Léo's Insights

A place where issues related to the Christian walk and its application to home education is discussed.
Topics are meant to challenge you to think differently, to make a difference in this world, starting with the children you have been blessed with.

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Freedom’s Definition Expanded: Freedom (Part 8)

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Throughout this series, I have consistently defined freedom as having both choice and control.  I stated that the more one has freedom, the less one has fear, which in turn means having a greater sense of peace.  I also mentioned that being ignorant of the truth is often what leads to fear and loss of freedom.

A simple formula would be:
Misinformation = Fear = Insecurity.

On the other hand, the more informed one is, the less fearful and the more secure and peaceful one is.
Truthful Information = Less Fear and More Peace.
Continue reading “Freedom’s Definition Expanded: Freedom (Part 8)”

Freedom Needs to Be Defended: Freedom (Part 7)

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Edmond Burke has often been credited for saying, “All that needs happen for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”  There is a lot of truth to this statement.

Even though freedom is God given and inalienable, there are a lot of opposing forces at work to rob us of these freedoms.

To start, it is important to understand that most people in a democratic society are tricked into surrendering their freedoms in exchange for rights.  We have already discussed that while God’s freedom is unchanging, it can be taken away or given away in exchange for rights.  What most people do not understand is that this is a matter of who is in authority.  While we are in possession of our freedom, we stand in the authority given to us by God.  When we acquiesce to others claiming this authority, we deny our autonomy and embrace the claims of others as legitimate.
Continue reading “Freedom Needs to Be Defended: Freedom (Part 7)”

Freedom Is Being Contented: Freedom (Part 6)

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We all desire to be free, even if we don’t think about it much.  We are born free, even when born in a despotic or dysfunctional society.  Freedom is a given.  It is a gift.  It is what actually defines us as human beings.  However, freedom can be taken from us, either by force or insidiously through coercion and manipulation – big words that mean we can be tricked into giving up our natural born freedoms.

I have always questioned the authenticity and practicality of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Not that I disagree with having something in place to protect us from government overreach, but I question how “rights” and “freedoms” can be included in a single document.  If we are born free, how it is that we need rights?  Could it be that we are tricked into believing the God-given freedoms granted us at birth are protected when exchanged for government- or man-given rights?

Animals have decision making powers, but they are limited in keeping with how they were created or programmed.  Blue Jays are free to do what they want, but only within the limited realm of being a Blue Jay.  Humans are the only beings that are free to choose within a moral framework that allows them to do good or evil.  This is not to say a cat cannot do evil; it does not know better, which is not true of human beings.
Continue reading “Freedom Is Being Contented: Freedom (Part 6)”

Freedom Robbed by Ignorance: Freedom (Part 5)

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Freedom is having choice and control.  If either is missing, you are not free and you are likely living in fear regarding the issue at hand.  When fear is present, there is no peace.  And we all know how peace often eludes us because life seems to provide everybody with challenges to keep peace at a minimum in our lives.  This is largely done by restricting freedom.

I ended last week’s blog with a statement that likely caused a bit of consternation or confusion.  I said that the greatest threat to peace in your home education program, or your life for that matter, is you.  Let me explain, but before I do, let me be clear: this is not to lay blame and it is certainly not intended to fan the flames of guilt.

Everyone is their own worst enemy because we all make bad decisions.  Why do people make bad decisions?  It is rooted in a chronic, universal “pandemic” called ignorance.  Although this word is often used to disparage people, it is not a bad word.  It is actually a description of reality.  We are ignorant because we just don’t know; we are “ignorant of the facts”.

Continue reading “Freedom Robbed by Ignorance: Freedom (Part 5)”

Freedom Means Being at Peace: Freedom (Part 4)

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So far, we have discussed how freedom is having choice and control and that freedom only exists when there is no fear.  Today, I want to show you how being free of fear leads to being at peace with oneself and the world.

Before I proceed, I want to be abundantly clear that everything being discussed regarding freedom, what it is and how one knows they are free, is hypothetical.  This old world has no end of tricks and traps to rob us of both choice and control and therefore, our comfort (fearlessness) and peace.  My experience has shown me that no one is truly free, unless Christ sets them free, which, I believe, is not an event, but a process which takes a lifetime and can only be perfected in God’s everlasting Kingdom on “the other side” of life.

Peace, therefore, seems to be as elusive as being without fear.  In fact, one can be fearless in one area, yet fearful in another.  I believe peace and fear are proportionately related.  That is, the more fear one has, the less peace one has.  Conversely, the less fearful we are the more peaceful we are.  Therefore, it is easy to associate peace with freedom and, obviously, the greater the freedom one has, the greater the peace.
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New to Home Education? Step Five – How to Fail!

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How to fail!  Now, that’s a title bound to discourage rather than help new home education families!  However, we need to discuss the pitfalls that could trick or trap you into questioning your decision to home educate, and point out what we have learned to be truly detrimental to this commitment.

To start, you need a firm foundation upon which to establish your children’s lives.  This comes in two forms.

Whether or not one believes in or realizes this fundamental fact, everyone has a worldview they adhere to and follow in their lives.  This is passed on to the children and it is a critically important factor in your home education plan.  Like it or not, admit it or not, parents are in a position of leadership.  Leadership requires a direction.  It is important that the leader of any agency, especially the family, know where they are leading.  One cannot get to an undefined destination.  Think about where you are going to lead or take your children before embarking on “the trip”.
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New to Home Education? Step Four – More Helpful Thoughts

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I trust that by now you are feeling a bit more comfortable with the choice you made to educate your children at home.  Freedom, you will remember, is having choice and control.  The choice has been made, so now we need to focus on obtaining and keeping control over your home education so you can taste the freedom of unschooling.

Unschooling is best described as not doing what school does and/or doing what school fails to do.  This is not to be confused with un-parenting or being undisciplined, un-structured, un-focussed or with being unreasonable.  Rather, it is simply a matter of establishing your authority regarding the education of your children.  And, as previously mentioned, it is not a step but rather a process that takes time.

Once comfortable with being in control of all things educational, most parents will be on a sort of “learning cruise control” until the children reach puberty, when things really begin to change.
Continue reading “New to Home Education? Step Four – More Helpful Thoughts”

New to Home Education? Step Three – Learning

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Assuming you have RELAXED by claiming your rightful place as the authority over your children and their education, and hoping you have found a simple yet thorough program to follow such as ACE or CLE, we will now proceed with a few more details to make your home education journey less disconcerting and more exciting.

Let us first review what we have discussed so far:
• RELAX – nothing good is accomplished when panicking.
• Find a program for the interim.  ACE or CLE are both good starter programs.  You may not follow these programs forever, but they will give you a comfortable starting point.
• Memorize the three cardinal rules for home educators:
◦ Don’t Push
◦ Don’t Hold Back
◦ Don’t Compare
◦ … and remind yourself daily to follow these rules.

Most parents want to arrive at the destination before actually departing!  This is understandable, as deciding to do something new is indeed to have a new destination. But nobody arrives right away.  Few families, if any become “overnight unschoolers”!  In fact, IF unschooling is the goal, one must follow a pathway that leads incrementally from “schooling” to “unschooling”.  It goes from school at school to school at home, followed by home schooling which eventually leads to home education which may end at unschooling.  Some people may skip a step or two or move through the transitional steps very quickly, but rarely does anyone jump directly into unschooling.  It is something that develops with time.  Be patient.
Continue reading “New to Home Education? Step Three – Learning”

New to Home Education? Step Two – Curriculum

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Undoubtedly, the first concern parents have when just starting to home educate is which program or curriculum will I follow?  This is definitely a carry-over from our school experience, but it is still a legitimate concern that must be quickly addressed.  Let me start with the best advice I can give you; then I will make a few explanations to help put your mind at ease.

Find a reputable, prescribed program that will immediately fill the void you are feeling about where to start.  There are two programs that immediately come to mind: Christian Light Education (CLE) and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE).  Although these are not the only prescribed programs available, they are two of the best known, having been around for a very long time.  Prescribed programs have everything you need, including plans, lessons, answer keys and tests for every subject in every grade.  Best of all, they are mom-friendly.  You can find these programs by going to our web page (www.educationunlimited.ca), clicking the Program Resources tab and then choosing Program Resources Listing.  They are relatively inexpensive and we have Purchase Order agreements with both agencies.

While some may take issue with the fact that this programming comes from a Christian perspective, it fully meets the immediate need to start somewhere.  There are no programs free from ideology, as there is no such thing as being neutral.

Continue reading “New to Home Education? Step Two – Curriculum”

New to Home Education? Step One? RELAX!

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There is one word that needs to be expressed:  Relax!  I will repeat that: relax!  Once more, repeat it with me: RELAX!

Deciding to do something you have never done, perhaps never even considered, is a bit daunting, to stay the least.  The immediate encouragement I can give you is that you are not alone.  Every new venture comes with anxiety.  Choosing to keep your children at home for the first time is no different. But you can RELAX!

What is usually the cause of anxiety is not knowing, not being sure of or confident about what will take place.  Being ignorant of the what’s, when’s, where’s and how’s of the processes and expectations for home education is certain to cause some anxiety, maybe even fear.  But, RELAX!

Continue reading “New to Home Education? Step One? RELAX!”