A little over a year ago we were making some of the toughest decisions of our life. Do we go? Do we stay? What gets tossed? What gets stored? What goes? Getting ready for an overseas move brings many decisions and often new ones by the minute. Some you can plan for, some catch you completely off guard.
A little over a year ago we chose to send our kids to an international school in Singapore. We had to decide this very early because deposits needed to be made to reserve their spot. The good schools here often do not have space available if you wait too long.
We had been homeschooling Jakeb, then 10th grade, and Anna, then 4th grade, for that school year and had tossed around the idea of continuing that since we enjoyed it and it would give us great flexibility in travelling and in our schedule since our oldest and a few others we care for would be in Texas. We thought, prayed, researched, emailed, prayed and prayed some more and decided to go with the international schools here. We were moving to where we knew no one and keeping the kids and us in a potentially reclusive lifestyle could just be bad.
I recently posted about their school here. For the most part it has been a positive experience. It has just become increasingly evident that for various reasons this school is not a fit for Anna. I must say, though, that getting to know three ladies, Jennifer (Anna’s teacher) and Lisa and Faith (sweet young ladies in the school office) have been worth anything we have endured.
More decisions coming… A couple of months ago we began praying and researching and thinking once again as to what would be best for Anna, her spiritual foundation, her education and her overall well-being. We found a great Christian international school, ICS, and we were, of course, open to homeschooling. We toured ICS and were pleased with what we saw and heard. This did not help our decision in the least.
Enter Anna… At this point we needed to involve her and allow her the opportunity to pray with us. She knew that she didn’t get to make the decision but being able to be a part of it was important to us. She was thrilled (understatement) when we told her she would not be going to the same school next year. She was also open for ICS or homeschool. This also did not help us in our decision.
I’ll go ahead and put you out of your misery now. What did we choose??? We chose homeschool.
Now I can tell you why and how we came to that decision and it’s really not all that exciting. Sometimes God’s answers are just simple and matter of fact. I prayed for a major confirmation. I prayed to be knocked over the head so it would be completely clear what He wanted us to do. We got clear but it was simple and matter of fact.
(These are in no certain order.)
Reason 1: If Anna was at another school, her holiday calendar would differ from Jakeb’s and would be a pain for travelling. That probably sounds superficial but even our trips home to Texas would be more difficult to coordinate.
Reason 2: Tommy’s company agreed to rewrite our FAA (Foreign Assignment Agreement) and include homeschooling as an option. Basically, they’ll pay for the curriculum. Not necessary, but way nice!
Reason 3: Tommy’s length of contract here seems to change by the day sometimes. We might be here for another year or another 18 months or another 21 months. If we put Anna in another school next year that would mean she could end up in 3 different schools in 3 years. We could not do that to her.
Reason 4: Goes along with reason 3. She has had little consistency in her life over the last year. Homeschooling her with a potential move in a year or so at least gives her one thing that will remain constant.
Reason 5: Flexibility in schedule. With Jakeb graduating in another year and likely going back to Texas for college, we’ll have 2 kids there and having the freedom to travel back or to travel wherever as we like without worrying about school holidays will be terrific.
So, that’s it in a nutshell and we’re excited about it! No clarity being pounded over our heads. No lightening strike confirmation. Just matter of fact reasoning that make perfect sense. That was a weighty and lengthy decision making process for us because it is the life of our child. We did not take it lightly. We’re happy to have that decision settled. Now maybe I can grow my fingernails back.
Anna is excited about homeschooling too but mostly not wearing uniforms anymore. Tommy told her we were coming up with our own Stunz Family School uniform. haha! She’s also pretty excited to not have to get up at 6am.
I’m excited about being “Teacher Mom” once again and Tommy is honing his “Principal Dad” skills. I’m super excited about getting to go to the cool places here we haven’t been to. Museums, Parks, Gardens, etc. and working on service projects with her. Being the third child for almost 11 years now, I’m excited for her to get the chance to be more like the first child.
And even more decisions… We are currently digging in and researching curriculum choices and praying once again that He will lead us to the right studies. We’ve had some great advice from trusted homeschool veterans and we could not be more grateful. There’s so much out there and alot of it is really good! I’m sure we’ll keep you updated on what we choose and how things are going. The fun parts and the not so fun parts. We did the last time.
Afterall, it’s all still part of our adventure.