What is homeschooling?
In N.S., home education, like private schooling, is a legal
alternative to public school attendance.
Parents pursue home education for a variety of reasons, most of which
can be classified as a desire to provide the student with a different
social, or physical environment from that found in the public school.
Many military families use home education because it provides
continuity amidst transfers.
There seem to be a million answers to this question. Experienced home
educators tend to describe home schooling as a life style choice, not
just an academic choice,
so most parents who are considering home education benefit from
reading about the concept before making a commitment. The N.S. public
libraries are a good source of home
education books, Internet references, and support group information.
In deciding to home school, a parent is assuming a demanding and
important responsibility, but one which
many parents find deeply rewarding.
There is a wide variety of choices. Again, the public library is a
good starting point for critiques of various curricula. Many of the
available curriculum materials
can be obtained from mail-order catalogues, and a good sampling can
be examined and purchased at the N.S. Home Education Association's
spring resource fair. Additionally,
the province of N.S. operates a correspondence program for most grade
levels and subjects. For details about cost and course availability,
contact the Department of Education.
There is no upper limit to what can be spent, but parents who budget
carefully and make good use of library and community resources say they
can spend under $100 per child
per year, and even less if there are younger children who will use
the same texts. The parent who wants to own a new textbook for each
subject will pay more than the parent
who buys a discontinued public school math text from a bargain table
and gets everything else from the library.
In general, no. A parent who chooses to home school is in the same
position as a parent who sends his child to a private school; he assumes
full financial responsibility.
However, some assistance may be available for special needs students.
The answer is determined at a local level, but there is no obligation
for public schools to provide services. However, home-educated students
may be allowed to enroll
at a public school on a part-time basis.
Home education in N.S. is under the jurisdiction of the Department of
Education, through its Regional Education Officers (REOs). Once a
parent has decided to home school
his school-age child, he must notify the REO, who will provide
further information, including a registration form and a description of
the reporting procedure. A child may
be started on a home education program at any time during the year
and may be taught with any materials which provide an appropriate
academic foundation. The parents are
free to determine the hours, days, and months during which they will
teach. (Also see text of Education Act).
Visit the Department of Education's website for more information.
No, they require basic information a teaching parent would normally
want for his own records. The registration requires basic identification
information, such as student
and parent names & addresses, and a description of the curriculum
plans. (Parents who design their own program must provide some detail.)
The follow-up report must indicate
the student's progress in comparison to the planned curriculum, but
the format of the report can be varied to match the individual program.
The province of N.S. recognizes that a child may be educated in
public school, private school, or at home. Parents have the
responsibility to decide which is best for their
children. If home education is chosen, the parents have the
responsibility to provide for the education of their children and the
right to direct the children's education as
they see fit, provided that the N.S. Essential Learning Requirements
are met. Sections 128 & 129 of the Education Act describe the
process the government may invoke to ensure
that the Essential Learning Requirements are addressed. In past
practice, any perceived problems have been resolved in an informal and
When you become a member of NSHEA, you may choose to have your name
added to our member contact list. You will receive a copy of this list
when you join. Our newsletter also
lists local support groups and activities information.
Most universities readily accept home-educated students. Harvard,
M.I.T., and Dalhousie are just 3 examples of the many schools which
number home-educated students among their
alumni. In lieu of a standard H.S. diploma, many home-educated
students submit their results from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT),
along with personal references and a
description of the student's academic & life experiences.
Research shows that most home-educated students have no problems with social adjustment. Home-educated children tend to participate in community activities which put them in contact with people of every age and every walk of life. As a result, home-educated students tend to test well on all measures of social adjustment.