Sunday, January 28, 2007

Homeschooling overseas

When we were stationed in Italy there were two homeschooling familes in our building. Instead of learning about Roman times from books and videos, they took field trips downtown to the Pozzouli ampitheater and drove to Pompeii for picnics. They went on a tour of the local pasta factory and went to the abbey with us to help harvest olives. I'm not saying that the DOD school kids never went to the Archeological Museum or Herculanium, but my neighbor's kids left base every week to visit an educational site and often went to the local markets to pick out fruit, chat with the vendors, and enjoy an Italian pastry (yum!). They were exposed almost daily to the local culture, not shut off behind a steel fence.

This article's writer twists, perhaps not deliberately, a mom's words on the positives of homeschooling overseas.
With her husband in the military, Kim said her family, like many other military families, has had to move around a lot. They lived in Germany for seven years, and not knowing the language or culture, made homeschooling Kody an even better option.

"A lot of military families homeschool because they move so much," she said. "But with homeschooling you don't get the learning gaps, because every school uses different curriculum. They can pick up where they left off."
Our family will soon do the PCSing thing again. I am so grateful I don't have to worry about looking for a house in the right school district, or the kids being behind/ahead because our school will move right along with us. We will continue to have the same quality books, the same strict teachers, and the same high expectations. I'm already excited about new opportunities to visit local sights and learn new things. While North Carolina might not be as historically rich as Southern Italy, I'm sure we can find lots of neat places to go and interesting things to see.

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