Log in The EAST side of Africa

Homeschooling Third Culture Kids

03.05.13 1 Comment

What comes to mind when you hear the word “homeschool?”  For me, “homeschool” is synonymous with “torture.”  Give me a class of 25 17-year-old kids and I’m good.  Give me a room with my two and four year old and . . . . whoa!  I have never desired or felt called to homeschool, but God has been good through this year and taught our family so much about what we are capable of!

Homeschooling is hard enough, but add in the fact that you have to teach kids who do not fit in to any particular culture and it ramps up the difficulty.

What money system do you teach?  (dollars or shillings)

What seasons do you teach?  (Spring/Fall/Winter/Summer or Rainy/Dry)

What language do you teach them to count in?  (English or Luo)

What country do you teach them to feel patriotic towards?  (America or Uganda)

Whose curriculum standards do you follow?  (Alabama or Gulu)

It is easy to say, “Just teach them both.”  How much time do you have in your day?  How much of an attention span do the kids you interact with have?  Mine barely can sit for one curriculum, we can’t do two.  So, if we pick one . . . which one?  Can you pick?  Where is the priority?  Which is better?  The questions and problems are endless, but God gave me such a peace about it all today . . .

In the Bible storybook that comes with our curriculum, there was a picture of a “Bible-time town.”  It read: “How would you like to live in this Bible-time town?  Your life would be much different if you did . . . The stores are not like ours, either.  People sell things in little booths.  Can you find the town well?  People get water from it with a pot or bucket.  What else do you see that is different from your town.”  Tristan’s reply, “That looks like Gulu!”  Yep, and sounds like it too.  We live in an environment much closer to Biblical times than we did in America.  Teaching the stories of the Bible are so much easier here.  Our kids are experiencing things that it is nearly impossible to get American kids to understand or grasp.

I may struggle to explain the concepts of snow, falling leaves, working railway systems, traffic laws (really, any laws at all), and the need to wear clothes to school.  But, my kids are learning so much just by living life in another culture.  No curriculum could ever do justice to experience. My kids may not find it possible to “fit in” to any particular culture.  They may not know everything they should about both cultures.  But, they will know the true meaning of “Kingdom culture” and understand all that God feels it is important to know.


  • Linda Spain says:

    Those are worthy goals! Hang in there, it is evident that the Lord is giving you and Matt the wisdom, discernment, and direction in your homeschooling endeavor just as He does in everything else that you do.