If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please write Ian McKay here.

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(These answers are compiled from the free-form question in the survey)

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There have been hints that the DoE wishes to change from a structure where all Home Educators report to a central office and, instead, have the local School Boards become the primary contact . What is your position on this possibility?
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 The full survey may be found here. If you have not filled it out yet and wish to, please feel free to do so. These results are dynamic and will reflect your input as well 🙂 Once I have some time, I will be compiling the other results and making them available on this page.

Below are the unedited responses to the question “Do you have any other comments, concerns, ideas or recommendations that may be of benefit to the community?”

  • While educating through elementary was easy here in NS I have found high school to be difficult and would assume many find the same considering how many homeschool students return to ps during these years. We spend a lot of $ on curriculum in order to do things as we think will most benefit and our child would have loved to participate in a few things at the local high school. We have signed up for virtual classes and I think that homeschooled students should have access to these classes the same as public schooled students.
  • I sincerely hope that any measures taken by the DoE are done with the *real* needs of home educating families in mind, and that we can avoid measures that are implemented purely for political reasons, and ultimately prove to be a waste of resources all around.
  • Generally, I prefer as little regulation as possible in order to preserve the freedoms of homeshooling parents.  If further requirements are placed upon parents the government should be prepared to provide funding to home educators – as in the case of Alberta (where we moved to NS from).I would prefer fewer regulations with less/no funding generally speaking though.
  • I recognize that the intentions behind the work of the auditor general are, of course, good. It is obvious to me from reading his report, however, that he lacks a frame of reference to understand non-mainstream modalities of education, and this lack of education (ironically) may end up posing a significant threat to homeschooling freedoms. I think it’s worth pointing out that the report did not reference any specific cases of homeschoolers who reached adulthood without the basic knowledge needed to function–nor do I know of any myself. Instead, I know a multitude of homeschooled adults who perform well above the mean in their work and daily lives, and who see their lives as a never-ending educational journey as a result of their homeschooling. I cannot help but wonder whether this initiative towards assessment represents a publicity stunt coming from a provincial government which has notably underperformed in many areas in recent years–assessing homeschoolers would be a relatively easy and inexpensive effort that would make for good press. Solving a problem that’s not actually a problem can often do that. I’m not terribly interested in allowing my child to jump through hoops so that the DoE may put on a good show.
  • I moved here from a province that has more difficult regulations.  I moved here to get away from those strict regulations from having to fight to give my children what they need.  I am STRONGLY opposed to any changes that mean more regulations, more supervision and having to fight to educate my children.
  • i  think the main focus,should be,what is going on in the public schools,not on homeschooler.
  • I want communication directly from whom I am reporting to NOT from HEMS or NSHEA or any other “representative”.
  • My main concern is that many are so afraid of change in any way that they corner other homeschoolers and tell them what their official position should be.  I really appreciate how this survey includes differences between mandatory and voluntary assessment, however, if we are to have more assessment/reporting to do, it would be fair for us to put the issue of funding on the table.
  • Thank you for doing this survey! I think it’d be great for us to look at best/worst case practices in other provinces and in the US to see what we can learn from it.
  • I am very concerned that we are not aggressively pushing forward with homeschooling reform at this moment.
  • the root of of educating and homeschooling is a concern for child welfare. The province needs a way to track a child’s health and mental development.
  • I fear this may be a slippery slope into excessive regulation, and feel we should be actively speaking out in order to protect our freedom.
  • There is no benefit to our homeschooled kids to register them, or to submit learning plans with the DoE.  Even if we follow all of the rules and register them from P-12 using a curriculum, our children will not receive a high school diploma at the end.  I don’t understand what is the point of increasing the administrative requirements for homeschool families when the children involved gain nothing from the DoE.  As far as I’m concerned, I’ve taken responsibility for my kids’ education and ideally I would only be required to submit some type of documentation to the DoE to inform them that my kids will not be in school.  Having to send in plans and reports is pointless, and of no benefit to my children.
  • I have no problem creating goals at the beginning of the year for my children.  These goals can be referred to at year-end.  I also believe that the DoE should allow some autonomy within how we teach, what we teach and the way we should record and report this.  I do not have a problem with registering or providing feedback on my children’s progress at the end of the year.  I do not want, however, to be made to do standardized testing and use the PSP if do not want to.
  • I have no problem with registering and reporting. I do believe that if we are taking the “burden” of schooling our children away from the province, it would be great to have some of the funding that would normally go to the school come to the homeschooler – not the whole amount, but a portion. I do not believe in mandatory standardized testing.
  • Rather than reporting structures, seek better coordination of community resources to benefit all kinds of learning. Libraries, recreation centres, sport facilities, museums, galleries…. coordinate membership, visitor programs, community outreach and exhibits to better serve communities. This helps home schoolers enormously, and benefits the general public. Break down the silos between education, recreation, culture, etc.
  • If we can’t have the freedom to assess our own children using our own measurements, homeschooling has lost one battle.
  • Please do not assume that one person speaks for a large group of home educators, we are all varied and all have our own points of vies, it seems like the AG and DOE keep asking one person or entity their views as if they speak for the whole, they do not.
  • Our community of home educating families is a diverse and interesting one. I don’t believe that any of us homeschool our children for exactly the same reasons as any other and I see that as a positive thing. Our community needs to stand together and accept one another’s differences while embracing our common interests. I would like to see more respect for one another within our community.
  • Our cultural attachment to the way public schooling is done makes it hard for people to understand home schooling, especially philosophies such as unschooling.  There is research which supports this and other techniques but the general public and especially the politicians have not been exposed to this.  The best way to ensure the best regulatory environment for everyone is to inform all those involved and allow decisions to be made on empirical data, not on long-held “common sense” or worse, “gut instinct”.  Avoidance of any sort of combative stance is equally as important.  An adversarial relationship allows the party with power to dismiss the other party with little public fallout.  The HS community must always take a positive approach while trying to work towards a common goal; a regulatory environment which will satisfy everyone.
  • Absolute minimum requirements/interference from the DOE.  The reasons, approaches and needs of the homeschooling community are to diverse to fit into a one size fits all DOE solution.  We will hamstring future generations of homeschoolers if we give in to the AG’s recommendations.
  • A unified front, with a focus on minimizing the impact of the DOE on our lives.  The more voices we have screaming for “something”, the more impact it will have on everyone’s ability to homeschool effectively.  Once we open that can, we can’t put Pandora back in the box.
  • If the DOE requires reporting, then they must do something with it, otherwise it’s simply wasted adminstrative time.   Think carefully about what that ‘something’ may be.   The more we invite the DOE into our home, the more control they get.   Homeschooling is hard (financially, physically and emotionally) but it’s within our control.  I don’t want to abdicate that control in exchange for a few dollars or a pat on the back, implying my kid is passing their arbitrary and irrelevant goal posts.

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please write Ian McKay here.

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