High School

homeschooling high school

Self-Designed Home Education High School Diploma (Home Education Regulations Section 6)

APS Outcomes + Personalized Resources + Personalized Methods of Learning = Success Completing High School Your Way.

There is a lot of information from school boards on how to do high school through classroom or online. This page only focuses on how students can do a personalized, self-designed, high school program under Home Education, for receiving marks, credits and a government of Alberta high school diploma and transcript required for post-secondary acceptance.

This information is not provided anywhere else. Many school boards will not inform families about this option as they are uninformed about it, or they intentionally do not offer it to their prospective students. This option is not funded for the school authority as well as virtual classes delivered by the school. (It provides about a tenth of the funding.) If you or your child is interested in a unique experience, read on!

If you are looking for information on virtual, or online or classroom high school, please visit the school boards' websites.

SECTION 6 Home Education Regulations: "On the recommendation of a school principal, a student receiving a home education program that follows the Alberta Programs of Study is eligible to receive high school credits if the student achieves the course standards and outcomes prescribed by the Minister."

#home education diploma

Most people think they have to cram a child into a rigid, structured government on-line course in order to get credentials in high school courses. This is not true. Most teens can find what they need to learn in high school subject areas, outside the government education system. The internet provides a vast, credible, free, resource of information in print, video or multimedia for math, sciences, English studies, geography, history, art, cooking and many other topic areas. Teens can learn deep or shallow depending on their interest level. In order to get grade 12 credentials, all teens have to do is write diploma exams at age 19 or the SAT (Scholastic Achievement Tests). Without a course mark, the diploma exam mark will stand for 100% of the final course mark and can be presented for post-secondary applications.

Most of the major universities and colleges across Canada do not require a diploma for entrance application. Most programs require marks in 5 grade 12 core courses. Some programs, such as engineering, require 6 or 7 courses. It's best to check with the particular institution your child is interested in, and find out what they require.

In self-designed high school, the student or parent designs a course by naming resources, outlining a method, and checks off the course's Alberta Programs of Study outcomes, as concepts are learned. They then submit the portfolio of work to the school principal in order to get a course mark approved and credits awarded by the school authority. The school may request a proctored final exam for courses that are not grade 12 diploma exam courses. These marks and credits are reported on the official high school transcript issued by Alberta Education. They do not appear any different than marks resported by an online course teacher.


The advantages of home education in high school is that children can sleep late to enhance their brain development. Parents report that the more sleep their child gets, the less grouchiness occurs. Teens can discover their passions and may have a better idea of what they want to do for life's work, because they have had time to play. Yes, teens play! Homeschooling teens have 12 more hours per day of free time (than do teens that go to school) to work at jobs, on projects, write, create, volunteer, research topics of interest, build family and peer relationships, travel, build skills, ponder, play and basically discover who they are. Many homeschooled teens read about 50 novels in a year!

To begin self-designed high school, it is best to find a school authority that will supervise a Section 6 (Home Education Regulations) home education high school program. You will register your child as traditional home education and fill out a Home Education Notification form to deliver to your school.

How to do a Self-Designed Home Education High School Credit Program

Cheapest, Easiest, Fastest Path to a High School Diploma

Self-designed courses are designed by you as the parent, or by your child, and can be very flexible to your child's unique learning needs. Each course will require a Course Proposal and a Course Summary which is a detailed plan for the courses named in the general education plan.

Sample English 10-1 Course Proposal

Sample English 10-1 Course Summary

Any resource can be chosen to meet the outcomes although some parents like to use the school curriculum (see textbooks below) to ensure they are not missing any essential concepts.

Suggested Textbooks

If your child has been attending a regular school, they "own" your child for the rest of the year until June 30th. You do not have to find another school to register with until the next Fall. Just submit the Home Education notification form and a basic education plan (templates below), and begin self-study at home. Since the school has received your child's funding, they are obligated to share the resources such as textbooks that your child has been using in school, so it enables your child to continue study at home under home education.

Home Education Supervised Program Notification form

Some School Authorities Willing To Supervise Self-Designed Portfolio Based Home Education High School for Diploma

  • BSC@ Home, a program of Bearspaw School (Faith-based) Course Challenge
  • ByDesign, a program of Summit West Independent School SWIS (Secular) Section 6 Portfolio Review
  • Ignite E-Learning Independent School (Secular) Section 6 Portfolio Review
  • Koinonia@home, a program of Koinonia Christian School (Faith-based) Section 6 Portfolio Review
  • Myrnam Homeschooling and Outreach, St. Pauls School Division (Secular) Section 6 Portfolio Review
  • Peace River School Division (Secular) Section 6 Portfolio Review
  • School of Home/Vermillion Homeschooling - East Central Catholic School Division (Faith-based) Course Challenge
  • T.H.E.E, a program of Elk Island Catholic Schools (Faith-based) Course Challenge
  • Ursa, a program of Third Academy School (Secular) Course Challenge
  • Wisdom, a program of Gilbertine Institute (Faith-based) Section 6 Portfolio Review

School Board Comparison Chart At-A-Glance

All home education families have the opportunity to access Section 6 of the Home Education Regulations regardless of the school authority they are registered with. Technically, all school authorities should honor Section 6 of the home education regulations, however, many choose not to. If your current school authority does not wish to supervise a self-designed home education program, keep your child's portfolio and submit the following Fall when you choose a new school authority to evaluate the portfolio and report the marks and credits to Alberta Education.

In Alberta, the government provides the homeschooling boards with funding to provide each home educated child $850.00 per year in reimbursement-for-supplies-and-lessons funding to offset the cost of resources. A child needs to be signed up with a homeschooling board by Sept 30 to access the funding.

Some schools do not wish to inspect the course portfolio and will just administer a final exam. Check with them to determine location, if a proctor is needed and parametres around the exam logistics.

The alternative is to wait until your child is age 19 and can write the diploma exams without a course mark. Their diploma exam mark will stand for 100% of their course mark credential for applying to post-secondary schools.

How do home educated kids get into universities, colleges and tech/art schools? They apply just the same as kids in public schools do. They present 4 grade 12 core courses (math, science, social studies, and ELA) and an option or whatever the program demands. The universities don't know who was homeschooled or not because the government high school transcript just lists the grade 12 course, the school (homeschool board) code reporting the mark and the grade acheived either stand-alone course mark or a combo of course/diploma exam mark. Home educated children have to write the government diploma exams if they want marks and credit in grade 12 core courses. This transcript is automatically pulled from Apply Alberta by all Alberta post-secondaries, and is requested direct from all other post-secondaries across Canada. Very few post-secondaries directly look at a portfolio anymore as it is all done online. Portfolio credit is done through Section 6 Home Education Regulations at the high school level. There is a push for post-secondary schools to recognize a student portfolio examination for admissions, but the institutions often don't have the time or money to pay for staff to do it.

Self-Designed Course Textbooks

These textbooks will meet the Alberta Education Core Course Outcomes

Suggested Textbooks

As well, The Key, and SNAP workbooks are excellent overviews of the concepts required to meet the course outcomes.

The KeysSNAP workbooks

SOLARO and The Key - Paper Books for High School Courses - Contact your school to purchase at half price.

Homeschooling High School with a Self-Designed Program for a Diploma (Basic Information)

Self-Designed Sample Education Plans

Cheapest, Easiest, Fastest Path to a High School Diploma

AB ED High School Course Choices

AB-ED High School Course Details

How to do a Self-Designed High School Credit Program

These are sample plans to help you design a high school course load

Grade 10 Self-designed course credit sample education plan

Grade 11 Self-designed course credit sample education plan

Grade 12 Self-designed course credit sample education plan

Grade 10, 11 or 12, no diploma sample education plan

Grade 12 AGE 19 Self-designed course credit sample education plan

Grade 12 Over AGE 20 Adult Self-designed course credit sample education plan

For individual course proposals and summaries please contact us. We have them for almost every high school subject and you can modify them for your unique learner.

Alberta Education High School Programs of Study Outcomes


Reference Documents

Provincial High School Course Equivalents

High School Planning Chart (Black/White)

High School Planning Chart (Color)

4 Year Typical High School Program Plan

Cheapest, Easiest, Fastest Path to a High School Diploma

How To Set Up A High School Course Co-op

Grade 11 Core Course Aproximate Costs

How-To Do Home Education High School Courses Self-Designed for an Alberta Diploma

Need more detailed help and consultation on how to propose a course, make a plan, find resources, teach, and assess?

Wondering how to home school your high school aged child? Your child can take on-line courses, classroom courses, or do Parent/self-designed high school, or even a combo of all three and still acquire a diploma. This session is not sponsored by any school authority. Register for the 90 minute webinar recording and find out everything you need to know! Presented by Judy Arnall, Homeschool parent of 4 High school graduates/Scholarship recipients and 3 who have graduated university.

This detailed session is not sponsored by any school board so we can have a frank discussion. It is provided by Professional Parenting.

Fee: $49.95 plus GST, includes 90 minute recording, course proposals and summaries, and live consultation.

Homeschooling High School

Topics covered are:

  • The future of education
  • How high school works in Alberta
  • Choices in homeschooling high school
  • How to do Parent/self designed high school course by course
  • Course descriptions
  • What is university like and what is the real scoop on homeschooling acceptance?
  • Special needs in high school
  • Brain development and motivation
  • How to access resources for Parent/self designed courses