I was wondering if there were any missionary moms out there using SCM. I have been using it this year for my two oldest, and have loved it, but am wondering about how feasible it will be when we go overseas in 2016. We are trying to get as many resources as possible on Kindle so that we won’t need to ship a lot of books with us. With the prospect of homeschooling four when our younger two begin school it’s somewhat daunting to thing about all of the resources we are going to need to have WITH us if we are going to accomplish SCM homeschooling in a third world context. If anyone wants to weigh in, I would really appreciate it.
Hi, we are missionaries to the Philippines and we use SCM. Next month we complete our first year here. I used SCM for a year before we came to the field and have really enjoyed it and plan to use it and have no plans to change. We are not quite third world although we don’t have all the conveniences of the US so just the daily things in life take a lot of time. I am also in the midst of language study, which is a huge time commitment as well, so balancing everything is a daily struggle. But I love our life here and I have really enjoyed homeschooling. I have five children- 13, 10,6,4,and 1. We use Five in a Row for prek and k and SCM year 2 for the other grades. In regards to books, I actually think for a living books curriculum, SCM is pretty digital friendly. All the manuals, SCM published books, Visits, and picture study are digital. Also some of the books recommended can be digital as well. My biggest struggle is getting reading materials for my children. We use free out of print books and buy kindle books- but buying kindle books can get expensive.
I would be happy to answer specific questions. I will also say that while I really enjoy my life here, it has been a challenge. And while you can think through how things will work, it is such a different life than you are used to it is hard to realistically think through every scenario. But reading with my children and doing family lessons were two of the things I loved about homeschooling and i wanted to continue them. SCM emphasizes a lifestyle of learning that has really fit t into our lifestyle here.
I am excited for you as you prepare to move overseas.
Thanks for your input! I would love to chat more sometime if you’re willing. It’s encouraging to hear that your family is making it work. I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to give up on SCM because we have really been enjoying it.
What do you do for science? I hadn’t ever looked at Five In a Row before, but will be looking at that more for this coming year. We will have one starting K after summer so I’ll be looking for more resources soon.
We are planning on going to West Africa, but will be in a city for the first year to two years learning French, so I don’t know if it would technically classify as third world there either. It will be interesting to see what our schedule ends up looking like because my husband and I will both be doing language learning as well. I’m sure it will be a daily challenge as you said.
Thanks again for your answer! It is one less worry knowing that others are doing it, and it is at least possible.
Feel free to email me. I will include my email address at the end of the post. I don’t have all the answers. But I will be happy to share with you what we do and lessons I have learned.
While, it really is less glamorous than it sounds and there have been many bumps along the road, I have really been so glad that we homeschool. It made the transition for the children easier and I love how we as a family are growing and learning together. If I had just younger children, I would focus more on the basics and have good historical/culturally- rich read alouds to read as a family. Also, find things that your kids could do on their own. They have a lot more free time than I do and I want their time to be used profitably. The other thing is I like to make things as pick up and go and just do the next thing. There are so many interruptions, that you just can’t plan for and it is helpful to just do the next thing rather than trying to make have detailed plans that you are constantly rearranging.
pinecone304 at yah…
I wanted to mention that digital also has the benefit of not being destroyed. Termites, other bugs, mold and water damage also destroy books. There is also less storage in most homes overseas than in the US. So while I love print books, we go digital whenever possible even if initially it is more expensive.
We are able to ship reasonably here, but most countries that is not The case. If mission teams come over, you can have them bring books.
I have six boxes in my mom’s attic. One for each module. I have lists of all the books I own, so that I can order them and have them sent to someone in the US and then delivered to me. I need to plan six months to a year in advance.
One benefit that I have found is that I have to make what I have work. I was always tempted in the US to try new things and switch things up, but I really can’t now. I struggled making decisions, I have found personally that I like having fewer choices.VevemeParticipant
We are also missionaries in the Philippines (remote area) and have 5 children, ages 10, 9, 7, 3 and 1. I am really enjoying SCM and a lot of what I use is digital or online. We do have fairly reliable satellite internet where we are, but sometimes I do have to wait until we go to a bigger town to download things that take a quicker connection.
I don’t have any trouble at all with downloading kindle books here in our village though. I have found that many of the recommended living books are available for free on kindle or at very low cost.
One thing I really love is our family school time when we do most of our subjects all together- Scripture memorization, family Bible time, poetry, picture study, science (Apologia Zoology 1 this year), history (Story of the World- audio), hymn study, etc. These are all things that we spread out over the week. Our family school time lasts for about an hour to an hour and a half or so total and then the children do their individual subjects.
I am hoping to add in the local language soon as part of our school week- and I will learn too! My husband is studying language full time at the moment and I get what I can. 🙂
In the Philippines it is very common to employ local helpers in the home, so we do have a helper who watches my 1 and 3 year olds for 1.5 hours each morning. It is a blessing to have the help and be able to spend that time with the older kids and know that the younger ones are looked after. I’m not sure if it is similar where you are headed but perhaps there will be some help available for you to be able to homeschool as well as learn the language. 🙂
It’s wonderful to hear of other families that are making it work overseas! And very encouraging to me. Every time I look for a book I try to get it on Kindle before anything else.
I do have a question about history. With the Story of the World, do you use that as your main history lesson? I haven’t really looked at it as of yet, but the thought of having something on audio is intriguing. I really like the Genesis-Deuteronomy study that we are doing this year, but it is more time intensive as far as my facilitation. I’m not sure how that will work when I’m doing language and culture study.
We will have someone to help with the kids for the first 6 months or so that we are there, and will have some house help as well, so I know that will take some of the burden off. I just know that language study is so intensive, and exhausting, so I’m wondering how well my brain is going to be holding up for homeschooling as well 😉
As I said, it’s encouraging to hear of other mom’s who are tackling it and still love SCM for it!VevemeParticipant
Yes, we’ve been using the SOTW as our main history lesson. We are using the first book, Vol. 1, about Ancient Times. We have been using the SOTW Activity Book by Bauer as well. We listen to the audio together, then do some narration and map work. Often we will look up some more info on what we learned that day. My kids usually color the coordinating lesson’s coloring page while they listen. The Activity Book includes many activities, crafts, games and additional material. It also has a list of extra literature you can use to fill out the lesson.
Next year we are going to move on to SOTW Vol. 2. I have found some nice lapbook resources online to go with the books so I’m thinking of doing those instead of ordering the activity book again, just because I didn’t feel that I utilized it enough. We will still do narration and I will try to find the appropriate maps.
The audio is really nice to have. I appreciate having the break from reading aloud and the kids enjoy hearing a different voice. 🙂
Sidenote: we know some fellow missionaries who are running a French culture and language acquisition program in West Africa… 🙂
How neat! We have quite a few friends who recently arrived in the Philippines to begin missionary work there! 🙂
Thanks for your info on SOTW. I’ll keep looking into it as I work through ironing out our curriculum choices for the next two years.
If you have time I was wondering if you would mind sharing how you do narrations? This is our first year of CM, and I am fumbling my way through narrations. I’m going to research it some more this weekend, but I can’t help feeling like our narrations are rather awful. Just curious.
I’ve been following this discussion as I just started using SCM this year. I have 5 boys ages 7, 6, 4, 2, and 1. Only 2 are in school right now, but we have been travelling on deputation for over 2.5 years and I just want to say how grateful I am for SCM. It has made homeschooling on the road not only possible, but enjoyable. It has given our family unity as we do school together in the car and has brought us closer together. It’s also been super easy to pick up right where we left off when we miss school days because of crazy schedules. Anyone whose been on deputation knows! We are moving to the field early 2016 and I am looking forward to continuing with SCM. I, too, was worried about getting all the resources I would need, but SCM makes it easy with all the e-books and public domain resources. I love having real books though and some great literature is not available in kindle or e-book format. I am bringing picture books for my younger kids and know I will have to pay the shipping for some resources later. We will be in language school for the first 2+ years, but we will have a helper. SCM has made me feel that homeschooling Charlotte Mason’s way on the field is not only possible, but delightful. I love how it conforms to our family’s needs and gives me a guide for raising my kids biblically.
It’s neat to hear how well SCM has been working for your family Bonny! We have found that it works really well for us when we have to travel as well. There are so many subjects that we can do in the car since we don’t *have* to have paper and pencil for many of them.
Mostly though, I have enjoyed how a CM style learning environment has strengthened our family’s love of reading, especially reading together.
Congratulations on heading overseas soon! I’m sure that the anticipation is rising. We are planning on being in West Africa in the beginning of 2016 as well, and all of us are getting very excited/nervous.
The kids cannot wait, and often talk about what it’s going to be like when we get there. I love how our CM geography last year was on Africa, and gave them a much broader view of the culture that they are going to joining soon.
Like you, I am truly thankful about the direction that God led me in for our homeschool.
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