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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Wisdom is Simple: Why Complicate Things? (Part 3)

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In the last two blogs, I discussed how a nearly twenty-year-old presentation on home “schooling” affected me, both nostalgically and philosophically. It was good to be reminded of what home “schooling” was like and to be able to compare those times with what is going on today.

Indeed, what I observed reminded me of some of the wisdom Solomon shared with us in the Bible, particularly his statement “that there is nothing new under the sun.” It brought me sadness to see that in spite of having gained many victories in home education, much has really not changed.

This is largely due to the fact that school has been so internalized as the way to educate. In spite of the great strides made to bring home education to the forefront of educational approaches, many, if not most, people continue to practice some variation of schooling at home. Even when claiming to be unschooling, parents make references to curriculum, grades and standards.
Continue reading “Wisdom is Simple: Why Complicate Things? (Part 3)”

Complications Based on Misunderstandings: Why Complicate Things? (Part 2)

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Last week, I discussed how nostalgia made my listening to a nearly twenty-year-old broadcast session about home “schooling” interesting. Today, I would like to share the other reason this experience grabbed my attention.

I must admit that when I initially listened to these sessions in 2002, I was, well, nearly twenty years younger and also twenty years less experienced in the field of education.

Now, approaching thirty-five years’ experience in the home education venture, I have come to know things I did not know or believe in 2002, which would have been about half way through the approximately forty-year history of the modern day North American home education movement.

Continue reading “Complications Based on Misunderstandings: Why Complicate Things? (Part 2)”

A Blast from the Past: Why Complicate Things? (Part 1)

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While solo on a lengthy drive, I had an opportunity to listen to a couple of rather dated broadcast sessions by the Focus on the Family organization. These sessions were really interesting for two reasons.

The first reason was that they were largely in celebration of what was then, twenty years of home education in the USA. What was even more interesting was that it was put on by a collection of “big guns,” including James Dobson and Michael Farris, both of whom cited Raymond Moore, who has often been credited with starting, if not having had at least a major influence in the modern-day home “school” movement.

What started as a dated broadcast, soon became a blast from the past. My wife and I had started home education about 10 years into the first half of home education history. Since Alberta was about ten years behind the Americans, we essentially were involved near the beginning of this province’s home education movement. It was interesting to be reminded of what things were like back then.

Continue reading “A Blast from the Past: Why Complicate Things? (Part 1)”

COVID-19 Lessons and Summary: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 13)

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The COVID-19 pandemic was a game changer of immeasurable proportion! I have tried to show how it should have caused us all to rethink our understanding of what schools, learning and education are and how they are delivered.

We discussed how schools are largely viewed as daycares rather than the educational institutions they claim to be. We then addressed how the age-old concern respecting the socialization of children was shown to be more of a school handicap than that of the home educated.

We showed that in-school academic achievements and grades were essentially meaningless if all students simply advanced to the next grade without clearly demonstrating that objectives were learned or programs completed. Likewise, we addressed how fears of accumulating learning gaps while being stuck at home were ill-founded, if indeed being home was a negative.
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Parents and Children. Tiring of School: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 12)

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I must admit that there are certain news agencies that I have learned to completely distrust.

Actually, there is one particular agency that is so bad at telling the truth that I often use it to get a truthful perception respecting an issue that I am unsure about by noting what is being reported and then assuming the opposite to be true. It may be a sad testimony respecting that news agency, but this approach has kept me from believing nonsense.

Take the “normalization” of the response to the COVID-19 school system closures, as an example. Media outlets simply assumed that everything would be exactly the same as it always was except that the students would now be “home schooled.”
Continue reading “Parents and Children. Tiring of School: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 12)”

Parenting and Teaching Are Not the Same? Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 11)

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Every once in a while, perhaps more often than it should, an article comes up which elicits strange feelings of anger mixed with sympathy for the poor fellow (or lady) who could be so deluded!

Take, for instance, that article written by a Harvard professor who really believed that home education should be outlawed because… well, let’s just say because it is not at all like public education.

Then there was the article entitled “Parenting is not Teaching / Teaching is not Parenting.” This one caused me to seriously pity the poor individual who could come up with such a ridiculous statement.
Continue reading “Parenting and Teaching Are Not the Same? Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 11)”

COVID-19 Boosting Homeschooling? Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 10)

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Let’s start with a summary. The COVID-19 pandemic caused governments around the world to shutter schools in an attempt to restrict or reduce viral contamination. This provided much insight into how people viewed learning, education and programming as well as the methods, purpose and place of schools and school teachers.

Much of this information has been covered so far in this year’s blogs.

I must admit that while much ado was paid to the forcing of every child of the province into a home “school” program, I personally did not respond with glee, as one would have expected of a veteran home education supporter and provider poised to see his “business” expand and prosper. Perhaps this may seem a bit perplexing to you, so let me explain.
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Lessons in Education: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 9)

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused all of us to reassess priorities and politics this past spring. One of the obvious areas where this has had to take place was within the education system when schools were closed indefinitely.

Of particular interest to home educators is how the pandemic has caused some to question the conventional wisdom of the school’s approach to education. From questioning “socialization” to differentiating between home schooling and home education, the schools’ closure forced us all to rethink what is normally considered as status quo.

It is said that the best way to hide a lie is right out in the open. This is something that schools have been doing for years, which is one of the things that the pandemic exposed. The sending of all the students home has turned the most common assumption regarding education on its head, which in turn has led to much frustration.
Continue reading “Lessons in Education: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 9)”

Applying Modern Digital Technology: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 8)

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Last week, I discussed how the school system is intransigently stuck in the past tense. This week, I want to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic of last spring provided real opportunity to re-evaluate the existing system and to address the need to update our understanding of education to the twenty first century.

We need to put an end to the idea that learning is not learning unless it follows government directives, taught by a certificated teacher in a classroom setting. This thinking assumes all children to be the same and in need of academic “construction” following a set of guidelines designed to produce consistent results. This is usually understood as having a standard for education.

However, advancing such standards is unrealistically based on the assumption that homogenizing individuals of unlimited diversity is indeed possible. This may have been the case fifty years ago when the population was more unified, but this is no longer applicable.
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Some Things Just Don’t Change: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 7)

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The education system is a very big ship with very big inertia. Changing anything within it is very difficult, unless something completely unexpected hits it square between the eyes. Last spring’s COVID-19 pandemic did just that.

Last week, I discussed how politics, driven by fear, vehemently opposes any attempt to change things. There is hardly a better example of this than how the education system has resisted adjusting to the changing environment that technology has brought to us.

This is not to say that technology is not being employed, but that the intransigence of a very large system has largely adopted technology to help maintain the unchanging status quo which has only increased the costs of delivering the same antiquated and irrelevant programming. Modernizing an old system is not the same as reforming it to accommodate modern times.
Continue reading “Some Things Just Don’t Change: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 7)”