Before starting Education Unlimited in 1999, I had been facilitating for another provider, but there were significant philosophical disagreements that centred on what should be done within a home education, particularly at the high school level. I could not convince them that I had some insight on this subject!
I spent 25 years in the classroom, mostly at the high school level, in 2 different provinces; in public schools, separate schools, private schools, rural schools, urban schools and I substituted in almost every subject from K – 12.
I taught in French and in English; had 22 student teachers; was a diploma exam marker for Biology 30 in both French and English.
I have worked with thousands of students, dealing with hundreds of parents, in my career, not to mention the nearly thirty years of experience in the world of home education.
I am also very familiar with the politics associated with education.
I knew through my teaching experience that students did not need a high school diploma to gain admission to post-secondary institutions and I was convinced that they did not have to have credits either.
Not only did the company I worked for have limited understanding of home education, but it was obvious they were seeing a greater potential for profit by advancing school methods and credits rather than encouraging families to learn at home.
There was virtually no heart for home education in that organization. The director of the company had his own children attending public school!
Most of the facilitators had never home educated and knew little to nothing about it, having been hired simply because they had a teaching certificate. Really, I personally believe that if you’re going to take swimming lessons, it’s a really good idea to learn from an instructor who knows how to swim.
Although these negative issues certainly influenced our decision to start Education Unlimited, it was more in response to the real needs of real parents who had real concerns about the educational health and welfare of their children.
What I saw was parents being misdirected and ill-advised by mercenaries much more interested in their own welfare than that of the students.
I wanted to help the home education community see how they were being duped. I wanted to provide a place of refuge for parents simply wanting to get the straight goods on faith, family and future-focused home education.
I wanted to help parents get a proper understanding of the appropriate use of the funding being made available to home educators. And I wanted to encourage parents to apply their faith to their education program.
That’s why my wife, Faye, and I created Education Unlimited in the spring and summer of 1999.
The level of fear parents had respecting “high schooling” their own children had been somewhat alleviated when my own children had completed their high school level, without provincial programming or accreditation.
As my children transitioned to the post-secondary level, I realized that it was not only schools and parents who were ignorant of post-secondary options, but post-secondary institutions were as well.
This realization led to a national initiative to facilitate the post-secondary admission processes of unaccredited home educated students that caused me to travel across Canada and to be invited to speak at the 2002 conference of the Association of Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC).
I then embarked on a quest to visit every post-secondary institution in Alberta. Although now somewhat dated, all of the documents that resulted from this effort can be found on the leogaumont.com web site.
This comprehensive, voluntary and unpaid exercise earned me the title of Canada’s foremost authority on the post-secondary admission of home educated students.
When we offered to host a listing of post-secondary institution admission requirements on our web site, nearly every institution in Alberta volunteered to participate. That was in the early 2000s. To date, nearly 80 institutions from almost every province in Canada are now listed on our web site.
Once we had developed the ability to do this, using modern technology, we applied the same features to provide our families with a listing of home education resources that has grown to include a very large number of different options, including vendors, apps and web sites, freely available to all parents around the world.
Now approaching twenty years in service, we continue to be actively involved in advancing and defending home education, but from a, shall we say, more experienced perspective.
Our heartbeat is still service, not from a “keep-you-happy-so-you-will-come-back” approach, but from a genuine desire to equip parents to be the best that they can be so they can best direct their children into their futures.
Education Unlimited pioneered the uncompromising, credit-free high school at home, and we remain the only agency to provide a comprehensive listing of friendly post-secondary institutions and home education resources.
I believe that Education Unlimited continues to be the best option for home educators looking for a principled, non-sectarian, Christian home education perspective, that is inclusive of all faiths.
We continue to consistently advance the welfare of parents, students and the home education community at large, without compromise, and without apology, to those who would have us do otherwise.