Frequently Asked Questions 

What is home education?

Home education is a lifestyle that involves the whole family experiencing the entire educational processes of each child every day.  A school program delivered at your home may be home-based but is not home education.  You can find out more about home education on our Why Home Education? page.

Why home educate?

There are a variety of reasons to home educate.  Most parents choose to educate their children at home due to a general dissatisfaction with the system or simply because they believe that only a parent can fully know and meet the needs of each child.  Other common motivations for home education can be a desire to deliver an educational program with a family-based perspective, concerns about academic standards, or negative social issues such as bullying.

Is there a difference between home schooling and home educating?

Yes!  A home education program is delivered to a student by a parent outside the structured learning environment of a school.  If a school is directing a child's education or the parent is following a prescribed curriculum, it becomes a school program based at home and therefore home schooling.  A traditional home education program is directed entirely by the parents, who determine the resources, methods, scope, sequence and expectations in keeping with the learning abilities of each child.

Who is eligible for home education?

In Alberta, parents can register (also known as notify) for funded home education as long as their child is at least five (5) years of age by the end of February in any given school year and not older than nineteen (19) years of age on September 1 of the school year.  Registrations must be received before September 30 of the school year to qualify for funding.

We believe that children should start their education when they are ready and continue until their calling is fulfilled and beyond!

Are there different approaches to home education?

Absolutely!  There are as many approaches as there are parents and children!  Some parents prefer more structure, others emphasize academics, while some prefer more hands-on activities and flexibility.  Home education allows parents to find and use the best methods for each child.  The only approach that is not good is the one that doesn't work for the child or parent.

What is un-schooling?

Simply put, un-schooling is doing the opposite of what a traditional school would do.  It uses a broad variety of resources and methods and tends to be more of a ‘freestyle’ approach.  It is not un-parenting, un-disciplined, or un-learning. We encourage the un-schooling approach as it provides the greatest freedom and therefore offers the best chance of meeting the individual needs of each child.

What curriculum should be used?

Today, there is almost too much curriculum to choose from!  Home education programs vary from intensified, highly academic, grade-based curriculum to a broad variety of whatever best encourages learning.  As the parents become more experienced home educators, they become better at choosing resources that best fit the needs of each child.  Your facilitator is your best resource in helping with your curriculum choices! Our Education Mentors can also help by sharing what has worked well for their family. We also maintain a list of curriculum providers as well as helpful websites and apps on our Program Resources page.

We believe that learning is natural and curriculum is simply a tool that can help provide structure and direction.

What are my registration and notification responsibilities?

Alberta requires parents to notify a school board regarding their choice to educate their children at home.  Parents have the option of registering (notifying) with their resident school board or with a willing non-resident school board in Alberta.  There are a number of willing non-resident boards accepting home educated students, but not all boards are supportive of parental choice in education.  It is highly recommended that you research potential boards thoroughly in order to be sure that you share similar views and agree with their policies.  Because it can be a challenge to do this, we have made a helpful worksheet you can use to find the best fit for your family.  It is available on our Why Education Unlimited page.

What are my responsibilities in my children's education?

When parents choose to educate a child at home, they fully accept their God-given responsibility of providing direction in all areas of life, in keeping with the child's individuality.  Home education requires a great deal of parental conviction and commitment, which will develop with experience.  Ultimately, a parent's educational responsibilities are to nurture, protect, teach, train, and disciple their children. We trust a parent’s judgment regarding what is best for their children.

Will my children have to take exams?

The current Home Education Regulations set out by the provincial government do not require students to take exams. Testing is largely a school tool that is unnecessary when the parent is making direct observation of what is being learned. However, if the parent would like to have their child take the TEST TYPES HERE, we can certainly facilitate this. We do not encourage learning in order to pass a test, as much as learning for life!

Will I have to follow a school schedule?

You will find that, because you can accomplish much more in a shorter time than a teacher in a classroom, you will spend less time in book work, leaving more time for other learning activities.  As the parent, you are in charge and will be able to establish a schedule that fits your family. We believe that learning never stops and is most certainly not restricted to academic activities!

What about my child's post-secondary options?

Should post-secondary training be required for a child to fulfill their chosen calling, admission is usually not difficult.  We have successfully facilitated the admission of non-accredited students in post-secondary institutions across Canada and beyond!

We have worked with many institutions in Canada to compile information regarding their entry requirements for home educated students. This information along with other helpful tips can be found on our post-secondary admissions page. For students looking to pursue a trade, our apprenticeship page is a helpful resource!

What about funding?

Although funding makes things financially easier, there is no correlation between the amount of money spent and the quality of education.  Parents should never make funding the compelling reason for choosing a board with which to register.  It can generally be stated that the more funding that is offered, the less freedom parents have regarding programming. We accept and offer the minimum amount of government funding to parents in exchange for the maximum amount of freedom.

What about special needs children?

Special needs children are best educated at home by loving parents who are aware of the needs and abilities of their child.  Unfortunately, the Alberta government does not make additional funding or services available to home educated special needs children.  At this time, special needs students receive the standard funding for home education and no more. Home educating parents of special needs children continue to lobby the government to correct this.  

Can I ruin my child's future?

None of our staff have ever met or heard of a perfect family!  Every family is less than fully functional in some way, as all are made up of less than perfect individuals.  It is with this understanding that we encourage families to do their best without ever expecting perfection.

An individualized program that meets the needs, strengths, and abilities of a child, delivered directly by a parent, usually leads to a well-adjusted and responsible adult who will continue to grow and learn. We believe that parents willing to commit the time and energy to educate their children will ultimately be most successful.

Who can I ask for help?

We are aware of the fears that concern and overwhelm home educators about the future of their children, and we are here to encourage and support you! Because your facilitator will know your family best, they will always be the best resource to encourage and guide you. You can also reach out to any of our Home Education Mentors or contact us with any questions.