About Cheerful Heart Academy
I get many questions about who I am and how Cheerful Heart Academy got its start. I thought that this might be a good place to introduce myself, the owner/administrator of Cheerful Heart Academy and let you all in on the history of the school.
My name is Lynda Rowley and I've been home educating two of our children since January of 2003. Many people in the local area may also know my name because I am the contact person for a local home school support group, and have been since we started the group in May of 2003.
When we first started home educating in January of 2003, my oldest daughter was in the third grade and we had recently discovered that she is dyslexic. The public school would not do anything to help her unless she was in danger of failing, which she was not, so she was struggling every day. We decided to bring her home (the best decision we've ever made!). Because of some issues with the school superintendent's office later that year, we decided to switch to using a non-traditional private, or umbrella, school.
I stayed with that umbrella school for two years, then switched to another one. The reason for the switch was that the first one required $75 per year per student and I had to physically mail grades and attendance every month by the 5th of the month. My younger daughter started kindergarten that year and I was looking for something cheaper and easier and found it. The new school required $25 per year per student and I had to email attendance once a year.
As I said, I am the contact person for a local home school support group. I get dozens of calls a month about all aspects of homeschooling. I had spoken to someone about umbrella schools in November of 2010 while discussing the different ways to legally home school. She called in January of 2011 and said that she wanted to use an umbrella school, but didn't have a computer at home so she wanted to pay me to sign her up with an umbrella school from my computer. I told her to let me research and find one that would let her do it by mail and I would get back to her.
I looked for days and couldn't find an umbrella school that allowed you to do all of the paperwork by mail if you wanted to. I began to feel this 'push' that I should be filling that need and no matter how much I tried to put it out of my mind, it was always there. I've come to know that little voice very well as the voice of God and I've figured out that I should listen when He talks. So, I talked to my husband and we started the ball rolling to start our own umbrella school. I opened Cheerful Heart Academy in March of 2011 and that lady that had asked for help was one of my first clients. She did everything by mail.
Cheerful Heart Academy officially became a DOE recognized private school in March of 2011, so it's not really all that old. Since I take year round enrollment, the number of students enrolled changes all of the time, but we have hit the 100 mark recently! We graduated our first senior in 2013, my very own daughter.
I am always looking for ways to improve the school, or at least the experience of education for Cheerful Heart Academy students. I started a CHA Pinterest account in 2014 and spend time weekly finding educational pins to put on the boards there. I spend one-on-one time with any of my teachers who need someone to talk to, whether by email or phone, about educating their children (or anything else). And I'll be introducing a new blog feature in the next few weeks to answer questions, share ideas and resources, and hopefully just be a generally bright spot in someone's day from time to time.
If you ever have questions, comments, need to talk, or someone to pray for you, please don't hesitate to call or email!
***UPDATE: In 2018, CHA has over 220 students and 10 Seniors! The Pinterest boards are still being updated weekly, the blog gets a new update about once a year....anytime there's a hurricane threat. I've introduced a Resource page, a Family Showcase page, and this year - an 'Extras' page, which houses the new CHA diplomas! As always, please contact me if you have questions!!***