By Emily Ekegren
Like most families in the Foreign Service, we have lived around the globe over many years. My husband, Jason, and I have lived outside of the U.S. for nearly all of our 11-year marriage. The year we married, while Jason was in the Navy, we moved first to Italy, and then to Mexico. We then made the transition to the Foreign Service and headed to Kazakhstan. We’re currently finishing our tour in Brazil.
We are a very close family. Our boys – Nikolas, our 4th grader, and Joshua, our 5th grader – are happy kids who love to hang out with their friends. Nikolas is a Dr. Who fan (maybe because his favorite subject is science!), and he likes working out with his dad. Joshua enjoys video games, Legos, and watching YouTube. He also likes science, but math is another top favorite. As a family, we love watching movies and exploring in our RV.
When our boys were ready to start school, we were worried about how to best educate them with our transient lifestyle. Our number one priority was to give them consistency and continuity in their schooling, regardless of where we were living. Consistency and continuity would be impossible if they were changing schools every time we relocated. For that and many other reasons, Jason and I decided the best option for our family was to homeschool.
We wanted to do it right, so we researched extensively before Joshua started Kindergarten. My husband wanted to make sure we kept good academic records. I wanted the flexibility to choose education resources that met our needs. Plus, I needed help with accountability. Homeschooling was new to me, and I wanted to stay on track to provide Joshua and Nikolas with a solid education.
We explored many options. But the ideal choice came when we learned about an accredited K-12 distance learning school called Brightways Global Academy that provides homeschool support. We partnered with Brightways Global more than six years ago and have never looked back.
We were assigned Terri as our Certified Teacher, who has been with us every step of the way. Terri helped me choose curriculum resources that fit my boys’ individual learning styles and abilities. Terri helps keep me accountable, reminding and helping me to complete individual learning plans, progress reports, and testing. She emails me and encourages me, but doesn’t micro-manage. Her guidance, support, and advice have been invaluable.
Brightways Global’s online student management system fulfills my family’s goal of good recordkeeping, and it’s easy to use. Their system helps me record and track my boys’ courses, progress, grades, and more. In addition to Terri, the office staff is very responsive and makes my job easier by helping with tuition reimbursement and other administrative tasks.
Homeschooling is the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s also the most rewarding. It has been the best thing for our family. For other families considering homeschooling, my advice is to find a partner like Brightways Global Academy. Knowing that you don’t have to do it alone will build your confidence and give you peace of mind that your kids are receiving the best education possible.
What’s next for us? We are looking forward to our upcoming tour in the Washington, DC area. Terri is helping us through the transition, so we won’t skip a beat in the boys’ education. We are considering dual enrollment for the boys during high school, and glad to know that Brightways will guide and support us through the process.