FAQs: Home Education
What are the benefits of BCS@Home?
- Recognizing the central role of parents in education
- An extension of the BCS community which allows for flexibility in time and space
- Personalize your child’s learning by choosing from a wide variety of online or print based curriculum
- Supportive and experienced BCS@Home teachers
- Fully integrated into the social fabric of the school allowing you to connect to the community (field trips, special events, athletics, chapel, small groups, etc.)
- Options to take special classes developed for BCS@Home students as well as courses on campus
What school activities can BCS@Home students participate in?
BCS@Home students and families have participated in:
- Special Activities
Examples include: Start of the year BBQ; remembrance day ceremony; service opportunities; family ski day; family movie nights; discipleship workshops and many more…
- Extracurricular enrichment classes
- Extracurricular activities
Athletics, clubs, theatre, science fair, worship teams and after school programming
Is BCS@Home a good fit for traditional Home Schooling Families?
BCS@Home supports parental choice and seeks to support your critical role of being the primary spiritual care giver and educator. While being supportive of Home Education we also provide many opportunities for families to connect with the life of Bearspaw Christian School. As an established and well known private Christian School we are a great option for home education families!
Can I use my own curriculum in home education?
Home education parents are responsible for program planning, and are welcome to choose between following the Alberta Program of Studies of the Schedule of Outcomes. If choosing the Schedule of Outcomes, the parent providing the program must certify that the activities selected by the parent for the year will enable the student to achieve the Schedule of Outcomes. BCS@Home Teachers are very knowledgeable about curriculums and resources that will support your child’s academic growth and development.
Does BCS@Home offer classes specifically for homeschooling students?
Classes are offered at Bearspaw Christian School! They are clustered together so that students can participate in more than one class during a visit. Generally classes run for 6 weeks and have included specialty / option courses such as physical education, art and drama as well as academic enrichment courses that support students in their core courses.
What types of families choose BCS@Home?
All types! Some examples include:
- Parents who want more involvement in their child’s education
- Families that want more flexibility in time and space. Some reasons for this may include:
- Families that travel
- Athletes or other students who spend a significant amount of time training after school hours
- Students who want more time to pursue personal passions and interests
- Students that learn at a different pace
- Students that find more success in an environment outside of the classroom
What is the registration deadline date?
We can qualify for funding for anyone registered before September 30 if you go Home Education or Shared Responsibility, but we do meet capacity limits as a school, so strong encourage early registration. See the “How to Apply” page to start the application process.
FAQs: Distance Education
Is there a cost to the Distance Education program?
No, there is not. While full online enrollment does not offer any funding, it does not require a tuition cost either. All resources required by the online classes (textbooks and workbooks as determined by the teacher) will be provided to the student by the teacher.
What is Distance Education?
Distance education is homeschooling, but with external guidance, instruction and assessments done by BCS@Home Teachers through online or print-based options. We have three different options for Distance Education: Online, Print-Based, and Shared Responsibility.
What are my options with Distance Education?
We have three different options for Distance Education: Online Enrolment, Print-Based Distance Learning and Shared Responsibility. For more information on what those programs look like, see our Programs
Can students enrolled online get their High School diploma?
Yes! Credits are awarded to work towards a high school diploma, so if a student wants to go the route of receiving a high school diploma, they can take the necessary credits to ensure they are able to obtain that.
Will there be textbooks available for online students?
Yes! Where textbooks are necessary for the course or being used by the teacher, all that material will be provided to the student. In some cases this material may be provided online so the student will not need to be sent a hardcopy, but in the case where a student needs textbooks and workbooks, BCS@Home will provide this to the student.
What are the subjects that will be taught online?
Click here for a full list of core courses and options offered through BCS@Home Distance Education.
Does BCS@Home have a resource teacher for students with Special Needs to write IPP goals, etc.?
At BCS@Home, we connect with families during the registration process to discuss each students’ needs and determine if BCS@Home is the best fit for the support needed. For students with learning needs that join our board, BCS@Home Student Support Services works with students and parents to help develop accommodations that suit their unique individual learning needs.
Can Home Education students take a "one off" online class while remaining otherwise fully Traditionally Home Educated?
Yes! Students in Grades 10-12 can take one 5-credit course per year as a Traditional Home Education student at no charge. Outside of Grades 10-12, to take only a course or two, you could consider the shared responsibility option as long as you are within the necessary percentages (minimum 20%) or if you wanted to stay completely traditional for homeschooling but only take one course online, you could use part of your funding to pay for an online class or pay the amount out-of-pocket.
If a student signs up for Shared Responsibility in High School, can they challenge courses as part of their Home Ed portion?
Yes! Our Home Education program does offer a “course challenge” option, which allows a student to challenge a course to receive high school credit for it, by proving they’ve met the required outcomes of that course. Note that the student challenging a course must first receive BCS@Home’s approval to challenge it, and must be able to prove that they have met all of the required outcomes for that course, in order to successfully challenge the material.
For online classes, are students required to be available during certain times in the school week, or can they watch on their own time if there are scheduling conflicts?
Our online program is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The required synchronous component is when they would be connecting in with their teachers and classmates once or twice a week for a live class, and then the rest would be asynchronous work that the student is required to complete on their own scheduling. The live sessions will be recorded if a student does have to miss one of the sessions due to conflicting schedules, but the expectation is the student be in regular attendance of the live interaction component, as outlined by their instructor.
Are there try-outs for athletics, and do the BCS@Home kids have an equal opportunity to be on the team alongside the campus students?
Absolutely there is an equal opportunity, the homeschool students go through the same try-out process as the campus students, and it makes for a great collaboration and partnership between campus students and BCS@Home. We have had quite a number of homeschool students join our teams in the past, and even last year we had several homeschool students win awards for their involvement on the athletic teams!
What is the structure of the F@B Fridays classes for homeschooling students?
Our Friday classes have been developed in the past with Home Education in mind, but we can now use it to work with our Distance Learning branch as well. The classes are designed to supplement and augment the learning that takes place in their program. Each specific six-week session for Friday classes varies in focus but we like to regularly provide Arts, STEM, and Physical Education. We also offer other content geared towards social students, language arts and other subjects as well.
If Shared Responsibility requires a *minimum* of 20 per cent teacher directed classes, could a student take just one core course Online, and make up the rest of the credits through Options courses?
Yes! Shared Responsibility requires a minimum of 20 per cent of courses be Distance Learning at any given grade level, so inn high school, that equates to seven credits online in order to meet the requirements for Shared Responsibility. Under the new guidelines that allow for Traditionally Home Educated students to take one 5-credit course online for free while remaining Home Ed, a student could either choose to go that route and only take the one core course, or a student could aim to meet the 20% shared responsibility minimum and take one core course with a few Options courses on the side to reach 7 credits (20%).
How can I find out about what clubs, etc. are offered and what days/times they are happening?
Is there a limited number of students accepted into the online or print based learning programs?
BCS@Home encourages early enrolment, because we do meet capacity limits. See the “How to Apply” page to start the application process.
For Online Education, what is there for a graduation ceremony?
BCS@Home students are welcome to join our campus school graduation ceremony, as many have done in the past. As our Distance Education program grows, we may consider having our own graduation ceremony in future.
What is the wait time for finding out if we’ve been accepted into the online school?
You will receive a welcome email in response to your registration within one week if you register in June, or a little later than that in July or August, just due to altered office times and vacation scheduling.
Does the student need to be in Alberta in order to be enrolled?
If you are moving out of province, then BCS@Home is not the option for you, but if you’re just looking for freedom in travel and vacation time, but your primary residence is still in Alberta, then yes you absolutely can move around as long as the student can still meet the live class requirements.