It’s Back to School time at Tenwek. The Kenyan kids attend local schools which are conducted in Swahili and Kipsigis. The missionary families homeschool their children using curriculum on pace with the American educational system… in English. We're jumping right in.
Anna is officially a Kindergartener. She is so proud. And excited. Here you see her entering “school,” which is actually in the spare bedroom of our friend Alyssa’s apartment.
For the last several weeks, Anna’s eager anticipation of kindergarten has been rising. So much so, that within five minutes of the start of kindergarten, she was so utterly excited that she quite literally fell off of her seat. Even a bump on her head could not dampen her enthusiasm, however. As she finished her first math worksheet, she beamed up at me and proclaimed, “Kindergarten is so fun!” A five-year-old with a gluestick is bound to be a happy camper.
I am more than a little afraid that my rookie homeschooling efforts are not going to live up to Anna’s high expectations. Sooner or later she is going to realize that her mother is a Kindergarten Teacher Imposter. Really, what do I know about teaching little kids how to read and subtract? Well, this will be a learning year for both of us. Thankfully we have good resources here: other homeschooling families whose children have successfully learned to read and subtract.
Jessica knows for sure that the other missionary kids can subtract, because she teaches them math. Jessica has been teaching math for the 6th/7th graders for almost a year. This year she has five students, and as seen below, she teaches her class in the “MK School Room,” which is like a library and resource-room for homeschooling families. As I snapped this picture this morning, I heard her say something about today’s topic was the commutative property of something.
Inspired by Jessica’s willingness to teach math, I agreed to teach junior high science this year. Today we attempted our first laboratory experiment. Thankfully, relative density demonstrations are generally both foolproof and impressive. A few of my five students wanted to take the experiment home to show their parents. Bless their hearts.
Lastly, Anna and Elise both attend a preschool class that another mom, Amy, teaches each day. Her daughter is three-years-old like Elise. Anna is the only kindergartener this year, so she joins in the preschool class as well, and they look forward to having another preschooler join them when his family arrives in September. Judging from the picture below, this group might not be ready for much rigorous academic learning, but they always enjoy the process.