MONTREAL (CityNews) – Arcader games and trampolines, isn’t a place normally associate with school. But that’s exactly what Skytag is offering to help with.
“Parents who are opting to homeschool their children of school age are legally responsible for their child’s education. We are providing a space for children to come while they work to oversee that the children are safe, to make sure they’re getting their physical activity and that any questions are answered adequately,” explained Danielle Delannoy, co-owner of Skytag.
With many parents nervous about sending children back to school but unable to stay home, businesses like Skytag are hoping to provide an alternative.
Other programs like FitSet Ninja academy in Alberta take a similar approach – providing a space and supervision for students to do online schooling.
Even through kids will be surrounded by trampolines and table hockey, Skytag says education is the focus.
“We provide the physical activity. The arts and crafts, the extra-curriculars, so that parents who have to work full time can oversee that their child is getting the correct curriculum, physical activity and socialization in a safer environment,” said Delannoy.
Parents are expected to officially register their children for homeschooling and sign up for the Quebec online school. An English language program that provides lesson plans and tutoring for homeschoolers.
Skytag says the service is basically childcare plus homework help, but not everyone sees it that way.
“When I went on their website it said it was a school. They are not a school,” said Marwah Rizqy, Quebec Liberal education critic. “What about the fact the we’re already paying for the online classes? And now we’re going to pay another thousand dollars every month for Skytag? Basically, you’re paying twice for the same service.”
Quebec’s education ministry says it’s still looking into the legality of Skytag’s service. They told CityNews, “the law on private education says that no one may operate a private educational establishment unless they hold a permit for the establishment and the educational services or categories of educational services it provides.”
However, Skytag insists they’re not a school and will operate within the confines of the law.
“We are not in violation of the law. We are not a school, we are not a daycare,” said Delannoy. “It’s the same if I were to hire a babysitter TO watch my child and oversee that he’s getting his homework done.”