Episode # 10
Starting a Private School From Home | “Hannah” – Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
November 7, 2023

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Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
Starting a Private School From Home | “Hannah” - Truth Talks with Dr. Ann
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In this episode Dr. Ann speaks with “Hannah,” a courageous mother who took her kids out of a beloved private school and established her own in Ontario, Canada. They discuss how faith and obedience led to the creation of a school where God provided all the essential resources, from supplies to teachers.

“Hannah” is a Christian mom who is committed to providing children with a wholesome education while instilling Godly values. Hannah has gone above and beyond conventional methods and continues to foster an environment where respect for one another is paramount, creating a nurturing space where young minds flourish.

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See Podcast Transcript

Dr. Ann Gillies (00:00):

Welcome back to Truth Talks with Dr. Ann. I am so glad to be with you again today, and I always say this, but I have a really fabulous guest. Well, I have a really fabulous guest and she is a personal friend and we’re going to really enjoy this. Parents, if you have any questions about schooling, education, public education, Christian education, private schools, this is going to be the show for you. Now are all your questions going to be answered? Probably not because there’s too many questions, but we’re going to talk with Hannah and she is going to lead us through her experience and what happened to her and why she now runs a private school. So let’s welcome Hannah.

Hannah (00:45):

Thank you, Dr. Ann. It’s a real honor to be having this time with you, so I really thank you. And I don’t particularly feel that special, but I am a mom who cares and I guess looking back now, I do have a story that I’m happy to share and if it were to encourage other moms and dads out there, I’m very happy to share it. So thank you.

Dr. Ann Gillies (01:12):

Thank you. It’s an excellent story and I’ve kind of been with you a little bit on this journey of the last few years that really has kind of been a God thing and that really what you’re seeing is an explosion of homeschooling private schooling across Canada. So this is really a time for parents to really, well, they’re reconsidering education by and large, but your experience isn’t typical. It’s not just like you pulled your children out of school and well, you can share that actually you did pull your children out of school and decided to homeschool and that didn’t work well, did it?

Hannah (01:54):

No,

Dr. Ann Gillies (01:55):

That would’ve been. So tell us about that. That would’ve been the easy way.

Hannah (01:58):

Yeah, sometimes I think easy would be great, but that’s my bigger desire is to live a life of obedience. And one thing led to another and it’s probably good, we don’t know what’s around the corner we have today. So we had an interesting situation at our local Christian school and it was thriving and doing really well and growing, and we were looking at expansion and I was actually part of the expansion team, and so portables were added and it was from the outside and from the inside, it looked extremely healthy. And then I suppose COVID came and initially like most of our society, we all banded together and so much was unknown, but there was a lot of unity and work. We’re going to take care of each other. And then after, I don’t know, was it 10, 12 months, I feel like when mandates in particular were being rolled out and they were rolled out extremely quickly and putting pressure on boards, I believe that came from government and government agencies and it had to be done so fast.

(03:21):

So there was sort of as a knee reaction, just quick make a decision. And I don’t think everyone just took the time and especially believers ask God and then proceed. So the rolling out of mandates really I think surfaced some dysfunction and it brought to light a lot of things I wasn’t happy with and there was no way my children were going to stay under the leadership that I saw being exemplified at our local Christian school. And that was really hard. I loved the school and we’d been there for more than a decade. I have four children. And to top it off, my husband was very involved both as a board member and as staff actually. So that complicated everything.

Dr. Ann Gillies (04:22):

Wow. And it’s almost like leaving your family or leaving a church. You have this network that you’re very ingrained in. You’re just part of this network and all of a sudden you see things that you know can’t live with. Let’s put it like that. And on behalf of your children. And so then you’re faced with this dilemma, what do you do? And that’s a really hard place to be. It’s a really hard decision. I think lots of parents can resonate with that. What do you do? So Hannah, let me ask you, what was the next step?

Hannah (05:06):

Initially in my experience was I was a volunteer at a nonprofit charitable organization and I’d actually just become chair. And so I was being faced with the forced mandates at the same time our school was. And I was told we have to demand option A and B. And I remember saying to my board at the time saying, no one’s saying we can’t add C so we can say A, B or C. And C was kind of like and if you choose not to disclose or you don’t need to because option A was you disclose vaccine status. Option B was you tell ’em if you’re not vaccinated. And then I just said, well, let’s have option C too for those people who want to keep that private and personal. It’s healthcare, it’s

Dr. Ann Gillies (05:57):

Medical,

Hannah (05:58):

And that is

(06:00):

So that was okay and accepted. And I didn’t know why our school couldn’t be a bit more creative. And so I didn’t just bail because like you’re saying, this is my community. I love these people. And so both my husband and I spent hours, hours and hours meeting with parents, meeting with other staff, and then especially meeting with current board members. And it was a very new board. And so I don’t blame them. I just think there was fear and a need to just accommodate whatever was being pushed on them by whether it was public health or government. And I just look back and go, I think they were a little bit naive and inexperienced. Then I would also say, and then there’s just really some people love to follow rules and I generally, I’m a rule keeper. I love that. Me too. People couldn’t see following rules at what cost. So

Dr. Ann Gillies (07:11):

That’s right, that’s right.

Hannah (07:12):

The note began, staff were being let go staff that has been there more than 20 years, a woman just quietly resigned and I might even say she was there 25 years and that’s what’s going on. And there was no transparency anymore. Why did so-and-so leave? This woman loved our kids and then another person’s put on a leave, a forced leave with no explanation given. And as a school that touts, we partner with parents, but no explanations given. It felt very weird. First of all, this is not normal. This is not how this school operates. We need communication. And it was lockdown time, so some won’t meet in person. Zoom only goes so far, but when someone can mute the microphone on a whole crowd of parents, they’re not being heard.

Dr. Ann Gillies (08:16):

That’s right.

Hannah (08:17):

And very quickly I would say heels were dug in and there was the dialogue stopped. So my husband and I persisted meeting with concerned parents, meeting with board members, meeting with staff, and I would say we did this for six weeks and tried every tool we knew how to use. And the last one was, would the board seek mediation? We were very concerned over some of the staff and the staff members and they felt bullied and I think it was quite a toxic place to work. Again, I don’t think anyone there was trying to be evil or hurt anyone. I just think there was not, and it was not thought out. It was like a gut reaction, just do it. We were told to. And so when we would slow down a process and say, okay, but let’s talk about that, what’s the fallout? Then the accusation came that you don’t submit to leadership.

(09:24):

I remember being just absolutely shocked. If you know me, I’m kind right or wrong, I’m a bit of a people pleaser and I’ve really had to remind myself, do I fear God or do I fear men? And it certainly has been a struggle for me, Dr. Ann. But ultimately the thing that was the big trigger for me was one day and my husband and I, we’d put out a motion as any member of our school community could for the mediation. We had the votes, we’d informed the board, they were not legally allowed to move forward, and yet they did within a 24 hour period. And so my big thing would be that bylaws were not followed and it has nothing to do with vaccine or COVID. It really doesn’t. It’s that the bylaws were no longer being followed and parents were no longer being listened to and it was being controlled by a small group of people. Now they thought, I’m sure they thought we’re keeping this community safe and I agree, but that would be what they would think. And they’re not my enemy and I have no ill will towards any of them. But I remember thinking in a short period of time, communication went out that our principal was fired with no cause given, and

(10:58):

a stand-in principal was coming that day. I knew because a spouse works there and that, no staff had been informed and it was just in a moment everything changed and the chairs resigning. That fast, but they totally disregarded our motion. So there was good governance and that was being thrown out. And I just remember thinking that was very deceptive. We had just been talking as board numbers and it felt deceptive and a lack of transparency. And I remember thinking, my kids are not sitting under this leadership. I will not have my kids sit under deception. That was the big one,

Dr. Ann Gillies (11:40):

Hannah. That’s exactly what we need to understand and why parents need to due diligence when looking at alternative education. And sometimes let’s face in this situation a new parent coming into that school wouldn’t really know what had gone on before, but we have to have eyes wide open no matter what the initiating factors for this, it was mandates. I mean that kind of, it’s interesting how COVID exposed so many different ulterior motives that were going on. And I’m like you, Hannah, I very much appreciate rules and certainly would’ve blindly followed rules and did for many of years of my life I was very much because I think there’s a place of structure that’s very helpful. But over the last, well, not that I stopped following rules, I stopped blindly following, there’s a difference and I want my eyes wide open and that’s why I really want to study things and be able to understand, hey, what’s really going on underneath? And that’s what was happening for you and your husband is that you were beginning to see some pretty nefarious things happen. And here you have this, how do you fire a principal on the same day, have another one right there. This was all pre-planned, prearranged. It was very nasty. Very nasty. Yeah.

Hannah (13:18):

It was led on to believe that we were in discussions and negotiation and it very quickly became obvious that it was policy. Policy mattered more than people. And I think policies are so important and governance is so important, but it’s for the benefit of people.

Dr. Ann Gillies (13:41):

And

Hannah (13:41):

That was a big deal for me. I think too, Dr. Ann, it can be overwhelming to try to figure out all the information that you might need to make a good choice, but when you keep in mind things like, well, what is the fruit of this person? What do I know? I think those are good questions to ask. When the whole board removed their children from the school, my kids are going to continue to go there. And I asked the question, why is that? And then I was told I’m a troublemaker, but that’s an honest question. Why have you pulled your children? And by the way, that’s not consistent with our bylaws or the handbook. So I just am asking questions. So I think if you no longer are given the freedom to ask questions, we’ve got trouble and

Dr. Ann Gillies (14:36):

Well, we’ve had trouble like that in our public education for a long time. But to see this in a private and a Christian school particularly is very disturbing. So Hannah, what came next?

Hannah (14:49):

Well, we’d had a little experience of homeschooling in the past. We’d homeschooled our children for one year as a dream, and it was just a one year stint and it was really positive. And I remember on this particular day when all the changes were happening, and it was a Friday, it was very traumatic. There’s a few more factors that I will keep to myself at the moment, but I picked my children up, I called the secretary and I just said, please pack all of their belongings. I knew I can’t even describe the feeling in my stomach, my feeling was they’re not returning here, we’re done. And I grieved. I was extremely sad, but it wasn’t a panicked upset emotion. It was just this resolve. We did everything we could, but it’s over and I’m kind of free. I don’t have to keep trying to be a bridge or mediate.

(15:48):

And that’s what I thought I was doing. I know there’s other perspectives on that, but I did feel a sense of kind of peace in the grief I shared with my children and I had three at the time, the one had been there from JK to grade eight. I was pulling her out in grade eight. And I remember I am a believer of being honest with my children and I just said, kids, it’s a big day and I have something really hard to tell you. We will not be returning here. A line was drawn and at this point I don’t see how we go back. So you need to take a moment, let this sink in. It’s very difficult. And my one daughter just said, what do you mean? And I said, I mean you will no longer be in that classroom taking you home. And the tear just started to come down

Narrator (16:46):

And

Hannah (16:46):

I said, you’re being extremely brave and you’re free to cry. This is their community and cry. Be upset. You’re entitled. I said, but I am going to share one thing. This will be the hardest moment because we don’t know what’s ahead and that’s hard. But we know God is good and I believe we are making a really tough decision, but we’re doing it because we want to follow Jesus. I want you to live with truth. Truth matters to me.

(17:20):

So that was the start of a journey. We went into the weekend and I was just resolved. I will homeschool my children. However, what happened was on Monday morning I received several phone calls from mother parents saying, I just heard you have withdrawn your children from the school. We made the same decision over the weekend. Could you help with homeschooling? Because we’ve never that and it didn’t go well in lockdowns and I don’t want to do that. I was like, oh, sure. My children should be with some peers and friends. So you are in the grade that my children are in? Sure, come on over. So really we had grades four and up and our friends and my children were excited. And so the first day I had seven children around my kitchen table and by the end of the week I had 12 children. And by the next week I had 14 children.

Dr. Ann Gillies (18:28):

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. So you’re sitting around the table with these children. This would be good for your children though. I’m just thinking about the fact that they aren’t alone in this and here they to didn’t get bring the friends came to them because other parents had made the same decisions.

Hannah (18:50):

Exactly. So looking back, I thought we’re all in it together as parents and I do have a large home, so it seemed like the natural home base. But what quickly ended up happening is moms and dads dropped their children off and then left and came back at three o’clock and I realized I am it. And I don’t have curriculum or material. I have a fun house and I enjoy teaching my children lots and they all had math books, so if nothing else, we were doing some math, but I felt quite overwhelmed. It was like a one room schoolhouse. And this is not my background to be a teacher. I do have a master’s degree. I love school, I love learning, but I am not an trained educator. My husband is, but I would say he actually was in quite a dark heavy place. His heart was broken. So

Dr. Ann Gillies (18:50):

 

Hannah (20:00):

There was a bit of tension actually with us. And he just looked at me and said, Hannah, you do not have to save every struggling family out there. And I said, well, I’m not. I am just saving the ones who have kids in our grades and I don’t know where this is going, but quickly our home was becoming quite a mess and I was wearing out. So God brought people and one is my mom.

Dr. Ann Gillies (20:31):

Yes, I was going to ask you about your mom. Tell me a little bit about your mom. She’s not a young, she’s not young.

Hannah (20:42):

She’s 79, but she has the energy of a 20 year old so that she’s in great health. But this, to be honest, motivated her and she’s passionate about our children and she has high standards and she was in there with her sleeves rolled up and very quickly we divided the group in two, she would have one group would’ve one group, we live on the same property and were able to share that. I have a neighbor across the road who also chipped in right away and said, I can help. And so kids could walk across the road and kids were loving it and just even outdoor play the benefits of outdoor play. Yes, fresh air. And you know what? It’s not always structured. My husband always says, let kids be bored. They’ll figure it out. And it was awesome. So it lasted for seven weeks like this going into the Christmas break. And it was,

Dr. Ann Gillies (21:44):

Can I just mention something too, because I remember as this is unfolding and your mom would take the children and she’d teach them how to bake. Absolutely. She was doing very hands-on stuff and she was loving it and the children were loving it. I mean, these are kind of life essentials which don’t often get taught to our children, certainly in the public school and very seldom in the Christian schools even. So she had a whole audience. It was pretty fun.

Hannah (22:20):

But it fueled her. Yeah, she was tired at the end of the day, but she had purpose and she’s still involved just to, if people wonder what happened, but she continues to be involved and she’s almost 80 and I don’t know what I would do without her. So I’m extremely grateful. I guess that’s part of the story, Dr. Ann is just that God provided and you take a step of obedience. I had no idea where this was going, but God brought people. I’ll tell you the next kind of crazy thing. I had a connection through the nonprofit charity I’d been working with. And by the way, I’d been forced to resign and it was effective the day before this homeschooling adventure kicked in so I could look back and go, it was on purpose and it all worked out and it gave me, I loved my work, it gave me a great education in why good governance matters, understanding bylaws, running meetings.

(23:26):

So it really did equip me for what was coming. But one of my contacts was a friend who has a gym and I reached out and just said, by any chance would you have extra space at your campus? Because I seem to have a lot of children here. And I was getting more requests daily and I just said, I maybe need to lease space. And it was funny. He said, yeah, actually I do have space. What are you thinking of? And I go, I don’t know, maybe it’s like homeschool gathering or pods, learning pods, I don’t really know. And he goes, do you know I always wanted a school here? And

Dr. Ann Gillies (23:26):

 

Hannah (24:07):

Who says that?

Dr. Ann Gillies (24:09):

Nobody

Hannah (24:10):

Who says I always wanted a school? So very close with amazing facilities. In the new year, I worked out a lease, I did take on that risk and I have a few generous people in my life that were super supportive. And so financially I signed a lease. Again, it was personal because we were not any formalized entity. So step-by-step things unfolded and to keep it legal, we met as learning pods. And I’ll tell you what happened. So we went into the Christmas break with 14 kids and in two weeks later when the Christmas break was over, I had 55 children. Ranging from,

Dr. Ann Gillies (24:58):

Oh my

Hannah (24:59):

JK to grade eight. It’s an act of God. I don’t know what else to say, but

Dr. Ann Gillies (25:10):

It’s also a huge headache.

Hannah (25:11):

It was massive. I didn’t have furniture, I didn’t have curriculum. And to be honest, the main person who was working with me, and he’s a fantastic educator and full of energy and he had the experience, he actually became terribly sick over the Christmas break with COVID and actually didn’t get involved until near the end of January. So I was left on my own. I’ve reached out to moms that I knew might be interested in teaching. I reached out, one woman had lost her job but was an early childhood educator and worker for a local government agency. So she was so grateful to have employment. I reached out to retired teachers and it was amazing because I’d have a little meeting and just God brought the right people and not just anybody but talented people and moms would say, I was just cleaning out. Would you like some books?

(26:19):

And before I knew it, I had boxes of books. I had a woman say, I was just thinking, we have a barn with some furniture. There might be things in there you need. I took some men with trucks and there are folding tables, chairs. There was a photocopier, which you need in your school. And very quickly my needs were supplied. I felt like I was getting to be a missionary that I’ve read about with these awesome faith stories and somehow I am living that in Ontario, Canada. One example is the school’s up and running and I thought, gosh, it gets really dirty and I have no vacuum. What was I thinking? And an hour later a mom comes in and says, I was just thinking you probably could do with this vacuum and I have one, would you like it? I thought I didn’t even ask Dr. Anne. And it was so exciting.

Dr. Ann Gillies (27:21):

Just was a thought in your head.

Hannah (27:23):

It just God has provided financially. I remember thinking, I have no business setting up a school and how do I even begin a budget? I just remember meeting with the people who were going to be kind of my teachers or we called them pod leaders and said, so let me explain. We have almost no money and you will not be paid what you’re worth or the energy you put into this, but what do you need for your home to operate? What can you live with? And everybody responded. And do you know, we came out even in fact by the end of June, this was January to June, I just kept seeing little blocks. I just have to get to the next section of time. But by the end of June we were up $10,000 and that helped launch us to become a legal school with approval from the ministry and legally a nonprofit, which is what we are today.

Dr. Ann Gillies (28:30):

Wow. Wow. I just think of those God moments, divine appointments and that you have such a story because it’s just amazing to think of what happened in just a few months, just a few months. And that it makes me, just makes me believe that if people where there’s a will, there’s a way, number one, that’s not an biblical statement, but you know what? When we see things that are wrong happening in our world, wherever it is, but particularly in the education system, I think the onus is on us as parents, as grandparents to either address it, which you tried to do over and over and over again. You tried to address it. And if those in leadership cannot see the problems, cannot will not acknowledge what the underlying roots are, then we have a responsibility to protect our children and parents have a need to have the final say that children need to be raised according to their views and values. And I what you’ve done Hannah and your family, and now your husband is back on board and he’s an amazing man. I am a little old, but I love him. He’s an amazing man. I just think, wow, I wish all of my children could have had a teacher like him because he is, I don’t know, just talking to him just makes me go, wow. So you’ve just been able because you’re willing, you know what? You were willing to do whatever

(30:18):

You needed to do on behalf of your children. And that’s what parents need to understand that you have to do it.

Hannah (30:24):

You do. And I remember distinctly having the thought, I don’t get another chance. You get one chance to educate your children. And we did our best. And I do think parents almost yearly have to reevaluate the situation. Teachers change. Leadership at schools change. And I will say that my husband’s been a public school teacher for a long time too. So we were familiar with public schools, private schools, independent schools, Christian schools and homeschooling. And I didn’t appreciate what a gift that is to have some unique perspectives that way. But you can have a wonderful teacher in the public school system. But I will tell you the pressures on that teacher are enormous and they are being forced to do things they don’t want to do. And those

Dr. Ann Gillies (31:20):

Teachers absolutely

Hannah (31:21):

Stand up too. And I don’t for a second think God tells us all the exact same thing. He never did that in the Bible. We’re all individual and diverse, but there are kind of principles that we all are expected. We are all expected to love truth and to

Dr. Ann Gillies (31:21):

 

Hannah (31:42):

act justly and to show mercy.

(31:45):

That is we are called to do that and we are called to raise our children. My job is to teach them the fear of the Lord. And so I remember thinking and when there was all this opposition and Dr. Ann and there continues to be a lot of opposition and we have been accused maligned and actually probably one of the most hurtful things is just cut off. So nobody’s actually come to talk and say, well, what happened? They just assumed It seems like they would assume the worst and we’ve just cut out of a lot of people’s lives. So it’s not that this hasn’t come at great expense, but it’s worth it. I can’t say there’s no question in my mind it’s worth it. I remember thinking when the school situation and no one’s listening and I just remember a very profound moment in my car going, well then I’ll just start my own. Why?

(32:49):

There’s a little bit, and some people might laugh quite loudly, maybe a lot of stubbornness in me, but there is a will and my heart is that it’s always in line with God’s heart. And I’m not saying I did everything perfectly. And his grace is big enough though to cover my mistakes. Our heart is for people. We’ve reached out to try to repair any relationship we can. But I think the irony is the local Christian school is still doing quite well. A number of new families come from the public system, but we now have 80 students this year. And I thought God, in a way expanded that school in a moment. It happened. If we had done it the way before COVID, the plan had been like five years, 10 years. I thought God just does things much more efficiently and he had a plan. And the other I think kind of attractive piece to what we’re doing, Dr. Ann, is we do not call ourselves a Christian school.

Dr. Ann Gillies (34:00):

I was just going to ask about that because I think that that’s important for anyone watching to understand. You’re not trying to push something onto other families or children. This is not a predominantly Christian school in the sense of name.

Hannah (34:21):

So, Well, part of me goes, if people don’t know we’re Christians, by the way we act, then we’ve messed up. We’re not doing our job. And a name alone is not good enough, right? So coming I think out of the situation we came out and also just the way even behavior was handled at the Christian school upset me. So if you’re going to talk about verses of forgiveness, but then let different incidents happen in the playground or even among staff and not address, you know what? That’s an offense and you need to confess it and we need forgiveness and this is how we resolve things. We talk about it, that’s action. And the behavior matters. I’m so big on manners and like you said, the whole person. So if we can put baking into the school, we’re going to put baking into the school. My heart is not, I never want to deceive a parent.

(35:16):

So any prospective families, they’re told upfront that we teach from a Judeo-Christian Foundation. All of our staff are believers. We’re all from different denominations. We’re not pushing one theology by any means. And we’re upfront about we begin day with the national anthem and the Lord’s Prayer kind of way public school did a few decades ago. So we say grace before a meal, but I do believe it is the job of the home, the mom and dad to raise their children in the way they want. Everyone is welcome at our school, but we do teach. We believe in marriage. We are pro-life, but that doesn’t mean every family that comes believes in those things, but they’re okay that we do. So we’re upfront about our bias and who we are, but we respect that the parents are going to teach what they want to teach. There’s some things, it’s not the school’s place to teach that my heart is that we are a safe place for children to thrive. And our heart is that whether they’re academics or not, they know they’ve been given God given skills and abilities and we want to see those thrive. So it might not be in math, it might be in mechanics, it might be in art. And so those things really matter. We do have a strong emphasis on academics, but we have project-based learning, which we’re really excited about. So in the end, Dr. Anne, we’ve been given this opportunity to create a school that we’ve always wanted. And

(37:13):

It didn’t come easily necessarily, but God is so good and faithful and every season more things are unfolding. I really don’t know what’s around the corner, but we continue to be blessed with families that are supporting us, encouraging us. We have wait lists for our classrooms. The trouble now is a lack of space. And my heart is also that it could be affordable to every family that wants an option to the public system. And that’s pretty difficult in Ontario these days.

Dr. Ann Gillies (37:51):

That’s very difficult. So we’re going to wrap up here in a minute, Hannah, but what I wanted to ask, well a couple things. I want to make an observation because my husband and I came down to visit your school a couple of weeks ago and I had actually been there when you first started. And so then I got to see the transition after two years, not quite two years where things are at now. But as we’re walking and we’re doing this tour, and I’m just amazed at just the whole expansion and then to hear you need more. But there was something that discussed, I think maybe, I don’t know who brought the subject up, but maybe it was your husband that you recently did a field trip. And I think this should encourage every parent’s heart. And so in Ontario we have what’s called a plowing match. It’s kind of for farmers in the rural area, but it’s just a wonderful opportunity. It’s about four days long and people can just get to explore a lot of things all about agriculture and farming. And you decided that the children from your school would go to this. So will you explain what you did? Because you only have limited amount of staff and you’ve got 80 children. How did you do it?

Hannah (39:18):

So I think field trips are so important and exposing children to, whether it’s the theater and arts or sporting events or science, but field trips are fantastic. So again, where there’s a will, there’s a way. But one of our pillars at our school is empathy. And I don’t know that that’s really taught in schools and we’re even challenged how do you teach empathy? But if I don’t need graduates who are necessarily all a plus students, but they need to be kind. And if they’re not kind, I feel like we’re falling short. So empathy is a goal and we bring it in to every activity we do. So how can we create empathy with the international plowing match? So the decision was made and it takes a lot of time, extra time and planning, but the decision was made to put the students in groups from different grades.

(40:23):

So a JK student is with a grade four student is with a grade seven student. And there were groups, there were like three, maybe four children in a group. And we have parents who will volunteer. We have grandparents and I’m trying to think, we had maybe 18 groups, 19 groups with various ages and we mixed up boys and girls. It’s not all boys. And we know these students and we know some are a bit of a handful. So this group, maybe just two is enough, but generally it was three or four. And what happened was, and initially there was some pushback even from staff and from parents, which was, well, the JK student’s not going to want to go to the same activities and booths that the grade seven student’s going to want to go to. We said, we know that’s the point. And so

Dr. Ann Gillies (41:22):

That is so cool.

Hannah (41:23):

That’s the point. It’s not all about what they want, but what we saw was the grade seven student going to a very primary tent and working with the JK student going, oh look, this is corn and this is wheat and this is flax. And they’re teaching and caring for the younger student. And then the younger student goes to a venue where they’re just having to listen and hear about things they maybe don’t understand, but they’re watching and learning. And so we had parents say, this was amazing. This was more like a family. I saw family and the kids were so well behaved because instantly the older students take on a responsibility which they’re capable of.

Dr. Ann Gillies (42:17):

I’m just welling, I’m welling.

Hannah (42:19):

It was awesome. And what is neat is empathy is growing and being demonstrated. And our reputation, different vendors commented because what typically happens, and we saw it, a school group will go and you’ll have all the grade three boys and they’re running around and they’re kind of being hooligans because they’re all together and they’re going to show how funny they are to their friends

Dr. Ann Gillies (42:19):

 

Hannah (42:51):

And they don’t behave really well. And this isn’t just about fun, it is educational and that can be fun. Anyways, at the end of the day when the kid said, can we come back tomorrow? Do we have to go home? I knew it was a success and it was awesome. I just want children to know you get to care for each other. We need to be grateful. We are big on gratitude. We always talk about manners are free. So whatever is happening in life and it won’t be fair, your manners are free and manners opens doors. So don’t stop saying please and thank you anyways. It was a great,

Dr. Ann Gillies (43:34):

Oh my goodness,

Hannah (43:35):

you asked me to share that

Dr. Ann Gillies (43:39):

Well, I’ve just got all emotional. I’m just thinking the learning curve for those children, but not only for the children, for the teachers and the parents as well. And I just think allowing this thinking out of the box, and that doesn’t happen in our public school system is all cut and dried. And then of course we have gender ideology, so you have to learn this, but I can’t think of anyone better to start a school just listening to you, just going through your whole experience, Hannah, that we really, boy, I pray that there’d be many many Hannah’s raised up across this country and that there just would be a lot of encouragement for parents watching this for grandparents.

(44:33):

Think about how can you help if there’s an opportunity to start a school or if homeschooling group grows, how can you help? Because your mom was right in there and she’s still right in there and she does what she can. I mean, she’s an amazing senior, but I think there’s opportunity for anyone. So I want to ask this. There’s always financial needs for these kind of things. There’s always needs for other kind of supplementary help. So janitors and EAs and all of those kinds of things. And I’m wondering, I think maybe at the end of this, we’ll post my website will be available for those who are wanting to ask further questions. You can just contact me and I’ll forward those to Hannah. If you wish to donate, then let me know and I’ll forward that right on to Hannah. And because what we need to understand is these are not inexpensive ideas. They come with a cost. And Hannah’s already said that, personal costs, but then the other added costs. So I just really thank you so much for being on. I learned a lot and I hope that those watching did as well. Any final comments, Hannah, before we close off today? Well,

Hannah (45:57):

I could definitely come back more and there’s the whole legal aspect that I could share another time for anyone who is thinking about what they could do. I want to honor our government and the legal system to the best of my ability and taxes and year ends. And that’s been a steep learning curve for me. But I suppose to end it, I am just honored that God would see that as a mom. I have a role and

(46:31):

I am passionate about my own children, but I need them to have a generation that is standing with them. I don’t need them to be all alone. And so it’s such an honor that God has given me this role. I’m humbled. I often feel a bit overwhelmed and certainly I wouldn’t be here without a lot of prayer and support, but it is an adventure in a way. God has fulfilled dreams I didn’t know I had. So thank you for letting me share. It’s a gift. And I pray others are encouraged because you really just have to have the will. And to hear God say, go for it. Just do it. He will work at him.

Dr. Ann Gillies (47:18):

That’s wonderful. He will. And you know what? He’ll bring in what you need. Everything that you need. Well, thank you so much. This has been wonderful, wonderful time. We’ve probably gone on a little longer than I usually do, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. People will be very engaged. And so we’ll see you again. We will have you back and to talk about the legalities. I think that’s very important. Thanks for joining us

Hannah (47:45):

Today. Thank you. Blessings.

Dr. Ann Gillies

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the discussion that I had with Hannah on, first of all, homeschooling and actually developing a whole school. A pretty exciting journey. Of course there’s bumps along the way. If you would like to send questions to Hannah, please go to my website RestoringTheMosaic.ca and I will make sure those questions get to her. And what we would like to do is actually use those questions for the next show, not the next one sequentially, but the next time I have Hannah come on. And she will answer those questions for you, because I think that’s really really important. Now she may answer them just via email before that. But we’d like to do a show that just answered parent’s questions. So hopefully, that will happen and if you have any general questions about homeschooling or anything like that, I will send them off to Hannah, and we’ll have this dialogue going on.

Thank you again for joining me. Please stay tuned for further Truth Talks with Dr. Ann. I’m going to be talking very shortly on the issue of pedophilia and bringing you some information that you need to hear. You can go to my website and find material and all of my books. Thanks for listening.

 

Narrator

You’ve been listening to Truth Talks with Dr. Ann. Thank you so much for joining us today. You can find Ann’s books, blog, and sign up for the newsletter by going to restoringthemosaic.ca

Restoring the Mosaic seeks to strengthen Canadian national unity by educating and informing policy-makers, legislators, and educational leaders with clinical research that will assist them to establish programs and policies that allow individuals with crises in identity to recover wholeness.

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