Let’s Talk About: Getting Started
Beginning Homeschooling is easy in British Columbia! So you’ve made the decision to homeschool- welcome to our wonderful world!! Now you’re wondering what your next steps are.
What Do I Have to Do for the Government?
- In British Columbia, the government is supportive of homeschoolers. Your options include being a registered homeschooler, an enrolled homeschooler or you can do a blend of public-school classes with homeschool learning.
Below are some definitions to help clarify these options –
- A) Register – to state your intent to the government that you will be educating your children autonomously in accordance with Sections 12 and 13 of the BC School Act.
- B) Enroll – to have a child participate, at school or at home, in an educational program provided by a public or independent school and administered and assessed by a BC certified teacher.
- C) Homeschooler – a child registered under Sec. 12 of the BC School Act.
- D) Home-based student – a child enrolled in a distance education/distributed learning program, provided by a public or independent school.
You can find further details here Educational Options in BC | BC Home Educators’ Association (formerly the BCHLA) (bchea.ca) or to understand the difference between registered and enrolled check out this site http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/dist_learning/dl_vs_homeschool.htm
2. You are asked to send a Letter of Intent to provide Home Education to the school board in which your child has been registered, it is also suggested that a letter to the principal of the school your child attends if withdrawing them from a school board.
3. Please be aware that as a registered homeschooler, your child will not receive a Dogwood diploma upon graduation, when you enroll your child can receive the diploma.
What Am I Required to Teach?
- You are not required to teach anything specific in British Columbia.
- You do not need to use a pre-made curriculum unless you want to.
- If you think your child may be returning to public school in the future, you may choose to follow a curriculum that is Canadian and similar to the Canadian public school structure, but that is your choice.
- If you want a Canadian curriculum that aligns with the Manitoba government standards, you can shop Schoolio here: Schoolio.io | Homeschooling Canadian Curriculum Support for Parents
What Records Am I Required to Keep?
- For a registered homeschooler, no records are required. For an enrolled homeschooler you are assigned to a support teacher, whom you must be in contact with weekly or biweekly. They require you to either submit a portfolio of the student’s work or have your support teacher do a ‘portfolio visit’ 3 times a year. You are also required to fulfill the BC Provincial Learning Outcomes.
- You are not required to do any formal planning in advance or to work on any set schedule. If you’re interested in using planning and scheduling in your homeschool for your own personal organization, you can find a lot of tips and free templates here: Welcome: Schoolio Planning Freebies – Schoolio.io
- You do not need to provide any sort of Report Card to the school or school board. If you want to give your kids a Report Card just for fun and personal feedback, check out this alternative Report Card for Homeschoolers here: Homeschooling is about more than the “3Rs – Schoolio.io
Is There Funding for Homeschoolers?
- There is a small amount of money that you can receive (around $150-250 per student per year) for registered homeschoolers. For enrolled students they do receive a larger amount based on the school board but there are stipulations.
- You cannot write off any of your homeschooling expenses on your taxes.
- Homeschooling does not exempt you from paying school taxes.
- Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. Read more about the costs of homeschooling here: Let’s Talk About: Finances – Schoolio.io
Where Can I Get More Help and Advice?
- There are several great resources available for new homeschooling parents in British Columbia!
- The Schoolio page has information in the Blogs section from planning to finances to socializing to Kindergarten: Blog – Schoolio.io
- Covid Homeschooling- Canada is a facebook community dedicated to helping new homeschoolers in Canada: Covid Homeschooling- Canada | Facebook
- The Canadian Homeschooler has a wealth of resources for the new to veteran homeschooler: Home – The Canadian Homeschooler
- British Columbia Government Homeschooling – Province of British Columbia (gov.bc.ca)