WARNING: This article explains the new homeschooling regulation in general and gives suggestions for fulfilling your legal obligations. This is not a legal opinion nor is it legal advice. For information specific to your situation, consult a lawyer. This article does not replace the content of the official guide mentioned in section 459.5.1 of the Education Act, which will be developed by the Minister and will be released no later than July 1, 2019. See AQED’s strategy.
The child must be evaluated at least once during the year.
Choice of format for evaluation
Some evaluators are more open than others when it comes to different methods of evaluation (portfolios, discussions with parents, discussions with the child, etc.). It is up to you to ask the right questions in order to find the best choice for your family. Contact various evaluators early enough to ensure that you have time to make your decision.Heads Up! Make sure you have a written report or a report card provided by the evaluator; the Ministry may ask you for it.
Here are some questions to address when choosing your potential evaluator:
- - methods and evaluation criteria;
- - type of report submitted by the evaluator to the family following the assessment and deadlines;
- - experience with homeschooling;
- - knowledge of, and openness to, your educational approach;
- - open-mindedness concerning different methods of evaluation;
- - evaluation fees (for options 2 and 3).
Parents can choose between five options for evaluation. Four of these types of evaluation are conducted by a third party (whom we call an “evaluator”); the other is an assessment done by the Minister, examining the child's work submitted by the parent in a portfolio.
1. By your school board
This service is free, but the law does not require the school board to provide it. This evaluation is not necessarily done in the form of an exam; it can be carried out by any other method agreed upon with the school board. Article 15 of the regulation specifically gives permission to school boards to make non-summative evaluations (for example, a portfolio, an interview, etc.). Contact the school board to find out the methods of evaluation it proposes.
If your child is eligible for Anglophone education under Bill 101, you can choose the English school board in your area.
Please note that evaluation by a school board does not provide any exemption from communicating directly with the Minister’s representative.
2. By a private educational institution
This service is available at your expense and the law does not require private schools to provide it. This evaluation is not necessarily done in the form of an examination; it can be carried out by any other method agreed upon with the private school. Article 15 of the regulation specifically gives permission to do non-summative evaluations (eg. a portfolio, an interview, etc.). Contact the school to find out whether they offer this service and if so, under what terms.
You can choose the private school of your choice.
A list of private educational institutions is available on the government website.
3. By a holder of a teaching certificate
This service is available at your expense and the law does not oblige teachers to offer it. You are free to select the person of your choice, provided that they have a teaching certificate – that is, any person having one of the following four authorizations:
- Teaching diploma
- Teaching permit
- Teaching license
- Provisional teaching authorization
To find out more, consult the government website.
Find out more on the AQED Facebook groups; members may have people to recommend. AQED will also compile a list of teachers who wish to offer their services to homeschooling families. Check out AQED’s website or follow us on Facebook to stay informed.
4. By a ministerial exam administered by the school board
This service is free and the school board is required to provide it upon request.
Contact the Ministry or your school board for more information on this option.
5. By the Minister, via a portfolio
The creation of the portfolio must be done at your expense, but the Minister's assessment is free, and the Minister is obliged to provide you with this service if you request it. In this case, the portfolio must be attached to the completion report.
The portfolio must show activities undertaken by your child during the year. We suggest you keep it short – about 10 pages.
You can choose some examples of work or activities done during the year. For example: notebook pages, photos, videos of a personal project, certificates, or any other document demonstrating that your child has completed activities or made use of resources. If you want to include items for which there is no physical evidence, you can describe one or more examples where your child has demonstrated their learning (for example, the fact that he or she regularly calculates the change when buying things from the convenience store).
The portfolio can be on paper or digital (for example, on a word processing program), or even online. There are several tools on the Internet that you can use for this purpose (Seesaw, Evernote, etc). For more information on these tools, ask in one of the AQED Facebook groups. Several members have experience in this area and can advise you.
Depending on the material or examples you use, you can combine more than one skill, subject, or discipline and use a single example to demonstrate them all.A few precisions, concerning the portfolio and its content: - The law does not give a definition of what a portfolio is or should include. According to AQED, parents should use the format most convenient to them. - According to the law, the child's progress should be discussed in the reports. There is no mention of the portfolio also having to show progress. (There is also no mention of dating the productions, or of commenting the educative intent of each production.) - The law does not mention that the portfolio should include comments by the child.
You can download a Template in English of this sample portfolio and modify it for your child.