Did you know that prior to 1989, homeschooling in BC was not allowed? In fact, those parents who did choose to homeschool their children were often putting themselves at risk with the possibility that Social Services might get involved. All over teaching their children in their home, what had been done for centuries before! However, now that those laws have changed, there are many different options for families to consider.
There are two two Ministry of Education terms that you should know before you start. They define schooling-at-home in two terms; either Distributed Learning or Homeschooling. Distributed Learning (previously known as Distance Learning) is where your child is enrolled in a school (whether public or independent but in the same province you live) under supervision of a certified teacher, but completes learning in a home environment. Homeschooling on the other hand, is the traditional idea where a student may be registered with school, but may complete their learning in any way the family requires. One other important difference between the two is that while registering with a DL school, you are still following the Ministry of Education’s guidelines for meeting provincial standards however with Homeschooling, you do not need to meet these standards and may educate your child in whatever way you feel best.
Two helpful websites with great FAQ sections are the BC Home Learners Association and the BC Homeschool Association. Both of these websites support families who are Homeschooling their child, but also will help answer questions that you might have regarding Homeschooling or Distributed Learning.
Learning can happen in so many ways, that exploring the option of Homeschooling or Distributed Learning can open your world in ways you had never imagined! Stay tuned for Part 3 where we discover some well-known Public and Independent schools that support DL and Homeschool learners in BC!