Many years ago, I explained the difference between home schooling and home education to a Department of Education official who was re-writing the Home Education Regulations at the time. He had never heard anybody make a distinction between the two before.
Once enlightened on the difference, he asked me how many different programs were being used in home education. I responded by asking him how many students were being home educated in Alberta.
Using my criteria for what constitutes a true home education, he figured there were approximately 8500, to which I replied that there were approximately 8500 different home education programs.
Compare this to the fact that the vast majority of students in the province are following a single program and you should be able to see why I promote home education over home schooling.
Home education is fitting the program to the student. It’s “individualized.” As a 40-year career teacher, I have seen some form of the word “individualized” often used, especially on school marquis, but it is pure and simple lip-service.
You can’t individualize a program in a one-teacher, 25-student setting. You can only have one program and everyone has to fit it; ready, willing, interested, capable, or not.
However, when choosing to home educate, one must understand that there will be no provincial credits, transcript, or diploma, which does present a new set of challenges.
Since the majority of students attend regular school, it should not come as a surprise when post-secondary institutions initially seek school-based prerequisite courses.
Education Unlimited’s graduates simply inform institutions of having been home- not school-educated, ask to be evaluated based on their level of proficiency, and provide proof of accomplishments by providing an Education Unlimited Student Transcript. It works! No need for provincial accreditation.
So, why does anybody need to “home school”? If there is no need for government accreditation, it is a waste of time, not to mention a major source of frustration.
The reason people pull their children out of school is usually because school wasn’t working for them. If we bring it home, how is it going to improve? My being a public school teacher who home educated his own children has to say something about what I knew about the school system!
We do not encourage home schooling because home educating is the best option for training and teaching children.
Developing what God has already created is very different from creating something of the children by forcing them through a program developed by people who have no idea who your children are. How can complete strangers have their best interest in mind?
No one knows a child better than a loving parent, and our job as parents is to develop what God has already created within the child, so let’s develop what is there and not waste time with what is not!
Learning is as natural as breathing, coughing or sneezing. We do not need to make a process or a job of it. Enjoy growing and learning with your children.
And remember, the only difference between the pre and post puberty child, besides the level of maturity, is the increased capacity for learning. No need to return to the school from which you escaped. God is still in control!
When it comes to programming, we simply say everything works as long as it fits the child and works for the teacher.
Also, don’t oversubscribe. Don’t try to do too much. Just do one year at a time, or one day at a time.
In fact, if you follow these three “cardinal rules” for home education, you will be successful. They are: don’t push, don’t hold back, and don’t compare!
When educating our own, we need to encourage children to fly with their strengths while teaching them how to manage their weaknesses.
Schools can’t do that. Schools have to bring strengths down to the lowest common denominator while demanding that every child be proficient at everything. Schools actually don’t teach students, they only provide opportunities to learn. Parents can easily do the same.
Because public schools reject God, they look at children as chance accidents that need to be programmed and prepared for usefulness in society. Christian home educators, on the other hand, have a more eternal objective in teaching their children.
Freedom is a gift from God. When we place children into a school system, we place them in one of the most dysfunctional institutions ever created by man.
Most every child will tell you that school is best described as jail. Jail is not the place one would equate with freedom. Freedom is not the foundation of home schooling, but it is for home education.
We chose to call our agency Education Unlimited precisely because we believed in education, not schooling. Also, freedom is not limiting like bondage is, hence the “unlimited.” Learning is not limited by needless restrictions imposed by people with a different agenda than that of the parents. Sounds like Education Unlimited to me!