Alberta Homeschooling Association
You Can Do It!
It's Official! Home-Education Numbers Tripled for 2020-21 and Grew to 5% of the Student Population
According to Alberta Education education enrollment statistics for 2020-2021, there were 24,234 Supervised Parent-Led Home Education students, plus 244 Notification-only Home Education students (which is increasing as parents continuously pull their children out of virtual), plus 14,156 invisible Home Education Kindergarten students not counted in official numbers because it is not funded. That adds up to a total of 38,634 Home Education students (not virtual, HUB or even Shared Responsibility which is partial Home Education)! This amounts to 5.26% of the entire student population in Alberta! This is a 4% increase from last year's 13,463 home education students. Way to go home education mentors!
"Gave notice today regarding my kids online school. They were so excited to be returning to home education. I love seeing my kids happy about learning... Pulling my kids from school was the best decision we have ever made." - A Parent of 3 Children
Unschooling Info Session Tuesday August 2, 2022, 7 PM MDT
Come join us for a quick overview of unschooling in Alberta and an extensive "learner-centred" Q and A session!
Unschooling is where children direct their learning and curiosity becomes the curriculum.
New Government Home Education Handbook - AB ED wants your feedback
The AB ED government would like parent feedback on their handbook. AHA gave recommendations and corrections two years ago, and the government took those into account. However, it still needs work. AHA has given the government 9 points that need corrections. Here is the draft and the link to the survey to provide your feedback to the government.
Deadline is July 14, 2022 so please do it today!
How-to Homeschool Videos
Homeschooling 101 Alberta August 2021
Unschooling in Alberta
Self-Designed Home Education High School for an Alberta Diploma April 2021
Home Education Supports for Children With Special Needs
Alberta Homeschooling Association has been asking the Alberta Government for funding and supports for children with special needs since our inception in 2018. This year, the government listened and is providing supports for children regardless of how they are educated. These supports are being coordinated by AISCA for all home education children whether they are notified with public, Catholic, independent or just with the Notification-only government option.
AISCA is providing two subcontractors to deliver services:
Did You Know?
Diploma Home educated children absolutely can go to post-secondary colleges and universities. Section 6 of the Home Education regulations ensure students can apply for credits to earn an Alberta Government high school diploma.
Post-secondary schools do not know whether applicants are home educated or school students because there are no indications of study methods on the government transcript.
All the major universities across Canada do not require a high school diploma for entrance. Applicants need only to apply with 5 grade 12 subjects: math, English, Social Studies, Science and 1 option. Three of these courses are stand alone and can be taken by anyone without pre-requisites.
Exams Any student can write the grade 12 diploma exams without taking any courses or pre-requisites at age 19, and the exam mark stands for 100% of the final course mark. Diploma exams are only on grade 12 course content.
There is no testing on home education and no marks given.
No Penalty If you pull your child from school this year to home educate, you absolutely can register them next summer for the next grade in their school. There is no testing to determine which grade. Children go into the next grade based on their age. For example, if your child was in grade 2 last Spring, and you home educate for grade 3 this coming year, then in Fall 2021, you would register them for grade 4 back at their school.
Children with special needs may access the same services provided through the school board, instead directly through AHS when on Home Education programs.
Choices Within the same school board or division, parents can move their children in and out of programs at any time in the school year. Parents can pull their child from the school-controlled program of online or classroom delivery and change programs to parent-controlled Home Education at any time of the year by sending in a Notification Form to the school. Parents can retrieve authority of their children's education at any time, however, after September 30th, they will not receive funding, resources or school board support.
In addition, all parents may register their child back into the school controlled classroom programs at any time of the year, if they decide that home education is not for them. All publicly funded resident schools must accept all children in their catchment area. "Schools of Choice" whether resident or non-resident schools including French Immersion, TLC, arts-based programs etc may refuse your child's placement back in, and direct you to register your child with the local resident public school.
Parents can choose from 3 programs: Distance Education (school-controlled), Home Education (parent-controlled), or Shared Responsibility (part school and part parent).
Online school courses fall under the category of distance education and is school. It is not home education.
Distance education programs are marketed under a variety of names but they are all school controlled programs. Parents are support people just as they were this Spring's COVID-19 school-at-home arrangement, making sure their children do the school mandated "at-home learning". Just like homework, parents do not teach, assess, choose curriculum or assignements, make decisions or control any aspect of the program. Parent sign control over to the school who then has the "authority" of the child's education. Parents become the support role and ensure that assignments are done and the child is engaged.
Distance Education school programs are called: online, virtual, at-home learning, home-based, teacher-directed, paper-based, BlendED, Ursa, aligned, and correspondance courses. Your child will have to complete 1400 targets per grade and spend quite a few hours per day online in these programs, just like school, because it is school in your living room. You are not responsible for their education on these programs because you hand it over to their Alberta certified teacher who delivers the instruction. You support your child to make sure they do the "homework". It is illegal for you to teach these programs.
Distance education and especially online courses only work for a limited number of extremely motivated students. They tend to not be a good fit for kinesthetic or young learners. Alberta Education does not recommend online education for children under grade 5.
In traditional, parent-directed home education, the parent is in charge, and in control of all decision-making, curriculum choices, scope and sequence, methodology, and assessment. Parents legally "regain" control, authority and responsiblity of their child's education from the school, who then becomes their support partner in their child's education. Parents decide what is taught, who teaches, when it is taught, where it is taught, how it is taught, and even if it is taught. Parents can easily provide the same or superior learning environment at home and out in the community as a school would with distance education.
Home educated children can learn three dimensionally and kinesthetically through experiences, field trips, travel, play, books, board games, videos, and hands-on activities. The education experience comes alive so the learning sticks in long-term memory. Many children do not learn through two dimensional online delivery.
Home educated children do not have to write any exams, but may if they want to. In fact, even school students don't have to write the PATs. (Provincial Acheivement Tests)
Home education takes a tenth of the time children spend in school. Compare the time it takes to host a formal dinner party for twenty people versus heating a microwave dinner for two. Both relieve hunger but one takes much more planning and delivery for a large number.
Capacity 90% of parents have the content expertise to teach their children (or answer their questions) up to a Grade 8 level without teacher's manuals. We aim to help parents regain their confidence that they had when home educating their babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Everyone home educates their child from birth until age 5 and most everyone can keep doing so.
By age 13, most students surpass their parents in current academic knowledge and can continue home education through high school via self-study, co-ops or with occasional tutor help. Parents do not have to teach. They choose home education in order to continue the general contracting of their child's education using a variety of resources.
Age 13 and up is a good time perhaps to begin online classes as children have the executive function development in teen-age development to concentrate more on screens and have the patience to sit longer for synchronous teaching and assignments.
Employment Continues Many parents work part-time and even full-time while home educating their children and outsource the facilitation of their child's education to another adult such as a tutor, free-lance teacher, another parent or childcare professional. Parents still retain the authority of their child's education.
Learning Guaranteed Until high school, literacy (reading and writing) and numeracy (arithmetic and math) are the most important skills to learn. Science, social studies, art, drama, physed and health are interest based. Most children self-teach reading, writing and math naturally just by living life, and just as most children learn to walk and talk on their own without direct instruction. All children are born curious and never stop learning. Even when school stops.
Flexibility Home education children do not have to learn the 1400 targets or outcomes per grade of the official Alberta Programs of Study (curriculum). Many of these outcomes overlap between subjects because they are repeated. Home education students can follow their interests and learn what they want in order to meet the 22 SOLO targets or outcomes of home education by age 20. (Even playing Minecraft will cover the 22 SOLO targets.) If they choose to write the grade 12 diploma exams, they can study the grade 12 course in order to write the exams.
There are no set attendance hours that children have to attend "home education."
No one is going to evaluate that your child is not learning the 22 SOLO or 1400 APS outcomes. You are the person responsible for your child's education and the school is there to offer support.
Many homeschoolers never finish a year (due to illness, travel opportunities, visitors, different plans, a move, a new baby or just plain old-fashioned procrastination,) and are missing covering the outcomes and they put their kids in the next grade in September and they do just fine.
Excellent Academics Home education is the only program where parents can outsource any of their child's education as they see fit. Parents do not have to teach. They are the ultimate decision-makers. Parents can outsource the teaching to caregivers, tutors, other parents in co-ops, or the learner via unschooling, online A-la-Carte courses, or online charter or micro-schools from anywhere in the world. Outsourcing the education program is only allowed on home education. When the teaching is outsourced, the course or school can easily meet the Alberta Education Requirements of covering the 22 outcomes of the SOLO program plan or the 1400 outcomes of the APS program plan.
Evidence Home Education is an Excellent Education The most unbiased form of evidence that parent-led Home Education works is the grade 12 Diploma Exam Results. Every student in the province, whether home educated, virtual or in a classroom, who wants a diploma must write the same exam at the same time on the same day, supervised by a government hired person. The exam supervisors open the exams at the same time that the student does. The provincial average mark for the core course grade 12 diploma exams in classroom and online high schools was 67% in 2019 which is the last year the public has access to statistics. The only school that we can use for figures was a sole home-education serving school because they didn't have classroom students, virtual students or Shared Responsibility students (which are all school programs-not home education) writing the exams, that would obfuscate the results because they are teacher-taught, not parent/student taught. The 138 students writing diploma exams in 2019 were all home education children and many of those children used curriculum that was not AB ED approved. The average mark of the 138 students over 8 core course grade 12 diploma exams was 74%, beating the provincial average by 7 percent! Way to go home education! This is only one measurable example. Hundreds of home educated grade 12 students write the exams, under their school boards, but their results are not separated by the province for comparison purposes between teacher-taught and parent-taught.
Our current Alberta curriculum (Programs of Study) is 13 to 20 years old. Children learn 1 hour of coding per year. Children deserve an up-to-date education that parents and the internet's resources can provide without waiting years before the new government curriculum goes through piloting and approval processes.
Education Disrupted Home education students are borderless and can learn from any resource, any where, any time, any place and any way. In fact, children are never not learning.
Evidence shows that the earlier and longer children spend time in formal education (16 years when pre-school begins at age 2), the less likely they will be to go on to post-secondary schools. Children immersed in an internet-enabled world do not need 16 years of formal education to become educated citizens. They co-create their learning from many sources as soon as they can talk.
Funding In Alberta, home education provides each child $850.00 per year in reimbursement-for-supplies and lessons funding to offset the cost of resources. A child needs to be signed up with a school authority partner by Sept 30 to access the funding.
Excellent Socialization Research indicates that homeschooled children are involved in 8 community activities per week. Home educated children meet and socialize with a greater diversity of people and friends in the community than school children who are age-graded. Home educated children meet friends in the neighborhood, through sports, lessons, field trips, facebook group arranged activities, church, and community activities such as Girl Guides, 4H, Triathalon, etc.
Bullying is almost rare in home education because of the adult-child ratio. Bullying is a form of toxic stress that can impair the development of childhood brain architecture.
Home educated children own their education and do not need to be "entertained" or "kept occupied." This skill is the beginning of independent learning that is valuable for post-secondary success.
Many parents tell us that they are discovering how much more confident and curious their children are at home. Bullying is gone. Many parents are discovering that their children were behind at school and now they have caught up. We are hearing everyday how relaxed and joyful learning has become for many reluctant learners. If you want to continue this, you have come to the right place!
NEW! The Alberta Homeschooling/Unschooling Course
For parents and caregivers
Provided by Professional Parenting
4 Sessions Mondays, August 8, 15, 22, and 29th, 2022, 7 pm to 8:30 pm.
Instructor: Judy Arnall, BA, Certified Brain and Child Development Specialist, and Home Education Parent of 4 University graduates. Judy has worked in adult education for 25 years and has taught for Alberta Health Services and Continuing Education at The University of Calgary for 13 years each.
Location: Live Online Zoom. Class size limited to 10 participants to enable interaction and individual attention.
Target: New and experience homeschoolers and unschoolers of all ages and grades.
Investment is $265 per computer plus GST, which includes the 4 Week course and all materials. Course workbook and the following reference books; Parenting With Patience, The Happy Homeschooling Handbook Or Money Smart Mom (if outside Alberta), Unschooling to University, and Attachment Parenting Tips Raising Toddlers to Teens will be mailed out upon registration. Recordings of missed sessions will be provided.
All sessions are flexible to meet the customized needs of the class participants
Session One - How Home Education differs from School Education and how The Parent/Caregiver Role changes. Benefits of Home Education.
Session Two - The Mechanics of Brain Development and How Children Learn at Different Ages and Stages.
Session Three - The Impact of Personality, Temperament, Learning Styles, Neurodiversity, and Multiple Intelligences on Learning. Direct Instruction or Self-Directed Learning.
Session Four - Setting Up for Success. The Learning Environment: curriculum or no-curriculum. Behaviour Guidance. Screen Time. Handling Multiple Grades.
Come join our sessions and feel more confident and competent in educating your child. You got this!
The Happy Homeschooling Handbook - Alberta Edition 2022 Year
Considering homeschooling your child? Yes, you can! This 120 page book contains everything you need to homeschool in Alberta.
NEW! Includes a package of either grade 1-9 sample home education plans and/or grade 10-12 course proposal/summary templates
Credible information, regulations, responsibilities, how-to, tips and a whole lot of encouragement. You got this!
"An incredible, helpful resource! My husband loved it."- A Happy Reader
All net proceeds go to the Alberta Homeschooling Association to cover costs and keep our membership free!
"I would encourage it as "required reading" for all families new to homeschooling. It was so amazingly informative and answers 99% of the questions that pop up on this site. Very well written, the best money I've spent in a long time! Everyone even considering homeschooling should own a copy." - Homeschooling Parent
Print Book $23.95 plus $6.00 shipping
Alberta Homeschooling Facebook Support Group
Helpful News Articles
Home Education FAQ
Free Books for all Grade 1 and 2 Students in Alberta
Moira's Birthday, By Robert Munsch, AND Malaika's Costume, by Nadia Holm
Provided by the TD Grade One Book Giveaway and The Canadian Children's Book Centre
Get yours while quantity lasts! Sorry, but due to covid, we can't hand out the book this year in person at events because all is canceled. The books are free but we need to mail them out to you at a cost of $7 for BOTH books to cover postage, paypal fee, tape and packaging.
We also have a limited amount of French books. Please let us know if you would like the French versions.
We also accept e-transfer to: firstname.lastname@example.org No password needed. Please give us your ship-to address.
Alberta Homeschooling Association is a non-profit community of people interested in homeschooling and home-based education in Alberta. Welcome! We are pro-education and believe that academic and social learning occurs outside the four "B"s of school systems: buildings, buses, budgets and bottoms-in-seats. School is only one way to acquire an education. There are many others ways to learn and home education is a valid method which enhances children's innate love of learning. We beleive the choice in education are funded choices. We beleive that in the best interests of children, students should be funded, instead of systems.
Welcome to close relationships, passionate learning, and personalized, bully-free education.
Alberta Homeschooling Association: Our Mission
Alberta Homeschooling Association provides support, how-to information and government/school board advocacy in order to grow homeschooling and home education in the Province of Alberta.
Alberta Homeschooling Association: Our Vision
Alberta Homeschooling advocates for equitable, sustainable funding and reduced regulation for home education. Our vision is that all children should enjoy education opportunities regardless of where, when, how and who provides the learning environment. We seek the same opportunities, resources and supports for homeschoolers and home education that school children already enjoy. All children's best interests come first. We believe that teachers are education professionals in the classroom and parents are educational professionals in the home. We believe parents have the capacity to teach their children from baby stage to grade 12 and just need to regain the confidence in their abilities that 150 years of media, government and union advertising has taken away.
Donate-Please Help Us Help You!
We are a grassroots community that runs on donations. We do not charge a membership fee for funding. We are all volunteers that welcome your gift your financial gift to keep this site free from advertising. We also need to fund our webinar platform, newsletter, and other costs of communication and advocacy.
We advocate for families and caregivers and do not receive funding or support from school authorities or government to avoid conflict of interests.
All donations go directly to Alberta Homeschooling Association to enable our free support and programming. We are a registered non-profit society in Alberta, but are unable to issue charitable tax receipts until we reach charitable organization status.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Here are 3 ways to donate any amount:
Donate by E-Transfer: Albertahomeschooling@protonmail.com Password: homeschooling
Thank you again!
Article 26 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Parents have the right and responsibility to raise their children as they see fit within the laws of the Country. They either keep the responsibility to educate and home educate them themselves (or via global outsourcing), or they loan them to schools 30 hours a week where schools act "in loco parentis" (in place of parents)in order to educate them. Our children are ours to raise, not the state.
Education Act Preamble 2020
WHEREAS parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that may be provided to their children;
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta recognizes public schools, separate schools, Francophone schools, private schools, charter schools, early childhood services programs and home education programs as being valued and integral in providing choice in education to students and parents;
US Supreme Court 1979
That some parents "may at times be acting against the interests of their children" creates a basis for caution, but it is hardly a reason to discard wholesale those pages of human experience that teach that parents generally do act in the child's best interest. … The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.
Education Act, Dec 2019, Section 32 A parent has the prior right to choose the kind of education that should be provided to the parent's child, and has the responsibility to act as the primary guide and decision-maker with respect to the child's education.