Home Education Support Groups and Organizations

As a home educator, you need never feel isolated: you can receive support, information, and a sense of community from those who, like you, have chosen to homeschool -- just start or join a home school support group! You and your children can make friends and participate in group activities through local homeschool support and play groups, while membership in a provincial, national, or international home educators' organization will keep you informed of legal issues, educational approaches and regional events.

The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents is one such group, and we have compiled a list of other groups you can join as well, if you live in Ontario:

(If you don't live in Ontario, follow the links to Canadian, international and online groups and to other home education websites to find the listings for your area.)

These groups and organizations are most often started and run by parents like you, who have chosen to educate their children at home. One member shared her thoughts with us in the following article:

You can also read articles about support group issues on the following websites:

- Ontario local - Ontario provincial - Canada national - international - articles - main menu - top -

For support and a common voice in Ontario,
join the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents!

Provincial home educators' organizations - Ontario

The Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents (OFTP)
Web Site: www.ontariohomeschool.org
General enquiries: enquiries@ (add ontariohomeschool.org to complete the email address)
Membership
: membership@ (add ontariohomeschool.org to complete the email address)
Phone
: leave a message at 416-410-5218 or 1-800-704-0448 and a volunteer will get back to you, or contact your Area Rep.
Description: OFTP is a non-profit group run by volunteers that provides information about home learning, enables networking among its members, and serves as an advocacy group and link between the homeschooling community and the provincial government. Open to all, regardless of faith or educational style.

 

Ontario Christian Home Educators Connection (OCHEC)
Contact: Jake Zwart
Web Site: www.ochec.org
Email: president@ (add ochec.org to complete the email address)
Phone: (905) 689-7762

 

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National home education organizations - Canada

Association of Canadian Home-Based Educators (ACHBE)
Web Site: www.flora.org/homeschool-ca/achbe
ACHBE is currently inactive. It may be revived if enough interest is sparked and enough volunteers step forward from the different provinces to make it happen. If you'd like to be actively involved, contact Marian at homeschool-ca@ (add flora.org to complete the email address).
Description
: Previously described as follows: "ACHBE is committed to providing support, advice and information to individuals and organizations. Acting as a special interest group nationally and regionally, ACHBE will help protect the rights of all Canadians to educate their children at home. ACBHE has no political or religious affiliations."

Home School Legal Defence Association (HSLDA)
Web site: hslda.ca
Although initiated through the US HSLDA, the Canadian HSLDA is independent of the US organization. Unlike the US HSLDA, the Canadian HSLDA does not take positions on issues that are not related to homeschooling. Also, the Canadian HSLDA does not require that members follow a structured curriculum; it is willing to support unschooling families as well. Like the US HSLDA, it has been criticized as catering to a fear of threats from authorities, as its main purpose is a sort of legal insurance, i.e. the legal representation of its members if they are ever brought to court on educational issues or protection issues that involve a threat to their homeschooling.

 

There are also some national online groups that are not organizations but rather e-lists for online networking and discussion.

 

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International home education organizations and websites

Homeschooling Freethinkers
Web site: hsfreethinkers.com
As of March 2008. Not an organization but a web site with discussion forums intended to serve the international community of homeschoolers whose worldview is "free of supernatural and mystical elements."

 

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Online homelearning support forums and e-lists

Listed below are message boards, forums and e-lists for home educators across Ontario or Canada. For international lists, see the International section on this page. For lists specific to more localized areas of Ontario, see our page of Ontario support groups.

 

Canadian Homeschooler's Board
A message board for homeschooling parents across Canada
http://cpeicheff.proboards.com/

 

EcoleMaisonCanada
Un groupe pour les franco-canadiens qui enseignent à leurs enfants à la maison. Ce groupe se veut un lieu de soutien en ligne pour tous les parents enseignants francophones (ou bilingues faisant l'immersion à la maison), sans exclusion selon les méthodes ni selon qu'on soit ou non religieux. L'école à la maison, ou l'école à domicile, ("homeschooling"), n'est pas nécessairement un enseignement comme à l'école, quoique ça peut l'être. Ça peut aussi être un apprentissage bien plus libre et individualisé comme dans l'approche "unschooling". Toutes les approches sont les bienvenues. Le but du groupe est d'avoir des discussions, des échanges d'idées et de renseignements sur les légalités et les ressources éducatives en français, et aussi une occasion de se faire des amies/amis en ligne et d'organiser des groupes de soutien régionaux pour les rencontres et activités en personne. La participation dans ce groupe nécessite une attitude tolérante envers nos différences, et une manière respectueuse de s'exprimer. Rejoignez-nous et contribuez au développement d'un réseau amical bien relié pour la communauté francophone des parents enseignant à la maison au Canada!
http://cf.groups.yahoo.com/group/EcoleMaisonCanada

 

hs-ca
An e-list for home educators across Canada. "Living is learning. This list is the place for chatting about anything and everything!" Very chatty and active (almost 3000 messages/month!), with lots of personal banter between long-time friends as well as discussions about home learning.
groups.yahoo.com/group/hs-ca

 

Canadian Military Homeschool
A group for Canadian Military Homeschooling Families. A place to build up, encourage, help, give advice, receive advice, and ask questions. Canadian Military Homeschooling Families welcomes families of all homeschooling styles, faiths and ethnicities. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Canadian_Military_homeschool/

 

Homeschooling in Ontario
"This group is open to all homeschoolers in Ontario, whether you follow a curriculum, or learn through living. Feel free to discuss any topic relevent to homeschooling, ask questions, make suggestions, post links that may be of interest to other members."
groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschoolinginontario

 

Ontario Home Education
"French or English are welcome. If you are home educating in Ontario please join in the discussion. People from all walks of life and other Provinces are welcomed to join, as well as people that wish to stay informed about alternative education options."
groups.yahoo.com/group/OntarioHomeEducation

 

Ontario Home School Community
For all homeschoolers in Ontario as well as "all considering homeschooling as an option for their family, and all academic professionals who are curious about homeschooling."
groups.yahoo.com/group/OHSC

 

Homeschool Friends Ontario
Not an online discussion group, this e-list is for homeschoolers in Ontario to find playmates and potential friends for their children. It serves as a sort of social registry. The idea is to make first contact online sfor the purpose of meeting in person family-to-family, i.e. outside of support groups. "Its role is to facilitate the development of friendships among our kids (and among ourselves) by providing an awareness of each other's existence as individuals (i.e. independently of group affiliation) and a way to make first contact. The friendship-building itself, however, happens off-list, real person to real person in the non-virtual world." Can also be used to find penpals within Ontario. (It is not the right group to join if you are looking for information on homeschooling or want an online support group. For that, there are other groups as listed in this section.)
groups.yahoo.com/group/hs-friends-ON

 

hs-ontrips
An announcement list for home learning families in Ontario: to share information for upcoming trips, classes, events, plays, functions, meetings... anything that home learning families may want to join in! This list is intended ONLY for announcements about trips, gatherings and events.
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/hs-ontrips/info

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E-lists and forums for homeschooled kids and/or teens and/or homeschool graduates

Cool Homeschooled Kids e-list — This is a yahoogroup for homelearning kids to hang out and to get to know other homeschoolers. The parents moderate it and keep it safe by requiring parent permission for anyone to join. It was started by a homeschooling mom in Canada so there are mostly Canadian kids, but it's open to kids from outside of Canada as well.

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Specialized support: specific philosophy, pedagogy or faith

Calvert Canada
For Canadian families who are either using the Calvert Home Study Curriculum, or thinking about doing it. On this forum, you may find out more about Calvert, get tips on practically any aspect of using Calvert with your children, ask questions, as well as share your expertise and fellowship with other Canadian Calvert users.
groups.yahoo.com/group/Calcan/

 

Unschooling:
See our page on unschooling resources, including unschooling forums, message boards and email lists.

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Specialized support: ethnic, cultural

Chinese Homeschoolers
E-list: groups.yahoo.com/group/chinesehomeschoolers
This list supports those who are Chinese homeschoolers. Members may live in various parts of the world. The topics range from homeschooling in the U.S.A. and abroad, curriculum, multiracial, multilingual, adoption, family relations, Christianity and special needs.

 

EcoleMaisonCanada
E-list: http://cf.groups.yahoo.com/group/EcoleMaisonCanada
Un groupe pour les franco-canadiens qui enseignent à leurs enfants à la maison. Ce groupe se veut un lieu de soutien en ligne pour tous les parents enseignants francophones (ou bilingues faisant l'immersion à la maison), sans exclusion selon les méthodes ni selon qu'on soit ou non religieux. L'école à la maison, ou l'école à domicile, ("homeschooling"), n'est pas nécessairement un enseignement comme à l'école, quoique ça peut l'être. Ça peut aussi être un apprentissage bien plus libre et individualisé comme dans l'approche "unschooling". Toutes les approches sont les bienvenues. Le but du groupe est d'avoir des discussions, des échanges d'idées et de renseignements sur les légalités et les ressources éducatives en français, et aussi une occasion de se faire des amies/amis en ligne et d'organiser des groupes de soutien régionaux pour les rencontres et activités en personne. La participation dans ce groupe nécessite une attitude tolérante envers nos différences, et une manière respectueuse de s'exprimer. Rejoignez-nous et contribuez au développement d'un réseau amical bien relié pour la communauté francophone des parents enseignant à la maison au Canada!

 

Sa-voir
E-list: http://cf.groups.yahoo.com/group/sa-voir/
Groupe francophone de discussions pour les familles qui font l'école à la maison dans la région de l'Outaouais.

 

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Specialized support: gifted and bright children

For other resources about the gifted, see our page on Learning Differences.

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Specialized support: children with special needs

See our Learning Differences page.

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Specialized support: parents with disabilities

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Local homeschool support groups - Ontario

On the Ontario Support Groups page you will find support group names, descriptions and contact information. You can locate a homeschool support group in your area in several different ways:

- Ontario local - Ontario provincial - Canada national - international - articles - main menu - top -

Alphabetical index of
city and county names

Alphabetical index of
support group names

If you don't live in Ontario...

You can find support group listings for other areas on the following web sites:

 

 

Quick links:
. Socialization . Curriculum . Letter of intent .
. Teaching methods . Learning styles .
Homeschool Support Groups:
- local homeschool support groups in Ontario -
- find by group name - find by city or county name -
- Ontario provincial - Canada national - international - online -
Specialized Support:
- ethnocultural - parents with disabilities - children with special needs -
How to:
- articles on starting or joining a homeschool support group -
OFTP support:
- general enquiries - Area Reps - members' e-lists -
- top -
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