Many days as I am grabbing a taxi or if I meet someone at the store and begin some small talk, they will inevitably ask me where my children go to school. In the States if I tell people I homeschool they usually understand what that means and we can continue our conversation. Here in Nepal homeschooling is not a thing. Many people going to school are the first generation to be able to read and write. They seem to appreciate that going to school is a privilege. So, here in Nepal when I tell people I homeschool they give me a blank stare and ask what that means. I often tell them I am the teacher at home and I get my material and curriculum from the US. That will usually suffice, so I tend to stop there. Since I am asked this question weekly I thought some of you might want to know what I do here in Nepal and what our schooling looks like.
First of all, I am finishing my second year of homeschooling. I am not one that feels naturally drawn to homeschooling, but I think it is a great fit for our time here in Nepal. Before we left I signed up with a local homeschool group who submits our paperwork to the state and handles all of the legal things. I have a great support teacher that sends an assessment over every year to see how the kids are doing and records it in their files. I am held accountable by her and if I have any questions or am struggling in some areas she is a great resource to ask if I know I need improvement.
I am able to pick my curriculum, so every year I have to order it a bit ahead of time and have someone bring it over. This is usually one of the harder parts as it is so heavy. I know other homeschoolers here who use many online products, but this has worked for me so I want to stick with it. We have school everyday, duh, and usually our days can be a bit flexible. Every week I fill out a planner for each child and what they have to do for that week. The kids have book work that they have to do on their own. They can complete that whenever they want, but I usually like it done before we have group time. We do all our history/geography, science and read aloud together. I can usually tweek things just a bit for each grade level so at least we are doing those things together. We can usually finish school by 1 or 2 and in the afternoons we do activities or we do art.
I have a Nepali tutor who comes three days a week so I have to be available for that which is in the mornings. There are not a ton of extracurricular activities to do here, but we have found a piano teacher who comes to the house weekly. Josiah is also involved in a baseball practice which he loves to go to every week. Most weeks we are busy with something, but I have to be pretty creative with things we can do. There is a Co-op here in Kathmandu and we meet up with other families about every month. This has been a very fun time for my kids and we all enjoy meeting the other families.
The other thing I love about homeschooling here is the flexibility it gives us in travel. We have been able to go places for longer periods of time and not miss out on school because I bring it with us! I love being able to go to the Netherlands, United States, Pokhara or other places and still do some school and make things a bit more hands on. I am hoping this will be one of the richest things we have done for our kids in giving them a wider view of the world.
Although homeschool has been a lot of work, I am hoping that it will be some rich memories for the kids as they grow older. Until later!