As most of you probably know, I view Home Schooling as not only an absolutely legal alternative, but one that deserves support from the school board itself. Our mandate given to us in the Education Act is very clear:
207.1. The mission of a school board is to organize, for the benefit of the persons who come under its jurisdiction, the educational services provided for by this Act and by the basic school regulations made by the Government.
The mission of a school board is also to promote and enhance the status of public education within its territory, to see to the quality of educational services and the success of students so that the population may attain a higher level of formal education and qualification, and to contribute, to the extent provided for by law, to the social, cultural and economic development of its region.
2008, c. 29, s. 23.
So – given that the very same education act specifically exempts students being home schooled from attending our schools, our role is simple: support the efforts of the home schooler such that those students too will attain qualifications and contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of our region.
Now, are we doing all we can do for this group? We’ve made progress, but… we can do an awful lot more.
But what about unschoolers? Read this recent article in The Gazette to learn more about unschoolers:
Certainly the chosen title for the group “unschoolers” may send the wrong message. I don’t think any of these parents are interested in keeping their child ignorant in any way whatsoever. Their approach to education is quite different, and it may not be something you or I understand. But, if at the end of the day these people are developing happy, successful, interested and productive people? Maybe what we need to do is look again at what our role can be here.
How about working together, as a community, and ensuring every child has the tools they need to be successful. And how about allowing for a variety of definitions of the word “successful”. Most home schoolers do an amazing job – just look at their results. Unschoolers? Let’s work together with them to define what success looks like to them. And let’s focus on the big picture – let’s help our community learn, and each contribute in their own way to the social, cultural and economic development of our region. That’s our role.