What is SHBE?

  • SHBE is a collection of hundreds of homeschool families in the province governed by a volunteer board of elected homeschool members.
  • SHBE is the official voice for home based educators in SK. 
  • SHBE assists in creating a positive network and a positive political environment for those who choose home based education. 
  • SHBE provides supportive, social, and instructional resources to our membership.

As a grassroots organization, our strength is in the involvement of our membership. Your membership makes it easier for others to home educate by identifying with SHBE as we negotiate with school boards and the Department of Learning.  Numbers DO count!

  • Prior to 1987 there was no Saskatchewan Home Based Educators.

    SHBE formed in 1983 and existed for many years primarily as a newsletter circulated among families. With continued growth, a need for a province-wide affiliation that would span methods and philosophical approaches was identified. In 1987, SHBE became the voice of home-based educators in the province. SHBE was instrumental in working with the department of education as it drafted the legislation recognizing home based education and providing for an exemption from compulsory school attendance requirements. SHBE formed a board of directors in 1990 and incorporated in 1992 as Saskatchewan Home Based Educators, Inc.

    Move the calendar ahead several decades and Saskatchewan Home Based Educators continues to serve the Homeschool community!

    Now we have an organization to stand for the rights of homeschool families in Saskatchewan.
    Now we have an organization to turn to for information to know those rights.
    Now we have an organization to host a provincial convention to inspire and encourage families to pursue their vision.
    Now we have an organization to bring a sense of connection and unity to homeschool families across the province.
    Now we have an organization to care for the cares of homeschool families in Saskatchewan.

    There are no longer widespread problems with un-registered homeschoolers, in large part due to SHBE influence! However, SHBE notes that some home-based educators are feeling shut out and backed into a corner: there is no longer a Home Based Education Review Panel, no longer an option to register directly with the ministry of education, and no objective dispute resolution process (the ministry of education has removed the home based education dispute resolution mechanism and deferred to the local school division’s dispute resolution processes).  

    Today, many SHBE members wonder what has become of protecting the province’s compelling interest by “the least intrusive means”?

    SHBE is just as important now as it was decades ago!

    The founders and visionaries didn’t see what they were doing as a sacrifice. 
    They saw what they were doing as, “We get to help homeschoolers in Saskatchewan!”
    And they spent many many hours and gas money and phone money to fulfill their mandate to this cause.

    Today, there are many many hours freely given to fulfill this same mandate.
    It hasn’t changed. SHBE volunteers still, “Get to help homeschoolers in Saskatchewan!”

    SHBE’s representation with government officials is strengthened with increasing numbers of membership. SHBE’s budgeting income is based solely on membership fees.

    If you appreciate the efforts of SHBE’s accomplishments in the past, and if you expect SHBE’s accomplishments in the present, and if you hope SHBE will be there for your children’s children in strength and confidence, one thing that we can all do, every year, is renew our membership.  

    The ground is level in the SHBE domain: Every board member and every convention committee member pays the same membership fee as you.  One membership renewal won’t make a huge difference in determining our budgetary needs and opportunities; but together we can continue to be the organization that is known for standing for the things that are important to homeschool families in Saskatchewan.

  • There is so much more than can be said about what SHBE does and why SK homeschoolers should consider SHBE membership than is said here, so please do read the answers to the rest of the questions in addition to this one!

    Short Answer:

    Click on the image to view larger on your screen if needed!

    Long Answer:
    As stated elsewhere, the mandate of SHBE is to, “assist in creating a positive social network and a positive political environment for all those who choose home-based education in Saskatchewan. We also provide supportive, social and instructional resources for our members.”

    SHBE is a voluntary membership organization that represents the homeschool community of Saskatchewan. The homeschool community is a diverse set of families united in supporting each other with encouragement, resources, education, and support groups. Regardless of a family’s philosophical or religious convictions regarding home-based education, SHBE supports each family’s right to homeschool – as well as their children’s right to receive a homeschool education directed by their parents. Along with the province of Saskatchewan, we proclaim, “from many peoples, strength”.

    More specifically, here are some of the things SHBE does for you:

    • First and foremost, SHBE is your voice to government. The Ministry of Education has agreed to hear the voice of SHBE as the voice of homeschoolers in this province. The SHBE president meets with the Director of Home-Based Education at the Department of Education on an infrequent but regular basis, and with the Minister of Education less frequently. These meetings are our opportunities to take the concerns we hear from you to the people who are responsible for writing and implementing homeschooling regulations in our province.

    • We are also often your voice to school division officials and staff. Every fall and every spring, and oftentimes in between, board members receive phone calls asking questions and looking for guidance on dealing with school divisions who have misinterpreted the regulations or are overstepping their authority in some way. We are often able to help homeschooling parents navigate these challenges and every year we take issues to the Ministry of Education when they cannot be resolved locally.

    • The SHBE board is responsible for building a convention committee which hosts the provincial convention every year. The convention volunteers work to give homeschooling parents interesting and informative speakers and workshops on a variety of homeschooling topics and issues.  At the convention, parents can learn about the latest pedagogical methods and neurological discoveries, and encourage each other and to share ideas, and network with other homeschooling families they didn't know before. The convention committee also organizes a vendor hall with curriculum providers and other vendors of interest to homeschooling families, as well as a used book sale as an additional service to homeschooling families.

      The 2019 SHBE Convention was the 28th annual convention that has been paid for, organized and staffed by homeschoolers and for homeschoolers. One of the largest events in either Regina or Saskatoon, the convention draws homeschoolers from every corner of the province and has an annual attendance of approximately 600 people, which equates to roughly half of all home-based education families in Saskatchewan.

      SHBE has also held four special needs conferences in recent years, in response to feedback from our members who reported they desired additional supports and community, but were fearful of asking for assistance from their school division (due to the existing wording in the Home-based Education Policy and Procedures Manual).

    • SHBE works to build homeschool leaders in our province by subsidizing board members and convention committee members who would like to attend the HSLDA National Leadership Conference every year. This conference allows us to meet homeschool leaders from across Canada and learn about homeschooling issues and organizations across the country and around the world.

    • Finally, SHBE board members work to support homeschooling families "informationally"! We do this by being "in-the-know" about homeschooling experiences and situations in our province and by providing information.  This means we are involved with local support groups, we will hold homeschool information nights every now and then, and we are accessible to answer your questions and concerns by email any time! We regularly receive questions and inquiries from homeschoolers, potential homeschoolers, and those interested in communicating with homeschoolers in Saskatchewan. We communicate with you through our newsletter, the Journal, our website and our Facebook page!
  • When regulations were being drafted, SHBE had insisted that parents have recourse to register with the department of education. This was necessary, not to encourage discord with school divisions, but rather to encourage cooperation by ensuring parents did not feel cornered and powerless. SHBE recommended and advocated for a home-based education review panel that would arbitrate disagreements over policy or procedure, while leaving matters of substance to the parents and the local school boards.

    Positive Changes Proposed

    • SHBE submitted proposed changes to the Intensive Needs section, to use less aggressive wording and thereby offer no dis-incentives for home based educators to inform regarding intensive needs. The SHBE proposal would make the Intensive Needs wording more compatible with other sections of the policy manual.
    • SHBE is currently advocating for a more balanced and representative dispute resolution mechanism, in which home based educators are fairly represented and have adequate recourse to settle disputes with school divisions.
    • SHBE has requested changes to the residency requirements for registration of home based education programs.

    Freedom to Excel

    SHBE ultimately advocates that fewer regulatory burdens be placed upon homeschool families. Based on research indicating that regulation does not lead to better academic outcomes, SHBE believes this is a reasonable goal that will not jeopardize the province’s compelling interest in the education of children and youth. SHBE does not simply advocate for “Freedom from regulation”, but “Freedom to excel”: easing the regulatory burdens from home based educators will allow them to expend their time and effort on delivering excellent educational opportunities for their children, which is ultimately also in the interest of the province of Saskatchewan.

  • SHBE supports these Rights of Home-Based Educators in our province:

    The Right to educate your child according to your conscientious beliefs;
    The Right to privacy including freedom from home visits;
    The Right to protection from intrusions by officials;
    The Right to choose or make any curriculum for your children;
    The Right to choose the approach, method and philosophy you want for your family.

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states:

    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
    (a)Freedom of conscience and religion;

    “Freedom embraces
    both the absence of coercion and constraint,
    and the right to manifest beliefs and practices.”
    (Home-Based Education Parent’s Handbook)

  • Saskatchewan Home Based Educators, Inc is registered as a non-profit corporation in the province of Saskatchewan. SHBE is a non-profit corporation, but is not registered charity. The major difference is that SHBE does not provide tax receipts for donations. When SHBE was incorporated, a charitable corporation could not also lobby or advocate with the civil governments.

    You can read more about non-profit status in Saskatchewan at the Saskatchewan Corporate Directory. Please feel free to review our current Bylaws, nomination form. For the minutes from the latest AGM, a copy of our financial report, or other information, please contact SHBE through our Contact page.

    Here are some official documents you may like to check out: