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!