Aya Academy of Excellence

When a Parent is Their Child’s First…and Only Teacher

I bit the bullet and joined the homeschool brigade.  After countless years being on either side of the desk, as a teacher, parent and student, I found it necessary to educate my own children full-time at home.  My journey in some ways parallels other families who have taken on the role as their child’s first and only teacher. Simply, I was dissatisfied with what my children’s school failed to offer: my eldest was feeling socially isolated in school and my youngest, a real charmer, was lagging behind academically.  Unfortunately, after years of futilely seeking help from their teachers and counselor, I decided to take the responsibility square on my own shoulders.  But this is where our journey veers from many others.

My daughters, born and raised in New York and Florida, began their public school education in Georgia.  After a search for the ‘best’ schools in the area, we relocated to the tony suburban community of Johns Creek.  The area boasts not only an exemplary report card for its schools but wonderful amenities – lovely parks, great dining and a robust business base.  Their elementary school feeds into the state’s most coveted public high school, which has repeatedly topped all others in attaining the highest SAT average scores.  Their elementary school is a family school with an extraordinary PTA, which hosts numerous activities throughout the year.  As a family, we have enjoyed all of the activities each year, especially the storybook night in which the teachers dressed characters from books and reenacted the stories.  Overall, you cannot have a better public school experience then what my children were fortunate to have.  However, even in an A rated school, there are problems.

Schools are not equipped to provide individually-focused lessons to address each student’s academic gaps.  The average classroom is brimming with kids and that type of attention requires serious manpower and lower teacher to student ratios.  Schools also cannot provide no academic experiences that allow children to thrive socially.  Budgets have been slashed to the point of impeding schools to offer music and art classes.  As a child, I began to thrive once I had an opportunity to participate in a wide range of sports and clubs.  I know firsthand the impact extracurricular activities play in the development of a child.

So after much teeth gnashing and palm sweating, I submitted a letter of intent to my state department alerting them of my attention to devote the next year to growing my children academically and socially.  It’s already been a wondrous experience: trips to visit the Parthenon replica in Nashville, a geocaching activity around our local neighborhood and time daily dedicated to learning the word of God.    As a family, we are grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow together.


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  1. * Deanna says:

    You go Stephanie i truly understand I have been struggling with the way my son has been taught in the public school system.I know that when a child has a learning gap they are just passed on coming out of high school barely doing basic math.You sit in these conference and yo9 keep hear oh your child is so wonderful BUT! So we know there is a problem what are you doing to make a difference? i have considered taking my son out of school for the last year and put him in private.Although he is elgible for a scholarship there are additional costs I just can not afford.What is happening to our schools here in the U.S. classrooms are over crowded tearchers are under paid. I think you are doing what is best for your girls keep up the good work I support your cause!
    Deanna Thomas

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
    • * ayaacademy says:

      Thank you for the reply! It was such a hard decision to make. But I will say that the girls and I are seeing so many benefits already. If you can make the change for your son, then do so. The schools and teachers are trying the best they can but sometimes their best is just not good enough for the needs our kids individually have to deal deal with.

      Peace and Joy,

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  2. Hooray! Welcome to the homeschooling world! We wish you the best. May this year be a blessing to you all!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  3. * SandyKC says:

    WELCOME to the world of homeschooling in GA! I remember the trepidation I held when entering this world more than a decade ago, however I would not trade it for ANYthing in this world–ever! Homeschooling is so much more than most people expect it to be. It was certainly far more robust of an experience for us than I ever expected it would be when we began. You are undoubtedly doing what is best for your children and I don’t believe you’ll ever regret making the move to homeschooling. For us, it was life changing and all positive. 😉

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
    • * ayaacademy says:

      Thank you so very much. I am grateful for the blessing of being able to care for the girls education full-time. Pouring into them everyday has been a unimaginable experience.

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 10 months ago
  4. Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this web site needs far more attention.

    I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 11 months ago

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