Most people wouldn’t even dream about living in a remote town in the mountains of Papua, Indonesia that is only accessible by air. But that is exactly what the Jongkind family has done! Jaap-Jan, Willeke and their four children, Jonathan, Naomi, Jerusha and Juda are from Holland, but they live, work and homeschool in Wamena, Indonesia.
I was very excited to interview Willeke because this wonderful family have become very special friends to us.
Why have you chosen to live in a different country other than your home country?
Jaap-Jan flies (small airplanes) here to serve the people of Papua and we love living a way that exposes our kids to life overseas.
What has been the best part of living overseas?
- When you live overseas, you grow closer as a family unit.
- You make new friends that become like family, across culture and language barriers.
- You learn to love and appreciate new food, new landscapes, and new experiences.
What has been the hardest part of living overseas?
- It is hard to be far away from friends and family in our home country.
- There are nasty illnesses you can pick up here, and we have experienced a few. Not easy!
- There are limited schooling options available for our kids. There are cultural experiences for sure, but no museums or other extras, which we really love.
What is your children’s favorite thing to do in the country you now live in?
Every Saturday we have three local brothers over that have become like family to all of us. We love to explore caves, go snorkeling at the coast and we even took a kayaking trip to Raja Ampat (said to be the most beautiful coast in the world). These were all highlights of our time in Papua.
The things we enjoy in any country we’ve lived in are hiking, biking, playing sports with friends, hanging out with friends, reading books, family movie nights, and having people over for dinner.
What homeschool curriculum have you found that works for your family and why do you like it?
We use Timberdoodle and to supplement Dutch, we use Juffrouw Blom. We love Timberdoodle as it stimulates independent learning, it is a versatile curriculum with smart games, doodles, and they just make a wonderful combination of subjects. It is a flexible week schedule, which really suits us, it is creative and do able!
What piece of advice do you have for women around the world who are homeschooling?
Find a curriculum that fits you and your kids, and roll with it! You will have hiccups when you get started, days that seem endless and not working. But eventually you get in a flow. Be gracious to yourself and the kids, yet at the same time challenge yourself and your kids. You can do it!
Cathy Duffy’s book, 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, helped me to discover my teaching style and my kid’s learning style.
*If you would like to ask Willeke a question, please comment below.