Questions & Answers

What are the rules and regulations regarding home schooling?

Parents are required to register with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

For more information, refer to Roles and Responsibilities and the Education Act and Regulations under the Education Act.

How do you go about registering?

Each school year, parents/guardians are required to fill out a Registration Form for Home Schooling.

Parents/guardians should complete the form, and forward it (with a description of the proposed program) to:

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Regional Education Services
P.O. Box 578 Halifax, NS B3J 2S7
homeschooling@novascotia.ca

Parents/guardians are also invited to call our toll-free number (1-866-873-1722) to have a registration package mailed to their home address for each child that will be registered if that is more convenient.

When do you register for home schooling?

The Registration Form for the school year should be received by September 20.

Students that have begun their school year in public school, but wish to discontinue this in order to pursue home education can register at that time.

Please contact our office if you have questions regarding starting home schooling after the school year has begun.

What is the youngest age a child may be registered for home schooling?

Your child must be five on or before December 31 (re Amendment to Education Act Regulations, Section 3(1)) in order to be registered.

Does a child have to register for grade primary?

Nova Scotia has thirteen grades starting with grade primary.

Students must be registered and complete each grade level before a registration is approved at the next grade level.

This means that a student must be registered and complete the primary level before he/she can be registered for grade one. A copy of the child's birth certificate must be included with the registration form.

When do I have to register my child who is eligible to begin school?

Registration for the school year should be received by September 20. A student must be registered for and complete the primary level before he/she will be registered for grade one.

Is there any funding available?

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Regional Centres for Education do not provide funding for home schooling.

Does the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development provide a home study package?

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development does not provide any home study package.

Curriculum guides are available through the Department web site.

There are correspondence courses that can be purchased (see http://csp.ednet.ns.ca).

Commercial programs are also available from a variety of suppliers.

Is home schooling supervised in any way?

Parents/guardians are required to send in a report in June on the progress of their child(ren).

How do you enroll your child(ren) in public school?

Parents/guardians should contact the school principal or the school board officials in the area in which they live.

The responsibility is on the parents/guardians to provide evidence of the child's education program.

If the child registers for public school, the parents/guardians must notify the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Regional Education Services office (toll-free number 866-873-1722), of the name of the school the child is attending.

Do I need to notify the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Home Schooling Division when my child is no longer being home schooled?

Yes. Your reply may be made by regular mail, telephone, fax, or e-mail.

How do I access speech-language services for my child?

If your child is home-schooled, he/she may be eligible for speech-language services through the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres (http://www.nshsc.nshealth.ca/).

Please contact 902-492-8257 to make a referral to the Speech-Language Pathologist providing services to home schooled children at NSHSC.

Alternatively, you can contact any Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centre in your community and ask that a referral be forwarded to the Home School Service Speech-Language Pathologist on your behalf.

Where do I find information on Childhood Immunization and Public Health Services Offices?

Can my child who is home schooled attend our neighbourhood school for specific programming?

Section 128 (3) of the Education Act states: “With the approval of the school board, a child in a home education program may attend courses offered by a school board, subject to any terms and conditions prescribed by the school board.”

The student must register in the neighbourhood school prior to September 30 and with the Home Schooling division of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education.

As a registered student in the neighbourhood school, the student would be required to be present for the specific courses/subjects as requested. However, as a home schooled student, the school would only be responsible for supervision of the student during the specific times that the course/subject was offered.

The student would also be responsible to adhere to school rules and regulations while in attendance at the neighbourhood school.

Parents that wish to take advantage of this option for specific areas of programming should meet with the principal of their neighbourhood school to discuss scheduling and expectations.

Can I get high school credits and a high school graduation diploma through home schooling?

The Home Schooling division does not award credits or graduation certificates. High schools and the Nova Scotia Correspondence Studies program (http://csp.ednet.ns.ca) do award credits that can be counted towards the Nova Scotia graduation requirements.

Can a homeschooled student write Advanced Placement (AP) exams?

The College Board's Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes in a wide variety of subjects that students can take while still in high school. They offer students challenging course work and a taste of what college classes are like.

More information on AP courses is available on the College Board “AP” web site (https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/exploreap). AP Exams are usually given in the first two weeks of May and there are fees associated with writing AP exams.

If a home schooled student wishes to explore this option further, please contact the Home Schooling division at homeschooling@novascotia.ca and staff will try and arrange the administration of the AP exam at a school offering the course.

How will the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development manage my personal information?

Your privacy is important to us.

We are committed to making sure that your personal information is kept confidential, and that it is shared only with your consent or in accordance with legislation and policy.

You may contact Homeschooling through Regional Education Services, or the Department’s access and privacy manager, if you have any questions about how your personal information is collected, used, maintained, or shared.

Will my information be shared?

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will share with Public Health limited information, such as names of qualifying students based on birthdate, for the purposes of operating certain public health services for students.

This information sharing is done in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and other legislation.

The Department will distribute information and a consent form to homeschool parents/guardians about services delivered by Public Health including the Grade 7 School Immunization Program, and the Pre-school Screening and Enhanced Vision Screening Program for grade Primary students.

Parents who wish to have their children participate in a program may complete the consent form which is returned to Public Health. Where consent information is incomplete or unclear on the consent form, Public Health practitioners may need to contact parents/guardians of students. Public Health will not contact parents/guardians if they have signed a consent form indicating they do not wish to have their child participate in one of these programs.

You may contact your local public health office if you have any questions about these public health programs.

You may contact Homeschooling through Regional Education Services, or the Department’s access and privacy manager, if you have any questions about how your personal information is collected, used, maintained, or shared.