Faculty and Staff

Alisha Brignall
Alisha Brignall
Home Education Manager
Alisha Brignall, Home Education Manager, is an 11 year home education veteran. Becoming a teacher was her goal from early in elementary and she volunteered in classrooms while completing her secondary school education. She started university in 2001, however decided to start her family and put her education on hold. While raising and homeschooling her 4 children she co-founded Room to Grow, an award-winning learning centre that focused on children’s programming for those 0-5 and their caregivers. Passionate about supporting mothers and children from the beginning she was the vice-president of Birth Unlimited in 2009. She organized events like International Day of the Midwife where she was an MC, and also petitioned the government speaking on the behalf of mothers across Alberta when fighting for funding in midwifery care. However, her primary goal of making a difference in education was still beckoning. She decided to finish both a Bachelor of General Studies from Athabasca University, and then a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary all while continuing to home educate her children. Her passion lies in Interdisciplinary Design in Education with a strong focus on exceptionalities and differentiation.

She began her homeschooling journey in 2010 when her oldest’s enthusiasm and learning challenges did not align with the structure of the classroom. This continued as her second child’s diagnosis of dyslexia encouraged her to continue to research methods and pedagogy to best support her children’s strengths and challenges. She soon found joy and success with unschooling and relished in the flexibility, delight-based learning, and lifestyle so much that she continued to home educate her two subsequent children. Her oldest children have re-integrated into a high school brick and mortar and feel that the specialized education they received in their elementary years contributes to their continued success. She continues to home educate her two younger children using a variety of methods and considers herself an eclectic home educator.

Alisha is a strong advocate for individualized learning and has provided many different contributions to the greater home education community. She had an integral role in developing the online home education community by contributing to her blog Learning From My Kids, being a part of the IHomeschool Network, co-founding the podcast Homeschooling in the North Woods, and continues to moderate many forums related to home education in Alberta. Before becoming a Home Education Manager, Alisha provided educational consulting for families looking for the right fit for their students regardless of delivery (teacher-directed/ parent-directed/ shared-responsibility). Alisha’s passion continues to be supporting families in education and is a co-founder of the Inspired Secular Homeschooling Conference. Inspired is founded on the ideals of inclusion, support, and diversity in the home education community. It encourages families to access the resources that they need to attain their goals and aspirations, emotionally, physically, as well as academically.

Alisha joined ursa in 2019, her favourite part of her job is visiting with her families and sharing in the excitement and accomplishments that her students continue to amaze her with. Alisha lives in Calgary with her husband of 20 years, her 4 children, 2 dogs, and a bearded dragon named Noodles. She enjoys watching Korean Dramas in her free time and is currently learning Korean as not to have to rely on the subtitles. Her next challenge is to complete her Masters in Education with a focus on Human Centred Design.