To Be or Not To Be Accredited: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Finishing Strong (Part 4)

To be or not to be accredited? That is the question most people ponder as their children enter the secondary phase of their education.

Mostly as a consequence of having our eyes focused on the future rather than eternity, we quickly default to the only known solution for future preparation, which is government accreditation.

I do not believe there is a home education issue more plagued with misinformation and manipulative traps than this one, and there will be no lack of encouragement to go the credit route.

There are three main reasons that this concern arises. The first is, unfortunately, your doing! Another is systemic. And then there is… the money!

Going to school has become so normalized, so entrenched, so unquestioned as the only way to educate children that the mere suggestion of doing otherwise often brings confusion, laughter, derision, even open hostility. After all, when you are doing something differently your actions are saying that you believe there is a better way, without even saying a word.

The possibility of damaging your children’s potential future options, whether real or perceived, creates real fears and concerns that will challenge your resolve to continue to teach your children at home.

After all, your initial motivation was to provide them with the best preparation for their future. Now that it is here, what are you going to do? It is much easier to simply “go with the flow” and default back to doing what you have experienced and to follow what most everybody else is doing.

The second reason that accreditation arises at this stage is the systemic belief that only government accreditation can qualify students to move on to the post-secondary arena.

Once again, it is important to understand that when only one choice is presented, people come to understand that this is the only option.

Made worse by our being continually discouraged from questioning what we are being told, accreditation is believed to be the only way a student can succeed in life.

All that needs to happen to break free from this manipulative systemic belief is for people to question why this is so and to come to understand that while government accreditation is most certainly the accepted standard, it is not the only approach available to home educators.

To understand how money can often be the driving force behind the normalization and advancement of the need for government accreditation, one needs to know that up until the “high school level” is reached, Alberta funds students on the basis of attendance. This means that from school grades K-9, a registered child is a funded child.

Once the high school level is reached, funding is no longer based on attendance, but rather on the number of credits being offered in the child’s program. Even if the child fails the course, funding is advanced to the school for having made the accredited course available.

The only exception to this rule is if students are home educated, in which case funding is still based on attendance (registration) and at the same rate as K-9 students.

To successfully complete a high school level program, a student must acquire a minimum of 100 credits. The actual prescription of what is needed to acquire a high school diploma can be found by going to https://education.alberta.ca/graduation-requirements-credentials-credits/high-school-diploma/everyone/diploma-requirements/.

This complicated website address alone should show you that to accomplish this feat, one is best to simply attend school!

One more thing to consider with “high school” level programming, is the fact that while home education funding remains at 25% of the base funding to public schools, credits are funded at the same rate as public school (100%) or private schools (70%).

One does not have to be a mathematician to understand that to offer or advance credits will triple or quadruple the income of the school that “helps” the parents with “their” accreditation concerns!

Therefore, when you combine the fact that most parents have only experienced “high school” using government programming, likely never having been exposed to possible alternatives; with the fact that the vast majority of Alberta students follow government accreditation, adding to that, the powerful lure of much higher levels of funding, it becomes easier to understand why accumulating credits is so commonly advanced by providers as the only possible way to complete a secondary level education.

While the Godless, status quo education system can be forgiven for pushing an agenda that benefits itself, one has to question the motivation of private schools and their associated home education agencies. How can they justify claiming a Christian foundation, then take advantage of unsuspecting parental ignorance by advancing the much higher paying credits of a Godless, unbiblical, anti-Christian system?

More importantly, we should ask how anyone claiming a biblical foundation can exploit the ignorance of the people they are supposed to help, encourage and instruct. I believe Christians and Christian schools should be advancing God’s accreditation rather than the world’s, even if it pays less.

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