The Little Home School That Can...

This year has been very, very different for our little home school.   In the past, I've been so proud of our organized days.   We have always taken a non-textbook approach to home schooling;  focusing instead on history and science through literature.   Wanting to keep this same approach, I shipped lots and lots of books down here. 

As things have unfurled, and my responsibilities have escalated, I hit a wall.  It was a huge disappointment to me that I couldn't do all of the things I wanted to do and still fulfill my first responsibility to my family.   

Ideally, my mornings are dedicated to getting the littles ready for school, quiet time, the education of our children and the care of our home.  Ideally.   Most days, I find emergency e-mail or  ministry questions that cannot wait until the afternoon waiting in my in-box.    And I try to answer them which often gets me distracted, excited, frustrated or a combo of all.

I realized that, perhaps, this season of home school needed a different approach.   My friend, Collette, has used Switched on Schoolhouse for a few years and felt really good about the computer-based learning.   She sent me the entire 4th grade set of subjects to try out.   Arlee is probably ready for 3rd grade and Aidan 6th grade.  I'm on the lookout for these.

So far, I believe it is just what we need for the next few years for certain subjects.   Moving forward, we will use Teaching Textbooks for Math (also computer-based),  Switched on Schoolhouse for Language Arts, Geography and Science.   And we will stick to Tapestry of Grace for our chronological History, Literature and some Bible.    In many ways, it is the best of both worlds.

Right now, I can only do so much lesson-planning and grading.   The computer is doing much of that for me these days.  I'm enjoying the books and discussions that we have around our History studies of the 20th Century.   

We are also in a season where 'education' takes on a much broader definition.  Our children are learning much about human need and suffering and how to 'live with the poor.'  They are close friends with children who have nothing tangible.   They understand how God multiplies our rice bucket and how they are free to give rice to someone if they need it.    Their 'education' encompasses dealing with life issues that are large - single mothers, sick babies, poor choices,  hungry children, death and so on.    The only difference between this place and the US is that these problems are on our doorstep instead of in another neighborhood or city.

In case you think they are missing out on kids' stuff...  I'll share that their PE class includes climbing trees, hide-and-seek,  boating and one fun opportunity to zip line in La Ceiba.    They e-mail friends and dream of our trip to Walt Disney World in 2013, a gift from the Ginns.  

We watch lots of movies, reruns of old TV shows and they have a Wii.  In many ways, they are typical US children.  In many ways, they are not.   Hopefully, one day, they will look back on this experience fondly, having learned the ways of life. 

Trying to find joy in the things that work and rid myself of things that are just too much for today.  Tomorrow will always come and I'm thankful that we have so many choices! 


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