy has been through a lot in his young life. Can I first of all commend you for taking a look at your child and making choices best suited to his needs?

      In Ontario, you absolutely can keep your child home and homeschool them as long as you need/want. All that is requested is that you send in a letter of intent to your local school board. You can see more about that here: http://ontariohomeschool.org/letter-of-intent

      After that, you are free to do whatever you’d like in terms of learning – so you can focus on language development and mobility, etc. as needed.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions I can help with.

      Lisa Marie.

  40. Tamara pereira

    I am looking for any help in understanding.
    I plan on homeschooking this year, I also plan on taking my kids traveling through the states for 4 months. Is here any restriction in traveling?

  41. Hello! I am homeschooling my child who is turning 8 soon, but his father wants him to go to school. My child also wants to be homeschool. Who is to decide in this situation ? Thank you

    1. Hi there.

      I think you will have to have an open conversation with your husband about homeschooling and come to a decision together. Why is he pro-school? Maybe he has some negative ideas about homeschooling and they need to be explored together. I don’t know if there is any way to say “this person gets to decide” – because there are 2 parents and you have to work together.

      I hope you can find a solution.

  42. Hi there, before I read this website I felt alone thinking if I am making the right decision for my dughter’s education. However, after reading all the parents that took the decision with courage for the sake of their kid’s future. I know I’m in the right place. My question is, if is there any difference with the process to pulled my daughter out of a Catholic school or is the same as the Public School??
    And although I apesadumbrado made my decision I don’t know where to start and what is next… Any suggestion?

  43. Hello.
    I’ve been home schooling my son for three months now via ILC online courses in Toronto. Health reasons-severe anemia requiring testing every three months, a magnesium deficiency that was severe enough for hospital intervention.

    My ex is demanding to see marks, transcripts and he thinks home schooling isn’t working out as no exams have been done yet. It’s a one year program and he knows this.
    Now he wants to lower child support as well. He changed jobs and he’s yet to submit his past Notices of Assessment to the court or to me to verify this reduced income.
    What if any thing can my ex legally do to impact my son’s education?

  44. Hello, My husband and I are planning to spend a year travelling North America with our children. My son will be entering grade 9 when we are planning this trip. How difficult is it to re-enter the public school system if he wants to for grade 10? If he decides to do homeschool throughout high school , how does that affect his college or university applications? Thanks.

    1. Hi Leah,

      Travelling sounds like an amazing opportunity. 😀
      As for your son, although I don’t have personal experience with this, he should be able to rejoin the public system – you might just have to deal with figuring out if what you did during the year off will be given any credit for Grade 9. Universities and Colleges are starting to make policies about homeschooling applicants and what they expect directly. You should just keep records of what classes he does during his homeschooling years – course descriptions and a homemade transcript for example.
      If you are on Facebook, you might find it helpful to chat with some other homeschooling through high school parents. You can join us at Homeschool Swap Canada for example and ask for other people’s experience. 🙂

  45. i’m currently starting grade 11. i’ve brought up the idea of homeschooling since grade 3, and have actively tried to make it happen since grade 7. now i am starting it, but i don’t know where to start and what to do in regards to grading and examinations. i was told to go to my previous school for all the information, but upon arrival my principal says she doesn’t have any information for me, and spread false information to my parents and i (stuff like i do not pass classes, and that homeschooling doesn’t count to “real grades” or a “real education”). do i just buy textbooks, assess myself and then do an exam at any local school/my old school, or what am i supposed to do?

    1. Hi Lucy,

      I’m not sure who would have directed you to get support from your previous high school. Schools generally don’t offer a lot of support or help to homeschooling students because they don’t get funding for their school.

      I am not an expert in homeschooling through high school – I only have 1 child just starting his homeschool journey, but I know there are a lot of fully-homeschooled students who have gone on to university and successful lives.

      So, while homeschooling through in Ontario, unless you opt to take classes that are accredited through correspondence (like ILC) or online (like the Virtual Learning Centre or Virtual High School) – you are not going to get an official government-issued OSSD diploma. Homeschooling IS real education and a real option for education, but you need to understand that it is different. What you will need to do is keep a transcript of the credits that you are earning through your homeschool learning, and find a way to get a grade – whether that be through tests you take during the program or through evaluation by an adult looking at your work or some other plan. Keep a portfolio and detailed records of what you did learn. You might need to find an alternative way to apply to post-secondary if that’s your plan, and take into consideration their homeschooling admissions policies.

      Here are some helpful resources:

      https://ontariohomeschool.org/highschool/
      http://universityadmissions.ca/

      I hope that helps a little.

      1. Hi there. Not sure who to contact or to talk to. I’m a grandmother who has an 11 granddaughter that is being homesschooled by my daughter. My granddaughter has been homeschooled for 2 years now. She’s 11 years old and can’t read, write or do math. I’ve asked my daughter why nothing is happening with her. She doesn’t give me an answer. I visited and tried to play number games with her and she got frustrated. She’s 11 years old and can’t read. My daughter doesn’t think anything is wrong with this. My granddaughter can’t go back into the main stream till she can read. I’m not sure my daughter is giving the proper home schooling. When I call her, the kids are shopping with mom or playing on their iPads. Can I get any ideas from you all as to how to treat this and get my granddaughter some help???? My daughter doesn’t know I’m asking these questions.

        1. Hi there. It sounds like you really care about your granddaughter. Having a supportive and caring family is a really great help when you are homeschooling.

          It sounds like school wasn’t working for your granddaughter if she couldn’t read or write or do basic math when your daughter pulled her out 2 years ago. Have you talked to your daughter about the reasons that lead to her choosing homeschooling as an option?

          Homeschooling certainly does look different than school, so they sound like they are enjoying the freedom and flexibility that this lifestyle offers – which is why she might always seem to be not doing what you’d expect.

          My first thought would be that it might be worth talking with your daughter in an open, non-judgemental discussion to find out more about their homeschooling experience. A lot of times homeschooling moms already feel kind of threatened because they are doing something different. If you are able to talk together openly, she might be able to explain some insights: what approach she is using to learning, if your granddaughter has learning challenges, if there are any behavioural issues or struggles, if your granddaughter has made any progress up to this point, if either of them could use your help, etc. You might be surprised at what you discover from this conversation that could help you, your daughter, and especially your grand daughter.

          If it turns out there are learning disabilities at play, I know of some resources that can help. Feel free to pop me an email at lisamarie@thecanadianhomeschooler.com if you need some more ideas.

  46. my question is everything that you have said on this website is it still up to date to everything what’s going on right now in 2019?

    1. So far, yes. Ontario’s homeschooling laws haven’t changed. There are some new changes pending in the province of QC, but I’m waiting to find out for sure when (or if) they come into action.

  47. Hi ,
    I was wondering about how to get started with home schooling in Ontario. Also, about books that could possibly be bought and worked on. I am 15 soon turning 16 and i have always had trouble attending school. My attendance has always been a big problem. I have dealt with severe social anxiety disorder, depression and many other issues. Both me and my mom want to find something simple that I can do at home so I can finish my schooling.

    1. Hi Miranda,
      I think I emailed you already, but you can look into something like the ILC to get some credits for school through their correspondence program. (ilc.org)
      You might need to provide them with details about your schooling so far to make sure you have the requirements to register for their classes, and you will probably need to have proof of your letter of intent to show that you are being homeschooled.
      I hope that helps.
      Lisa Marie.

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