Thursday, September 8, 2011
 While we're here in India, I've decided to homeschool my children. Not because the schools are of bad quality here - in fact, they are probably better than many in the United States. But my kiddos are young, and Timothy had already finished a year of pre-school in the wonderful Berryhill school system. Tim loves school. Everything about school.

Random photo of Tim after he completed all his lessons with no mistakes.

So why did I decide to homeschool? Mostly because I wanted to KNOW what they were learning. There are several different syllabuses followed here in India, and none of them exactly match up with the US grade levels. Plus, it's scary enough to send your child down the street to a teacher you know is fully credentialed and experienced. I've found it's much worse to think about sending them to a school I'm not even familiar with. Somehow the words "don't worry, you'll be fine" as he's scared about being shoved in a classroom with a bunch of strangers just don't sound truthful anymore.

Because yes, most people speak English here. But it's not the English we're used to. There have been many times I've run across the hall for my neighbor when I'm having trouble understanding a serviceman. She helps translate the English to English I'll understand.

And I hated to put my kids in this position. Timothy is at an important age - when he takes all those letters he's been singing about all summer (thank you Mrs. Cannon - I hear Apple Annie in my sleep!) and learns to form words with them. Can you imagine learning Phonics in a classroom where no one pronounces the finished words like you do? I can't. I have a new empathy for ESL kids.

Anyway, the obvious downside to homeschooling is the lack of social interaction. And for Tyler, he's missing his Preschool year, which is when, along with letters, you also learn the important art of listening and sitting still (oh my!). I worried that I'd brought them to India to experience a different culture, only to closet them away in an apartment building.

But Tyler made me feel better, when today he answered a question "yes", not with the American nod, but the Indian head bobble! Turns out we'll learn something here after all.

So - I still get worried I'm messing up their education for life, but the worry happens less and less often.

I might miss a few things here and there, but one this is certain - my kids will be one of the few Americans who can say "yes" with two different body languages!

And another random photo of Timothy's handwriting and vocabulary practice. He'll be a reader before we know it.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry Lorenda, you won't break them. They will learn really awesome stuff during your trip. Both boys are very bright, so don't stress about "keeping up" with the American education system. The things they will learn in India will more than make up for any missed curriculum! Sounds like you are doing a great job!

Jean Dockers

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