Well, with a little less than a month to go before Miss Oh Waily turns five I couldn’t contain myself anymore. I sent an email off to the local Ministry of Education office and requested the forms needed to apply for an exemption certificate.
Now, before you nice local homeschoolers jump into the comments section…
Yes, I know that I do not have to apply until shortly before her 6th birthday. Quite why we cannot get it over and done with at the same time that other children are heading off for their first day in the school system I’m not quite sure. Fine, the legislation is clear that they need to be in school from 6 years old, but since the “norm” is to head off there at 5 it seems a shame that the same transition cannot be given to homeschoolers too.
Anyway, my reason for getting the forms so ridiculously early (a whole year, more or less) is to understand what I will be needing to fill out. Listening in on the conversations online about gaining exemptions I have been wondering if there was going to be a daunting and unwelcoming overtone to the paperwork, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The accompanying letter was extremely civil and welcoming. The form itself is brief and will present no challenge. Now I just need to sit down and spend the next year working out exactly what I shall be saying to the Ministry officials and how we will demonstrate our capability and intention to teach our children at least as well and as regularly as the school system.
I am grateful to have joined the local network support group and a couple of online, Facebook, groups as well. I’m sure, when the time comes, that I will be able to count on the support and advice of many experienced homeschoolers. In the meantime I think our first year of unofficial homeschooling will be spent with me working out just what we are going to do, and how we are going to do it. Then the tricky part – get it down on paper in an easy to understand way that truly reflects our family.
Wish me luck, I can see that getting this bit sorted in my head and from there on to the paperwork is going to be something of a lengthy work in progress.
How easy (or hard) did you find it to file your exemption application? What made the difference, do you think, to getting your vision across clearly?