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Meeting with MLA in Summer of 2012

AHEA is recommending that Alberta home educators meet with their MLA prior to September 15, 2012.  Meeting your MLA alone, as a family, or as a group of home educators is a good way to approach a meeting. It is the desire of AHEA for all 83 MLA’s to receive a copy of the HSLDA research and Brian Ray research from a home schooling constituent.  AHEA can provide copies to you for your meeting; e-mail Patty Marler - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

This courteous meeting is to build bridges with our elected officials, and should be treated as a non-confrontational, information sharing opportunity.  Remember that many MLAs are new and know little about our concerns. During this meeting you could address the following:

1.  Home educators still have concerns regarding the inclusion of the Alberta Human Rights Act in the Education Act http://www.aheaonline.com/index.php/political-updates/321-one-page-information-sheet .

- The AHRA is not referenced in the current Schools Act and AHEA is one of several groups opposing inclusion of the AHRA in any new Education Act.

- The federal government repealed section 13 - the hate crime section of the Federal Human Rights Act - in early June 2012.  The federal government has recognized the problem with this section of the Canadian Human Rights Act.  It would not be prudent for the provincial government to increasing the Human Rights Act authority as the federal government is reducing it. Read the Full Comment article on the National Post 

- You may mention that AHEA has recently been invited to join the organization “Parents for Choice in Education”, a parental choice advocacy organization which opposes the inclusion of the AHRA in the Education Act and is in favor of parental rights in Education. Read our Parents for Choice in Education Article

2. Home education is a very successful educational choice.  The successful nature has been proven empirically as shown in the research to be provided to your MLA.

3. It is freedom that home educators are wanting, not money. This alone is a unique perspective that very few MLA’s ever get. When it is made clear that money is not the issue, but that our parental liberties are, we have a much stronger voice.

Concordia University Changes Entrance Requirements for Home School Students!

My name is Mike Conway. I am a Student Recruitment Advisor for Concordia University College of Alberta.

One of the things Concordia prides itself on is the recent admission changes which grant specialized entrance requirements into our university programs for home schooled and home educated students. These requirements differ from what a provincially educated student in a traditional classroom would need to present.

The main reason for this email is that I would like to establish a working relationship between home school and home education boards across Alberta, and Concordia. Also, I would like make myself available for parents and students who would like further information about our institution and entrance requirements. Please pass along my contact info for anyone who may be interested in Concordia.

An interesting and noteworthy fact is that the average GPA's of the last 15 home schooled and home educated students who graduated from Concordia with degrees was 3.85 on a 4.0 scale. We value the quality education that students receive from home schooling and home education because we see the evidence of their success translated in university.

I appreciate your time and consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
Mike Conway, B.Ed.
Student Recruitment Advisor
Concordia University College of Alberta
Email: mike.conway@ ... | Ph: (780) 479-9221

The World Needs Home Educating Fathers

In a recent story in the Edmonton Journal, a scientist discussed his impending death and how he would not be continuing dialysis treatment: “What are two more weeks worth? You see? They are nothing.” Well, with all due respect to that scientist – who has since passed on – I disagree. Every minute is important.

Let me contrast the scientist’s view with the story of a successful businessman attending a conference in a large city far from home. After the close of the first day of the conference, the businessman spends some time networking with those in the same business as he. A group then heads to the subway to take a train back to the hotel where they are staying.

The businessman drops his binder of notes on the stairs leading down to the subway, and so he tells the rest of the group to go on ahead and he’ll meet them at the hotel. He picks up the scattered notes, continues down the stairs, and comes to the nearly deserted platform. Nearly deserted, except for a young man in his teens who is sitting on one of the benches smoking a cigarette.

The businessman doesn’t smoke, doesn’t like the smell of smoke, and notices that smoking is prohibited in the subway station. So he decides to go over and speak to the young man. As he approaches, he sees that the young man is shaking. When the young man looks up, his face is wet from tears.

The businessman was prepared to deliver a lecture and a rebuke. Instead, he sits down and says, “What’s the matter?” That question leads to a conversation that takes several hours. It lasts out of the subway station (because the station closes after the last train leaves), out to a nearby doughnut shop, and then into a taxi to take the young man home.

The businessman is saying goodbye, shaking the young man’s hand, when the young man tells him one last thing: “I don’t know why you came over to talk to me, but I want you to know something. That cigarette was going to be my last one. I was going to jump in front of the next train that came into the station. I’d be dead right now if it wasn’t for you.”

Every minute is important.

I know home-educating fathers already know that, because one of the reasons we educate at home is to spend as many minutes as we can with our children, forming them and helping them grow into good and godly men and women. But it often seems that the rest of our world has forgotten what is truly important.

If my life is only for me, then one minute or two weeks may not be worth much. But when we become adults, and especially when we become parents, we learn that our lives are not for ourselves. As fathers, we know that our lives are not meant to be focused on self but focused on others: our focus is on our wives, our children, on God. If we try to make our lives God-centred, then we will naturally become less me-centred.

That’s not easy, of course. As I write this, the countries of Greece and France have just held national elections where the people of those countries chose political parties that would not impose cutbacks on the country. “Turning away from austerity” said the headlines. “Turning away from adulthood” is what I thought; the people want more even though governments can’t pay for more.

We all want more. Our children want more. But as they grow into adults, one of the things we need to teach them and model for them is the nature of adulthood: adults try to be selfless, adults know how to sacrifice, adults know what it means to serve.

Fathers can show children that there is another path to follow instead of the easy road of the world. Through our example and our teaching, we can show just how rewarding a God-centred life can be, how much better it is to give than to receive, how life-changing and world-changing it is to sacrifice and serve.

Home-educating dads know the value of selflessness, sacrifice, and service. We need to teach it and to model it. The world needs us.


paulvandenbosch

 

Paul van den Bosch is a member of AHEA’s Board of Directors. He and his wife Mary have home educated their seven children for over 18 years.

This article was originally written for the Summer 2012 issue of Home Matters.  For more articles, go here.

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