What's the difference?
"What's the difference between parent-led and teacher-led? Why do some families get different homeschool funding than others? I hear about 'aligned' or 'blended' or 'school-delivered' or 'teacher-led' or 'parent-led'... are there really that many kinds of home schooling?"
We hear questions like this frequently, and hope that the following information will help you to make an informed decision in your own educational journey. All learning-at-home options in Alberta fall under one of the following categories.
Option 1. Home Education
Home Education is sometimes referred to as Parent-Led, Parent-Delivered, Parent Directed, Basic or Traditional.
- Parents are entirely responsible for planning, delivering and evaluating the education of their children.
- Parents are required to notify a public, Catholic or accredited private school of their intent to home educate. This school becomes their associate school.
- The parents may choose the approach (classical, unschooling, structured etc), learning outcomes and resources they wish to employ to teach their children. They may choose to complete the outcomes in the Alberta Programs of Study or follow the Schedule of Learner Outcomes in the Home Education Regulation.
- The associate school is required to provide support and resources to assist parents in their task and is responsible for evaluation as required by the Alberta Home Education Regulation.
- Based upon the Education Program Plan created by the parent, the associate school conducts two evaluations of the progress of the student each year.
- To assist the purchase of learning resources, the associate school is required to provide to the parents 50% of the funding received from AB Education. In 2020 this is 50% of $1700 or $850 per child.
Option 2. School-Delivered Program
This may be called Aligned, Teacher-Led or Teacher Directed, Distance Education, Cyber School or Online Education.
- Parents employ a school for the planning, delivery and evaluation of the education of their children.
- Students may be receiving their education in a school or at home, but responsibility for their education is fully maintained by the school where the student is registered, and the student must complete the outcomes of the Alberta Programs of Study.
- The school receives a basic grant per student, plus additional grants as per the AB Education Funding Manual. The school receives per-completed-credit funding for high school students. The school is legally required to not give funding to the parents. Historically, some schools have offered funding to students in School-Delivered Programs, but in 2016 AB Education explicitly forbade this practise.
- The Alberta Home Education Regulation does not apply to students in a school-delivered program; rather they are regulated under the Education Act, along with all students attending schools, and must complete the outcomes of the Alberta Programs of Study.
Option 3. Shared Responsibility (formerly called Blended)
- Parents choose a combination of home education and school delivered programs.
- The school must plan, deliver and evaluate an agreed upon portion of the program. At minimum, the school must deliver 20% of the program.
- Parents are responsible for planning, delivering and evaluating the balance of the education of their children, under the supervision of the school.
- The school receives proportional amounts of the full funding per student, depending upon the percentage of the program the school is teaching and the percentage taught by the parents. For example, if the school delivers 20% of the program, it will receive 20% of the grant for in-school students and 80% of the home education grant.
- The school is required to provide parents with half of the home school portion of the funding. (So, in a 20/80 program in 2020, $680.)
- The Alberta Home Education Regulation applies only to the parent-taught portion of the program; the remainder is regulated under the Education Act as with all students attending schools.
Note: The Gilbertine Institute offers only option #1 through the WISDOM Home Schooling division, a campus-based Shared Responsibility program (option #3) through the Holy House division, and a full-time private high school called Gilbertine Academy.