No matter what your kids learn in school, there will always just be some additional things that you want your kids to know. This is especially true if you live in a foreign country.
For example, I am American, and Feyma is an American Citizen too. As such, we feel that it is important for our kids to learn about some things that just are not taught in Philippine Schools. I am not putting down on Philippine schools by saying this, I am simply saying that their education is skewed with a Philippine viewpoint. Wait before you attack me – I am also willing to say that American schools teach with a viewpoint that is skewed with a US viewpoint. I am not saying that such skewing of the viewpoint is wrong, what I am saying is that I prefer for my kids to learn both sides of the story.
This is particularly true when it comes to history. And, I make this statement with two things in mind. What is taught in US schools in regard to history between the USA and the Philippines is different from what is taught here with regards to history betwen the Philippines and the USA. I am not saying that one is right and the other is wrong, I am saying, though, that the lessons, even on the same topic, are different. They are different because each side may see the exact same incident through two different vantage points, thus leading to different conclusions.
Now, when there are two different conclusions to the same event, I believe that it would be to my kids’ benefit to learn each side and make their own judgment as to where the truth lies for them. Problem is, in the schools (on either side of the ocean) they get only one side of the story.
The second thing in my mind on this matter is that certain things would not be taught in history here. For example, they would not learn about the US Civil War in school here, as it is of no relevance to the vast majority of the students in the Philippines. Just as US students would never learn about Dr. Jose Rizal in American schools – he simply is not relevant to US history for the most part. That being said, I want my kids to learn about both – the Civil War and Jose Rizal. The question is, how to accomplish this.
There are actually many ways to round off your kids’ education with additional information. The easiest is to find websites about events that you feel are important, and let your kids read these sites. Have them learn about history from their “other” country through reading and researching the web. I have gone so far as to tell them to learn about a certain subject, and then to quiz them (verbally or in writing) about the subject. I find this quite effective too. A few years back, I wanted my son to learn about U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, and I used this method. He knows quite a bit about the 16th US President now. He never would have learned this in Philippine Schools either.
Another thing that I like to do to further my kids’ education on US History is to download TV shows over the Internet. There are a lot of TV shows that are very accurate and informative, especially shows from The History Channel and PBS. For example, a few years back there was a series of ten TV shows called “Ten Days that Changed America” on the History Channel. Each show was about one day in American History that made an impact on the nation that survives today. Each of these events was an important thing that I wanted my kids to know about, and now they do, because I had them watch each of these shows in the series. I do the same with other series too. And, I include historical shows from not only the USA, but from other countries too, if the events depicted are important to the knowledge of my kids.
A third option to consider is to enroll your kids in some of the online educational opportunities that are available on the Internet. Many schools from Grammar School through College offer online opportunities for learning, and these are possibly good for the learning of your kids, whether full time, or as a supplemental tool.
Remember, I am not downing the Philippine schools with this article, just saying that there are some things that are not part of the curriculum here, and can easily be added to your kids’ learning with a little diligence from the Parents. I know that it works for me.