I am so proud of my girls.  I know, aren't we all?  I attended their awards day ceremony last week before school released for the summer and I was reminded of an earlier post I made about "My Stutter Bug" and how I had come to terms with the fact that Willow does have a stuttering problem but that I was determined to help her overcome that obstacle and make high achievements despite the problem.  I am happy to say that she received 5 awards on awards day; one for music, reading, math, the literacy program, and in physical education.  She loves to sing and I was very happy to see her do well especially in reading and in music since those are the areas that her stutter is most visible.  Zoe also blew me away!  She received 7 awards; two for reading, one for highest AR points in her grade, one for the 2nd highest AR points in the school, one for the A/B honor roll, one for history, and one for the spelling bee.  Throughout the year we have made Zoe read for an hour in the evenings each night and we work very closely with Willow to help her along.

It hasn't always been easy to tell where Zoe was in her studies this year because homework and communication from school was a bit scant.  Zoe had to take the EOG tests for fourth grade the week before last and she scored a 4 on both reading and math tests.  So I was encouraged, even in the face of some struggles that endurance covers a multitude of uncertainty along the way sometimes.  Just sticking things out and being diligent to keep working at their studies paid off. 

Now they are moving on to 5th and 1st grade.  We have been talking at length lately about homeschooling since we believe that a home schooled education is better than a public education.  Studies show that when compared, public school children perform regularly at the 50% mark where home schooled children perform consistently at the 86% mark in their studies and on tests.  Social skills have not been a problem for home schooled children for quite a long time so we don't even entertain conversations about it anymore.  Honestly, the only people who still bring up the social aspects of homeschooling are those who don't know anything about it.  And I don't mean that in a rude way, just that if one has not researched homeschooling, one doesn't stand in a position to rightly criticize it.  Home schooled children are just as involved in sports, educational competitions, special events and so forth.  Home schooled children attend prom and spelling bees, book fairs and science fairs.  Mine also attend church with many other children on a regular basis and they have consistent and varied social interactions with all age groups of people.  And even though our children are doing very well in public school, those grades only reflect their being compared to other children in the public school system.  We want our children to get the best education we can provide for them and we aren't well off financially so we have to be prudent.  Nearly 500,000 children are being home schooled in North Carolina now and these children will be whom publicly educated children will compete with in the world for employment.  We haven't fully decided about home school for our children but we can admit it is a better education.  The question remains for me of whether or not I will do them justice as a teacher and is the timing for it right or has it passed?  Both of my children want to be home schooled so much they ask me about it every single day.  Zoe is very popular at school so I haven't figured out why she wants to be home schooled so much.  Willow didn't have a great experience with the teacher she received for her first year so she never totally warmed up to it although she obediently goes, works hard and has the best attitude she can about it.  It is something we are praying about over the summer, but for now I am very happy with the effort they have shown.  I hope my effort will rise to theirs.  Again I remind myself, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."