All about homeschooling British Columbia children

Unlike other provinces, British Columbia homeschoolers must either be registered by the principal of a school, or enrolled with a distance education provider as an online or distributed learner.

Requirements for home educators in British Columbia

Under the School Act, British Columbia parents can choose to educate their children outside of a public or independent school. However, as the law states all children must be educated, homeschooled children have to be registered by a public or independent school each school year, even if they are not attending the school, or enrolled with an online learning provider. Not registering or enrolling a child is an offense in British Columbia.

If you wish to run an entirely homeschooled program, children should be registered by September 30th each year at either a public school, an independent school, a francophone school or an online learning school. If the child is in Grades 10-12, they can enroll in an online learning program while still being considered a registered homeschooler. If your child is already enrolled at a traditional school and you wish to homeschool, you are able to do this at any time of the year as long as you formally register your child.

See EP’s range of online learning programs

The freedoms of homeschooling in British Columbia

While the registration process is stricter than most other provinces in Canada, British Columbia homeschooling families are not required to meet educational standards as set out by the Ministry of Education and will not be inspected by officials. While schools may offer to assist with loaned resources and educational assessments, parents and guardians are fully within their rights to reject these offers. Schools have no authority to supervise or to approve a homeschooler’s educational program.

Children at home have a vast variety of learning options, from field trips to special interest deep-dives and student-led educational programs, which may be entirely unique to the homeschooling family. There is no need for a certified teacher to supervise or oversee a homeschool education, as long as parents or guardians are prepared to work alongside their children in the creation of a personalized homeschool curriculum, be it informal or formal.

How to register with a local public school

School districts within the province may vary in their requirements for registering homeschooled students. To find out the specifics for your district, it is best to contact the school directly. However, the principal of a public school must register a homeschooled student if requested and will usually offer assistance with the child’s home education, including checking their progress against other students of their age and ability, and loaned materials, for which they may require a security deposit.

Registering with an independent school

British Columbia’s independent school authority is able to determine whether specific independent schools are able to register homeschoolers. They may also set a fee for this registration. Independent schools are able to register homeschooled students from anywhere in British Columbia.

Graduation as a homeschooler 

As a student approaches graduation and their focus shifts to tertiary education, a robust qualification is needed. For homeschooled students, there are some sticking points to be aware of. The B.C. Certificate of Graduation or “Dogwood Diploma” is awarded to students who successfully complete the provincial graduation requirements – however, it cannot be earned through home education alone. 

To meet the requirement, students at a Grade 10, 11 or 12 level can gain credits for their diploma by enrolling in an online learning course through a public or independent online education provider without losing their registration status as a homeschooler.

Enrolling as a distributed or online learner

There are numerous public and independent online and distributed learning schools throughout the province. Enrolling with such a provider still allows you the freedom to educate your children as you wish, but also allows your children to meet British Columbia educational standards. Once enrolled as a distributed learner, you will benefit from the guidance and support of a Distributed Learner teacher, who can help to ensure these standards are being met.

Online learners must meet some requirements in accordance with BC law. This includes:

  • Meeting curriculum learning standards for British Columbia
  • Using only learning resources authorized and recommended by the Ministry of Education
  • A BC certified teacher or someone with expressed permission from the Ministry of Education must lead the program
  • Undertake provincial assessments such as the Foundation Skills Assessment and the assessment for graduation
  • Accept formal student progress reports by the online school

Reducing costs as a homeschooling family in British Columbia

Distributed learning students will receive some funding from the government, which can be used for supplies, materials, resources and to fund extra curricular activities and field trips. This funding will often help homeschooling families greatly, who may otherwise be out of pocket with at least one parent being unable to work, with the requirement to oversee the children’s education.

Accepting the help of local school principals, when they offer resources and materials, is another way to cut costs. Also, many homeschooling organizations in local areas throughout the province will offer lending libraries and shared materials and resources. It may also be possible to organize some shared care educational activities with other families, to enable time for more paid work for parents.

Tracking progress and achievement

When comparing options for your homeschooling family, it may be helpful to think about how achievement is measured, and whether it is easy to report on.

While homeschooling can extend students beyond traditional curriculums, staying on top of the requirements for students’ expected level of educational attainment will be important when the child reaches high school age, when they may need to sit nationally aligned assessments to gain a recognized qualification.

A quality online learning platform should have clear achievement indicators built into the resource framework, with the ability to check off objectives as they are met by home learners.

The great thing about using an online platform to keep these records is that real time information is available about a child’s progress. Instead of finding out months down the line that your child is not achieving at the expected standard, the platform will flag any issues and support you to rectify them as you go. 

With so many resources, options and government assistance, homeschooling in British Columbia should be an enriching journey for both you and your child.

Find out about Education Perfect’s online learning platform.

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Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!

Why Use EP to Homeschool?

EP is adjustable for every style of homeschooling. It’s built to enhance your ability as a home educator and offer your child both structured and flexible methods of learning. The platform allows you to adapt for individual strengths and weaknesses so every learner feels supported.

You can:
Create your own courses
Follow our pre built outlines
Unschool your learner with our interest led functionality
Join over 1500 other homeschoolers!