Target Audience: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Getting Started (Part 2)

Before creating any book or guide, the intended audience must be identified. So who am I aiming this work at? Who will benefit from following this effort?

Generally speaking, you could say that I am appealing to parents, as the topic is education, but education does more than prepare a child for the future. It creates the society we end up living in. So, even though the main target audience is parents, most anybody concerned about the state of our modern day society may be interested in what I have to say.

Today’s “anything goes” political and social environment is essentially recreating and normalizing most things on the basis of feelings, rather than fact. This new “reality” comes with the overarching objective of destroying any religious system that advances the existence of rights and wrongs, truth in particular.

It seems that everything is on the social justice butcher table these days. Nothing is sacred and it seems that nothing is worth defending except, of course the many causes of the social justice warriors, who often make a mockery of the very freedoms they claim to be defending. However, there is one thing that has avoided criticism from seemingly every agency advancing nearly any cause in every corner of the world.

Nobody touches the sacrosanct value and esteemed position of public education. Indeed, calls are being made in Alberta to amalgamate separate schools into public schools, defund and/or outlaw private schools, and to make home education as difficult as possible, essentially advocating that all students must attend a compulsory, secular humanist, public school monopoly.

In fact, the “progressive” NDP Government, likely an anomaly in Alberta’s political history, has undertaken the rewriting of the entire k-12 curriculum with the objective of making students “who are agents of change to create the globe that they want to be a part of.” Yet, very few people expose schools for what they are.

To challenge the status quo indoctrination system is a very dangerous thing to do, as not only does it involve the Godless, un-biblical, anti-Christian sentiment of the masses, but questions the daycare system parents have grown to enjoy in the name of “parental freedom from child-rearing responsibility.” To oppose public schools is therefore to make the world your enemy.

If you can look past all the rhetoric, the craziness, the name-calling, the belligerence and self-righteousness; if you take a serious look at what is happening, two things should become clear to those who subscribe to the Christian worldview.

The first is that the modern day enemy of the “new society” is God, particularly the Judaeo-Christian God. Since God has declared Himself to be the only God, with expectations of the mankind He has created, He has gotten in the way of the “all-things-are-good-if-you-feel-they-are” mindset being established as the “new norm.”

The second observation is that public education is essential to bringing about change to the existing system.

Now, I am not going to pretend that I can see, or know, or understand, all that is going on in the world today, but I can say that it has drastically changed, especially in the last few years.

From my Christian perspective, it appears like all hell has broken loose and that the most effective way to disseminate the “message” of the “new world order” is through the un-scrutinized government programming used in nearly every school in the English-speaking world.

Therefore, my audience is everyone with even the slightest concern about what the public school is advocating and normalizing, but particularly Christian parents, both present and future, as they decide on the best approach to the training and teaching of their children. This includes a variety of people at different stages in their lives and with differing backgrounds, experiences and “hang-ups.”

There are the seriously proactive parents with “preschool” children or no children at all. Then, there are the parents of “school-aged” children including: those just starting; those who have had some exposure to a school system; and those who are wanting to escape from the school system they brought home, favouring traditional home education or un-schooling, instead.

Even if we may have some fundamental differences in philosophy, it is assumed that we all share some common beliefs, including:

– Parents have the authority with respect to their children regardless of claims otherwise.

– Parents teaching their children in the safety of their home are better than strangers teaching them in a school.

– Parents usually desire the best for their children and take that responsibility seriously.

– Parents are usually best able to meet the individual learning needs of their children.

By now you have come to the conclusion that I will be coming from a Christian perspective. You should also know that I have to pick some starting point, so I will be approaching most topics from the point of view of only and always having home educated.

Please go to the Home Education Guide at www.educationunlimited.ca/resources for a more comprehensive discussion of starting points.

Introduction: A Practical Guide to Home Education – Getting Started (Part 1)

I can just hear it!

Oh no! Not another guide for home education! There are dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of books, manuals, even tomes, created for every conceivable manner and means of addressing every possible perception of what home education is or should be!

This is true. I have read several of them. Most are very helpful, but this one is going to be different.

This one is written from experience gained over more than forty years, in a wide variety of educational settings, including public, separate and private schools, in two provinces and using two languages. Not only from the perspective of a long time public high school teacher, but from one who has been a contributing member of the Alberta home education movement since its inception.

Most importantly, this guide is written from what has been gleaned through my home visitations and other associated activities with thousands of families desiring what was best for their children and therefore should serve as a useful practical guide.

This guide is actually the collection of thoughts, insights and observations gained over a lifetime of focusing on what an education really entails. A lifetime of errors and corrections, mistaken ideologies, indoctrinated mindsets and a sincere desire to come to the knowledge of what God calls “the truth”.

So much of what we believe today is actually not factual, although some person or agency will claim that it is. The world has become a confusion of misinformation, the likes of which has never been seen in human history. We are living in an age of deception exacerbated by the easy dissemination of lies in this digital age.

Everything sounds good and all of it appears to make our lives easier. Our insistence on instant gratification has made us truly suckers and targets for those who would benefit from our ignorance.

Complicated by our belief that we are correct because we believe we are, brought to ridiculousness by our measuring truth through feelings, not to mention an apparent complete lack of faith, our world has become a chaotic, intellectual and spiritual mess.

Why do we need another Home Education Guide? Because the once unified Christian home education community has been played and directed into serving a profiteering industry. This industry has discovered that it is easier and more rewarding to prey on people’s ignorance than to expend the time, energy and money to redirect parents to the truth.

Think about this for a moment. If our understanding of God is flawed or in error, our understanding of what a Godly family looks like will be suspect and our belief in freedom is more likely to be a carefully disguised manifestation of bondage. As once was quipped, “there is no greater bondage than that being advance by those who THINK they are free”.

Jesus said He was the way, the truth and the life. I believe that. Not only because it is written in the Bible, but because I have lived long enough to have witnessed through many trials, sorrows, griefs and pains, both personally and vicariously, that this is true.

This guide will not be a directive to home school. I refuse to direct others to do what everybody else is doing as this would be building on the sand that is failing public education today. Leading others to do what everyone else is doing does not qualify as true leadership.

I know where I want to lead you. I want to lead you to the truth; the way, the truth and the life to be exact. Not some Christianized version of secular thinking and methods, but to the Kingdom of God, from which all things are added unto us.

If I am successful at leading you to a biblically supported, common sense, family-focused, home-based process of training and teaching your children to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strengths, I believe I will have faithfully fulfilled the Lord’s calling in my life.

This guide is about freedom. It is about family. But, most importantly, it is about faith. A guide that is God-centred, family focused and freedom loving should be more than just a guide but a pattern I pray will last for generations, if we can keep from sliding back into the arms of the world as we have seen take place in the home education community of Alberta, Canada.

I have spent a great deal of time and effort to create this video guide, as it represents the heartbeat of this ministry. Although it is impossible to clearly define the steps you will take on your home education “adventure,” I hope this effort will provide some outlines and guidance through the times and events that can be expected along the way.

How you use the information provided here will be entirely dependent on where you are in your parenting and home education journey. You are all encouraged to subscribe to this blog so you can follow the discussion on what a Christian home education could, and should, look like, as it is being presented.

Welcome To The 2017-18 Academic Year

Welcome back to Léo’s Blog and to the 2017-18 Academic Year. I am trusting that you have had a good summer break and that you are looking forward to another rewarding year of learning and growing as a family, at home.

Now, I sincerely hope that you have been blessed by our past efforts to provide you with information and encouragement for your home education journey and trust that we will continue to do so in this, our fifth season, of “blogging.”

As my wife and I have repeated many times in our lives, “we survived another year, now let’s see what the next one brings!”

Last year was one filled with surprises, along with things that never seem to change respecting home education in Alberta.

We started with the Minister of Education taking issue with the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society (IBCES), the governing Board of our sponsoring school, Harvest Baptist Academy (HBA), over its refusal to accept what every Christian school should see as an overreaching infringement on religious freedoms guaranteed by our constitution.

This contest eventually led to a public inquiry that resulted in what appears, at this moment, to be a stalemate.

Then there was the unprecedented closure of another Christian school and its associated home education provider over issues that I am not sure were ever really clearly articulated or resolved. This ended with a truce between the contestants, but not without a lot of undue stress for many families directly affected by the incident and indirectly by the entire home education community.

Then there was the continuing, and arguably misinformed, demand for the ending of all funding for private schools and by extension home education, under the false assumption that private schools are “stealing” from public schools.

And, as we have come to expect in our world, we continued to be faced with the ever changing “communications” from government bureaucrats. In fairness, this was not to the extent that we have experienced in previous years. However, we always seem to be sleeping with one eye open, so to speak, wondering what and when the next ridiculous demand will be made of our schools and home educators.

Even more disconcerting for me than these unprecedented events and questionable antics of the Ministry, the bureaucracy and the defenders of a monopoly public school system, was the reaction of those on the other side of the debate, namely those finding themselves in leadership positions within the home education community.

Last year’s issues unexpectedly exposed the industry that has developed around the delivery of home education in this province. This situation developed slowly over time and continues, largely unnoticed by the average home educating mom and dad who, have come to believe that they have a duty to defend it, if they want to protect their right to home education. This is obviously a perversion of priorities.

Another concern that may indicate that home education has lost its direction within this province is the fact that the provincial home education association is now being directed largely by industry owners and insiders. What could their motivation possibly be?

No doubt, home education has always had its detractors. It is understood that the world around us does not have our best interest in mind. However, the greatest threat to any movement always comes from the inside rather than from external enemies.

I have observed over the years that Alberta’s home education community is slowly and unwittingly being directed away from its biblical foundations through the normalization of secular ideologies and expectations that advance the government and the industry ahead of the parents.

So who is standing up for Christian parents sincerely wanting nothing more than the freedom to train and teach their children at home without needless intrusions, expectations and politics?

What is at the root of all these strange occurrences within education today? I believe there is an attempt to purge education of all reference to God, Christianity in particular, replaced by an unquestioned secular world view.

And when those who should be trusted to be defending our Christian heritage are willing to compromise with those who would have it eradicated from our society, we are in serious trouble. It is truly disheartening to see the home education community being led down this path.

That was what directed us to start Education Unlimited nearly twenty years ago and why we were determined to start this blog four years ago. We desired to enable, equip and encourage true learners, seeking for truth, to fix their eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. To seek first His eternal Kingdom and His righteousness and to understand that this is not possible when outside temporal agencies are driving the agenda.

So, we continue with this calling. Take what you will out of this year’s effort to encourage a common sense approach to home education and leave what you do not accept. If I have helped you in even the smallest way, I have accomplished what I have set out to do.

Here’s to a great year of home educating, blogging and living the life of true believers in a freedom that can only come through faith!