Alberta Home Education Association
In just three years, the greatest teacher of all time impacted the world more than anyone else. How was that possible? Jesus Christ was both human and divine. What did He say about financial literacy? A lot! He taught about money matters more than heaven and hell combined. Many of His parables were filled with financial overtones.
What did he say? Before I get into specifics let me say emphatically that if our government gurus studied Jesus' teachings on the proper use of money, we would not be in today's financial mess. Sometimes I think senior finance bureaucrats need a Dave Ramsay course or counsel from Mary Hunt!
First, a little about me. My family came to Canada from communist Europe when I was four, and we settled in Toronto. My dad was an accountant in Poland, but in Canada he got a job in a bakery as an oven man. It was hot and hard work. He did not have to speak much English, be employed year-round, and buy fresh baked goods for his four children. He often worked nights to earn more. My mom worked during the daytime in the Sears steno pool. Both parents toiled and were especially frugal.
"I made everyone a mailbox, put it on their bedroom doors, and sent them all mail, but no one has the time to send me any mail!" my 10-year-old daughter moaned, "no one has time to play!"
"Play?" My mind fought to come up with a reasonable excuse. "She doesn't realize Grandpa's just come through open heart surgery, a number of bills need paid, we're down to one vehicle, her sister-in-law has gone through a devasting late miscarriage, and look what's happening in the world…!"
I call it "mind chaos." Webster defines chaos as, "...a confused mass or jumble of things, a state of utter confusion."
"But she's right. Why can't I play her game for a while? Why is my mind in chaos? How am I ever going to be of the right "mindset" to homeschool this fall? I sent up a prayer. A verse came to mind. "...Let us lay aside every weight... (weight meaning: worry, concern, debt, mass, burden, encumbrance…) and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1. God then reminded me that I needed to keep the most important thing first for me not to have a chaotic mind.
When I get a handbook alongside an item, a car for example, it is meant to help me understand and appreciate the thing I've invested in. You could say that its intent is to continue to encourage support for the choice the consumer has made. What I don't find in my handbook is encouragement to make a different choice, undermining my decision. If only the drafted update to the home education handbook seemed to work the same way.
10 years is a long time to wait between updates. The home education community and stakeholders have felt impatient as the old 'current' handbook is missing so many vital changes that have taken place after the last few years of advocacy. AHEA contributed to this resource for parents who go to the government website because it has importance. It is a bridge for those who don't know yet of other places to go for information or previously helped them know who the stakeholders representing their interests are. Parents should be able to find a goodly amount of help here.
This draft that the Department of Education finally shared in July can not exactly be described as 'helpful.' The last discussion on it and draft, a year ago and with different staff, left us a bit more hopeful. Now one could say this draft of the handbook is factual but dissuading and even discouraging for those who have already chosen or do want to consider home education, leaving the purpose of it a question. That purpose needs clarification if this version is going to exceed the old.
Critically, the underlying philosophical difference between the bureaucracy and home education families is captured in the second sentence, stating that, "Parents or guardians choosing a home education program for their children assume the primary responsibility for their child's education." (italics mine) Actually, parents that choose to home educate retain their responsibility to educate their child, they do not assume it from the government. We believe and have defended this as a God given, not government given, right and an essential pairing with the responsibilities they have.
Dear School Parents,
Somehow school has become complicated. It has become polluted by politics.
Education is about equipping our children with tools to learn and live their lives.
There are still ways for this to happen...
You have options and help. And yes, you also still have parental rights. Let us point you to two things that you may find helpful.
1. You can decide to explore options outside of 'the system.' You have choices and can personally accept the responsibility that you have entrusted to the system. You and your home are the most consistent factors that your children have in their lives. "Parental involvement is the key to your child's success" is a phrase that echoes throughout the education system. Home education is relationship based learning that creates an environment for life-long learners - parents and children both!
If you wish to consider home education, we'd like to offer you this free booklet - the ABCs of Home Education. Here you will learn about the legality and framework of how home education works. Take some time to explore all the information under our Home Education Info tab. We are here to help you!
2. You can invest in learning more about the state of your parental rights. Join AHEA's Learn and Live Series for 2022 - Parental Rights In Perspective. There are sessions every other month lined up that will provide an opportunity for you to examine and reflect on where we really are.
Parents are largely unaware that their rights are actively 'in play' or even undermined. Apathy is how we are allowing our rights to be affected. Parents should not forget this inalienable birthright of theirs, that it is a prerequisite to responsibility, and that it is a blessing to our children. We believe that our God-given responsibilities require us to see, and be free to make, appropriate choices for our children and families.
Home education is not being alone, but rather choosing to engage in ways that are positive and appropriate in your view. Being able to make that call as a parent is not only your right, but your responsibility. We support you in it. Subscribe to our mailing list to get more info and so you don't miss the next parental rights session!
Let's equip our children and ourselves for the future.
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