Monday, February 09, 2009

Preparing To Hit The Books...Mommy-Style

With the beginning of the new year has come a new chapter in our China experience. When the first semester at BISS ended, signaling the beginning of break for the Spring Festival, the inception of our home school adventure moved into sight.

Since BISS has provided Julie and Z with an unforgettable international school experience, it was a bittersweet departure. (Much more difficult than any of us had imagined it would be.) Yet, despite melancholy, the endless possibilities that home school will provide have stirred up excitement in all of us.

As a teacher for 18 years, I have been able to share my knowledge and teaching techniques with thousands of students from New Jersey to North Carolina. To be given the chance to do this with my own children is a rare treat. Sure, parent-to-child teaching goes on daily in every household (actually, so too does child-to-parent teaching!), but to be able to experience the responsibility of teaching all subjects adds real significance to this semester.

The program I have been using to prepare our lessons comes from a Virginia-based company called Seton Catholic Home School. (Thanks for the lead on this, Father Mike!) The plans are clear, concise, and flexible, and are designed to meet the needs of all family situations and the learning speeds of all children. In conjunction with the areas of study, Catholic family values are weaved into each subject, making it a unique opportunity for spiritual growth across the curriculum. The lessons are very traditional but leave plenty of room for innovative teaching and FIELD TRIPS!

Since it is our intention to travel around China as much as we can in the coming months,
this program not only fits our lifestyle by allowing us to make China itself our classroom, it also fits our faith. Despite the sometimes inconvenient logistical nature of being Catholic in China, all four of us will be able to immerse ourselves in Catholic tradition on a daily basis. It will be difficult not to, given that it is woven into the fiber of each day's plans. I am looking forward to all the teaching and the learning we are about to embark on. Why do I get the feeling that I may be the one doing a lot of learning?



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