We have just completed of our fourth teaching year in Ulan-Ude. Every year has been different. A recap:
Year 1 started November 1st, 2010 with two 5th graders and two 3rd graders (3 boys and one girl) and homeschooling our youngest daughter.
Year 2 we started earlier, in September 2011, added two more boys, but also unfortunately lost two students. Anna was entering her senior year and was joined by a couple of other high school missionary students for science and literature.
Year 3 couldn’t be started until October 2012 when we returned from home service. We started out with 5 boys from grades seven to second. After Christmas break, they welcomed the part-time attendance of two pre-kindergartners—both GIRLS! It was a stretch for Art and me to juggle the different grade levels with the added challenge of teaching a non-English speaking student.
Year 4 also started in October, this time after our students returned from home service. Sadly not all of our students were able to return. Now we were evenly matched at 2 boys and 2 girls although the girls were still part-time.
But God knew of course what was going to be best in the big picture, for this school year was to be disrupted from the start by various things: Just a week before it started, Art and I had to move.
In November we had the privilege of a “field trip” to Thailand. Nathan produced an excellent notebook with pictures, research articles, and summaries of his personal experiences—and he is only a 3rd grader!
An excerpt: If someone asked me, “Should I visit Thailand?” I would say, “Of course!” I would explain to them how warm the weather was. It’s so warm you can swim everyday, even at night. Another thing that is great is that a lot of people ride motorbikes. If you don’t have one of your own, it is easy to rent one. It is better than riding in the car because you can feel the breeze. You can go anywhere on a motorbike, but my favourite place to stop was a smoothie stand called Cowboy Wing 5. They had the best strawberry smoothies in the universe. You will also notice al the different kinds of animals and insects from the largest elephant to the tiniest mosquito. My favourite mammals were the lemur-monkeys. I don’t want to tell you too much because I want you to find out for yourself how great Thailand is. If I could, I would go back again!
Friday, May 23, 2014, we successfully finished our fourth school year and managed to complete all course goals despite the interrupted schedule. The students love having an end of school party to eat and play games together. The Lord blessed us with a gorgeous day to utilize the playground outside our apartment.
We thought it would be fun to share some of our students’ creativity with you.
Matthew 2nd grade wrote this paragraph: “One Thursday, three blind mice were playing tag. They were using electro-reception to find each other. Two of them also had heat sensors. The mice happily played for 3 hours. Then one poor mouse ran out the door, and was suddenly eaten by a cat!”
Anneka Kndgtn. wrote the following: “I am riding on the horse. The horse flicked her tail. We shall give her hay.”