Southern Courier Homeschooling: “Give the present guidelines an opportunity”

EDUCATION. Amendments to the regulations governing home education, announced by the Minister of Education and Higher Education Jean-François Roberge, will now impose ministerial assessments and a program on children who are learning at home. According to Michelle Chartrand, who teaches four of her six children, such a measure is at odds with the very nature of home education and will primarily result in a “reduction” in her teaching.

“School programs are designed to ensure the continuation of a group of 25 students who move from one teacher to another year after year. They are not designed because it is the best way to offer personalized education, “compares the mother from Longueuil. He believes that parents who decide to teach their child want to give him the best and will do a lot of research on this topic. After learning that mathematics has the best results in mathematics, students in Singapore are teaching this math to their children. Which, according to the amended wording, would not be appropriate. “From Minister Roberge, it’s a bit of a conjecture to think that Quebec’s 2019 program is the best thing in the world,” Ms. Chartrand said. “I think my children have a higher standard,” he continues, and considers himself lucky to have a “great learning device.” However, they do not necessarily learn the same concepts at the same time as students in a regular program. “If they are subjected to a ministerial examination that assesses the volume of solids and it happens that they saw it a year or two ago, and not necessarily in the same way, they are at a disadvantage.”

A typical week

Michelle Chartrand prefers to teach certain concepts individually, while others teach in groups. The basic subjects are taken over from Monday to Thursday. “Personal teaching is very effective. So four mornings a week, it’s mass. We do everything we can to be ahead of the school curriculum. I prepare in advance what they should do. Each of them has a checklist. Everyone works independently, and then I stop and learn what they need my help with. ”On Friday, Ms. Chartrand and her children join a group of about fifteen families who also study at home. They participate in drama education, chess, art education, physical education classes. And among the Chartrands, the social universe is taught in the family. For example, in anticipation of a trip to Italy, they will learn more about ancient Rome or the history of Pompeii. The visit then concretizes the learning. His ten-year-old daughter could write a text on the subject, while his five-year-old son could draw a picture of the Colosseum. “I see good results: they are interested in history, they are talking about periods and places. It leads to family conversations. In my opinion, it is much richer. ”Homeschooling is also a preferred option when children have certain learning difficulties. It is thus better adapted to the needs of the student.

Too early

The Home Education Ordinance, adopted in 2018 by Sébastien Proulx, then Minister of Education, sets out guidelines for better regulation of what did not previously use the Uniform Law. The method of evaluation varied greatly from one school board to another. In Longueuil, neighboring schools were in charge. “It was a several-month process during which Minister Proulx met with families, presidents of home school associations, and researchers who were studying the subject,” explains Michelle Chartrand. According to her, the current law is “relatively complete” and it is too early to revise these barely eight-month-old regulations. “It is rare for us to reform after such a short time. In general, we see a year or two as it goes. He also believes that the staff of the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison (DEM) at the Ministry of Education, who are responsible, among other things, for evaluating educational projects and evaluation reports, will become long-standing experts in the matter. According to the ministry, 5,200 children would benefit from home education in the province.

Tablet experts?

Michelle Chartrand also finds it particularly frustrating that Minister Roberge did not consult the National Roundtable on Home Education, which was set up last year. It brings together other actors in the community, researchers, representatives of organizations and school boards. “The table is written in law and since the CAQ has been in power … they haven’t repealed it, but they haven’t called. It’s like. “” Families ask for two things, “Mrs. Chartrand summed up. Give the current housing estate a chance. If that’s not enough, we’ll adapt. And if you want to change that, talk to the round table. The questions and requests for an interview sent to Minister Roberge’s office remained unanswered at the time of the press.

What will change the new regulations

At present, the regulations on home education, approved by the Liberals in 2018, require that the child’s educational plan cover seven subjects: French, second language, mathematics, science and technology, art, personality development, as well as the social world. However, it gives the parent the choice of whether to follow the ministerial program or to approach these subjects through other teaching methods and activities. Parents must submit to the Direction de l’enseignement à domicile (DEM), established within the Ministry of Education, an educational project that will be subject to evaluation and must be approved by the inspector. In terms of assessment methods, the regulation offers parents five options, including ministerial examinations, but also school board assessment, private assessment or the presentation of a learning portfolio. Parents must submit a report on the child’s progress at mid-term and at the end of the project. Follow-up meetings are also planned.

New regulation

The amendment to the regulations promulgated by Minister Roberg stipulates that parents apply the ministry’s study programs for five subjects: the language of instruction as well as the second language (French or English), mathematics, science and the social world. Art and personality development are no longer part of the compulsory subjects. All children who are educated at home will have to follow the ministry’s curriculum and pass ministerial exams. Children will also have to attend the subsequent meetings. The regulations will enter into force on 1ehm July.

The Ombudsman from Quebec recommends postponing the regulation

In a report published on 9 May, the Quebec Ombudsman recommends studying the implications of the current regulation on home education and postponing the entry into force of the planned changes. He disputes the very relevance of the amendments and questions “the nature and extent of the shortcomings which the proposed amendments are intended to remedy”. Protector Marie Rinfret therefore suggests to Minister Roberge to consult stakeholders in order to assess the impact of the regulation, which has so far been little or not documented at all. It further states that it did not receive “any information indicating that the application of the Regulation would harm thousands of children at home or jeopardize their right to education”. Ms. Rinfret also says she “fears” that the changes “hurt” the efforts made since July 2018 to supervise and support parents who provide schooling at home. In the years 2018-2019, 5,200 children with home education were registered, which is 4,000 more than in 2013-2014. The Protector warns that the passing of these ministerial exams cannot be used to measure the educational achievement of children. Citing the Quebec Ombudsman’s 2015 report, he states that “typical school assessments are not suitable for reporting on the education of children at home. The information collected would be scarce or would not represent the development of their learning.

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