Whether you are interested in educating your children at home and are just doing some research or if you’ve recently joined the growing number of families who consider home education the best option for their child’s education, welcome.
This is the place to find a lot of good information to help you on this exciting (and sometimes daunting) journey.
If you’re new to homeschooling, you probably have a lot of questions. We all did when we started; that’s perfectly normal.
So, what will you need to know to get started?
Know the New Brunswick Law and Application Process
By law, home education in New Brunswick is every parent’s right. You don’t have to hold a teacher certification or be a college graduate to do it. There are no reporting or annual testing requirements in NB.
Families are asked by the Province of New Brunswick to complete the Annual Homeschool Application Form and forward it to their local school district. This form states that you are taking full responsibility for the education of your children. Unless there is some reason for concern, the district office then forwards the form to the Minister of Education. He sends the family a signed letter stating they are approved to home educate for that current year.
Once you have completed your application form your child is registered with the local school district and you are good to go. If your children are currently in school, you can remove them and begin home educating them once you’ve registered via the above mentioned form. If your kids have never been enrolled in an institutional school you can simply continue learning at home. Just make sure you fill out the application form.
This pamphlet from the Government of New Brunswick provides additional information.
Join us at Home Educators of New Brunswick (HENB)
Join hundreds of home educating families in this province and stay up to date about what is happening in the province. See our page for more info and to Apply For Membership today!
Join a Local Support Group
Have a look at a Local Support Group in your area and see if they are a good fit for your family. Local groups are often able to provide support to parents and offer local events for your children. Contact one in your area to find out more about the support and resources they provide.
Attend the Annual Conference
Attending the annual HENB Conference will provide you with ample opportunities to be refreshed and learn more about home education. Through sessions, browsing the curriculum hall or talking with other home educating families, you’ll be well informed and well equipped to start on this journey.
Many first-time home educating parents feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of curricula, class and activity options that are available. It’s easy to feel like you need to make choices quickly and come up with a plan right away so that your child doesn’t “fall behind.” However, since teaching a child at home can accomplish much more in a shorter time than a public school classroom of 25+ students you don’t actually have to be in that much of a rush. One veteran NB home educating mom recently recommended focusing on two main subjects to start: Math and English. Once you feel like you have a handle on these, you can add more subject areas.
Check out this great web page.
Do Your Research
A good place to start is to realize that no two families home educate in the exactly same way. Read blogs to find out more about home education from people who’ve written about their experiences. As you read, you will know what resonates with your personality and your child’s learning abilities. Once you see what has worked for others, it will be easier for you to choose methods and materials that are a good fit for you and your family.
View our Resources section for many articles related to home education.
Check out our local Curriculum Suppliers for help with your curriculum selection.
A membership with the Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada (HSLDA) is highly recommended as a low-cost method of obtaining quality legal defence as well as a liability insurance policy. Read more at http://www.hslda.ca/.
What about socialization?
This is a very common concern from people inside and outside the home education world. Socialization can happen in a variety of ways from interacting with siblings to participating in community activities and sports programs. Many home educated children interact more frequently with people of all ages in different real life settings. HENB recommends connecting with other home educating families in your area to form co-ops, to regularly meet to study a specific subject area or to attend your local support group’s field trips. All these opportunities provide your child with ample time to be socialized.
Do I need to provide test scores or documentation?
No, home educating family in NB do not have to provide any specific test scores or portfolios to the local school district. It is highly recommended though to keep a portfolio with all of your child’s work (along with the corresponding dates). Many home educating families in the province create a photo book, plan a grandparents’ day or host an annual celebration night where students can showcase and celebrate what they have learned during the past year.
Where do I find curriculum?
- See Curriculum Supplies for NB home education companies.
- Locally, places such as bookstores and teacher supply stores and libraries.
- HENB hosts a Used Curriculum Sale at the annual HENB Conference.
- The internet is another great choice.
Do I need to have curriculum set and ready to go before I begin home educating?
No. In fact it is often a good idea to spend some time figuring out how you and your student work best and then find supplies and curriculum that fits your style. There are plenty of learning opportunities and resources available through libraries and the internet so don’t worry if you do not have all of your curricula right away; you can conveniently learn along the way.
When can I withdraw my kids from school?
Anytime. Once you have taken your child out of school, you need to notify your local school district and sign the home education waiver form from the district office. (See above.)
At what age do I need to start reporting my children as home educated to the school district?
New Brunswick requires that children turning 5 should be formally educated. It is highly recommended to sign the waiver form annually from the year your child turns five.
How much does homeschooling cost?
As much or as little as you like. There are plenty of high-cost options such as ticket performances, music lessons or specialized curriculum packages but there are also many low-cost options as well. Depending on the materials you choose, home educating can be inexpensive or cost a great deal. There are many websites and blogs that focus on “home educating on a budget.”
Do I need to continue to report my child to the school district even after the child reaches the age of 18?
No. Waiver forms are only asked to be completed until age 18.
What about graduation requirements and documentation?
New Brunswick home educators are able to create and follow their own graduation requirements. It’s important to keep in mind that families that home educate do not have a central office where records of the student’s work are kept on file for future reference– this responsibility lies with the parent, and later in life, the child. Having several copies of transcripts and diplomas for students who may need them in the future is highly recommended.
Your family’s home education experience is yours to shape, but learning from others’ experiences can help you decide how to structure — or creatively “not structure” — your child’s learning.
For any further questions you may have, please contact us.