It is a type of alternative education, generally dispensed by parents that have chosen not to delegate the education of their children to the government and the school system.
Browse the page What is homeschooling? for more information.
Browse different sections and pages on this website for numerous resources and information, in particular Homeschooling in Quebec and Support. The Direction de l'enseignement à la maison (DEM) is also an important reference.
You can peruse different Facebook groups (see bottom of the page for AQED links) or search the Web for more information.
The language of instruction and second language used in homeschooling must be French and English. It is possible to use English as the language of instruction even if the child isn’t eligible to English education in the school system.
Consult the page Legal aspects - language of instruction for more details.
What parents teach depends a lot on what type of educational approach they use. Some parents choose to follow their children’s interests and build their guidance from there. Student manuals contain a good overview of topics covered in school.
You can purchase manuals and material in bookstores or directly from publishers specialized in education. AQED members have access to exclusive rebates from some publishers.
Many online resources are available to homeschooling families. Here’s a list of places where material can be found:
School service centres must give access to manuals and other teaching material (according to their modality and availability).
There are many ways to fill in a parent’s lack of knowledge on a particular subject:
First and foremost, observe your child!
Children learn all the time, they can’t help it! By spending time with them, you will notice changes in their capabilities and their comprehension. According to their level and your educational philosophy, you can tailor your approach by suggesting new learning strategies, revision or assessments.
Motives for homeschooling are diverse and every family generally has a number of reasons for doing so. In Quebec, this trend is mostly based on a new outlook of family life, a critical look on school-based education, the willingness to respond to the child’s specific needs, as well as the innovative nature of alternative educational methods questioning the traditional ways of learning.
Consult the page Motivations for more information.
For 2015-2016, the minister of education counted 1,928 homeschoolers. However, a number of children weren’t officially registered, given the school boards’ poor reputation in this area. Therefore, we don’t have reliable official numbers prior to the establishment of the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison (DEM - the homeschooling branch).
For the year 2019-2020, the DEM counted around 6,000 registered children. It is, however, possible that some families still aren’t registered with the board. Across North America, it is estimated that homeschooled children represent 1 to 4% of kids. Therefore, AQED assumes there are between 5,000 and 10,000 homeschooled children in Quebec.
The Quebec association for homeschooling (AQED) is a voluntary citizen organisation whose mission is to inform, represent and support parents who homeschool their children.
AQED offers many services to all homeschooling families who feel the need, whether it be through information on the website, volunteers replying to questions on Facebook groups, giving access to a list of learning resources or by offering support to parents with specific questions.
For its members, AQED offers structured support with a specialized FAQ and legal support if needed, in addition to rebates, subscription to a monthly newsletter and the Portfolio magazine, not to mention all other resources and exclusive documents.
Consult the page Our activities for further information.
No. The government doesn’t offer financial support. Homeschooling is not tax deductible. There are no specific fiscal measures tied to homeschooling. However, some classes can be deductible and some activities can be deducted as a day care service.
Consult your accountant to obtain the documentation needed to do these deductions.
Numerous groups exist in the different regions of Quebec. Browse the page Community for a list of groups and their respective areas. If your region isn’t mentioned, you can ask on AQED’s Facebook group, since some groups are secret, only available with an invite.
You can also view the Regional representatives page to contact representatives of the association located throughout the province and be advised of available support near you.
AQED is currently testing a mentoring system.
Families with experience in homeschooling are available to help, to listen and to support families starting out and encountering challenges of all kinds.
Consult the page Community for more information.
Learning opportunities present themselves at every hour of the day. It is therefore difficult to give a precise answer. Some families have tightly structured schedules, others have open schedules and many families fall somewhere in between.
For information purposes only, families who follow traditional teaching methods spend one to four hours a day, depending on the child’s age.
Many activities are available during the day, even throughout the week. To learn what activities exist in your area, you can ask your local support group or AQED’s regional representative of your region.
You can also get informed through AQED’s Facebook groups.
The cost depends mostly on the teaching approach and your family’s values. Purchasing used material, exchanging material or services between families, using rebate cards from your city, free resources on the Internet or visiting your local library are ways to reduce the cost of homeschooling. Teacher’s manuals being, in general, pretty expensive, some parents only buy activity notebooks and browse guides and correction books at a University documentation centre.
Many expenses are lower than in the school system. There are generally less childcare costs, expenses for lunches, for clothes, for the school supplies list, etc. However, many families will spend more on outings, subscriptions, material and other activities.
Some teaching approaches and activities allow for multi-age participation. Learning by theme, by project and natural learning, for instance, conveniently allows children from different ages to participate in common activities. Some outings, games and other activities can be adapted so there’s something for everyone.
When we want to work individually with one child, it is possible to find a series of activities that their brothers and sisters can accomplish on their own, especially older kids. They can, moreover, deepen or revise the subjects by explaining it to their siblings or their friends. Puzzles, playdough, coloring or activity books are enjoyed by young children since it allows them to be seated with the big kids. You will notice the little ones often show interest in the lessons for the older kids and their participation is enriching.
You must remember that learning at home in small groups allows you to teach a subject quicker than in school. Allocated time for each child will be automatically reduced.
Homeschooled children have various and numerous occasions to socialize.
Support groups everywhere in Quebec enable kids to be in regular contact with children of various ages that have the same reality. Friends, neighborhood kids, family and various contacts in the community (grocery shopping, library, museum and trips) offer numerous socialization possibilities. Participating in community life (Scouts, 4H groups, summer camp, team sports, dance classes, singing lessons, book clubs, etc.) lets kids be in contact with other kids and significant adults. In Quebec, particularly in big cities, there are also community centres for homeschooling families.
In fact, research shows that homeschoolers are just as socialized as school kids. One of the main reasons for this is that children evolve with adults and often older kids. They, therefore, benefit from more mature role models.They also have the opportunity to serve as a role model themselves with younger children, siblings or not.
Homeschooling is a conscious and informed choice, made by parents concerned for the well-being of their children. The parents know that they must make certain sacrifices, but they also know that they will be greatly rewarded by the joy of being able to watch their children grow and flourish in peace, freedom, and the joy of learning. Children who are homeschooled don’t spend the day sitting on a bench. They spend their energy bit by bit, contrary to what often happens in schools, where children become over-excited at the end of the day due to not having moved as they needed during the day.
However, being constantly with your children can be a challenge for many parents. In these cases, it's important for parents to seek out their own support network and to find a rhythm that suits both themselves and their children.
In general, as long as you are out of the province, you are no longer under the jurisdiction of the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison (DEM). You can therefore request a monitoring stop at the start of your trip, thereby suspending any monitoring obligations that may take place during the latter. When you return to Quebec, you can resume the procedures from the beginning, in the same way as if you decided to withdraw your child during the school year.
In any case, you can contact the DEM for more information.
If the topic interests you, there are many resources on World Schooling and Travel Education, including Facebook groups and blogs.
Although the financial aspect of homeschooling is a real challenge for many families - especially those with only one parent - it can be done.
Some parents practice their trade from home, others work in the evenings and learn with their children during the day.
Some work part-time and rely on the help of their network to look after their children in their absence or even have their own businesses and bring their children to work.
Some parents live on government family allowances.
There are many possibilities.
Yes, it is.
It is not only legal, but it is a fundamental right enshrined in the Civil Code of Quebec.
This right is accompanied by certain specific obligations that govern the framework for homeschooling.
It is possible to withdraw your child from school at any time during the year.
No. Parents are, first and foremost, responsible for their children’s education and they are allowed to not delegate this responsibility to the government. Homeschooling is, therefore, a right. You must simply follow the law and regulations on homeschooling.
You will find all the information on the legal obligations to follow in the Obligations section of the website. You can also refer to the website of the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison (DEM).
No. The Progression of Learning is a complementary document to the Quebec Learning Program (QLP), designed to guide teachers in their work within the school system. Homeschooling families are required to aim for the objectives of the compulsory subjects of the QLP named in the regulation, that is to say French, English, mathematics, science and technology and social sciences.
The regulations dictate the responsibility of the parent: “a content to achieve the objectives included in the program of each subject must be taught to allow progress in learning equivalent to that applicable per cycle at school.” You can therefore respect the pace and needs of your child, taking into account the grade level he is at according to his ability and not his age. See the Overview page for more information.
No. Subjects which are not found in the regulations cannot be deemed non-conforming by your DEM resource person.
However, if your child is in the process of certification of their studies, it is possible that your school board (or service center) request that the needed credit subjects be added to your learning plan. In this case, the evaluation methods must be decided in advance with your board.
In all cases, it is not necessary to detail the resources being used, or the activities undertaken. Nor should the child’s progress be measured for elective subjects. These should not be part of an annual evaluation, again, unless for purposes of receiving credits.
No. According to the regulation, parents are obligated to provide a yearly evaluation to their child. However, there are five ways of assessing from which to choose from. Consult the page Annual evaluation for more information.
No, not at all. Every parent teaches a whole host of essential things to their child from birth onwards. In homeschooling, parents simply carry on with what they've been doing all along. Through Facebook groups, Internet searches, local libraries and support groups, parents have access to an abundance of resources. In fact, when a parent doesn't have information on a particular topic, it’s a perfect opportunity to set an example for their child by using the many tools and research methods at their disposal to find answers.
Homeschooling generally ends with the child returning to school, a transition to post-secondary studies or an integration to the job market. Each family decides on the course best suited to the wishes (personal or professional) of the child.
Some post-secondary educational institutions are showing greater openness and immediately recognize the value of such a mode of learning.
Some young people, having developed in-depth knowledge in a field that fascinates them, find a job directly. Examples are the fields of computing, robotics and arts.