Global Education ~~ Update

I have talked about school plans on Wastebook*, but not here for a long time.  I thought maybe it was time to catch everyone up on where we are.

If you are here to read about my high school-aged daughter who is attending Nanjing University in China, go here. You can learn more about her here and here and here.

We have not used Sonlight curriculum for over a year now because we did not have room in our luggage for it.   We missed it terribly!  Once we landed in China, I knew I wanted to get back to it and so we bit the bullet and purchased the three cores that we need.  It took several weeks to work out the logistics of having it shipped here, and another 4 weeks for all of it to arrive (we still don’t have the Core F teachers manual) because they split the shipment into several parts.  On top of all that, we had to deal with customs and customs fees.  $$  Hopefully, we’ll be headed back to the states before we need another core so that we can carry it back with us!  It will be much less of a hassle and cost us less!

Pie is starting Core A, Intro into World Cultures.  Pie loves her school work!  She loves the books that came with this curriculum and has already looked through them all!  She will also be using Saxon Math, Apologia Science, Spell to Write and Read and LDS Copy work.   We are unsure of our exact plans for further Chinese study at this point.  Our tutor left to go home for the summer in July and is leaving to study in the U.S. next semester.  We are looking into a Chinese kindergarten for part of the day or maybe we’ll just forge ahead on our own and worrying about deeper studies when Da is employed again!

Note:  We are continuing our Chinese studies based on the at home portions of this plan.  We have also added Chinese to our daily Gospel Devotional.  We are learning the Primary Songs in Chinese (pinyin versions coming to my blog soon!), along with memorizing the Articles of Faith and watching Book of Mormon stories in Chinese on youtube.

Mouse is starting Core B, Intro to World History.  Mouse didn’t get this core earlier because we didn’t bring Sonlight to Mongolia with us.  We will probably get through this core in less time than usual!  She has already read most of the readers since they arrived, and so we’ll be using our Little House, Narnia and various other books to fill the gap.  I may even have her do the “out loud” reading on her own.   She will also be doing Saxon Math, Apologia Science, Wise Guide and LDS Copy Work.

Mouse is talented in spacial art and so we are looking for a way to help her develop this.  I’d love to find her a sculpture class or something similar.  She also excelled in Chinese language and the options are the same as Pie with the addition of the option of hiring a tutor for her for an hour daily because she loves this one-on-one attention and the time is well spent.

Star is starting Core F, Eastern Hemisphere.  This core actually fell at the perfect time for Star.  She is loving her time in China and is soaking up all of the cultural aspects of our experience.  This core will expand her vision within China and beyond to the rest of Asia.  She’ll continue her studies in Saxon Math, Apologia Science, Wise Guide and Excellence in Writing.  She has advanced in Chinese enough that she’ll be studying with Da’s books from last semester.  We will not hire a tutor at this point because she gets plenty of interaction with Xuxu, Da and our friends and neighbors.

If you are interested purchasing Sonlight products, please do so through this link and help us pay for our books while we are on our career break!

Sonlight Curriculum


Xuxu will start her second semester at Nanjing University in September.  Last semester we had her stay with her dad in a class that was below her level.  She was bored much of the time, but achieved the highest scores in her class.  This coming semester we are going to let her go into the class she tests into rather than holding her back.  She is excited about being challenged and yet nervous about being on her own for the first time.  She’ll do great!

Unfortunately, the work she is doing at NJU will not transfer to credit at a U.S. university.  At the end of two years she will have a certificate of completion and a transcript that will help in her application process, but she will be starting from square one in the credit department.  Because of this, we have decided that she will complete 36 credits of BYU Independent study before she applies to a university in the U.S.  We are getting a little bit of a head start on this because of our struggle to find Seminary for her here in China…  she is currently enrolled in REL A 121 through BYU Independent Study to replace the missing Seminary.

She is continuing to take viola lessons from Mr. Zhao 1-2 times a month and we are actively searching for some additional ‘experiential’ activities for her.  We are meeting with a violinist from the Symphony who speaks better English to talk about our desires for Xuxu and how we might better accomplish our goals.  One of the things we have considered is delving into piano study.  She would learn more about music in general and that couldn’t hurt, even though it isn’t additional viola practice.  As it turns out, the violinist’s husband teaches piano at the Nanjing Art Institute and we are meeting him to discuss lessons on Tuesday.  (If you have a child remotely interested in a music degree, please read the article I linked in this paragraph!)

Da starts school again in September too.  He has been studying hard over the summer (except when we had the FLU) and is hoping to advance an entire level before school starts again.  He is already anxious to be finished with this portion of our travels in China and has started networking and making contacts on Linkedin.

Marmee was working for a little bit at an English Training Center, but soon discovered that the late nights wound her up and made it impossible to sleep!  So, she is looking for other options to help with the family finances.  We are meeting our budget needs for basic living and school tuition, but unplanned trips to Shanghai, tooth emergencies, extra piano lessons, BYU independent study classes, etc. are eating into our reserves quickly.  If you want to help, please remember to visit our site and click on the book recommendations we make at Amazon before you make your purchases!  We’d really appreciate it!

Here is the current reading that is going on in our house and yes, I will receive a portion of the proceeds for any purchases made through these links.  You do not need to buy these exact books, all you need to do is click on them to get to Amazon and I will receive credit for everything you buy at that time.


1 Response

  1. This is often something that trips up aspiring university music students in the UK as well. My daughter explored studying music (violin and clarsach – celtic harp) at university here in Scotland, but would have needed ABRSM grade 5 in piano for all the full music degrees. She was adamant that she didn’t want to learn piano, so she has opted for music history and performance as subsidiary pre-honours courses at her university. That way she is still enjoying music but is studying another subject which she intends to teach as a career.
    By the way, my 21 year old engineering student son plays the viola – it’s such a beautiful instrument!