Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between registering and enrolling?

The Ministry of Education requires all home schooled students to be registered or enrolled by the September 30th deadline each year. For our registered students, VCS is required to report names and numbers to the Ministry of Education and provide the home schooled student with a testing vehicle if the family desires. At VCS we use the Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) tool administered in late May or June. We process the test and provide the family with the results. We do not keep the results on file. That is all we are required to do, but we do much more: support & encouragement, loaning of texts & readers, consumable workbooks for purchase from our main suppliers at our cost, access to the VCS library, and individual school photo packages. Enrolling a student (we can do that through our VCS DL program) means that a teacher becomes primarily responsible for the educational program and the parent becomes the facilitator, not the teacher. With enrolling, there is conferencing with the parent to set up an individualized program, assignments are handed in to the teacher, testing is done, and contact, help, and discussion with the teacher are ongoing.

2. How do I know my children are learning enough?

Consistency is the key. Developing a regular schooling schedule and using a good curriculum will ensure that your children are staying on track. We have several options in each curriculum subject that you may purchase or borrow, but there are many other choices available out there. Attending the Home School Convention each year or asking other home schooling families what they are using will also give you other good ideas.

3. How will my children be given credit for the years I have taught them if and when they move into a school again?

Although we can’t speak for other schools, Valley Christian School welcomes home schooled children each year to our classrooms, as well as other children transferring in from other schools. One of our teachers does an assessment with each new child at the beginning of the year so that we know exactly where that child is, the areas where they are above grade, where they are meeting expectations, and if there are any areas where they will need extra help. This is so that the classroom teacher has a good understanding of where the student is academically right at the beginning of the year.

4. What can I do about the Dogwood diploma?

Some families choose to continue home schooling throughout the Grade 10 to 12 years. With the registering option, the parent continues to be responsible for the teaching, which means that the core subjects required for the Dogwood diploma cannot be accredited by the school or the Ministry of Education. The registered student will not receive a Dogwood diploma. Before embarking on Grade 10, it is worthwhile for parent and student to re-assess the registering option. Some choose to proceed; some consider other options. We have had registered home school students who have proceeded through Grades 10 to 12 and then come back later, saying that they have changed their minds and would like credit for their courses. Regrettably, we have to say that we’re unable to do that. Their options then are to re-do the required courses through an on-line school or regular school, challenge the provincial exams and then negotiate with the post-secondary educational institute about the in-class portion of the courses, or to write an SAT exam or other equivalency testing.