Support from thee will take many shapes and forms, and we at thee have the following goals for providing you with support:
1. Provide educational consulting to each family
- You receive your own Facilitator chosen by yourself or assigned by thee to you.
- You receive consulting and help as you design your own learning plan for your child or children
2. Help you accurately assess the academic progress your children are making
3. Help you account for your purchases and balance of funds from your provincially-provided home school funds
(we’ll talk in depth about this item in “Funding“)
Let’s look at each of our goals in more detail.
According to the Home Education Regulations of the School Act (Articles 5.a – 5.j), all home school supervisory boards are required to provide helpful assistance to families who have chosen to home school their child or children. At thee, this assistance comes primarily in the form of consultants, whom we refer to as Facilitators and whom we assign to you once you register with thee. Your Facilitator will visit with you, preferably in your home, twice during the school year and will make one mid-year contact with you. You may, at any time during the school year, request a different Facilitator. The Home Education Exchange respects the right of parents to refuse to allow the Facilitator to enter their house; however, we hope that parents will have a certain level of confidence and trust in their Facilitator so that the Facilitator may conduct her visits in the child’s learning environment. The Facilitator should complete the first visit before November 15th, the mid-year contact before March 15th, and the third visit before June 15th of the school year.
The Facilitator’s role is to provide supportive supervision to the home educating family, to evaluate the program plan that the parent(s) has established for each of his/her child or children, and to help the family assess and record any cumulative achievements and progress made by the child or children. The Facilitator accomplishes her role during the visits and contacts during the school year as you read about above. The guiding purpose of these visits is to assess the progress of each student, address any related questions or concerns of the family, and write an individualized report for each student, which is another requirement of the above-mentioned home school regulation.
As mentioned earlier, each family may choose their own Facilitator, or thee will assign a Facilitator to each new family who joins us at thee. For families who are returning to thee, thee encourages these families to continue their working relationship with their current Facilitator. However, the returning family may certainly request a different Facilitator when they complete the new school year’s Notification Form or at any time during the school year.
The Home Education Exchange requires two home visits and one telephone contact be made with the possibility of an additional visit mid-year, should the family request one. Typically, the first visit may be an hour and a half, preferably conducted in the home. The second visit may require an hour, and unless otherwise requested, may be conducted by way of telephone or e-mail. The third visit may take a few hours, depending on the number of children being supervised. Since this final visit involves evaluation, it may be performed in the home or outside the home school site.
During each visit, the Facilitator will review the student’s portfolio of work. Doing so is a requirement of each visit, however, for a family’s initial personal visit, the family may not have compiled such a portfolio of work. If this is the case, the family may certainly ask the Facilitator for guidance on how to compile a portfolio of the student’s work so that this portfolio will, indeed, show strong samples and examples of the student’s academic progress, interests, and accomplishments. During each visit, the Facilitator may ask to review the portfolio as part of the Facilitator’s task of assessing the student’s progress toward attaining the goals of the home learning program which we discussed briefly. If the Facilitator is concerned about any aspect of a parent’s home school program, the Facilitator will communicate these concerns firstly to the student’s parent(s) and must also report the concerns to The Home Education Exchange. We will attempt to resolve any conflicts or concerns as quickly as possible. thee will not permit parents who abuse their right to home educate to re-enroll in thee for the following school year.
The current Home Education Regulations require that the parent establish a learning program which is actually designed to be a strong help to the parent(s) to provide an overall framework in which to teach and guide. The learning program is your personal statement and roadmap for the concepts that you intend to cover and the materials that you intend to use. This learning plan is also connected to the issue of the funding money that you will receive from the provincial government via thee for the purpose of purchasing these materials, and we’ll cover this matter in “Funding”.
The Home Education Exchange supports parents who wish to create their own customized program with individual student needs and family values in mind. We believe that home school affords parents’ the opportunity to prepare an educational program that is customized to the child and that will inspire the child to excel.
Assessment refers to measuring student progress. Viewing student’s work is one of the primary methods of assessment required by the Home Education Regulations. To help your Facilitator with this requirement to assess your child’s work and progress, we encourage our families to compile a portfolio of the child’s work, writings, projects, “creations”, etc. With a portfolio, the child is able to demonstrate and showcase his/her achievements in learning, and the Facilitator is able to efficiently assess and determine the level of learning that that child has achieved by looking at samples of the child’s best work which are displayed alongside a general record, or “collection”, of student activities, assignments, projects, etc. in each subject area as outlined in the learning program that we discussed above. The Home Education Exchange offers workshops on how to plan a successful portfolio, and your Facilitator can also help you design and plan a portfolio.
For purely objective (quantitative) assessment, the Home Education Exchange recommends to the thee families the Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS), Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT3), and the Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT) as additional and optional methods for assessing your child’s academic learning and readiness. These tests may be used exclusively on their own or in combination with materials provided by the parent. The Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) and Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT3) are standard achievement tests that will provide the parent with a plethora of information on the child’s language and math skills, as well as some applied problem solving skills. These tests are used across Canada and, when administered correctly, are quite accurate.
The Home Education Exchange lends CTBS and CAT3 booklets and manuals to our registered families. Parents are encouraged to administer the tests strictly following the direction in the provided Supervisor’s Manual. Once your child has completed the particular test, you simply return the test and its answer sheet(s) to the thee office where a professional licensed staff member will score the test and then mail an evaluation of the test results to the parent. A thee staff member will place a copy of the test results in the child’s cumulative file that is kept in the thee office.
The CTBS is an alternative to the CAT3 and reflects standards similar to the standards in the provincial achievement tests. Although these tests are available at each level, parents may choose to use them yearly or alternately. The Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT) are available at grades 3, 6 and 9 levels only, and cover concepts used in the Alberta curriculum. This is a Standardized Test and Proctors are required to administer them. If your student has followed the Alberta curriculum, you may consider this method of testing as an option.
Students who have opted to take the PAT will do so in May or June. The family will need to first recruit a “working professional”, per the Home Education Regulations, such as a teacher, lawyer, accountant, doctor, etc. to act as the test proctor. thee will mail the test to the proctor who will administer the test on the appropriate day and will then mail back to thee the completed test documents. A thee staff member will then submit the test answer sheet(s) to Alberta Education and will also communicate the test results to the family as soon as Alberta Education releases the test results to thee.
Help you account for your purchases and balance of funds from your provincially-provided home school funds
(We’ll talk in depth about this item in“Funding”). The funding accounts manager of thee, Ms. Noelle Thornton, will help you manage and distribute your home school funds that you will receive from the province.