Saskatchewan Home Based Educators
Saskatchewan Home Based Educators (SHBE) seeks to support homeschool families by providing guidance on getting started, making guides and templates to comply with regulations, and organizing a yearly homeschool convention. SHBE also connects families with local support groups, writes and publishes articles for SHBEJournal, and holds info sessions. To do this, SHBE meets regularly with school divisions, the ministry of education, post-secondary schools and other stakeholders. By providing positive fact-based information via news interviews, brochures, and articles, we can help the general public view homeschooling positively. And, SHBE stays up to date on the latest news from across Canada and World.
For a printable version of this information, please download our SHBE Fact Sheet.
Homeschool = Home-Based Education
Advantages of Homeschool
- Helps each child achieve his or her potential.
- Provides flexibility to progress at a pace that is appropriate to each child’s age and ability.
- Accommodates each child’s needs to achieve mastery of concepts.
- Allows time to explore new interests and develop unique talents.
- Provides postitive socialization by mature adult example.
- Limits the effects of peer pressure and peer dependency.
- Builds strong family relationship through shared life experiences.
- Allows high school aged students to get an early start on post-secondary.
Homeschooling is Effective
Since the 1980s when the modern homeschool movement began, reasearch studies have consistently shown that homeschooled students perform well academically and socially. Studies indicate that homeschooled students score an average of 20 percentile higher than their public school counterparts). (see Ray, 2010 , Van Pelt, 2003 , More Research)
Homeschool is not School-at-Home
Even though both take place in the home, School-at-Home is not Home Based Education. “School-based instruction in the home, initiated by and under the direction of a public or independent school – for health, intensive needs or locational reasons – does not represent a home-based education program” (Saskatchewan Home-Based Education Policy and Procedures Manual).
Parents who choose to homeschool retain responsibility to personally and directly plan, instruct, monitor and assess outcomes, as well as comply with provincial regulations for notification and reporting. Parents do not give school divisions control over their child’s education and can reasonably expect school divisions to respect their decisions. (See summary of notification and reporting requirements)
School-at-Home programs may be a good fit for parents who do not wish to have their children at school but also do not wish to personally direct their children’s education. School-at-Home programs are regulated as either public, separate or independent schools and instruction is under the direction of the school. While endorsing and supporting education choice for all parents, SHBE does not assist with, advocate for, or otherwise endorse school-at-home programs.
Our Getting Started page expands on the steps below and also includes a video presentation overview of homeschooling in Saskatchewan and associated questions and answers.
Time needed: 2 days
It is worth taking a few days to consider why you want to homeschool, what you’re going cover, how you will approach education, what books, resources, clubs, curriculum and activities you will use, how you will file your paperwork. You can adjust and evaluate as you go. The brief outline is below – click on the links to go to our “Getting Started” page.
What are your reasons for homeschooling?
Start by carefully considering why you want to homeschool. What are the philosophical or religious convictions that convince you to homeschool? What is the purpose and nature of education? Answering these questions will drive the rest of your plan and can be referenced during your year as a source of strength and inspiration.
What does your child need to learn to be “Successful”?
The core subjects are Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. You may choose to teach additional subjects such as religion, music, health, industrial arts and so on. Consider how subjects overlap so you can make effective use of your time.
You know your child best: How does your child learn best? What is your teaching style?
Homeschooling offers a lot of freedom, so many of the preconceptions you may have from classroom experiences may not apply.
Learning style, level of independence, special needs, and your style and preferred teaching method will all shape how you homeschool.
For example, if your child is more kinesthetic and has difficulty listening while sitting still, perhaps you can let him play with Lego while you read to him. Is your child an independent learner – use historical novels in her social studies.
Will you base your approach on Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Unschooling or use a mixture of methods?
Start learning about curriculum, resources, clubs and activities.
Having considered why you will homeschool, what you will teach and how you will homeschool, you can make better decisions about what curriculum and/or resources to use. Join a homeschool support group or attend a homeschool convention. Speak with other families to see what works for them.
Just like taxes, file your paperwork with the province.
Just like filing taxes, there is paperwork that must be submitted. The province requires you to file a notice of intent, written education plan, and annual progress report. SHBE has templates and information to assist you to file!
- Enjoy and adjust as needed…
The key thing to remember is that your Home Based Education Program is YOURS. It is custom for you, your family and your child.
Please also refer to our FAQ page.
Myth: Homeschooling is too time consuming
Fact: Homeschooling takes exactly the time required
There are no bells to signal how long until “class” is over. While homeschool families rarely spend seven hours per day with book-work or curricular studies, they happily report they are learning all the time. Lifelong learning is a fact of life and “homeschooling” prepares individuals by passing on a love of learning and an ability to learn “what they need, when they need it”. Homeschool parents take the time and make the effort to plan an education for their children that they consider to be not simply sufficient, satisfactory or adequate, but excellent.
Myth: Homeschooling is too expensive
Fact: An excellent education does not need to be expensive
According to a report by the Fraser Institute, Saskatchewan spent $15,314 per student in the public system in 2015-16 (MacLeod, Emes, 2019 ). In addition, according to an article in the Financial Post, private tutoring represents a $1 billion industry in Canada. Many parents engage tutoring services to provide supplemental instruction for their children who are otherwise enrolled in public and private schools.
Homeschool families rarely spend as much per student, even if a foregone second income is included. While many families spend $1,000 and more per child, an excellent education can also be provided for very little cost, using libraries, community centres, and co-ops. Of course, these expenses are in addition to the taxes paid to support government education. Parents who choose to homeschool consider the monetary cost to be worth the expense to obtain the social, emotional and academic benefits associated with home based education.
Myth: “I could never be around my children all day!”
Fact: Home-based education facilitates healthy parent-child relationships
When children are freed from peer orientation, many of the behaviours that parents dread can be addressed with patience and consistency. Homeschool families tend to be involved in their community and engaged in various activities. Far from being “cooped up”, many families find it necessary to carve out time to stay home. Homeschool families can stop what they’re doing and take a break: they can stay in, play board games or watch a movie; they can go to the park or the library or the gym for a break from routine.
Myth: Homeschooled kids have problems with socialization
Fact: Homeschooled are properly socialized and able to interact with people of all ages
Homeschooled kids are able to shake hands, look you in the eye and hold a conversation. Parents are increasingly choosing home based education because they want to provide their children with guided, appropriate social experiences. According to research by Dr. Gordon Neufeld, children are more content, grow into mature adults and integrate into the broader society more successfully when parents are strong, loving role models who provide positive social interaction, compared with children whose primary orientation is with children who form their peer group.
Studies of adults who were homeschooled have demonstrated that they are more satisfied with life, more likely to be involved civically, volunteer more frequently and are more consistently engaged in a faith community 
Myth: Parents are not qualified to teach
Fact: Parents are perfectly suited to direct the education of their own children
Parents do not need to be experts in everything. Homeschooling does not mean that parents never use apprenticeship, outside tutors or mentorship to educate their children. Field trips, gymnastics, swimming lessons, homeschool co-ops, community classes, apprenticeships, mentorships, and other expert instruction are often available from within the homeschool community itself, or available through private companies, science centres, libraries, industry partnerships and myriad other arrangements.
Homeschool academic results are not influenced by the level of education, income, or certification of the parents. There is no statistical correlation between student academic achievement and whether or not parents have teacher certifications.
Myth: Homeschoolers can’t go to university/college/post-secondary
Fact: Homeschoolers are eligible for admission to many post-secondary institutes
Homeschoolers generally have few issues with admissions. Despite mis-information to the contrary, high school credits are not required for admission into post-secondary programs. Some universities offer open admission, or accept parent-generated transcripts, applicable individual university courses, advanced placement enrollment, or SAT/ACT scores in lieu of accredited ministry of education transcripts.
For example: University of Regina: https://urconnected.uregina.ca/htmlemailupload/Image/Admissions/AdmissionProfileHBL.pdf
Myth: Homeschoolers can’t succeed in university/college/post-secondary
Fact: Homeschoolers achieve higher levels of education than the general public
Many homeschoolers participate actively in planning their home based education programs, in choosing and locating curricula and resources, in scheduling their own days, and in seeking learning opportunities. Far from limiting their children’s option for post-secondary, parents who choose to home educate seem to be equipping their children for post-secondary success. Adults who were homeschooled have a higher average level of education than the general population, and tend to have finished the course of study they began.
Myth: Homeschoolers can’t graduate from high school
Fact: Homeschoolers receive a complete high school education
Homeschoolers can complete their high school education without obtaining Ministry of Education high school credits. They can be employed, enter post-secondary, raise a family and contribute to society. Parent-generated transcripts, a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or Post-Secondary Completion are all alternatives to a standard 24-credit high-school diploma from the Ministry of Education. Homeschool completion is a valid and acceptable grade 12 equivalency, despite the refusal by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education to acknowledge the accomplishment.
Myth: Homeschooling will lead to rejection of common Canadian values
Fact: Diversity of thought and personal liberty are historic common values in Canada
Families choose to homeschool for a variety of philosophical and religious reasons. Settlement in Canada was established on principles of personal liberty, when the British parliament granted French Canadian civil participation and self-government. While compulsory attendance laws were quickly used to curtail minority rights, religious and ethnic minority groups, including aboriginal peoples, have struggled to avoid assimilation. Saskatchewan is home to a wide diversity of people, with varied beliefs, and varied histories, which requires a commitment to uphold personal liberty for all. As a society that values diversity (“from many peoples, strength”), Saskatchewan should encourage educational choice so families may choose options that align with their values, beliefs and cultural or ethnic heritage.
Myth: Homeschooling will lead to less tolerant citizens
Fact: Homeschoolers tend to extend civil liberties, even those with whom they disagree
While homeschooling does not necessarily lead to critical thought, the practice certainly coincides frequently. If our society is to embrace true toleration, we must insist upon civil liberty for all, regardless of whether we agree with the opinions of others. A particularly interesting study found that “Students with greater exposure to homeschooling tend to be more politically tolerant—a finding contrary to the claims of many political theorists”. In this study “politically tolerant” was defined as “the willingness to extend civil liberties to people who hold views with which one disagrees,” . Such traits are to be desired in this divisive era.
In the history of the world, there has rarely been a society as open and free as ours. We must not be taken captive to pleasant-sounding ideologies that promise peace or security, but cost us our freedom. It is not tolerant to shut down discussion by smashing property, threatening violence against, or ostracizing those with whom one disagrees.
1- MacLeod, A., & Emes, J. (2019), Education Spending in Public Schools in Canada 2019 Edition, The Fraser Institute
2- Marr, G. (2015). Get ready to fork over $1 billion Canada, school is back and so is tutoring. [online] Financial Post. Available at: https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/young-money/get-ready-to-fork-over-1-billion-canada-school-is-back-and-so-is-tutoring [Accessed 28 Feb. 2019]
3- Neufeld, G., & Maté, G. (2004). Hold on to your kids: Why parents matter. Toronto: A.A. Knopf Canada)
4- Ray, B. (2015), Gen2 Survey: A Spiritual and Educational Survey on Christian Millennials; National Home Education Research Institute
5- Van Pelt, D. & Allison, P. & Allison, D. (2009), Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults; Canadian Centre for Home Education.).
6- Ray, Brian D. (2000), Home schooling: The Ameliorator of negative influences on learning? Peabody Journal of Education, 75 (1& 2), 71-106
7- Van Pelt, D., & Allison, P., & Allison, D. (2009), Fifteen Years Later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults, Canadian Centre for Home Education; General Social Survey, 2006
8- Cheng, A. (2014), Does Homeschooling or Private Schooling Promote Political Intolerance? Evidence From a Christian University, Journal of School Choice, International Research and Reform, Volume 8, 2014 – Issue 1
For a printable version of this information, please download our SHBE Fact Sheet
There is more help! Please visit these pages to find additional details or references that will help you in your homeschool journey:
- Our Getting Started page expands on the steps above and also includes a video presentation overview of homeschooling in Saskatchewan and associated questions and answers.
- The Frequently Asked Questions page provides answers to the questions many new homeschoolers are likely to have.
- Visit our Links page for references to various resources, information sources, local support groups, and national or international resources.
- Find out about our annual Homeschool Convention, that is held each February and includes world-class local, national and international speakers, curriculum and resource vendors, used books sales and allows homeschool families to connect with each from all across the province.
- For personal assistance, our SHBE Contact page lists our directors in your area.
- The SHBE Help Desk will answer questions via email.
- The SHBE Facebook page is also helpful