This FAQ page is our way to share a snapshot of the type of advice we give when you reach out to us with questions. The information here is not intended to be exhaustive, but quick answers to common homeschooling questions. If you have a question not listed here that you think should be, please contact your board representative or our Help Desk through our Contact page.
Click here for our “Getting Started” page to find out!
The short answer is yes! Many children in Saskatchewan have been educated totally at home and have enrolled and graduated from University and Colleges. Each University or College will have different requirements but some Universities such as Harvard, Yale and Boston actively seek home-educated students.
The University of Regina has developed specific registration policies for home-educated students. SHBE and the College of Arts and Science of the University of Saskatchewan previously signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Prerequisite Policies for Home-Educated Students on November 14, 2006. You can view that document here.
For more information on a form to present to a college which has not yet adopted a home school admissions policy, obtain a College Packet available from HSLDA at 519-913-0318 or www.hslda.ca/.
We suggest you also check out our Recordings and other Resources pages for more information about homeschooling through high school and post-secondary options.
When people first hear of home education, they shudder, or express curiosity and/or express doubt that a child could receive an adequate education. They want to know many answers, so it is no wonder our families and friends also have many questions. Don’t be discouraged if your families and friends don’t understand your choice right away.
Books that are helpful to you can answer some of their questions; suggest they start with some reading. Other veteran home educators can answer some of their questions.
Research studies have statistics and facts to show the benefits and outcomes for home education. The Canadian Centre for Home Education (CCHE) did one such study in 2003.
Realize it may take some time for them to understand the home education benefits. Usually everyone has the same goal in mind, doing what is best for the child/children.
A Written Education Plan is intended to demonstrate that there is a positive and constructive approach to the education of the student. Each year you are required to submit an Educational Plan along with the Notification to Register.
The Educational Plan outlines:
a. your reason for and philosophical approach of the program,
b. broad annual goals for the subject areas that will be studied,
c. the means of assessing and recording the educational progress.
d. resources and activities
The required areas of study are mathematics, social studies, science and language arts. In addition, you may include other areas that are important to you such as religion, health, art, music, computers, or physical education. The goals can be very general in nature.
The choice is really up to you as your child's educator! Check out our resources section for recommended curriculum providers in Canada. As you look at the various curriculum choices, it is important to keep in mind that there is neither one right curriculum nor one right way to teach your children. Curriculum is a tool and not a goal. It is how you teach the information that is important.
Saskatchewan’s best curriculum fair happens during the SHBE Convention held every year. Exhibitors from Saskatchewan and across Canada display their various products and are a great in-person resource. Also, the convention has a used book sale that provides another low-cost alternative. It’s also a great place to meet other home educators and talk about what works for them.
When first starting out, don’t worry too much about curriculum. Take a bit of time to investigate different options before making a final decision.
Each school division in Saskatchewan has its own administrative procedures and levels of funding are dependent upon Division policy. The Province of SK funds each school division to act as their “Registering Authority”, but does not require or prevent school divisions providing funding to parents. Check with your specific school division for funding details.
The short answer is no!
You as a parent can choose what your classroom will look like. Some parents prefer a designated area for educational purposes, others make use of a variety of places, math at the kitchen table, reading in the family room, drama in the basement, science at the kitchen counter; the choice is yours. You will, however, find it useful to set aside space for books, projects, paper, resources, craft supplies, etc. that you will utilize in your studies.
The home environment can be very conducive to success for intensive-needs (formerly called special needs) children! If you have a child with intensive needs, there may be services, and especially testing, available to you within your school division. However, these services may come at the cost of increased reporting. If you have a child with intensive needs, please contact us BEFORE you notify the school division to discuss your options.
This is a loaded question, but here's the short answer:
The spirit of the provincial regulations is such that parents are to be directly involved with the child’s education. That means so much more than just picking curriculum and marking their work. When you homeschool, you become your child’s teacher guidance counsellor, social worker, and much more, on top of all your regular household and family duties. Homeschooling is an amazing journey with so many benefits; however, it is hard work. It is a serious commitment from the parents and if a student is beginning homeschooling after attending school, this will be a serious change, not only for your child but for you as well.
There are many families that homeschool their children and work (part-time and/or full-time). It is possible to work and homeschool your child, whether you are a single working parent household or there are two working parents. However, it is only possible with planning, dedication, and sacrifice (made by the parents). Feel free to contact your board representative to ask for advice along the way.
When it comes to leaving your kids at home by themselves to do their schoolwork while you are at work, however, that is a slightly different matter.
For example, although a 13-year-old may legally allowed to be home alone, SHBE would strongly caution against leaving a 13-year-old alone all day to "school" themselves. See first our answer to the other FAQ question above, "How involved do I have to be in my child's education at home?" Additionally, the parent needs to place their child’s safety and wellbeing as utmost paramount, considering things like the following: length of time they will be alone; number of days the parent works; socialization; safety with being home alone; maturity in their ability to safely be home alone; maturity in their willingness to do school independently; and many other complications when leaving an child home alone for long periods of time. SHBE cannot tell you that leaving a 13-year-old child home alone, to school by themselves, is a safe and appropriate decision, only you as the parent are in the position to decide what is in the best interest of your child. SHBE does, however, promote family connections as a fundamental part of homeschooling, and we believe it is this connection that produces the positive results and benefits of homeschooling.
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