Who Do We Serve? Meet Education Unlimited (Part 4)

Who is served by Education Unlimited? Everyone connected to home education, not only in Alberta, but across Canada and around the world.

Because our focus and intent is the protection, advancement and defence of home education, and equipping parents with the best possible understanding of everything that is involved, there are no real restrictions on who can use at least some of our services.

Now, since we are resident in Alberta, we minister on behalf of Alberta schools, by managing registration, administration and facilitation of their home education programs. In this capacity, we are open to serving anyone sincerely interested in the best option for training and teaching their children in Alberta.

However, we do need to screen applicants to make sure that we are the best fit for them. This is important as I do not believe it is possible to be all things to all men.

Furthermore, I am simply not interested in encouraging parents to engage or continue in error. I want to equip them for the job. I believe that misleading parents to do as everyone else does should never be confused with leadership! Best to make sure everybody understands what is expected.

Also, since we come from a Christian worldview, we make it abundantly clear that this is the position from which we will be serving.

This does not mean that we exclude those who may not agree with this worldview. In fact, folks who do not subscribe to our faith appreciate knowing our worldview position and the fact that although we make no apologies for our faith, we “respect” rather than “tolerate” alternative and opposing views.

Once we have clearly established our faith perspective, we then make it very clear that we do not believe in, have never supported nor offered, anything other than purely traditional home education programs.

We have never offered nor supported government aligned or blended programming, credits, nor high school diplomas. Our long time advocacy concerning these types of offerings has clearly explained how these benefit schools more than students.

We believe that if parents desire a school based program, there is an abundance of schools willing to help them in that capacity. What the motivation may be for a school to do so is left up to the parents to discover.

However, keep in mind that, generally speaking, the more school programming a provider can foist upon the parents, the more money is made available to them. This is why most providers push aligned, blended or ADLC programs.

To clarify why we advance and support traditional home education only, I want to explain the difference between home educating and home schooling. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, home education and home schooling are very different approaches to education.

“Home schooling” involves using provincial programming and standards at home. This is what most people assume is taking place at home, starting with many post-secondary institutions.

It is also the best “paying” option for providers, either because it involves public programming that is funded at a higher rate, or because it is easier to take advantage of misinformed parents when desiring to perpetuate re-registrations and continuing cash flow.

Essentially, home schooling is best described as using a prescribed program where everything that must be learned at every level is pre-determined by a third party who knows nothing of the child. Hence the term home school is really schooling at home, where a one-size-fits-all program actually fits very few.

Although Education Unlimited does not support home schooling programs involving government curriculum, we do work with families that use prescribed programs such as ACE, Alpha Omega, A Beka and a host of other programs designed to be delivered by teachers in Christian schools.

Following these programs as prescribed is also home schooling, but parents have more latitude to make the changes leading to individualization.

Perhaps the best way to differentiate between home schooling and home education is to ask, “Who is in control?” If the parents are deciding what will be learned at what time and in what way, they are home educating. If the curriculum is directing the learning, then it is home schooling. Simple as that!

Education Unlimited ministers by working with those who are most familiar with the children, their parents, without interference and without guilt or condemnation. We trust parents willing to make this level of commitment to have the best interests of the children in mind.

Our “un-schooling” approach equips parents to avoid copying the school’s ways in their home education.

Our approach is not burdensome at all. We want to increase parents’ confidence, reduce their stress, paperwork and reporting, in order to create a relaxed learning atmosphere.

Not only that, but we have alternate approaches to documenting achievements and meeting admissions requirements for college.

Education Unlimited does not play school. We have always been the provincial leader in innovative and resourceful ways of helping parents come to the knowledge of the truth about school, home schooling, and the positive alternatives available.

We don’t just assume parents are informed about what they want but we do know that most want what is best for their families.

Education Unlimited wants to help make that happen.

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