The Heartbeat of Education Unlimited (Part 2)
Tags: Education Unlimited
By the mid-1990s, we had become unschoolers, not because it was trendy, as most home educators of that era simply desired to outperform their local school, but because it was the only way we could respect the individuality of each of our children as well as the uniqueness of our family. We had broken free from the school mould.
This discovery not only benefitted our children at home, but applying what I was learning through my home educating experience to my classroom, greatly improved my students’ situation as well. In other words, not doing school at school greatly benefitted my classroom students also.
I changed my classroom persona from being a “teacher” to being a “mentor.” This made such a tremendous difference that I became known as the one who could cause my students to think. While I should have been honoured by this, I was actually saddened as I believed I was doing nothing more than what should have been expected of all teachers.
Students were clamouring to be in my classes. My no nonsense expectation that high school students behave as adults and my insistence that they were the ones that needed to learn the material was very successful.
Assuming that most everyone actually wanted to learn, I created an environment where they could. I was only there to enable, equip and encourage students to teach themselves. The results were truly outstanding.
I wanted to somehow share these insights with my fellow home educators. I could not find an agency to help me do this so my wife, Faye, and I created one. Our desire to serve God by employing a calling to teach others continues to be the heart of Education Unlimited.
Even though Education Unlimited, working through and with Harvest Baptist Academy, today finds itself one of many home education providers, it has never been seen or directed as anything other than a ministry in service to parents wanting to be freed from the tyranny of having to send children to or emulate school.
The motivation behind its creation was not to enrich ourselves in some way, but a sincere desire to inform parents on the proper workings of how a real education, as opposed to a school education, should look. I believe Education Unlimited has developed into Alberta’s best representative and provider of true home education also known as unschooling.
You will noticed that I used “true,” avoiding the use of “traditional” home education, which, along with other terms such as “blended,” “aligned,” “online” or “accredited,” are increasingly becoming code words for variations of public education and programming.
We do not follow such programming, preferring instead to employ more appropriate curriculum in support of parental faith and educational goals.
If I may be allowed to boast a little, I do take a little pride in my success as an outstanding teacher, but only because I had the solid faith foundation upon which to build this career. I only did what was expected of me. I tell you this because our decision to home educate was also based on this faith, as was the creation of Education Unlimited.
Home education is usually superior to a school education. Here again, we can only boast about this fact because home educating parents are simply doing what is expected of them by God who gave us the children in the first place.
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