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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

High School Homeschool Graduation

graduation-cap-diplomaThe end of an era. Pasha, 20, and Mashenka, 19, were graduating from high school. Nine years and eight years prior, both had arrived from Russia, woefully behind in their studies. Attending Russian internats, the orphanage boarding schools, most adults acknowledged that a quality education was not a top priority for kids who would most likely be dead or in prison by the time they reached 18.

Once home, Pasha struggled with the idea of school, resisting, not comprehending, goofing around, floundering in his orphanage friend and now brother Petya’s long shadow of academic achievement. As soon as the girls arrived one year later, the competition was on as they were anxious to learn and leave Pasha in the dust.

He picked up the pace while we had him repeat the year and start again with Mashenka. This time both struggled together. Their first act of educational graduationachievement involved listening repeatedly to a recording of yours truly reciting the multiplication tables in Russian. I’m not sure if it was more difficult for them to remember the mathematical tables or for me to recite them-!

Some days we limped, other days we leaped through French and Hebrew and Russian, through algebra, geometry, biology and chemistry. You name it, we gave it our best shot: cultural geography, public speaking, dissecting formaldehyde-filled creatures.

There were times they wanted to quit and times we needed to quit. To be both a parent and a teacher was a delicate dance of pushing and pulling, of cooperation and carelessness.

Personally, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But these were the cards we had been dealt: they were behind, way behind from the very beginning. We needed to help them, coach them and cajole them.

text 2017 with graduation hat. 3d IllustrationsAnd now, we heard pomp and circumstance playing. Over 100 friends gathered. The two carried their Bibles to the podium and spoke of what God had done to get them to this major accomplishment, an unheard-of and forbidden declaration in public school settings.

For now, He’s about the only one who knows what the future holds for them. Presently, they may hold unrealistic aspirations, goals that they may not be willing to work towards, but that will all pan out soon enough. For now, we bask in the accomplishments and heady hopes.

Soli Deo gloria.


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