Friday, August 10, 2012

Colombia Student Graduates a Changed Young Man

Here is a letter from a parent of a graduate in Bogotá, Colombia. It is in Spanish. Santiago's mom tells of her son's early desire to learn and his success at doing so--up until he started his final two years of high school. He was no longer the happy student who had enjoyed sharing with his teachers and peers. He was bored. They found "Open Doors" on the Internet (a tutorial program in Bogota that works with WRA) and together they designed a program that was perfect for him. His self-esteem returned and he excelled in his work and on exams. Nine months after joining Open Doors and WRA, Santiago is mature, sure of himself and happy--eager to take on the next stage of his life.

Peggy, buenas noches.

Es difícil como padres hablar de nuestros hijos sin que parezca arrogancia o  amor  paternal. Trataremos de ser objetivos.

Desde muy pequeño Santiago mostró una enorme capacidad intelectual.  Aprendió a leer a los tres años, casi solo, preguntando los sonidos de las letras que veía en una laptop  y formando coherentemente las palabras.
Su vida escolar transcurrió casi toda en el mismo colegio, hasta cuando  decididamente, faltando muy poco tiempo para terminar su bachillerato, pidió que lo cambiáramos de plantel.

Empezamos la búsqueda, conscientes de que lo que él estaba necesitando era un tipo de educación diferente.  Su rendimiento era excelente, pero ya no era el muchacho alegre al que le gustaba  compartir con sus profesores  y  compañeros. Ir al colegio se convirtió en una tortura que desencadenaba en conflicto. Buscamos mucho, pero no era una decisión sencilla. Nada nos gustaba, nos parecía muy complicado pasarlo a otro colegio igual al tradicional, porque sabíamos que no iba a funcionar. Pensamos en hacer que terminara en el  que venía, pero en realidad estaba bastante aburrido. Por fortuna, encontramos en internet la página de Open Doors ( 

Tuvimos una cita con Open Doors y nuestra primera impresión fue muy buena, coincidíamos en lo que esperábamos de la educación y tres meses después decidimos dar el paso. Santiago ingresó a Open Doors en septiembre del 2011,  una época muy difícil para nosotros, pero gracias a Dios allí encontró otra  familia. Le brindaron una hermosa acogida y volvió a recuperar su autoestima.
En el pasado mes de abril presentó las pruebas de estado y obtuvo un resultado  que aunque esperábamos, nos llenó de emoción y orgullo. Agradecemos a su colegio anterior, pero sobretodo a Open Doors y su equipo, que con mucha dedicación ayudaron a Santiago a lograrlo.  

Tuvo un corto receso, y terminó el programa que diseñaron para él también con excelentes resultados. Por lo anterior, hoy, 9 meses después, vemos a un Santiago más maduro, seguro de sí mismo, alegre y con ganas de enfrentarse a  esta nueva etapa con mucho entusiasmo, es decir, “listo para graduarse. Con las dudas propias de su edad, pero también con valentía y mucho coraje. Damos gracias a Dios porque nos llenó de bendiciones con el hijo que nos dio y porque nos permitió terminar esta fase con éxito.

Mil gracias a ti Peggy, por trabajar con Juliana (Open Doors) en este proyecto  tan interesante y por ayudarnos a conseguir que nuestro hijo lograra sus objetivos de una manera amable y feliz. Igualmente por certificar el grado de Santi.

Esperamos  estar en contacto contigo y  que sigas teniendo  toda clase de triunfos.
Un abrazo,
LUIS  y SANDRA, Bogotá, Colombia   

Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Year Homeschooling Mom's Anxiety

Shawn is the mom of a 13-year-old who just completed her first year of homeschooling in Fort Collins, Colorado USA. I loved what she wrote and asked if I could share it here. She replied yes and added, "if there is a parent that needs to talk and bounce frustration off someone, I would be happy to talk or at least listen. I'm pretty open to's all a learning curve, so the more support we get, the better we do."

Here is her letter of May 29, 2012

Fear and anxiety are the words that describe me on the first day of homeschooling as a mother teaching her child. I will admit, I wanted everything to be perfect and in order. As the year started, it was perfect and orderly, and then we hit some technical difficulties. And what I thought was in order turned unmanageable.  Then “school” became other than mundane, I became frustrated and questioned myself about the choice I made regarding my daughter's education. We started to have” conferences”, sometimes once a week; we became a real team with communication, and less pressure to please on either side. Talking about each other’s expectations was the key for us. Ten months later I stand tall beside my daughter and place her on a platform that I thought would never be reached.  Not only for her but for myself.  I have absolutely been in awe over the challenges she has overcome and the commitment and the motivation she has displayed.  With that I believe in my daughter unlike ever before and her drive to become anything she desires has truly inspired me.  Throughout the year I learned as much, if not more than she did.  Words come to mind to sum up the year like motivated, trustworthy, independent, strong, inspiring, confident, prideful, successful. And more importantly, the bond we have built by our communication can never be torn down. The challenges we faced through the year led us to a learning process that has come full circle. As a mother, I have seen my daughter become strong in herself with pride and confidence. And it’s refreshing to see her not in the stereotype of other kids her age group. She has an opinion and can speak with confidence and pride.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


For those of you who are curious enough to go beyond what happened to freedom of choice in educating our children to wanting to see how that fits into the history of the planet, check out this extensive investigative article by the author of the best-seller "The Source Field Investigations", David Wilcock, at this site:

Below is what he writes about the loss of our educational freedom in the past century.
The Federal Reserve created the National Education Association via the Rockefeller family:
By way of grants, they spent millions of dollars -- money which was used to radically bend the traditionalist education system toward a new system that favored standardized testing over critical thinking, toward “scientific management” in schools.
This was part of a calculated plan to make the schooling system benefit corporate America, at the expense of the American school child. Powerful foundations with private interests, such as the Ford Foundation, continue to support, and thereby influence the policy of, the NEA to this day.
Additionally, an unprecedented U.S. Congressional investigation into tax-exempt foundations identified the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations engagement in an agenda for vast population control.
Norman Dodd, Research Director for the Congressional Committee, found this statement in the archives of the Carnegie endowment:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Good News for International Grad

We produced 5 transcripts for a 2011 graduate from Canada, had them notarized and then sent them for apostilles from the state capital. (An apostille verifies the authenticity of the document for international purposes.) They were submitted for the destination countries of Croatia, U.K, New Zealand, Germany, and Spain. I learned that the transcripts were accepted by the universities they were submitted to. Here's what Ester reports:

"Good news. I managed to gain admittance into the University program I had been planning on! I have to say, the apostille came in handy for getting accepted into a UK university and I am very pleased with the ease with which I was accepted. They found my work examples and grades to be satisfactory and after 2 weeks I was admitted into the program. 

"I just wanted to once again thank you for making it possible for a homeschooler/unschooler such as me to have the same opportunities for further education as those with public education credentials. You have never failed me and were always there when I needed help or when some of my worries or concerns needed comforting. At first I thought it was too good to be true, but all that you promised became a reality in the end. Through this method I was able to get the credentials needed and still not risk losing interest in or becoming frustrated with schoolwork. Your school is not the alternative, it is the model upon which all schooling should be based. Too bad there are no Unschooling Universities around, though."

From both my parents and I: Thanks Peggy.
Sincerely, Ester

Monday, January 16, 2012

Homeschooling: Why and How

I met a lady via email who was introduced to me by one of our moms in the Philippines. Her name is Gail Nagasako and she has just had a book published called "Homeschooling: Why and How". The first part of the book is about all the many reasons people homeschool, with sections on traditional schooling, socialization and academics.  That chapter ends with pieces from other homeschooling parents and youngsters and 64 reasons we homeschool. The second chapter gives you the basics of how to homeschool in range of ways and describes unschooling in detail. It ends with a questionnaire for parents and kids to help you learn more about your children and yourself and set up a learning strategy.  An appendix gives an exhaustive array of resources for all sorts of needs from unschooling to formal curricula to special needs.  Gail tells her easy-to-read story in a way that offers sound advice to parents and assurance that their unschooled children will turn out just fine. 

Gail's son is now 28, a professional athlete ( and an event videographer by trade ( 

On a personal note, it was fun for me to get to know Gail and read her book as it parallels my philosophy and journey so closely that it's scary! Both of us married Japanese men and have bi-cultural kids. Her son is 28 and my oldest (of 3) daughter is 27. Both moms started support groups mostly for the kids' benefit, we wrote articles and set up calendars of events. We both counsel others and have spoken at events. We even both paddleboard! We may have a chance to meet in person soon. 

Please check out her website and order the book. It will be a friendly, reassuring companion for you whether your child is a youngster or a teen, whether you are just starting out or have been at it for a while. 

Gail's email is:

Khan Academy

A homeschooling family alerted me to Khan Academy, a free educational site that uses videos for teaching. The site is: I checked it out and it looks great. A student in the Diploma Program wrote about it in his report, so here's what he says:

"So one of the things that I want to share with you to day is Khan Academy. It’s a non-profit organization with the goal of giving a free world class education to anyone! I use it all the time for anything I am having trouble with.  It is just easier than a book sometimes because of the in-depth explanations.  The guy that does the extensive video library is an amazing teacher.  He is able to break things down until it is very basic and so much easier to understand.  It is really nice to have the option of this site, because in my experience with some people if you don’t “get” a topic you get the vibe that they think you are just stupid.  We all learn differently and what works for me may very well not work for the next person.  I like that I have the option of the tutorials for the times when I just don’t “get it” otherwise.  Along with their video library they also provide practice sets for all the videos.  So after you are done you can do the exercises on what you just learned to help commit the information to memory.  I feel like it is similar to having a personal tutor."