Tuesday Topic: Schooling Overseas

This one is to spark some conversation as we begin the “Schooling Overseas” series! Hopefully we’ll answer this question with more questions and have a good time discussing it all this week!

How are you currently educating your children? If your kids are still young, what schooling option are you leaning toward?  What is the greatest factor(s) or circumstance influencing your decision? What are your biggest questions about education overseas (or about any one particular schooling option)?

(If you would like to pose a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to formissionarymoms@gmail.com . Provide you blog address if you would like to be linked to, and specify also if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)


8 Responses to “Tuesday Topic: Schooling Overseas”

  1. 1 @ngie March 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    How are you currently educating your children? Enrolled in our Christian school

    If your kids are still young, what schooling option are you leaning toward? My three year old will probably be enrolled in the pre-school program at the school where his older siblings are.

    What is the greatest factor(s) or circumstance influencing your decision? First of all, we felt that this is what God would have us to do withour kids at this point. Second, I was finding myself frazzled with homeschooling (the option we chose for the 5 years before we started the Chrsitian school). Finally, my kids are truly bi-lingual and I want to reinforce that as much as possible.

    As a final thought, something that helped me greatly was when my husband and I decided to take it one year at a time. For a few years homeschooling was bliss. I loved it. Then when things heated up with the ministry and I got pregnant with my fourth we looked for schooling options to create peace. We found another missionary gal who was my aid during class time. She was a huge help and got me through the year. Then when we started the school I had a peace about my big ones going there. We take it one year at a time and choose what we feel is the best for the family and the individual needs of the child at that time.

  2. 2 @ngie March 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Oh, by the way, great topic! I am looking forward to hearing the responses. 🙂

  3. 3 Becka March 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    How are you currently educating your children?
    My children are attending a local school that was started by an American Immigrant. The school teaches in Spanish but many of the teachers know English and so it was a natural fit for my children. They also use a similar curriculum to the one that I used when I was homeschooling them.

    If your kids are still young, what schooling option are you leaning toward?
    Our plans for their schooling will change as their needs change, and as our needs as a family change. During the summer we plan to homeschool them so that they will have some education in English as well. For example, my oldest has been learning about plants, their parts, their names, etc. However, all his plant vocab is now in Spanish and he will need to know those same things in English so we plan to do that over the summer.

    What is the greatest factor(s) or circumstance influencing your decision? Our field encouraged us very strongly to send the kids to a local school for the first year or two so that they would have a good foundation in Spanish as well as have an easier time adjusting. After talking to the other missionary and hearing their stories, we decided to go ahead and try it. We hope to homeschool them again in the future and the driving force behind that is the fact that our ministry is all afternoon and evening and we miss seeing the kids more. We are making it work, but it is not ideal.

    What are your biggest questions about education overseas (or about any one particular schooling option)? For those of you who send your children to a counter-religious school, how do you deal with the differences that come up. My kid’s school is very New Age in nature and sometimes I struggle with how to ask them to walk that line. For instance, in Yoga class they sing a song to fire, ice, and water. The song, when added to many other things, is basically a worship song, and I struggle with how to deal with issues like this.

  4. 4 Kristin Evans March 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    How are you currently educating your children? My child is only 4 months but we’ve been investigating after learning that people sign their children up for the good schools before they are even born! So although we have time, I’ve already starting thinking about schooling options.

    If your kids are still young, what schooling option are you leaning toward? We toured a Christian school and really liked it. We’re also thinking about homeschooling.

    What is the greatest factor(s) or circumstance influencing your decision? We’d love to have our child in local schools so that he can feel a part of this culture and not so much an outsider. We already stick out as Americans here. 🙂

    What are your biggest questions about education overseas (or about any one particular schooling option)? I’d love to hear how other parent’s have evaluated the academics at schools in their host countries and how it compares to American academics.

  5. 5 Ashley L. March 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    My daughter is in national pre-school and my son is doing informal home pre-school. We have always been leaning toward national schools, but we hold that loosely and plan to re-evaluate each year. We also have to make sure that there is a school in our area that we feel comfortable with. Right now our daughter has adjusted really well to being in preschool with local kids, so we hope it continues being a good match.

    I think the greatest influencing factor for us is that we expect to be overseas in this country long-term, and we really hope that our kids will feel comfortable in the culture and that they will have strong relationships with local kids. I also am looking forward to being more a part of the culture myself, so being “one of the moms” in our local school sounds appealing as I hope to continue building a witness within our community and also just really enjoy the natural opportunity for friendship that comes with meeting other families doing the same thing that we are in normal daily life.

    I would love to hear how parents of kids in national schools (or any non-Christian school) handle having their kids around so many influences that are not desirable. This would be my same worry if we were in the US and having our kids go to a non-Christian (or even a Christian!) school. I know that much of it comes down to prayer and having an open dialogue at home, but are there any other practical ideas? I went to public non-Christian schools and was around plenty of bad influences and still managed not to be too swayed (even as a non-believer, as I was then), but it definitely scares me far more as a parent!

  6. 6 Erin March 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I homeschooled my daughter when we lived in the States. Now that we are in country, we really prayed about what was best for her. Ultimately we decided to place her in a local bilingual school so she would continue with her language skills and learning the culture. After two years we decided this indeed was the BEST decision we could have made. She has made many national friends, speaks the language beautifully, and in any area we feel she is lacking, we make up the difference with additional education. My daughter is in 8th grade, 13 (almost 14 years old). I truly think she would have missed a LOT of the culture and language by being homeschooled.

  7. 7 Sarah March 24, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I am soooo happy that schooling is the topic being discussed right now because it is currently a huge topic of discussion between my husband and me at the moment!!! Our oldest will be starting school this fall and we aren’t sure which option is best for him. Thankfully we trust and know that the Lord has a plan for our family in regards to schooling for our kids, but at this point we don’t have peace about anything and need Him to clearly show us what to do.

    I guess you could say that we are equally divided between homeschooling or having the kids attend a local public school.

    There are so many factors that are holding us up from making a decision – worries about him maintaining his Norwegian if he is at home with me speaking English most of the day is at the top of my list. We’re also unsure where we will be living this fall (still waiting to find a permanent home…just living in a temporary apartment until we find the right place) so a big factor in deciding to place him in a school would be what the school he was zoned for is like, and we have no idea which school that will be. I also have some (really stupid and petty, I will admit) concerns because homeschooling isn’t common here and I am a little worried about the skepticism that would result from going down that path. (I guess you could say that my convictions about homeschooling aren’t strong enough at this point to withstand questioning or criticism, so I think we really need to think through what we want and why we would chose either option.) And those are just a few factors. 🙂

    I’ve really enjoyed reading through everyone’s comments, and have been encouraged to realize that this decision is something that we can take one year at a time. I think I was a bit stuck in the mindset that we have to make a huge decision RIGHT NOW that will determine their schooling forever, so it is relieving to be reminded that I don’t have to think that way…

  8. 8 odonnells April 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    i’m a little late joining the discussion, but here’s my two-cents 🙂
    our oldest is three and will be starting national preschool in two weeks (for which i am required to make a lot of handmade items — fun to use some exceptionally cute fabric, but not when my sewing machine breaks!) our biggest factor to his education is language and being around peers — he’s an extrovert like his daddy (runs to kids at the park, yelling “konnichiwa!”) and there isn’t much forum outside of school for forming friendship.
    we plan to evaluate year-to-year, child-to-child, but felt specifically that national preschool was really important (its 3 years in length) — i’m finding that i will probably make the vast majority of my mom friends via the preschool, too.
    eager to begin this new journey and get the ‘first day’ over with! i’m nervous how my little guy will react and hope he enjoys going to school.

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