As a mother of 5 relatively small children, I sometimes struggle with the decisions we’ve made or are going to make in regards to our children. I guess we all do. Homeschooling was a decision we made years ago when our first daughter was just a baby. It’s worked well for our family. Not without the normal struggles, however. Homeschoolers are excepted for the most part. They have the same liberties as children who attend public schools. But things have changed….
We’ve moved to another country where our children are already feeling the isolation from the cultural barrier. The differences between us and the average Portuguese family are significant. They have one maybe two children, they work constantly and the children are either in school or in after school programs. When they are home they eat, watch TV and go to sleep. They watch us through the windows and wonder why we’re here and why on earth our kids aren’t in school.
The decision to put them in school wasn’t an easy one. It was made with much prayer and consideration for what was best for our kids.
They’ve already had friends come to play several times and the playmates have spent hours here in our home. These friends are my best tutor! I’m not embarrassed to try out my Portuguese on them and they think I’m funny when I mess up. They like me..I guess they think I’m crazy….but it’s great practice! They help my girls with the language as well, always sticking an English word in every now and then.
Today I received a comment on my blog. I don’t know this nice lady but her words were like a balm to my concerned heart….’did we make the right decision?’ Read her words for yourself….
“Hello! My parents were missionaries in Portugal when I was a child. They sent me to a Portuguese school only knowing about 10 words in Portuguese. I am so excited to hear you sent your children. I like to share this experience with those who are curious. It was honestly the best decision my parents ever made for us children. We spoke Portuguese fluently within three months. All of us children had a burden for the Portuguese people (my brother is returning to Portugal as a missionary, and my husband and I are going to England. Anyway…I’m very happy for your children. They will relate to the Portuguese children and brake the barriers that lay between them. They will grow to appreciate the Portuguese customs and culture. I’m thrilled for your family. You will find things are very different in school over there….sometimes my teacher just wouldn’t show up! I am still close to my classmates and when I go to Portugal to visit my brother I’m planning on visiting my teacher (you keep the same teacher 1-4 grade). We were able to see many of our classmates come to Sunday School and visit with there families to share God’s plan of salvation. Also, my father had the privilege to teach English in our school. This gave him many opportunities to make even more contacts. Wow, this is long…I’m sorry, it’s just very special to me! My blog is “theruwersmafamily.blogspot.com“
Thank You Anna! God Bless you for your words of encouragement! We will be in prayer for you and your husband as you go to England and for your brother as he comes to Portugal! Praise the Lord for fellow laborers in this barren field!