The Problem Blog Series 2016

The Age of Deception

Part of the series Root of The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-01-04.

Are you sure that what you know or what you hear is true?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Mark 13:22

Once upon a time, a person’s word was generally accepted as true, and a man’s word was his honour. However, things are no longer that way. Never in the history of the world have things been so favourable for replacing the truth with what is not. What is being advanced as the information age is really the misinformation age, and what is likely to be seen later in history as The Age of Deception.

How often do you think that we are being lied to? Who can really be trusted to be honest in a world that advances truth as relative? When truth becomes more a matter of one’s own opinion of what is or is not acceptable, rather than on fixed, absolute truth, how can anything really be trusted as true? Our modern misplaced belief in the leadership of those in “authority” having our best interest in mind often causes us to neglect the possibility that not all of the information presented is accurate. Sources may withhold information to protect us from discomfort, or present information to lead us into believing what is not true. Often, the real motivation behind the information being presented is, in actuality, to prevent us from learning too much. If knowledge is power then individuals, groups, bureaucracies and institutions desiring power will be threatened by people who know too much. How many such cases can you think of?

Is the news really news or propaganda? Can the media be trusted to deliver the truth? Are politicians known as pillars of integrity? Do you trust the government to have your best interest in mind? How many truly believe the diatribe of the televangelist? What about the real objectives of the local “Christian” gatherings? Are they based in truth or tradition? Are religious activities being advanced as foundations for truth, rather than truth being advanced as the foundation for religion? Is the school really concerned about the educational welfare of students? Are Christian schools really Christian? More to the point, if the leadership engages in activities that can truly be questioned in light of scripture, to which of the two possible eternal ends are they leading us? Can universities, who attack whoever does not agree with the status quo beliefs of secular socialism, be considered places of true reasoning and logic? Do the advertisers concern themselves with truth or sales? Haven’t we all been lied to?

By now, you must be starting to think that no one is to be trusted! To be sure, not every person or institution is a bona fide liar and we should not cynically suspect everything said and done to be lies, but neither should we be looking at the world through rose colored glasses. To not fully disclose, or to colour the truth or to exaggerate or say one thing when meaning another is not much different from outright lying. What is communicated is either true or it is not. It is that simple. Scripture makes that clear, yet it is truly amazing, shocking really, how many lies are advanced every day, not only by those who know nothing of what God expects, but discouragingly as often from those who claim they do.

If Christ’s claim to be the way, the truth and the life is true (and it is!), then we should expect the world to be immersing society in deception (lies) as it prepares for the coming of the antichrist. Since the day the devil deceived Eve with perversions of the truth (lies), fallen man has had a propensity to lie, just like the one who tricked him in the first place. As we approach the time of the revelation of the antichrist, we should expect to see more of his nature on display. Unless we wholeheartedly give ourselves over to the truth, we cannot be prevented from lying and being tricked by lies. If the end times are upon us, we should understand that we are in an age of deception and that we should not be surprised when it comes to us through avenues we would never have believed possible, not that long ago.

Be careful of what you accept as true. Make sure it is, and always question the true motivation of those who are “informing” you. Not only can lies severely skew your world view, but should you have some leadership talents, you will end up propagating these lies, becoming more a part of the problem of deception than it’s solution.

… And So, Who Is The Enemy?

Part of the series Root of The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-01-11.

We often mistakenly judge and condemn people when missing the point that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Eph. 6:12

There is a reason for what has been presented thus far in this year’s blog series. All of it has been to prepare my audience for what is coming, not only for where the blog is going but just as much for where home education is headed if current trends continue. We are all aware of the fact that things don’t seem to stay the same. We are pretty well all convinced that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but most everything else is dynamic rather than static. It has been said that the only sure things in life are death and taxes but even here, death is unpredictable and taxes are always … increasing! There is perhaps one other place where things don’t seem to change. It seems there is always something going on that defies the goodness of God and that should goodness be applied, the reward is usually persecution!

If God does not change and we know Him to be the author of all good things, then it should make sense that the one responsible for evil and the persecution of good works would not be God, but the devil. However simple this sounds, the age old battle between good and evil would not exist if it were not for us and free will, meaning that the flesh can be tempted to sin, which is to choose evil over good.

Even though the apostle Paul tells us, in his letter to the Ephesians, that our struggles are not ultimately with flesh and blood, all of us are tempted by evil all the time. Given free will, one would expect everyone to follow God, but the devil is sly and makes the alternative to good works seem very attractive. Without a solid understanding of biblical directives and a principled life of obedience to God, sin takes over.

This means one thing. When we see sin, error, failures or we observe Christians behaving in ways that contradict scripture and sound reason, we need not condemn, but understand that the author of everything leading us away from the truth and God is none other than the devil himself. This is not to excuse bad behaviour, for ultimately we do have a choice of whom we will follow and obey. Jesus clearly stated that the choice we had was either to be for Him or against Him. This is not a part time, ever changing or relative choice. It is right or wrong, good or bad, serving God or… serving ourselves, which is really to be serving satan. This simple for-or-against becomes the test of our motivation or ultimate reason for doing things. Does it carry eternal goals or temporal ones? Is it helping those in need or using them to advance our own purpose? Are we giving or taking? Serving God or man? Free choice gives us the option of focussing on Him or on ourselves.

The next few weeks will see some rather strong statements and may appear to be judgemental or negative. However, the best way to suffocate is to have our heads stuck in the sand. With the new ideological approach to problem solving often being to ignore it, and the new Christian virtue seemingly being to elevate tolerance over judgement of sin and error, things that should not be named among us have crept in largely unnoticed. If reaping what we sow has any merit, home (Christian) education in Alberta is definitely in big trouble.

I have spent my entire life in education. In fact this is my fortieth year of experience as a professional educator. That makes me both old enough to quit and concerned enough to continue. I cannot help but do everything I can to help in the training and teaching of children, no matter where I am. You may call me committed or focussed or even driven but you cannot accuse me of being uncaring. I am passionate about educational freedom and willing to take risks to advance and defend it. That is why I am doing what I am doing. It has been stated that “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:5-6). I believe it far easier to defend what we have than to reclaim what we have lost. My intention in discussing what I see as taking place in this province is not meant to claim perfection on my part, but to expose what may ultimately lead to the loss of the right to freely home educate within a Christian context in the Province of Alberta.

To Conform or Not to Conform

Part of the series Root of The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-01-18.

In who’s image are we conforming to?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Gal. 5:1

I am fond of saying that whereas God delights in diversity, man insists on conformity. Just look at God’s creation! For that matter, consider the unfathomable number of people who have been created since the dawn of time and the fact that no two fingerprints have ever been the same! If you think about it, diversity is essential for freedom. Alternatively, bondage pretty well requires conformity. It does not make sense that we should have diversity in bondage! Alas only someone as strange as I would give this much thought!

The point is really to show that if freedom is what we are seeking, we must be free to be different. Schools, government, churches, essentially any institution will insist on conformity. Even institutes of higher learning have been grabbing a lot of media attention lately for penalizing individuals and groups who do not “conform” to the status quo secular, humanist, socialist, scientific agenda.

With all this pressure to conform to man’s idea of what and who we should be, it is not difficult to understand how we have slowly been led to think as we should. In fact the speed of this universal indoctrination has been greatly accelerated of late. You noticed my use of the word universal, I hope. It is truly amazing that all the radical changes being forced upon us in our society are also occurring in pretty much the entire world, especially in those parts of it that have historically, most benefitted from Christianity and its applications to life. Why this trend? If you follow it closely, it seems to be a global move away from God, away from Jesus in particular, to establish man as his own god. Actually, man cannot ever be God or god. He can only agree to follow and serve either the good God or the god of evil.

I have been around long enough to witness this pattern of departure from Christianity accelerate, as well as the overall effect this has had on the home education community. When Christians first became concerned about the secularization of public education in the early 1970s, they thought they could escape it by simply Christianizing the school. Christian schools were created with a Christian desire, but in keeping with a school mindset. They were destined to fail from the start as they represented a form of “confused conformity”. In the 1980s, when it was discovered that these schools were actually just schools with a prayer or two, the home education movement was born. People desiring to do so were the radical nonconformists of the day. These pioneers of home education made a clear distinction between obeying God or following man, making them very obvious and causing a great deal of concern on behalf of not only the government, but just as much by the church as it was also conforming to the “school” way of thinking.

Last week I mentioned that one of the things that doesn’t seem to change was the near guarantee of persecution for doing good. It should therefore come as no surprise that these early risk-taking, deeply convicted, committed, non-conforming pioneers of home education were persecuted by nearly everybody, including family, friends, neighbours, church, governing “authorities”, unions, in fact, society at large. Why were they being persecuted? More importantly, why is home education no longer being persecuted? Do you believe those initially opposed to home education have come around to our way of thinking? Or is it more likely that the majority of those involved in Christian and home education have come to conform to the modern day secular socialist world view? Simply observing the latest trends in Christian education will clearly communicate that much of this unbiblical world view has been adopted, incorporated and corrupted our supposed Christian world view. What is scary about this situation is that most everybody seems oblivious, even blind to this growing conformity to this world which has slowly replaced the image of God.

In the beginning, freedom-seeking home educating parents, understanding the reason for God’s creating diversity, willingly risked persecution for not conforming to the world’s standards and desires. However, this mindset has slowly, but determinedly devolved into a bondage of conformity as we pay less and less attention to matters of God and His eternal purposes and focus more and more on what matters to man.

The Government (Part 1) – A Brief History

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-01-25.

Government was initially established when the people rejected God.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 8

In the movie trilogy, Back To The Future (1985-1990), some very interesting cases of “reaping what has been sown”, are cleverly presented. Without doing a movie review, the story is based in Hill Valley (a rather oxymoronic name, don’t you think?), presented as a stereotypical town ostensibly built on a premiss of definable rights and wrongs. A return to the past redirects an unscrupulous man named Biff, to be able to predict future sporting event scores with pinpoint accuracy, causing him to become insanely wealthy and powerful, rewriting the entire makeup of the town. Returning to the present from the future, without knowing that the past has been changed, our protagonists, Marty and Doc, find themselves no longer in the original Hill Valley, but in a place more aptly named Hell Valley (not so oxymoronic!). The difference is quite dramatic. The original town had certain values you could depend on. The remade one lacked anything even resembling decency and order. I realize that I am taking a bit of license as the movie did not mention the likelihood of the first town acknowledging God and the second denying Him, but Christian logic would dictate that the obvious reason for the shocking differences between the two towns would be the place God occupied in them.

Imagine a place where God has been given no place at all. We actually get a glimpse of that in the Revelation of John, and it is not a pretty picture. As a matter of fact, the time is referred to as “the great tribulation”! On occasion, when I find myself in such a Godless environment where evil seems to be the operational standard, I am reminded of the unbelievably dark nature of the second town in that movie. Take God out of government and you get “Biffville”, an anarchic, self-serving, ugly place to be.

Enough talk about the movie! What about real life? Are we or have we kicked God out of the public square? To properly answer that question we need to look at another account of a change in leadership, a true story coming from a more reliable source, the Bible.

Initially, there was Adam and God. Then as the human population grew, the patriarch of a family represented God. As time moved on, tribal leaders took an overarching responsibility, eventually leading to the judges. Two things need to be established before carrying on. First, God has always been God. He has never changed and has in no point ever, been out of control. The second point is that whether we talk of patriarchs, tribal leaders, priests, judges or kings, all come after the fall and all are noticeably imperfect.

The last judge mentioned in the Bible was a man called Samuel. He was a good (not perfect) man but he had bad sons, so bad in fact, that the people of Israel did not want to be ruled by them. So, they asked Samuel (not God) for a king like other nations had. When a displeased Samuel consulted God, two things came to light. First, God clearly saw this as a rejection of Him and His leadership. The second point is that in spite of God’s warning that a king would confiscate their children and property, the children of Israel still wanted an earthly king! Samuel warned them that they would regret that decision and we have ever since.

God warned the children of Israel right from the start that a king would negatively affect the family, property, freedom, etc. Of note is the fact that the king, what we now know as the government, was initially founded and established upon a rejection of God. Not all governments are evil, however when people reject God, something else has to take His place in their lives and that is usually a king (government) lusting for that position. Modern government, acting as “God”, has mandated that all students attend its schools and follow its curriculum in order to advance its secular socialist ideology directing us away from God to man, while forcing everyone to pay for it through taxes. We were warned of that in Samuel’s day when the people first chose a man over God. This may be another example of something that doesn’t change! It really is a Bible version of having traded in Hill Valley for Hell Valley.

The Government (Part 2) – Render Unto Caesar

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-01.

Government expects us to simply do what they say. Do they have that authority?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Rom. 13:1-7

Last week, I showed that our world view of modern government can be traced back to when the children of Israel demanded of Samuel, a king like the other (non-believing) nations, which was essentially a rejection of God’s kingship. As a consequence, the rule of government has traditionally been away from God, something that seems to have been expedited of late!

Modern day government is seen as all powerful and in possession of all authority by most people, including the majority of professing Christians. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…” is very often recited as instruction to honour government in all things, but on closer inspection, the context of this passage of scripture is not related to all things, but specifically to the paying of taxes! What is often neglected when quoting this passage is the second part which reads “…and to God the things that are God’s”. Obviously, some things do belong to the government, but not everything, as some things clearly must belong to God. To give what is God’s to government is condemned by this passage. We would, therefore, be wise to understand what belongs to Caesar (the king or government) and what belongs to God or we may be in danger of violating God’s directives.

To further provide enlightenment respecting the place of government, a study of another passage of scripture, which is also often quoted as instructing us to accept all things from government as God ordained, is in order. In Romans Chapter 13 we are directed to obey civil government. However, we are given the specific qualifications required of a ruler to legitimize his authority. Rulers are to be ministers of God who reward good and punish evil. Obviously, what is good or evil is not left up to the discretion of the ruler or government but what is clearly delineated in scripture. Simply being in power does not automatically make a ruler a minister of God, but he who abides by what God has commanded or forbidden. Therefore when a ruler commands what God has forbidden or forbids what God has commanded, leadership qualifications as outlined in this passage are being violated and disqualifies the government’s directives. Can you think of any modern day examples of this?

In determining the legitimacy of government action, we can therefore use two main measures. Firstly, we ask whether what is being enforced truly belongs to “Caesar” or to God. Secondly, we can ask whether or not the government’s actions are in keeping with what God has declared as good or evil. Government (rule) has a legitimate place when it enforces laws (power) in areas ordained by God (authority) and only if it abides by what God has outlined as good or evil. Otherwise, it is encroaching in areas that are not ordained by God and/or blurring the lines between right and wrong.

How is this related to education? If God has established government and the parameters by which it can operate, what is government doing in the business of education when children clearly do not belong to government, but to God? If the government was a minister of God, would it offer Godless, anti-Christian, unbiblical programming that normalizes a secular, socialist agenda to God’s children? Or would it be encouraging parents to take the responsibility that they have been given to train and teach their children in keeping with the authority given by God and what He has demonstrated through His Word as right or wrong?

How have we arrived at this present situation? Likely a slow but deliberate taking over of “what is God’s” along with a gradual perversion of right and wrong. What is most discouraging is that those who knew better, allowed the ruler to do so, and as a consequence, the ruler’s false claims to authority have been validated, empowering him to force us to accept his version of right and wrong.

The Government (Part 3) – The Ministry of Education

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-08.

Are we aware of why the government insists on compulsory education?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Kings 12:28-30

In the last two installments of the blog, it was suggested that from our Christian world view, government was initially established as a result of the rejection of God and that God has allowed government jurisdiction over some things, but not all things. Furthermore, it was shown that although rulers do have power, it is only when they follow the directives that are given by God that they are operating in the authority of God. It is therefore important, if we are to follow what has happened in the world of education, that we understand that the initial creation of government was not God’s desire as much as the desire of men; that government often expands beyond the established boundaries that are clearly off limits as “God’s things”; and that the government is only representing God’s authority when it rewards the good and punishes the bad, as determined by God and not by man.

So, there most certainly is a place for government and we are to honour it when it is abiding according to God’s rules. But, what if it is not abiding by God’s rules? What if the ruler has determined to rewrite the rules to suit him? What if the king simply does not acknowledge God? Do you think that such a government will lead you in the right direction or… somewhere else?

Historically, there have always been both good and bad governments, determined largely by how it respected God’s parameters for governance. I am hardly a historian, but I suspect things started going in the wrong direction once it was suggested that science could explain everything without need for a “God”. Many things changed with this new development and with it came compulsory education. Schools had been around for a long time and parents welcomed the opportunity for assistance in the training and teaching of their children, but making it compulsory was not met with enthusiasm, for it was seen as an encroachment, undermining and replacing the authority of parents. In fact when compulsory education was first introduced in the USA, some children had to be forced to attend at gunpoint! Parents clearly saw that being coerced against their will was actually to claim a jurisdiction that did not belong to the king.

Time has a way of making yesterday’s error or omission today’s normal. Not only is compulsory education accepted today, it is expected. In fact, the very agencies that should be questioning whether children should be educated under the control of government or family are more likely to attempt to fix the problem by creating another version of the same problem! The normalization of deviation from the truth has always been a gradual process, usually cloaked in seemingly good motives. After all, who could argue against providing opportunity for a good education? The question is, good for who or good for what?

Parents, as the only possible instruments for the creation of children, have been directed to lead their children to God so He could lead them in their lives. Since the need for God is built into each person, if we do not acknowledge the real God we will follow anything masquerading as Him. With this in mind, and considering the potential for unlimited power, it is easy to understand how a king who does not acknowledge God could easily be tempted to fill a godless vacuum by attempting to replace God with himself.

A compulsory education system created by an agency desiring the role of God, would never point to the true God, but rather to a counterfeit. In other words, if the king is not following God’s rules, the only rules left to follow are his and since he is not eternal, his rules will not only be constantly changing, but directing his subjects away from the one true God. Such is the Ministry of Education. Exposing children to this type of program not only fails to meet God’s expectation of parents for children, but encourages the perpetuation of this system. Why would any believer want to encourage a program that is directing away from God? Why would we even want to emulate or reproduce such a process? Yet, most will and do willingly participate without even questioning why they are doing so, or whose side they are working on. Few realize how destructive this is to our Christian faith.

The “Church”

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-15.

He who is not for us is against us. Jesus said so.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: John 19:15

I heard a sad story the other day. A particular church group had been through a gruelling year of personal failures and calamities that truly questioned the soundness and effectiveness of its supposed “Christian” teachings. Incredibly, at that church’s AGM that year, the treasurer got up and announced that in spite of having had to wade through some rather difficult waters, aside from seeing leaders go down in shame along with people left injured along the way, the “church” had had its best year ever! I assume this to be the normal expectation of a church treasurer, but is this perhaps indicative of how many “churches” are measuring success? If this is their focus, how does the modern institutional church view education?

In times past, when government acknowledged the Christian heritage of the country, bureaucracies were smaller, decentralized and not nearly so autocratic. Churches were free to do what they were supposed to do and were more likely to influence the government than the other way around. Schools were also free to recite the Lord’s prayer, to recite the Bible and to expect Christian behaviour. Often, the local church and school were so intertwined that it was hard to delineate the end of one and the beginning of the other. Everything seemed to work to the benefit of the citizens. Such was certainly my experience from, oh, so long ago!

Times have certainly changed. Today, nearly every church, school and society has been incorporated as an entity that answers to the government which dispenses permission to exist and directives on how to behave. Government has been empowered such that all things must be approved through an ever growing secular bureaucracy. When the state takes on the nature and responsibility of the God it desires to replace, it becomes all powerful. When it becomes all powerful, even things that belong to God, like the church, come under new management, as directed by the king. When this happens, those institutions which should be vigilantly defending the things of God seem to develop a new focus while losing sight of their true purpose. As a consequence, the “church” seems to have, unfortunately, evolved from the body of Christianity to the building of churchianity, from equipping the saints to filling the coffers, from going about God’s business to becoming a business about God.

Whereas the training and teaching of children has always been the responsibility of parents as per the authority given them by God, education, (as in government mandated compulsory attendance to some form of government approved school) has usurped this freedom, in much the same fashion as what has happened to the church. This has had the negative effect of forcing both churches and Christian schools to look to government for approval and support rather than to God. There exists a sense of dread that, should either do anything to displease this new “lord”, the authority to exist and/or the ability to either access funds directly or issue tax receipts for donations will be lost. This replacement of faith with fear has resulted in these new “government agencies” not only sanctioning and advancing, but defending things approved by government as though they were ordained of God, including the public education programming and processes that makes no mention of God, Bible or Christianity.

As a consequence of the church’s desire to accommodate government demands, home educators often find it difficult to receive encouragement, support and direction through the local church. In fact, there is a greater likelihood of being persecuted than encouraged for determining to do what God has directed parents to do. This is not to say that all church organizations are like this. However, one must remember that if it is not wise to bite the hand that feeds you and if the church is going to look to government for its “existence”, it had better not challenge assumed government ”authority” or risk corporate death. Even though taken out of context, “Render unto Caesar” is often used to justify this activity of self-preservation. Did this natural instinct for institutional preservation before Caesar not also motivate the Pharisees when they resisted Jesus during his earthy ministry?

Schools (Part 1 – It Can’t be Fixed)

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-22.

Complaining has never changed a thing, especially when the thing you are trying to change won’t be changed.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Psalm 127:1

Can something be so commonplace that it is never challenged? Is it possible to have something that is seen to be so “normal” that no one questions its workings or products? Even if occasionally seen as out of sync with truth, right, good, common sense or anything else, is there any use in complaining about something when there is simply no alternative? Such is the case with modern day compulsory education.

In spite of having “choice” in education, when the only options available are different forms of a single thing, namely a school, school becomes the accepted, standard way of educating children. However, what if “school” is not actually what it is being presented as? While some folks may have seen school for what it really is (and likely started home educating), most simply “go with the flow” without considering that whatever flows, goes down hill! Let me give you a bit of an “insider” view of what has come to be the commonly accepted standard in education.

I am now thankful for having had a very different career from most educators, who simply get the training, find a job and stay with that school until retirement. True, some may change schools once or twice, but usually within the same system. Not I! No sir! I have always had a very healthy disrespect for schools! I have always seen school, any school, as squelching individual thought and freedom. I am a bit too cynical to believe that perfect strangers, who know nothing about an individual student can determine what, when and how something should be learned, even if presented within a Christian context, so I searched for truth.

How I ended up being a teacher is testimony to God’s sense of humour! After having “trained” (another story for some other time), I became a soon-to-be-disillusioned teacher. Like many new to the profession, I thought I could come in and change the system from the horrible one I had attended to one in which each student becomes more than just a number. Boy, did I fail! My first principal told me that the overarching “philosophy of education” was to protect one’s “ass” (I don’t believe he meant donkey!)! Great start! That first year was so traumatic that I found my faith in Jesus! It was after sincerely making this most important decision of my life with every intention of fully serving Him forevermore, that I prayed a prayer that would redirect my life and career.

I stayed a teacher (not without protesting!), but in keeping with my prayer request, I got to see the insides of many different schools, in two provinces; public, separate, private, rural, urban; K to Post-Secondary; in English and French. I helped train 22 student teachers; marked diploma exams in two languages; did everything I could to positively influence the bureaucracy, administration and fellow teachers towards improving the system, but found myself completely powerless to do any more politically than be a thorn in the flesh. Since I could do nothing about the school, I eventually came to the conclusion that I could only affect the direction of my students. As for my own children’s education, I exercised my right, no…, my responsibility as a parent to teach and train them myself (Faye, my help meet, helped me meet that goal) by bringing them back home, the safest, most caring and “sensitive” environment possible for any child.

Why this story? I happen to know school in ways that few do. I have many good reasons for keeping children out of any institutional school, too many to list in a blog. In fact, this story began forty years ago, and by the time we were done training our children at home, a new millennium had begun. A lot of things have changed since then and I am ever so thankful not to have to be teaching in what has become the most dysfunctional system ever invented by man! A minority ruled system that disenfranchises parents, puts the “inmates” in charge of the asylum so to speak and offers limitless opportunity to demonstrate the normalization of deviation and the madness of relativity under the guise of being “neutral” and “progressive”. I am not a do-nothing wimp. If I have not been able to make a dent in that system over forty years, how can Christian parents think they can change it by sending innocent children to “salt” it?

Schools (Part 2 – Dishonesty)

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-29.

School is a giant, multibillion dollar industry that works well for everyone involved, except perhaps, students and good teachers.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Matt 6:24

Last week, I shared a greatly summarized story of my experience within the school system. Bear in mind that the story involves nearly every kind of school available in Saskatchewan and Alberta. There are likely not many people who have been “privileged” to have seen the inside of as many schools as I have. One can say that I got to see quite a few schools because I was substituting for some time in both provinces, but I prefer to say that God orchestrated things as per the aforementioned prayer. You see, I did not want to teach, in spite of being gifted as a teacher. Most would understand that the last thing the enemy wants from anyone is to have them working in keeping with their God-given strengths, gifts and talents and so he discouraged my being a teacher. In any case, I wanted to be sure that I did not want to be a teacher, so I asked to experience everything in education before I quit. Nuts! Like many a prayer request, I had not really thought this one through. Even though I have indeed experienced a great many things in education, it appears as though I am still a bit short of “everything” and so I am still here! Oh well? What else could I do but serve God here after all this “training”!? Back to our topic.

Even though I cannot say I have clear evidence of such from every school I attended, for some were only for a day or two, I can say that as soon as I “cracked” the political structure of any school, the most prevalent characteristic that surfaced was usually dishonesty. Even schools purporting to be “religious” seemed to be very “resourceful” when it came to rhetoric and the collecting and distribution of money. I came to the conclusion that since government is not usually seen as a model of integrity, schools, generally must have believed it was acceptable to follow the example. Time and space prohibits me from getting into great detail so let’s look at something that generally applies to most schools. Before I begin, I want to say that what I am saying are generalities and cannot be universally applied to every school, although I can not really think of an exception from my experience.

The dishonesty begins when schools promise all kinds of things to parents, and on marquees or billboards. These are nothing more than marketing ploys to attract as much money, er… students as possible. Funding is based on the number of students, so the more students registered with the school, the more money it gets. In spite of all the rhetoric on this and that regarding students, students are really just $tudents!

This means two things. The first, is that everything possible must be done to make sure that school is viewed as the normal thing to do and to discourage, at all cost, any deviation from this mindset. The further one’s education is from public school, the greater the threat to the system. Therefore, home education should be discouraged as much as possible with misleading and/or ridiculous statements.

The second thing to observe is that it really doesn’t matter how the program is delivered, the funding follows the student. As a consequence, schools, be they public, separate or private, are offering variations of public programming to “help” er… appeal to as many $tudents as possible. We have online, distance learning, blended programming, fully aligned and seemingly no end of counterfeit varieties of these things, all with the goal of attracting as many $tudents as possible. Little thought is given to whether or not these offerings are of any benefit to the student, as long as they are “cashable”. No doubt the majority of schools providing such “opportunities” for “education” are public or separate schools, but private schools, taking their example from the “big boys” find some of these offerings just as lucrative in attracting $tudents.

So there you have it. As a student, so long ago, I found myself without value other than the fact that I had a number. I may not have realized it then, but having that number had value for someone else. I really wanted to change all that as a teacher, but the system was too well entrenched. The fact that even schools purporting to be “Christian”, $ee $tudents as a $ubstantial a$$et to their being, doesn’t make them any less guilty. What a crying shame. Tick them all off and bring those children home where they belong.

Schools (Part 3 – More On Dishonesty)

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-07.

Advancing government programming as the only option for education is dishonest.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Prov. 1:19

Last week I shared a bit more of my universal observation of schools. Not that I have been to every school in the universe, but what I have observed of nearly all schools I have experienced is that they are often dishonest. I observed dishonesty in the rhetoric about the deep concern for the educational welfare of the children and all the associated meaningless platitudes and promises so often displayed on the school marquees. It may not be the case for every school but I also frequently observed dishonesty with the handling of money. Most schools quickly took advantage of any potential loophole, knowing full well that the chances of getting caught were slim. I am not convinced that anything has changed, even though the electronic age makes it a little harder to do.

This week I want to talk about another form of dishonesty, so universally accepted that it is not even recognized as dishonest. The idea that government sets the expectations, the programming, delivery and accreditation for education is so rarely questioned that even home educating parents who had to escape the system very often bring the system home with them. Home education providers often see this as a marketing opportunity and not only make this government program available, but may even try to simulate it, often employing dishonesty as their primary tool. There are two ways this can be accomplished, but first let’s briefly consider that by collectively acquiescing to government claims to jurisdiction in areas reserved for parents, Christians are in danger of committing a serious offence before God. By recognizing the government’s claimed lordship over children and education, are we not actually behaving in a “treasonous” fashion respecting Jesus’ Lordship? Since God never gave government authority in the training and teaching of children and since we cannot serve two masters, should Christians be succumbing to this error?

Another consideration before discussing the two ways to mislead home educating parents, is that if the government is in “competition” for lordship with Jesus, then we can certainly assume it will not be advancing the truth. Parents make a grievous mistake when they think that it really does not matter what the children are exposed to as long as they are “educated”. Perplexingly, parents often make a bigger issue about junk food being offered to students in school while saying nothing about the junk being fed to their minds. Should we not pay more attention to the fact that junk food goes through and is eliminated while junk thoughts and ideas are not? This oversight has serious implications for world view development. But then again, could it be that this is actually the objective of government programming in the first place?

When government programming is accepted by home educators through either selective courses, blended or fully aligned programming, it there really any good way to ascertain that the rules are being followed? How could even the most astute bureaucrat be able to determine if the blended program, for instance, is using the Alberta Program of Studies and not a facsimile; that the approved resources are being used; and that it is being delivered by a certificated teacher and not a parent representative? Indeed, this kind of situation is perfect for cheating. Just offer the parents a bit more money and they will not tell the government that the school is not doing what it is supposed to be doing while the school will not report the student’s failure to meet the requirements! Even if rules are followed it is trying to fit a child into a program rather than a program to the child.

The second way that we can cloak dishonesty is to take advantage of the fact that there is no good way to assess if high school credit requirements are met. There is an assumption of honesty, but there is lots of room for “professional” interpretations. Consequently, as a certificated teacher, I can award credits to anyone for anything without really having to defend my decision. Even though credits can be awarded without accessing the associated funding, high school level funding is completely tied to the awarding of credits. Unscrupulous home education providers taking advantage of parental ignorance and fear, promising government “approval” through credits and diplomas are likely more motivated by money than service.

Private Christian Schools (Part 1)

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-14.

If these schools are “private” and “Christian” why are they insisting on “public” and “secular” programing?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 John 4:1-6

It is hard to imagine how any thinking parent could ever believe that government, displaying no allegiance to God or his word, but rather openly hostile towards biblical teaching, could possibly have their children’s best interest in mind. However, it happens all the time. For some reason, the fact that government cannot give birth to children escapes their notice and through a lack of knowledge regarding scriptural directives, parents not only validate and empower the government’s claim to authority in education, but try to emulate its leadership by creating Christian versions of the same thing, something called Private Christian Schools.

Now to be fair, schools do have their place. In countries where illiteracy is high, they have a very important part to play in enabling children to function in the modern world. In our country, where most parents have at least some level of literacy, parents could and should do as directed by God and educate their own children at home. Even so, there is no doubting the fact that not everyone can do so. In a perfect “Christian” world, those that could, would be there to help those that couldn’t or shouldn’t. However, as you may have already noticed, this is anything but a perfect world!

So why have Christian schools? In my opinion, the biggest reason for the creation of Christian schools is the unquestioned normalization of what we have all come to believe as “education happens in schools”. Christian parents who think this way simply carry forward the idea, but within an assumed Christian context and environment. Since we are in an imperfect world where everyone is left to fend for themselves, Christian schools can be a real asset and a positive alternative to public schools, if indeed the leadership, staff and program are…well,… Christian!

Unfortunately, when unfunded, private schools struggle with the high cost of running a school and the need to properly recompense teachers and staff. Few parents can afford high tuition, therefore private schools usually end up seeking help from government. However, this help comes with “strings” attached. Knowing that increasing the amount of government programming used makes things not only easier, but potentially more profitable, it is easy to see how the secularization of “Christian” schools can be accelerated with increased government funding. Once on this path, the private school leadership starts to become increasingly focussed on survival, consequently developing a willingness to do anything demanded of them by bureaucrats, in exchange for continuing existence and support. Attempting to meet the government program with a collection of Christian resources often leads to completely adopting the public program and all of its directives. Private schools can become so much like public schools, they need only apply to become a part of the public system and disappear completely as “Christian” alternatives. Sadly, a true story.

I have always wondered why any Christian school would want to meet this government mandated secular programming at all, never mind trying to Christianize it! If God had given government authority in education, I would understand. However, the prevalent idea that government has something important to say about the training of children is more of an unquestioned cultural “habit” than of reasoned Christian thinking. I suspect this is likely due to a similar misunderstanding of the authority of government within the Church, since it too seems to have placed government ahead of God for it’s existence and survival.

Not every Private Christian School has sold its soul to the devil, but there are few, if any, which do not acknowledge government as in control of all things educational. If we think about it, what is supposed to set private Christian schools apart is that they look to God as the provider and director of all things, including the training and teaching of children. To say that Jesus is Lord on the one hand, then look to government for provision and direction makes a mockery of what a Christian education should entail. Why are Private Christian Schools looking to government for direction and support? Could it be because our culture has developed a greater fear of government than faith in God, when it comes to education?

Private Christian Schools (Part 2)

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-21.

Why are many Private Christian Schools believing that government controls education?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Matt 15:14

Today, nearly every Private Christian School in Alberta either uses the government’s approved curriculum or a combination of things that meet the directives of government programming, including not only Christian, but non-Christian resources as well. In fact, it is not uncommon to see Christian schools advertising their adherence to public programming as incentive to have the children attend them. I believe this is largely the result of two things. There is a deeply seated belief that government sets the standard for education and most people have bought into the idea that government accreditation is required to successfully progress to the post-secondary level. Both reasons are in error! Government has no God given authority in education and there are much easier approaches to post-secondary pathways.

Here is an important question. Does scripture not direct us to avoid being conformed to this world? If this is the advice we get from the Bible, would it not be expected of a Christian school to avoid using the government’s worldly curriculum? Why would or should any “Christian” school, ostensibly created to direct students to God even be tempted to follow what is designed to lead us away from Him? While we may hear believers talk about the need to defend the Christian faith against worldly influence, we present a Christianized version of this worldly wisdom! Why not just use Christian programming and never mind aligning or lining up with the secular government program at all? Are we so lacking internal direction that we need outside intervention? Really, if one thinks about it, offering parents a Christianized version of worldly programming while offering to “clean it up” of its secular-socialist messages is like promising fresh water from sewage. Why bother to even pretend to meet it? The answer… ultimately, is money! It is really disgraceful how many former good Christian organizations have compromised their way into eventually becoming part of the problem by joining the local public system through the pursuit of it!

I am sure there must be Christian schools using Christian curriculum, taught by Christian teachers under the leadership of Christian folks who wholeheartedly desire to prepare students belonging to Christian parents to function in what used to be a more Christian world, without having to resort to “Christianizing” a secular program, but our experience of last year indicates that they are few and far between, if they even exist. My concern goes beyond the failure of Christian schools to those who, through extension, are connected to them. Because most home educators share a Christian world view, most find it desirable to register through a Christian school, either directly or through a third party “provider”. Does it really matter which school parents are registered with? Actually, it does.

From a Christian perspective, a school or provider’s motivation for offering a home education program is vital. If motivated by anything other than pleasing God, the directive will always be towards man’s system, which has always desired to replace God. Rather than informing parents of God’s expectations and provision, most Christian schools will do what is most expedient for their own success by advancing what could easily be a false promise of parental and student well-being. Since these schools know little of what a true Christian education should look like, ministry often becomes overshadowed with marketing where providers outbid each other for clients. Could this be a classic case of the blind leading the blind?

As a consequence of being directed to man rather than God, many home educators end up trying to outperform the school rather than focussing on God’s directives. Think about this. If the private Christian school through which a home educator is registered is either compromising the faith or seriously challenging it, are the parents being well served? If the Christian schools through which most home educators are registered are increasingly becoming secularized, is God-centred home education in trouble? Should private schools go down, the only choice home educators will have will be public institutions, which may show an interest in the potential income, but are unlikely to support Christian education. But then again, could this motivation also be what drives Christian schools to register home educators?

Home Education Providers

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-28.

If there are too many registration options for home education, a competitive environment is created where survival becomes more important than function.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Peter 5:8

In Alberta, every child between the ages of six and sixteen must be registered for “education”, somewhere. There are really only two choices provided. Either children are registered to attend some kind of school or they are registered to be educated at home. There is presently no option for simply notifying the government of the intent to home educate without government interference, in Alberta.

Home educating parents have a choice of either registering their children with the local school board, or with some other willing non-resident school board in the province. Willing school boards can be public schools, catholic schools, or private schools which can either be providing home education programs directly or through what has come to be known as Independent Contracted Home Education Specialists (ICHES).

Alberta is one of very few jurisdictions that provides funding for home education. Therefore, aside from a legal obligation a local school board has for the education of all of its resident students, there is only one reason a non-resident board could have for wanting to provide home education services for students outside of its geographical area and that would have to be…money. The funding of home educated students has created a rather peculiar situation that involves competition for students as well as a few variations on the theme of home-based education that is truly unique to Alberta. Besides the age old debate among home-based educators as to whether one should school, home school, home educate or un-school, Alberta also provides mixes of these involving blending, aligning or partially complying to public programming. All these options are not actually offered to meet every family’s needs, but are specifically designed marketing techniques for attracting clients and/or increasing the provider’s income.

In addition to confusing the question of what a home education is, the desire to attract students because they represent money has also created opportunity for questionable behaviours. A board making no claim to religious affiliation could be expected to behave in ways that could be considered contrary to what would be expected of a board claiming to be Christian, which would naturally be held to a higher standard. When considering that the vast majority of home educating parents are coming from a Christian perspective, home education providers know that in order to attract these people, they also have to be “Christian”, however this talk is often disassociated from the walk, so to speak. I don’t suppose this is the time, nor the place to list the questionable practices that I have witnessed coming from home education providers claiming to be of a Christian persuasion, but let me assure you that not everything could be considered moral, ethical or even decent.

Aside from the potential for giving Christianity an even worse reputation than what it already has in the western world, the most unfortunate consequence of this focus on money is that it has divided the home education community. Consider this: when the survival of providers becomes of bigger concern than that of home education itself; when one provider is willing to destroy another to gain a larger market share; or when providers are willing to risk having all home educators suspected of their own misconducts; are we not becoming increasingly more vulnerable to being destroyed from within? Few parents are actually aware of what is going on as providers make self-centred, short-sighted decisions seemingly without regard for the potential casualties or for the future welfare of home education in this province.

I cannot help but wonder how many of these organizations would suddenly lose their “love for home educators” and promptly disappear should the funding of such be ended. Could it be time to seriously reconsider participating in funded home education? While parents may indeed be benefiting in the short term, could it be that the providers are actually benefiting more?

Home Education Facilitators

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-04-04.

Facilitators are the front line workers in the home education community and have the power to direct or misdirect the parents.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Titus 2:1

I have always had a simple philosophy when it came to learning: Go to someone who knows something about what you want to learn. It is important to distinguish the difference between someone who thinks they know something about a topic from someone who does. For example, I believe it is not at all unreasonable to expect a swimming instructor to be able to swim well before signing up for that class! Unfortunately, in our modern world of diminishing knowledge and skills, one need not know much about a topic to claim to be an expert!

Take home education facilitation, for example. This is a position that is unique to Alberta, where funding directed at home educating students comes with the requirement that a certificated teacher visit the family twice per year to ascertain whether or not the student is progressing in his/her studies. The very fact that these teachers are sent to “supervise” a home education program speaks loudly of the government’s belief that parents are not likely to do an adequate job without governmental oversight.

Since the only qualification needed to be a facilitator is to be certificated to practice “teaching” in the province of Alberta, there is no requirement whatsoever to know anything about faith, or to believe, understand or even sympathize with home education. As a consequence, it is not uncommon for facilitators to bring the school to the parents rather than to encourage and equip them to teach the children in keeping with their gifts and talents. One should understand that the very first thing taught to students in teacher’s college, is the importance… no, the necessity of disqualifying parents from being the natural and best possible teachers of their children, which establishes the need for “professional” teachers. Since few bother to question claims to authority that are being made by extra-familial agencies, most facilitators are more likely to represent an authority claimed by government than respecting the authority of the parents of the child.

Facilitators can be very subtle about how they exercise this authority. One way is to “conveniently” visit when the fathers are not present. They may also show up as the experts who quickly normalize the very things parents were escaping when deciding to home educate and to take advantage of their lack of understanding rather than to help them come to a knowledge of the truth.

Another way to demonstrate a false authority is the inspecting of student work and approving or disapproving of what is being accomplished, as if by some “standard”. Considering that there is no such thing as a standard child, there can be no standard by which to make comparison, other than what a facilitator subjectively determines at that moment. The most destructive example of this is in the offering of credits at the high school level. Not only is this unnecessary for post-secondary admission, but doing so can actually hamper a student’s credentials. Validating the secular ideology and “authority of man” may impress a misinformed or insecure parent who may still be questioning their own goals. However, to dishonestly advance a supposed school standard is to arrogantly claim a greater authority over children they do not know, over that of the parents who gave them birth. This completely defeats the reason for home educating in the first place.

This is becoming a major reason why the lines between secular and sacred are being blurred in the home education community. A growing number of home educators bring in a greater need for teachers, some of whom, having little understanding of home education, introduce secular ideology that is assimilated and normalized as acceptable. To be fair, there are good facilitators out there and I am happy to say that Education Unlimited is working with some of the best! Good facilitators often develop wonderful relationships with their families and do indeed encourage and equip them. However, this can only happen if facilitators respect the God given authority of the fathers and that of the mothers who help them meet the responsibilities they have for the training and teaching of children towards God’s eternal kingdom. If the facilitators honour God, they will honour this authority. If they do not honour this authority, they have no business in a home where parents desire to fulfill their roles in leading children to a future that only God knows.

Home Education Organizations

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-04-11.

Leadership requires a goal bigger than one’s survival.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Romans 12:2

It is pretty well a given that human institutions start with good reason and purpose. It seems that as long as the original founders are active, they are able to remind others of the initial objectives, but once the institution starts to move into its second generation, the collective memory starts to fade, remembering less about “why” it was created and focussing more on “how” it is to survive. Sometimes, the “how” eclipses the “why” in importance and it metamorphoses into something entirely different from the original.

Once again, it is important for me to reiterate that my purpose is to expose issues that go largely unnoticed, not to sweep everything with the same brush of negative judgements. Before we begin our discussion of home education organizations, there are a few characteristics about institutions that must first be clarified.

To start, it is important to understand that institutions are constructs of man and not God. They may appear to be the same as jurisdictions created by God, such as man’s government as opposed to God’s government, but these similarities are only superficial. Another thing about institutions is that they are mostly ruled by committee, referred to as a board, usually made up of well meaning, if not misinformed and inexperienced volunteers desiring to serve their fellow man, but occasionally also by individuals wanting to advance more self-serving causes. Either way, it is important to understand that institutions are constructed by man and led by his appointed, as opposed to jurisdictions which are constructed by God and led by His anointed.

Home education organizations can be national, provincial or local, such as home education support groups. Everyone of these levels have important parts to play within the home education community. However, in keeping with the natural tendency to lose sight of original objectives, any of these organizations may become something that was not intended in the first place. Assuming the original objective to be to advance, protect and defend parental freedom in education with an emphasis on educating children at home in keeping with a Christian world view, one has to question if home education organizations may not have lost some of their original reason for being.

If a home education organization advances questionable objectives, such as how to measure students by the world’s standards; or how to outperform the world’s schools; or that we should strive for worldly recognition or values in employment and position; or to have the biggest or best convention; or to become an arm of a particular home education provider or some other cause leading people away from truth and faith in God, does it truly have Christian home education at heart or has the objective become more a matter of maintaining or increasing membership towards survival?

As home education organizations at any level adopt faulty premises, leading to wrong objectives, do they not also lose their usefulness? If belonging to a club is contingent on being alike rather than like-minded, is it not essentially doing what the schools we are trying to escape are doing? Each level of home education organization has unwittingly created barriers to those who do not subscribe to their way of thinking. They may not beat up opponents, but are not above ignoring them or “blacklisting” them as potentially dangerous to the cause, which is usually self-preservation by the time it gets to this point. Not to worry, though. If you are one who does not ask potentially embarrassing questions, pay your dues and adopt what the leadership advises, you should be okay. However, if you are one who believes the organization is headed in the wrong direction and if you are not bashful about saying so, you could find yourself being viewed as an enemy of the very institution originally created by people who thought as you do. Such is the nature of institutions, whether they subscribe to a Christian world view or not. If these organizations put themselves in positions of leadership, perhaps it is time we ask how and where they intend to lead us!

Home Educators (On Life and Authority)

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-04-18.

God gives the authority, but we can give it away.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Col. 2:8

It should come as no surprise that I would end The Problem series with home educators themselves. If you have been following the blogs closely you should have been able to come to a couple of conclusions. First, I firmly believe… no, actually I am completely convicted of the fact that parents are in complete authority over children for two reasons. First, contrary to recent demonstrations of insanity, God created them male and female and only a mom with a dad can create children. Since they are the only ones capable of issuing progeny, and in keeping with scriptural directives and common sense, I am absolutely convinced of parental authority in the raising, training and teaching of children. The simple plan is God created man male and female with capacity for procreation; instructed them (us) to do just that; children are born to parents who are responsible for seeing them come to adult independence, including all necessary physical, mental and spiritual needs. It is critically important to understand this, since nothing I have said from the beginning of the year will make sense, otherwise.

Next, and equally important is the fact that if God has given parents (dads in particular) the authority over children, then it is very clear that any other claim to that authority is bogus, at best. Let me be crystal clear. Parents have the authority over children, therefore any claim to those children, or for the responsibility to teach them, is a usurping of parental authority. If indeed we find ourselves in a position of having to do what some other agency is telling us we should do, it is because we gave them the authority to do so. This authority is ours, given to us by God, to do with as we please. We can either exercise this authority in keeping with God’s directives, or we can give it away to someone or something else. That is the freedom God has given us. Freedom to do what we want in order to please Him or freedom to give our authority and our blessings away. What a mighty God we serve! Mighty enough to give us all we need towards life and Godliness and wise enough to give us all that we need to self-destruct, if that is what we want. Wow! That’s real power!

Hoping that it is clear that only parents, who can potentially procreate, have authority over children, it is now possible to put things in perspective. Since all the non-procreating agencies we discussed in this series are doomed without an input of life, they must engage in activities to ensure their continued survival. This is accomplished by manipulating parents into willingly or unwittingly surrendering their authority over the children. Parents who surrender their authority, such as acknowledging government claims to authority in education, are either duped with the idea that they cannot succeed without government intervention, or being tricked into trading their children for money or freedom or some other self-serving promise. Again, it is important to note that parents have the authority and must give it away. Others may steal it, but only because we were not aware of having it or failed to guard it in the first place.

Another consideration is that non-procreating agencies do not have to physically steal students to survive. They can engage in a form of parasitism. Parasitism is where one agency (the parasite) benefits while the other (the host) is harmed. However, the parasite must not harm the host too much as the death of the host usually also means the death of the parasite. Hosts usually don’t even know they are being parasitized. They just end up participating in this one-sided relationship without truly understanding that by default, they become part of the problem because they provide the parasite with life and the ability to extend it beyond itself. That is why government has no problem letting parents feed, clothe and shelter children, as long as the teaching is left up to the professionals in school. If the children can be made to think as the agency does, they will unwittingly perpetuate it as they in turn procreate and continue along the same path.

How many parents know that they are part of a system that is designed to benefit one agency over another? How many home educators understand enough about the entities discussed thus far in this series to be able to protect themselves and their children from being used by agencies who cannot survive without them?

A Summary – Part 1

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-04-25.

This blog summarizes and concludes “The Problem” series.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Tim 6:10

Have you ever known something about someone or something and decided that it was best to say nothing? We likely all keep those secrets, thinking that we will only make things worse by spilling the beans. True, there are times, likely more often than not, when we should hold our tongues, but there are also times when the truth must be revealed. When people, a group or a movement is threatened by the silence of those who see the problem, it is imperative for those who know to make it known.

I have been a professional educator for forty years and part of the home education movement for twenty eight of them. Long enough to remember how it started and enough time to see the trends that help me predict with a reasonable amount of certainty where the movement is likely headed. I may have tended to be a bit philosophical in the recent past blogs in an attempt to say something without sounding negative or to be accused of having bad motive. Please understand that I am speaking in general terms and so not everything mentioned is applicable everywhere or all the time, but I do not believe I am doing the home education movement any good by remaining silent or by obscuring the truth as I have of late. Therefore, I am going to take a risk and tell it as it is. You may not be happy with what I will have to say. The truth is, I am not happy with having to say it! However, I believe it needs to be said, so here goes.

I listed seven agencies as part of the problem, but before I review what has been said, I want to bring in the eighth agency, the one most likely to have the greatest influence of all as it represents all. The media, for the most part, has purposefully been providing a very slanted view of things, reporting what they want you to hear and not necessarily the news. News junkies are pretty well indoctrinated into accepting, defending and advancing the modern “progressive” agenda that is both secular and socialist. Even professing Christians are at risk of being part of the problem rather than offering sound solutions through the power of the media.

Government makes claims to having authority which when accepted by parents, validates the claim and empowers the government to totalitarian rule in education. When did God give parents permission to abdicate their responsibility and to take directives regarding the teaching and training of their children from government?

The modern institutional church is compromised and therefore, sick. Not to be confused with the Church, the body and bride of Christ, modern day churches quickly give credence to government “authority” which makes them more an arm of the bureaucracy than the representatives and voice of God. A greater focus on attendance, buildings, cash, and survival has largely usurped ministry in importance. As a consequence, most churches, even if sympathetic to home education are not really supportive of it.

Schools are schools. What more can be said? In my opinion, school has devolved into the most dysfunctional institution ever created by man, unless of course, you are a believer in using it to indoctrinate the children of our society to think, say and do as directed by a secular government that desires to be God. School has so infiltrated the world as the standard format for the education of children, that most everybody simply defaults to it as the norm, not only advancing it, but defending it or trying to fix it by creating variations of the same thing.

Private schools may be private, but they are still schools. Private Christian Schools may also be private schools, but are they actually Christian? No doubt some are. However, there are certainly some for whom the talk is much different from the walk. Our personal experience this year has clearly demonstrated that the “Christian” part of a “Christian” school can most certainly be questioned. If we are to use scripture as the premise upon which to measure the validity of the claim to Christianity, one need look no further than whom the private Christian school is beholden to. A Christian school should be seeking God before government, but that is actually becoming increasingly rare these days. I have witnessed first hand as a teacher, a facilitator and home education provider that there is little faith in Christian schools today. There may be Christian curriculum, Christian teachers and Christian leaders, but when faith in God is replaced with a Christian version of secular indoctrination, there is no real life, just a more lively version of death.

A Summary – Part 2

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-05-02.

This blog summarizes and concludes “The Problem” series.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 Tim 6:10

Home Education Providers have given me one of the biggest reasons for concern about the future of home education. Like most beginnings, these organizations may have had a valid part to play in supporting home education, but most, if not all, have lost this focus, to concentrate on self-preservation. Whether public, separate or private, any school’s reason for recruiting students has likely more to do with money than wanting to support home educating families. There are only three independent contracted home education specialists (ICHES) left and of them, two thought nothing of knocking out a former ICHES in a brazen effort to take out the founders, destroy the entity and steal the students. Whose job description contains that? What could possibly be the motive for such a diabolical action? Trust me, this is not “sour grapes” on my part, but bewilderment as to how these entities can on the one hand claim a Christian perspective yet behave in such a fashion that even the world found the actions to be deplorable! What is Christian about a private school and two ICHES conspiring to destroy a “brother”? Yikes!

Home Education Facilitators, if experienced in home education, having more faith in God than fear of man and in subjection to the authority of the parents, can become a real blessing to home educating families. Alternatively, if representing government or schools, or if pretending to be authorities in education, facilitators can not only provide a great deal of grief, but actually be destructive of parent-directed home education.

Home Education Organizations ostensibly created to support home education have, for the most part, taken on lives of their own. I am fond of describing bureaucracy as an animal that has learned to feed on its own young. Nearly all these entities have become so. Whether a local support group, a provincial organization or a national group, all have seemingly lost the Christ from their definition of Christian! Parents complain about the sectarian nature of local support groups which have mostly become fan clubs for certain providers whether led by the parents or by the providers themselves. Our provincial organization has become a defender of the need for ICHES’ more than of home education. A provincial home education conference that bans children is hardly a defender of family! A den of confusion which cares little for what is being offered reminds me of the merchants and money changers who moved our Lord to make a whip, is not likely putting the needs of home educators in first place. On a national level, do we really need a representative to interpret the government’s position without defending ours? Has anyone noticed how scripture, Bible, God, Lord, Jesus or any reference to Christianity is increasingly being avoided? Could it be that we do not want to alienate any potential members and corresponding income? Survival first, then ministry is backwards, isn’t it? If ministry is not first, it cannot be ministry.

Home Educators are most responsible for the downward spiral of the home education movement. Aside from being ignorant of what is really going on, apathy is worst. Home educators are often no better than the other parents in that they are primarily concerned with their own comfort without regard for the future well-being of the movement. Fathers are abdicating their authority to the delight of those who can only benefit from this error. Normalizing what is clearly in contradiction of biblical directives and common sense is no way to escape the problem. However, the biggest issue, the source of my greatest heartaches, has to be the ethic-defying demonstration of unabashed parental greed. I have seen more garbage Christianity in this area than everywhere else combined. No doubt the entire home education movement has defaulted to a movement of money, but parents could have stopped it in its tracks if not so attracted to it. I could write a book on how parents and home education providers have made a mockery of acceptable Christian behaviour when it comes to the home education funding. I have already extended this blog way beyond its usual length, so I simply want to end by saying that the home education providers’ manipulation of the parental love of money is largely to blame for the deteriorated state of home education today. If money keeps talking, God help us all!

The Consequence for Home Education

Part of the series The Problem

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-05-09.

We can compromise until there is nothing left to give. How close are we to the end of the traditional home education movement?

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Luke 12:4-5

In the last two weeks I concluded the summary of The Problem with a no-holds-barred critique of the various players in the home education community, including (and especially) the parents. Organizations and individuals have been focusing on themselves and their own personal interests to the detriment of the home education community and its testimony for Christ. This self-centred emphasis has led to a kind of blindness towards the “big picture” of decay among the home education movement. In Hosea 4:6 the Lord said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This lack of knowledge is being facilitated and encouraged by the agencies mentioned in the series that benefit from the derailing of home education in Alberta.

Most people are under the illusion that they are informed, but in reality they have been purposefully misinformed so they can be supporters of a system. For example, Vladimir Lennin, the Russian dictator of yore, referred to the “useful idiots”, who in their misguided zeal, supported and defended his subversive system. Although there is a greater chance that home educating parents are somewhat more aware of the trappings of secular socialist indoctrination, most people, while believing they are free, are oblivious to the fact that a lot of what they do believe has been instilled by controlling agencies. It should come as no surprise that indoctrination is always towards the bondage of serving man and his agencies, rather than to God, the author of freedom, often even when coming from a religious perspective. This was what Jesus most vehemently opposed during His earthly ministry.

It can be safely said, therefore, that ignorance has always been anybody’s biggest enemy. Unless people in general, and home educating parents in particular, make being informed an important part of their lives, they will go on being duped, tricked and manipulated by those who would direct others into being part of the problem, by either providing or perpetuating faulty information. In fact, most home educators subscribe to elements of the secular socialist worldview without truly understanding why or how. They believe in government; trust the media; follow a church or church leader; normalize all schools; are loyal to a home education provider, even if unethical, to the point of dividing the community along tribal lines; and support organizations that are more about themselves than home education. While all this demonstrates an abiding confidence in the “progressive”, secular socialist agenda, it shows little to no faith in God.

Today, the home education community has generally accepted the very things that moved parents to leave the system a generation ago. It is not uncommon to see parents educate their children at home by repeating what is being done in school, or worse, allowing the school to dictate what is to be done. Parents wonder if they are doing the right thing or doing enough, looking to man’s agencies for answers. Parents may start by teaching their children at home, then send them to school or bring the school home so the “education” can be “completed” by “professionals” in keeping with government accreditation. This reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Galatians: although they had begun in the Spirit, they believed they could only be perfected by the flesh!

The result of accepting the false claims to authority, the marketing of products over service to the people and the focus on money, is that resourceful people have successfully recaptured the home education community and submitted it back to the world. Even though the movement started with people convicted of their God-given responsibility for the teaching and training of their children, it has slowly devolved to a choice of convenience, even if it means sending the children back to school. Home educators can be just as ill-informed, narrow-minded, short-sighted, and self-centred as any other parent. When external agencies put themselves and their well being ahead of the parents’, the lines get so blurred as to make home education no longer stand out. Home education, as it was originally, is in trouble because we have lost our original reason for doing so. It has become a movement more focussed on immediate self-serving issues than with the greater purpose of preparing children for God’s Kingdom.

The Issue at Hand

Part of the series Wrapping Up 2015-16

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-05-16.

The truth will set us free, it is said.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 2 Peter 3:17

After spending nearly two months travelling the province, visiting families; hosting a number of Community Home Education Conferences (CHEC) where I had the opportunity to talk to all manner of families; having to deal with government in one way or another, either directly or indirectly; sponsoring a few campaigns dealing with pertinent and urgent issues potentially damaging to the home education community in this province; and having time to think on these things while travelling thousands of kilometres in our truck and camper; I have much to share and little time to do it in these blogs.

The biggest lesson learned this year is that I have been in error by desiring to be liked and not wanting to cause discomfort to others. You can chalk this up to my “being a nice Canadian” and my subscription to the unbiblical attitude of being positive at any cost. Both are just excuses cloaking cowardice with a sweetness more akin to aspartame than real sugar. I was corrected by a lady who attended my presentation at the provincial conference for alluding to problems and issues while carefully avoiding the use of names in order to … protect the guilty?! After having checked, I realize that the Bible is full of examples where bad people had their names published. How else could they be avoided if not by being revealed for the crooks and scoundrels that they were? Indeed, when nothing is done about bad people doing bad things, nothing changes and good people are hurt or taken advantage of by these bad people, who may not even realize they are being bad. Therefore, I have determined to tell the truth, at great personal risk, by including the names of the people and organizations that are continuing unchallenged with their ungodly, self-serving causes. There is a great deal that I see wrong with the world, but my most sensitive “buttons” include the abuse or manipulation of parents and children and the tarnishing of the name of Christ by people and agencies pretending to be Christian while obviously neglecting to apply the teaching of Jesus Christ.

One mom attending a CHEC frustratingly shared her concern that most home educating parents were more often being duped than being informed. It has long been known by manipulators that the first thing necessary for anyone to be manipulated is that they be ignorant of the truth, otherwise they will be on their guard against being used by others. I am simply amazed at the level of ignorance, not only about things pertaining to home education in general, but things pertaining to the life that has been freely given us by our Lord. The frustrating thing to me is that most of these young people have a genuine and sincere desire to come to the knowledge of the truth about our faith, but most have no where to go. Churches are too often focussed on nearly everything other than supporting families and growing their faith, leaving the world without a compass along with the resulting madness of relativity and corresponding normalization of deviation. Today, it’s an anything goes world with the very agencies that should be defending what is right, encouraging rather than resisting secularization, for the sake of survival. This perverted progressivism has crept into the Christian community and through it to the home education community as well. True, there is more resistance to this insanity within the home education community, but when those purporting to be on guard for it make compromises towards their own self-interests, there is little one can do but watch traditional home education slowly slip into oblivion as it becomes more secular and driven by questionable motivation.

I am even more convinced than ever that the plight of traditional home education in this province is not good. Between government heavy handedness, and home educating parental ignorance and fears, not to mention the ICHESs, private schools and other home education providers competing for the students and the associated cash, parents are unwittingly being taken along on a wave of compromising that can only lead to the destruction of traditional home education in this province. Most parents quickly see that it is the money that is causing the problem, but they are not entirely correct in this observation. It is the love of money, demonstrated by some parents’ pursuit of what this money can provide, and hidden by the pseudo-wisdom of agencies willing to sacrifice parental authority on their altar of survival, so they can get even more of it. This problem will not go away until we start refocussing on Jesus and hearts are changed.

The Solution

Part of the series Wrapping Up 2015-16

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-05-23.

The focus on what’s best for the children has been obscured by a focus on what’s best for parents or organizations because we don’t focus on Jesus.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 7:14

Don’t we just love finding solutions to problems? At least, I do. Perhaps that is because I am a natural fixer and I delight in seeing what was broken as repaired or restored. In fact, I believe that is also the heart of God. He created the world perfect and willingly gave man enough freedom to reject Him which, as you know, he did. And, even though man has been running from God ever since, God never gave up trying to fix the problem created by the fall, even being willing to personally descend on earth in the form of man to not only repair and restore man, but to redeem him. The ultimate solution to the ultimate problem! Thank you, Jesus!

To redeem is to go beyond repairing or restoring, which actually deals with the effect of a problem rather than the cause. Redeeming goes beyond fixing the cause or the problem, to eliminating it. This is what we need to do to save Christian home education. We need to bring it back into right standing, much the same as Jesus’ sacrifice provided opportunity for mankind to be repaired and restored into right standing with God. I am not saying that we need a saviour, because we already have one. What I am saying is that unless home education agencies in general, and home educators in particular, seriously refocus on why Christian education was restored to the home from the schools, we will not be able to clearly see what the objective for home education was and continues to be and we will simply return to what we want to escape.

Home education has never been about money, as almost every other jurisdiction in the world knows. Neither is home education about out performing the world in their school and educational games. It is not about winning spelling bees, writing a world class essay, offering solutions for some major issue or inventing a new gismo, even though these are noble accomplishments, nor is it about being able to fill the children’s heads full of knowledge, even though this is good too.

Home education is when parents seriously consider that Jesus’ great commission, to go out into the world to preach the gospel, starts at home with the children God has given them. It is about taking the authority and associated responsibility to make sure that the truth has been written in the hearts of the children and demonstrated as being the major component of the heart of those in authority, starting with the parents. To teach the heart is to prepare for eternity. The head may get us through this life, but then what? How about eternity? What was Jesus willing to give us so that we could have that eternity with, rather than separated from, God? What do you think His expectation of us would be in exchange? Is this expectation part time or only applicable in some instances, something like entertaining a Christian world view on Sunday at church then a secular world view thereafter? We cannot serve two masters so let’s pick the Winner.

The problem with Christian home education today is that we are becoming increasingly unaware of where we have come from and as a consequence we have mostly lost our faith and vision, not only for ourselves and our children but for society in general and the home educating community in particular. We have traded the eternal for the temporal. We have become self-serving and sectarian. We need to be shaken out of our lethargy and cult-like followings so that the Christian faith and home education can be redeemed as a service to the Lord and not to ourselves or our children, even if they are the focus of the exercise.

The solution, while simple, is not easy. Christian home education needs to be reunited, repaired, restored and redeemed as a service unto the Lord as we fulfill our responsibility to share the gospel with a lost and dying world. When money, grades, subjects, government, schools, home education providers, agencies, ICHESs, facilitators, and a whole host of other home education issues and concerns take second place to seeking the Kingdom of God, they will find their place and their appropriate functions. Let us all passionately repent, refocussing back on the author and finisher of our faith and make all that we do, starting with our children, a full time, uncompromising ministry unto Him.

Goodbye For The Summer

Part of the series Wrapping Up 2015-16

Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-05-30.

A rather lengthy summary of this year’s Education Unlimited activities.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Eph 4: 1-24

Wow! What an incredible year this has been, especially in light of the fact that the Morinville Christian School (MCS), The Home Education Exchange (THEE) and MCS’s former principal gave the appearance of collaborating to kill the EU ministry, destroy the EU organization and steal the students that neither agency had done a thing for, essentially forcing the EU parents to decide whether to stay with MCS or move their children to another school, the Harvest Baptist Academy. After overwhelmingly failing in their apparent hostile take over attempt, another agency, ROOTS, joined MCS to form a rather polygamous union that was sure to rattle the government, who could not comprehend how large populations of students could be moved at will to another school!

Think about this from the government’s perspective. When has an entire school ever moved from one community to another? In the real world, such craziness would never happen but when Independent Contracted Home Education Specialists (ICHES is a term invented to give credibility to organizations that have no place in the government’s world) start moving from one private school to another, both private schools and ICHESs are legitimately called into question. Counting Families Learning Together’s move from the Lighthouse Christian Academy to the Red Deer Catholic system a few years ago, ten agencies (private schools and ICHESs) have been involved in the greatest transfer of students from one school community to another ever to have occurred in the history of education in this province. I cannot be sure that the massive clawbacks that occurred this year are directly related to this craziness, but I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the likelihood of the perpetrators of these very large transfers of students, considering the overall implications of these moves for the Christian home education community, is very small.

What could have been the primary motivation behind this insanity? Student welfare? Or is it more likely to be school and ICHES welfare? Were parents consulted before their children were unilaterally transferred to another school in another community? Don’t the parents have the last say as to where they want their children registered? How can any agency, let alone ones that claim a Christian faith, so brazenly ignore parental authority and trade in students as though they were a commodity? No wonder the government is concerned, as even the secular world would find such manipulation of students offensive. Please understand that while being forced out of MCS after sixteen years of association, EU continued to honour the authority of parents by clearly communicating with our parents both by personal phone call and by letter, what their options were and not what we had decided for them!

Speaking of parental authority, another thing I did was bring to light the news about the Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA), our provincial organization supposedly representing the home educators of this province, having sent the Minister of Education a letter offering a form of evaluation and reporting on home educated student progress. Did you know that the organization created to defend home education has now grown to the point where it feels it has the “authority” to tell all parents, facilitators and schools how they will conduct the evaluations of student progress? How about the fact that one “ICHES with a large number of students”, arrogantly assuming to be speaking not only on behalf of all the parents associated with them but for every home educating parent of the province, has volunteered to conduct a pilot program of this newly minted evaluation process? When were the parents and providers consulted about this? Were you consulted before AHEA and the ICHES with a large number of students decided to violate parental authority to appease a ruling that had not actually been made? This unprecedented move strips parents of their authority and validates the Minister’s false claim to having authority over parents in the training of children. If it is a matter of having to answer for the taxpayer funds that private and home education are receiving (remember that we are taxpayers too), then a simple solution is to refuse the funds, if and when it comes with an obligation for evaluation. Given that choice, most parents would likely have opted out of the funding in favour of freedom, but agencies that would cease to exist if the funding was to be discontinued are likely to have a bit of a different perspective on this matter! When parental authority over their children is being violated by agencies trading in students and others willing to sacrifice it on their altar of survival, we don’t really need external enemies to destroy us!

Besides being unbelievably busy making the myriad of adjustments that came along with working with a new school after sixteen years with MCS, Education Unlimited had to make some serious changes in order to completely separate ourselves from the diminishing crowd of ever more compromising ICHESs. We morphed from being an ICHES under MCS into being a highly developed digital management system for traditional home education. Funny how things go, isn’t it? Others may have meant evil for EU, but God used this opportunity (it sure did not feel like an opportunity at first!) for good as we developed not only our web site ( to better serve our school and home education community, but another web site ( which is sure to minister to Christian home educators around the world.

What can be described as the craziest, most nonsensical year we have ever experienced within the home education community was made even more bizarre by the unexpected and unprecedented moves by the Department of Education. Aside from having to wait until January before receiving any funding, our school (Harvest Baptist Academy) underwent three intensive audits this year, likely brought about by their sudden and overwhelming increase of students when having thrown our families a life line and an alternative to MCS. Our new management system proved itself to be outstanding as we seamlessly provided up to date and accurate information in keeping with all rules and requirements. Add to that, a pile of issues like Bill 10, Motion 504, public pressure to defund private schools, the retroactive reinterpretation of the proper use of taxpayer funds in home education, along with an overall near impossible intransigence of the self-declared infallibility of government bureaucrats, and you have a picture of what this past year has been like. It is likely that most home educators of the province were more aware of these last events as they involved a bit more media coverage and changes to funding expectations.

In preparation for these final blogs, I reviewed all the blogs that I have written this year. I was pleased by the outcome and truly thankful for the Holy Spirit’s direction as many times, even I was impressed with what had been said… and I am the one who said it! I encourage you all to start back in September and read through the year. You will get a glimpse of my heart and how it passionately beats for the Christian home education community, the authority of parents and true Christian education. It is sure to encourage you. I nearly never hear from anyone and would dearly love to know not only how these blogs are doing but what you may want to see in the future. Please email me ( to let me know how these blogs have affected you this year.

I want to end by thanking Brian Coldwell, the chairman of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society, the operators of the Harvest Baptist Academy and all the staff of HBA for giving us a reason to carry on. It has been a great pleasure to have been able to have fellow defenders of Christian education stand beside us as we advance and defend parental authority in education. Thank you, HBA.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for encouraging us, not only in word, but by being cooperative during these unprecedented times of change, both from without and within this ministry. We may have experienced bell ringing and death defying events, along with some exhilarating things as well, yet we have never lost our focus. We exist to serve our Lord, our schools and families, but most importantly we desire to be of service to our parents as they reclaim their proper authority for the welfare of their children by training their hearts to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strengths to become servants of the Most High God.

God bless you all. Lord willing, I will “blog” you again in the fall. Please keep us in prayer.

Have a great summer!

Léo Gaumont