Many of our graduates have gone to college or have gone into a trade. We will feature Jered today. While in high school we attended his Eagle Scout celebration. During high school he wrote a novel (Learn to Write the Novel Way) for class: Guns at Aparri. At one point, he stated that he had received an “atta boy” for his writing skills in a report for work.
After high school, he earned a degree in criminal justice and served in the U.S. Army Reserves. Since then he has worked for the Department of Homeland Security. Thank you, Jered for your service to our country.
Prior to 2004, the Jiles family lived in Olympia, Washington. They drove to Lakewood, Washington to attend Academy Northwest classes at our learning center. Then the dad’s work took them to Georgia. There they met the Robinson family. I worked with the Jiles family and Tim Robinson. Later the Jiles moved to Spokane and the Robinson family moved to Texas. I continued to work with them via long distance and these students graduated. Also around that time, Ariel from New Jersey worked with me and graduated early from ANW. She has gone on for graduate work. I never met Tim and Ariel in person. Our use of the internet and the phone was problematic, but we were able to get the job done. Further, my learning center students in Lakewood posted assignments and responded in a closed Yahoo group.
Much has happened since that time. For one thing, we access virtually (no pun intended) all of our students online. Thankfully, our access to the internet is exceptional by comparison. Video conferencing provides a great video and audio experience with minimal problems most of the time. We can access many of these services for free or at least a minimal charge. Some do cost more. For that reason, our students can access one or more of the following as appropriate: http://www.SpellingCity.com, Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant, www.hearbuilder.com, Structure of Intellect assessments, and G-Suite for Education. I would rate simultaneous correction of writing assignments on Google Drive as my newest favorite tool.
WHO Convention 2000 and 2013
Through the years we had booths at the different homeschool conventions, most often the Washington Homeschool Organization’s convention which basically happened in our back yard. We went to others in the Puget Sound Area, as well as one time in Portland and one time in Spokane. As our work developed to what it is now, we have operated as: Master Enterprises Learning Center and Amazing Grace Christian Literature, Center for Neuro Development and finally Unlocking Learning Potential. During this time we have been affiliated with Family Academy along with its affiliate school, Academy Northwest. We also have helped in the development of Family Academy Online. Further, we are affiliated with the International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists. While living in Western Washington, we sold Christian books, homeschooling curriculum and neurodevelopmental supplies as well as providing services to homeschooling families. Now, in Oklahoma, we work with students online and only sell a few physical products. We are building our digital product line – e-books:
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
Often when a younger person dies, we hear comments like, “She died before her time.” From our perspective it may seem true, but from God’s point of view, NO ONE dies before his or her time. This week our family gathered to say, “See you later,” to Patty Garrett. To be clear I must call her a sister-in-law, but she has been a part of our family for nearly 35 years so “Sister” seems more appropriate, both in family terms and in the Body of Christ.
Both the time of our birth and the time of our death remains in the hands of Our Sovereign God. On March 15 our church family welcomed a new member to our family. We rejoiced (and continue to) with the young Mom and Dad and first time grandparents, aunts and uncles!
On March 17, I received a call from my older sister who at age 70 is our 92 year old mom’s caregiver. Beginning the call she said she had bad news. Even though Patty (almost 57) had battled breast cancer years ago and for several months had been receiving chemo for its return as Stage 4, my thoughts did not go to her. My thoughts went to older members of my family. On March 20, Ronnie and I traveled to Wichita to visit Patty in the hospital. They had begun radiation treatments. While the cancer had metastasized to the brain and paralyzed her left side, she still smiled! Patty’s doctor had been out of town so they didn’t consult with him until Tuesday. At that point, they learned that neither chemo nor radiation would help. On Wednesday, they transported her home and set up hospice. Many family members from all over visited Patty during those last days of her life on this earth. Medical professionals can only guess as to how long a person will survive. Patty’s hospice nurse told the family that it could be hours or days. Early on April 1, Patty breathed her last breath. Untypical of Patty, she left an unsmiling shell that no longer served her as she is now in the gracious presence of our Sovereign Lord and Savior. We rejoice with her, but will miss her much. We gathered in Dodge City on April 5 to celebrate the life God gave her. Though Patty is now out of our sight, she will always be in our hearts and mind until such a time as we join her in Glory!! We pray for her immediate family as they seek to find their new normal without Patty. Much of Patty remains in the home she maintained. One wall decoration says, “God Is Good All of the Time.” We pray for members of the extended family who do not trust Our Sovereign Lord.
Thankful, that we now live close enough to make these trips.
During Academy Northwest graduations, graduates give speeches and perform musically. This year, one of our students played the harp. Overall, ANW graduates do well academically and go on to college having earned scholarships. In our learning center we offered a customized program depending on the needs of the students. Many have gone on to earn undergraduate and some graduate degrees. Some go into to trade school or join the work force. Education is not one size fits all. We enjoy hearing the Grad bios as they stand on the top, center step learning about the graduates from other learning centers. Hearing of their hopes and dreams encourages to keep working with these students. I love to to see their families grow on Facebook even though we live far from most of them.
Today, homeschoolers have many opportunities to learn a world language. First, a number of excellent curricula exist and online help abounds. While that may not have been true when homeschooling began, it certainly is true now. Many combine a great curriculum with conversational in person or online. Second, many homeschool co-ops and private extension schools such as www.academynorthwest.org provide site-based world language classes. After living in Spain for 17 years, teaching Spanish at Heritage Christian School for two years and then offering site-based classes to homeschoolers it only made sense to expand that to our online services. Http://maggiedail.wixsite.com/spanishanw Photos represent early Spanish classes. Website shows how we offer Spanish classes today. Thirdly, a homeschool high school can study their world language at a community college.
Graduation, 2006 – Academy Northwest’s graduation program tells the story. All over Western Washington we have “learning centers” operated by Teacher Consultants. Our title, Teacher Consultants includes two of our functions. We teach classes to our students and we consult with their parents. Our model forms a triangle; each part has responsibilities and benefits. Visit our website to see the “Family Academy Way” which illustrates how our affiliate school, Academy Northwest, operates.
The Family Academy Way
Here is an excerpt from that page:
The Family Academy Way includes, but is not limited to:
- Learning within meaningful relationships
- Individualized learning plans
- Professional guidance
- Documentation of completed work (transcripts)
- High standards (raising the bar)
- Personalized help
- Academic and personal excellence
- Reinforcement of family values
Our students learned about different historical figures through reading biographies. Also, they gained public speaking / acting skills. You probably notice that we had a broad range of ages, 7th – 12th, in our learning center during those years. It is great to know that biographies are available at different reading levels so each student could work on his own level and participate with the class. Some students could have a low reading level, but still presented well in class.
Yes, homeschoolers graduate. In Washington, many do it with the Washington Homeschool Organization or their coops or churches. Family Academy has been in existence since 1981 and for those early years our graduates graduated with WHO. In 1996 our group had grown enough to have our own graduation ceremony. Master Enterprises Learning Center began in 1994. By 1998 we had graduates so we participated in the Family Academy graduation ceremony. As our affiliate school, Academy Northwest, developed we went through the grueling accreditation process and continue to work to maintain that accreditation. This allows our graduates to enter college with an accredited transcript and diploma with private school status. We haven’t lost the “Family” part because the parents remain the primary teachers of their children. Our Teacher Consultants come alongside the parents to help them and we teach some classes to the students in part to fulfill the contact time required by the homeschool law of our home state, Washington In recent years we have added online / distance learning through Family Academy Online which allows us to work with students from all over following any applicable laws from their states.
After a year of using our remodeled garage as our learning center, Master Enterprises Learning Center moved into the living / dining room area. Ronnie’s office moved into a “bedroom”.
Except for two short times in the future that is where the students met for classes. Early on the remodeled garage was our living room, but after some time we actually lost our living room. That room was our bedroom for a while and finally Ronnie’s office. My office eventually moved into the largest “bedroom” as well, so you can see we were trying to make the most of the space we had.
After the first few years, our learning center grew to about 20 students. Some may have been taking just one class, such as Spanish or they may have been full time Academy Northwest students.