There are many instances when a good sense of humor will overcome an obstacle. Forinstance, I was under the impression that I had lost most of my non-American accent
thatis, until we did . . . spelling. Sometimes, one of the children would get a word wrong due to
my pronunciation. I’m a little wiser now. I no longer
use a curriculum where there are pre-tests. Better that the child sees the word first!
3. Be Willing to Learn With Your Kids
Some universal subjects, such as math, are often taught differently in other countries. Iswallowed my angst and relearned the American way of adding fractions. No harm done, aslong as the child can successfully do what is required in the end. In some cases it worked toour advantage, as I knew about a shortcut that was not in the American book.
Some subjects are not universal. I made this discovery quickly! Consider, for example,American history. We bought some books and checked some out from the library, and wehad a special time just reading (and learning together) about how this country had beenfounded. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how rich and interesting it all was.Then there was phonics. Although I had learned English at a young age, the phonics methodhad not been included in my education. I had visions of my older two children, who hadbeen taught to read at the Christian school, of being Nobel Prize winners in Literature whilethe third
child sat by, forlorn, because ―he was homeschooled from the beginning and hismother never managed to teach him to read.‖ I’ve traveled the world, I have a master’s degree in French literature, I’ve studied six
languages (and am fluent in four), but . . . kindergarten phonics still left me weak in theknees. What on earth is the difference between a short and long vowel, I pondered?I meticulously poured over the
cs teacher’s manual. It was easier than I
thought it would be, but one thing caught me by surprise: how deeply, deeply satisfying itwas to teach my child to read. My youngest son read his first sentence to
With phonics under my belt, I tackled teaching my son about money. I wondered why anickel was actually worth less than a dime although a nickel was bigger in size. Thankfully,our first-grader did not question the logic of this discrepancy. Then there were all the
Presidents on the money! I didn’t know who they were! Again, the teacher’s manual came
to the rescue.
4. Embrace Your Own Culture
Having one or both parents from another culture can really add to the children’s
homeschooling experience. There is great value in being exposed to the cultures of othercountries. I reminded the children of places we had traveled and tied it in with theirschooling. When we studied the ancient world, for example, I showed them the pictures of times when they had played among ancient Greek ruins, trying to guess what all of it was.I also taught them some deeper spiritual truths. No matter where they live or where theywere born (two here, one overseas) we have this in common: we are all descendants of
Adam in need of redemption through Jesus’ sacrifice.
Finally, having come to the States in my twenties I could not base my decision tohomeschool on how bad or good American public schools were. I had received a stellarpublic school education overseas. At my school, we began every day with a hymn, prayer,a
nd reading from God’s Word. But it really comes down to a Biblical mandate—
the issue is