Ok this isn't the lovely Christmas post I had planned to do next...maybe the next one. Right now I am sitting in my office panicking over the fact that I will be pulling my kids out of school next fall and attempting to school them myself.
Why you ask. Here's the scoop. We will be packing up our camping trailer and driving south to Baja Mexico next fall (oct '09)to stay for about 6 months , give or take. We will be once again working at an orphanage and mission base there as volunteer staff. We were there three years ago....gasp...its been that long?! Roman and Aili were 2 and 4 then so I was more concerned with keeping them alive than actually teaching them anything. This year I will be attempting both....with a 2 and a half year old in tow. Aili will be in 3rd grade and Roman will be in 1st (fingers crossed) . Its not geophysics and rocket science I have to teach them at this age so why am I already feeling totally inadequate and nervous about it?
We have considered the homeschooling option in past years but we have thoroughly enjoyed and apprectiated the public rural school that my kids now attend. There are a total of 30 kids in their whole school. Its an old fashioned country school and they are really thriving and learning with all the benefits of a small school and low student to teacher ratio. We however have always known that we still want to travel and look into missions work, even with our kids, so we have always kept the homeschooling option on the table.
At the orphanage in Mexico there is a small school for the kids living there and the Mexican staff kids but I don't know if they will let the Canadian kids attend or not. I realize I would also have to be homeschooling them to keep them caught up but I would really love to have them somwhat integrated into the language , culture and the local school. It would help with building friendships which is very important to both my little socialites. I'm hoping we can have them involved in a couple of the classes at least and maybe join the kids for recess and special events. I might have to do some phone calling and emailing ahead of time.
I think on a whole this experience will be very good for them. Why sit in a Social studies class and learn about another culture if you can actually go there and experience it? Why study a second language from a desk if you can go and learn one by making friends who don't speak english? It will be an amazing way to teach geography, social studies, spanish and so many other subjects....without even opening a text book. Not to mention all the character building and life lessons they will learn workng and living in an impoverished area and in a new culture. We will be taking book work with us too though. Not sure what books exactly but we are checkng with the school district to see if they can help us out with material for the months they will be out of school.
I'm totally excited for our next big family adventure! And I'm very excited to be once again involved in the amazing and diverse ministries of 'Foundation For His Ministry'. Check out their website
I am even a bit excited to embark on the new adventure of "trailer schooling" my kids...or suv schooling, or sitting under a palm tree schooling, or sitting in an orange orchard schooling.....doesn't sound so bad.
I am excited that this trip will make life long memories for my oldest two. Aili who was 4 last time has foggy memories of the trip and Roman who was two doesnt remember much at all.
Nathanael and I are going down there this Febuary for just a week. It will be the first return trip since we left April '06. We are taking down a group of 17 people from our church to work for a week. It will be great to be back but so far the stress of organizing such a trip has overshadowed the anticipation. And the guilt and fear about leaving my kids behind for the week is making looking forward to it hard. I kind of wish it was our family going this winter but it will be an amazing experience to go with 15 other people who have never gone before. Being able to immerse myself in the work I'm passionate about without just doing mom stuff the whole time will be a nice change for a week.
Sooo....if there is anyone out there in blogworld that has any advice for a newbie homeschooler with cold feet ..it would be welcome. Scheduling, subjects, curriculum, advice....help!