Homeschooling in Nova Scotia: How to Get Started

Welcome to homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

How to Homeschool in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia flag with the text How To Homeschool in Nova Scotia overlay
Nova Scotia has a small but growing population of homeschooling families.  The smaller portion of those live here on Cape Breton island, which is where we live.

All children between the ages of 6 and 16 are required to be registered in an educational program. They must first be registered for Primary (Kindergarten) regardless of whether they are 5 or 6 when they are first registered. They can be registered in the year they will be 5 years old before December 31st. In the first year of registration a copy of the child’s birth certificate must be provided. I register my children in the first year that I am able and cease to register them at the age of 16 even though they are still homeschooling at that time.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of home educating parents in Nova Scotia are:

  1. To advise the Department of Education (Halifax Office) of their intent to educate their child(ren) at home.
  2. To complete the registration form annually and return to the Regional Education Office, Halifax, NS. Proof of age must be included with the registration form for a child not previously registered in public school or home schooling in Nova Scotia.
  3. To provide a report to the Department of Education (Halifax Office) in June on the progress of their child(ren). The report would be compatible with the program of study of the child(ren).
  4. To ensure their child(ren) is/are diligent in attempting to master the studies described on the registration form.
  5. To meet with school board officials if and when the child(ren) is/are to be enrolled in public school. The onus is on the parents/guardians to provide evidence of the child’s education program.

Homeschooling parents are requested to fill out a registration form at the beginning of the school year although a simple letter of intent would suffice. The registration form can be found on the Nova Scotia Department of Education website. It is pretty simple and straightforward and asks for the parent and child’s information as well as the name of the curricula that you plan on using that year.

Reporting and Grading Requirements

In June, the homeschooling parent must send in another form, Home Schooling Student Report Form. You can use your own reporting method, but this form is quick and easy. All it asks for is the subject/course name, test marks if applicable, the course grade (I just mark it S for satisfactory in the subjects that we do not provide a grade) and a small comment box. One year I was contacted by someone at the department of education who requested more information which I did not provide, because I didn’t fill out the comment box, so now I simply use that box to give a quick overview of the subjects covered that school year. For example, for elementary level math I would write: adding, subtracting, money, fractions. I simply go through the books for each course each child completed that year and write a few chapter headings to make it simple for each of my 8 school-aged children.

All things considered, in recent years, I haven’t heard of many families being bothered for more information by the Department of Education. The laws of Nova Scotia are simple and few for those of us who choose to home educate our children.

Homeschooling in Nova Scotia: Important Links



This post was originally compiled by Lindsay in 2012.  Lindsay has 11 children and has been homeschooling since the birth of her oldest son. Currently,  she is homeschooling 9 children – from preschool to grade 12 as well as a toddler and a baby. It has been updated in 2020.

27 thoughts on “Homeschooling in Nova Scotia: How to Get Started”

  1. Christie MacArthur

    Thank you for the information on filling out the progress report! We are relocating to NS from NB for my husband’s work and have been homeschooling for 3 years with our 3 children. In NB you only have to sign a letter of intent, the progress report made me nervous until you explained it because we don’t do a lot of standardized testing. I can tell how there doing because I correct their work everyday and if they need extra help with something we stop and go over it again:) My question is are there any homeschooling support groups in Windsor, NS? Thanks in advance!!
    Christie MacArthur

    1. Hi Christie, So glad we could help you. Email me and I think I have some connections to help you find those groups. -Lee

  2. Florence Hayden

    requirements for person teaching home schooling their education ? would it be acceptable if just a teachers aide ?

    1. Hi Florence, You do not need a degree to homeschool however it would be up to each individual family as to what they would want if they hired someone.

  3. Hi, how would you go about pulling a child out of school about a month in to the year, to homeschool them? My daughter has extremely severe anxiety to the point where she can’t go to class with out having a panic attack right in the middle of the period. I’d like to take her out, so she can get her work done, graduate, and still feel comfortable doing it. My only question is, how would I do it?

    1. Hi Corrina,
      I sent you an email to help connect you with another homeschooler in Nova Scotia who will be better able to help you figure out a plan of action that will work for your province.
      Please let me know if you have any other questions.
      Lisa Marie.

  4. I am a certified elementary teacher interested in providing homeschooling for families. Is this possible? Any information or advise?

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      I’m sorry it’s taken so long to answer. I will be honest and say that I’m not sure enough about offering programs for homeschoolers in Nova Scotia to know if you are allowed or not. I’d recommend trying to connect with the provincial support services that are available there: and (although, this one seems to be down atm). Hopefully they will be better able to answer your questions or direct you to where you can get them.
      Lisa Marie.

    2. Hi, I would be interested in you doing home schooling with my child if you’re in the lower sackville area. Thanks!

  5. I am looking at homeschooling my son but we are half way the ought grade 8 and i have some real concerns about the anxiety he is facin this year. As a result i plan to meet with his principal tomorrow to let them know that he is not returning to class and then off to the school district office to get things rolling. Is this a good approach?

  6. Hi I am in nova Scotia and wish to homeschool my grade 6 student..I am looking for any information on where to get curriculum from.

    1. Hi Alicia,

      At this time, there is no official “buy this grade” Canadian boxed set. Most people choose to mix and match their materials or to use an American program and adapt it. Some people choose to look at the government curriculum guidelines and build a plan from there, while others choose to just do their own thing.

      If you are on Facebook, in invite you to join us at Homeschool Swap Canada. There are a lot of great materials for sale there, but more importantly there’s a great network of homeschoolers from all over the country who can offer their suggestions and ideas.

      I also recommend you connect with Kimberly – she’s got a great resource blog about homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

      I hope that helps,
      Lisa Marie.

  7. Melissa Hemmings

    Hi We live In Nova Scotia and I was just curious and wondering if we were to home school our child, if there is a certain program, we follow for our chchild’s education or is it up to the parents to make it up? Thanks 🙂

  8. Hi there! Our homeschooling laws here in BC are way stricter, but they also supply us funding. We are considering a move to NS, not sure which community just yet. Can I ask if funding is given to homeschool families there?

    1. Hi Patty, my husband and two children live on Vancouver Island and are making plans to also move to NS with intentions of homeschooling there. If you are still considering a move, maybe we could connect and share in some of our journey if you are interested?

    1. Nope. 🙂

      Homeschoolers do not need teacher training to teach their kids. In fact, a lot of people who were teachers who now homeschool say it’s a completely different experience and that they had to change all their teaching mindset since it’s not the same.

      I hope that helps!

  9. Hi Guys,
    We currently live in NB but will relocate to Cape Breton in two years and would like to home school our son and daughter.If there is any info or support groups we can get involved with that would be great. We would be in the St. Peter’s area but don’t mind a bit of travel to share learning experiences and activity trips. Any help would be appreciated, as well we will need to get stared in NB so if anyone out there has a connection in the Fredericton area that would be great as well. Looking forward to meeting new friends and helping our children in a non traditional schooling environment.
    Ken and Katie

  10. Hi im a grade 12 student and im about half way through my first term and i know im pretty late to asking this but, is it still possible for me to get homeschooled or is it too late? The classes im in are the worst classes ive ever had, i cant stand the sitting down and staring at a wall for 5 hours a day 5 days a week. My teachers teaching methods are the complete opposite of what i like, making 5 days of every week just torture for me. Half of 2 of my classes are just me being forced to stare at a wall and sit still (since both teachers are strict about phones), and the other half is doing pointless work, the one class that is not like that is only because their are alot of desks which makes it easier for me to enjoy since i dont have to turn my head completely side ways just to see my teacher. There are MANY things that make school prison for me other than the things i just said but all in all im just hoping you at least know if its possible for me to get homeschooled at this point. And if i could switch classes i definitely would, i even have a free period everyday, sometimes 2 yet i still cant stand sitting in classroom for that long. Please let me know asap if i can get homeschooled while in the 12th grade.

  11. I am interested in home schooling my child however I do have a few more question I would like to ask. If you could send me a quick email, I would love to discuss them with you, Thanks

  12. Krista MacQueen

    Where is the form where you don’t want to send your children back to school in September 2020 because of COVID? They have health conditions

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