We have been (mostly) living and homeschooling in Lima, Peru, since the summer of 2013. My husband’s work is here, temporarily.
Machu Picchu (December 2014)
We have four children. Our oldest two, who are 19 and 22-years old, are living independent lives at different universities. It was a joy to spend Christmas with them here in Peru.
At this stage of motherhood, I am cherishing each and every day I have at home with my two youngest, now 17 and 12-years old. Homeschooling blesses us with more time together. My time with my children is most precious to me.
Our current morning reads- the scriptures, Percy Jackson, and Love Inspired romance (like mother, like daughter!).
Our mornings start off gradually. I wake up when my husband gets up for work, usually around 7:30am. I make him a sandwich for his lunch and see him off. Then I settle myself on a sofa with my scriptures on my Nook and a cup of my favorite peach herbal tea.
Marissa and Marcus usually wake up between 8 and 9am. They are both avid readers who love to start and end each day as bookworms.
We almost always eat a hot breakfast. It’s my thing.
Around 9:30am, the three of us sit down to breakfast together. Afterwards we work as a team to tidy up the kitchen and hand-wash the dishes, including those from the night before. While I would love to wake up to a spotless kitchen, let’s just say Peruvians put a lot less value on hot tap water than we Americans do.
Boiling water to hand wash dishes gets old fast! We have a limited supply of hot tap water in our kitchen every day.
Just before 10:30am, Marissa retreats to her bedroom and sets up for her first class.
These are actual classes with amazing teachers. There are academy students, who attend these classes in person, and distance learners, like us, from all over the world who watch these classes at home.
My kids are distance-learners through a truly unique private school in Utah called, Liahona Academy. We love love love Liahona because it’s a school that fully embraces our faith and values, their distance program is extremely flexible, and through them, my kids can receive Utah high school diplomas.
Marissa may watch her classes live, which gives her the advantage of instant-messaging her teachers during class, or she may watch her classes at a later time of her choosing. She has all semester to turn in her assignments and there are no classes on Fridays.
So, it is summertime here in Peru, the local children are out of school and that means the ice cream vendors are out in full force! I recorded a sound-bite for you which also gives you an idea of the view we have from our first floor apartment. (Peruvians love tall walls and electric fencing.)
The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History; Christian Kids Explore Physics; Learn Math Fast Volume 2; A Reason For Handwriting Cursive E; Spelling Made Easy (covers 290 homonym groups); Spelling Smart!
While Marissa’s watching her first class, I give Marcus a math lesson at the dining room table. We use the Learn Math Fast system, which we both like. He’s a natural at math and we try to cover three lessons a week. On the two mornings we don’t do math, we start out with handwriting (cursive) and spelling. We also take this time to work on his weekly five-paragraph essay for his Liahona writing class (set up as a writer’s workshop).
One way we get some exercise is by walking to and around a nearby park and then tossing a Nerf football or Frisbee to each other.
On days our maid doesn’t come in to work (Tuesdays and Thursdays), we try to take advantage of Marissa’s break between live classes (they are not all in a row) to get outside for a bit. So, around 11:45am, we walk to a nearby park.
Peruvian children play futbol, which is soccer.
I spy with my little eye… the ice cream bicycle guy! Actually, the sound of his kazoo gave him away.
When we get back to our apartment, Marissa grabs a snack as she heads back to her room to watch another live class that starts at 12:30pm. She watches four 45 minute classes (English, Algebra, history and science) in total.
These keep Marcus organized.
Meanwhile, Marcus and I go to the family room, hook my pc up to the TV and sit down comfortably on the couch to watch his Liahona classes. It takes approximately one hour to watch all four of his pre-recorded videos in a row (reading, writing, history and science), each 7 to 20 minutes in length, taught by the same teacher.
Every week Marcus creates a work of art or makes a craft related to his history class. His science experiments relate to his studies on physics.
Later, when we’re not utilizing my pc to watch Marcus’ classes, I’ll upload some of his work to his class Kidblog. This is a fun way to connect academy and distance students together. They can each submit pictures of their work for the whole class to see. Marcus also has a pen-pal in his class that he emails and texts on a regular basis.
We eat a late lunch, between 2 and 2:30pm. Marcus and I eat our lunch together, but I take a tray into Marissa’s room so she can keep going with her live classes. Her last class ends at 3:30pm.
We have lots of free time during our day.
We have plenty of free time, especially in the late afternoon. We use this time to read, play board games, bake cookies, Skype with a college kid if they are available, paint, do a science experiment, go on a walk, etc. On Fridays our maid brings her boys over to swim with Marcus in our pool.
A little evening visitor, perched on our electric fence.
My husband returns from work around 6pm. On Wednesdays, the kids have youth activities from 7 to 9pm at our church. Other than that and grocery shopping once a week, our evenings are just as relaxing as our mornings. We eat dinner and then we usually watch a movie. We have family scripture study and prayer around 9:30pm. And then I alternate nights reading to Marissa and Marcus. Currently with Marissa, she and I are reading, The Princess Bride. And with Marcus, he and I are reading, The Hobbit.
“Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
And that is a typical day with us in Lima, Peru, I’m afraid. Not very exciting, is it? However, touring Cusco and Machu Picchu in December as a family was priceless.
In 2007, Machu Picchu was deemed one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.