Journey #58 Montgomery Academy

Welcome to the Montgomery Academy where learning isn’t optional it’s required. As a kid I loved school and I was excited every morning to get out the door. I was a good student with above average grades but I had to study! My parents expected me to do well but didn’t put a whole lot of time into my education as far as helping me stay ahead of the game. I had to teach myself all sorts of study methods and make sure I remembered to mark my calendar for assignments that were due. It was a lot for a kid but it made me a great teacher in the classroom and a great teacher at home. I absolutely love teaching my kids and I have always thought I would home school at some point. I thought when we moved abroad I would have the perfect opportunity to home school and travel with the kids. I’m all about the field trip experience. I lived in the land of the free so I had the option of homeschooling my kids wherever I wanted. Im American so of course I can…HA! One thing you learn when you live abroad is that you “aren’t in America anymore”! I had ASSUMED that homeschooling was a worldwide option…silly me. As we say back in my child “hood” nawl son, they don’t do that here. It is illegal to home school your child in Germany. You are not allowed to decide your child education or as we have learned question it. Its Germany and your child must go to school or you go to jail. I was shocked at this as my mind couldn’t comprehend such craziness. We have had school issues since day 1. It hasn’t been a smooth road by any means, but we have friends living here and in America who support us and make us feel like we aren’t alone. Living in Germany, you have to learn the system and be your children’s biggest advocate and show up so the teachers and other kids see your face. In Berlin, the schools are not great by any means. We have had a lot of ups and downs and tough decisions to make because of the lack of education and laxed authority when issues come forth. I have no problem with educating my kids as I have always supplemented their education as I don’t think it’s the schools job to solely educate my children. The fact that I MUST educate them for the entire summer and 2 more hours after school each day during school year irritates me. I admit I was laxed on the education when we first arrived because I was extremely stressed and I thought to myself “its Europe, education should be amazing”!
After our first year and a half I had to get back on it and educate my children. I found all sorts of resources on the internet and went to the bookstore and picked up our Summer Bridge, and sign up for Spelling City summer modules. They are accustomed to this as we have always done it and it’s like waking up in morning. This summer I pushed them harder to make up for lost time. We had a schedule and it was to be complete  before any outing for the day. It was a fantastic learning experience for them and myself. The kids went back to school last Monday and on Wednesday I had a teacher from the previous year tell me that I must have done a lot with the kids over the summer because she could tell just by their handwriting! Yes, I still have my kids journal two paragraphs a day(dh’s idea) and write postcards to friends and family. I think handwriting is an important skill to posses. I know that we are in the high technology age where everything is done on a computer, but as an expat that travels I know that “everybody ain’t able” to have a computer or iPad regardless of how necessary we think it is. I’m constantly teaching and showing my kids life lessons on this journey for his purpose. summer learningksummer learning2Summer learning


  1. Angela - 4 years ago

    You go, girl!
    You know I still want the bus pencil holder!! :o)

  2. Michelle - 4 years ago

    Good job mom! Your kids are blessed to have you care so much about them and thanks for the education to all of us on home schooling abroad, even as an American.

  3. Sheryl Rohan - 4 years ago

    You are a great mom! We need more in all of our countries!

  4. Phyllis Murrell - 4 years ago

    Natalie, you are to be congratulated for your involvement in your kid’s education. We did a lot of supplementing with our two boys–and that was years ago. Parental involvement makes a huge difference. Handwriting is something I also think should be emphasized, even though some schools in the States are no longer teaching cursive writing. As an older person (seven years older than your mother-in-law), I wonder how children who don’t learn cursive will be able to read written checks, letters, and even historical documents. I also treasure a hand-written note; they are increasingly rare. Keep up the good work!

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