What is relief?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, there are three main definitions. However, the definition that is pertinent to our family is listed as such:
Relief is a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following the release from anxiety or distress.
I would alter the definition a bit in our case.
Relief is a feeling of reassurance, relaxation, and peace following the release from 19 straight weeks – sometimes including Saturdays – of work in the Happy Blue School during their second semester of 2016.
Yes, 19 consecutive weeks of schoolwork for Micah, Jake, and Caleb without stopping to recognize any of the South African holidays in which their peers were given a break. Our boys pressed through with a specific goal in mind.
These boys of ours who I affectionately call my ‘man-children,’ due to their towering size and young, sweet, and wonder-filled temperament, worked like men-on-a-mission to complete all of their studies before we catch our flights to the States very soon. None of them wanted to do any school work while we are visiting family for five weeks. As a result of this decision, they had to work through their holidays, sometimes on weekends, and put in over-the-top effort to meet their goals and finish our South African school year early.
And Micah, Jake and Caleb did it!
We’ve been at this Happy Blue School deal for six years now. I can hardly believe it. As I look back on these years, I must say that I agree with Kirk Cameron’s decision to rename homeschooling; life-schooling. For our three wonders, there have been many significant life lessons which have been sewn, cultivated and grown throughout the past six years of our Happy Blue School life.
In this sixth year, Caleb and Jake made the transition to what is traditionally called the middle school years. They were required to take more quizzes, tests, and exams than they have ever done in their lives. Thus, they had to learn how to take notes. This is still a work in progress. However, because of that note-taking, Caleb and Jake both earned 97% in their science class! I highlight this particular class because the boys’ work was all done on the computer and all assessment was done by the program too. I am so proud of their efforts and they are too.
For Micah Man, what can I say? This kid rocked his second year with Alpha Omega Academy. Imagine taking two years of Spanish in an environment where no one speaks the language. Micah has no one to interact with the material other than his Spanish teacher, Senor Gesch, who lives Stateside. And yet, Micah counts Spanish as one of his favorite subjects and he too, did exceptionally well with it. Quiz after quiz, test after test, project after project, in class after class, Micah kept his eyes focused on his long-term goal and finished exceptionally strong in all of his classes.
Although the grades are great, what John and I are most pleased about is that at the end of another life-schooling experience in our little Happy Blue School, although there is relief that we are done (actually we’re ecstatic!), there is still a measure of joy and contentment too.
Our boys still like me and still like doing our Happy Blue School thing.
Considering how content-driven this school year was, that’s huge! They are relishing their break, but believe it or not, Micah, Jake and Caleb are already looking forward to year number 7 in January 2017. Like I said, these guys amaze me!
The boys set goals for themselves and met every single one of their goals. That’s excellent real-life work!
In just a short while, we board our first flight to the States and it is there that Micah, Jake and Caleb will reap the benefits of meeting those hard-earned goals. They will have sweet, joy-filled and memorable times with their grandparents and extended family and do so without having any schoolwork to attend to while we are there. Yes, that’s life-schooling too!
Well Done, Micah, Jake and Caleb!
Year #6 of the Happy Blue School is in the books and as I said, “You guys rocked it!”
Your dad and I couldn’t be more proud of you! Congratulations!!!
Now, it’s time to get packing!