10 Simple Steps to Begin Homeschooling
Attend a “Thinking about Homeschooling” class or webinar. Be sure it is not sponsored by a school board, or school so that you will enjoy an unbiased overview of the Alberta education system and your rights and responsibilities. Talk to other parents.
Find a school or board to register with. A listing of possible boards/schools is below. Go to their open houses and information sessions held from March to June and see what are their unique rules, requirements and responsibilities are. They vary with each organization and may not necessarily be Alberta Education requirements.
Explore what is your teaching/learning philosophy. Do you believe in rote learning, discovery learning or experiential learning? Do you think children learn on their own, or need direct teaching? Do you embrace the Waldorf, Montessori, Classical, or Child-led philosophy of education? Is your parenting style authoritarian or more relaxed? Is your child a visual or hands-on learner? You know best what works for you and your family.
You do not have to follow the Alberta Program of Studies or use Alberta Education curriculum. Here are the outcomes that you must cover by the time your child turns 20
Decide on the program you want. There are only three program choices as listed here.
Register with a School or Board and submit a Learning/Education Plan to your school or board. Plan your goals for the next year. Is there an area you wish to focus on? Be sure that anything you wish to buy with funding is mentioned in the plan. Here is a sample plan.
Purchase curriculum if you are going to use it. A library card and internet access is all you really need to start the homeschooling year until you discover how your child learns best (through workbooks, or hands-on kits, videos, field trips, etc.) Many children, especially in the younger grades dislike workbooks and textbooks, but if you need to purchase them, be sure to check with your school board first because they can order them for you with a discount applied.
Find your community support. There are many Facebook groups now. Just use the keywords “home schooling” and your “city or town” and you will find them. Join AHEPS and become of a member of our Facebook group.
Continue your “home education” professional development! Keep learning about this wonderful alternative to school. At the very least, get to know your rights and responsibilities.
Educate others. Partner or family not completely on board? These articles are full of up-to-date research may convince them!
Lastly, enjoy the journey! The first year is always a learning year for both you and your children. You will enjoy the many benefits to come: amazing learning, confidence, sibling closeness, relaxed family time and a lifelong love of learning. Join AHEPS and listen in on our live monthly parent support webinars.