February 28, 2016
In Alberta, there are a couple different ways to legally educate your children at home. The first way is to Home Educate under the Home Education Regulation 145/2006 http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Regs/2006_145.pdf. This regulation outlines the responsibilities and recognizes the parent's primary role in developing, monitoring and evaluating the program plan for their child(ren). A parent must notify of their intent to home educate using the form set out by the Minister http://www.thewise.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Home-Education-Registration-Form.pdf and a teacher from their board must conduct at least 2 evaluations of the progress of the student (according to the outcomes described in the parent's program plan) per year. The parent may develop their own plan using the Learning Outcomes for Students as the basis of the plan, or may follow the Alberta Program of Studies. A parent may receive reimbursement to defray the costs incurred by the parent, up to a maximum amount set out in Alberta Education's funding manual.
The second manner of educating at home consists of providing a school authorized program at home (sometimes inaccurately referred to as 'aligned'). With this method, a school allows the parent to educate at home, but the school maintains the authority for all components of the child's education. The expectations on the parent will vary from school to school, as the parent is officially providing a school program at home. The range of programming is as vast as under the Home Education Regulation, but who is responsible for the programming is where the difference lies. In a school at home program, the school authority maintains ultimate authority for the program, monitoring and evaluation, and as the authority responsible for the education of the child, they place requirements upon a parent and student as they deem fit. The school is not required to provide any financial reimbursement to parents, but they often do, and often at a higher monetary value than possible when educating under the Home Education Regulation 145/2006.
A blending of these two types of educating at home may also be done.
While the 'look' of each program may appear to be similar, who maintains the authority for each program is clearly different. The parent is the responsible party when the child is educated under the Home Education Regulation 145/2006. The school is the responsible party in any other form of educating at home.
It is important for parents to understand the difference in parental and school authority between the two methods.