Monday, January 15, 2018

Why we love Wittenberg Academy

We have entered into a new era: we now have a daughter in High School!  And for us, high school is happening in an unconventional way. We are not bussing her to the Lutheran school up north, nor are we sending her to the nice public school down the road. Instead, she is enrolled in Wittenberg Academy, a classical online Lutheran High School. Yes, this is weird, and we have received plenty of odd looks, criticism, and questions about this decision.  We agonized before we decided, and then we stepped forward, and now, here we are- and it is a tremendous blessing to be here. For those of you who are wondering what this is like, I thought I’d give a little glimpse. Please note, I am not implying this is the right decision for everyone!  I am just sharing the good things we have discovered along this path.

Time management
She is responsible for managing her time, meeting deadlines, and spreading out her work in a way that is productive and yet does not make her crazy.  She has learned that she works better with music than with silence, that she likes to get things done in the morning, and that taking breaks helps her organize her thoughts.

She has time!
My teenager has time to breathe and to be a kid! She has time to craft, to play with her siblings, to read just for fun, to try out new recipes for fudge and cookies. We go for walks in the afternoon, we play volleyball, 

Lorraine wants to be a teacher, so she helps out at the preschool and school quite often as a volunteer.  She also babysits and tutors.  She is part of the adult handbell choir and she plays pick-up volleyball weekly.

In November, Lorraine went to Florida with her grandparents to work with Samaritan’s Purse for hurricane relief. She’s going to Texas next month for the same reason.  Her flexible schedule gives her the freedom to do amazing things like this- you can read about it here!

*The Curriculum*
She’s taking logic, and she’s pointing out fallacies on the news and in conversations all the time now. She learned a whole year’s worth of geometry in 12 weeks! She is now delving deeply into Algebra.  And then there’s the constant required class: Paideia. Webster’s defines this as the “training of the physical and mental faculties in such a way as to produce a broad enlightened mature outlook harmoniously combined with maximum cultural development.”  That’s pretty heavy stuff, and yet my daughter will wake up and say “YES! It’s Paideia day!” with a little dance because she loves this live class so much. She’s reading the Iliad and Scripture and Thucydides and Herodotus and wonderful primary sources, and it makes me wish I could go back to school and do it all with her.
It wasn’t until I went to college that I learned to love learning for the right reasons: not to receive a shiny collection of As and gold stars, but to know and appreciate what is good and true and beautiful in the world. This pursuit is the mission of this high school, and her teachers encourage her in this direction. 

Are there down sides?
Lorraine says: No snow days! (She had to “go to school” and I had to go work last friday when everyone else stayed home and enjoyed a day off!)  Also, “I don’t get to see my friends in person every single day. But I don’t feel like I am missing out on a social life- I have friends here.”

I could also make a list of things we are happy to be missing that are part of the other choices, like commuting and “teenage culture” and more, but I’ll stick to the positive today.  A final word from my mommy-heart: it is almost surreal to me, to have afternoons with JUST my big kid most days.  We get to shop together, to go on walks and talk about things we’re reading and plans for the future. I love being able to stay close to her as she blooms in this season of her life!  

If you’d like more info, visit and feel free to talk to me or Lorraine about it any time!

1 comment:

  1. We love Wittenberg Academy! Our daughter has new friends via WA and is eager to chat with them. The classes are challenging and stimulating to her mind. So many blessings have come out of WA, and we are thankful that our daughter is also enrolled there.


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