Friday, May 18, 2012

The Home-Schooling Journey

Quite a few weeks ago already, an entirely new routine started around here. Our children finished Term 1 at their school and we began home-schooling. Something I said, "I would never do"! But it's amazing how that changed when the Lord worked on my heart and made His will clear to me. And when He is at work, the unthinkable suddenly becomes the doable! Home-schooling has been an unexpectedly amazing journey so far, but before I share more, first let me show some photos of their last few weeks at their old school.

Karlyn and Jono receive awards at an assembly.   

Karlyn with friends on Sports Day.

Jono with fellow competitors in the 100-metre dash.

We're thankful for the many fond memories our kids have from their time at this school!
We don't know if they'll ever return, but if they do, 
we're sure that the good memories will help them settle in there quickly again.

One of the big reasons we decided to home-school for the rest of this year is because of our upcoming furlough, which is set to begin in about 5 weeks time! PNG has a very different school timetable than Canada, meaning that when Canadian kids are on their summer holidays, kids in PNG are doing Term 3! We realized that in order for our kids to fit back into the PNG system when we return at the end of the year, DV, then we would have to do some home-schooling and it made sense to get into a good routine before all the travelling. Much research was done along with much prayer, supplies were purchased, a program was ordered from Australia, and here we are....       

Sitting on their car booster seats so they're the right height for their desks!

Our living area quickly became a classroom as well!

One of the perks of home-schooling--you can take your clothes off to paint!
In this photo, with the kids, is the young woman from our church who helps me. She assists where needed, is a talented artist, and keeps Caleb amused when he's getting in the way! 

Things fell into place amazingly smoothly. The biggest hurdle in this decision was the doubts and hesitancy in my own heart! Which as I said, the Lord worked on those, and gave me such peace when the decision was made! He also provided in amazing ways to take my doubts away, such as placing a book on my lap about a week before we were to start, written by another home-schooling mom, which gave me such good advice and encouragement (I highly recommend it, it's called, "A Mom Just Like You" by Vickie Farris and Jayme Farris Metzgar ). During our first week of  home-schooling, providentially,Tim DeVos was visiting from Australia--a principal at a primary school there. He was here providing training for the teachers who hope to teach at the school that our church is opening later this year, but in the off-time I peppered him with my own questions and was so blessed by his expertise and knowledge.  This came at exactly the right time! It is humbling when the Lord provides in such small and big ways.  Makes you wonder why you doubted at all!

Still, there have been struggles. The kids have missed their friends from school, although we try to see them on the weekends. There have been times when I've wanted to pull my hair out when they seem unmotivated and uninterested. And sometimes doubts still pop, are they really learning anything? And, am I missing something major in their curriculum? But overall, it's been a blessing for our family and brought us even closer together. To be honest, I thought maybe I would go crazy having the kids home all day everyday, or, that I just wouldn't have the patience for it. But the opposite has been true. I enjoy having them around even more and haven't missed the quieter days, although maybe Caleb has missed having Mommy all to himself at times!

So that is the beginning of our home-schooling journey. We pray that it will continue to go well. It'll probably get harder from here on in as we will make the huge transition to Canada with all of the adjustments and catching up with loved ones, while also awaiting the arrival of the new addition to the family, the Lord willing.  And then we're off to Australia. Somehow school will have to continue through it all! But we know our faithful Father will provide for us in every way.