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Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Homeschooling on the Road

By
Homeschooling on the Road/ © Chandra Easton

My husband, two children (Tara age 12 and Tejas age four), and I are now settled in at a small Ayurvedic Ashram near Mangalore, South India, where we will spend three weeks receiving Ayurvedic treatments. Ayurveda is the Indian traditional medicine, said to be at least 3500 years old. Our treatments will focus on cleansing and rejuvenation.

 

In preparation for our five months on the road, knowing Tara would need to complete the second half of her seventh grade year, I searched around for online homeschool curricula that would best fit our needs. I knew there were many options from several years earlier when we homeschooled her in first grade. Back then, we chose the Waldorf-based Oak Meadow program, with both private and public school options. We had chosen the private school option because we were then no longer required to participate in the standardized testing necessary for public school children. It was a bit more expensive but well worth it because we also received a teacher/guide to help evaluate her work and give feedback along the way. It was a great option for a first time homeschool experience. I love knowing that I was the one who got to teach her to read and write.

 

HomeSchooling1

 

Now that Tara is in 7th grade and has been in the public school system for a few years, I knew that the Waldorf-based curriculum would not be easy to drop back into given its unique approach. I also needed a program that was partially online (so we didn’t need to take as many materials with us) and also partially offline (because we weren’t sure how reliable internet access would be).  After lots of searching, I landed on the K12.com program, which had the online/offline balance we needed and was more or less based on the public school curriculum—good for her 8th grade reentry. To save money, I enrolled Tara in the Independent Studies option so that I became her teacher and I could pace her work. I knew the travel itself would be educational and I didn’t want to be strapped down to a science lesson when what was really interesting was the culture we were steeping in here and now.

 

Even though the curriculum has the online component, we still had to pack up a lot of books, about 45 pounds! We are just in the first few days of our trip and beginning to implement her course work into our days, so I don’t have a clear sense of how it will go. The program offers very clear teacher instructions that go along with each lesson so I’m finding it easy to guide her. A part of me is concerned that she will fall behind or that it will be hard to stay disciplined. The program requires about one-hour per subject per day and she has five: English language skills, Literature, Pre-Algebra, History and French. We chose to save science until this summer when we return home because carrying around a microscope was too much to stomach. The beauty of the Independent Studies option is you can choose how to arrange your coursework.  For example, you could just do a month of each subject or a combination that works for you. Perhaps focus on two or three subjects at a time.

 

HomeSchooling2HomeSchooling3

 

Tejas being four, doesn’t require being enrolled in school. However, I did bring along some fun learning materials for him as well so that we could have school time together. He’s already proud of his connect the dots homework and I know that he’ll enjoy feeling that he is a part of our daily lessons.

 

So far the kids morale has been better than expected. They both seem to have inherited their parents’ love of adventure and travel.

© 2013, Chandra Easton. All rights reserved.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Chandra studied Buddhist philosophy, meditation and Tibetan language in 1996 at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India, founded by H.H. Dalai Lama. She later received her degree from UCSB's Religious Studies Department where she translated Tibetan Buddhist texts with Buddhist scholar, B. Alan Wallace. Chandra has been teaching Buddhist meditation & philosophy for twelve years. She is authorized by B. Alan Wallace to teach Buddhist theory and practice and Lama Tsultrim Allione to teach Prajna Paramita, Feeding Your Demons, and Chod. She is currently on the Tara Mandala Bay Area coordinating committee, through which she teaches and organizes events in the Bay Area. Chandra has also been teaching yoga since 2001 after training with Sarah Powers. In 2003, she began to study with Shadow Yoga founders, Zhander Remete and Emma Balnaves. In the Spring of 2012, she completed a three-year teacher’s course with Zhander and Emma and is now authorized to teach Shadow Yoga. Chandra & Scott run Shadow Yoga programs in Berkeley and San Francisco. Learn more about her schedule at shunyatayoga.com. Chandra lives in Berkeley, California, with Scott and their two children.

Leave us a comment!

5 Comments
  1. CommentsInCultureParent | Homeschooling at an Ayurvedic Ashram   |  Wednesday, 27 February 2013 at 1:34 am

    […] Homeschooling is up and down, depending on our access to the internet. Our K12 curriculum is largely based on online tests and instructional videos woven into each lesson so when we don’t have internet, which is half of the day, we have to find ways to do the lessons using the books provided. Tara will do reading or math problems and then later go back and take all the online quizzes. She’s catching on to working independently and the online element, when available, does make it more fun for her. So overall, I’m very happy with the curriculum we chose even if it’s not perfectly suited to our situation. […]

  2. CommentsInCultureParent | Adventures in Homeschooling in India   |  Thursday, 28 February 2013 at 12:09 am

    […] Homeschooling is up and down, depending on our access to the internet. Our K12 curriculum is largely based on online tests and instructional videos woven into each lesson so when we don’t have internet, which is half of the day, we have to find ways to do the lessons using the books provided. Tara will do reading or math problems and then later go back and take all the online quizzes. She’s catching on to working independently and the online element, when available, does make it more fun for her. So overall, I’m very happy with the curriculum we chose even if it’s not perfectly suited to our situation. […]

  3. CommentsJessie   |  Wednesday, 10 April 2013 at 5:24 am

    It’s nice to meet someone in my city who is homeschooling. In fact, You are the first person that I know homeschooling in Mangalore. I am still thinking whether i can opt for homeschooling my daughter since I have a home based business.

  4. CommentsChandra Easton   |  Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 3:56 pm

    It sure isn’t easy but it is worth it if it’s a good fit. We actually live in Berkeley, CA. Good luck!

  5. CommentsInCultureParent | Traveling and Homeschooling in Nepal: Familiarity in the Unknown   |  Tuesday, 25 June 2013 at 10:54 pm

    […] to Myanmar with Kids Adventures in Homeschooling in India The Benefits of Ayurvedic Cleansing Homeschooling on the Road Around the World in One […]









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