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Student Enrolment in Canada, Part 3: More families choosing to homeschool

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Student Enrolment in Canada, Part 3: More families choosing to homeschool

Read Part 1: Independent school enrolment on the rise
Read Part 2: Government-run public school enrolment on the wane

Homeschooling is on the rise in Canada, though it still represents a small portion of overall K-12 enrolment. This is the third installment of a three-part blog series about the nature of student enrolment of K-12 children in Canada. This post focuses on enrolment in homeschooling in Canada.

During the pandemic, many families turned to educational alternatives such as homeschooling and homeschooling collectives dubbed “learning pods.” This blog post looks at 2019/20 student enrolment, so part of the school year would have been affected by COVID-spurred government school closures. However, any emerging trends in student enrolment due to the pandemic and related government policies will not be picked up in the data until education normalizes for K-12 students in Canada.

Even before COVID, homeschooling was on the rise in Canada, though it remains an option taken up by a small portion of Canadian families relative to other school types.

Enrolment in homeschooling in Canada grew from 0.3 per cent of total K-12 enrolment in 2006/07 to 0.6 per cent of total enrolment in 2019/20 (2006/07 is the earliest year of available data for all school types and 2019/20 is the most recent year available).

Homeschool Enrolment as a Share of Total Enrolment

 Total EnrolmentPercent change% of Total Enrolment
NL-153 0.0%0.2%

Homeschooling (as a share of total student enrolment) increased in every province in Canada between 2006/07 and 2018/19. Over this time period, the share of students who are homeschooled in Canada more than doubled.

Homeschool Enrolment as a Share of Total Enrolment

The Prairie provinces have higher enrolment in homeschooling than other provinces, and exceed the national average. Homeschoolers comprise 2.0 per cent of Alberta’s total K-12 student enrolment, 1.4 per cent of Saskatchewan’s total enrolment, and 1.8 per cent of Manitoba’s total enrolment. The Maritime provinces, too, see modestly higher enrolment of homeschoolers, with 0.9 per cent of total enrolment in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, respectively. Enrolment in homeschooling is lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (0.2 per cent).

Only three provinces—British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan—offer some government funding for homeschooling.

The increasing proportion of homeschool enrolment is consistent with the decreasing proportion of enrolment in Canadian government-run public schools. Enrolment in public schools is explored in Part 1 of this blog series, and enrolment in independent schools is explored in Part 2.

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