Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

At what age is school attendance compulsory for children?

All children residing in Québec, within the meaning of the Regulation respecting the definition of resident in Québec (CQLR, c. I-13.1, r. 4), must attend school:

  • from the first day of the school calendar in the school year following the year in which they turn 6 years old
  • until the last day of the school calendar in the school year during which they turn 16 years old OR at the end of which they obtain a diploma awarded by the Minister, whichever comes first
  • In Québec, preschool is not compulsory.

Do parents have the right to homeschool their child?

Yes. The Education Act stipulates that children who receive appropriate homeschooling are exempt from compulsory school attendance, provided that certain conditions are met, mainly those concerning the provision of a written notice of homeschooling, the child’s learning project and the monitoring of the child’s progress during the implementation of the learning project.

What should parents do if their child cannot attend school for reasons other than homeschooling?

  • The school board may exempt a child from compulsory school attendance due to an illness or the need to receive medical care or treatments required by the child’s state of health. 
  • Under certain conditions, and at the request of the parents, a child may also be exempted by the school board due to a physical or mental disability that prevents the child from attending school. The advisory committee on educational services for students with handicaps, social maladjustments or learning difficulties must be consulted beforehand.
  • These situations are not the same as homeschooling, which is a choice made by the child’s parents.
  • Other reasons can also lead to an exemption from compulsory school attendance (e.g. expulsion from school).
  • For more information, contact your school board.
  • In these kinds of situations, it is not necessary to notify the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison.

Can parents homeschool their child with special needs?

Yes. Any child subject to compulsory school attendance can, in principle, be exempted for homeschooling.

At the request of the parents of a child with a disability, social maladjustment or learning difficulty, the Minister may fully or partially exempt the child from the requirements concerning the content of the learning project.

Who should parents contact about homeschooling? What are the roles of the Ministère and the school boards?

  • The Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur is responsible for monitoring homeschooling. It receives the notice sent to the Minister, examines the child’s learning project and ensures that the requirements concerning the implementation of the project and the evaluation of the child’s progress are met. The Ministère will provide guidance to families by assisting parents who require help. The Direction de l’enseignement à la maison (DEM) plays an advisory role, especially with regard to activities, educational resources and ministerial programs of study.
  • The relevant school board (the school board that has jurisdiction) offers support, as set out in the Homeschooling Regulation. Such support consists in making various resources available for the implementation of the learning project and the evaluation of the child’s progress.

Monitoring and homeschooling

What are the main steps parents should take if they choose to homeschool their child in the upcoming school year?

Step 1: Notice

Parents must send a written notice to the Minister and to the relevant school board by July 1 of each year.

Step 2: Learning project

Parents must send the Minister a document describing their child’s learning project by September 30 of each year.

Parents must begin implementing the child’s learning project by September 30 of each year.

Step 3: Status and mid-term reports

Parents must send the Minister a written status report on the implementation of the learning project between the third and fifth month after the implementation starts. For example, for a learning project starting on September 30, the status report must be submitted between December 1 and February 28.

Parents must also prepare a written mid-term report on the child’s progress and submit it to the Minister between the third and fifth month after beginning the implementation of the learning project. For example, if the learning project was implemented on September 30, the report on the child’s progress must be submitted between December 1 and February 28.

Provided the parents meet the applicable deadlines, they may send the status report and the mid-term report on their child’s progress at the same time in a single document.

The parents and the child must attend a monitoring meeting during the implementation of the child’s learning project.

Step 4: End of the learning project

Parents must send the Minister a written completion report on their child’s progress by June 15 after the beginning of the implementation of the learning project.

What are the main steps that parents should take if they want to take their child out of school during the school year and provide homeschooling?

Step 1: Notice

If the child stops attending an educational institution during the school year, the parents must send a written notice to this effect to the Minister and the relevant school board no later than 10 days following the date on which attendance ceases. For example, if the child stops attending school on September 15, the parents must send the notice by September 25.

Step 2: Learning project

If the child stops attending an educational institution during a school year, the parents must, within 30 days following the date on which attendance ceases:

  • send the Minister a document describing the child’s learning project. For example, if attendance ceases on September 15, the parents must submit the learning project by October 15.
  • implement the child’s learning project. For example, if attendance ceases on September 15, the parents must begin implementing the learning project by October 15.

Step 3: Status and mid-term reports

Parents must send the Minister a written status report on the implementation of the learning project three to five months after the implementation starts. If a child stops attending school between January 1 and March 31, the parents must submit the status report by June 15 following the start of the implementation. If the child stops attending school after March 31, the status report is optional. For example, if attendance ceases on September 15 and implementation of the learning project begins on October 15, the parents must submit the status report between January 15 and March 15.

Parents must send the Minister a written mid-term report on their child’s progress three to five months after they begin implementing the learning project. If the child stops attending school after December 31, the mid-term progress report is optional. For example, if attendance ceases on September 15 and the parents begin implementing the learning project on October 15, they must submit the report on the child’s progress between January 15 and March 15.

Provided parents meet the applicable deadlines, they may send the status report and the mid-term report on the child’s progress at the same time in a single document.

The parents and the child must attend a monitoring meeting during the implementation of the child’s learning project.

Step 4: End of the learning project

Parents must prepare a written completion report on their child’s progress by June 15 following the start of project implementation.

Will parents have to travel to monitoring meetings?

  • The Minister’s representative will contact the parents to determine the time and logistics of the monitoring meeting. Several options are possible. The logistics will be determined at least 15 days before the meeting.
  • Such a meeting may be held, for example, in person or by means of an online video call or a video conference.
  • The length of the meeting will depend on the situation.
  • The child must accompany the parents at the meeting.

Do parents have the right to bring someone with them to a monitoring meeting?

Yes. Parents can be accompanied at the meeting by a person of their choice. The child must attend the monitoring meeting.

What language does the Ministère use in monitoring homeschooling?

The Ministère’s staff will communicate in French during all homeschooling monitoring meetings. In accordance with the Ministère’s linguistic policy, department personnel may switch to another language during the conversation at the request of an individual attending the meeting.

Notice

Who should parents notify of their intent to homeschool their child?

  • Parents must send a written notice to the Minister and the relevant school board.
  • To find their school board that has jurisdiction, parents can consult the list of school boards on the Ministère’s website. Parents can also use the online tool Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. to search by postal code.

Is there a form parents can use for notification purposes?

Parents can use the Homeschooling Form Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. to send notice of their decision to homeschool their children.

Do parents have to notify the school board of their decision to homeschool their child?

Yes. Parents must notify their school board by July 1 if they decide to homeschool their child at the start of the school year, or within 10 days if the child stops attending an educational institution during the school year. Parents must send a copy of the notification to their school board whether or not they intend to request support from the school board.

Who will follow up on the parents’ notice? Who will oversee the monitoring and what will it consist of?

A representative of the Minister will acknowledge receipt of the notice in writing within 15 days of receipt. The Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur is responsible for monitoring homeschooling. Its representatives will contact the parents to determine the monitoring procedure.

Learning project

What are parents’ obligations regarding the content of the learning project?

The child’s learning project is submitted in writing to the Minister and implemented by the child’s parents.

The learning project must:

  1. provide for the application of all programs of study established by the Minister, include the activities or content prescribed by the Minister for the broad areas of learning, and provide for the taking of the examinations imposed by the school board that has jurisdiction, on the basis of what would be included in the educational services received by the student if the student were attending a school;
  2. or foster the acquisition of a body of knowledge and skills and, for this purpose, include varied and stimulating activities, and provide for the application of the programs of study established by the Minister for the elementary- and secondary-level instructional services in the following subjects:
    • English Language Arts and French as a Second Language OR Français, langue d’enseignement and English as a Second language (depending on parents’ choice)
    • the compulsory subjects in the subject area of Mathematics, Science and Technology and the subject area of Social Sciences, chosen from the cycle of education in which the child would be enrolled if attending a school.

If this second option is chosen, content to achieve the objectives included in the program of each subject must be taught to allow progress in learning equivalent to that applicable per cycle at school.

The learning project must include the following elements:

  • a description of the chosen educational approach
  • the targeted programs of study and a brief description of the associated activities chosen
  • the other knowledge and skills that the child is expected to acquire as well as a brief description of the relevant teaching and learning activities chosen
  • the educational resources that will be used
  • a plan indicating the approximate amount of time that will be allocated to learning activities
  • the name and contact information of each organization that will contribute to the child’s learning as well as a description of the organization’s contribution
  • the means of evaluation that will be used to assess the child’s progress
  • the last level of educational services that the child received in an educational institution

Who can parents contact if they need help developing their child’s learning project?

Parents can contact the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison to request assistance in developing their child’s learning project.

Parents can also obtain help from resources in their community, such as groups and organizations that offer support for families who have opted for homeschooling.

Do parents have access to support services from the Ministère if they have difficulty developing or implementing a learning project?

  • A representative of the Ministère must assist parents who require help developing a learning project.
  • Parents may be asked to provide relevant additional information or documents after they have submitted their child’s learning project to the Ministère.
  • If the learning project does not meet the applicable conditions and procedures, the Minister will notify the parents in writing of the reasons and make recommendations to correct the situation. The parents must submit a new learning project within 30 days of receiving such notice.
  • If the parents have difficulty implementing the learning project, they must, together with the child, attend a meeting aimed at correcting the situation. The parents may be accompanied by a person of their choice at the meeting. Such a meeting may be held in person or by means of an online video call or a video conference. A representative of the Ministère will notify the parents in writing of the time and place of the meeting at least 15 days in advance.
  • A representative of the Ministère will also help parents who encounter difficulties while implementing the learning project and will make recommendations to correct the situation.

Evaluation of the child's progress

What means can parents use to evaluate their child’s progress?

Parents must monitor their child’s progress during the learning project using one or more of the following evaluation methods:

  • Evaluation by the relevant school board, including a school-board examination
  • Evaluation by a private school
  • Evaluation by the holder of a teaching licence
  • A ministerial examination
  • A portfolio submitted to the Minister

Are the ministerial examinations compulsory?

Taking the ministerial examinations is not compulsory for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. However, the school board must organize and hold free sessions to allow homeschooled children to sit for ministerial examinations. Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, school boards must also allow homeschooled children to participate in preparation activities for ministerial examinations.

Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur will provide parents with preparation documents for ministerial examinations.

Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, in addition to the methods chosen by parents to evaluate their child's progress, the child must also take examinations set by the Minister. Ministerial examinations must be taken, at the latest, at the end of implementation of the learning project. The content taught as part of the learning project must cover the objectives targeted by the program being evaluated. In addition, the official schedule for ministerial examinations must be respected.

The Minister may exempt a child from taking an examination referred to in the first paragraph if the child is unable to attend the examination session due to an illness or another exceptional circumstance. Children who are unable to participate in a given examination session must take the examination as part of another session.

Do parents have to evaluate their child in the same way as a school would?

No. Evaluation methods are not limited to those normally used in schools.

How do parents notify the Minister of their child’s progress?

Each year, parents must submit two written reports providing information about their child’s learning progress and the evaluations conducted to assess it. If applicable, the portfolio must be sent with the completion report.

Do parents have access to support services from the Ministère if there are difficulties related to the child’s progress?

  • The Ministère takes the child’s abilities and the learning project into account when examining the progress reports.
  • Parents may be asked to provide additional relevant information or documents after they have submitted their child’s progress reports to the Ministère.
  • If a report does not allow the child’s progress to be adequately assessed, a representative of the Ministère will notify the parents in writing of the reasons, make recommendations to correct the situation and mention that it is possible to request that the Ministère evaluate the child’s progress. Parents must submit a new progress report or request that the Minister evaluate the child’s progress within 30 days after receiving such a notice from the Ministère.
  • If the child is not making adequate progress, the parents and their child must attend a meeting intended to more clearly identify the source of any difficulties and how to deal with them. The parents may be accompanied by a person of their choice at the meeting. Such a meeting may be held in person or by means of an online video call or a video conference. A representative of the Ministère will notify the parents in writing of the time and logistics of the meeting at least 15 days in advance.

The status report and the mid-term report

When do the parents have to submit the status report?

Parents must send the Minister a written status report on the implementation of the learning project between the third and fifth month after the start of implementation. For example, for a learning project that was implemented beginning on September 30, the status report must be submitted between December 1 and February 28.

If the child stops attending school between January 1 and March 31, the parents must submit the status report by the June 15 following the start of the implementation of the learning project. If the child stops attending school after March 31, the status report is optional.

The status report and the mid-term report may be sent at the same time in a single document or separately at different times.

When do the parents have to submit the child’s mid-term report?

The parents must send the mid-term report to the Minister between the third and fifth month after the start of implementation of the learning project. For example, for a learning project beginning on September 30, the child’s mid-term report must be submitted between December 1 and February 28.

When a child stops attending an educational institution after December 31, the submission of the mid-term report is optional.

The mid-term report and the status report may be sent at the same time in a single document or separately at different times.

How can parents send the status report and the child’s mid-term report to the Minister?

Parents can submit the status report and the mid-term report using the secure site for homeschool providers Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre..
Parents can also send the reports directly to the resource person responsible for monitoring the family’s homeschooling.

Documents can also be sent by email , by fax to 514-787-3583 or by regular mail to the following address: Direction de l’enseignement à la maison, Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, 600 rue Fullum, 8e étage, Montréal (Québec)  H2K 4L1.

 

What is a status report and what is included in it?

The status report is a short account of the implementation of the learning project. It provides a snapshot of the learning activities carried out for each subject and the approximate amount of time that was allotted to them (length, frequency or an example of a typical day). If applicable, it also mentions any changes that may have been made to the learning project.

What must the parents plan to include in the status report?

  • All the subjects included in the learning project are indicated.
  • The relevant learning activities carried out are detailed for each subject.
  • The approximate length of time and frequency of learning activities per subject are specified. Parents can also choose to provide an example illustrating a typical day.
  • Any changes are mentioned.

What is the child’s mid-term report and what is included in it?

The mid-term report is a document in which the parents indicate the level of their child’s learning progress in each subject, as well as the evaluations carried out to measure this progress.

  • The progression of learning demonstrates the changes that have occurred with regard to the child’s learning since the initial implementation of the learning project (e.g. growth, improvement or challenges).
  • The evaluations are proofs of learning that make it possible to assess the child’s learning (e.g. work samples, observations, conversations). If applicable, they also refer to evaluations carried out by the school board, a private school or the holder of a teaching licence, or to the compulsory examinations prescribed by the Minister.

What must the parents plan to include in the child’s mid-term report?

  • All the subjects included in the learning project.
  • A description and comments by the parents on the child’s learning progress in each subject.
  • The evaluations of the child’s progress by subject that were used to support the parents’ comments.
  • The parents may be required to send the Minister additional documents that are relevant to the study of the child’s mid-term report (e.g. samples of the work done).

Support

Do parents have free access to textbooks to help implement the learning project?

Yes. At the parents’ request, their school board will provide free access to textbooks for children who are being homeschooled. These textbooks are the same as those provided to children attending school.

The learning project must indicate that these textbooks are required to teach a given program of study or subject. When parents request access to textbooks, they must send a copy of their child’s learning project to their school board. Parents can contact their school board for information about the procedures that apply to their situation. The Direction de l’enseignement à la maison does not send copies of learning projects to school boards.

The school board will determine the conditions in which it will provide access to textbooks.

Do parents have free access to other types of teaching materials to help implement the learning project?

Yes. At the parents’ request, their school board will provide free access to instructional materials for children who are being homeschooled. These instructional materials are the same as those provided to children attending school.

The learning project must indicate that these instructional materials are required to teach a given program of study or subject. When parents request access to instructional materials, they must send a copy of their child’s learning project to the school board. Parents can contact their school board for information about the procedures that apply to their situation. The Direction de l’enseignement à la maison does not send copies of learning projects to school boards.

The school board will determine the conditions in which it will provide access to these instructional materials, which must be available and already provided free of charge to students attending schools under the school board’s jurisdiction. The student has the right to free access to instructional materials but “the right of free use does not extend to documents in which students write, draw or cut out, nor to material for personal use” (Bill 12). Exercise books, for example, are not covered by the right of free use.

Do homeschooled children have free access to professional services?

Yes. At the parents’ request, their school board will provide free access to the following services for children who are being homeschooled:

  • support services for the use of the documentary resources of the school library
  • academic and career counselling and information
  • psychological services
  • psychoeducational services
  • special education services
  • remedial education services
  • speech therapy services

These services are accessible subject to their availability and the child’s needs. When parents request access to professional services, they must send a copy of their child’s learning project to the school board. Parents can contact their school board to obtain information on the procedure that applies to their situation. The Direction de l’enseignement à la maison does not send copies of learning projects to school boards.

Do homeschooled children have free access to certain school facilities?

Yes. Their school board will provide free access to the following resources for children who are being homeschooled:

  • The library of at least one of its schools along with the library’s reference and reading material
  • The science laboratory of at least one of its schools and the materials and equipment used there 
  • The computer laboratory of at least one of its schools and the materials and equipment used there
  • The auditorium and art rooms of at least one of its schools and the related materials and equipment used there 
  • The sports and recreational facilities of at least one of its schools and the related materials and equipment used there 

The school board will provide access to these services subject to their availability and the conditions it has established. Parents do not have to send their school board a copy of the learning project when they request access to school facilities.

Which school board should parents contact to request support services for homeschooling?

To request support for their child, parents must contact the relevant school board, meaning the school board that has jurisdiction over the territory in which the child resides (Education Act, s. 204).

A child who has been declared eligible for instruction in English is entitled, should the parents wish to avail themselves of it, to the support services of the relevant French-language or English-language school board.

A child who has not been declared eligible for instruction in English can benefit from the support services of the French-language school board that has jurisdiction.

To find the school board that has jurisdiction for their area, parents can consult the list of school boards on the Ministère’s website. Parents can also use the online tool Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. to search by postal code (in French only).

Certification of studies

Do homeschooled children have access to the same ministerial and school board examinations as students who attend a school?

Yes. The school board must take the necessary measures to provide homeschooled children with free access to school board and ministerial examinations. Parents should contact their school board for more information.

In addition, the school board must take the necessary measures to provide homeschooled children with free access to ministerial examinations in order for them to obtain the credits required for the issue of a diploma recognized by the Minister without having taken the corresponding course at an educational institution. Parents should contact their school board for more information and be aware of the educational and organizational requirements that apply in their child's situation.

What actions must parents take in order for their child to obtain a Secondary School Diploma?

Parents must develop implement a learning project that leads to the recognition of the credits required by the Direction de la sanction des études.

Parents must take the necessary steps with their relevant school board to register their child for the ministerial examinations. Parents must also make arrangements for the evaluation of results and the recognition of all the subject courses leading to the Secondary School Diploma.

Periods of time outside Québec

What must parents do if the family will be outside Québec during the school year?

Each situation must be considered based on its own merits when determining if a child is subject to compulsory school attendance and when determining the monitoring that will be provided by the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison.

Parent can contact the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison to obtain information about their obligations under the Homeschooling Regulation.

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