What are the qualifications to be homeschooled in Quebec? This excellent question was posed over the weekend by Montreal Women's Issues Examiner, Carol Roach. This response is an adaptation of a piece I wrote a while back to help homeschooling parents who never got a high school diploma.
Quebec Education Act
The law that addresses home-based education in Quebec is the Education Act, which says any child residing in Quebec must attend school between the ages of 6 and 16. The Act then goes on to list several exceptions to compulsory school attendance, including home-based education:
15. The following students are exempt from compulsory school attendance:
(4) a student who receives home schooling and benefits from an educational experience which, according to an evaluation made by or for the school board, are equivalent to what is provided at school.
This is the only law that discusses homeschooling in so many words, and it is plain to see there are no specific qualifications demanded - either in terms of certifications, or minimum level of education for the parents. The emphasis is placed, as it should be, on the educational experience the homeschooled student receives.
How to teach challenging subjects
A parent with any level of education will occasionally encounter a subject he or she feels ill-prepared to teach. Other times, the issue is more one of needing to work with a group or of having access to a specialized space or set of equipment for a learning activity. Some ways of dealing with these obstacles are:
- Purchase a curriculum intended specifically for homeschool use, and make use of the accompanying support;
- Engage a tutor as needed;
- Work with other families to organize activities such as sports, field trips, and classes for math, French, arts or science;
- Prepare for difficult subjects ahead of time, by taking a class or completing the student curriculum;
- Learn together as a family. This is a fun way to approach any subject, and it reinforces the importance of lifelong learning!