Personal Reflections – 2017 # 18 – How did we get to know homeschooling parents?

 

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:

https://www.unlockinglearningpotential.net/maggie-s-e-books

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Personal Reflections – 2017 – 17 – Who Controls Our Time on This Earth?

Patty Garrett - 1960-2017

“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.

Personal Reflection 2017 – 16 -Another Graduation – Achievements Recognized

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.

Celebrating New Website with a Special Deal – www.unlockinglearningpotential.net

Rounding Cover (496x640)

 

by Maggie Dail, M.A.

We are excited to announce that we have a new website:

www.unlockinglearningpotential.net

It joins our blog:

www.unlockinglearningpotential.com

To celebrate we are offering our remaining printed books with FREE SHIPPING:

Rounding the Bases – Chris Learns to Read 

All of our publishing will be digital – available in a variety of e-book formats.

https://www.unlockinglearningpotential.net/maggie-s-e-books 

 

Personal Reflections – 2017 # 15 – What about learning World Languages?

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.

Personal Reflections – 2017 – 14 – How did “Home School / Small School” K-6 work?

For a time we had a small school in our home using the Charlotte Mason approach with elements of classical education. Part of that time, we had an unlikely “class” of almost full time instruction. Our next door neighbor’s nephew lived with them while his father drove a truck for a living. Andrew was in Kindergarten. We had another student in the 6th grade – Drew. Other students formed part of our Charlotte Mason home school learning center. Many in that group grew up with us and later graduated from Academy Northwest. Once that happened, possibly because of a downturn in the economy, our groups were in middle and high school. Those were enjoyable days.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 13 – How did we learn about the Oregon Trail and Lewis and Clark?

lewis-and-clark-trip

 

Over the years we did a number of field trips that helped us understand the Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark’s Journey of Discovery and other Pacific Northwest History highlights.  On one occasion we went to Oregon to see The Oregon Trail museum and Fort Clatsop. Further, on another occasion we stayed overnight at the Pioneer Farm closer to home. Each of these occasions provided time to bond with our families and, of course, to learn about our past. We can learn much by understanding how our home developed.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 12 – What about annual testing?

annual-testing-catMany state home school laws require some sort of assessment either annually or during specific grades. Even if it is not required, it can provide you with additional helpful information. Most Teacher Consultants of Family Academy / Academy Northwest’s provide standardized assessments and / or non-test assessments because Washington State’s home school law requires home school students to have either a standardized test or a non-test assessment each year.

Standardized testing usually requires the student to fill in circles on an answer sheet. Scoring is according to norms (sample group of students) and produce grade equivalents, percentiles and stanines relative to that sample group of students. This requires that the test be given under specific guidelines prescribed by the test makers. Examples of these standardized tests include: California Achievement Test (CAT), Stanford Achievement Tests (SAT – not to be confused with the college entrance SAT of College Board) and Iowa Test of Basic Skills.  These tests take 2-3 days of testing.

In the Washington homeschool, a non-test assessment must be administered by a certified teacher currently working in the field of education. However, the law does not define that assessment. Therefore, when looking for a test provider, be sure and ask what the process entails and what kind of information the parent will receive. These assessments usually are only one session.

Our learning center administered group testing of California Achievement Tests for many years. We also provided one-on-one settings for SAT and ITBS. Further, we offered non-test assessments in person for years and continue to provide non-test assessments via Skype.

Personal Reflections 2017 – How did Academy Northwest look after 10 years of having its own graduation ceremony?

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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
  • Accountability
  • 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

 

Personal Reflections -2017 – 10 – What part do field trips and libraries play in homeschooling?

library-conservatory

If you ask the students, I would venture to say that field trips played a big part in their learning. Over the years we often visited the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum and then we would go across the street to see the Botanical Conservatory. The Karpeles had rotating exhibits on many topics – always interesting and sometimes they fit right in with what we were studying. Then a stop to see exotic plants at the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Wright’s Park in Tacoma topped off the day.

While our students needed to visit the public library for much of their research we did provide them with a lending library that grew over the years. When we moved to Oklahoma, much of our library found a new home in Arrow Academic Center, another Academy Northwest learning center in Bothell.

Some of our activities included a group of students and other included one-on-one studies.