Family-Made Traditions

Member families of HLSA have created and sustained some traditional gatherings and celebrations for 25+ years. All of these events have evolved from the heartfelt commitment of member families who had an idea and wanted to share it with the community. These ideas were embraced by the community and became traditions over the years, staying alive through the active participation of many families.

HLSA is known for celebrations that involve the whole family and build lasting friendships.


Organized & Active Membership

HLSA aims to host low-cost to neutral cost activities for members while at the same time maintaining a budget that is reviewed with membership. Members are invited to organize new activities through communication with the HLSA Board. Any activity hosted by HLSA is volunteer-run, and HLSA will host as many activities as can be organized by volunteer members throughout the year.

Annual & General Meetings

HLSA holds a minimum of three member meetings per year, typically two General Meetings and one Annual General Meeting, at which members weigh in and vote on matters of interest.

Examples of traditional HLSA activites often include, but are not limited to:

  • The Not Back to School Picnic: Hosted by the HLSA Board and open to all homeschoolers, this is the annual membership drive and first park meet-up of the year. Usually attended by three or four hundred people, it takes place in Kinsmen Park on the first day of public school every year in September.
  • Hallowe’en Walk: This October event features an enchanted tale brought to life down a jack-o-lantern lit path in Hawrelak Park. Families dress up in costumes and gather around a bonfire to drink apple cider and share potluck snacks.
  • Lantern Walk: Often held near Remembrance Day, this event features homemade lanterns (previously created at park days) that are carried through a ravine, ending with shared music and conversation around a fire.
  • Holiday in the Park: A December celebration involving skating, cider, and a bonfire. Traditionally families also sing carols and make bird feeders out of pine cones, seeds, and peanut/almond butter.
  • Spring Dance: HLSA members celebrate their families, each other, and spring with a whole evening of food, crafts, and dancing!
  • Passion Fair: HLSA members—adults and children!—are invited to prepare a presentation about their passion (anything goes!) and present it to their community.
  • Talent Show: Often paired with the Passion Fair, this event provides space for the community to present the talents they have worked on. Singing, dancing, poetry, gymnastics—solid entertainment is promised to attendees!
  • Craft Fair: Kids bring their homemade crafts and sell them to the supportive public.
  • May Day: Families meet in a park to eat potluck snacks and to craft beautiful flower crowns before donning them to dance around a Maypole.
  • Medieval Day: HLSA takes us back into history with medieval costumes and handcrafted wares to be sold at a medieval fair.
  • Track & Field: At this event, kids (and parents) have the opportunity to try out various track and field sports in a non-competitive atmosphere. Track & Field is often followed by a year-end potluck celebration and the Annual General Meeting.
  • Park Day: Hosted by a Park Day Coordinator (a member volunteer), park days occur on scheduled days throughout the year at different parks located throughout Edmonton. Tea, board games, and lots of outdoor play are the popular entertainments.
  • Coffee Night: Sprinkled throughout the year as members volunteer to host, these are important parent support nights, when members pull up a chair, sip a hot drink, and talk and laugh about the triumphs and challenges of home-based learning. Coffee nights can take place in member homes or at a local café or restaurant.