Last Updated on August 28, 2020 by Jenny Pena
Last time I shared about our homeschool life and blast through the past was in 2018–> checkout that post here.
At the bottom I provide a few lists of my faves to help you get started too!
So I suppose we are due for an update since A TON has happened and changed since then!
How are you all doing with all these changes? Have you decided to homeschool or are you trying out going back to school? Either way I do pray all goes smoothly for you, with minimal challenges and stress! Things can be tricky and stressful no matter how we choose to school, so take it easy. I won’t get into tips since I already did that in this post—>click here to read.
Moving from UAE
Summer of 2019 was our last months in the UAE after living there for close to 4 years. Because of a teaching ipportunity, and another chance to travel and live somehwere new, we jumped on the chance to live in Beijing! We had been homeschooling Jas and going to playdates, then Rubi was born and we needed a change. The desert was fun while it lasted, but we needed a change of scenery and a less stressful teaching environment for my husband.
From August 2019 til February 2020 we lived in Beijing and who knows maybe we will be back soon. From August til close to October, Jasmin decided to try going to school. I always said that if we live somewhere with a school w liked nearby, we would give it a try. Well it just so happens that the opportunity my husband landed was a science teacher position at a Montessori Middle School! The teaching benefits include free tuition for 2 children, perfect! Yep, Noah tried going to school for one whole day. And then he decided it was not for him and he wanted to stay home. We tried for the rest of the week and he refused to stay there without me. So my mama bear instinct was to of course keep him with me.
Jas on the other hand, loved school! She even got to go on field trips, she loved all her teachers and subjects and they all commented on how lovely a student and friends she was. (Sidenote: notice how homeschooling didn’t keep her from being a social butterfly!)
So if she was doing so well, what happened?
My theory is that the schedule started wearing her out. Waking up and getting ready to head to school on daddy’s work schedule, then staying late waiting for Daddy to finish, plus the commute. Also her meals changed because she wasn’t allowed to have nuts at school. Let me tell you, buts are a HUGE part of Jas diet. So food and schedule was taking a toll on her lil body. She was exhausted once I got to have her in the evenings. To the point she was giving me attitude and not able to finish her homework.
I started realizing how it was all affecting her. And realizing how much I missed having time with her. Not just the few hours after school and weekends. Missing the daily routine with all my children all together in the day! But I didn’t want to be the one to sway her decision one way or the other. So what did i do? i prayed, i cried out to The Most High and asked “Father if it is your Will and best interest for Jasmin, please let her decide on her own to stay home and homeschool.
I cannot make this up! THE VERY NEXT DAY Jasmin woke up in the morning and asked me if she could stay home that day! Of course I knew The Most High answered my prayer. The next few weeks she was back and forth to school, but I told her she needed to decided whether she wanted to go to school or homeschool so we can create a proper schedule. She chose to homeschool with the option to try school again the following school year (which in the time of writing this, the new school year is starting and we are homeschooling still!)
Homeschooling in Beijing
Watch this FB LIVE where I gave a little snippet of our homeschooling lately.
Homeschooling in Bejing has been one of my favorite homeschool seasons so far (besides our time in Panama)! We developed an awesome schedule and Jas started a partial homeschool curriculum.
- Through Instagram homeschool moms we discovered The Good and The Beautiful Curriculum. So far we are using Language Arts, Math, and Marine Science.
- Jas attended piano and violin private classes
- We had weekly horse stable visits. I prepared Scanvenger Hunts with the prize at the end being carrots and apples to feed the horses and ponies. They had a few lessons but mostly on the ground learning about caring for the horses.
- Thankfully we were still able to use the school library and visit after school so they could play with their friends. I definitely took advantage of checking books out and taking them to play.
- Although we discontinued formal Mandarin Lessons, going out, catching a Didi, grocery shopping, interacting with people in the playgrounds and anywhere we went, helped us grow our vocab list together!
That is just a little glimpse of our homeschool life from Autumn to Winter life in Beijing. Then, COVID happened.
So for a while we waited it out in Beijing. It was still Winter and very cold. We had heard of others leaving to warmer climated where quarantine was easier than being indoors or outside and freezing. It took us a few months to decided but once Feb was coming to a close and my husband was still teaching online, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a few weeks to warmer climates. A few weeks then turned to a few months!
WE thought we would be a few weeks in Thailand, get news about schools remaining online, then try to make it for summer time in Miami. NOPE! All our flights got cancelled. Each flight we tried to find out of Thailand to find any route out got cancelled. Then China closed its borders to all foreigners. So we decided to surrender it all and stay in Thailand until….until….we don’t even know! Full surrender in Faith. Option 1, pray for China to allow us back in. Option 2, apply for a longer visa in Thailand and pray my husband can continue teaching online. Option 3 go back to the US…and that’s a huge NO for me. But these are only the options we can see as most probable, and The Most High ALWAYS proves He has mightier plans than we do. So my answer always is, “let’s just see.”
Homeschooling in Thailand
I should say, homeschooling during COVID. Because I am sure if we were settled here like if we were actually moving here to live long-term, homeschool life would look a little different than it has. We have gone back to super simple homeschool days. AND Noah has started too!
Noah started the PreK Language Arts book from The Good and The Beautiful and Math K as well. Noah is always involved when we to the Marine Science Unit Lessons as well.
Since we don’t supplement with music and horse and all that good stuff, we make sure we are keeping them active. They get lots of pool, beach and playground time, as much as we can manage each week. Schooltime happens every day usually after breakfast or sometimes after Rubi’s afternoon nap, depending how cranky she gets or how late we start our day.
Jas lately has been really into writing stories, so we usually just give her allll the time on that. And if Noah is having a tough time playing I will reel him in and do an artsor craft together.
Letely also they have been learning how to play chess with dady and have even played against each other!
Surprisingly Rubi keeps up ith her big bro and sis and loves to get involved in their playing and coloring too. She is surprising us with how quick she repeats words and interested she is in learning new things…like holding a spoon to eat. I guess that’s just how being the littlest sis is, she gets to learn from her siblings example.
Well there you have it! That’s pretty much our homeschool life. We keep it super simple. Easy to handle for my anxious tendencies and mom of 3 life.
Will love to hear in the comments what are your favorite education resources!
Here are a few of mine
- The Good and The Beautiful
- Joyful Toddlers
- Stepping Stone
- Montessori-Ami and also Here Montessori Routine
- Montessori Sample Lesson pdf
Books I read and recommend
books on my reading list