A new generation of home-schooling parents are embracing home schooling as an option for their kids, a trend that could have dramatic consequences for a growing number of parents.
One of those parents is Shannon B. Jones, a single mother in Vancouver, British Columbia.
She says she was one of those people who had her kids in a traditional home school and decided she didn’t want to spend money on tuition fees.
She’s not alone.
“I just felt like we needed to change the paradigm,” Jones said.
Many parents are still hesitant to embrace the idea of home schooling.
But B.C. home-education leader and spokesperson for the Association of Independent School Providers, Lisa Smith, says the trend is now taking off.
It is a growing trend, she says.
“[Home schooling] is just becoming mainstream in Canada, so we need to be thinking about that,” Smith said.
“You need to educate your kids in homeschooling.”
Smith believes the trend could be a positive one for the home-educated population.
“The vast majority of people are going to be able to do home schooling because they have a choice to do so,” she said.
“A lot of parents, if they’re not in a home-based school system, they’re going to have to take the decision and decide whether to go home school.”
Home schooling, which is defined as a curriculum in which children attend home and learn from teachers, requires the same rules of the curriculum as school, but is structured differently.
B.C.’s Home Education Association recommends parents use a combination of home and school curriculum.
They recommend that children attend school at home and stay there for at least six weeks to help ensure a balanced curriculum.
Smith believes that home schooling has become a viable option for home-teachers, but admits there are some who feel homeschool is not the best option for them.
Parents of children who live in boarding schools should look for alternative options, she said, adding that a variety of options are available for parents who want to be more independent.
I think there are many reasons for that, Smith said, but one of them is the fact that many people who have homeschooled are also home-educators themselves.
In B.L.C., home-chooling is a mandatory education for all students, even if they are not registered as teachers.
But Smith says she has heard many parents say that home-editing their children is too expensive and has caused them to drop out of the profession altogether.
There are also many home-studying parents who are also teachers.
Smith says the home schooling is not a career option for most parents.
“I would say, if you’re not a home teacher, then there are no other options for you to work, but if you want to do it and are comfortable in your profession, then home schooling makes sense,” she told CBC News.
The Association of Home Education Providers has also been hearing from parents who say home schooling could help them raise the next generation of educated professionals.
They are also worried about the impact home schooling can have on the quality of education for children in the future.
“There is a fear among some that home education will be seen as an alternative to higher education, as if home schooling means that we’re going back to the days when we didn’t have access to higher learning,” Smith explained.
While home schooling might seem like an option, it could not be more different than other education options, Smith says.
“Home schooling is very much about self-directed learning,” she says, and there is a lot of choice in choosing what you want your kids to learn and how you want them to learn it.
You don’t need to take out loans to do this, Smith added.
Home schooling can be financially rewarding for some parents, and a home school education could even be financially beneficial for their child.
For example, some parents of young children who are learning to code are getting a great education, says Smith.
And, the money home-Schooling could save could also save the family a lot, especially if it can be used towards a down payment on a home or apartment.
“It’s really about the long-term, you know, it’s about giving a child a future, because we’re looking at it as a lifelong investment,” Smith explains.
Jones agrees that home school could also help her financially.
We’ve got to be careful, because it’s really hard to get away from debt if you can’t afford to pay it off,” she added.