My family lives in Indonesia on the island of Borneo. It’s a sweaty, tropical city that we call home. It’s always an adventure, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! As with everything in life, homeschooling overseas is all in how you look at it. The lessons I’ve learned living overseas and homeschooling can easily be translated for wherever you live, whether far or near. 1. Planning. When I order our homeschool materials, what I get is what I get. I have to research, choose, and then like what I picked! As I am a sort of fly-by the seat-of-my-pants kind of girl this is REALLY good for me. with planning ahead, I know that I can relax in my choices for the year. How can you plan for the year so that you can relax into it? 2. Exposure. Living overseas has exposed my kids to language, foods, and culture that they never would have experienced had we not lived in a different place. It has grown and stretched them and helped them to see life from a different angle. Is there somewhere you can take your kids to experience a different slice of life, different foods, or even a different language? 3. Prayer. Probably the biggest thing that I have learned about homeschooling overseas is to pray about my anxiety. Will they transition back to American life? Will they hate me forever because they couldn’t play flag football or take violin lessons? Will they be forever scarred living as an “outsider” no matter where they are, here or there? These are the things that can roll around in my brain unless I take them to the Lord in prayer and LEAVE them there. What things can you take to the Lord and trust Him for in your homeschool? 4. Love of Nature- Even though we live in the city, the jungle is all around us and it creeps in on all sides! We will often go for a little jungle hike after school or the kids will just play in the yard with their assortment of animals (which yes, includes a gibbon and a python!). Getting out into nature is one of the best ways to relieve stress, even for mom! We love going into tiny villages as a family with the plane that my husband flies and get one with nature for a few days too! How can you get out into nature? 5. Passion for the Lost My kids don’t have to go far to see need, to see hunger, to see pain. In fact, it lives right around us, on our street, it plays with them in the yard, it eats at our house. I believe this has given them an extra sensitivity to poverty and to reaching out to the lost. How can you bring the lost to your children? Neighbors? Family members? Perhaps a soup kitchen or homeless shelter? These are just some simple lessons that have changed me as I live life and homeschool in the tropics. I hope they encourage you today! Joy is the wife to a missionary pilot and they, along with their five kids, live in Indonesia. Joy is a proud wife, blessed mommy, runner, homeschooler, reader, thinker, home-maker, lover of nature, and most of all, an undeserving recipient of amazing grace, and grateful daughter of God. Joy’s heart is to encourage women to revel in their job as mommy and wife, and to see it as good and needed work. She blogs at Grace Full Mama and you can find her on facebook and twitter.
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