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Nacel Open Door International Homeschool Program

by Nancy Riebel

My name is Nancy Riebel from Independence, MO. I am a host mother and local representative for Nacel Open Door. I had the pleasure of hosting two summer homeschool students last summer with this organization.

When the area coordinator first asked me to become involved in the Homeschool Program, my first thought was whether I would be able to do a good job teaching the students. He assured me that I would do fine. I accepted the challenge, as I thought it would be interesting and helpful for the students. Nacel Open Door provides all of the material, along with any support. You can call the coordinator or the national office with any questions or concerns.

My two students were Nicolas (from France) and Andre (from Colombia). I tried to think of creative and interesting lessons for the boys. One of the suggested lesson plans called for giving directions to a particular place on a map. Since I had already planned a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, I decided to let the boys look at our map and tell us where to turn. They thought this was interesting and it helped them learn to read the map and give directions. Another fun lesson we did was “How to order from a menu in English.” When we got to Atlanta, we went to a restaurant and let the boys order our meals!

We finished the remaining lessons after we returned home. Some lessons consisted of reading recipes of cookies and then making them, and other fun things that the boys enjoyed. Since students learn at different speeds, they varied in their reception to the lessons. One boy found the lessons easy to navigate, while the other felt a bit more overwhelmed at times. I let them do the easy lessons first and then moved on to the more difficult ones. This created a more hands-on approach for them.

Hosting homeschool students is not all work. We had a lot of fun while they were here. We learned about differences between our cultures and we cooked different foods from their country as well as ours. On our trip to Georgia, we passed Fort Knox, Kentucky. They boys enjoyed seeing other parts of the U.S. and seeing the different ways the food was cooked. One of them described a difference by saying that in his country there were not buffets, no tipping, no free refills on sodas, and no throwing peanut shells on the floor. The boys also showed us pictures of their countries and told us about a lot of interesting things they do in their countries.

I believe hosting homeschool students is interesting because you are able to help the students improve their English and in return, they appreciate your help and expertise. (If you are interested in hosting a Nacel Open Door student from France this summer, please contact the national office at 800/622-3553.)  N.R.

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