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AHEA Convention 2016

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Celebration of Home Education Rally

On Tuesday, November 29, AHEA hosted a Celebrate Home Education Rally at the provincial Legislature. The event was extremely successful, seeing 567 people coming to celebrate and stand for parental rights.

The rally featured several activities:

- discussion groups

- a choir

- ballroom dancing

- collection of food for the food bank

There were many MLAs in attendance, both from government and from opposition parties. There were many who mingled with and spoke to home educators and several of who made presentations at the rally:

- Jessica Littlewood -NDP

- Brian Jean -Wildrose

- Mark Smith -Shadow Education Minister for the Wildrose

- Ric McIver -PC

- Debbie Jabbour - NDP

In the afternoon sitting of the legislature, MLA Smith introduced AHEA's President, Paul van den Bosch, and Government Liaison, Patty Marler. During question period, opposition leader Brian Jean asked questions of the government in the legislature regarding the parental choice in education.

A summary of the event, as well as the questions asked and responses given in the legislature surrounding parental choice may be seen here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD7YGi7PQYg

http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files/docs/hansards/han/legislature_29/session_2/20161129_1330_01_han.pdf

Patty Marler

Government Liaison

Alberta Home Education Association

Celebrate Home Education Rally - Nov. 29, 2016

(updated Nov 26, with approval to receive Food bank donations)

Celebrate Home Education
A RALLY for everyone who values parental choice, religious education and personal freedom.

In this time of heightened attention on home education, the opportunity to share the positive aspects of home education is necessary. A lack of understanding of home education has led to actions in Alberta which have placed some very valuable components of home education in jeopardy and greatly disrupted the home education community.

In order to highlight some of the important elements of home education, AHEA is coodinating a "Celebrate Home Education" Rally at the Alberta Legislature. Some of these elements include: the educational best interest of the child, the parents right and responsibility to make informed educational decisions respecting the education of their children, relevant learning opportunities and supports for children, respect of minority denominational education and the freedom to choose the best education for your child, (many of which are outlined in the preamble of Alberta's Education Act). The details for the rally are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, November 29th, 2016
Time: 11:00AM
Location: Alberta Legislature, Edmonton

Additional Presenters:
There will be a limited time available for youth/young adults and parents to speak. If you are interested, please prepare a 1-3 minute speech/poem and submit it to Patty Marler at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
What home education has meant to me
How home education has helped me to succeed
The uniqueness of home education that served me well
Post Secondary successes
The benefits of home education
Development of strong citizens
We apologize in advance if there is not enough time to incorporate all who would like to speak.

Activities prior to the presentations (beginning at 10:30AM)

Choirs:
There will be time before and during the rally for Choirs to perform. Please contact Patty Marler at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in performing.

Ballroom Dancing:
There will be a time before the the speeches begin to participate in ballroom dancing.

Discussion Groups:
There will be coordinated discussions going on around the grounds of the legislature. If you are interested in facilitating one of these select groups, please contact Patty Marler at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Home Education Graduates:
Home education graduates are invited to attend and display their post home education career choice/post secondary school involvement.

Poster Contest:
There will be a contest for positive home education messages on posters. AHEA would also like to collect the posters for display at the April 2017 Convention in Red Deer.

Only positive home education messages are permitted at this celebration rally. You may want to consider some important components of education from the preamble in Alberta's Education Act.

Prizes courtesy of Merchant Ship.

Legislature tours and question period attendance:
If your family or a group of people are interested in a tour of the legislature or in sitting in on question period, please contact the Alberta Legislature Visitor Services at 780-427-7362 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Only people who book tours or book a time to sit in the gallery will be admitted into the legislature.

Invite your MLA:
Please feel free to invite your MLA or request to meet with them at the legislature on November 29. The following is a link to an invitation letter that you may use.

MLA Invitation Letter

Food bank donations:(This section was updated Nov 26)
We have received approval to collect items for the food bank at the Celebration Rally. Please drop your food bank donation off at the east gated entrace to the legislature - directly east of the main steps of the Legislature.

 

Unsettling Times for Home Educators

November 15, 2016

This is an unsettling time in Alberta.

Home educating families with the oldest and largest homeschool authority in Alberta have been asked, by their home school authority, to be patient and calm while court proceedings take place.

Home educators with other school authorities are also anxious because they fear that all home education is under scrutiny by Alberta Education.

There are also many distractions: confusing news articles about funding, contradictory information from our provincial government, ill-informed editorials from a teacher's union bashing parents and home education, the spread of misinformation and prejudice.

Waiting is a difficult thing.

It's hard to stay calm in the face of the unknown.

There are some things we can do now:

AHEA does not recommend submitting receipts for educational resource reimbursement directly to Alberta Education

Alberta Education has indicated that parents may submit their receipts WITH THEIR PROGRAM PLANS directly to them for reimbursement.

AHEA is advising against this.

Why?

- The potential for misunderstanding is great if we, as parents, submit a program plan to an individual who has no understanding of the goals and educational desires that we have for our child.

AHEA has had to explain many unique aspects of home education to many different staff members of Alberta Education, especially those in Strategic Financial Services (the department which would provide the financial reimbursement).

This has occurred enough times that it is apparent that there is a poor understanding of the nuances of the specialized home education programming that can be offered to children.

- The submission of receipts could place notification with Trinity/WISDOM in jeopardy.

Alberta Education could assume responsibility for a child's education, notification, administration, resource reimbursement, and /or teacher evaluations should we submit our receipts directly to them.

The lack of clarity provided by Alberta Education makes AHEA highly skeptical of the assurance that a child would remain a student under Trinity/WISDOM.

- The timeliness of reimbursement is questionable.

It is quite possible that Trinity/WISDOM will be granted the full operating injunction on January 5.

If this happens, the reimbursement of educational resources to parents of Trinity/WISDOM would occur in the same time period as submitting receipts directly to Alberta Education.

This is a precarious time for all of Alberta's home educators.

Every vein of educating at home has seen major changes over the past several months.

The degree of change, and intensity and invasiveness of future scrutiny remain to be seen.

Now is a time to take great precautions.

AHEA encourages you: ‘have your say’ on Curriculum Input before November 18

Alberta Education is conducting a two-part survey that asks for feedback on future curriculum and current curriculum.

Part 1 of the survey contains a number of values-based words that it asks you to respond to, yet the exact definitions of these words are not provided.

There is opportunity at the end to provide written comments, and you may provide your own definitions of what these mean.

You may state your opinion on what the purpose of curriculum, and education is, and the roles educators and families have in this:

https://education.alberta.ca/curriculum-development/curriculum-survey/everyone/curriculum-survey/

Part 2 asks detailed questions about the current curriculum and how this should compare to new curriculum.

Even if you don't use public curriculum, it is good to input agreement and/or disagreement to curriculum components.

Hold on to encouragement and hope moving forward

While these are times of great trial, it is important to focus on what IS known.

You, as a parent, are the primary educator, and YOU have the first right to determine the education of your children.

Canadian Supreme Court decisions for decades have confirmed this.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights confirms this.

Your own experience confirms this.

Parents know what is best for their child, not government.

It has been proven that children are most likely to succeed when their parents are involved in their education.

Home education provides the maximum opportunity for this, the maximum potential for your children to succeed.

You, as a parent, know this.

Stay focused on that.

There are those with ulterior motives who want to create confusion and upset.

Don't buy in to that.

Keep home educating your kids.

You have that right and that authority.

Carry on.

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