What is the History Behind Kimber Private Schools?
The story begins on a hot June day in 1970. The commercial airline finally rolled to a stop on the tarmac of Travis AFB, California. It had been a 17-hour flight. The roaring engines gradually whined to a stop. In silence the soldiers tried to control their emotions as they listened to a military band on the tarmac welcome them with “God Bless America” and “The Star-spangled Banner.” Staff-Sergeant Glenn J. Kimber was one of those un-sung heroes of the Vietnam War who disembarked, knelt down, and kissed the ground of the land of the free.
Waiting at the entrance of the airport stood anxious relatives and friends, among them Sgt. Kimber’s parents and his wife Julianne who held their 2-year-old daughter Candace. “Daddy’s home, Candie!” she exclaimed. The nightmare of Vietnam was over. These soldiers, at least, had come back.
After the joyful reunion and during the travels back home, experiences were shared, tears were shed, and future plans were made. It was decided that Glenn would return to college and get his degree in Accounting and Business Management at Brigham Young University.
However, after Glenn’s return, he was deeply disturbed by newspaper headlines of negativism against America. It seemed to be a hate campaign that made America look like a simpering bully who didn’t know how to beat an opponent. Why did so many die? For what cause? If America was such a terrible nation, he asked himself, why do I love this nation so much? Glenn reported to his father-in-law, W. Cleon Skousen, and asked him those questions. “What is happening to America?” he asked.
Dr. Skousen replied, “Now that you are asking those questions, son, you are ready to listen to some answers.”
Having never been involved in politics or concerned about the civics of the national government in the past, Glenn was now ready to find out what could be done to help America. Over 100 cities were being burned, civil rights issues were explosive, gangs flourished and “anti-establishment” marches were crowding streets and tabloids. There had to be answers as to why everyone was crying “peace, peace!” and yet there was no peace.
Glenn began to study under Dr. Skousen. After some time, he learned about Constitutional principles and our American Heritage, which he discovered to be deeply rooted in religious freedom. His studies under Dr. Skousen took him on a journey that would last for the rest of Glenn’s life.
The Freemen Institute
Glenn graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting Business Management. While some Vietnam vets were traveling around the country with black arm bands on, proclaiming “Down with America!” and “God is Dead” theories, Glenn began to travel with Dr. Skousen to promote the hope of America. It was a campaign to restore the Constitution in the Tradition of the Founding Fathers.
Dr. Skousen formed a non-profit business called The Freemen Institute. This organization flourished for the next 15 years. Glenn implemented Dr. Skousen’s ideas and dreams by organizing a plethora of programs: a donor program where $10 a month gave participants a tape of the month on Constitutional issues plus a copy of the Freemen Digest and Freemen Family Fun for children; Century Club banquets with featured speakers of legislators, business leaders, governors, and candidates from all parties; a speaking circuit with Dr. Skousen and other patriots traveling the country to teach “The Roots of America,” “The Unhinging of America,” and “The Healing of America”. There were radio interviews, television appearances, and invitations by legislators to appear before their boards to discuss Constitutionalism and education.
Glenn’s work in the Freemen Institute was instrumental when Dr. Skousen published the nationally renowned “The Making of America” book in 1984. This 700-page volume explains how the Constitution came to be, with a principle-by-principle explanation of why each article and section was included. Glenn helped prepare this excellent book for publishing, and then organized seminars across the nation as well as in Washington, D.C. where these Constitutional principles could be taught. President Ronald Reagan recognized Dr. Skousen’s work as the best work on the Constitution available. Many legislators were given complimentary copies to read and study. Under Glenn’s direction, Dr. Skousen recorded a television series called “The Miracle of America” which was aired for some time through the Christian networks.
All this success had a profound effect on the attitudes of Americans in every state. Many saw how Constitutional principles gave our nation hope for a brighter future. This upswing in patriotism re-elected Ronald Reagan to the White house, and when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it seemed that America’s enemies were at last overcome.
With the feeling of victory, patriotic ferver expired. And so did the Freemen Institute. It was time to move on.
Enemies of Education Become the Focus
In 1987, Glenn and Julianne, now with six children, moved their family to Cedar City, Utah where Glenn worked in partnership with Bill Doughty, founder of the Institute for Constitutional Education (I.C.E.). The goal of I.C.E. was to educate Americans, and even people world-wide, in the areas of (1) Prosperity Economics, (2) Family Education, (3) World Politics, and (4) Social & Cultural Trends.
When it came to Family Education, Glenn and Julianne had experimented with several types of learning for their children: Public School, private school with Carden School, and home school. In Cedar City, the children went back to public school.
Glenn’s main interest with Bill Doughty’s program was Family Education. He and Julianne began an extensive study on the cycles of education in America. They came to the disturbing conclusion that the nation’s problems began with the lack of educating its citizens with true and moral, God-fearing principles. The public school system was beginning to fail.
The Kimber’s asked themselves some vital questions: Why is education failing in America? Is it because of poor teachers? Poor administrators? Not enough money? And another area of concern: What is the curriculum teaching America’s students?
After much investigation and research, Glenn put together a seminar in 1990 called “The Twenty Tools and Techniques of Effective Teaching”. This was a very popular seminar, especially with home schoolers. By this time Glenn had acquired two doctorate degrees and was traveling to many states throughout the country to share his dissertation materials. Concerned parents everywhere were hungry to know what to do about their children’s education, and how to become effective teachers themselves. True education needed to be restored. Glenn and Julianne thus formed a corporation called “The Center for Educational Restoration.”
Then a call from some friends in Arizona changed everything.
Benjamin Franklin Academy
“We want more!” they said. “You talk about big ideas, but we want to put your ‘Tools and Techniques’ to work in an actual classroom setting.” Glenn was surprised at the request. Where does one start to organize such a thing? The Mesa parents seemed to have the answer. “You can use our students as your guinea pigs. We want to see if those techniques really work!”
After long consideration, the Kimbers decided to accept the challenge. They formed a private school called “Benjamin Franklin Academy,” in honor of that popular Founding Father whose influence and knowledge still affects modern students in every subject. Franklin’s famous assertion became the mission statement of B.F.A.: “Learning to serve God, Family, and Country should be the aim and end of all true learning.”
The school began in Mesa, Arizona, in 1991, with 63 students. For the first three months, students were taught mainly from the Scriptures while Glenn and Julianne tried to find a curriculum that would work in a private school setting. The goal was to teach religious philosophies in every academic subject to the 63 students, ages 10 – 16.
Since the 9-hour drive to Mesa each week prevented the Kimbers from teaching the usual five days a week, they taught for three days a week, and spent week-ends at their Cedar City home. The Kimbers actually discovered that students learned best when they weren’t overloaded with school time. B.F.A. met for only four hours during the three-day week. And there was absolutely no homework. “Assigned homework,” Glenn insisted, “destroys the family and causes students to hate learning.” He hoped that students would WANT to go home and do more studying on their own. Many of the students did just that.
What About Curriculum?
“We definitely like all that religion,” remarked one parent, “but what about the academics?” Glenn and Julianne did more research. There was no curriculum out there that seemed to fit their circumstances or their goals. They wanted to put sound religion into every subject. Even math. So, under the name of the Center for Educational Restoration, Inc., (C.E.R.), the writing path began.
The Kimbers found no math textbook to meet the standard they sought. So they began to write their own texts. Using a college freshmen textbook as their guide, the Kimbers developed a whole new system of teaching how God patterns the whole universe with numbers. They wanted their students to understand that God counts all His creations and numbers them.
After helping students develop a testimony of the importance of math in their lives, the Kimbers organized their math book into PRINCIPLES – some 360 of them. Students were required to create and solve their own math problems. Instead of pages and pages of busy work, this method of mathematics helped students learn to think and self-govern.
Ten areas of math are covered: Numeration, Fractions, Decimals, Ratio and Proportion, Percents, Statistics, Business Math, Weights & Measures, Geometry, and Basic Algebra.
The Kimbers wanted to teach their students more than the basic reading and writing skills. They felt there was something deeper about the “art of communication” that needed to be learned. They discovered that the key is “academic service.”
In the three volumes of Language Arts, students are challenged to learn each principle by memorizing it. Then they do Learning Exercises to (1) practice that principle, (2) look up scriptures which demonstrate that principle, and (3) use that principle in some kind of academic service.
Examples of these service projects could be letters to loved ones, thank-you notes, special audio recordings, booklets, journals, etc. Parents and teachers had the responsibility to see that spelling, grammar, and composition were perfected before sending any correspondence. The students thrived. When Language Arts had more meaning in their lives, they began to develop their reading and writing skills while learning to serve others.
Research is the key to learning the sciences. The Kimbers eventually wrote six science books to cover all areas of the subject: Physiology, Zoology, Botany, Chemistry, Geology, and Astronomy. Students have the unique opportunity to write their own science book by defining, illustrating, labeling and explaining in writing various vocabulary words. When the science book is completed, the student has his or her own reference book to teach from, or to show as a great accomplishment.
After a student does the Learning Exercises of “HOW God Created” the subject they are studying, they use the scriptures of their choice to discover and write about “WHY God Created the subject they are studying.
Thus, with research and scripture study, students develop a deep understanding of the Creator’s powers in the universe.
Students are taught through the Kimber history that this subject is simply “God’s dealings with mankind, and mankind’s dealings with each other.” When the Creator and His people are placed in logical sequences of events, history comes alive for students.
The history books are organized with “hook dates”. Each date has a prominent personality attached to it and a major event. An example of this is 4000 B.C. – Adam and Eve – The Creation.
The Kimber’s subsequently have written two volumes each of (1) Old Testament and World History, (2) Middle East and European History, and (3) American History.
Graduates are required to write from memory 4,000 facts in order of happening for a graduation thesis. Many students through the years have never forgotten their experience in recalling the marvelous events of God’s people through all ages of time.
Being religious based, all the subjects of study focuses on religious values. But the most important subject of the school day became a study of the scriptures. It set the tone for all other subjects being taught during school. With the Hook-Date method, students were able to go through the scripture of choice three times during the school year. Many Kimber graduates have commented on how this method of study helped them prepare for missions and for life.
Those of other religions who attended BFA were free to use their own scriptures to study, and since scriptures were taught the first hour, they could have their own religious study at home and then come to BFA for the rest of the day.
Benjamin Franklin Academies Become National
Benjamin Franklin Academy’s enrollment in Mesa doubled the second year. However, with the difficulty of traveling the nine hours from Cedar City, Utah, to Mesa, Arizona and back again every week, the burden began to wear on the family. So Glenn turned B.F.A. over to his friend, Earl Taylor of Mesa, and began to campaign for Academies in Utah, closer to home.
During the next few years the Academies doubled almost every year. Eventually there were 52 Academies in 16 different states, with a total enrollment of almost 2,500 students.
As they structured their schools, the Kimber’s tried to do everything opposite of the public school system:
- Instead of splitting families into grades, BFA had only two classes – Senior (ages 12 and up) and Junior (ages 5 to 11). Because the school was in one building, families could study together.
- Parents were welcome in class and came to learn right along with their children.
- There was no assigned homework.
- All curriculum was God-centered and principle-based.
- Devotionals invited God’s spirit into the classroom.
- Parents and students avoided educational burn-out because there was only a block of 12 hours of school each week.
- Teachers were chosen by a parent council, and hired on the basis of readiness and a desire to teach by the Spirit, not necessarily state certification.
- Tuition was kept low so that more family members could participate.
- Social functions were family functions, emphasizing high standards of music and fun.
- Modest dress standards were enforced and good behavior was expected.
In short, the vacuum that the public school system had created was being filled in a small measure by Benjamin Franklin Academy’s new system of true learning in a positive atmosphere.
But again changes were in the wind.
Health Problems and a Period of Rest
In 1995 a gentleman came into the office with an offer to help. He could see that the administration of such a large organization was beginning to have its affect on the Kimbers. He offered to take over the administration if the Kimbers would be willing to teach and train only. In that way, Benjamin Franklin Academy could be perpetuated.
Through a long process, the offer was accepted. However, the gentleman was called on a mission for the LDS Church, and he turned over the operation of BFA to his two sons. The sons could not see the Kimber vision and the BFA’s began to fail. It was about this time that Dr. Kimber came down with cancer. A carcenoid tumor was removed, after which blood clots in the lungs caused major problems, and a long recuperating process began.
Here Comes Kimber Academy
It would be almost five years before the Kimbers decided to once again try to establish their ideas for an educational system like Benjamin Franklin Academy. In 2001, a new national board of advisers was formed, and the Board convinced the Kimbers to call their new school “Kimber Academy.” It took some adjusting to this idea, since Glenn and Julianne were not anxious to tout their own name, but it soon became a natural.
The Academies have gone through various changes in structure and personnel. Now a new thrust in productivity on the internet is being organized for on-line classes.
In the future, Kimber Academy plans to be involved in many outreach programs to promote true education, such as:
- Constitutional studies with the Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Restoration
- Classroom teaching by Dr. Kimber and other excellent instructors
- Live classes on-line
- Downloadable Curriculum
- A distance learning program
- Classes on prosperity economics
- Featured speakers by renowned authors and writers
- Recordings of many of Dr. Skousen’s speeches will also be available on-line.
These excellent resources are about to explode into fiber-optic streamlined learning as people learn about and tap into the amazing techniques of a “love of learning” that began so many years ago. It is through God’s guidance and blessing that it has all happened. And the Kimbers don’t think God is quite through with them yet.
Biographical Information 2013
Glenn J. Kimber, PhD
Glenn J. Kimber was born and raised in northern Utah. After graduating from High School he attended Weber State College. In 1965 he married Julianne Skousen and shortly thereafter he joined the Air Force where he served for 4 years, including one tour of duty to Vietnam.
Upon returning from Vietnam, Dr. Kimber continued his university studies graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University. He then joined with W. Cleon Skousen in establishing an educational foundation called the Freemen Institute, which was organized for the purpose of teaching American History and Constitutional studies. During the next number of years, Dr. Kimber presented patriotic seminars and conferences in all 50 states and in a number of foreign countries.
Dr. Kimber continued his education, receiving two Doctorate degrees, one in Constitutional Studies in 1992 from Coral Ridge Baptist University, based in Florida. He continued his educational pursuits and received a second Doctorate in education from George Wythe College.
Dr. Kimber established a series of private schools called the Benjamin Franklin Academies to incorporate a strong moral and patriotic curriculum back into the classroom. In 2001 he also established the Kimber Academies, a private school for students ages K – 12. He and his wife have authored over 100 textbooks and educational guides which emphasize the U.S. Constitution, America’s Founding Fathers, and moral and religious values in all five core subjects.
Dr. Kimber was instrumental in developing a program for television called “The Miracle of America,” which was presented in a number of states. This series taught American history and Constitutional principles from the viewpoint of the American Founding Fathers.
Dr. Kimber has testified before a number of legislative committees in several states pertaining to Constitutional and educational issues. He has also been a guest on a number of radio and television talk shows.
Currently, Dr. Kimber is the president of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Studies, and in that capacity conducts seminars throughout the United States called “The Healing of America.” This seminar series teaches participants 1) the founding of America, 2) the establishment of the U.S. Constitution, 3) America’s drift from the Constitution, and 4) how the greatness of America can be restored.
Dr. Kimber also conducts American History tours, and also tours to the Middle East, as well as Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.
He and his wife are the parents of 8 children, grandparents of 30, and currently reside in Cedar City, Utah.
Biographical Information 2013
Julianne Skousen Kimber, MA
Julianne Skousen Kimber was born in Washington, D.C., to W. Cleon Skousen and Jewel Pitcher Skousen, and was raised in California and Utah. She graduated from Highland High School in Salt Lake City in 1962 and attended 3 years at Brigham Young University, majoring in Art with a minor in French. She married Glenn J. Kimber in 1965 in Salt Lake City.
During the past 40 years, Mrs. Kimber has worked with her husband in his several occupations. She has also held positions in the work force: Secretary, clerk typist for the Military at Hill AFB (Ogden, UT) and Kessler AFB (Biloxi, MS), secretary and assistant at a copy center, and writing and illustrating over 100 textbooks for the private school she and her husband founded called the Glenn J. Kimber Academies.
While working with her husband in the Freemen Institute during the 1980s, Mrs. Kimber wrote and illustrated a children’s patriotic lesson-book called “I Love America.” This volume is used in over 14,000 public schools across the nation. The book was recognized by senators, public school state boards, principals, and libraries throughout the nation. President Ronald Reagan also acknowledged the worth of these patriotic materials for public schools.
Mrs. Kimber also composed approximately 20 songs for young students on patriotism and religion.
From 1988-1989 she was a guest columnist for the Spectrum Newspaper in St. George, Utah, writing and illustrating a children’s column called “Kimber’s Korner.” These articles and games featured American History games and learning projects.
In 1993 Mrs. Kimber was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Coral Ridge Baptist University in Florida, and a year later she was given a Master of Arts Degree in the area of Constitutional Education from George Wythe College.
Mrs. Kimber has traveled with her husband from coast to coast and over-seas as an assistant tour guide to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, England and Germany.
Glenn and Julianne have had 8 children, six living, and enjoy the love and company of 30 beautiful grandchildren.
The Kimbers currently reside in Cedar City, Utah.