REGINA -- While the Saskatchewan Government continues to finalize plans for bringing students back to the classroom by the fall, a home-based learning parent in Regina says numerous people have reached out to her to ask how to begin homeschooling.

“Some are really nervous and they’re fearful. They want to do it, they’re just not sure they can. I would just like to say absolutely you can do it.” home-based learning parent Jenn Dean said.

It is too early to know how many people are signing up for home based learning, because the Ministry of Education says enrolment numbers won’t be finalized until the end of September. But the Ministry adds, all divisions will receive funding for all students enrolled, whether they are home based learning or otherwise.

Home-based learning is different from remote learning, where teachers help lead students through work online, which some school divisions are planning to offer in the fall. Home-based learning is instead directed by parents who must submit a learning plan to their school division for approval

“You do have to go through the school board and you have to let them know. There’s some forms you have to fill out. But it’s way simpler than people think,” Dean said.

Dean has been running home-based learning with her kids through Regina Public Schools for 12 years. She says it helped free up their schedules, as most days her kids could be done class work by noon.

As for those concerned about if their child will receive enough socialization, Dean says there are lots of activities for kids to partake in, in order to gain those skills. She says students enrolled through a division's home-based learning program are still allowed to participate in sports and other activities at the division’s schools.

“Even with COVID-19, the nice thing is you can be selective on your comfort level,” Dean said.

Dean adds anyone looking into home-based education should take the time over the summer to look into the best curriculums and how their student learns, to help get them started in the fall.

Other options like the Sun West School Division's online learning are also available. The Sun West program is available to anyone in the province and estimates the number of calls enquiring about the program have doubled this year, with August and September usually being the busiest months.