Homeschooling was something I said I’d never do.
That was for geeks and fringe types, right? If I lived in America, I’m not sure if I would home school or not, but in 2003, the thought of my 6 year old struggling to learn reading in a language he barely knew was not very appealing.
|Early Home School Activity|
So his first year of school, my son went to Turkish kindergarten three afternoons a week, and did English home school in the morning. He actually hated kindergarten, which I’d always thought was supposed to be fun. One of my worst memories of our first year in Turkey is of a morning in November, months after school had started. My gregarious, outgoing son, whom I’d supposed was adjusting well, burst into tears and clung to my waist.
“Please don’t leave me here,” he cried.
It was all I could do to keep from breaking down myself, but I reassured him as best as I could that he’d be fine, and I turned around and left him there. It was hard to do.
The whole year I kept thinking he’d adjust and begin to like school, but he never did. My daughter also hated Turkish kindergarten. Both of them had excellent relationships with kids in the neighborhood, but they hated Turkish school. So for me it was a no-brainer to continue homeschooling, and now I've been doing it for ten years. (My kids and I joke about being "home school geeks" ourselves! I hope I'm not offending anyone here.)
Education for their children is one of the biggest challenges faced by people living overseas.
In our part of the world, many workers send their elementary aged kids to local schools and have positive experiences, especially if the parents are proactive about visiting the school to solve problems. Other families opt for home school or private schools. By 5th grade, however, public school kids are under pressure in a highly competitive system and many foreign parents take their kids out of school because they lack the language skills to help their kids succeed.
What Do I Do Now?
Currently my family is grappling with yet another educational decision for next fall. Do we continue home schooling to finish high school, or do we send our children to an Abeka video co-op school? Both options have pro’s and con’s. What to do?
I’m not sure what is best for our family, but either way, I come down to the same bottom line: I can trust God with my kids and their future. I can be at peace knowing that He cares for them and that He will give us wisdom to make responsible decisions and grace to be faithful day by day in carrying those decisions out.
I’d love to hear your perspective. What are local schools like in your part of the world? Do your kids go to local schools or do you home school? What challenges and blessings have resulted from your choices?