Personal Reflections 2017 – 8 – What about graduation?


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.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 7 -How did we adjust as our learning center grew?


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.

Personal Reflections – 2017 – 6 – How do students learn about the past?

One way students learn about the past is visiting museums – some within five miles from their learning center and some fifty miles away. Interactive museums like the Steilacoom Tribal Museum in Steilacoom, Washington and Chehalis Museum in Chehalis, Washington formed a part of our students’ study of Pacific Northwest History which is a required course in Washington State.

We enjoyed taking our students to these places in those early days as well as the final days as a site-based learning center in Washington.  Many memories that we cherish!



Personal Reflections – 2017 – 5 What can a small learning center do?


From experience we know that small learning centers can do many things that larger learning centers and schools can do. One thing we did somewhere along the line was a learning center “History Day” as part of our history studies. Our administrator, Candice Childs, came to judge the entries.  We had much to learn but we had made the first step.

On another occasion, we had a Toastmaster member come to teach us the art of speaking. Even this Teacher Consultant participated as a student. Sadly, this precious lady planned to retire so we could not get her to come for future students.

Such valuable experiences our students accessed!

Personal Reflections 2017 -4 – Do we sorrow as others do?


Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

No, we do not sorrow as others do when a believer dies; our sorrowing is for ourselves, not for them.

On December 27, 2016 I video conferenced with two of my long time Family Academy colleagues.  We were brainstorming of how to continue to build Family Academy and Family Academy Online. As usual, these two men, my seniors by less than 10 years, were not content to go into retirement as many do at their age.

On Saturday evening, January 7, 2017 I received a text from another longtime colleague from Family Academy – John’s wife, Barbara. John had had a heart attack early that morning and was in the presence of his Lord.  I am praying for the Laxdal family as they adjust to their new normal and rest in their Lord for comfort that only He can give.

During my time with ANW/FA a number of my colleagues from Academy Northwest/Family Academy have either died or lost their spouse. That will continue until one day it will be my turn to leave this earth behind.  I do pray for these dear brothers and sisters who have been left behind and I pray that I will be found faithful when it is my turn.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 3 – In what ways do parents participate in the education of their children?


As our group began to grow we branched out with more activities. One memorable trip was to Olympia to see the State Capital, meeting with the late Michael Carrell then State Representative and later State Senator. Also, pictured is former State Representative, Gigi Talcott.  Further, we went camping with Claire.  Claire, a mom of one of our students, contributed greatly to our science program taking over much of the Biology lab work with the students. If I started listing all of the contributions of all of the parents, I would surely forget many.  One father of two students actually enclosed our one car garage so that it could be our “learning center” for about a year.  We outgrew it quickly. For a while it was our living room, for a while our bedroom and finally it was Ronnie’s office. At this time Family Academy and its affiliate school comprised one organization. Often we have said that the students preferred the Academy Northwest name because it represented the official private school status. At the same time the parents preferred the name Family Academy because the parents remain the primary teachers while the Teacher Consultants come along side to provide support for the students and their parents.

Deuteronomy 6:6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 

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Personal Reflections 2017 – 2 How does time fly so quickly?

During my last year at Heritage Christian School, I began my first year with Academy Northwest / Family Academy.  Master Enterprises Learning Center met in the evening, Tuesday evenings, if I remember correctly. I believe I also met with a couple of the students individually in their homes. You can see from the pictures that we enjoyed activities like a puppet show and trips to Point Defiance Zoo and Snake Lake Nature Center in Tacoma. Of course, these first students from the 1994-1995 school year are all adults by now. Unless I see them on Facebook, I still think of them as upper elementary through high school age. How does time fly so quickly?  Psalm 31 reminds us that our times are in God’s hands and we can safely trust him. Whether our way is rough or smooth – most of us have times of both – He protects and leads us.  While reading the context is best, you can see the particular verses in bold.

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Psalm 31 – NKJV

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

I have hated those who regard useless idols;
But I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my body!
10 For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
11 I am a reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.

1But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
17 Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
22 For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.


Personal Reflections 2017 – 1 FAQ – “How did I get here? 


This may put fear into the heart of a parent of a young child, but my question represents a different query.

As I begin 2017 (a year I never dreamed about in my younger years), I want to reflect on how I arrived at this point in my life’s work. After college and prior to marrying my beloved husband, Ronnie, my work had been centered on a school or some other teaching situation. So when I became Mrs. Dail, how would that change?  For the first four years I did work outside of the home at a tutoring center for a short time and then at Heritage Christian School for three years. Even before that ended I began tutoring and began exploring the idea of homeschooling.  With no little Dails in sight, we entered the foster care system and had the privilege of fostering two boys.  Our younger and first full time foster son did go to a home day care center during my last year at Heritage, but after he had returned home we continued to play a part in his education. To this day we have a great relationship with his mother. We homeschooled our older one while he lived with us. Our contact with him is on his terms – when it suits him. They, of course, are young adults now.

During that time we learned of an organization called Family Academy and its affiliate school, Academy Northwest. By summer of 1994 I became a Teacher Consultant for this organization.  As I looked into a name for my “learning center” I looked no further than a business name Ronnie used for his various endeavors, Master Enterprises, recognizing our Master, our Lord Jesus Christ. So Master Enterprises Learning Center became a Family Academy / Academy Northwest learning center.

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Personal Reflections – 9

photo (9)As we approach the middle of August, our thoughts begin to consider the coming school year. Many of my students are taking off more time than I needed for moving and initial settling into our new home. As I begin slowly, it allows me to continue to get settled. We are doing end of the year assessments for homeschoolers and six-month for others (Brain Training, Fast ForWord, Reading Assistant, ANW). We are available for assessments and for Family Support as we begin this new school year.
As I write this, it has been close to four weeks since we left Lakewood and exactly three weeks since we arrived in Bartlesville. During the last four weeks we traveled over 2,000 miles pulling our van behind a 26’ U-Haul truck. We took possession of a 850 square foot 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in Bartlesville. Having had the equivalent of a 1000 square foot 3 bedroom home we have been downsizing. When we left, we had no idea if we had disposed of enough items. We are still disposing of items. Though everything is not out of boxes yet, we are gaining ground. One way to measure that is that there is more floor space that needs to be swept or vacuumed.

Another way to measure our progress is that in three weeks we have:
• obtained Oklahoma Driver’s Licenses,
• changed our car registration to Oklahoma,
• shopped at all of the grocery stores and narrowed it down to two main ones that we will use,
• obtained library cards,
• set up both of our work spaces (though not totally organized),
• found a spot in the middle of our living room for our easy chairs (after years of using our living room as a classroom with tables and chairs),
• attended all of the main meetings of Grace Baptist Church and each of us have gone to a Bible Study (Ladies / Men).
A year ago we visited Bartlesville and Grace Baptist Church seeking God’s guidance. As we left we said to ourselves that our plan was to move to Bartlesville and we left those plans in God’s hands to confirm or redirect. In a similar way we can say with Abraham’s servant, “I being in the way, the Lord led me.” Genesis 24:27
Before we began this Personal Reflections journey, we had just finished reading through and reviewing the Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina. While I may add to my Personal Reflections from time to time, I am ready to begin thinking again about a topic that was brought to my attention last November. As a volunteer at Care Net (for 12 years – teaching parenting classes in Spanish), I was sent a notification of an event put on by Parenteen ( offering free clock hours for teachers. I thought it would be about teens who are parents, but it was about parenting teens. This brought up the whole concept of teenagers. Gathering material from this organization, the speaker (Chap Clark), CareNet and other resources, I want to explore these people in our society that we call teenagers. I invite you to join me on this exploration.

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Personal Reflections – 8

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Moving In Day – July 26, 2014

To start the day we met at Grace Baptist Church where the young men of the church treated us with a hearty breakfast. From there, we proceeded to our apartment and these young men unloaded our truck and happily put boxes and furniture in the rooms where we directed them. Many of the boxes were labeled well, but the last boxes were only taped up in the rush of loading up the truck a week earlier. We enjoyed getting to know them a little better. Finally, they all left us to begin the process that only we can do… put things away. Our new pastor returned later to see how we were doing. After a few hours of work, we retired in our own bed for the first time in eight days.

July 27, 2014
We attended Sunday services which included: a baptism of one of the young men who helped us out, great preaching, the Lord’s Supper and a special appreciation meal for the retiring pianist. Members of Grace Baptist Church made us feel at home.
Now each day we do a little more to organize our new home so we can function fully within a week and acquaint ourselves with our new home – post office, stores, car registration, driver’s licenses, accessing the VA Medical Center for Ronnie and I will need to be looking at Medicare Advantage plans.

July 30, 2014
We broke our record of having difficulty arriving on time today when we arrived one hour early to the Wednesday evening meal and prayer time at Grace Baptist. This hour allowed additional time to get to know one of the elders more.

August 2, 2014
We unloaded the truck a week ago and we still have boxes around, but we are making progress. We have to pace ourselves. We have been to two post offices, two grocery stores, Wal Mart and Lowes. We also visited Billie’s Health Food Center and the Farmer’s Market. Our goal is to find which stores will meet a part of our shopping needs. There are three more grocery stores on our list. Our washer and dryer will be delivered in four days.

For more pictures:

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