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Homeschooling Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve prepared some commonly asked questions about homeschooling. Take a look through them below. We hope they’re helpful. If you have additional questions to add to this list please reach out to us via our contact page.

Yes! It is legal to homeschool in Nova Scotia. According to the Nova Scotia Education Reform (2018) Act, Section 83 states in part:

“83 (1) A parent may provide to a child of the parent a home education program centred in the child’s home.

(2) A parent providing a home education program to a child shall, as prescribed by the regulations,
(a) register the child for each school academic year with the Minister; and
(b) report the child’s progress to the Minister.”

In Nova Scotia we are free to facilitate our childrens’ learning in the way that works best for them. There are still certain legal requirements that homeschooling parents/guardians need to be familiar with. The Department of Education outlines the specific roles and responsibilities related a child’s education on their website. Check out those responsibilities here.

The Education Act outlines when a child should be registered with the Department of Education. For more information about these requirements, we recommend referring directly to the information on their page here.

There is no formal training or classes to take to become a home educator. As your child’s parent, you know them best. This allows you to able to assess their interests, needs, and goals in a way no other person can.

If there are specific areas or topics where you feel you need more knowledge to better help your child, there are many books, online courses, videos, and many other resources to help you learn too. As an added bonus, demonstrating the importance of ongoing learning will inspire your children to do the same!

No, as a general rule, all education choices for parents who choose to homeschool their children are up to the parent(s)/guardian(s). You are responsible for outlining a plan and submitting the registration with plan to the Department of Education in September each year. A follow-up progress report is due in June. You are not supervised by your local school in any way.

Under the Act, under certain, limited circumstances, they may “appoint an independent assessor to assess and report to the Minister whether the child is making reasonable educational progress, the home education program is adequately addressing needs…” This is not standard practice. It is important that all homeschool parent(s)/guardian(s) are familiar with the Education Reform (2018) Act and their rights and responsibilities.

In Nova Scotia it’s expected that parents and/or guardians are providing the education for their children. You can certainly hire outside individuals for specific subjects depending on what works best for your child. For example, you may choose to have your child attend an outside music or gymnastics class or learn a second language from a tutor.

The Education Act outlines the specific expectations and responsibilities and we suggest becoming familiar with the details to know what is allowed and what is not acceptable.

You certainly can! Homeschooling an only child comes with its own unique set of benefits and challenges. Whether you have one or many children be sure to connect with other home educators in your area and online. There are many social and structured events throughout the province that can help both kids and parents alike connect with friends.

No, the Nova Scotia provincial government does not provide any funding or tax incentives for homeschooling. When parents choose an alternative to public education (e.g. homeschooling or private school), the full cost of the alternative education method falls to the parent(s)/guardian(s).

The Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada (HSLDA) is a national not-for-profit membership-based organization. They offer resources including legal support to home educators across Canada. They also offer several insurance options for homeschool events and meetups. Check out the HSLDA page for more information.

You can begin officially homeschooling when your child reaches the eligibility age for their local public school. You can also begin any year after that or even mid-year if circumstances make that the best option for your child and your family. You can find more information about eligibility and other questions on the Department of Education’s Questions and Answers page.

There are many online groups and local meetups which can connect you with home educators in your area. Check out our list of Facebook groups on our Resources page.

Yes! Homeschooling highschool is not only legal but also very possible. There are many resources available to help your child through high school at home. Your child can only receive a provincial diploma if they attend public school and/or achieve the necessary credits outlined by the Department of Education. However, many who have homeschooled through highschool have found that a diploma is NOT necessary. Entry into post-secondary education and career paths have alternate methods of entry – you just need to plan for this.

Yes! Many homeschooled students continue on to post-secondary education after finishing high school at home. There are many paths to success and home education is widely recognized by post-secondary institutes. Contact the institute you’re interested in applying for and ask what they’d like to see from your student.

Yes! Many homeschoolers have successfully partnered with their local schools to have their children attend certain courses.

This is usually arranged with the local public school principal but the Department of Education’s Regional Education Officer (REO) overseeing homeschooling can also assist with communications with the local school. Contact the Department of Education for more information.

No. In Nova Scotia, homeschoolers do not participate in provincial standardized testing. According to the Education Reform (2018) Act, the Minister of Education may, at their discretion, request that individual homeschool parents “provide evidence of the child’s educational progress“. However, this is not the “norm”. Parents should be familiar with their rights and responsibilities under the Act.

Need more help? Contact the NSHEA team for more information. We’d be happy to help!