Beyond Home Education
Like everything else in life, home education has to come to an end, sometime. However, at what point does one thing end and another start? People generally like to have guidelines that can be followed in life, but not everything in life fits easily between the lines. Home education is one of those things. Since the learning journey is directed by the individual student, who is in possession of his/her own timeline, home education is largely an exercise that usually results in our “colouring outside the lines”, so to speak, blurring them so that we never see an actual end. Besides, what is generally assumed to be the end of one phase, is usually just the beginning of another.
Beyond Home Education is not an expression of a grade level, the completion of a program, the obtaining of some kind of certificate or a graduation ceremony. It is simply another phase in the life of a learner that comes after an academic foundation has been laid. A baby is born and quickly becomes an infant who eventually starts to read and compute. Home education, where the parent plays a greater part in directing the formal academic learning of a child, begins somewhere at this point. This primary level of learning the basics simply transitions to the secondary level where those basics are applied to more advanced learning. Students eventually begin to take greater responsibility for their “programming”, ultimately leading to their assuming ownership of their lives and deciding what needs to be learned at a post-secondary level, whatever that may be. There is no point of transition, no mark on the wall, only an adult who now sees parents as consultants rather than superintendents in their lives. This is what we mean by Beyond Home Education.
Education Unlimited has long understood, supported and directed students beyond home education.
Transitioning Responsibility From Parents To Students
Following his famous dissertation on love in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul points out that things had changed in his life, as one would expect of every life. His description of this change was summarized by “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things”. A child “grows up” to become a man or woman, eventually ending childlike behaviour to begin speaking, understanding and thinking as an adult. Mommy and daddy, who morphed into mom and dad, take on more of an advisor role as the child demonstrates greater amounts of responsibility. There comes a time (not a point in time) when the child should look to their Heavenly Father as their source of life and parents for godly wisdom in life.
Paul followed his description of growing up with "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known". Growing up means much more than parents diminishing in their "educational" influence. It means the adult student, must take all the responsibility for seeking and coming to the knowledge of the truth.
Education Unlimited staff are experienced post-secondary advisors.
Choosing a Career
The godless secular world cannot believe in gifts that require a giver and therefore advances the idea that we can be anything we want to be. In fact, everyone is gifted or talented in some things and not so good at others. It should therefore go without saying that there are only two career options; the right one in keeping with those gifts and talents, or the wrong one that doesn’t make use of them. A career chosen that employs the strengths of an individual leads to positive challenges and growth while the wrong one leads to frustration and discontentment.
Careers are viewed by the world as a vertical hierarchy, seeing differing careers as of lesser or greater importance, while God sees every career as equally important. Whether a student chooses to become an employee, go into business, go to a college, become a missionary or a wife and mother, or fulfill some other role, God values all work done. There are really only two principles when it comes to careers. Everybody has to do something and that "something" should be done with excellence yet without an expectation of perfection. Remember that to those who have been given much, is much expected.
It should also be made abundantly clear that no one knows the future. No parent has the right or responsibility for determining where their children should go. In fact, it is the individual child's business to determine what they will do, whether or not we understand or agree with this decision. Students now have the responsibility for determining the way that they should go; the path they want to take; and the career that best fits them, even if not clearly understood by those around them.
Children can only be who they are, in keeping with their gifts, talents, abilities and interests. Good mechanics are good mechanics because God created them to be mechanically competent and they have excelled through experience, not because they went to school, even though going to school may have been necessary to get the appropriate certification. To be sure, a great deal of learning did take place by attending the appropriate institution, yet no amount of training could make a good mechanic, teacher, doctor, or farmer if the ability was not God-given in the first place. Careers chosen in keeping with God-given abilities, better qualify students for gaining necessary admission, simply because they know what they want and why they want it. Employing our faith, we can state with confidence that if God is directing an individual in a certain pathway, there may be obstacles, but none are too big for Him.
Education Unlimited follows God’s example of seeing every occupation as important and necessary.
Education Unlimited knows that post-secondary education is a big concern for most parents, but especially for parents educating their children outside the prescribed provincial programming. Most parents find that following provincial curricula becomes burdensome since it has been designed for a school setting. Home educated students not following provincial programming present a challenge for post-secondary institutions in that standard admission criteria do not apply. Yet most, if not all, do have alternate admission criteria to accommodate them. Some are actively recruiting home educated students knowing that many come unaccredited.
Everyone is post-secondary bound, but not all go to post-secondary institutions. Post-secondary training may be a requirement for a number of careers, but it may not be necessary to attend expensive post-secondary institutions to gain the skills and knowledge to do what you want to do, even though such training may be beneficial. Some vocations do require certification and when this is the case, there is usually a choice of institutions with alternatives to the standard admission requirements that can be attended.
Higher learning can be obtained in a variety of ways. The best is still in keeping with what comes naturally. Farming, fishing, business and the trades are examples of occupations that are acquired through mentoring. Mentoring is simply a system of learning on the job while being guided and instructed by an experienced mentor. Apprenticeships work well because they are based on mentorship.
All occupational skills are best learned by experience, but many require certification before a person can legally work in the field. For those occupations, the student is wise to ascertain which institutions offer the necessary training, which one best suits the student's needs and how the student plans to gain admission.
When certification, licensing or some other form of accreditation is required for a student to work in a given field, it is usually not possible to avoid the associated training process. This is not to diminish God’s hand at the post-secondary level because if He has led the student to this point, the accreditation will come easily.
Education Unlimited has never been afraid of advancing the unaccredited to the post-secondary level.
There are a multitude of ways to gain access to post-secondary institutions without the usual standard secondary (“high school”) accreditation. Students who have not acquired government secondary level accreditation fall under a general category called unaccredited home educated students. While accredited home schooled students may appear to be advantaged, they are usually in competition with the publicly schooled masses using a standard admission criteria. The unaccredited are different and so they find themselves more likely to be in need of alternate admission criteria as they have not followed standard programming. This is not an issue!
Our decades of experience have shown that where a student knows what they want to do and why they want to do it, post-secondary admission becomes… well… secondary! Institutions of higher learning have long had varying admission requirements as they long ago learned that there is no such thing as a standard student. Even though the majority of students seeking admission have come from the “standardized” school system, there are also those who haven’t and so post-secondary institutions have always had a need to create alternate admission criteria for the alternately educated. Non-standardized, unaccredited home educated students need not fear post-secondary admission requirements, they need only inform the admission personnel that they fall outside of their standard admission criteria.
With over two decades of experience in this field, Léo Gaumont, the founder and director of Education Unlimited has written an article providing thoughtful guidance to home educating parents and their children. Anyone interested in the issue of post-secondary admissions of home educated students would benefit from this article. We strongly advise our families to carefully consider this information.
Post-secondary institutions across Canada are aware of the increasing numbers of unaccredited home education applicants. Education Unlimited has created a webpage with the voluntary cooperation of the post-secondary institutions towards the goal of facilitating admissions for both institutions and students.
For more in-depth coverage of this topic, you may also wish to consult the following articles.
For a listing of Post-Secondary Institutions and their alternate admission criteria go to the following link.
Please Note: this page is constantly changing as institutions make periodic updates.
Education Unlimited's unique Colleges link gives institutions of higher learning free access to provide their alternate admission requirements for the alternately educated.
Our History of Post Secondary Advocacy
Léo Gaumont, the co-founder and director of Education Unlimited has been involved in education for nearly forty years. He has worked tirelessly to facilitate the admission of home educated students into institutions of higher learning across Canada for many years. He has been involved in researching post-secondary admission policy for many years and continues to actively promote alternative admission criteria and practices for home educated students. This work started in 1996 when he experienced difficulties with the admission of his non-accredited, home educated daughter.
After conducting an initial superficial survey of post secondary attitudes towards the home educated in 1997, he determined that there was a need for a more in-depth survey and corresponding encouragement to develop home education admission policies. Although the original idea was to conduct the survey within the Province of Alberta, Dallas Miller of HSLDA Canada convinced Léo that this work was of national significance. As a consequence, Léo traveled across Canada (at his expense), visiting post-secondary institutions, surveying their alternate admission criteria and helping to develop unaccredited home education admission policy. While doing so, he had the privilege of addressing several home education organizations along the way. The survey took two years to conduct and was presented in 2001.
This study led to an invitation to address the Association of Registrars of Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC) in 2002 on the topic of home education admissions. As a consequence, Léo had more opportunity to advise institutions regarding their home education policies.
Léo then conducted an extensive survey of every post-secondary institution in the Province of Alberta with the objective of facilitating the admission of unaccredited home educated students by connecting students and institutions through Education Unlimited's post-secondary web site link.
Léo continues to advocate positive changes to post-secondary admission practices to include alternative admission policies for non-accredited home educated students. He has assisted post-secondary institutions in Alberta and across Canada in developing criteria and policy to better accommodate the unaccredited.
Unfortunately, all this work is presently being undermined and discredited as more and more home education providers capitalize on the delivery of state sanctioned high school programming. (Yes, some of our own homeschool boards are reinforcing the hurdles by recommending a high school diploma route). This consequently validates the post-secondary standardized admission practices that assume only accredited students apply for admission, which in turn, justifies the use of accredited programs that ultimately benefits providers much more than students. It should be noted that in the Province of Alberta, increased levels of funding are associated with increased delivery of state programming. Under the guise of ease and necessity and often with a claim to Christian faith, these providers encourage students to “return to Egypt”, where the benefits are in the interests of the Christian and secular boards, the post-secondary institutions and the statist government.
Education Unlimited has a working knowledge and a national recognition in the field of post-secondary admission of unaccredited home educated students.