Home Education Legalities in the Yukon

Homeschooling in the Yukon is governed by the Education Act and its Home Education Regulations.

Section 22 of the Act relates to compulsory school attendance and the exemptions therefrom, including homeschooling in subsection 22(2)(e):

22(1) Unless excused under subsection(2), every child who at September 1 in a year is 6 years and 8 months of age or older and is younger than 16 years of age shall attend a school operated by the Minister or a School Board.

(2) A student is excused from attendance at school if
[…]
(e) the student is enrolled and in regular attendance at a private school or a home education program in accordance with this Act

Section 23 outlines the role of the superintendent or director in excusing a student from attendance after receiving the parents’ application for permission for their child to be excused.

Section 31 deals more specifically with Home education, which parents are allowed to provide if they comply with section 31 and the program meets the “goals and objectives” outlined in subparagraph 4(a)(i) of the Act:

(a) to encourage the development of students’ basic skills, including
(i) the skills of literacy, listening, speaking, reading, writing, numeracy, mathematics, analysis, problem solving, information processing, computing
.

Oddly, there is no requirement to meet the other “basic skills” listed in section 4(a), which include, among other thing, “(ii) critical and creative thinking skills for today’s world” and “(iii) an understanding of the role of science and technology in society, together with scientific and technological skills.” There is also no requirement to meet the other “goals and objectives” of section 4, which include recognizing gender equality, First Nations rights, the role of labour and business, and preparing for “participation in a Yukon, Canadian and global society.”

Here is a paraphrase of the rest of the items in section 31 with which a home education program must comply:

  • Register with the Minister when starting to homeschool and every year after that.
  • Prepare an educational plan for each homeschooling student and submit it to the Minister before the start of the home education program. The plan has to cover every year of the home education program (minimum of 3 school years) and include a description of the learning activities that will comply with the goals and objectives set out in subparagraph 4(a)(i).
  • Homeschooling parents can request that tests be administered to their children, subject to the requirements of the regulations, and will have to pay any fees involved.
  • Homeschooled students may attend courses offered by the Minister or a School Board subject to any terms and conditions established by the regulations.
  • Homeschooling families may receive educational resource materials and use of school facilities and equipment subject to the regulations.

Also:

  • The Minister may
    • (a) provide for the assessment of the student’s achievement on a regular basis and communicate the results to the parent;
    • (b) advise the parent if, in the opinion of the Minister, the student is not making reasonable progress in the program; and
    • (c) provide the parent with recommendations which will assist the student in improving the level of achievement.
  • […] the Minister may, in writing, terminate the home education program if the Minister is of the opinion, after considering the abilities of the student, that
    • (a) the home education program no longer meets the requirements of subparagraph 4(a)(i); or
    • (b) the student has failed to meet standards of student achievement, as measured by achievement testing, comparable to those of schools operated by the Minister or a School Board.
  • [The Minister would have to send the termination notice in writing. It would include an order to attend a school operated by the Minister or a School Board, and would specify the date on which attendance would have to start.]

The Home Education Regulations provide further details about the registration process, the educational plan, the Minister’s approval process, the use of school materials and facilities, part-time attendance, and access to achievement testing.