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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Burnout: Back to the Basics (Part 39)

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I want to end this year’s vlog series by sharing a bit of ridiculousness that was prevalent when we began our home education journey, oh so many years ago.

I was one of very few certificated teachers home educating his children in the late 1980s.  In fact, what made me a real unique creature was that I may have been the only one teaching in a public high school while doing so.  This provided me with many opportunities to practice my debating skills on the one hand and to address home education groups, gatherings and conferences on the other.

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The Bomb! Back to the Basics (Part 38)

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Although ministry is very rewarding when seeing people healed from what ails them, it is also painful as we tend to suffer with those who are suffering.  We see a lot of pain every year during our facilitation travels.

Maybe it is because we have friendly faces.  Perhaps it is because we are older and people assume we have wisdom.  Hopefully, it is because people see the Spirit within.  Likely, it is because we are not officially part of the family, nor gossips, so secrets are safe with us.  Who knows, but Faye and I seem to be sounding boards for parents in need of sharing family issues, and we have heard plenty of them.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 8: Back to the Basics (Part 37)

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With over thirty years of facilitation under our belt, my wife, Faye, and I have witnessed pretty well everything, both good and bad.   We were the very first to visit our assigned families as a couple.  This sure turned a lot of heads as it set a new trend.  There are still a few couples facilitating today, some working through Education Unlimited.

We have seen a large part of the Province of Alberta and been involved with a number of families of different cultures and religious affiliations.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 7: Back to the Basics (Part 36)

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Now that we have reviewed the definition and history of facilitation in Alberta, there remains one more thing to discuss.  Do you have the right facilitator to help you through your home education journey?  Here are a few general considerations to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you are the boss.  I know I have said this ad nauseam, but if you miss this point, you will find yourself being directed rather than directing your home education program.  Exercising this authority will help qualify your potential or existing facilitator.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 6: Back to the Basics (Part 35)

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Many years ago, when I first started facilitating professionally, which means when I started getting paid for facilitating after years of pro bono service to our local school division, my wife and I were assigned a family in Viking, Alberta.  When we arrived, we found a lady so nervous her hands were shaking and her complexion was very pale.  At first I thought she was being abused by someone, but only she and the children were home.  I then began to think she had just finished a very serious phone call or had just left some kind of confrontational meeting.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 5: Back to the Basics (Part 34)

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Now that you know how the term “facilitator” came into being and why it is largely a made-in-Alberta phenomenon, we will proceed to describe what facilitation entails.  But first, let me explain why facilitation is necessary.

Government does not “usually” dole out money without strings attached.  While Alberta’s funding of home education is unique and appreciated, there are some provisions that must be met.  Although there is the option to simply notify the government and home educate without school supervision and funding, the majority of home educators accept funding and, correspondingly, the obligations that come with it.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 4: Back to the Basics (Part 33)

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Once private schools were given the right to sponsor home education, yet another new educational phenomenon came into being in Alberta.  Most funded private schools knew little about home education, yet were attracted by the possibility of increased income.  This is when third party contractors with home education expertise came into being, allowing schools to register the home educating without needing to be directly involved.  Home educators now had many more options for enrolling their children, which resulted in spreading the limited numbers across even more schools.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 3: Back to the Basics (Part 32)

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As the home education population of Alberta grew, so did the ways in which schools ascertained the educational progress of these students.   As one of the first certificated teachers to be home educating in this province, it was assumed I knew what I was doing.  While Faye and I were left alone by our local school board, they sent other families desiring to home educate our way, as they had no idea what to do with these students and families.  This resulted in us starting a local home education support group where we “facilitated” at no charge.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 2: Back to the Basics (Part 31)

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Home education became part of the Alberta educational landscape for the first time with the 1988 School Act, and at this time, non-resident school boards also came into being.  We can assume the creation of non-resident school boards was to mitigate the persecution some home educators were experiencing by their local school boards.  Now, smaller school boards, mostly separate catholic ones, took the opportunity to expand their student count and corresponding associated funding without affecting their need for more school infrastructure.  After all, home educated students did not require classroom space, bussing or other school-based services.

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Facilitation – History Pt. 1: Back to the Basics (Part 30)

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If you were to mention home education facilitation to home educators anywhere other than in Alberta, you are likely to get strange looks.  Most have never heard of it.  “Home education what?” they ask.  “What is it?  What does it entail?  How is it that teachers come into your home?  Isn’t that an affront to the family?  Is it not threatening?  Do you have a choice?”  And a plurality of other queries intent on comprehending what on earth you are talking about.  Since home education facilitation is a phenomenon pretty well unique to Alberta, it requires a made-in-Alberta explanation.

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