Home Learning Options

In British Columbia there are two significantly different models for learning at home:

Online Learning (OL)

Parents instruct their children with the support and professional guidance of a certified teacher through the school they are ENROLLED with. They are free to use faith-based curriculum when they enrol with an Independent School. At RCOA learners are part of a school community that provides a variety of heavily subsidized Face-to-Face Class options for all grade levels, access to a wide variety of physical and digital resources through our Lending Libraries, and Online Subscriptions. In addition each learner has a Curriculum & Program Activities Budget that is applied to third-party services, the cost of consumable curriculum, and school-related resource costs. For full details go to each program’s page.

Parents Should Consider…

Teachers use a wide range of electronic tools to facilitate the learning of their students via Learning Management Systems which can include voice and video, conferencing over the Internet, email, telephone calls and others.  Parents need to facilitate this process with the learners and use the required technology.

RCOA provides a teacher who works with learners to:

  • Plan and deliver a course of study
  • Select course textbooks and resources
  • Assess student progress and complete a report card

Enrolling

Learners can choose to complete an entire K-12 program at home or partner it with other learning options.

Learners in Kindergarten to Grade 9 must take a full course load at one school, while those in Grades 10 to 12 may enrol in courses from a number of different online learning or campus schools at one time.

For a learner to be successful our program requires significant parent involvement even when learners participate in the full range of our Virtual & In-Person Program options, more than half of their program is completed at home, this requires the parent (or an alternate) to be a facilitator-of-learning; guiding and mentoring the learner in what are called “soft-skills” (scheduling, prioritizing, guidance online, etc..) Even though older learners are growing in independence this role is still important in high school.

Registered Homeschooling (HS)

Parents in BC are free to teach their children at home as they wish, as long as they REGISTER with a certified school. Their only obligation is to provide their children with “a program”, which is relatively undefined. There is no monitoring by, or accountability to, the Ministry or the school they register with. RCOA provides discounted rates on some of our Face-to-Face opportunities, access to a limited number of online subscriptions, and the opportunity to purchase our library discards.

Homeschooling is an alternative method of teaching offered outside the B.C. educational system. Typically, a family member delivers the entire educational program to children at home.

Parents Should Consider…

Homeschooling comes with great responsibility – choosing this option means parents must provide and supervise their child’s entire educational program, including curriculum and learning materials.

Homeschooling programs are:

  • Not supervised by a B.C.-certified teacher
  • Not required to meet provincial standards
  • Not Inspected by the Ministry of Education

Registering as a Homeschooler

By law, all children in B.C. must be educated, making it necessary for homeschooled children to be registered.

Parents who choose to homeschool must register their child before September 30th of each year.

Note: Children in Grades 10, 11, or 12 may enrol with RCOA course by course and also be registered as a homeschooler. Homeschoolers are not eligible to receive a British Columbia Dogwood Graduation Certificate, however RCOA has an Alternative Blended Transcript option, contact us if you are interested in knowing more about it.

For more information consult this Homeschooling Procedures and Guidelines Manual

Differences between homeschooling, online learning and in person learning

CRITERIAHOMESCHOOLINGONLINE LEARNING
(Through B.C. public or independent school)
IN-PERSON LEARNING
(Through B.C. public or independent school)
Must follow the B.C. CurriculumNoYesYes
Learning must be supervised by a B.C.-certified Teacher, as part of their
duties of employment with a B.C. school (responsibilities include planning,
selecting Educational Resource Materials, facilitating learning activities and
documenting learning)
NoYesYes
Learner progress must be evaluated, and report cards prepared by a B.C.
certified Teacher
NoYesYes
Learner must participate in Provincial Graduation Assessments and
Foundation Skills Assessments
No
(FSA & Grad Assessments
are optional)
YesYes
Religious beliefs may be taughtYesNo - in public
Yes - in independent
No - in public
Yes - in independent
“Status” in a schoolRegistered
Homeschooler*
Enrolled StudentEnrolled Student

* Registered Homeschoolers who are eligible to enroll in Grades 10-12 courses may remain a homeschooler while also enrolling in Online Learning courses at the Grade 10 to 12 level.

Educational program: roles and responsibilities

RESPONSIBILITIESHOMESCHOOLINGONLINE LEARNING
(Through B.C. public or independent school)
IN-PERSON LEARNING
(Through B.C. public or independent school)
Facilitating Learning ActivitiesHome Educator
(required)
B.C. Certified Teacher/
Board of Education/
Independent School
Authority
B.C. Certified Teacher/
Board of Education/
Independent School
Authority
Extended Assessments, (facilitating and covering the cost)Home Educator
(at the discretion of the home educator)
Board of Education/
Independent School
Authority*
Board of Education/
Independent School
Authority*
Developing the Learning Plan (and individual Education Plan - if required)Home Educator
(at the discretion of the home educator)
B.C. Certified
Teacher
B.C. Certified
Teacher
Selecting ResourcesHome Educator
(at the discretion of the home educator)
B.C. Certified
Teacher/Board of
Education/Independent
School Authority
B.C. Certified
Teacher/Board of
Education/Independent
School Authority
Evaluation and AssessmentHome Educator
(at the discretion of the home educator)**
B.C. Certified
Teacher/Board of
Education/Independent
School Authority/
Ministry of Education
B.C. Certified
Teacher/Board of
Education/Independent
School Authority/
Ministry of Education
Documenting LearningHome Educator
(at the discretion of the home educator)
B.C. Certified
Teacher
B.C. Certified
Teacher

* Parents/guardians of students at an independent school may be expected to pay for extended assessments.
** Registering schools have some responsibilities with regard to offering access to evaluation and assessment services

To apply online to RCOA for either option

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