- Alberta Education
Parent handbooks, Alberta curriculum, etc.
Main site: www.alberta.ca/education.aspx
This goes directly to the "Home Education" page:
(get the "Home Education Handbook" near the bottom
of the page, and you may want to check out some other things
here). Note: The best place to get your questions answered is
from a home schooling friendly school board, and often from other
home schooling parents (with school boards and with other parents,
be careful of biases - it's best to talk to at least a few different
This goes directly to the "Programs of Study"
(from here, you can go to a specific subject, then to the "Programs
of Study" for that subject, to get detailed curriculum documents
for each subject and grade): www.alberta.ca/programs-of-study.aspx
Learn Alberta - For Resources
This is the home page for Learn Alberta. This site lists various
resources for teachers (which we can use, too). Check out the
Canadian Encyclopedia, etc., in the "Online Reference
My Child's Learning: A Parent Resource (This Was the "Curriculum
Handbooks for Parents"). This is for parents to find out
what their children are learning in school. It has a brief summary
of what is being taught in each subject, in each grade. It is
not specifically for home schooling parents, but it is very useful
for us home schooling parents to find out what is in the Alberta
Curriculum. (This is what Alberta Education is now using instead
of the "Curriculum Handbooks for Parents.")
This link goes to Alberta Education's "Authorized Resources
Database." These are resources that teachers can use,
to meet the requirements of the Alberta Program of Studies (which
is what guides schools in what they teach). As home schoolers,
we don't "have" to use resources from this database,
but this database has lots of ideas for materials you "might"
want to use: www.learnalberta.ca/alrdb.aspx
Guide to Education (Principal's Handbook)
This webpage has links to the current (and past) Guide to Education.
It is the book that guides schools and school boards on policies
that they must follow (i.e. the rulebook for principals). It
covers ECS (kindergarten) to grade 12. We found this book particularly
useful in guiding us through some "exceptions" we needed
to make in high school.
PAT's - Provincial Achievement Tests
If you are going to have your child write the PAT's (in grades
3, 6, and 9), you should check out these pages from the government.
Even if you are going to opt out of the PAT's, as many home schoolers
do, the old tests are a useful teaching resource for us. This
is the main Alberta government PAT webpage. It has "information
about teacher participation in marking and other activities related
to provincial tests and other provincial assessments":
Check out the Parent Guides at the bottom of the page. They have
some sample questions.
They did have the previous achievement tests and answer keys
on their site, but I couldn't when I was updating this page.
It is possible they have been added back on their site by the
time you are reading this - if you find them, please let us know
through through our Contact Us
Also, ask your home schooling friendly school board if they can
get the Canadian Test of Basic Skills, also called the
CTBS. This is a much better test for you to see how your
child is learning relative to other children. It is standardized
across Canada, not just Alberta, and you can do it for each grade,
not just grades 6 and 9. You can administer the test at home
directly to your child, so it's not stressful and it's convenient.
I recommend you do the CTBS each year. When your children are
younger, it's pretty easy to see how they are progressing from
year to year, but as they get to about grade 5 and up, it is
much harder to see. If you do this test starting in grade 1 and
every year after that, it will give you a good benchmark. It
will give you a much better idea of how your child does on this
test, so when they get older you can see their progress better.
In grades 6 and up, as a parent, it is quite difficult to estimate
their reading level, but the CTBS will give you an excellent
evaluation (and compared to children in the schools, most home
schoolers are reading at a much higher reading level, which is
nice to know, because it will reassure you that you are teaching
them well). This test also gives them some test writing skills
(often in home schooling the younger grades, we don't need tests,
because we are working one-on-one with them everyday, so we know
how they doing). But they will probably need test writing skills
in the real world, sooner or later. And if you ever need to defend
you home schooling, especially at things like holiday family
gatherings, it's great to be able to say my child in grade 4
is reading at a grade 8 reading level. Non-home schoolers usually
have no idea about grade reading levels, but it really sounds
great when you say this.
- Alberta Career Planning (ALIS)
This the Alberta government's career planing area. It covers
post-secondary studies and employment.
- The Growth of Home Schooling in Alberta
Some graphs I made from data in an Alberta Government report.
It is from 1995 to 2005. Unfortunately, we haven't been able
to get updated information since then, but it still gives some
idea of the number of children being home schooled.
- Post Secondary Admission Requirements
University of Calgary:
This webpage has the Admission Requirements for different programs
at the U of C (including the "estimated competitive admission
There is also Admission Requirements information in this table
in the Calendar:
Mount Royal University
This web page has the Admission Requirements for Mount Royal
St. Mary's University
This web page has the admission requirements for St. Mary's University
College. Note there is a section for home schooled students.
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
This "Admission Requirements" webpage has the academic
requirements of the different programs they offer.