(Below is a letter we just sent out to a lot of friends and family. Besides being a general update it also gives some info on a new opportunity for homeschoolers in the state of California. I couldn’t link to the website on my post though so if anyone is interested go to summitacademycs.org)
To our loved ones far and near,
Far and near. While we have been relishing the presence of the latter since our move back to the Mainland, with every relocation we acquire more and more of the former. It’s overwhelming to think of all the friends and family members we have been blessed with in every corner of the country. At the same time we are enjoying reconnecting with folks here in California we feel keenly the separation from our “Ohana” in Hawaii. We wish there was some way to sit down with a cup of coffee (100% Kona, of course) and do some catching up with each of you but instead we find ourselves checking the mailbox with hopeful anticipation and scanning emails for familiar names (yes, we’ve heard of Facebook and yes, we have good excuses for not being on there). So, this is about the best way we could think of to let you all know how we’re doing and what’s been going on with the McEntee clan.
First things first. It’s cold out there! Except for the few frigid moments we spent on top of Mauna Kea back on the Big Island, this is the first taste of winter we’ve had in almost five years. Gideon, who spent the first two years of his life in little more than a diaper and who refused to even have a blanket on him at night has now become an expert snuggler. The older boys are once again experiencing the thrill of snowball fights and sled runs along with the other not-so-thrilling aspects of winter like stacking wood and wearing shoes. In general, we’re all adjusting pretty well to the change in climate, at least once we have a fire blazing.
Another big change for us has been regarding the boys’ education. All the full-time staff kids up here at Hartland homeschool so it has been a huge blessing to have the added support network and some shared teaching duties. But the biggest blessing has been that with the institution of an online-public-charter school called Summit Academy, we finally get to use our tax-dollars to educate our own kids rather than someone else’s! Summit works kind of like a voucher system would with a set amount of funds being allocated to each student for educational purposes. The parent is then responsible for deciding how to spend the money, choosing curriculum, and overseeing instruction. Basically, we get to keep homeschooling the same way we used to, only now the boys just have to keep a sample of their work from each subject to turn into their assigned “Education Specialist” along with an attendance and PE log every month. The best part is their “Education Specialist” (just a fancy term for credentialed teacher) is one of the other homeschooling Hartland moms who lives just a few doors down. So far we have used our funds to buy a field trip to San Diego Zoo, oodles of science kits, a digital microscope, robotics kits, math programs, and of course, books. And laptops are on the way! If you think Christmas is cool, I’m just telling you a few toys under a glittery tree ain’t got nothing on school supply shipment day.
As for Tom, when he’s not working his tail off at the camp he’s organizing hockey games and dreaming up schemes for an ice-rink. You’ll also be glad to know that he is now overseeing all the boys’ instruction in the literature/grammar department (after all, their mom did use the word “ain’t” a few sentences back). And Julie? Once all the trout in the Hartland pond had been caught there wasn’t much left to do except hang out with the other gals up here, basking in sweet friendships, old and new. She also does some cooking, cleaning, teaching and boy-wrangling on the side.
Yes, life is full of the goodness of God. And you, dear friends and family, just keep our cup running over. During this season when all the world has their eyes turned back to the coming of Jesus Christ as a baby in a manger, it is our hope and prayer that each of our loved ones can look ahead to His second coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords with even greater delight and eager anticipation. We can imagine no greater joy than to say in unison with all those whom we hold dear “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Rev.22:20, 21)…
… The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all,”