Sarah Joy said...
Yes, did you have trouble homeschooling on the road??
One of the most difficult things about being a missionary is the time spent traveling in the states and trying to home school.
If your furlough will be 3 months or less and your children are still in elementary school, I would not even attempt formal schooling. I would recommended reading aloud in the car or listening to Cd's of good literature. Use the time in the US to discover America, visit historical places on your travels. Make scrapbooks and allow them to write their adventures and memories of their trips, flash cards are easy to use in the car to review material the children need to keep up with.
Older students need to stay on target with the core subjects. Supplement with literature and field trips as well. The only time I use a packaged curriculum is while on furlough. I find that something like ACE is easy to cart around and the work is already done for the teacher. Carry a small file box with you so that everything gets filed right away. Organization is a must while on the road.
The biggest challenge is trying to make the time for school, especially during Mission Conferences. Many Pastors expect the wife to be very involved in daily activities and offer to put the kids in their church schools for the week. This does not really accomplish much for the student. The Pastors do not realize that where as the conference is only one week out of the year for them, it is likely a weekly event for the missionaries. Taking so much time off from school can be very difficult to recover for the high school level student. We once did 17 Mission Conferences in a row, with no break.
Just try and realize that although a lot of book work may not be accomplished, your students are gaining a valuable education in so many other areas involving life skills.
I had one new missionary wife come to me during a conference very depressed about their school situation. Her husband was pressuring her because the 5 children were falling behind. As I spoke with her, I learned that they were traveling in a van and had no home base. I will admit to feeling the need to explain to her husband that there was a major difference in home schooling 5 children and VAN schooling 5 children. Having a home base to go to in between meetings is vital for school age children. You can use this time to really hit the books and stay on top of academics.
I would love to read more about the practical aspects of how you homeschooled your children through high school, and what they did directly after graduation.
Home schooling in high school is easier in many ways, than teaching younger students. My goal is to train my students to learn for themselves and not have the need to be 'spoon fed' information by the teacher. Of course, you must check their work and supervise their study, but allow them to set some of their own goals. You must keep accurate records for their future transcript. Independent study will help them when they enter college.
My children all graduated early and we allowed them to go to the US and work for a year, or so, before starting college. Since they had never lived in the states, held a job, or even had another teacher other than myself, we felt it was too much to expect them to suddenly take on all these new experiences at once.
Our children grew up in such a small village that we felt it was best for them to attend smaller colleges. A large school would have been difficult for them to adjust to.
Jackie worked in a the records department of a hospital at age 16 and was offered a supervisory position over adults. Joshua worked with my brother in construction and learned many useful skills for his future life on the mission field. He is now selling insurance.
Jewel has been teaching here but will be headed stateside this summer to get a job before starting school in the fall.
I hope this is helpful.