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Homeschooling in Alberta

WHAT IS HOME EDUCATING IN ALBERTA?

Home Education (under the Alberta Home Education Regulation) Compared to School-at-Home (under the School Act)

 

Home Education

School-at-Home

The Parent:

has control of their child's education

chooses to give responisibility for their child's education to the government.

The government considers this to be:

Home Educating

Public Education at home

The program is taught by:

The parent or a person designated by the parent

a certified Alberta teacher hired by the applicable board.

Who is ultimately responsible for the program?

The parent

The school board/School

What curricula can be used, and who chooses it?

A wide variety of parent selected curriculum oprtions are available, including unit sutides, literature-based studies, textbooks, workbooks, DVDs, online classes, APS, and various complete curriculum packages.

The school has the authority for the program and the curriculum, which are to meet the requirements of the Alberta Program of Studies (APS)

Who evaluates the student?

The parent assess the student's progress, and the parent and student meet wice each school year with their teacher-facilitator (a certified Alberta teacher) who will evaluate the student's progress.

Evaluation, assessments and testing are the responsibility of the teacher/school.

How much government funding is received per student for the year?

Approximately $835 (based on the 2015/16 school year) is provided to the parent and $835 to the school board/private school (as per the Alberta Home Education Regulation) for each child in Grades 1 through 12

The school board recieves a base instruciton rate of $6,679 (based on the 2015/16 school year) per student (not including additional applicable fundin); each school authority determines how much of that funding will be offered to the parent.

Relevance of the Alberta Home Education Regulation?

A home education program operates under the Alberta Home Education Regulation.

School-at-home programs do not fall under the Alberta Home Education Regulation but instead operate under the School Act.

 

Blended Programs are homeschooling programs that comprise a parent-directed home education program that operates under the Alberta Home Education Regulation AND a teacher-directed school-at-home program that operates under the School Act. Typically, 50-90% of a blended program will consist of a a teacher-directed school-at-home program, with the remaining 10-50% consisting of a parent-directed home education program.

FIRST STEPS TO HOME EDUCATING IN ALBERTA:

  • Prepare Read about Home Educating and familiarize yourself with the Alberta Home Education Regulation (www.alberta.ca and search for 'Home Education Regulation'). Consider which approach to home education might work best for your family. 
  • Notify a School Board/Private School of your intent to Home Educate. You may notify either your resident/local school board or a willing non-resident school board or private school of your intent to home educate your child(ren). Your resident school board is responsibile for the education of your school-aged children unless you notify a willing non-resident school board or private school of your intent to home educate. (Note: your residnet school board may not be the most supportive of or knowledgeable about home education.)
    • If your children are already enrolled in an institutional school, you do not have to notify your current school if you are not comfortable doing so, your new school board/private school can do that for you once it has agreed to supervise your child's home education program.
    • You will be eligible to receive funding (from the school who agrees to supervise your children's home education programs) provided you notify before September 30 of the current school year. If notification happens after September 30, they may still be willing to supervise your childrens home education (particularly the Independent Contracted Home Education Specialists (ICHES) but there will not be any funding for the current school year.
    • You are required to notify of your intent to home educate any child who is 6 or older on or before September 1 or the current school year.
    • The school board or private school who agrees to supervise your child(ren)'s home education program will assign a facilitator (a certified Alberta teacher) to your home educated child(ren) who will arrange to meet with you and your child(ren) twice each year to review their progress.
  • Understand how Funding Works. All school boards offer at least the amount of funding required by the Alberta Home Education Regulation to parents who are home educating their children.
    • Funding must be used to defray the costs of instructional materials and other resources related to the home education program.
    • in order to be reimbursed, the parent must first submit receipts (showing how funding was spent) to the school board they are registered with.
    • some boards will offer increased funding to parents who choose to relinquish the responisibility for a portion - or all - of their children's education to the government with that portion ("a school program offered at home") falling under the School Act instead of the Alberta Home Education Regulation.
    • Increased funding comes with increased requirements.
    • The government provides no home education funding for kindergarten program.
  • Consider joining AHEA & HSLDA Canada
    • Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) is a provincial organization that exists to advocet for families who home educate under the Alberta Home Education Regulation and that keeps its members abreast of any changes in the legislative landscape as it relates to parent-directed home education in Alberta. It also provides support to its members by means of its website, its Facebook page, its triannual magazine Home Mattes, and its annual home education convention.
    • Home School Legal Defence Assocation of Canada (HSLDA Canada) exists to defend the rights of parents across Canada to direct their children's home education programs. Among other benefits, a membership with HSLDA Canada gives members across Canada "legal insurance" in the form of legal representation should a members' legal right to home educate their children be questioned. (They must be a member before they are in need of HSLDA's services). Even if you live in an area of Canada where the right to home educate is challenged less frequently than it is in others, there is strength in numbers.
  • Consider joining a homeschool support group. An island is a lonely place. Your school board and facilitator should be a source of suport for you and your family throughout your home education journey. It is also a great idea to find a support group that is a good fit for your family where you will be able to:
    • glean wisdom from more experienced homeschooling families
    • share ideas and resources
    • encourage each other and
    • socialize.
    • PHEA is a Christian support group in the area of Parkland County, Spruce Grove and Stony Plain. Other good places to find a support group are www.aheaonline.com  for a list of support groups in Alberta. Facebook groups or other online support groups can be a good fit for your family too.