Blended programming is an educational alternative in Alberta. It was developed as a compromise between home-based and school-based learning.
In Alberta, every student between the ages of six and seventeen must be registered for education with a school board. School boards receive a basic grant for each student registered with them for the delivery of educational programs but receive a reduced amount of approximately 25% of the regular school grant for students registered for home education, with half the funds being mandated to go to the parents for the purchase of educational supplies and services (parent resources), and the other half for the administration of the program.
Traditional home education is normally referred to as a parent-directed and delivered program that uses curriculum of the parents’ choice that best reflect the faith, goals and ambitions of the parents and the individual needs, talents and interests of the child. Essentially, it is a program delivered entirely by a parent outside the structured learning environment of a school. Funding for such a program is such that parents receive one half of the 25% of the regular school base funding.
Blended programming is made up of two components, a parent-directed portion where the educational responsibility belongs to the parent and a school-directed portion where the entire educational program is to be assumed by the school. Funding in this case is a little more complicated as most providers of blended programs offer greater amounts of funding to parents than what would normally be expected for a traditional home education.
Although the choice of program belongs to parents, many parents are making decisions to get involved in programming they know little about.
Parents need to be properly informed and prepared to question those with whom they are or will be involved in the education of their children.
For more information about blended programs, please view the following two articles by Léo Gaumont:
Home Education and Blended Programming in Alberta