I've just been introduced to this today at an LLL meeting. Does anyone know how to go about this in Canada (manitoba)? Are there laws requiring your children to go to school? Do they track what your kids learn, by testing them or other methods? What do I need to know??
Unschooling in Canada
Hi! We're in BC and things do differ from province to province. Here we have the choice to not register at all, to register as homeschoolers and get about $200 per year from the government, or register with a Distributed Learning program and get $1000 per year from the government, however for this you must do some kind of reporting. This varies between DL's. Some are very School At Home and some, like ours, are very unschooling-friendly.
I've homeschooled in two BC communities and each have Yahoo Groups where local homeschoolers get together to plan outings and share information. So first I'd do a search to see if you have something like that. You could also search your province's Ministry of Education website.
Hey BCblondie, I am here in Manitoba and unschool, my kids are almost 11 and almost 8 and we have done this all along.
Regulations are pretty easy here. Basically, you notify in Sept, and a progress report is due in January and June. That's it. They even give examples of how to fill it out for child led learning. One warning...make is as "schooly" sounding as possible. I was contacted this past fall for a home visit (which we legally can decline), and I contacted the MASH organization I mention below for help how to politely decline this and not sound defensive (.I had alot of stress in my life at the time and was not wishing a visit, and my son does get therapies which I do outline in my reports, and I am very specific about where he is at...a bit "behind" by school standards in Lang arts/reading but I am very careful every year to SPECIFICALLY indicate where he is improving and how...my advice is be very specific re: resources used etc). The president is an unschooler and was a great help. My forms always have been very schooly sounding and specific, but my ds (8) has special needs (speech and motor development) and it wasn't anything that couldn't be dealt with over the phone which in the end is what happened between me and the liason. The issue here is sometimes home visits are being done without a clear indication prior to arrival of why, and some parents are looking unprepared when they arrive and there is the suspicion it is a subtle assessment, not just "in the area to meet new homeschoolers" as is so often put.. As a rule though there have not been alot of visits until this last year when a second government liason was added to the department. If you go the yahoo group "Winnipeg and area homeschoolers" you can link up with homeschoolers and read about it and other things as well.
Here are some links to 1) the Dept of Ed website about homeschooling and 2) the Manitoba Association for Schooling at home (MASH). I will warn you, (although I sense you may be from Winnipeg so this may not be a problem) there is another association (MACHS ---Manitoba Association of Christian Homeschoolers which is the biggest one in the province) you may come across which which alot of people in my area join (I live in the Southeast part of the province which, ahem, lets just say is religiously exclusive) and which I have found is very school at home promoting and most definitely not unschooling friendly (at least local members I have met, your milage may vary)
Hope this helps!