Parents who are worried about their children attending in-person schooling this term due to the pandemic (or for any other reason) can consider homeschooling as an option. If this arrangement is new to you, here’s what you need to know:
What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is another type of independent education where parents (or a person they have designated) deliver instruction to their children. There are three curriculum options:
- Child-centered instruction
- Christian-based curricula
- Independent Study
Parents can choose one or create a unique program combining two or all three options.
A crucial part of homeschooling is developing a program outline that best fits your child. For this, you have to consider their interests, skills and abilities to create a child-centered program and set appropriate learning goals. You can use a combination of one-on-one instruction, hands-on activities and field trips. You can even consider requesting your local school to accommodate your kids in part-time courses or extra-curricular activities (at the school’s discretion). It is recommended that you speak with the school principal as early as possible if you wish to enter into a part-time educational arrangement with them. One important thing to remember is to include the required subject areas in your plan. These are:
- Language Arts (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
- Social Studies
It is also recommended that you add physical education, arts (music, drama, visual arts, dance), other languages, and career development in the program. If you want to get an idea of how a program outline looks like, see samples here: Sample program outlines.
Parents or representatives can also acquire curriculum guides from provincial homeschooling contacts and supports from the Manitoba Learning Resource Centre, Regional Homeschooling Offices and the Manitoba Education Resource Library (in French). Once your enrollment is confirmed, you can access resources such as eBooks, eAudiobooks, video streaming, eJournals and other digital resources from the library. You can also visit them in person (Main Floor, 1181 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg MB) and get assistance from staff.
Parents must inform the government if they want to start homeschooling their children. They need to do this on or before September 1 or within 30 days of establishing a homeschool. If you are withdrawing your child enrolled in school, you have one month to inform the school and government. You can access the Notification Package here. A Homeschool Liaison Officer may contact you after you submit your Notification Form to clarify information. The Homeschooling Office will mail a confirmation of notification letter to you after the Notification Form is processed.
Parents are required to submit a January and June Progress Report for each child every year. Occasionally, a liaison officer may request to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress. You can choose to speak with them at your home, at a neutral location or at the officer’s office.
Homeschooling in Manitoba is not funded by the government. Parents are responsible for all costs related to resources, activities (for example field trips) or tutorial services that may be required in their education plan.
To learn more about homeschooling, go to the Manitoba Education site or contact the Homeschooling Office, Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning at 204-945-8138 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find a list of essential resources here: Homeschooling Resources. There are also several homeschooling support organizations in the province that you can connect with to get advice, resources and other supports:
- Hearth Families Incorporated
- Manitoba Association of Christian Home Schools, Inc. (MACHS)
- Manitoba Association of Schooling at Home (MASH)
- Winnipeg South Homeschool Collective
- Westman Homeschool Connection
Other links for more information:
- Schools in Manitoba – Homeschooling Frequently Asked Questions
- Summary of Legislation regarding homeschooling
Sources: Considering homeschooling brochure, Manitoba Government; Schools in Manitoba Homeschooling FAQs, Government of Manitoba; and Manitoba Homeschool Laws, Manitoba Association for Schooling at Home. Accessed August 11, 2020.
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