Issue 37 | December 14, 2012 | Featuring the Ward Family

Newsletters Archive


Many of the portfolios that arrive have wonderful stories to tell us about adventures the students have experienced during the year.  We have discovered some of our featured families just by reviewing the work sent.  The family presented this week had a year that was so eventful, you may wonder how anything was accomplished, but the work sent was abundant.  This family of 8 wins the prize for super-family. Read about the Wards.  

INSIDE NARHS: Christmas Break

With Christmas coming up, be aware that the office will be closed from December 24 through January 1.  From time to time, someone will check phone messages.  If you really need to get in touch with your advisor, email will be the best option.  If you have a general question, email me  


The Ward FamilyOur 2011-12 school year was a most memorable one filled with crazy weather, unexpected travel in the form of a cross-country move, a traumatic injury - and with much fun in between!" style="float: left;" /> "Our 2011-12 school year was a most memorable one filled with crazy weather, unexpected travel in the form of a cross-country move, a traumatic injury - and with much fun in between!  We started our school year in a fun, relaxing sort of way by camping at Nickerson Beach on Long Island NY for several weeks. We would wake up and do a bit of school, then take a vigorous morning beach walk, come back to do a little more seatwork academics, eat lunch, look for shells, come back to finish up our academics and then be off to the skate park for some fun exercise. The time we had at the beach was a blessing in more ways than one as our home had flooded due to unusual amounts of rain and high tides and we had somewhere to stay out of the way of repairs. But after a few weeks at the beach, we were evacuated due to Hurricane Irene and needed to make many preparations and recovery from both the flood and the hurricane. Just as we began to get settled back down into our schooling routine in our home, an unusual October blizzard hit us. About the same time, Steve got an unexpected job interview back in our home state of California, and by mid-December we were moving across the country from Long Island, New York to Yuba City, California (only experiencing one breakdown when the transmission went out). After the move and the holidays, we once again settled back into our normal school routine. Things were moving along well, but as our school year was approaching its end (mid-May), Catherine suffered a traumatic eye injury while doing P90X2 [a workout/fitness program] with Olivia, that put her out of commission completely until late July."

How do home schoolers maintain learning-momentum against all odds? After abundant practice with home schooling six adopted children, Catherine offered some tried and true practices that work for her. 
During the summer, she develops a schedule of lessons for each course and talks each over with the individual students. The schedules show the pace of learning and are expressed in language that each student can understand. These schedules serve as steadfast guides for work to be accomplished. So even if the home schooling mom is out of commission for months, the students know what needs to be done each week.
The family schools year-around, thereby avoiding the "gearing-down" in May and the "getting back into the swing" in September. They keep to their routine.
Catherine has made a point of teaching the children that Steve works hard at his job to support his family, and learning to work with that amount of energy is a good thing. The students' studies are their "jobs" and they need to learn to work with the intensity that their father does. This level would bring their day to a tired but satisfying conclusion.
"How good your conscience feels when you have put in a hard day's work."

When my conversation with Catherine was done, I could only think of how insightful her views were. This family has a lifestyle built on valuing hard work. Jesse and Olivia's portfolios are proof that teaching/modeling this pays off!

"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."
-Margaret Thatcher