Homeschool Legal Worry
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6
So you have decided to homeschool. The scariest part for most people is the feeling they are doing something illegal or wrong and that some government agent will be knocking down their door any minute to take their kids. As with most fears, this is completely irrational. The laws around homeschooling in Canada are not that complicated and there are a lot of people willing to help you feel confident you are not breaking any rules.
The first place to look is the Education Act for your country or region. You may not be able to understand everything, but it is still worth a read. Having a look through it yourself is always a good place to start because it gives you enough background knowledge to start asking the right questions. It also helps you know if the person answering your question knows what they are talking about or not. The whole document isn't applicable to homeschooling. Look through the table of contents and choose sections that may be applicable. There will be links at the bottom of the article, for each Canadian province and territory. Remember each region will have their own specifics, so look through the document most specific to where you live.
Another source of information can be your school district. Being on good terms with your school district is important if you are transitioning from public school to homeschool, but, even if you have had no prior relationship with your school board, they can be a great source of information and resources. School boards are aware of the homeschooling legislation for your specific region and often can let you know the requirements in a clear and concise way. Some school boards will even provide curriculum documents and set you up with a school if you choose to involve your child in standardized testing. Many schools are more than happy to allow homeschooled children to take part in their schools standardized tests because homeschooled children tend to be well behaved and tend to score higher than average. Check out your local school district's website to see if they have any information on homeschooling your child.
Sometimes you get what you pay for and free legal advice should be taken with a grain of salt. Other than the Education Act itself or your school board, there are communities that have a paid membership and can provide quality services and support. Homeschool Canada has a list of community support groups, (free and paid), so you can choose the group that best suits your current situation. There is also Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada, (HSLDA,) which provides a type of legal insurance as well as advice and resources for homeschooling-Canadian parents. I have no affiliation with any company mentioned in this article, but if your are worried about the legislative specifics in your area, one of the above mentioned may be worth a phone call for your peace of mind.
Homeschooling is not hard, but I know the worry over the decision to homeschool. You know what is best for your child. Don't let the unknown legal stuff scare you away from giving your child the best education possible. Get investigating and know your rights.
Links as promised: