Sunday, July 01, 2012

Agape Academy crossing the finish line (an overdue update)

When our kids were young and we had grown from "educating our children at home is a year at a time" to it becoming our lifestyle we decide to give the educational branch of our family life a name, "Jesus Agape Academy." Many years later when it was time to submit a transcript for Grace's high school years we decided to shorten it to Agape Academy. Transcripts, the documentation of that branch of our life is what the schools of Higher Education care about and we did not want those institutions to be distracted by our "school" name. We are not ashamed of the gospel.  The Academy in the formal sense has been on sabbatical for nearly 6 months but all of us continue to learn and our last student will transition from home to college toward the end of the summer.   
This past December Michael finished his studies at home. If you have followed my blog over the years you may recall me writing about raising/educating children at home and comparing it to the Boston Marathon and the teen years being like Heartbreak hill which is about 19 miles into the Marathon and can make or break a runner.  We crossed the finish line without much fanfare. It wasn’t how I pictured it. There were hard and trying times, along with sweet and treasured ones. More importantly, we stayed in the race and we were victorious by God's grace and a bit of human tenacity. 
It is with quiet satisfaction to have completed this season of parenting, not so much that I had accomplished a daring feat (though some may think so) but that my children have turned out to be lifelong learners. They are teachable, creative, daring and finding their way along the Pilgrim Highway. Our parenting and educating of our children were interwoven. (I am aware of the fact that not all homeschooling families subscribe to the same philosophy of education.) We discipled our children in the LORD, did our best to consider the whole child, not just their heads, but their hearts. It was our goal to educate the whole child: body, mind and soul. When our children were young, I became a student of each one and each one has a different learning style. This required customizing the method as well as the curriculum.
My educational philosophy in a nutshell is that we as parent educators are to equip our children with the tools of learning and then provide them with the resources in order to be able to learn many things on their own. This means that they learn from other people directly and from books and from life and circumstances. It does not mean that they are force fed knowledge.

to be continued......   

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