Alberta Homeschool: Using a Board vs Not Using a Board

kid learning to draw

The Things to Be Prepared for Upon Making the Decision to Homeschool

Home Education: Registering with a Homeschool Board

Choosing to register with a homeschool board allows parents and students to choose their own curriculum, resources, timelines, activities, etc. They have the freedom and flexibility to customize their home learning experience and they receive support and guidance from an assigned facilitator within their chosen homeschool board. The facilitators are available throughout the year to answer any questions or provide suggestions and support. However, they don’t oversee the child’s learning, as a teacher would. The parents oversee the learning and the facilitator is there to help guide them along the way.

The facilitator typically meets with the family twice throughout the school year. The first meeting usually takes place in the fall and is a chance for the parents to share what they have planned for the year. Parents will be required to fill out a Home Ed plan, which outlines what curriculum and resources they plan to use, and facilitators often give suggestions that they think might be helpful. But don’t worry, this plan typically isn’t set in stone. Changes to the Home Ed plan can be made throughout the school year, depending on how things are going. Don’t like the social studies resources that you started with? No worries, you can change to a different one and add it to your plan in the middle of the year. Your child decided to take dance instead of skating? Not a problem. Dance lessons can easily be added, and there are no repercussions for making the switch. It’s usually better to add more and not do it all than to leave something out and risk not receiving funding for it.

The second meeting with the facilitator takes place towards the end of the school year. This is a chance for families to show their facilitator what they have done throughout the year. Young learners usually love showing off projects that they have done, or books that they read, or talking about trips that they went on.

Being registered with a homeschool board provides families with a chance to meet other homeschoolers. Many homeschool boards will plan activities for their families, and once parents get to know one another, they will often plan things within their own friend groups.

Finally, families who are registered with a homeschool board receive funding for each child. This amount varies slightly from year to year, but it is usually between $850-$900 per child, per year. This money can be used for things like school supplies, computers, some group lessons (swimming, for example), curriculum, etc. The homeschool boards provide families with a list of items (or categories of items) that can be covered under the funding. Parents typically pay for the item up front and then submit their receipts to their school board for reimbursement, however, each board will have their own procedure for this.

Home Education: Notify the Government Without Registering with a Homeschool Board

The other method of home education is to notify the government of the intent to homeschool without registering with a homeschool board. If a family chooses to go this route, they aren’t required to fill out a Home Ed plan, they aren’t required to meet with a facilitator, they will receive no support or guidance from a facilitator, and they do not receive any funding. They basically just let the government know that they will be educating at home and that’s it.
Reminder: The views and opinions expressed here are those of a veteran homeschool mom and are not to be considered expert advice. If what you read here resonates with you, great! We hope you can use it going forward. If you have different opinions, or you disagree with what is written here, we hope you can still use these words as a starting point, to help you establish your own perspectives.