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Considering another option for education

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Homeschooling is on the rise all across Manitoba since the pandemic broke out. According to the Manitoba Government, during the school year from 2019 to 2020, there were 3,689 students. During the pandemic from 2020 to 2021, that number was more than doubled when 8,027 students registered for homeschooling.
It’s still too early for Manitoba Education to release the numbers for this school year, but so far they have over 2,800 students register with more to process over the next coming month. The concern of COVID-19 and the pandemic protocol was the main reason for the increase in homeschooling across the province.
“It’s anticipated that homeschooling enrolment for the 2021 to 2022 school year will be less than last year’s 8,027 students, but more than the 3,689 students during the 2019 to 2020 school year,” said a
spokesperson for the Province. “The 118 percent increase in homeschooling enrolment in the 2020 to 2021 school year was largely due to parent concerns about COVID-19. Many families that were new to
homeschooling last year have indicated an intent to return to school for the upcoming school year.
“There are homeschooled students in both rural areas and urban centres throughout Manitoba. As of November 30, 2020, for school year 2020/21, there were 2,033 registered homeschool students within the city of Winnipeg’s school division boundaries, and 5,994 registered homeschool students outside
of Winnipeg.” 
Homeschooling is a right that parents or legal guardians can explore with their children under The Public
Schools Act. It allows parents the ability to teach one on one, while still following the provincial curriculum.
“Parents may choose to homeschool their children rather than enrolling them in a public or independent school,” said the spokesperson. “When parents choose to homeschool, they are responsible for obtaining 
resources and materials for the program of study. They must notify Manitoba Education of their intent by completing and signing a Student Notification Form for each child on an annual basis. This must include the name, date of birth, grade level, the school or school division the child would otherwise attend, as
well as an outline of the education program.
Parents must also submit Progress Reports in January and June.” The biggest drawback to homeschooling
in Manitoba is the costs associated with textbooks, materials, resources and support services. There are no tax credits or breaks given to those families who chose to homeschool their children. “When parents
choose to homeschool their child, they’re responsible for obtaining resources and materials for the program of study,” said the spokesperson. “Any support services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, as well as all psycho-educational assessments and supporting programming are
the responsibility of the parent. Provincial funding isn’t available to families who homeschool.” While there may not be financial support, there are several different supports that can be accessed for families
wanting to go the homeschool route for education. “The Department of Education’s homeschooling liaisons are available to support families, answer questions, and provide information about programming options,” said the spokesperson.
“The Manitoba Homeschooling website contains resources including videos, guideline documents and
sample forms to assist families with planning a program of studies and completing the homeschooling 
notification form and progress reports.
That can be accessed at https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/schools/ind/homeschool/index.html .
Other websites include the My Learning at Home website https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/mylearning/in
dex.html; and the Manitoba Remote Learning Support Centre for Kindergarten to Grade 8 students at
https://www.mbremotelearning.ca/repository.
“Homeschooling families can access remotelearning courses for Grades 9 to 12 students from InformNet
https://www.informnet.mb.ca and the Teacher Mediated Option http://tmopinecreeksd.weebly.com/. They are also eligible to receive refurbished computers from Computers for Schools Manitoba at https://www.c4smb.ca/,to assist with technology device needs for learning.”
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) has also seen the trend in homeschooling and wanted to keep Metis
families and youth safe.
In partnership with the Louis Riel Institute (LRI), the MMF is offering a Homeschool Support Program that
provides free homeschool support and tutoring to Metis families and students. Metis students can
receive academic assistance with certified educators, school supplies, textbook funding, laptop loans and one on one tutoring with educators and academic specialists. To find out more information on the MMF/LRI Homeschool Support Program, email school@mmf.mb.ca.