Posted 18 April 2022
Home-schooling: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
By Kgomotso King
My journey to home-schooling was a reluctant one. My biggest qualm was the fact that I wasn’t a teacher so, surely, I couldn’t do it, let alone do it well. But God had a few surprises in store for me. We made the shift to home-schooling and it became an adventure of a lifetime that eventually opened us up to the opportunity to lead a Kingdomcity campus in Lusaka, Zambia!
Fast forward to a year later after moving countries, I was grateful that amidst all the changes our family endured, home-schooling was a tool I could use to keep my kids grounded. Everything in their world was new and foreign, so the familiarity of school time was welcomed. Covid-19 then hit a year after that, and while a lot of things around us were shaken, school was not one of them.
So, why did my husband and I choose to home-school our 3 children?
The best word I could use to describe the experience so far of what being a home-school parent is like, is being in a kaleidoscope – being able to witness all the little pieces of brilliance, the good, the bad, the ugly, seeing the breakthroughs and wonder.
Home-schooling, like anything else in life, will come with its challenges, but here are some we faced and how we overcame them!
Power and internet access have definitely been a big issue in the part of the world we live in. While we, as parents, respond typically by getting our mobile devices and a backup power supply, my son Josiah (7) once started drafting a letter to the President asking him to do better; while my other son Judah’s (3) first response was to pray! He’s seen God come through time and time again; and when the power comes back, it always calls for a praise break!
Finding what works for us. The basic principles of scheduling and consistency stand, but what that looks like to each family and each child is unique. I didn’t always know that. I spent too much time watching videos of other families and trying to replicate what they were doing. All it ever came to was an epic fail and an invitation for discouragement.
At the same time, I began worrying that my kids would be missing something by not being in a classroom environment, and tried to replicate a classroom experience for them at home – another epic fail! However, my failure made me realise the gold my kids get from NOT being in a classroom. Being a family in full-time ministry, people often come over to our house, and it was Jordan, our little 4-year-old girl, who would give them a hug or a flower that truly spoke the love of God to them, more than my prayers could! But learning our rhythm as a family and setting routines that would support that took time for me, and don’t be hard on yourself if that takes time for you too.
People’s opinions – in my case, my mother, a qualified teacher, was incredibly weary of our decision to home-school. Platforms and home-schooling communities were not readily available in Botswana, so I understood her concerns and often even agreed with them. I look back now and realise that we not only pioneered a Kingdomcity city campus, but a new mindset around learning for our families. When we moved to Zambia though, we definitely found a more vibrant home-schooling community, which contributed in big way to the strides we’ve made!
And Kingdomcity School… an ANSWER TO PRAYER!
My husband and I had always longed for our kids to experience faith and academia in beautiful cohesion. In our own experience, we were taught faith and biblical concepts completely separated from mainstream schooling. We realised only later on in life that learning about God in such disconnection created a perspective that saw God and His Kingdom as, essentially, a separate experience from everyday life. The curriculum and outline of the courses at Kingdomcity School have truly been an answer to our desire.
God is interwoven throughout each course and we have even seen a greater appreciation of the Bible in Josiah! Not only that, but because courses and lessons are set in a way where all I need to do is facilitate the kids, it gives me so much more time to spend with them. I also love that Josiah is growing in his realisation that he is part of something so much bigger than himself, especially when he gets to gather with the other Kingdomcity School students from around the world during Homeroom!