Our Experience With Homeschooling
(Canada & Guatemala)
Happy and well adjusted!
Vaughn and I have been serving as volunteers for the last 11 years - (3 in Canada) and the last 9 in Guatemala. When I got pregnant 6 1/2 years ago, we wondered if we'd be able to continue with the baby. We decided to go for it.
We live in a small village where people are very well aware of everyone's life and social life is very important. It is common to greet each other on the street and even chat a little bit, especially if we've met before.
The neighbors know at what time you leave, when you come home, and will tell you who came by while you were gone. Local people in general like to talk and give details about their personal life, and also enjoy dropping by to say Hi.
We usually visit people in the mornings (Tuesday-Sunday) to offer them Bible classes and in the afternoons we study with interested ones. Mondays are for leisure time and grocery.
Now, when we came back with 27 day old Sydney to Guatemala, he all of a sudden became "The Star" of the village. When visiting people, whether on the street or in homes, they'd grab him off our arms and run to as many neighbors they could to show him off. They'd photograph him right and left.
In time, Sydney began to realize what was going on and wondered why people weren't giving that same attention to other kids. It started to frustrate him.
So bit by bit, that situation plus the fact that the schooling system is very poor here, made us cling toward homeschooling. Obviously, we wanted to make the best decision,thus we started looking to find a family that HAD lived a similar life as ours, so we could consider what to do and how we should go about it.
When we came back to Canada last spring, we got talking with someone who had homeschooled her 2 kids while raising them in Dominican Republic. She suggested investigating Pearblossom Private School since they had used their curriculum and had been completely satisfied with it.
When both kids finished high school with that program, they decided to come back to Canada and were impressed to see that their certifications and report cards were totally recognized. The oldest was even given a $1,500 scholarship in computer programing.
My husband decided to call Pearblossom and bombarded them with questions. We then made the decision to use their curriculum.
Since I had through the years bought Sydney different workbooks, he was use to working, and seemed to have enough knowledge to start grade 1. When we did go back to Guatemala a few months later, a friend of ours, a teacher in the village, offered to give Sydney 1 hour each day using the Pearblossom program and we would do the rest.
That program emphasizes the importance of finding a bright area, a place the child enjoys being and keep the same place to work. It's also best to keep the same schedule every day.
Obviously some days are good, so the child will be able to advance and do more work, while other days are not so good, and that's where homeschooling is great since there is no rigid schedule.
Well, we find that this year has been a success. Sydney is not yet 6, yet he reads English, Spanish and French and concluded grade 1 with high grades.
Homeschooling has given us the luxury of enjoying Sydney's company just about the whole day, everyday, throughout the year with the flexibility we need for our schedule.
So, we have ordered grade 2 and will see how it goes...