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Frequently Asked Questions

What does membership with OCHEC do for me?

  • Maintains a network of support group references to aid starting home schoolers, or people moving to a different part of the province
  • Hosts a provincial convention held each year to encourage home educators and bring vendors and educators together.
  • Qualifies you for a discount on HSLDA (Home School Legal Defence Association Canada) membership.
  • Publishes a quarterly newsletter providing up-to-date information on home education news for your area, nationally, and internationally, as well as information on conferences, conventions and other home education related events in the province, plus informative articles written by home educators for home educators (available in paper copy or in PDF format by email).
  • Maintains a province-wide network with a telephone/email chain ready to lobby the government on home education issues, should this be required.

What does membership with OCHEC do for my support group?
OCHEC can provide:

  • Speakers for support group meetings.
  • Leadership training for group leaders.
  • Chapter Leaders kit, helpful tools for group leaders.
  • Connection with other home schooling groups and individuals in the province.
  • Regular email updates on current issues, events or concerns for home schooling families.
  • Increase in your group's membership by referring inquiries in your area to the group leader (with permission to release the contact information).

How do I find a support group in my area?

OCHEC has divided Ontario into eight geographic areas. Each area has a separate representative to handle the telephone chain and to integrate new home educators into a local OCHEC-affiliated chapter. Your area representative can be found on our Contact Us page.

What does the law state concerning home schooling in Ontario?

Please see our law page for legal information concerning homs schooling.

Does the home educating parent need any teaching qualifications?

Teacher qualifications are not required in any Canadian province for home educating parents.

Will my child need to be tested by anyone?

In Ontario, testing is not required. If you should choose to have your child tested in order to assess his/her strengths and weaknesses, testing may be done through the Canadian Testing Center. The Canadian Achievement Test (CAT) is available for all grades and can be done in your home by the parent or in another convenient location by an outside facilitator of your choice. Some parents may choose to take advantage of the testing available at local schools. (Note: This will be at the discretion of the school principal.)

Do I need to tell anyone that I am home schooling?

If you have withdrawn your child from a public or private school in order to continue their education at home, we suggest, as a courtesy, that you send the school administrator a letter of notification. This letter should thank them for the input they have had to date in the life of your child, inform them that your child(ren) will not be attending their school and state that you have made other arrangements for their education. This is allowed under the Education Act, section 21(2) clause(a). Since your child(ren) will be receiving satisfactory education at home they are excused from compulsory attendance laws.If your child(ren) have never attended a public or private school, a letter of notification is not necessary.

What about home schooling for high school?

There are many programs and much support material available that make home schooling through high school a viable option. More and more Canadian colleges and universities are opening their doors to home school graduates. A recent Canadian study of home schooled graduates showed clearly that home educated high school grads move readily into higher education and the work force. (cf.  report "Home Education in Canada - 2003" and "Fifteen Years Later: Home-Edicated Canadian Adults, 2009" from the Canadian Centre for Home Education).

What about socialization?

This issue is frequently brought up as an objection to home schooling when in reality it should be seen as a reason for educating your children at home. Much of the socialization children receive in a traditional school setting is negative. By spending a large fraction of their day in the company of others of the same age and maturity level, students are subjected to massive amounts of peer pressure, moral and even physical hazards. The average home educated child is involved with many people of varying ages and stages of maturity. This better prepares them to be involved in an age-integrated society. Freedom from peer pressure can result in self-confidence, independent thinking, the ability to relate to people of all ages and better family relationships. Moral principles of interaction can be taught, demonstrated and reinforced at home by parents.

My children are still quite young. How can I be preparing myself for home schooling?

You've already begun by browsing through this website! Here are some other ideas:
  • Check our Recommended Reading List and choose one or two of these "basics" books. Some are available in your public library. Most are available through Amazon.com or from many of our Canadian curriculum suppliers.
  • Get connected with a support group in your area and learn from others how they've done it.
  • Attend the OCHEC convention in the spring to hear several excellent speakers addressing inspirational, practical and informative topics. Here you will also be able to see many curriculum vendors displaying a wide range of teaching materials.
  • Consider joining OCHEC. You will receive our newsletter four times a year, keeping you informed and educated about home schooling, particularly here in Ontario.

What are some benefits of home education?

The benefits are many. Consider some of the main ones listed here:
  • Parents can maintain and enjoy the position of primary influence in the developing lives of their children.
  • Home provides a safer environment with fewer distractions.
  • Curriculum and pace of learning can be geared to the individual child.
  • The negative effects of peer pressure are minimized in an age-integrated setting.
  • More time spent with children results in closer relationships.
  • One-on-one tutoring has many advantages over the typical classroom where one teacher tries to meet the needs of many children at differing learning levels.
  • Age integration as opposed to age segregation better prepares the child for life in the "real world".
  • Flexibility and economy of time - It takes less time to get the work done at home than in a typical classroom resulting in greater flexibility in scheduling.
  • Many opportunities for character development and the passing on of the parents' faith and values are realized.
  • Parents, especially the primary educating parent, benefit from continued learning as they teach subjects they may not have delved into in their own education.