In November of 2010, I (Ashlee Hardy) was first introduced to the concept of a classical, Christian, University-Model School® through a friend whose children attended one. After a long conversation about the powerful fruit coming from the school and overall concept of these three components applied in educating children, my heart was stirred. My oldest child was only 16 months at the time; therefore school seemed pretty far away. I listened to my friend with interest, but wasn't expecting to feel so drawn to such a new idea. As she continued to share, I couldn't ignore a burning in my heart.
I knew this was the kind of school I always dreamed of, but I could never have described it until I heard that it existed. The next morning I was spending time reading God's Word and praying and talking with Him. During this time, it was perfectly clear to me that God was calling me to start a school like this in College Station. I took six months and prayed, and I also kept a journal of my dreams and the promises I felt the Lord had for the school.
At the end of the six months of daily prayer, my husband and I visited a Classical, Christian, University-Model School® here in Texas. After the visit with their headmaster, it was more certain than ever that God was calling us to this. We joined the National Association for University-Model Schools® (NAUMS) and had many powerful, encouraging conversations with the leaders at NAUMS. I also had amazing support from my friends and family; they believe in this model for educating children and know that our city needs this.
So often when telling people about Oakwell, I hear them say that this model incorporates everything they have dreamed of for educating their children: a school that is centered on the person of Jesus, a school that gives a family who is reluctant to exclusively homeschool the opportunity to have structure and all the academic excellence and rigor of a private school, and a school that gives the family longing for more time together exactly that. Then to top it off, it is very reasonable financially. When thinking of all these components together, I am often reminded of the verse: "And it shall be that before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear." Isaiah 65:24 AM
I feel that that is exactly what the Lord has done for the people of Bryan and College Station with Oakwell Academy, and I am excited to watch it unfold.