May 24th, 2008
Quick note: Are you a homeschooler in Canada? If so, you should visit the Canadian Home Educators Blog Carnival! Their blog features a weekly visit through Canadian homeschooling blogs. This week the deadline for submissions is May 26th, so head on over :).
On to the post!
Here in the province of Alberta we are blessed to receive funding from the provincial government for our children’s education if we choose to home educate. In Canada education is governed provincially, and the regulations are different from province to province. I think this is similar to the U.S. where the individual States get to make decisions regarding education.
In Alberta we are required by law to register our children with a school board, whether or not they attend a physical school. So, willing non-resident school boards have been established specifically for homeschoolers to register their children with. A facilitator from the school board normally meets with your family twice a year to monitor progress. This meeting can be in your home, or at their office, depending upon your board. Funding levels also vary from board to board and option to option.
In Alberta you can register your children as ‘fully provided’, meaning that you are striving to meet the provincial educational standards and guidelines in your homeschool. Legally, this is the same as if your children were attending school, and you were their teacher. You are required to help them meet the Alberta standards. You can register as ‘blended’, similar to fully, but more flexible, you do not need to meet the Alberta standards in every subject area. Or you can register as ‘traditional’ – this means that you are not necessarily trying to meet the standards of the province, but rather are home educating your children as you see fit. Legally this is the true, classical idea of homeschooling, and your rights can be defended as a homeschooler legally by an association such as HSLDA (Canada). As you can imagine, registering as ‘traditional’ allows you the greatest freedom in your homeschool, facilitator evaluations will be much more flexible and casual etc.
Now, all this being said, we aren’t yet registered with a school board. Our oldest daughter, K, was 5 in April, but in order to receive funding for her, she would have needed to be 5 at the end of February. Sorry K – you’ll have to wait until next year for those funds! For some reason I was under the impression (last year) that we could qualify for funding this year. Sadly, I was wrong! What can I say, I am gung-ho to buy neat resources for my daughter! Of course we still spend money on educational materials for our children regardless of funding! We do have a board I’m keeping in mind for next year though – Education Unlimited. They support parental choices and sovereignty in their child’s education, I’m all for that. In case you are wondering, this year funding is around $700/eligible child that is registered as ‘traditional’. ‘Fully provided’ students can receive $900/eligible child with some boards. However, that $200 isn’t worth the compromise of my own plans (and Christ’s!) in my children’s education.
Likely more than you ever wanted to know about Alberta homeschooling regulations, but there you go!