Happy Lacy Day! – Favorite Made-up Holiday – Friday Favorites

photo by tomhe

A few weeks ago, I guest posted over at Renee’s about one of my favorite high school teachers, Mr. Reichert. I could not let today pass without mentioning him again. He instituted a holiday that will forever live in my family tradition: Lacy Day. Lacy Day is usually about the first week in May but this year is a little early due to the unusually warm weather the Midwest has experienced this year. What is Lacy Day, you ask? Lacy Day is the glorious day on which the leaves of the trees are barely unfolding, appearing as lace against the bright blue sky. I wish I could have taken a picture capturing this beautiful phenomenon, but alas, my phone isn’t working today…so in honor of you Mr. Reichert, I’ll just write a thought or two:

On Lacy Day

Leaves peak from corners of death
peering cautiously, tenderly

and I wonder do I dare reveal myself
this way to You?

Shoots spear through black soil
breaking darkness by sparkling sun

and I wonder do I allow Your light
to expose my black heart?

And I laugh.
What could I possibly reveal to You that You don’t already know?
What could Your light expose that You don’t already see?

And the lacy canopy of budding leaves covers my heart
as Your banner over me is Love.

Spring Green

I did a little research trying to find out whatever happened to Mr. Reichert, and to no avail. Except that I did find this: a comment on another blog. I thought it significant that someone else should remember such a quirky life lesson from this wonderful educator!

Do you have a holiday that you’ve made up?  Or how about a teacher that affected your life?  I’d love to hear about it!

The High School Home School Adventure

 

I haven’t had time to write in a while…my son is graduating from high school.  Home educating high school is a lot of work.  A LOT of work!!  But I’ve found that it’s well worth the effort.  One of the greatest advantages I’ve found is that apart from the core subjects, you can really create a curriculum based on your child’s gifts and talents. The curriculum I use is called Tapestry of Grace.  It is a literature based unit study program that stresses what is known as a classical education.  I highly recommend it.

My oldest is entering his junior year in college.  His major is business and finance.  His education was the most “normal”.  We (he and I, together) identified that his interests were in business and finding different ways to make, save and invest money.  Therefore we set out a very rigorous program in the basics.  Math, literature, writing and history especially.  We also concentrated on prep work for his ACT.  He graduated a year early, got a very decent 26 on his ACT (even though he had a terrible head cold), and won a full ride scholarship with the Evans Scholarship program.

One down, two to go…

My second son is an artist.  His high school experience was completely different.  I gave him very basic courses with as many creative evaluation assignments as possible.  For instance, when we were studying the 1920’s, and Charlie Chaplin, I had him write, film and produce a short movie.  As soon as I recognized him as an art student, I did my homework and found that most art schools did not emphasize standardized testing.  Therefore, we didn’t do the ACT prep work that my first student did.  Instead, we concentrated on building his portfolio so that he would not only be accepted to the school of his choice, but so that he could apply for as many art based scholarships as he could.  He will be attending the Illinois Institute of Art in October.

Two down, one to go…

My daughter is a junior in high school.  She sings like an angel, albeit a very soulful sometimes rather rocky angel, writes like a poet and is all about literature and Shakespeare.  She thrives on being in a production.  The way she and I have plugged through the high school years has been to do the minimal amount of math and science, be in as many plays and productions as possible, write a fifty page literary analysis and allow her to lead worship in two bands and sing backup in another.  In addition, she carries a very full  literature, writing and history load as well as philosophy and art history.  Whew!

My journey as a high school, home school mother has led me down three different paths, for three different individuals.  I am blessed that my children have come to the realization at an early age what it is that they long to do.  Because of this, we have been able to tailor make their high school experience to be as beneficial as possible in order to help them on their path to the future God has for them.

I’m really not sure why I’m writing this post, except that maybe someone reading has wondered about the benefits of home schooling a high schooler.  Or perhaps you are a home school mom who gets bogged down with details and loses sight of the “main thing”.  What is the main thing?  My husband and I decided long ago, that the main thing for our household, was to use the high school years to prepare our children in the best way possible so that they are able to tackle the challenges ahead.  Have we done that?  NO!!  We’ve definitely made some mistakes, but I wouldn’t say that they were academic mistakes.  Academically, our children have been prepared for the plans God has for them and God gets the glory for that, because it was his mercy and grace that He revealed to our children His plans, and that He showed us how to guide them to their destination.

Now the scary part…what do I do when I’m done?  Yikes!  I have a whole year to think and pray about it…