Tuesday, October 23

Never Say Never

Sounds cliche, but I am learning the hard way to follow this advice.

Recently, I have been forced to make decisions regarding events I always said I would never do! I should never say never!

For instance, I always said I would absolutely, never ever homeschool! However, I almost feel as if I'm being forced into that situation. It's not that the schools in the Angeles area are not good. It's quite the opposite. They are very good & have extremely high standards. Much higher than standards in America. (They closely follow Korean curriculum. Which means smart kids!) But, they focus so much on academics & do not have any PE, Arts or Music programs. All the lower levels (Kindergarten-3rd Grade) in Angeles attend half-day school so they just don't have the time to include additional activities. They focus on reading, writing & mathematics for the 2.5 or 3 hours that school is in session. As it is, my kids are already a little behind their peers in their current school. They are just now figuring out that putting the sounds of letters together actually creates a word. Samuel is catching on very quickly now. He can read words such as: and, hat, cat, pat, fat, rat, sat, had, bad, pop, top, hop, is, stop, etc. I am daily amazed at his improvement. Sydney is also coming along quickly. She can put all the sounds together, but has a harder time forming the sounds into a word. For instance, if she reads the word "hat", she'll say, "Huh - a - t. Huat." She will get there, but she is just a little slower in her learning. (Always has been! My 16 month walker!) So, my fear is that if I enroll them in one of the schools I visited on Friday, they will feel completely lost and out of place with their peers. I certainly don't want them to feel frustrated & isolated in a school where they will already most likely be the only Westerners. It's just a lot of pressure for their tender age. I am hoping to avoid that at all costs. So, we are still praying & keeping our fingers crossed, but I'd be lying if I said that I have not seriously thought about homeschooling these past few days.

Also, I always said I would never live away from my husband while here. Our plan was to move with Sam wherever he needed to go, no matter what. But, after reviewing all our options at this time, I think we have both come to the conclusion that it would be better for the kids & I to stay behind here in Manila while Sam spends the week up in Clark working at the facility. If we decide to go that route, he will come home on Thursday or Friday nights for the weekend & go back to Clark on Monday mornings. It will only be for 6 months tops & we know that if a month into this decision, it is not working out for our family, we can always change our mind & move to the Clark area with Sam. No biggie. We are not bound to our decision. I think we will give that a shot & pray that it works out good for the kiddos. We'll see...

Hopefully I have learned my lesson to never use that "n" word! (Like I just did.) I'm pretty sure my sisters have sat back & had a good laugh these last 5+ years that I've been raising my children. Things that I said I would never do with kids, I'm sure have been done. Things that they always said, "Amberly, you just wait..." Well, I may not have figured it out then, but I'm figuring it out now:

NEVER SAY NEVER!

8 comments:

Kristi said...

Well, I guess at least they are only that focused for half a day. You could make the rest of the day all about fun!

As far as homeschooling goes, God provides (I remind myself of that every day as I see other moms on my street have their morning talks and coffee after dropping their kids off and school). You will know what the right choice is and He will provide either way you go!

Sorry you guys are having so much turmoil and transition after just getting settled in!

Lynn Leaming said...

We all learn that "never say never" lesson eventually. I am just sorry you are having to make so many hard decisions. It is times like these that puts our trust in God to major tests. But just rest in the fact that he promises that "all things work together for good to those that love Him" I love the version that says "He causes all things to work together for good". I know He will do that for you all. Keeping you in our prayers!

Christy said...

Oh Sweet Amberly! Whatever decision you make will be the right one. Even if you change your mind and go another route. This 2 year adventure is an adventure and you are learning so much from and about your children that your decisions will be wonderful memories when you return home. I think having smart children when you return to the states will be a huge bonus. Can you take them to extra activities after school? Do they have gymnastics or soccer or any activities the kids would like to do after school? You children will have an advantage when they move home and will have a wonderful chance to attend college on academics scores, not just good looks. Some people would give up a lot to send their kids abroad to be schooled, and you're getting a chance of a lifetime. I know your feelings of homeschooling, this is just my opionion. You and Sam will make the right choice, especially with all the prayers you have behind you. I'm thinking about you all the time!

Amberly said...

I really hope my post doesn't sound whiny, because it's not meant to be that at all. I am still very grateful for the opportunity to live overseas & I am trying really hard not to take that for granted.

So, with that being said, thank you very much for your sweet comments, but please don't feel sorry for us. We are very lucky, very blessed to be here & we know it.

Kristi, you are right... I could make the afternoons my own PE, art & music time at home. Maybe I could compromise & do a half homeschool option. Send them to school in the mornings to learn the things that I don't have the patience to teach them & focus on the fun stuff in the afternoons! You know, either way, if I choose to homeschool at all, I will be coming to you for major advice!

And, Christy, yes there are after school activities... soccer, gymnastics, etc. Plus, there is a swimming pool around every corner here, so we always do lots of afternoon swimming. We will definitely figure something out that works best for our family.

Heather said...

I didn't think you sounded whiny at all...just like a momma concerned about her kiddos! Keeping you guys in our prayers....

Jonetta said...

hmmmm.....would it sound too big sisterly to say, "Told Ya!!"? :) j/k
You would have a blast homeschooling your kiddos. I was genuinely surprised at how much I really enjoyed homeschooling. Just do all those fun things with them you like doing and incorporate a little learning with it....outings are really educational field trips in disguise! You're a great mom and your kids will do just fine in whatever you choose to do with them! love ya lots...and miss you mucho!! jon

lizza said...

I have nothing but admiration for parents who homeschool their kids. It's a big responsibility and can be quite taxing. Kudos to you!

But if things aren't final yet, there are some schools in AC that you might like. Have you looked at OB Montessori? The main campus is in Manila, but their satellite schools are just as good. They have one in AC.

Amberly said...

Lizza, yes we did look at OB Montessori. My problem is I want to have my cake & eat it too!! OB Montessori does not have nearly as many options as their current school... no PE (that I'm aware of), no art class, no music class, etc. It's only a half-day & I like full-day Kindergarten. I'm being very picky, I know. I have found that the Brent school in nearby Subic Bay is a wonderful alternative, so we are thinking of moving there instead.

Thank you so much for your suggestion, though!