The above photo is of my son as he receives his 9th grade graduation certificate from AIB, an international school in Central America. But we are not from here, we are from the United States of America. For our first six years abroad, there was no so-called “bi-lingual, international” school, so he attended school in a second language, while we did some supplementing with some home-instruction and other methods.
How will you manage your children’s education if you go overseas?
If you’re a parent considering a move abroad with kids, this is the big question, the thing that nags at that back of your mind in the middle of the night, or holds you back from going, or stops you altogether from taking the leap.
Perhaps a big move overseas is just a big dream, or maybe you and your family don’t have a choice about moving. Either way, concerns about how your children will adjust and stay happy is often the source of the most pressing questions parents have when facing this kind of chabge. Let’s face it. For any caring parent or guardian, a happy kid equals a happy parent.
Before we pulled our son out of the tender third grade to move to rural Panama, I was frantic with just these questions. I had all the worry and little guidance. How in the world was I going to 1. continue with his education and 2. help him assimilate, make friends, learn the language, in other words, keep on being the fanstastic, curious, funny, interested and sweet kid he was?
It wasn’t easy. At the time of our move and for many years, there was not an international school in our little farming town destination. Heck, there wasn’t even a movie theater or a skate park and … we didn’t speak the language. But, step by step, day by day, little by little, I helped my son to continue his education,to learn the language, to make friends, fit in and fully assimilate into a previously foreign culture, and in a rural, remote area. Take heart! If we could do it, so can you!
I admit that my back ground in School Psychology & Counseling didn’t hurt — but the truth is, when it comes to parenting — I’m just a regular mom with the same fears, concerns, anxiety, hopes and dreams you have for your treasured child.
Today, my son William, only nine when we began our adventure, is now sixteen. He truly moves easily between the two languages and cultures he embodies and trade-offs notwithstanding, he has enjoyed a happy and full childhood.
Our journey was both difficult and easy. It was an adventure that throughout and ultimately brought us joy and personal growth, as well as collective growth as a family. It was a brave move, but looking back, I would not change a thing. Was it worth it? Yes. Yes. Yes.
“Moving & Educating Kids Overseas: How one mom helped her child Thrive: is a primer full of tips, suggestions, check lists, sound advice and ideas for making your overseas journey with your kids fruitful and joyous.
My child thrived and so can yours!
To read the first few chapters FREE, CLICK HERE.