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Home-schooling in Quebec: the expression of a marginal family choice

Christine Brabant, Sylvain Bourdon, France Jutras

Home schooling is a borderline, though legal, option that is exercised throughout the world. Until now, there has been no in-depth study of this practice in Quebec and there has been no head count of the families concerned. This article deals with the reasons for choosing home schooling, as given by 203 Quebec families who responded to a questionnaire on the subject. The survey, carried out in 2003, was designed to document the families` representation of education, the reasons for their choice, their educational experience and their socio-demographic profiles. The reasons they gave were both numerous and diversified. The rationale of the parents’ decisions is both varied and multidimensional. One of the particularities of the results is that the discourse of these Quebec parental educators seems quite devoid of any religious, anti-State or philosophical overtones. For the participants as a whole, the basic factors that largely determined their choice were their desire to implement a family educational project, their objection to the modes of organization of the school system, a desire to offer an enriched learning experience and a concern with the socio-affective development of their children.