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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How A Home Education Differs from A Standard Education

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We are all thankful for having choice in education. After all, if everyone was subject to being educated in the exact same way, we would be correct in renaming schools, factories.

In a factory, the goal is to consistently produce the same product without issue, as anything differing from the expected standard is usually a source of trouble. Fortunately, we do not have factory schools, or do we?

Since standards are often mentioned in education, one can be forgiven for thinking that schools are perhaps factories. One’s suspicions are elevated when it is discovered that there is no real definition for standards in schools. There may be vague references to Student Learning Outcomes, but if every student is expected to achieve the same things, how is that different from the standard expectation of a factory?

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