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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Gaps? Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 4)

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“Educators worry that gaps may grow for disadvantaged students stuck at home.” That was the title! Not much point in reading the article itself because the title says it all. That is, if one does not question the presumptions inherent in it.

Unquestioningly accepting what we are told is, unfortunately, why we have the world we now call “normal.” We just don’t consider what is being said and so anyone willing to write or speak on any topic becomes an “expert.” There simply is no opposition and if there is, it is usually dismissed with some kind of disparaging comment or label.

Let’s risk being called something that is not nice and look into why such a title causes me anxieties.
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School’s Lost Purpose: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 3)

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The shutting down of all schools in the province created all kinds of consequent issues aside from curtailing social activities. It also provided opportunity to seriously look at modern day education.

What should have struck parents was the blasé approach the government had respecting student academic advancement. It was simply decreed that with school closures everyone would be promoted to the next grade in the fall. What can we learn or extrapolate from this action?

By unilaterally promoting the advancement of all students, the powers that be were trying to show that no one would be negatively affected by not attending school. Really?
Continue reading “School’s Lost Purpose: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 3)”

Now… What About Socialization? Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 2)

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Last week, I discussed how most parents see schools as daycares without serious regard for how and what schools are teaching their children.

Continuing our observations on how shuttering schools provided some interesting insights respecting learning, education and what schools have become, I would like to review a long-lasting concern respecting teaching children at home.

Since the beginning of the home education movement, the first objection made respecting teaching children at home has traditionally been a concern for the children’s opportunity for socialization.
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The School’s Most Important Function! Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 1)

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In the beginning of this year, the world faced a health crisis with the Coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to contain the spread of the disease, most public gatherings were banned including the complete shuttering of schools of every kind. This, of course, did not affect home educators who were already at home, but it did curtail outside extra-curricular activities.

There was a great deal of consternation over the decision to shut down every school in the province, indeed in the entire country, yet there was a lot to be learned from the experience. It provided an opportunity to re-evaluate or question what education, school and learning are all about.

I will be dedicating the next few blogs to addressing some of the things we gleaned from having all the students of the entire country go “home schooling”.
Continue reading “The School’s Most Important Function! Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 1)”

Welcome to the 2020-21 Academic Year

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Getting started is the hardest part of any venture or project. Blogging is no different.

My biggest concern with blogging has always been that I wished it could be more current. Our processes were labour and time intensive, complicated by our need to have all involved at one place and time. This has changed somewhat with our new ability to capture these efforts right here in my office.

My blogs are usually created long before they are presented to the public, this new ability does streamline the process and gives me more direct control over what is said and when they are completed. Plus, I now have the ability to deal fairly quickly with new issues and events, if the need arises.
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Yield Not to Temptation

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I suppose this is goodbye! However, Lord willing, it is actually only a “see you later” type of goodbye, like a “see you next fall and have a good summer” thing! It is also my “I enjoyed sharing some of my thoughts and opinions with you in this year’s blogs (Léo’s Insights) and hope that they help you in your home education and spiritual journeys.”

I tended to concentrate on two topics this year, the first being on how the home educated can successfully transition to the post-secondary level of learning without need for government approval in the form of accreditation; and the second was an attempt to convey an understanding of authority that I hope will keep you from yielding to temptation.

Let me explain what I just said. Sometimes, we end up making really dumb decisions, not because we are dumb, but rather because we just did not think the decision through or, more often, did not have all the pertinent information at our disposal. This second issue was what I wanted to help you with this year.
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Staying Out of Trouble

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Isn’t it funny how children can ask the funniest questions? Sometimes, their questions are very astute. In fact, children have the ability to see things without the clutter of life that often blinds us from seeing things as obviously as they do.

I find children’s questions to be refreshing in that they often cause us to face reality head on, encouraging us to take another, more objective, look at particular issues.

Many years ago, my youngest son asked me a very simple question. I believe we had been watching a video where someone got their nose punched. This scene obviously bothered him as he had never been exposed to that kind of activity and he could not get his young mind to entertain the notion of settling a dispute in this way.
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Confusing Opinion with Fact

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I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse me with facts.

The first time I heard this, I thought it was really funny. I saw it as a joke. Surely, nobody could be that narrow minded. Weren’t facts, and debating, and logic necessary for learning? Who could possibly be so “enlightened” that facts were no longer needed or were confusing?

I grew up in another age, not like the one we live in today. Maybe that is why I think “confusing facts” is funny. Back then, a common admonition was that one should avoid discussing religion and politics to reduce the possibility of disagreement.
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The Home Educated and the Post-Secondary World

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Now that we have discussed student learning outcomes, let’s take a look at education from the post-secondary world’s perspective.

But, before we do, we should define what “post-secondary” means so we can all be on the same page. Let’s have a bit of fun doing this. To properly define “post-secondary,” we need to simply unpack it into its component terms and then establish what each means before reassembling them to clearly understand what we are talking about.

The first term is post. Farmers have no trouble understanding this term as describing something which is pounded into the ground upon which we attach some kind of restraining object such as rails or wire.
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Improving Student Outcomes

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Improving student learning outcomes. Sounds a bit like school, doesn’t it? Actually, it is really just school lingo or jargon masquerading as attainable goals or standards.

There is no doubt that anyone involved with education, be it the ministry, bureaucracy, schools, teachers or parents, all have the objective of attaining the best results in education. Question is, how are the best results determined? Furthermore, who is it that determines this outcome?

This is where the rubber meets the road, as the saying goes. Answering these two questions should give us a better idea of what is actually involved respecting the student outcomes that should technically be expected of all “funded” students of Alberta.
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