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!
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!
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