- Léo’s Insights 2021-2022
- Léo’s Insights 2019-2020
- Léo’s Insights 2022-2023
- Léo’s Insights 2023-2024
- Léo’s Insights 2020-2021
- Léo’s Insights 2018-2019 Academic Year
Last week, I shared about my long and continuing career in education. Today, I want to focus on how Education Unlimited came to be.
You will remember that a bad experience in my daughter’s school prompted my wife and I to reconsider what we had unquestioningly accepted as the only way to train and teach our children. That wake up call led not only to our decision to home educate, but also to me transferring to a large high school in Edmonton where I saw out my public school teaching career, fourteen years later.
Ironically, while I was still teaching in public school, I became a consultant for home education in my local school division, as well as a leader in our local support group. Because of my newly gained expertise in home education, I became a facilitator with a home education provider and soon became an expert on successfully moving students to the post-secondary level without needing high school credits and diplomas.
As it turned out, the home education provider, which still exists today, was much more focused on money than students. So the fact that I steered students away from high school credits threatened my “employer” and strained my relationship with the people involved.
I came to despise this agency which saw children as currency so my wife and I began considering other ways we could encourage freedom-seeking parents to teach their children their way rather than a school’s way. As a result, in the spring and summer of 1999, we established Education Unlimited: a home education provider with a focus on faith, family and freedom.
It is important to know that what Faye and I established at that time was a company specializing in home education services. We were not a school and could not function without being associated with a school. We needed a partner through which home education registrations could be processed and through which funding could flow to parents.
Our first school association, which lasted sixteen years, was with the Morinville Christian School. Unfortunately, our partnership ended acrimoniously when, ironically, the agency I had initially worked for as a facilitator became associated with the school and helped to orchestrate a takeover attempt which, thankfully, completely failed.
We then created a partnership with Harvest Baptist Academy. This was a less than perfect arrangement, but we were desperate because the school year was about to begin. For five years we did our best to get along with our new board as we wanted to continue serving our families, however in our sixth year, when we experienced a great increase in our number of students, we once again faced a takeover attempt.
I am always amazed by the way money influences people. The first board I worked for was run by people who saw children as a source of funds; this “inspired” them to join our associate school and try to “assume” our clientele. HBA tried unsuccessfully to do the same thing in 2021. There always seems to be someone willing to steal someone else’s successes.
After HBA’s takeover attempt, we were once again without an associate school. This time, to attract a new school, we offered money up front, as that seemed to be the only thing that attracted private “Christian” schools to sponsor our ministry. We successfully convinced our third associate school that they would be enriched by supporting us.
Things have not been easy this year, and in many ways they have not gone well, but we are thankful to have been able to continue serving our home educating families.
And now what? I can hardly wait to tell you next time!
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