Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day Twenty-Eight: Homeschooling In Africa

There's a whole world that is beyond the one I know to be "real life". It's filled with Sisters-in-Christ who, by way of technology, are now in my acquaintance and a few, I call friends. I may never hug them when their blog post aches in pain or hear their laughter when the joy of celebration fills my screen, or pray aloud with them over burdens, but friends, indeed we are. For these women, I am grateful. Rebecca has been a reader of my blog and I have prayed for her to become married and as we correspond about her adventures in Africa, I'd like to share them with you. How small the world seems when blogging and emailing brings us together.
Rebecca and her husband, Leon
You can find Rebecca's blog here. Please drop by and say hello!

1. What made you decide to move to Africa and how did you become involved in homeschooling?

I moved to Zambia after my husband and I were married in May, 2013.  He is a dairy farmer and has lived most of his life on this farm.  I started homeschooling my two nieces (ages 8 and 9) because I was the least busy on the farm when I moved here plus I have my degree in Elementary Education.  It was an absolute joy to begin homeschooling.
2. What curriculum do you use and is it convenient to find materials and resources where you live?

We use the ACE curriculum.  The books we use come from South Africa.  There's an entire ACE school system there.  They even have their own ACE South Africa books for the students. Sometimes, it's difficult to get the books here but it's simply because of a shortage of materials being printed there in SA.

3. What is the general feeling of the people in your area? Support? Curiosity? Negativity?

Most ex-pats send their children to boarding school.  There's a small homeschooling community among missionary children and a few ex-pats.  I wouldn't say there is negativity towards homeschooling.  People simply view it as our choice.
(Wikipedia: An expatriate--sometimes shortened to expat--is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person's upbringing.)
checking for mail from U.S. pen-pals :)

4. What are some of the challenges to homeschooling in Africa?

The biggest challenge I have found is the availability of resources (outside of curriculum).  Science and art supplies are very hard and expensive to come by.  There is no public library with an immense amount of books for the girls to use.  Art supplies and books are my main challenges right now.  :) On a positive note, homeschooling is very flexible here.  We can go for walks in the nice weather whenever we want.  There are lots of bugs and small animals for observation.  Not having many resources causes me to become more resourceful and optimistic than I typically would in the States where resources and good deals abound!

5. What are your goals for your own family?

When we have children, I'd like to use a more diverse curriculum.  I also have a goal to buy as many used books as possible when I go back to the States.  :)
trying to get the water lily out of the dam
6. What advice could you offer to other homeschoolers?

Well, I'm a very new homeschooler but I am learning for myself the importance of being flexible!!  I came from a very traditional school so it has been different to homeschool.  But it was always my dream to homeschool my children and I get to live that out through my nieces right now.  But I tell myself often that I need to be flexible!!  Homeschooling is supposed to be fun as well as full of learning.

Thank you sooo much for sharing your journey with us, Rebecca and congratulations on you marriage and new beginning!
Don't forget to say hi and encourage Rebecca!


Camille said...

It's lovely to *meet* one of your friends, Heather. Thank you for sharing some of their story here. I hopped over to visit and left a message at Rebecca's place. Have a wonderful day! Hugs to you! Camille

Holly Leis said...

I LOVE this post! Achuma, our World Vision friend is from South Africa, so we are always interested in what life is like there. Just hearing about how hard it is to come by art supplies has been helpful as now we know what to include in our next package to her!