Questions and answers

This page will be updated shortly to reflect the new provisions of the Homeschooling Regulation.

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 that 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

Do parents have the right to homeschool their children instead of sending them to school?

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

What should parents do if their children cannot attend school?

  • 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 excused by the school board due to a physical or mental handicap 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.
  • These situations differ from homeschooling, which is the result of 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.

Can parents homeschool children with special needs?

  • Yes. Any child subject to compulsory school attendance can be excused for homeschooling.
  • At the request of the parents of a child with a handicap, 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 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 steps should parents take if they choose to homeschool their children for the 2018-2019 school year?

Step 1: Notice

  • For the 2018-2019 school year, parents must send written notice to the Minister and to the relevant school board by September 1, 2018.
  • For subsequent years, parents must send 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, 2018.
  • Parents must begin implementing the child’s learning project by September 30, 2018.

Step 3: 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 beginning of implementation of the learning project. For example, for a learning project
  • starting on September 30, 2018, the status report must be submitted between December 30, 2018, and February 28, 2019.
  • Parents must send the Minister a written mid-term report on their child’s progress between the third and fifth month after the beginning of implementation of the learning project. For example, for a learning project starting on
  • September  30, 2018, the report on the child’s progress must be submitted between December 30, 2018, and February 28, 2019.
  • Provided they meet the applicable deadlines, parents may send the status report and the report on their child’s progress at the same time in a single document.
  • Parents must attend a monitoring meeting while the children’s learning project is under way.

Step 4: End of the learning project

  • Parents must send the Minister a written final report on their child’s progress by June 15 after the beginning of the implementation of the learning project. For example, for a learning project starting on September 30, 2018, the final
  • report on the child’s progress is due on June 15, 2019.

What steps should parents take if they want to take their children 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 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 on September 15, 2018, the parents must send notice by September 25, 2018.

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, 2018, the parents must submit the learning project by October 15, 2018.
    • implement the child’s learning project. For example, if attendance ceases on September 15, 2018, the parents must begin implementing the learning project by October 15, 2018.

Step 3: Mid-Term reports

  • The parents must send the Minister a written status report on the learning project’s implementation three to five months after the beginning of its implementation. If the child stops attending school between January 1 and March 31, the parents must submit the status report by June 15 following the beginning of the learning project’s implementation. If the child stops attending school after March 31, the status report is optional. For example, if attendance ceases on September 15, 2018, and implementation of the learning project begins on October 15, 2018, the parents must submit the status report between January 15 and March 15, 2019.
  • The parents must send the Minister a written mid-term report on their child’s progress three to five months after the beginning of the learning project’s implementation. If the child stops attending school after December 31, the mid-term progress report is optional. For example, if attendance ceases on September 15, 2018, and the parents begin implementing the learning project on October 15, 2018, they must submit the report on the child’s progress between January 15 and March 15, 2019.
  • Provided the 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.
  • Parents must attend a monitoring meeting while their child’s learning project is under way.

Step 4: End of the learning project

  • Parents must prepare a final written report on their child’s progress by June 15 following the beginning of the learning project’s implementation.

Will parents have to travel to monitoring meetings?

  • A representative of the Minister will contact the parents about the monitoring meeting to determine the time and logistics. Several options are possible, and the logistics will be determined at least 15 days in advance.
  • The Minister’s representative cannot insist that the meeting take place at the parent’s or child’s home.
  • Such a meeting may be held using any means of communication that allows all parties to immediately communicate with each other (e.g. telephone, online video call, video conferencing).
  • The duration of the meeting will depend on the situation. In theory, the clearer and more accurate the documentation provided in advance by the parents, the shorter the meeting will be.

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

  • Yes. Parents can be accompanied by a person of their choice at the meeting. The child may attend the meeting but is not required to do so.

What language does the Ministère use to monitor homeschooling?

  • The Ministère will communicate in French during any homeschooling monitoring meetings. In accordance with the Ministère’s linguistic policy, ministerial personnel may switch to another language during the conversation at the request of a person attending the meeting.

Notice

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

  • Parents must send written notice to the Minister and the relevant school board.
  • To find their school board, 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 children?

  • Yes. Parents must notify their school board if they decide at the start of the school year to homeschool their child. Parents must also notify the school board if their child stops attending school during the school year.

Who will follow up on the parents’ notice and how?

  • A representative of the Minister will acknowledge receipt of the notice in writing within 15 days. 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?

  • Parents must send the Minister a written description of the learning project they will be implementing.
  • The learning project must provide instruction, socialize the child and provide the child with qualifications by developing basic skills, particularly in literacy, numeracy, problem solving and French.
  • There are two options concerning the content of the child’s learning project:

Option 1

  • A learning project based on the Québec Education Program:
    • The learning project must follow the programs of study established by the Minister and include the activities or content prescribed by the Minister in the broad areas of learning.
    • It must also provide for the child to take the examinations set by the Minister and the relevant school board.

Option 2

  • A learning project consisting of varied and stimulating activities conducive to the acquisition of a body of knowledge and competencies, including:
  • the learning of the French language, another language and mathematics at least one subject belonging to each of the following subject areas:
    • Mathematics, science and technology
    • Arts
    • Human development
    • Social sciences (in the case of children who are 9 years of age on the date of the beginning of implementation of their learning project)

Do parents have to follow the Québec Education Program?

  • No. Parents do not have to follow the Québec Education Program consistently when homeschooling their children. However, parents are responsible for submitting and implementing a learning project that meets the prescribed requirements.

Can parents enroll their children in school part-time?

  • No. Part-time attendance at a school under the school board’s jurisdiction is not permitted in a homeschooling context. However, parents may use the services of an organization to further their child’s learning.

Can parents use teaching materials or online courses from outside Québec for homeschooling purposes?

  • Yes. Parents can use the instructional materials of their choice for their child’s learning project. However, parents are responsible for submitting and implementing a learning project that meets the prescribed requirements.

Can only parents homeschool their children? Can they designate someone else to homeschool their children?

  • Parents can use the services of an organization to further their child’s learning. Other individuals can also contribute to the child’s learning. However, the parents are responsible for submitting and implementing a learning project that meets the prescribed requirements.

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

  • Parents can contact the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur 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 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 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 using any means of communication that allows all parties to immediately communicate with each other (e.g. telephone, online video call, video conferencing). 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 have difficulties 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 children’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 a holder of a teaching licence
    • A ministerial examination
    • A portfolio

Do parents have to evaluate their children 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 children’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 they have difficulty evaluating their 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 the possibility of requesting that the Ministère evaluate the child’s progress. Parents must submit a new report or request that the Minister evaluate the child’s progress within 30 days after receiving such notice.
  • 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 using any means of communication that allows all parties to immediately communicate with each other (e.g. telephone, online video call, video conferencing). 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.

Support devices

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.
  • The learning project must indicate that these textbooks are required to teach a given program of study. The parents can contact their school board for information about the procedures that apply to their situation.
  • The school board will determine the conditions upon which it will provide access to these textbooks. The textbooks must be approved by the school board’s school principals.

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.
  • The learning project must indicate that these instructional materials are required to teach a given program of study. The parents can contact their school board for information about the procedures that apply to their particular situation.
  • The school board will determine the conditions upon which it will provide access to these instructional materials. Such instructional materials must be available and already provided free of charge to students attending schools in the school board’s jurisdiction.

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 school library’s documentary resources 
    • 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.

Do homeschooled children have free access to 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 and the reference and reading material there
    • 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.

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

  • The relevant school board is obliged to offer support for homeschooled children in its territory. Parents can contact their school board to request support.
  • A child who has been deemed eligible for instruction in English can benefit, at the parents’ discretion, from the support services of either the French-language or the English-language school board that has jurisdiction.
  • A child who has not been deemed 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. They can also use the online tool Cet hyperlien s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. to search by postal code.

What language do school boards use for support services to parents?

  • Parents can contact their school board for information about the procedures that apply to their situation, including the language used in communications with parents.

Certification of studies

Are homeschooled children obliged to take the same examinations as students who go to school?

  • No. Homeschooled children are not obliged to take the same examinations as students who go to school. However, the learning project may state that the child will take school board and ministerial examinations.

Do homeschooled children have access to the same examinations as students who go to 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.