Thursday, October 11, 2012

Do I Have Time to Home School and Be a Cross-Cultural Worker?

Do you ever wonder where all your time goes?  I ask myself that question almost every night before bed.  Last week I enjoyed reading Sidetracked and Scatterbrained, where a friend in Mexico wrote about her typical day, so now I thought I’d share with you what my day as Olive-on-the-Aegean is 


My day starts at 6:00, about the earliest we Mediterranean dwellers can even conceive of getting up. I have quiet time with God, go walking, pray with my husband and call the kids to breakfast by 8:00.

Home School day as a Drill Sergeant Kind, Patient Mother

I turn into a drill sergeant gentle mother to get the kids into the living room at 8:30, so we can start school.  Then from 8:30 to 2:30 I go back and forth between my 15 year old son and 13 year old daughter. The day flies by with Chemistry, General Science, Algebra II, 8th grade math, two English courses, 20th Century World History, Logic and Latin.

Years ago I told my Turkish neighbors that I’m focused homeschooling my kids, so I can’t have drop in company until after 2:30.  They think I’m a weird outer space alien anyway, since I home school, so they’ve gotten used to not knocking on the door before 2:30.  This breaks all cultural rules, but it allows me to get things done.

Even so, between delivery men,the telephone, and internet, interruptions abound.  I swear every year that I won’t answer the phone during school, but when it rings, but both kids yell, “Mom, get it!  It could be something important.”  So this year it’s easier just to answer it and be brief rather than argue with the kids about why I’m not answering the phone.  We have a ten minute break every hour, so I do quick chores or get sidetracked on the internet.

Is There Life After School?

By 2:30, my brain is fried.  On free afternoons, I take a short break, and then write for half an hour.  Other afternoons I do errands or make brief visits. On Wednesdays, I rush out the door to a team prayer meeting. Friday afternoons I go on a coffee date with my husband. Then by 6:00, I’m scurrying to make dinner. 

Regular evening activities include Tuesday English Club, and a Thursday Bible study with a young Christian couple.  Sundays our home fellowship meets at 5:00 p.m., so that leaves a few nights free to relax at home, visit friends, or have a game or movie night with the kids. Most evenings I fall into bed between 10:30 and 11:00.

This brings me to a great question I saw on-line the other day, “Do I have Time to Home School and be a Cross-Cultural Worker?”  The truth is I’m not sure!  Home school and my family keep me busy, but I make time for small things like making a phone call to encourage someone, inviting mslm friends over for dinner, or meeting with a younger Christian woman to talk. I trust that God can use my small steps to make a difference here.

What does your day look like?


Stephanie said...

My day... Almost a mirror image of yours! Seriously weird... :)

us5 said...

great questions...great reflections. i struggle much with wanting to 'do it all'; needing to focus on what God has given me to do TODAY...and homeschooling well doesn't leave lots of room for much else! i'm pretty convinced this is an excellent investment though. :)

Nancy said...

Love this! I can relate to feeling like your brain is friend at the end of the home school day. I so enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing!

OliveTree said...

Thanks for your encouragement. It helps to know others have the same kind of days!

Barbara, I agree with you, homeschooling is a good investment.

Stephanie, I've missed you on-line! Was happy to see you are posting again!

Aunt Michele said...

My day is very similiar. My biggest problem is feeling I do no one thing well with so much to do as a missionary, mother and teacher... just keep on and asking God to show me where to place my efforts!

~Karen~ said...

We just returned to the field a little over a week ago, so our schedule isn't real crammed yet. But this is basically what it looks like:

Morning - devotions, breakfast, shower, start school, housework

Afternoon - reading, lesson prep, checking schoolwork, housework monthly team meetings, paying bills, shopping, running for documents (we're in the temporary residence process), exercise, etc.

Evening - supper and clean up, finishing up the day's work, family time, bedtime near 11

Right now the only evening engagement is on Wednesday night - counselor training. That could change soon though!

OliveTree said...

Thanks for sharing, ladies. Michele I can so relate to feeling like you have so much to do that you do nothing well. I also just keep asking God, "What shall I do next?"