One of the hard things about homeschooling is that we don't always do promotions and graduations. Many times, because you reach a finish line in March, or September, and then you keep going....
We have really tried to honor and acknowledge each accomplishment-each finish line that you reach.
Emma Faith, you didn't have a graduation, where your friends and family sat through boring speeches waiting for you to receive your certificate. And there were so many accomplishments worth acknowledging: finish sixth grade math, "finishing" your English for the year, beginning to learn violin, loving astronomy, knitting and crocheting....
But the things I most want to honor you for this year are things you don't often get certificates for. This year, you grew in faith, as you saw God answer a long-awaited prayer for a sister. This year, you grew in your ability to teach little ones, especially Judah. This year, you grew in perseverance, and you found your dramatic talent as you recited Patrick Henry's famous speech. This year, you grew in love and service toward our whole family, and especially to me. I cannot tell you what a gift it is to have a girl bring you breakfast in bed, with tea, and two chocolates....just because.
For these things, and many more unsung here, I honor you in the Lord. I am so proud of you Emma. And wow! You are now entering the "J-High" at church. This is a big deal!!!
And Caleb Paul. I don't brag on you much, but tonight I will. Actually, many times I hide or downplay some of the things you can do. Please forgive me for that. As we say in our home, you are the way that you are because it is exactly what God needed you to be in order to fulfill His Kingdom purposes for you. So, I honor you now for completing sixth grade English. I honor you, for being more than half way through Algebra. But more than that...I honor the deep, flowing lifeblood of service that pervades your being. It could only come from God. You put up with the most and complain the least. God created you to be incredibly intelligent, not to mention athletic....but on top of that, He saw fit to place you in this big family and gifted you with a servant's heart. You work so hard in our home-whether it is cleaning up messes you didn't make, putting things away that you didn't get out, or just by being willing to do whatever needs to be done (especially when it involves creeping and crawling things!)
You are brave and courageous far beyond your years.
Noah Benjamin. You too, have persevered and grown! You completed your Working With Wisdom book and you have faithfully continued in your lessons. You surprised all of us with your amazing grammar knowledge by the end of the year! (You can catch those prepositional phrases pretty quickly!) You have really begun to enjoy reading, and I often have to *encourage* you to stop reading in order to finish up the other things asked of you. But wow! This year, we discovered what an amazing and nurturing heart you have. You are such a big helper for Evelyn. I can trust you to feed her, and you even leave very little mess! We are so proud of you Noah!
Ezra, wow! You blew us away by both your math and reading skills. You're working somewhere around 2nd grade level or so in math, and somewhere around 3rd grade level in English. Your brain must go really fast, and boy, your body does too! I can barely keep up with you. I'm so thankful to have this time at home with you--I'm afraid you would spend most of your time at school in trouble. ;-). But instead, I am honored to see how quickly your mind works and I am learning how to challenge you without frustrating you. You really are learning how to be, and growing into, a Mighty Warrior. That has been my favorite time with you this year, reading our special book together.
And Judah Sean! You also surprised me by zipping through your first Sing, Spell book ("All Aboard.") We also had lots of fun as we learned character and letters through My Father's World. The turtle reminds us "I don't quit! I persevere!" You are learning to be a helper and to listen and obey mommy's voice. We are so proud of you Judah Sean!!
Last, but certainly not least, Evelyn Hope. You did a remarkable job bringing joy to all of us this year. You also learned to walk, and are working on talking too.
To all six of you amazing and darling little people (and Ambree, our 3/4 ;-p).
You are the coolest people. I am so extremely grateful, thankful, and humbled to be called your mom. You teach me constantly and challenge me steadily. I love being around you. This "homeschool" road has been such a privilege and an honor because I have gotten to learn SO many things alongside you. So. Congratulations to all my little learners this year. You have worked hard and I have great joy in seeing you grow and walk in the truth.
Our verse to guide our schooling this year:
I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:2-4, 6, 7 NLT)