AHEA Convention 2016

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Potential Changes, and a Chance to Review

To all AHEA members and Alberta home educators:

With the recent change in our provincial government, all Albertans await possible legislative change on several fronts.
One of those may be in education.

For example, Education Minister Dave Eggen and his team are reviewing the Education Act (passed in 2012 but never declared law).
This review, and a similar review of the regulations that fall under the Education Act, may bring only slight modifications or may bring significant change.
AHEA representatives have a meeting scheduled with Minister Eggen in early October and we hope to get more information then.

In the meantime, another change to be expected is in communication with the team at Alberta Education.
Some of the bureaucrats within Alberta Education are new in their positions and so we - home educators and those who are the administrators of home education at schools and school boards - have new challenges ahead in communicating ‘what home education is all about’.

Since we can’t assume that interpretation and enforcement of regulations will be the same as it has in the past, it would be wise for all home educators and administrators to revisit what is required so that there is no opening for bureaucratic censure.
In other words, home educators already know that we do a terrific job in providing education to our children and we should do the same terrific job in our organization and paperwork.

For Alberta home educators, this starts with the paragraph at the end of the form that we all sign: the Notification Form.
That paragraph details what is required in an Education Program Plan.
It would be wise for all home educating families to make sure their plans contain all of the elements required.

Here’s that paragraph:

If portions of the student program will enable the student to achieve the outcomes contained in the Schedule included in the Home Education Regulation, please attach according to this Form the required written description of the Home Education Program for a student who is following the Schedule of Learning Outcomes for Students Receiving Home Education Programs That Do Not Follow the Alberta Programs of Study:

  1. Describe in the home education program plan, the instructional method to be used, the activities planned for the program and how the instructional method and the activities will enable the student to achieve the learning outcomes contained in the Schedule.
  2. Identify the resource materials, if different from provincially authorized materials, to be used for instruction.
  3. Describe the methods and nature of the evaluation to be used to assess the student’s progress, the number of evaluations and how the evaluation addresses the learning outcomes in Question 1.
  4. Describe the associate board or associate private school facilities and services that the parent wishes to use.

Home educators provide a wonderful education for their children.
Examples of that are abundant and obvious and those who are interested in a better education for their children are attracted by our examples.
If we are also examples of organized planning then we make it easier for all to avoid any further bureaucratic intrusions.

Paul van den Bosch
Alberta Home Education Association

Keynote Speakers 2016 Affirmation

June 15, 2015

As announced at our April 2015 convention, the Alberta Home Education Association has invited Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to be the keynote speakers at our 2016 convention.

The AHEA board today affirms that decision after careful consideration of the facts of the recent controversy concerning one of the Duggar children.

The reasons for the board decision include:

  1. The controversy surrounding actions taken by Josh Duggar is really "old news". The events happened more than a decade ago and were dealt with legally and morally at that time. AHEA does not condone Josh's behavior but wishes to follow the example of the victims in this situation who have expressed a desire to "forgive and forget".
  2. The people who are coming to speak are home educating parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and not their son Josh. Since all parents are prone to blaming themselves when their children make a mistake, it is AHEA's hope that Jim Bob and Michelle will share what they learned as parents from these difficult experiences - learning of Josh’s behaviour then and now living through the recent media hysteria.
  3. AHEA does not choose speakers because they are perfect or nearly so. In fact, AHEA tries to choose speakers who have been through difficult times and learned from them, who have made mistakes in parenting and can share their experiences, who have been "in the trenches" of home education and have persevered. In this way, AHEA chooses speakers for the annual convention who can connect in "real life ways" with AHEA members, who can be open about mistakes made and lessons learned, who can speak of forgiveness. Learning from our mistakes makes a compelling story.

The decision made by the AHEA board was not an easy one and we do not expect all AHEA members to agree with it, but that is why AHEA brings in a variety of speakers for our members to choose from at the convention.
In addition the AHEA board listened to the response to the controversy from AHEA members. That response has been almost unanimous in support of the Duggar family.

If you wish to express your opinion on this or any other matter, please email:
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The AHEA board thanks all members who voiced their opinion on this matter through email and other methods and we thank our members for their prayers and their patience. We look forward to seeing you at the 2016 convention.

- From the board of directors for the Alberta Home Education Association

Last Two Days of AHEA Convention Early Bird Discounts

Last Two Days for AHEA Convention Early Bird Discounts

In order to receive the Early Bird Discount rate, all Mail-in registrations must be postmarked by March 6 - please do not mail in registration forms after March 6.

Although Early Bird Discount Rates are only in effect until March 6, 2015, online registration will continue to be available until April 4, 2015. You may register at the door after that date.

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