Mirroring the growth in the homeschooling movement in Canada, CCHE saw significant growth in 2018 in all areas of its activities and in the number of its supporters.
Yet, despite making solid and steady progress in promoting the value and benefits of home education, we were provided with a sharp reminder that, even in provinces where homeschooling has long-been firmly established, our rights can still be threatened by a government.
Alberta home educators saw many of their homeschool-facilitating institutions actually threatened with closure by the Minister of Education, simply because they didn’t subscribe to his radical ideas about faith and sexuality.
CCHE is strongly committed to defending the right of parents to direct the education of their children,
and we financially supported a high-profile Alberta court case, the ‘Bill 24’ case, that defends those rights. (A decision is expected in early 2019).
While our freedoms were challenged in some provinces, we did see forward movement in others, including in Quebec where home educators had often faced outright persecution in the past. A new law affirming the right to homeschool was implemented in the fall of 2018 and thousands of families are now free to educate at home without their local school board having a say in their decisions.
Our efforts are not limited to Canada. When CCHE was founded, the vision included impacting the rest of the world, too. And, our global initiatives are bearing fruit. The third global conference was held in Russia in 2018 and we played a leading role in making it a success. We are also engaged in nation-specific initiatives to build organizations that will grow our movement in various countries.
Here at home, CCHE supports the growth of our own national movement by investing in provincial and local leaders. They take advantage of a unique opportunity to network, share best practices, and hear from experts, by attending our annual National Home Education Conference. We hosted the conference in Edmonton in 2018, and we will be in Ottawa in 2019.
Generous supporters of the Centre have also allowed us to serve a number of homeschoolers experiencing tough times through our Families-in-Need program. We purchased curriculum, for example, to allow a family to continue home educating despite having lost their home in a fire.
The homeschooling movement in Canada continues to grow, and growth brings its own problems, including increased pressure from entrenched interests: school boards, teachers unions, and education bureaucracies. CCHE is embarking on an ambitious public relations campaign to promote the benefits of home education and encourage more young parents to consider homeschooling as a mainstream option. Our goal over time is to move public opinion so firmly in support of home education that no politician, from any political party, will ever again threaten our rights.
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Together, we can help change how Canadians perceive home education and see a healthier Canada emerge.