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About us


The Nova Scotia Home Education Association’s purpose is to promote the awareness of home education within the province of Nova Scotia, help safeguard the legal rights for home education families, and represent our member families at the local and provincial levels of government.

The Nova Scotia Home Education Association (NSHEA) is an inclusive group and represents all home educators in Nova Scotia supporting all styles and approaches to home education. Together, we can be seen as one voice safeguarding the rights of all home educators in the province.

As home educators, we choose to work independently to educate our children. Unification as a group is important so we are up-to-date on changes in the province which might affect our ability and freedom to home educate. Standing as a group means we can make positive changes to home education and be ready to take action if needed. Being organized is important in these pursuits.

Registered Non-Profit

The Nova Scotia Home Education Association is a registered non-profit provincial association and as such abides by and maintains bylaws according to the Societies Act. All board members participate on a volunteer basis.

We also accept donations at any time. All funds are used towards supporting home education in Nova Scotia. All funds raised go 100% towards running the organization.

We appreciate any and all donations. Click the button below to donate securely via PayPal. You'll be redirected to the PayPal website to complete your donation securely by credit card.

Our Board

NSHEA runs exclusively with the hard work of volunteers who are deeply committed to supporting home education.

Our board members are also all volunteers. They’re committed to supporting all styles and approaches to home education. Our executive board is elected annually from our membership. The board members for the 2020/2021 term are:

woman looking at camera with brown hair smiling

Charlene Williams

First Chair

Charlene is a homeschool graduate living in Hants County, NS. She and her husband, James, work and learn from home along with their four eclectic girls. They enjoy the freedom and flexibility of their home educating lifestyle, and the wonderful opportunity to live and learn alongside their children.

As First Chair, Charlene liaises on behalf of members with the Nova Scotia Department of Education and various related agencies. She’s responsible for organizing and ensuring the executive team is working together to meet all requirements set forth in our bylaws.

Photo of lesley neily

Lesley Neily

Second Chair

Lesley has been home educating her children since January 2010, and while there are definitely challenges to home schooling 5 kids the rewards have been worth it. Lesley served as first chair of NSHEA and as the Member at Large several years ago and is looking forward to getting back to supporting the home educating community here in Nova Scotia. We have something truly magical here in our community. When she’s not herding the cats that are her family Lesley can be found knitting, doing embroidery, or belly dancing as part of UberWench Belly Dance.

Lesley is pleased to be back on the NSHEA board helping out wherever needed.

woman in a grey and blue shirt sitting at a desk

Leah Hemeon


Leah and her husband Ivan homeschool their son in Dartmouth, NS. Together they also run a busy consulting business full time from home and love the balance working from home and homeschooling gives their family.

Leah maintains the NSHEA website and assists with administrative duties, event planning, and wherever else a volunteer is needed.

photo of a woman with long hair standing in front of green trees in a backyard.

Catherine Garagan


Catherine lives in Halifax with her husband, two children, and two cats. She is a full-time student at MSVU, majoring in accounting. Her homeschool journey began in 2008 when her oldest child, who is now a home education graduate attending Dalhousie University, entered grade one. Her youngest child continues to homeschool for high school.

Catherine maintains and manages all finances for NSHEA in addition to filing annual financial reports and joint stock registration. 

Smiling woman facing camera against a grey wall

Melanie Little


Melanie has been an active board member with NSHEA since 2014, when she began as secretary. A former elementary school teacher, it was only when she began to home educate her two children that she was fully able to facilitate learning in the way she’d learned in her B.Ed program – from a place of interest and relevance. While enjoying home educating for the past 14+ years, she has pursued independent educational research to inform a book she is writing on how humans learn best. Melanie is also co-founder of a soon to be launched local start-up supporting small independent businesses.