There was a time when traveling abroad was difficult enough because of the cultural barriers we might encounter. However, we are living in the digital age. As a result, we are exposed to many cultures which had previously been obscure, even having World History 101 under our belts. As difficult as it is for adults, can you imagine the stress school age kids suffer when suddenly thrust into a new academic setting in which they probably don’t speak the national language?
Whether your employer relocated you, or you simply want to experience more of the world, if you have school age kids in the family, it’s important to consider their education before embarking on a journey to parts unknown. Here are four educational resources to make the transition smoother for everyone involved.
1. International Schools
While you might be tempted to homeschool your kids, that might not be the best thing to do. Why not take this opportunity to expose them to other cultures and educational settings? An international school like Brighton College’s Bangkok International School in Thailand can give them an education in their own language while introducing them to children from a multitude of other cultures. This will go a very long way in preparing them for a future in the global society in which we all live.
2. Online Resources Galore
If you do opt to homeschool your kids, there is a wide array of online resources to choose from. Perhaps you want them to go part-time to an International school while giving them recognized classes from your home country. Not all schools will have a curriculum necessary as a prerequisite to the next phase in their education, so you may need to offer those classes at home. This site lists a huge number of online resources available for kids studying from home abroad, so you should have no problem locating what you need to be effective as a homeschool parent.
3. Scheduled Guided Tours
Living in a new land offers amazing opportunities for kids to learn about the world in which they live. No matter where you go, there are museums, art galleries, and historic and government buildings that offer guided tours. The only drawback might be if they don’t offer tours in English. Even so, you could hire the services of a translator to make the tour as educational as it is fun for your children. You might even find that kids exposed in this way find career options they’d never have considered back home!
4. Sharing Cultural Traditions with Locals
One of the best resources you will find is going to be your next door neighbor or the guy who works in the next office at your ‘new’ place of business. By sharing cultural traditions in a family setting with the locals, your children learn much about the heritage and culture in a country where they are still strangers, or aliens, as it were. There is no better way to become familiar with other cultures than through the ‘breaking of the bread,’ so use this as a learning resource so much better than anything they could get from a text book. It’s an experience you can’t get from a book or video – a way to submerse them in a culture with differing vantage points on life on earth.
With the right blend of required courses from your homeland with local customs and heritage, you will find that your children’s minds are open to possibilities you’d never thought possible to teach them. Instead of dreading the move, embrace all those opportunities that only come around maybe once in a lifetime. The entire family will return home enriched from the experience.