Monday, February 27, 2012
First Day of School
Tomorrow is a big day around our place. One of the biggest challenges for missionaries in Lusaka (and everywhere they serve in the emerging world) is education. Some people home school. Some send send their kids to expensive American or British international schools. If you live in the deep bush and you have the means, maybe you send your kids to the RVA a school for missionary kids that's in central Kenya. For us, home-schooling is not really a good option. The time, energy and patience to teach small children day in and day out is just not something we have. A nice international school is also not a good option as the tuitions run thousands of dollars a year and besides not having the funding to put three kids into an international school, the closest one is more than 30 min away, making for two hours a day in the car to get them to class. Since our kids are so young we've been using a local teacher who does preschool/kindergarten curriculum three hours a day, five days a week. But Ethel is 6 (maybe 7) and she needs peers her age to help her work harder and our teacher can't get very deep into teaching reading and math with her or the other two little ones start a small riot. So we've made the decision to put Ethel into a local community school. It's called Mango Grove. It's about 6k down the road from us. They have an english language curriculum and small class sizes. The price is pretty low so we're not sure what kind of education she can really get, but it will certainly be better than what we can do from home. We're giving it a 6 week trial period until the end of the term. It's a big step. But it's a big challenge for us in the future. While Ethel and Mutale could get a mediocre education with their peers at Mango Grove, Lucas would hate to go there. He'd be the only mzungu and he can't handle the kind of attention that entails. What we really need is some idealistic 5th or 6th grade teacher that is tired of working for beans and would rather work for nothing but could live and work in Africa. Know anyone? Anyway, pray for us as we adjust our schedule and adjust to sending our baby off to school.