Help - New and need a plan for learning in Kenya! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-27-2012, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,

 

I am like a fish out of water here, and hoping you experienced Mom's can help me.

 

We will be moving to Kenya for 6-9 months (to adopt)... and I will need to homeschool my children there. DD wil be in grade 4 and DS will be going into grade 3. She is advanced, and he struggles a bit more. They both have been going to a very good catholic school here in BC.

 

I am so new to this, and all the info is quite overwhelming. I understand there is a difference between DL and Homeschooling... but not sure what would work best for us. Internet connection may not be completely reliable in Kenya, but necessary for my work. I would prefer something that combined both online learning and booklets. Preferably not something too structured with lots of reporting or submitting work. I also would like a curriculum that would best take advantage of all that Kenya has to offer! - but don't even know where to get a curriculum guideline from ! lol. I would also prefer to be in a program that hopefully subsidized or provided the material.

 

If anyone can steer me in the right direction, I would be very grateful!

 

Thank you!!

 

Jolene

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#2 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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As long as you are not in BC, you don't have to report anything (assuming that kenya doesn't have mandatory schooling laws?) I really wouldn't be able to tell you if you even have to report anything while you are living in BC, you'd have to look into your provincial laws. In my state, I do not legally have to tell anyone that I am homeschooling, but if my son is previously enrolled in school, I have to tell them that I am withdrawing him from school or else he will be considered truant. 

 

Have you looked into unschooling or putting together your own curriculum? There are tons of free online curriculums, and I like the idea behind FIAR(Five in a Row) and unit studies programs. I will probably do a FIAR inspired program with my son, though we will probably not work from the same exact books that they use.

 

Many parents chose to pick and choose books from different pre-made curriculums (i.e. math from one company, science from another company, and there are even companies that sell homeschooling books for religious studies if that is something you are interested in)

 

I would suggest to do the next level in math for each child, and continue with reading/spelling/grammar. With homeschooling, you don't have to sit with your children and hold their hand every step of the way, you don't have to teach the lesson if the child understands it from reading their text/work book. They can come to you for help when you need it.

 

All of the other subjects can be taught to take advantage of your new temporary location. Take lots of field trips, learn about the culture, history, and geography of Kenya. Go to the museums and national monuments and after going to a place, you can talk/write/learn about the different aspects of it. If you plan to return to the same school your children are in now, talk to the school and see if they will give you the guideline of their curriculum for the year that your children are missing, so they will be at the same level when you return to the school. (If they are studying Canadian history, maybe you want to touch on that with them, etc.)

 

Hope this helps, my son is barely a preschooler, but we will be homeschooling him, and we plan to do some country-hopping with him, so I've looked into this kind of stuff :)

 

 


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#3 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 03:34 PM
 
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With a window abroad as short as 6 months, you'll likely keep BC as your primary residence, in which case it would facilitate your kids' re-entry into the school system if you jump through at least the minimal hoops required to homeschool officially. There's no need to join a DL program unless you feel that offers real advantages to you. If you choose not to enroll with a DL program you only need to sign a form for each of your kids at your local school to declare them as homeschoolers. No reporting, and you may be able to borrow textbooks from the school; they're supposed to allow you to do so if they have extras. Having said that, since your kids do not currently attend the local public school, they may not be highly motivated to dig up those extra textbooks for you.

 

If you want financial and/or more robust curriculum support, you might look at a DL program. Most have reasonable flexibility at the Grade 3 & 4 levels. My all-time favourite DL program is SelfDesign, but I would suggest that it might not be the best choice for you. While it allows complete free rein in terms of designing your own course and pace of study, and richly supports individualization of learning and of family homeschooling style, it does require weekly reporting and it offers no curricular support. Instead you might look at TLA (Traditional Learning Academy) or your local public school district's DL program. Local school district programs often have curriculum available for loan, stuff you can look over and browse through. TLA is apparently reasonably flexible with low level reporting obligations. 

 

Good luck!

 

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#4 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your reply!

 

I will look into FIAR... and I will speak with our school. I think if I can get a cirriculum from them, I will have a better idea of what I am doing, and can revise it from there based on ideas from other cirriculum sites, and what we have at our disposal in Kenya.

 

My daughter learned about spiders last year and now is fascinated with them, so being able to study all of the wonderful plant and animal life in Kenya will be super fun!!

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#5 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think we posted at the same time Miranda! Thank you, you have given me some great advice. I will talk to our school, and then the local public school. I will also contact TLA and see what they have to say.

 

I'm hoping our local school should be able to guide us along. If we sign up with them as homeschoolers, and they assisted us - would they not get the public funding delegated for these two?... which should inspire them to provide us with some material?

 

The school is independent - so they get half public funding.

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#6 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 03:52 PM
 
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The local public school will not get any funding worth speaking of on your behalf if you're only registering as homeschoolers with them (i.e. signing the declaration form through their office). They do get a little funding, but it's only around $200. Typically the most you'll get from this arrangement would be the option to borrow a few surplus textbooks.

 

If on the other hand you enroll as students through your public school district's DL program (which is usually administered as if it's a distinct -- but only virtual -- school within the district), the DL program will get the full ~$5K of per-student funding. As such they're going to be charged with offering you the services of a liaison teacher, evaluations, support services, assistance with curriculum, guidance, support in purchasing materials or paying for learning services (music lessons, swim team fees, etc.) and all that. 

 

Your current independent school may be happy to loan you some curriculum materials unofficially since they'll assume you'll be returning to their fold once you're back in Canada. They won't have the funding to provide you with more substantial support unless they've gone through the fairly onerous process of applying to the Ministry of Education to set up their own DL program. 

 

HTH!

 

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#7 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you truly 'homeschool' then, do you get the 5k per kid? Geez, that would pay for some pretty nice safaris and a lot of materials!! lol

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#8 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 05:44 PM
 
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No! You get nothing. The $5K+ is the per-capita funding that the Ministry provides to whatever school is providing your child's education. If there's no school (or DL school) in charge of educating your child, there's no funding. If there was, I can see baby-making being a fairly lucrative prospect. People could live off their kids education allowances if they had five or six of 'em. nut.gif

 

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#9 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lol... yes, I guess that could be bad encouragement in the hands of the wrong people - and then we may also end up with a large number of uneducated home school kids. But still, you would think they would offer a credit at a supply store or reimbursement for piano lessons... or something!

 

I have contacted a local DL program here in Nelson - hopefully I hear back from them on Monday.

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#10 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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LOL, you're in Nelson? I'm in New Denver, and I come to Nelson every week for Corazon rehearsal for my kids! Small world!

 

There are some good people working at HomeLinks. Catherine L. is definitely a keeper, for instance. They have a fair bit of curriculum for loan and a big room full of stuff to look through. I'll bet you'll feel in good hands with them.

 

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#11 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is a small world! And you just became my local 'go' to for DL info! lol.

 

I will google Catherine at Home Links! Thank you!

 

What is Corazon?

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#12 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just found your blog... and followed. Your pizza looks delicious! (Making me hungry...;)

 

Looking forward to browsing through and getting some good HS tips!

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#13 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 07:58 PM
 
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Corazon Vocal Ensemble, and auditioned choir for youth 13-23. One of the best things to ever happen to my teens. 

 

I'll PM you with my email addy.

 

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#14 of 16 Old 01-28-2012, 10:41 PM
 
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There are so many options it can be pretty overwhelming, IMO.  In our area (fraser valley), there are a ton of places you can register as a homeschooler and get $150-200/kid -that is just for registering as a "homeschooler".  If you want more $$ ($1000/kid if you find all the cirriculum, less if they supply it), then you agree to be a part of distance learning and you have to report to a teacher and such (so you are not a "homeschooler" but a "distance learner"). 

 

We have done DL this year (K) and it is me writing a short thing about our week every week.  I don't mind it because it is nice to summarize what we do anyway. :)  I think if you choose a cirriculum for a general core of what you are doing, then it is easy to report.  The "teacher" has photocopies of my tables of contents/stuff covered in my books, so I can just report what pages or chapters or weeks we did and she knows what we did - I don't have to write out all the details.  We do lots of learning that is not reported by me, but I figure I report what is adequate for the gov't understanding that the kids are learning, and we just learn besides that too.

 

Our school has an online system with the Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) for the year available (I think the ministry of ed website has lists too, but the online reportcard like style the school has actually makes sense to me, whereas the ministry site stuff seemed confusing... but it has been some months so maybe I would understand that now too).  PLOs are what teachers are expected to cover at schools, and what our "teacher" matches our work up with for us.  I can also look at the PLOs and get ideas for things that are normally covered in the classroom, so if my kids enter school they will not be behind.

 

There are a number of Christian schools that do this (if that is why you do Catholic school, IDK).  A big one we don't use but friends do is Heritage Online Christian School.  http://www.onlineschool.ca/  There was a very flexible un-schooling like Christian one I found last fall that I considered... http://www.estreams.ca/

 

A lot of people also do it through the local public school district distance learning.  You can get full cirriculum, if you like. 

 

I am not sure how the reporting works, but I think it would be pretty easy to discuss your situation with any individual school you may be interested in and see how they think they could work with you.

 

I found that I first had to decide if I was willing to try out reporting once a week (it hasn't been as tedious as I thought it would be).  Then it was to pick a school that would give us the flexibility we wanted (but I wanted social group time as a part as well, so the availability of that in our "school" played a big part in our choice).

 

What a wonderful adventure your family is undertaking! 

 

Tjej

 

 

 

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#15 of 16 Old 01-29-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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I know this isn't homeschool specific, but you might want to check on some of the ExPat forums and see what people recommend.  There may be curricula that are great fits for Kenya.  Granted, many Expat kids attend International schools which are way overpriced--but not all do. :)  Try Googling expat and kenya and see what you find. :)


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#16 of 16 Old 01-31-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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I haven't read the posts, but if I were you, I'd maybe bring math workbooks so your kids could pick back up when they return to their school. Otherwise, I wouldn't bring much.  Some books to keep them reading. They are going to get an amazing education just BEING in another country. They will be learning foreign language (just some exposure), science (new weather systems and patterns, animals, natural science), social studies/cultures and religion.  They should explore and take in as much as they can, for this trip will stay with them forever.  If you are in need of a routine, "school" can be letters written home and to friends, journaling, reading, cooking, crafting.  They could also work with their current or future teacher to "report" home on what they've learned. They can share that education.  This could be written or oral (take videos).  I'm clearly on the more relaxed end of the spectrum, so just putting in my 2 cents!  Enjoy your time together as your family grows!

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