Welcome to TEA







Hello TEA Families and Friends!


If you are like me, the longer daylight hours and the coming of Daylight Savings Time are welcome heralds of the approach of spring. I now am ready to exchange wintry weather for warmer days, blossoms of all kinds, and the birds that usually nest in the shrubbery outside my family room window.

If you are feeling some mid-year blahs, realize this is perfectly normal, even for classroom teachers. Find some simple ways to brighten your days – a fragrant mineral salt bath, new exotic coffee flavor, even a decadent afternoon nap! Please take care of yourself so you can reach the finish line! 

And, speaking of finish line, with the end of the school year now in sight, it's easy to start hyperventilating. Every teacher (both classroom and homeschool) feels “behind” this time of year and wishes s/he could have accomplished more with his/her students. If this sounds like you (and I know it does!), my advice is to realistically review your goals for your students and yourself and adjust them as needed for the remainder of the school year. Classroom teachers enter the second half of the school year knowing that they won't be able to accomplish everything they had hoped in the fall, so they regroup. Realize that we always over-estimate what we can accomplish (not just in homeschooling, but in most areas of our lives), and that any good business plan allows for modifications when inevitable complication arise. Don't allow yourselves to live in perpetual “catch-up” mode, which is very depressing and frustrating for everyone. Do your best with where you are at, and don't angst about where you had hoped you'd be. After all, we homeschool moms are notorious for setting unrealistic goals in the first place, for our kids and ourselves. Putting the bar in the right place is one of the keys to successful parenting/homeschooling - and good mental health!

For those experiencing some anxiety as the end of the school year gets closer, join the club! Many of us limp into the new year struggling to find renewed energy, motivation, and focus. It is a normal stressor of this profession. I know you are doing as well as you humanly can, and that’s all anyone can expect of you. You are a “super” mom or dad, but not a Super-Human. Realistic expectations and a rational mind are vital parts of this endeavor. And so is the importance of taking good care of yourself! 

So, don’t sabotage your homeschool efforts with thoughts of some mythical “perfectly-functioning” homeschool or classroom that really does not exist. And don’t torture yourself with unjustified guilt and self-doubt. Homeschool moms and dads are my heroes! Their dedication to their children is unrivaled and I sincerely commend you for your loving service to your families. Hang in there, give yourself time for refreshment, and let “good” be “good enough”. And, by the way, homeschool kids are pretty awesome, too!

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 this spring 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





NO NEW FAMILIES BEING ENROLLED NOW OR IN FUTURE YEARS

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!

Wendy



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 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 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.
  • 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!
  • 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