What are the laws about homeschooling my child?

3. Understand how you might be investigated

You have the right to educate your child at home. You shouldn’t be investigated only because you decided to homeschool your child. But the law says your child must get a “satisfactory” education. This means you can be investigated to make sure your child’s education is satisfactory.

You can be investigated by:

  • your local school board
  • a Children’s Aid Society (CAS)

School board

You don’t have to have a homeschooling plan. You also don’t have to show the school board anything about how you plan to homeschool. The law only says that you have to give your child a “satisfactory education”. Ontario’s Ministry of Education says that if you give the school board a letter saying you’re homeschooling your child, the school board should assume that the education your child gets at home is satisfactory.

The school board should only investigate if they have a specific reason to believe that your child’s homeschooling is not satisfactory. If you’re not open and honest with the school board, they may see that as a reason to investigate. For example, they may investigate if:

  • You refuse to tell the school board in writing that you’ve decided to homeschool.
  • You removed your child from school because you didn’t agree with school staff on an issue. You aren’t planning to homeschool; you’re just pretending to homeschool and using it as an excuse to avoid dealing with the issue.
  • Your child was absent a lot from school before you decide to homeschool, and the school board thinks you’re using homeschooling as an excuse to not send your child to school.

A school board might also investigate if they get information that concerns them about your child’s education. For example, a person the school board trusts, like a doctor or a social worker, contacts the school board to say that they’re concerned about the quality of your child’s education at home.

Children’s Aid Society

One of the main responsibilities of a parent is to make sure their children are educated. If you don’t pay enough attention to your child’s education, a Children’s Aid Society (CAS) can investigate you. If CAS believes that you’re harming your child by not educating them well enough at home, they may force you to register your child in a regular school.

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