Education Plan

Education Plan Preliminary Questionnaire

“What is the best plan for my child?”

  • What schooling options will be available during our term of service?

  • How will I prepare for my child’s schooling overseas including: budget, curriculum, materials, records, testing?

  • What is my “plan A?”

  • If “plan A” doesn’t work out, what is my “plan B?”

  • Do I think my child will come back to the US for college?

  • What does returning to the US involve academically for my child?

  • Will my child’s education involve an all English based educational system, or will it be a dual or national educational system?

  • If we use national schools, what is the philosophy of the national educational system for achievement (child centered or system centered)?

  • If my child has been in a national school and speaks another language, how does that affect/change their college preparation?


Making An Educational Plan

The article below will help you think about an educational plan for your child. Read the article, look at the sample education chart and fill out a chart for your family (pg. 9).

Article: Parents Teaching Overseas June 1996

By Sharon Haag

Parents Teaching Overseas is a publication of the CHED Family Services Department. Permission is granted to copy. www.iched.org

Family Education Plan

We believe when God calls parents into ministry with dependent children, He calls the whole family. The model of healthy family relationships can communicate biblical principles even when language barriers prevent verbal communication. Children can enhance your ministry—and God wants to use your ministry situation to enhance the development and growth of your children.

Schooling Options

The schooling options you choose for your children play a major role in who they become, “educating” them in areas far beyond academics. Each option has unique strengths and benefits, and the choices you make require as much prayer and wisdom from the Lord as any other ministry-related decision.

At different times in a family’s ministry responsibilities and at different ages or transition periods, different schooling options may be more helpful in a child’s development. Remaining open to reevaluating options and never saying “Never!” can result in more comprehensive preparation for life.

Home teaching is strong in opportunity to impart family values and in flexibility to meet individual learning and family needs. Using national schools helps children quickly learn the local language and build relationships in the community.

Small, multi-grade mission schools provide homey atmospheres for developing strong friendships and learning to be productive members of groups.

Larger school settings often provide instruction or mentorship in special ability areas as well as “halfway steps” to cultural adjustment in the passport country. Attending a secular school can develop strength for standing firm and can be a training ground for becoming “salt and light” in the world. Any school setting helps children learn to relate to authority figures other than their parents—a key skill in the world of work.

Every schooling option provides richness in ways others cannot. No one schooling option is broad enough to encourage development of all the skills, abilities, and attitudes you will want your children to acquire to be ready to live independently when that time comes. This is especially true if your children spend most of their growing up years in an isolated setting overseas and you want them to be prepared to live successfully one day in your home country. Above all, look for comprehensiveness and balance over your children’s total school career. 

Planning Ahead

Many families facing schooling choices have been challenged and encouraged by developing a “family educational plan.” This helps them focus on their long-term values and goals for their children. It helps them to be aware and take advantage of the different schooling options that will support them in fostering this broad range of skills, attitudes, and values.

Getting caught up in day-to-day “survival” and just getting through the current year can make it easy to lose sight of long-term goals, to miss out on addressing some of the most important areas in which children need to develop. The family educational plan can help keep broad, long-term goals in view. In our workshops with parents we go through a procedure similar to the following. You may find it helpful to work through a similar process for your family.

First, we ask them to list goals they have for their children. List which skills, attitudes, and abilities do they want their children to develop, both to live richly in the overseas setting and to take with them when they graduate and move out on their own. These are some of the values/goals parents have listed:

Academic

  • make good academic progress, to extent of abilities
  • develop independent study skills and lifelong learning skills
  • develop competence and ethics in use of technology
  • be exposed to a variety of career options
  • develop areas of giftedness

Cross-Cultural

  • make national friends
  • learn host-country language
  • develop culture adaptation skills
  • value host culture
  • value passport culture
  • have strong ties to people and places in passport country

Relational

  • develop strong family relationships (including extended family)
  • have good relationships with other members of the Body of Christ
  • use personal gifts of service/ministry to the Body of Christ
  • trust God in personal hardship; display perseverance

Work-Related

  • be prepared for higher education institutions of choice
  • be able to work under authorities who do not share the same values
  • be able to work in groups (i.e. leadership skills and team work)
  • develop good work habits 

Life

  • develop independent living skills for passport country
  • be emotionally mature and stable; be resilient
  • take advantage of unique host-country learning opportunities

 Second, we discuss with parents how different schooling options might be particularly strong or weak in encouraging growth toward the goals they’ve listed.

 Third, parents use a chart to plot what they anticipate the circumstances of their lives might be during their children’s schooling years.


Directions for Completing the Chart (see sample chart below)

1.       Write your children’s names in boxes on the left side of the chart.

2.       Across the top, list the school years (i.e. 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013) from now through the time your youngest will graduate from high school.

3.       In the “Task” row, jot down what you anticipate your ministry situation to be during each of those years (i.e. raising support, language school, first year in assignment, furlough, etc.)

4.       In the row beside each child’s name, note the grade or level he or she will be in each year (or age of preschoolers).

5.       Now examine the columns under each year on the chart. What might your life look like that year in light of ministry, living, and schooling responsibilities? What schooling options do you think you can handle, and which might best meet the needs of each child and your goals for him or her that year? Keeping the answers to these questions in mind, write the options you think you might choose each year in the row beside each child’s name.

6.       Discuss the chart as a couple. Be open to reevaluate and make adjustments as circumstances and needs change.

 

Sample Educational Planning Chart:

School Year

2010-2011

2011-2012

2012-2013

2013-2014

Task

Itinerating

Language School

On Field

On Field

Child

Grade

School?

Grade

School?

Grade

School?

Grade

School?

John

11

Public

12

Home school

 

 

 

 

Sue

10

Public

11

Home school

12

MK School

 

 

Mary

9

Public

10

Home school

11

MK School

12

MK School

 

 

 

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