Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homeschooling in South Sudan

Teaching my youngest how to read

Back in 2007 when we were preparing to come to Sudan and I had a 2 year old and a baby, friends would ask me what we're going to do about the schooling of our children. Our organization also forewarned us that there were no schooling options for our children besides teaching them ourselves at home. Being a teacher myself I was excited about the idea of homeschooling when the time came.

Fast forward 6 years. Now I have a 3rd grader, a 2nd grader and a kindergartener. I live in kind of a remote place with no local library, poor internet connection, heat, and many many distractions. But...I believe this is the IDEAL place to homeschool and I believe my children are getting an incredible education that I would not trade for the world!

Making our own paints with egg and dye in art class

Up until this year I have been teaching my kids on my own, using my own ideas and creativity - which isn't that great. :) This year God has given our family a gift - other families with children who are also homeschooling. Though we each have our own curriculum and do most of our school in our own homes, we have started doing fun classes together as a group. It is soooooo much fun.

Math is more fun together

My teammate, Amie Cross, also taught a fun music class where our children got to learn the different music notes and how to read music. They practiced with tin whistles and a recorder and 6 weeks later could all play "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

Just this last week, our member care teammate came to visit and bring refreshment and encouragement to our team. One of the fun things she did with our children was a 2 hour class on ocean animals. They loved it!

*photo taken by Jonathan Cross

Last weekend, 6 weeks after starting our classes together, we had a special presentation for the rest of our team. The program began with the kiddos playing their much practiced piece: Mary Had a Little Lamb, followed by speeches by everyone, a few songs, and finally a giant potluck complete with two different cakes!!! These children's performances were just precious. Topics of speeches ranged from bats, natural pesticides you can make at home, a pet, and the Code of Knights.

I'm not sure what the Lord has in store for my children's educational needs in the future. But I am so grateful and content with the opportunity they have at this age to live on the Nile River, get school done in 3 hours, learn how to speak Arabic, live in a very different culture and see first hand what it means to live your life as a light for Jesus.

1 comment:

Donna said...

Dear Bethany and Eli (and boys),
I want you to know how proud I am of you all and how you encourage me when I read your blog and see the photos. Homeschooling is (can be) a challenge in the best of circumstances; we don't know what challenges are when we see just what you all (and others) do not have at their disposal. However, I would like to say that in situations like yours is when God really provides the creativity, resourcefulness, and ingenuity to the families teaching their children. I think you are doing a fine job! Praying for you all - much love from Texas! Donna