Next week, we hope to go to Southeast Asia. I say “hope to” because nothing is ever certain, but also because we still aren’t quite sure if we will be able to get on the plane: we are having some last-minute passport-related excitement and it isn’t quite resolved yet. We are still hoping that it will all be resolved by next Wednesday because that’s when our tickets are booked for. (Yikes)
What this means for schooling is that we are switching homeschool gears for the next few weeks: instead of continuing our “Life in the Sea” study, we have begun the first of our short travel-themed learning “Expeditions.” I don’t have a title for this one (I should ask the kids for suggestions), nor do I have firm “Guiding Questions” to help us frame our studies. It is going to have something to do with how kids live, and what foods they eat. I mean kids in Thailand, or Burma, or China since those are the places we hope to visit. At the moment, we are still in the very early phases, however, so a specific focus is not yet necessary.
We checked out guide books, cook books and any other Thailand/Burma/Cambodia themed books we could get our hands on in the children’s section of the Library. We have looked on Youtube and travel blogs for tips. We are in the process of organizing our own travelogue systems for journaling and photography. We’ve talked about currencies, exchange rates, the geography, religion, climate and political system of Thailand; we’ve talked cuisine and started a list of sights to see in Bangkok, and we are learning some basic greetings and phrases (hello, thank you, goodbye). That’s it so far, but the excitement is growing and that is the important part for now. That, and providing enough background in order to build on until we arrive, and then during our visit.
I am trying to keep the real goals in the forefront of our minds: I hope my kids, and I, and their dad, will all gain a deeper respect for people, and for the varieties of beauty that exist throughout the world. I hope we all learn things we did not know before. I hope we become a closer and more loving family as we spend these weeks together, exploring. I hope we are able to take full advantage of this travel opportunity in every way we know how.
Because travel is fun! And it’s not every day that we get to go to another country! Sure, travel is also tiring, and Southeast Asia is still very hot this time of year even if it is not the hottest season. And probably someone, or several of us will have some sort of tummy trouble along the way, but that’s just a small part of the overall experience (usually). Right? Right?
Maybe I should restrict my dreams to the simple hope that we would all remain healthy–or at least reasonably healthy. Even at home we have our challenges. The battle with headlice is still ongoing although it seems to be less intense over the last week and we are seeing vast improvements. One of us might have pinworms but definitely has a viral skin rash that is now in its fourth or fifth month, and also a cold. We’re fighting other weird skin viruses, too. (I was told when I arrived that such outbreaks are common here on Saipan but I didn’t really appreciate just how many one family could have at a single time!)
Last weekend we had out of town guests staying with us and I went (alone) with them to Guam over the weekend only to come back to Daddy being on a long string of night shifts and car trouble. The passport drama is extra gravy, I guess.
This has most definitely been a can-I-really-pull-off-this-write-your-own-curriculum-thing? kind of week. But like my friend Joy says: “Homeschooling is not for wimps.”
So I am tired and our days are full—hey, what else is new!