Monday, November 22, 2010

Education options

One of the big issues when you work in another country as a missionary is children's education. In some countries local elementary schools are a good option; in other places it is more difficult. The larger question is often what to do when children reach secondary stage. Local options can still be there but it is often at that point that it is more necessary to transition to an education system (and language) which will be most beneficial for university entrance and also re-entry into the child's 'home country'. There is no one right answer in all of this and we, like many other parents, have had to grapple with the issues. The other day OMF held a seminar here in Sapporo where some parents (inclduing us) and some former missionary kids shared about their experiences with different options - local schooling, international schools, boarding, home schooling. There are pros and cons to any option and a child may or may not be able to thrive or cope with a particular option. It was good to be able to have time together to share openly about these (sometimes sensitive) matters and be able to support one another as different families prayerfully consider which path to follow for children's education. These days there are many more resources and the advance of technology along with faster travel helps so much. And we are thankful to be part of a mission agency which takes member care so seriously and has qualified people in place to be able to advise and listen as we make the choices we need to make concerning our missionary kids.

1 comment:

  1. As you know we've had our own heart-rending issues in this area. But now I've started doing some Occupational Therapy volunteer work around the place I'm seeing other's challenges and heartaches. Like a little girl who stop talking about a year ago at her Japanese school and the school hasn't even talked to the parents about it. Now the parents have to decide what to do. It can be really tough.