Another year is under wraps! It’s really hard to wrap my mind around many things: first of all, that another full year of the Wood Academy is under our belts, second that we now officially have TWO middle schoolers, and finally, that our time in Georgia has come to an end.
I frequently reflect upon the idea that when I began this journey, I assumed it would be a one-year trail basis; a year to get acclimated to military life. Instead, we have completed six years and will head into year seven in a few short months.
The lesson here is to never-say-never, and absolutely NEVER draw a line in the sand with God and tell him you can’t or won’t do something. As sure as you do, he’ll sit back and laugh his head off for six years as you navigate the waters of home education.
One of our annual traditions is to have an end-of-the-year W.A.C.K. party that serves as a capstone to the school year and marks the kids’ promotion to the next grade. It gives us a chance to reflect upon our adventures and have a moment of celebration for all that we have accomplished.
I try to keep it short and sweet. It’s usually just a few basic decorations, some snacks, and a few minutes of bragging on Thomas, Mae, and Kate. I usually cry. They are usually anxious for the whole thing to be over. Ryan is usually aggravating the kids (and me) as he captures the whole event on camera.
Some of Kate’s highlights during third grade have been her devotion to her gymnastics practice, earning lots of badges as a AHG Tender-heart, excellent above-grade-level standardized test scores, perseverance, falling in love with some special books like Ivan, the BFG, and more! She started to learn typing and kept up her violin practice. Kate rang the bell, she’s headed to fourth grade!
Some of Mae’s highlights during the fifth grade have been killing it for two seasons of rec league soccer, participating in the Nat Geo Geography Bee, earning lots of badges as an Explorer in AHG, exceptionally high standardized test scores. Reading, doing extra math, and spending time perfecting her products on Always Ice Cream have been some of Mae’s highlights. Mae rang the bell, she’s headed to sixth grade! Middle school!!!
During 7th grade, Thomas also competed in the Nat Geo Geography Bee, worked hard learning all of his Social dances, and working diligently on all of his school work. He continued on with his Trail Life badge work, and most notably he participated in the national Duke TIP for 7th graders. He received recognition at the state level for his high scores. Thomas rang the bell, he is headed to 8th grade!
Some other highlights of our year that apply to the whole gang include the following:
- attending several NSA classes at our public library
- competing in the CSRA HEA level Scripps Spelling Bee
- spending hours outdoors wading in the creek and perfecting their forts
- traveling to many museums including the Atlanta Zoo, World of Coca Cola, Tellus, and zillions of others while we were in D.C.
- working diligently at all of their household chores and earning/managing commission/allowance money
- enjoying bi-weekly lab science meet ups with our friends, the Rippos
- working through many mornings of the “morning basket”
- working through many areas of personal discipleship
- reading hundreds of books
- participating in another year of Marathon Kids
- hanging out with friends at the pool, park, field trips, etc.
- (me) finishing up the fall semester of full-time teaching at EGSC
I could sit here and get REALLY emotional about how wonderful our time in Georgia has been, about what fruit it has yielded in each of our lives, about how faithful God has been every single day, about what an abundance of goodness and love he has shown us, about how utterly amazing it has been to be part of such a wonderful homeschool community here in the CSRA, about how right when we moved here our intentions were to put the kids into Columbia County public school and how I’ve had moments of wondering about what that might have looked like, but how ultimately God has walked right beside us during these three years on our continued homeschool journey.
I could get emotional, but I’ll save it for another time. I’m trying to practice letting my emotions pass like a wave instead of drowning in them. =)
I try to treat every year of homeschooling as if it may be our last. I want to give it my all because in my eyes, there is no greater investment than investing in the spiritual, academic, social, and physical lives of my children. These W.A.C.K. days won’t always be here and while we are in the thick of it, I want to be all in.
And just for fun, here are a few pictures. The first is a collage of the first four years and the single photo is from last year’s balloon release! Every year, these kids keep inching up closer and closer to my height. What in the world?