Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Homeschooling in a Foreign Land

Homeschooling in a Foreign Land

|Views: 2|Likes:
“An entire new set of challenges gets added into the mix when you homeschool in a foreign country. That is the situation in which I found myself a few years ago. My foreign country just happened to be the United States!”
“An entire new set of challenges gets added into the mix when you homeschool in a foreign country. That is the situation in which I found myself a few years ago. My foreign country just happened to be the United States!”

More info:

Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on Feb 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Homeschooling in a Foreign Land
Effie Damianidou Hill
We all know that home educating our precious children comes with certain responsibilities:choosing the right curriculum, running the household, teaching, character training, and so
on. It’s all part of the package when we respond to this calling. Now, add
to all these theunique venture of homeschooling in a foreign country. An entire new set of challenges getsadded into the mix. That is the situation in which I found myself a few years ago.
foreigncountry just happened to be the United States!
I laugh when I think back to my first interaction with a homeschool mom. I was a foreignstudent still in graduate school when we met. She proudly showed me her attic, which shehad turned into a schoolroom. I wondered why someone would have such a room in theirhouse. I assumed it was where the children did their homework; the concept of homeschooling was entirely alien to me.Fast-forward several years
one marriage to an American, and three children. I had nowbeen living in the U.S. for a total of seventeen years and had heard several accounts fromfriends about how God had led them to home-educate. This aspect of American culture (likeroot beer and peanut butter) no longer seemed quite as foreign to me. Although I haddeveloped respect for the decision to teach at home, my husband and I opted for private
Christian school. My hesitations, I’m sure, reflected many of the same hesitations others
have: Can I do it? Can I stay sane while doing it? What about socialization? Actually, whatabout
socialization?I had an additional qualm that spurred some earnest soul and Bible searching: I (unlike allthe other homeschoolers I had met) am not American. Could I bring myself to teach thesechildren to spell
without a
? Horror of horrors! What would my own high schoolEnglish teachers think?My husband had encouraged me to home-educate, but he had met with a lot of resistance(from me). I had to figure out if homeschooling was another American tradition . . . likeThanksgiving! I loved turkey and stuffing, but I still did not like pumpkin pie.I decided to go to the Bible and see what it had to say. I saw Deuteronomy 6:6
9 in a newlight:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress themon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them
on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” 
(NIV).How do parents truly obey this command when they are handing their child over to,basically, a stranger for most of the day?This Scripture was a call to all parents, regardless of culture, and I had a unique opportunityto live out this Scripture. Homeschooling is illegal in my home country of Cyprus. I finally
realized the privilege I was being offered and responded with a ―yes‖ to the Lord.
Several other Scriptures also spoke to my heart, verses that transcended culture andaddressed child rearing, regardless of geographic boundaries. Proverbs 22:15 states that
“foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” 
(NKJV). So how does one justify placing a
bunch of 
young fools
together for most of the day during their formative years, especially inview of 1 Corinthians 15:33:
“Bad company corrupts good character” 
(NIV). We had seenfor ourselves the effect of a couple of years of mass schooling, albeit at a private Christianschool, on our oldest son.
Still, there were hurdles to overcome. In God’s time, as I would come across a pie
ce of thehomeschooling puzzle that did not seem right, He would replace it with one that would fitperfectly. The question of heritage was one such piece. I would of course teach my childrentheir American heritage as well. I loved many things about the U.S. and had an appreciationfor its rich history, but there were certain things I simply could not relate to. For example,many American homeschoolers I met spoke at length about their Christian roots and tied itin to their homeschooling journey. What was my heritage? Legend has it that about a milefrom the place where I was born, the Apostle Paul received a beating for preaching theGospel. Hardly something to be proud of, I reasoned. So since I did not have that same richChristian heritage, how did it all fit together?It occurred to me that if Paul had indeed received a beating from my countrymen a longtime ago, and if great hostility toward Evangelical Christianity is still there, that reality couldserve as a good teaching tool for the children. I used it as an opportunity to point out tothem how blessed we are to live in a country where we worship freely and do not fearbeatings.On the other hand, in New Testament times not all my countrymen were hostile to theGospel. What about Barnabas? He was a God-fearing man (Acts 4: 35
37). How could weemulate his faith? He was not a Founding Father of the United States, but he was known forbeing an encourager
he demonstrated Godly character, which transcends time andcountries. How could our family encourage others, as Barnabas did?
This personal lesson in ―Heritage Studies‖ emphasized to me that the Lord will reveal what it
is that
wants us to glean from our unique backgrounds. God has a plan for all peoplegroups, cultures, and nations, and that plan can be celebrated and lessons can be drawnfrom it and shared. Once again, I realized that home education is not an Americantradition
the United States was merely spearheading obedience to this Biblical mandate.What a privilege, in this country, to have the marvelous opportunity to take this path of life
American-born or not!
Survival Tools of a Foreign Homeschool Mom
1. Faith
Trust and be alert when the Lord speaks to you and your children. Just before officiallybeginning schooling at home, the Lord spoke this following Scripture to me from Psalm92:12
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a ce
dar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the L
 , they will flourish in the courts of our God. The
will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, „The L
upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him” 
(NIV). I sensed that the Lordwas saying that as the children were planted in the good soil of the home, they wouldflourish like palm trees. We decided to study palm trees.
2. Humour (or Humor)
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
A Beka
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

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->