Education and Faith

Educating your kids in the mission field is for many of us a battle within ourselves to trust our most prized possessions to God.  Some missionaries homeschool, but then their kids don’t learn the language or assimilate into the culture as well.  Others send their kids to national schools, which can be good, but are often terrible.  Bullying can be a real problem.  Others send their kids away to boarding schools.  There are many great boarding schools, but I cannot imagine how difficult that is for both parents and kids.  Others build school that serve the local missionaries as well as the local population.  That is what we are doing here.  Our school is 90% Peruvian, and 10% missionary kids.  For that reason we follow a Peruvian curriculum, not a German curriculum nor American. And it is so hard for us as parents to trust the curriculum.  We are used to our cultural way of doing things, and honestly some of the ways they educate here seem crazy.  There is a class called “Math Reasoning” that seems like a complete waste of our kids, their teachers, and our personal time.  It is not an exaggeration to say that sometimes when I am helping my kids with this bit of homework, I want to quit being a missionary.  Nothing makes me want to go home more than this little bit of curriculum.  It sounds crazy, and to type it also makes me feel totally wimpy, but it is the truth.  I start thinking about this wasted bit of educational time, then I imagine what else they are not learning, and then I think about the PSAT and SAT or ACT and I start to lose faith.  God help me, a person of so little faith!  But then we have these moments of light, when a school activity or science project goes well.  Or we hear our kids speaking Spanish with their friends, and we realize how much they are learning in so many other ways.  And I pray and I try to trust a little more.  Bringing your kids to another country, especially a poor part of another country with few resources, is a challenge.  It is hard for them, and it is hard for us parents.  Please pray for us!  Enjoy also this article from the Diospi Suayan Hospital website sharing a moment of light at school.  The first picture has one of our favorite students!

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Bright Minds

In the forth grade class of Colegio Diospi Suyana, the bright minds were asked to perform their own experiment and explain their findings.  The school kids had soon finished their projects, which showed their great ingenuity.

Abigail used food to create a volcanic eruption.  Bruno and Omar astonished their fellow students by demonstrating the floating differences using different salt solutions.  A real problem in Curahuasi is the drinking water.  Luis and Cesar were inspired by this to create a natural filter that turns murky soup into crystal clear water.  However, Edy’s project created the greatest attention.  He had built a miniature table saw, driven by the crankshaft via a battery that even cut wood sticks.

Teacher Jaquelin beamed with pride while looking in the faces of the student inventors.  Everyone had a lot of fun while learning the practical aspects of the laws of nature.  The natural sciences are an enourmously important department of a school.  Through experiments and research projects, students can discover for themselves how awesome God created this world.

By the way, our growing school is urgently looking for a well-trained biology, chemistry, or physics teacher who is able to use experiments and practical demonstrations to teach our young researchers.  We are looking for a true pioneer, because he/she would invest several years in the classroom, developing and guiding the Peruvian colleagues.  Pray someone will find and sign up with us! /C.B.

Why does salt water cause the egg to rise to the top?

Why does salt water cause the egg to rise to the top?

Water filter made with cotton, wool, and soap.

Water filter made with cotton, wool, and soap.

Secret messages painted with lemon appear using a candle.

Secret messages painted with lemon appear using a candle.

The vulcanic eruption

The vulcanic eruption

2 thoughts on “Education and Faith

  1. I can think of a few websites that could help the kids with math, computer programming, and the humanities:
    http://www.starterleague.com/
    This computer programming website teaches children the basics of web-development for free.
    khanacademy.org
    This site has lectures, essays, and exercises on math, medieval history, MCAT, SAT, Chemistry, Engineering, etc. All for free.
    coursera.org
    Lots of free and for pay lectures and even graded classes here.
    I-Tunes University
    If you have itunes and can afford purchase text books, then you can utilize lectures from the best professors in the world to help the kids learn pretty much any subject.

    Also, if you want them to learn how to pretend to be smart without all the extra work, have them read this:
    http://shallowthoughtswithgeoff.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/trick-for-sounding-smart/

    Like

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