Home Schooling

There are fewer homeschoolers this year

After a significant increase last year, the number of children in home education decreased this year. Some students whose parents turned teachers due to the pandemic have returned to the classroom.

Posted on October 18, 2021

Marie-Eve Morasse

Marie-Eve Morasse
Press

Dominique Bernèche became a teacher for four of her six children in September 2020. The idea: to protect the grandparents and continue to see them in a closed bubble.

In my head, the kids were going back to school in January and it was settled. We didn’t think it would take this long.

Dominique Berneche

As the number of COVID-19 cases increased in mid-winter, 5e Louis year, 3e of Laurier, 1D The Kindergarten de Simone and Marie was completed – in full! – from the Lanaudière family.

“It was a great year, but I wouldn’t have another one. Homeschooling wasn’t a long-term vision or solution for me because I wasn’t happy with what was happening at school,” explains Dominique Bernèche, a trained entrepreneur and teacher. who found that “it takes a lot of time”.

This follows from data provided by the Ministry of Education Press, this year (as of September 13) there are just over 8,300 children who are being educated at home. Last year, it was almost 12,000 children, which is double compared to 2019-2020.

Some parents who “feel comfortable” with the health situation have decided to put their children back in the classroom, notes Marine Dumond-Després, president of the Quebec Home Education Association (AQED).

“Homeschooling requires a network. Children need to make friends, parents need to talk to families who are doing the same. It really wasn’t easy last year,” explains M.me Dumond-Després, who believes this isolation may have deterred some from homeschooling.

More children at home than before the pandemic

Although home-schooling remains marginal (less than 1% of all students in the province), AQED believes the “enthusiasm” seen around the pandemic is not abating.

“It’s interesting that the families that started last year are continuing [l’enseignement à la maison]. Many families tell us that individual tuition is better for their child. We have most children with special needs. It is certain that the lesson [en tête à tête] it allows you to monitor the baby’s rhythm”, notes Marine Dumond-Després.

At the Ministry of Education, we remind you that although the deadline for declaring a child for home education is 1ahem July “a parent can decide to withdraw their child from school to teach them at home at any time during the school year”.

As for Dominique Bernèche’s children, they returned to primary school a few weeks ago.

They were glad to go, but the rhythm is getting a bit boring. My boys went fishing in the afternoon. They really liked the width it gave them.

Dominique Berneche

And the mother? She gives the example of her little Simone, whom she taught to read. “It was very rewarding,” he says. But while her husband, a CEGEP teacher, gave his lessons remotely, she often did the rest.

“I was the one who had the psychological burden of the school, who said: ‘Today we do this.’ Sometimes, if I had a meeting, my friend took care of it,” explains Dominique Bernèche. The grandparents also got involved.

Now that her children have returned to a more “traditional” routine, Dominique Bernèche is focusing on her business Les Belles Combined, which offers educational tools for parents. And the family is about to welcome a baby, the seventh of the siblings, in a few months.

Mandatory ministerial exams

According to the decree adopted in 2019, children educated at home will have to pass mandatory ministerial tests starting this year. AQED regrets that families are being left in the dark and that “no concrete plan is yet known in terms of procedures to carry out the trials”.

Number of children educated at home

  • 4968 during the 2018/2019 school year
  • 5964 during the 2019/2020 school year
  • 11,947 during the 2020-2021 school year
  • 8329 for the 2021-2022 school year
    (as of September 13, 2021)

Source: Quebec Ministry of Education

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