I have felt relief.
I have felt joy.
I have even let out more than one deep, deep sigh of relief and gratitude.
The Happy Blue School year has closed its books for the remainder of the year! We’ve finished our work and are officially on ‘summer’ vacation – however way that works as we are up in the Pacific Northwest right now, about as far away from South Africa as you can get!
I’ll be honest with you. This school year was tough.
If I count them all up from the beginning of the year until its end, we had six different starts and stops during the school year. These starts and stops revolved around ministry trips, a team retreat, a family vacation in Washington D.C., and a member-care retreat in Colorado with our mission organization and a trip to Idaho for a missions’ conference and more. The boys would work ahead before each of these events so that they could be ‘all-in’ and experience the full benefits of each trip. So this meant that for a time throughout the school year that the boys were doing double the work load in preparation.
Second, we were adjusting to a new school system with Micah Man. He is enrolled in Alpha Omega Academy, an accredited, on-line Christian school based out of Iowa. Micah learned so many things in addition to his academics – study skills, time management, juggling time zones so that he could talk with his teachers, goal setting, and so much more! Alpha Omega Academy offers a rigorous and challenging curriculum and Micah went after it. We couldn’t be more proud of him and the life lessons Micah gained from his daily interactions with both the school material and his teachers. We’re signed up for another year and Micah is already looking forward to it!
In the midst of it all, the Happy Blue School was an on-the-road operation. Not only did we have starts and stops, but we also kept our school running from South Africa to the United States. This meant that the boys had four other locations to adjust to this year. The Happy Blue School was in session in South Africa, Tigard, OR, Beaverton, OR, Blanchard, ID, and Athol, Idaho! The boys kept focused – amazingly so – and kept up with their school work. Throughout the journeys, these boys made some incredible memories, though! Memories that will stick! That’s one of the significant gifts of our missionary and home school life
The end of the school year was also bittersweet in some ways for Caleb and Jake. They have reached the end of some of their different curriculum options that we have worked with since we began the Happy Blue School in 2011. We have our own names for them but we say farewell to Bowling Ball Math (a daily jump starter in Math), Daily Geography, Language Skills, individualized reading units, and another Geography practice book. Of course, the boys will still have these subjects next year. However, the format will be entirely different. We’re heading into grade seven which introduces a whole new curriculum. For Caleb and Jake, saying good-bye to these ‘old friends’ was sincere.
Like I shared, it is a joy and a relief to be on summer holiday!
We have two and a half months more in the States before we return to South Africa. We’ll enjoy the holidays here to the fullest with our family and friends. We’ll love that!
In the meantime, we celebrate another fine year of homeschool life with our family as we close the Happy Blue School doors for 2015. We’ll be hitting the trails, enjoying the library, and exploring some of the fun, family holiday options of this glorious time of year! I’m super proud of my boys – they richly deserve their summer holiday!