A FEW RESOURCES TO GET YOU STARTED
Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA)
Home site of the annual AHEA Convention in Red Deer. Plan to attend each April!
AHEA endorses parent-directed (traditional) homeschooling under the Alberta Home Education Regulation.
The AHEA website includes resources & FAQs for new homeschoolers, convention info, provincial support group info, and government updates pertaining to homeschooling.
AHEA also hosts a very active Facebook discussion page, a Pinterest page full of great ideas, a YouTube Channel, and four specialty Facebook groups - Events, Support Group Leaders, New to HSing, & HSing Alone.
Consider volunteering with AHEA - for conference or during the year.
Alberta Government Learning Outcomes
Necessary list of core subjects and content to consider when designing your family's Home Education Program Plans.
Home School Legal Defence Association - Canada (HSLDA)
HSLDA Canada works on behalf of Canadian home educators to provide legal & insurance services, as well as general services and resources in support of your decision to homeschool. Membership with HSLDA is recommended; mention your membership in HSCF to receive a group discount.
HSLDA's related page dedicated to elevating how Canadians think about Home Education is the Canadian Centre for Home Education at https://cche.ca/en/ (copy & paste) and includes home ed methods, research & other supports.
Alberta Government Home Education Info and Handbook
Describes home education in Alberta; includes the Home Education Regulation in Appendix A of the Handbook. (An updated version of this Regulation that was to be in place Sept 2015 is on hold pending government review.)
Why You Shouldn't Homeschool
A thoughtful blog listing valid reasons you might be thinking about, or others might be telling you. Read this if you're worried about getting started.
Though written with teens in mind, this list of WHY families choose to homeschool will benefit all of us. See how many of these reasons match your reasons for launching into home education.
"What about socialization?"
If you're already homeschooling, you know the answer to this! Chances are you can debunk the common myths. Beyond that, homeschooling is a parenting choice, and like most parenting choices, time will tell.
From Public School to Home's Cool
Consider 'deschooling' for a bit if your family is transitioning from public school to homeschool. This article explains why, and the next one in the author's series shows how.
BOARDS WILLING TO SUPERVISE EDMONTON-AREA HOMESCHOOLERS
Homeschool Curriculum Reviews
You don't always need curriculum, and homeschooling can cost as much or as little as you choose! Use this site to learn about what's available and whether it might fit your family's flavour of homeschooling and your child's learning style. Check the "Instant Key" of each review to save time.
(USA-based, but also includes Canadian curriculums, e.g. Donna Ward's Northwoods Press geography/history of Canada. Put Canada or Canadian in the search bar.)
Need more ideas? Ask at an HSCF meeting or on the members' forum.
The Canadian Homeschooler
Learning Resources from a CANADIAN perspective. Pretty much an endless supply of homeschool-related browsing!
Connects homeschoolers across Canada with their annual ONLINE homeschool conference each Feb, and their facebook page (Homeschool Swap & Chat: Canada).
Let us know if you're aware of a local homeschool-specific supply store! Several have closed in recent years. BUT...
Education Station, Scholar's Choice, and Mindmaster Toys have supplementary items like butterfly kits, posters, grippy pencils, manipulatives, some curriculum, games, toys, gifts, puzzles, etc.
Retailers like Costco, Staples & Chapters/Indigo carry some workbooks & Canadiana.
Value Village & Goodwill carry children's books, series, vintage literature, etc.
Also watch for Used Book/Curriculum Sales at libraries, schools, yard sales & homeschool support groups, including HSCF, PHEA & AHEA.
Online Shopping - Canadian
This Calgary vendor carries well-known general publishers with curriculum ideas organized by grade & subject.
OTHER Canadian resource suppliers include:
Cornerstone Learning (BC)
Anchor Academic Services (BC)
Heritage Resources (MB)
School of Tomorrow/ACE (MB)
Learning House (ON)
Tree of Life (NB)
And the list could be continued...ask at HSCF or look in the Member Directory to see what curriculum other HSCF families use, shop from these vendors at the AHEA convention, or ask your facilitator for resource ideas that would work well for your family.
Online Shopping - American
Good for browsing; shipping & exchange are costly though these days, eh. Check first for available Canadian editions, e.g. Math-U-See (Canada), that can be ordered directly rather than through the USA.
Topics & Practice in Math & LA
This website, IXL, allows online practice and shows topics by grade level, with the option to compare with AB Curriculum.
RESOURCES TO KEEP YOU GOING
Be encouraged by the Verse of the Day and all sorts of tools to find your way around the Bible.
Other sites & apps include (please copy & paste):
The Old Schoolhouse (TOS)
A free online magazine - it's a busy website worth figuring out :)
TOS has been the number one print magazine for homeschool families for many years.
AND now has a FREE APP - www.TOSapps.com
Browse this website for the nitty gritty practical stuff to keep you encouraged in your homeschooling.
Help for Burnout, Behaviour Issues, etc.
Thérèse McDonald is a gifted speaker and insightful mentor, well-known in Alberta homeschool circles. She has launched this website & ministry to homeschool families & invites you to contact her.
Learn from Dave Ramsey's resources & radio show how to manage your money using the 'baby steps'. Teach financial skills to your kids. His free budget tool is at everydollar.com
Working Outside the Home
Find some tips and resources here to polish up your resume and see what has worked for other families while still homeschoooling or almost finished. Also, visit WAHM.com for general tips. If you're on Facebook, try this group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WorkingHomeschoolMomClub/
Homeschooling Special Needs Children
A Christian perspective from an Ottawa-area homeschool support group; includes link to NATHHAN.
Favourite book: Learning in Spite of Labels, by Joyce Herzog.
Visit Creation.com, linked just below; click on their special needs button in the Parents' Corner.
Also see Sharla's The Chaos & The Clutter blog link below.
And try Understood.org
Homeschooling Gifted Children
This is the website for the Association for Gifted Children of Edmonton. Click on the Parents' link, which takes you to some great resources, including the classic Hoagies' Gifted website. Homeschooling can be an ideal choice for gifted and 2E kids!
Association for Reformed Political Action
ARPA - where Christianity & politics mix. Keep informed about issues in education & other areas where policy matters to Canadian Christians.
Apologetics & Logic
This is the audio page, but spend some time browsing their website for all sorts of topics, e.g. Basic Logic Primer, List of Top Apologetics books & podcasts, etc.
Creation Science Association of Alberta
Home site of Dr. Margaret Helder, regular speaker and science mentor. Publisher of a guidebook to take along with you if you're visiting the Tyrrell Museum & want to compare an evolution worldview with a creation science worldview as you study the same exhibits.
FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS
High School Conference
Join several hundred others for this high school conference each fall featuring homeschool-friendly speakers & recruiters. Registration required. Sponsored by WISDOM, but all homeschoolers welcome - be encouraged!
Homeschooling Thru High School in Alberta
Your role is changing from being a homeschool parent to a homeschool guidance counsellor! Great tips to help you make informed choices. Be sure to have a good relationship with your homeschool board & facilitator in prep for these amazing years of homeschooling. If your board isn't fitting with your family's philosophy & goals of homeschooling, look for one that does. Use the board links above to find more High School resources. Start now to keep organized records of what your teens are studying & doing so it's easier later on to build a portfolio, write a resume, a scholarship application, a transcript, etc.
If you're on facebook, there is a provincial group called Homeschooling the Highschool Years - Alberta, Canada.
Options for Parent-Directed (Traditional) Families
Your board will have its own approach to the high school years. Always choose or move to a board that supports how God is leading your family! This link is from one particular board, but shows ten possible options available to us for completing home school. Your board may provide some or all of these options.
Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) including Course Transfer Guide
A career-planning tool for public high school, post secondary, apprenticeship and career information. Now includes the updated Transfer Alberta information showing transfer agreements between institutions.
Check with your facilitator for homeschool-friendly options through high school & for post-secondary prep.
Curious about a particular field? Or about what a post-secondary course might be like? Check out over 2400 undergrad courses online from MIT.
If you'd like to take a few courses without prerequisites from U of A, NAIT, MacEwan, Vanguard Bible College, etc. google their "open studies" or "unclassified student" options. Rules apply at each place. Athabasca U accepts eligible high schoolers for all courses. It's worth a try to see if your post-secondary institution of choice offers open studies that can be taken during high school. This can be a helpful step toward your admission. (Consult the Alberta Transfer Guide if you're making plans to continue into a degree program!)
Trade Secrets. For traditional homeschoolers, the RAP, credits, diploma route etc. are not required, though you can do them if you like.
College Prep & High School Tests
Use this link for your senior students to explore college prep exams e.g. the SAT & Accuplacer. Sign up for one question per day! The public library has these & similar resources in print. Standardized testing is not necessarily required, but is one way to keep options open & to practise test-taking skills.
The ACT is similar to the SAT & may be practised on their website at act.org
K-12 exams can be practised using the Alberta ExamBank website & a password from your homeschool board. These are specific to provincial curriculum.
For K-12 standardized testing that is based on Canadian norms, not provincial curriculum, ask your facilitator or board about the CTBS, CTCS or CAT.
The Canadian Test Centre also offers standardized testing to Canadian homeschoolers for a fee (CAT-3 & CTCS).
Practice Exams (AB)
Wondering what high school exams are like?
What about credits & diploma exams?
Make an informed decision with the help of your homeschool board & facilitator! (If you are parent-directed, your board must be willing to apply for credits for you under section 6 of the Home Ed Regulation.)
The Key or SNAP workbooks review AB course content & have practice tests.
You can use the Alberta Education Programs of Study site to compare Apologia, Saxon, MUS, etc. (Your board may have done this already.)
When closer to taking the exam, at least two companies provide prep weekend sessions: Rock the Diploma and DiploMax.
Attend the WISDOM high school conference open to all homeschoolers each year.
Ask other families at HSCF who have graduated their kids from home education :)
Free Post Secondary Courses
HSLDA Canada suggests this website for students to try post-secondary courses. Doing so & writing the exams, may earn advanced placement (AP) status, equivalent to first year at U. Or, just take the courses for interest. They are paid by a philanthropist.
The Busy Mom
From Heidi St.John, keynote speaker at AHEA spring 2018.
From Todd Wilson, keynote speaker at AHEA spring 2018.
The Chaos & The Clutter
Sharla is a local homeschool mom with loads of resources & encouragement for moms, special needs & adoptive families.
TO KEEP YOU ORGANIZED
Need a few sheets of graph paper? (It's great for learning long division.) Handwriting paper? Need a lab report form? Music paper? Knitting graph?
Or blank strips for cartooning? Oodles of free printables and many other helps for multiple subjects also available from:
-education.com (check the white menu first) or
-donnayoung.org's popular subscription site.
FUN LEARNING FOR YOU & FOR YOUR KIDS
Free Bible Lessons Online or by Mail
For over thirty years, this ministry has offered free Bible correspondence lessons. Click on "program links" to get started!
Free Audio and eBooks
Easy-to-use source of hundreds of classics, short stories, children's and other books to listen to and optionally download or read text along with. Browse by genre or by search bar. Not sure about a particular book? Click on the cover to read a synopsis of it. Browse for books in a second language that you might be studying.
ALSO choose from these companies (please copy & paste):
Hoopla & Overdrive (both with your public library card)
www.ccel.org for theology/hymns/classic
archive.org for vintage resources
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