Remember how hopeful (and perhaps apprehensive) you were when you began your homeschooling journey? The last thing you needed was having to defend your decision to educate at home to friends, family, and even strangers you meet at the market!
I am writing to you today to ask you to partner with us here at the Canadian Centre for Home Education as we take the next important step in growing and defending home education across Canada.
We have just taken a giant leap forward in the homeschooling community! As you know, the number of homeschooling families across Canada has more than doubled over the last two years. Tens of thousands of families are newly discovering the academic and social value of parent-led education, and they are enjoying their time spent learning together.
This is great news for the movement, but not everyone is happy about it…
With any kind of progress there will always be resistance. As students have left the public school system behind, teachers unions and education bureaucrats have begun to notice the shrinking size of their ‘industry.’ As I wrote to you recently, some have already begun to publicly criticize home education. For instance a public school association in Alberta has publicly suggested that if parents alone are allowed to direct their childrens’ education, those children could end up ignorant, narrow-minded, abused, and unable to make it into college or university!*
We can count on these entrenched interests making demands of Ministers of Education for greater regulation of home schools so as to try to pressure families back into the public system. They’ll call it a demand for ‘quality education,’ and as you might guess, only these professionals can provide this ‘quality.’
What would their demands for regulation look like? Well, it will almost certainly involve greater oversight by teachers and bureaucrats, and considerably more reporting to school boards by parents. It could also include the inspection of homes, as well as a demand that home educated students write public school exams (as they have already successfully pushed for in Quebec), or even a requirement to use provincial curriculum.
None of this will happen unless our elected provincial politicians agree, of course. But despite our tremendous growth in numbers, homeschoolers are still a small minority overall, and we must defend your rights before the courts and legislatures with solid evidence that home education works.
We have a plan but we need your help…
Being able to demonstrate with empirical evidence that home education delivers better-than-average academic and social outcomes is critical. If it doesn’t then the argument for ‘quality’ public education may have some substance and politicians may be swayed. We have initiated and funded studies that measure the value of home education in the past, as you can see under ‘Research’ on our CCHE.ca website, but these studies are becoming dated. We need current information that reflects today’s reality.
With the recent hiring of our first Director of Research, Dr. Joseph Woodard, we are now ready to enter into a new era of scholarly research at CCHE. We are now in a position to conduct studies and ask a lot of important questions about the value of parent-led, parent-directed education.
In addition to gauging how well our students do academically and socially, we also want to know how they succeed as graduates. How do they fare in their post-secondary education, careers, business ventures, and family life? Are they choosing to home educate their own children? Do they maintain the values, morals, and faith they learned in their homeschool, and do they pass those on to their own children?
With such a great influx of new homeschoolers these past two years, we also need to understand how our community has changed. What are the aspirations and the needs of the latest generation of home educators? How has technology, such as social media, affected how this new generation approaches learning and teaching?
Canadian public opinion matters and we want them to know the truth…
If Canadians hold a generally positive view of home education then it becomes much harder for politicians to restrict or remove our rights. Thus, an important question to ask is what do Canadians think about us and our unique approach to education, and why do they think it?
Knowing the answers to all these questions is key if we are to continue successfully defending and promoting the value of home education. These answers are also important so that we can serve the real needs of homeschool families. It’s going to take more than one study to answer all these questions, and we’d like to get started as soon as possible.
Will you partner with us today as we begin this scholarly research?
These studies will cost upwards of $50,000 each, depending on the research topic, number of participants, and the number of questions asked. Your gift will make it possible to proceed with a critical study of homeschooling outcomes this year. With this evidence in hand, we can speak with authority when standing up for your educational rights, and the rights of your children and grandchildren! Thank you for your partnership!
Canadian Centre for Home Education
P.S. Please donate today at cche.ca/donate so that we will have sufficient resources in hand to begin to gather scholarly research. This is a critical step in order to definitively defend your freedoms as well as your children’s and grandchildren’s freedoms to choose home education! Thank you!!
*Homeschooling in Alberta: The Choices, Contexts, and Consequences of a Developing System, Curtis Riep, Ph.D. August 2021