HSCF MISSION STATEMENT
"HSCF seeks to facilitate building a Christian community
for homeschooling families by providing opportunities for their involvement in meetings and activities, and supporting parents in their responsibility of directing their children's education."
HSCF has been serving the Christian homeschool community in Edmonton for over 25 years. Members come from a wide variety of church affiliations, but are united in our statement of faith, goals and philosophy based on Biblical principles and historic Christianity. No one homeschool is like another! HSCF members each have their own reasons for deciding to homeschool, often centred around benefits to family, faith, and a focus on education. Members each choose the style of homeschooling that best suits their family's needs and best reflects the way God is leading them to educate. We invite you to join us as we fellowship, grow and encourage one another in our decision to home educate!
HOMESCHOOLING IN ALBERTA
In Bill 3 of the Education Act, the Government of Alberta states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Alberta Education therefore endorses a variety of options for parents, including home education. i Approximately ten thousand students were registered in a home education program in Alberta during 2012/2013. Parents choose & notify ii a school board of their intent to homeschool, and the school board assigns a facilitator to the family. Most homeschool parents choose a school board which specializes in homeschooling (see local list on our Links page) and which best fits their homeschool goals. A facilitator must be an Alberta-certified teacher and should have an appreciation for the family's philosophy of homeschooling. He or she maintains a relationship with the family, including a minimum of two visits per year. Parents may switch boards, facilitator, start homeschooling or stop homeschooling at any time during the year, but ideally all is settled by the September Count Day when funding is established. Homeschool parents pay resident school taxes just like everyone else! And the kids have to 'start school' if they are age 6 by September 1st.
In addition to describing the government's role, the Alberta Home Education Handbook iii describes parental responsibilities when following a home education program. For example, parents must submit a yearly program plan, and may choose from an endless variety of activities &/or curricula tailoring them to the individual needs of each child and the family. Parents may or may not choose to align courses with public school counterparts; however, core topics (language arts, math, science, social studies) must be included, and the home education experience should at minimum meet the Schedule of Learning Outcomes.iv This home-based model of education can become a rewarding lifestyle for the entire family as concepts are mastered year by year, interests are nurtured, and a love of learning is developed!
Social/educational support is available to families through groups like HSCF and other organizations offering field trips, park days, labs, fairs, forums, conventions, science "Home School Days", etc., in addition to community activities through churches, teams, music, sports, dance, volunteering, and so much more. Spiritual/emotional support can be a little harder to muster; some families may find themselves feeling like they have to defend their decision to homeschool to relatives, friends or others. Or maybe they get feeling burnt out, or lose their focus. Parent support groups such as HSCF can help to meet this need for support, as can well-matched facilitators & boards. Academic support as needed is made available to parents through the facilitator, supervising board, curricula developers and a network of mentors. Apprenticeships and post-secondary schools accept homeschoolers basing admission on portfolios, work experience, credits and/or assessment, etc. Funding support toward supplies and enrichment is allotted by Alberta Education through the supervising boards for home-educated students and for blended program students.v Parents choosing to direct their family's education are in good company in Alberta!
i Home Education means that a parent retains full responsibility for the student's program in accordance with the Alberta Home Education Regulation. Often referred to as 'traditional homeschooling'.
ii The homeschool board will supply parents with the necessary paperwork, such as the notification form or sample program plans. See Handbook p.20-23; and Appendix for more about boards & notification.
v A Blended Program consists of two distinct parts: "1. A School-Provided Program where a teacher employed by a school board or an accredited funded private school is responsible for providing the planning, resource selection, instructional delivery, assessment and evaluation of student progress in selected courses that follow the Alberta Programs of Study with the following minimum requirements: Grades 1-9 Minimum of 50% school-provided program; Grades 10-12 Minimum of 20% school-provided program. 2. A Home Education Program that meets the requirements of the Home Education Regulation for the remaining portion." (Funding Manual for School Authorities 2013-2014, Glossary of Terms, p. 127.) The 2013-2014 funding amount offered to parents for each home education student is $820.64. Parents should notify their homeschool board before the September"Count Day" deadline to be eligible for home education funding.