Welcome to 4 Oaks Academy!

  Welcome to our school, 4 Oaks Academy! 


This is our first year to home school and we are SO excited! 


  Over the summer, we found 4 school desks for $15, and Dale built us the above frame for our map from a broken fence on Papa’s land.  We are so glad to have a little piece of Papa in our school room.

  Dale also built us a really great shelving unit with 15 cubbies.  (All while redoing our kitchen….what a guy!)

  We have been watching for bargains on bean bag chairs, posters and book baskets, hands on manipulatives and educational games.  We are ready to roll!

  We absolutely love the Christian school our family has attended for the past 6 years. Our family has been a part of this school for 30 years now, but it came to the point where I was going to have to return to work to pay for tuition.

  We have always planned for me to be home until everyone was at school full-time, and even then, we talked about me volunteering at the school, and doing my photography more full-time.  It was important to us that I could be flexible with our schedule, and available to drop and run should someone get sick.  IMG_5639

  The thought of missing home time, and putting the little 2 Ferguson’s in daycare actually made me bawl.  We know God speaks through peace in our hearts, and He has been whispering to us for the past 3 years, that someday we would be homeschooling. We just didn’t know it would be this year!IMG_5653

  That means I will be teaching a Pre-K, Kindergartener, 2nd grader and 6th grader.  IMG_5654

Ho boy.  Thinking about teaching 7 subjects times 4 kids had my head spinning. I began to spend hundreds of hours at night, researching and reading everything I could get my hands on. Visiting home school rooms, talking with every homeschool mom that would answer an email or phone call.IMG_5662

  Through all this, and much prayer, we found a wonderful curriculum that allows me to teach “One Room Schoolhouse style” with one main lesson, and individualized assignments after.  That means 5 of the 7 subjects will be taught together, freeing up a lot more of our time!
I will plan to blog more about this later, when I know better what all this entails.

  First thing you have to do when you decide to home school is register your school with the state.  That means we needed a NAME!

   I prayed and prayed for the name of our school.  I had all kinds of ideas, but none of them were “the one”.  As the weeks went on, I began to seek the Scriptures for something about growing in Christ.  Then I came across several verses about trees….

Psalms 1:3 “{They} will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season. And its leaf does not wither. And in whatever {they do}, {they}will prosper.”

Isaiah 61:3b “They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.”

  My heart cried out, tears filled my eyes, and I KNEW. I knew the name of our school would be 4 Oaks Academy.  IMG_5648

  Our goal and desire is not to raise scholars, or athletes, or a student in every club and activity offered, but DISCIPLES for Christ.   Placing HIM at the center of our hearts and home, schooling within it’s walls, all meeting this goal and purpose.

Hugs, T



37 thoughts on “Welcome to 4 Oaks Academy!

  1. Oh, it looks so cozy in there!!! LOVE it!!!!!!!:)Love the name too.(Again, can you come and decorate my house?!?!?);) How are you doing? We are looking forward to starting up soon, but I think it may wait until close to the end of the month. My sister is here for a few weeks and I am going to get in all the time I can with her and her littles!!! When they go back TX is a LOOOOONG ways away.:(
    So, you will have to inform me how you are liking it and all the details!!!!:)
    love and {{hugs}},

  2. Aww, yay! I am sooo excited for you! I just started my first day of homeschooling yesterday and the whole day I just knew we made the right choice. We never would have imagined ourselves a homeschooling family. My husband and I both attended public school and I am a former public school teacher. We know at this point this is God’s calling for our family and are so grateful for the opportunity. I just finished writing about our first day…http://unwraphisgifts.blogspot.com/2014/09/our-first-day-of-homeschool.html

    God Bless you in this new journey,

    P.S. We are the family that received AIO from your giveaway….we love them! Thank you again!

    • Hi Tara, Yay! I am so glad you are loving AIO, I actually was JUST wondering about you the other day, as I put a new set out in the car. 🙂 I am loving homeschooling, too!!! EEK! I know without a shadow of a doubt, that for this season, this is the perfect fit for us. Now, I know we are on week 2, and things may get tougher, but for now, we are in love. I switched the schedule around this week, so we get Geography done in the morning, and its working much better.

  3. Go Tonya go! So excited to hear about this new adventure. Payton actually started at Central this year in the 5th grade. Vonn is now in 3rd grade at home and then there is Payslie. She’s 3….. need I say more! Our school is Growing In Grace. Everyday is something new and exciting. Can’t wait to hear how you all will grow and learn together. Happy Homeschooling! Enjoy!

  4. I am so thankful that I found your site months ago. You are so inspiring and your love for our Lord Jesus shines in every post. Homeschooling is the best thing you can do for your children even though it will be hard on you. I am a grandmother and I homeschooled my daughter a few years back in the 80’s (when it wasn’t popular) and she has homeschooled all three of hers (number 4 is just starting this year). I will be praying for you as you undertake this new adventure. There is NO better teacher for your children than you and your husband. The Lord gave me this scripture years ago when I struggled with the decision to homeschool – Colossians 2:8.

    One more thing, I read a post where you are into oils and I haven’t found it again, so could you send me the site or information. I am very interested in oils and if I order I would like to help you. God’s blessings on your sweet family. Donna

  5. Home schooling is becoming more popular – I wish my children were young again so I could do the same thing you are doing. Have a great “school year”!

  6. Can I give a very loud happy squeal for you guys????!!!!! 🙂 I am a homeschool graduate and plan on homeschooling our littles soon 😉 I know there will be some long days ahead, but it will be so worth it!! Praying you guys have an amazing year! LOVE your school room and purpose/motto!

  7. Tonya, Julie Willis has some materials to pass on since she is not teaching elementary age now, sure if free or for sale

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  8. You can do it! If God has led you, then he has equipped you! We’ve been homeschooling for 3 years now, and yes, it’s overwhelming at first. Don’t get caught up in all the extras that you feel like you have to do because they came with the curriculum. You have YEARS to spend teaching. Let God lead you and your pace… It’s not going to look like the way anyone else does it, because your kids are unique- fearfully and wonderfully made. Praying for you this morning!

    • Great advice, and very timely. I was just thinking that about some of the add on books I got…..WHY did I think we needed the extras?!? Haha! Now I just use the suppliments for fun, or when one child is done and the others are not.

  9. How exciting! I love the beginning of the school year with all its new beginnings. Love your school’s name and the classroom looks very cozy. I am looking forward to hearing more about your homeschooling adventures and curriculum. I know several moms in my church that home school and it is certainly something that piques my interest.

  10. Oh my goodness! This post brought tears to my eyes. The name is perfect, and the blessings for all of you will be immeasurable. If anyone could do this it would be you. Look forward to more post on this wonderful adventure.
    The most important thing in this post was about raising disciples of Christ. I firmly believe there is far too much attention paid to sports, clubs, etc., etc. by parents. I don’t even attempt to discuss that with parents because I know I would hear of all of the good things. Yes, there can be good things but most of the time there is far too much time and money spent on all of these things that aren’t going to bring change to better our world.
    God bless you all as you contine to bless our world.

  11. I swear we have such similar lives some days! We decided to home school this year too. It is just for my oldest though because our middle will still attend preschool at our church but I am sure he’ll pick up some things when he is around. We are officially jumping in next week because we have been on a sabbatical from the church we serve. It feels like a big responsibility but I am also excited! I love the name for your school!

  12. Good for you T! I followed a similar route to homeschooling. We originally thought we would find a nice small Christian private school, but they were all bigger and more expensive than what we wanted. We LOVE homeschooling. I pray you have a smooth year and don’t feel overwhelmed. I only started with one in kindergarten, so I can only imagine how starting with four could be exhausting. Keep it simple (and let the big ones help teach the little ones!) 🙂

  13. Good for you guys! We started homeschooling right from the start and it isn’t always the popular decision, but it is definately the best one for our family. 🙂 I would LOVE to hear about your curriculum..that always interests me to hear what works for other moms. I have a daughter in first grade and a son in preschool and a 1 year old daughter. Working with one lesson sounds like fun. 🙂

  14. This is so awesome. I love how you’ve decorated everything and given the children their own desks. I was homeschooled from part of 6th grade to 12th grade and loved it. You are able to fully immerse yourself in all the different subjects. We’d take trips to the beach to learn about Marine Biology, Visit Williamsburg, Virginia and Roanoke to learn about the colonies. It’s a really exciting approach to learning. Congrats!! 🙂

  15. I am soooo excited & blessed to know how God brought all these things together…your heart was prepared and ready to go! I ADORE the painting of the tree…did I miss reading about it? It’s gorgeous – no doubt, God has a very exciting year ahead for all of you. Nothing better than getting to spend the days with your babes.

  16. Congratulations!!!! Well done. I have home schooled for about 20 years, one left. It is a wonderful endeavor. Sometimes it can get hectic-I put up signs as a reminder to myself that said “Remember why you do this!” Trust me, it gets easier the longer you do it. I also find that I am a much better teacher now than when I started. In two years I will be finished with this time in my life and I’m sure that I will feel sad; but “to everything there is a season”. I am soooo excited for you! It is great to have your babes all there; a pot of soup cooking, good books,warm blankets and a snowy day. How wonderful to have all “your chicks” safe with you. Enjoy these days and may Heavenly Father bless you and your home!!

    • Eeeeek! That gave me chills. I love the scene you described!!!! My heart ached all day long when they were gone. I knew they were in a safe and good Christian school, but that didn’t change how much I longed for them to be here with me instead. I am SO SO excited, and so thankful for all of you guys being so supportive. I think I pushed post and cringed, waiting for backlash. NONE came! WOo hoo 🙂

  17. I don’t know why this made me so happy!! Our God is so COOL!! I’d commented last year around this time that your Back to School post had been a message from God to me (Him letting me know I was supposed to homeschool). We did end up homeschooling last year, and I fell in love!! I hope you have the same experience homeschooling all your kiddos this year.

    Thank you so much for your blog and sharing your message!!

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