Welcome to TEA

To My Dear Seniors of the Class of 2022 


YOU DID IT!  You’ve spent most of your young life working, learning, creating to reach this momentous day and now – YOU ARE HERE! I am SO proud of you and SO privileged to have played a small role in this fun chapter of your exciting life. Whether I’ve known you since pre-school or just the past few years, it’s been my great pleasure and delight to advise, support and cheer you on to your goals.

My Dear Seniors, what will be the next chapter in the Story of You? Whatever it is, I urge you to Reach For The Stars! Harriet Tubman, courageous African American slave who never had any of the advantages and opportunities that you have enjoyed since birth, was confident enough to say, Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Dear Seniors, you will never learn what you are capable of until you try and try again – with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Bring all of your effort and passion to bear and don’t fear the many new experiences and unfamiliar challenges ahead of you. The next chapters of your life each contain new ways for you to grow in your confidence and abilities, so approach, do not avoid, these opportunities to be ‘stretched’. It is the only way a person can grow. Yes, growth can be scary, but it is a necessary part of your journey. Think of Bilbo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter….

And what about failure? Everyone’s favorite fluffy-headed genius, Einstein, assured us of the role of failure in his success when he said, A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Your next chapters are going to include mistakes and failures as well as successes. In fact, you will never find success without also experiencing failures along the way. So, what are you waiting for? Get Started!

This quote from American scientist, E.O. Wilson, sums up my hopes for each of you: You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.

My Dear Seniors: We need you to light up your corner of the world with your kindness, compassion, wisdom, virtue, industry, and pursuit of excellence. You can do it! One step at a time! Reach For Those Stars!! 

     To My Dear Newly-Retired Homeschool Parents of the Class of 2022


Well, Moms and Dads who served in the role as primary homschool parent, you’ve graduated, too! Now that your last student has finished high school, you are officially retired from the Homeschool Parent business. This has been a multi-decade journey for some of you, a fascinating and ever-evolving adventure, a sprint combined with a marathon, a job requiring many hats, constant flexibility and lots and lots of personal growth - indeed, a true labor of love. Joy, excitement, pride, relief, nostalgia all combine to produce bittersweet feelings at this momentous life event for you.  

How are we going to keep you out of trouble now that you no longer have your homeschool parent duties to keep you busy??? Fortunately, even though your job as Homeschool Parent has ended, your role as Mom or Dad continues. And now you, like your child, can pursue new experiences, opportunities, challenges to stretch yourself in this next chapter of your life.  

Congratulations on a job very well done, Moms and Dads! Your hard work and dedication have paid off! Now, look ahead with confidence and enthusiasm not only to your child’s future adventures, but to your own as well!      


Lots of love and hugs, along with my utmost admiration for you all,

Your friend and fan always,

Wendy Bush

Wendy   😊


Tragic Loss of Beloved Student: Elizabeth Moulton 

Everyone was stunned and deeply grieved to learn of the unexpected passing on January 17, 2022 of Elizabeth Ann “Lizzy” Moulton, precious daughter of Sara and Steve, cherished sister of James and Matthew, and beloved friend to countless numbers of people whose lives she brightened in the homeschool community. Lizzy was always homeschooled and I was blessed to work with her starting in 2014 until she graduated from TEA in 2018. Lizzy was always such a delight to be with and always made me smile and laugh. She was so much fun and definitely her own person! I loved her spirit, her joy, her compassion. Her friends say that she brought great joy and sunshine into their lives.

Lizzie attended Towson University in its Honors College and was set to graduate Spring 2022 with a major in fine art with a concentration in digital art and design. The light and warmth that she exuded and favored on so many will live on and continue to enlighten our spirits and warm our hearts through the many precious memories of Lizzy that we now hold dear.  We extend our heartfelt sympathies to her loving family who miss her beyond words, including her treasured pets, Tazz and Ripley. What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never lose. H.W. Beecher


I know that many of you are also experiencing great trials and losses in your lives. It may be divorce, unemployment, serious illness or injury, financial hardship, mental illness. Or it may be caring for elderly parents due to dementia or simply old age. And worst of all, it may be losing loved ones, some long before their time, and feeling the heartache that comes with great love. Please know that I deeply feel the sorrows and struggles that you share with me in confidence and you are in my thoughts and prayers now and throughout the year. With much love to you all,  ~ Wendy


TEA no longer is enrolling any new families. This applies to future years as well. Neither is TEA maintaining a ‘waiting list’.     After 25+ years of directing oversight programs and now at retirement age, I am scaling back to allow more family time in my life. Thank you to all who have inquired or made referrals — please understand that I will not have time to respond to the many families who contact my office about new enrollment. 

Warm wishes!


The Excelsior Academy

The Excelsior Academy (TEA) is a highly respected home education oversight program registered with the Maryland State Department of Education to provide legal oversight to Maryland homeschool students. It is directed by a home education professional with over 30 years experience in the field. TEA knows that each child deserves a truly individualized learning experience and gives families the freedom to create a learning program that best meets their child's needs while fully complying with all State regulations. TEA is supportive of all homeschool methods, from traditional to whole child-centered, and has no religious affiliation requirements.

What people are saying about TEA ….

  • Thank you so much for all that you do!!! I feel so blessed to have found The Excelsior Academy, and just in case you ever forget, you are making life and homeschooling infinitely better for all the families who have come after you!
  • Again, I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful experience TEA has been. You have been so wonderful in providing information and any and all help we have needed both academically and emotionally. Your knowledge extends to all aspects of education. You have been truly invaluable!
  • One of the best things about you is your ability to make us feel that the world is open to us and all we have to do is reach for it. :) My daughter was smiling from ear to ear when we finished and I felt very relieved also.
  • Thank you again for taking care of my family over the years and guiding us on our homeschool journey.  I have really enjoyed watching the boys grow and develop and am looking forward to watching them enter the next phase of their life.  You definitely made this all possible for us and I really appreciate your letting me "paint outside the lines" so to speak; your flexibility to my schooling style and your constant positive reinforcement when I needed a boost made this adventure so much more rewarding. 
  • Thank you so much for a wonderful graduation.  You put so much work into it from the decorations, senior party, gifts to seniors and moms, goody bags, personal photos of every student, etc.  But what is the most impressive is how you know and address each senior on stage, ask them personal questions, ad lib some more, and make them feel so special.  I've never seen anything like it - it makes it so unique.  I can't imagine a more special or memorable graduation.  
  • Thank you for everything you have done this year to help our son graduate, pick a major, get scholarships, and get into college. Forever grateful! 
  • Thank you for all you do. You always make things special and fun for the kids.  We love your attitude and enthusiasm.
  •  You are ever so thoughtful and making people feel so welcome. And as always, it was so great to see your smiling face and feel the exuberant presence you bring to a room.  We as TEA families are blessed to have you as our "fearless leader".  
  • Thank you so much for everything Wendy! All your help and support through the years has meant the world to me and helped me to be the best homeschool mom I could be. I will always be grateful for you. 
  • Thank you so much for a wonderful graduation celebration today!  My family and I were so impressed with how warm and intimate the commencement ceremony was.  My mother in law even commented that this was the "best" graduation she has ever attended (and she has been to quite a few for her grandchildren. I am extremely honored to be a part of The Excelsior Academy family.
  • Thank you Wendy. It's been so wonderful to have had you as our advisor these past many years. You made homeschool doable for us. I never thought when we started this adventure, that we'd be able to do it through highschool. But each year shed light a little farther ahead, so little by little we realized it was possible. You have been our guiding light, Wendy. Thanks to you we were able to successfully follow our dream of educating our children outside the norm of school in a building.  Although we've had our challenges, I feel that our girls have a stronger sense of self, a closer bond with each other, they've had more time to spend on creative endeavors, we've had more time together as a family, and we now have the satisfaction of knowing that we provided the kind of education that we wanted for our girls - and it likely helped ... gain access to a great local college with a scholarship. I couldn't be any happier. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your wonderful guidance and support. You're the greatest.
  • You have been my backbone in this whole homeschool experience. It has been a wonderful time, made so because we had your guidance and support. We are so lucky and grateful to have found you so many years ago. 
  • Thanks for all you did for us. Homeschooling was the best decision we could have made.
  • You words of encouragement kept me going many a day.
  • Our homeschool community is so blessed to have you as a leader.  The love and dedication you give to each and every kid is just amazing!
  • You have always been and remain a positive advocate for homeschooling in Maryland, and you have tremendously enriched the lives of countless homeschoolers, their families, and the lives they ultimately affect for good and for God. Thank you.
  • I am open to any last advice you may be willing to share. I can not tell you how grateful I am to have been accepted by The Excelsior Academy all those years ago. Your knowledge, advice, help, and most of all, kindness and sympathetic shoulder have been invaluable to me.
  • I remember last summer when I was thinking about doing this and full of fear - you said "if you do this, I guarantee when we talk next year you'll tell me your son is happier, is making friends and things are working much better." Well, you were completely right. Your words stuck with me and it has all come true. I'm taking it a year at a time - but I must say I can't really see myself ever sending him back to traditional school. We'll see, but for now, this is working!! Thanks a bunch