Saturday, January 29, 2011

FOUND: Dutch Teacher/Instructor

This post orginally read: WANTED: Dutch Teacher/Instructor. But as of yesterday that seems to have changed, but seeing as I took the effort to put the post together I figured I'd finish it and post it as it says it all anyways and update at the bottom where we're at now.

Looking for individual who is (preferably) experienced at teaching dutch to a novice/beginner. Would be needed from June 2011 to September 2011, hours and wages to be set at the time, as needed. Willing to teach at an intense level so that student has aquired a good reading (and hopefully speaking) ability of the dutch language by the end of the summer, should be equivilant to a 1-2 year college/university level course.

Ever since Rob decided he would like to enter the ministry he has had the desire to learn the dutch language. He feels that he is missing a wealth of reformed literature that has not yet (and probably never will) been translated into the English language. He has often heard of ministers or students who have been "saved" by being able to read the dutch language and so getting a better understand of what they are working on. Or for those who are not proficient in the dutch language who say when stuck they will take the time to translate from dutch. Our heritage and our history is dutch and lies in the dutch language. While we have much that has been translated there is still so much more out there that could be helpful for him as a minister D.V.

Way back in 2005 when he first entered University but was only going parttime and working full-time he purchased dutch cd's to try and listen and learn while he was driving. Well I'm afraid that was not very successful ... okay it wasn't the least bit successful. We often talked about how the best way to learn it would be for him to immerse in it and spend a summer working in the Netherlands. He has spoken to ministers who have done this and found that this was indeed adequate for them to speak and read the language and those whom he has spoken to have said that it was definitely worth their time and they would recommend doing it.

Over the next few years life took a difference focus and learning dutch was not high on the priority list, although the topic continued to arise from time to time. In the last couple years he has again spoken of it ... until his dear wife finally said ... "stop talking about it and do your research to see if it is possible to accomplish" So in the fall the research was begun and the thought began to formulate that if he was going to do this the coming summer of 2011 was his last option as the summer of 2012 D.V. he will be doing his three month practicum.

He has decided to go a head with learning dutch, which would mean he would not be working and there would be no income this coming summer. That part we at least know, the bigger decision was how to go about this decision.

So the options were looked at and are being weighed out:

Option Number 1:

The family relocates to the Netherlands from June to August while Rob takes University courses to learn the language. These courses are intense language courses that have 5 hours of class each day and require approximately 2-3 hours of study/prep each day. On top of this he would be in the actual country and so able to use the language outside of school as well.

  • three full months of complete focus on the language at school as well as outside of school accomplishing a good understanding, speaking and reading ability of the language in a short amount of time.
  • together as family
  • an amazing adventure and experience for the whole family, and with the kids a bit older they would be old enough to remember and take with them a lot of what they learned and seen


  • The obvious: cost, cost, cost. Even if we were so fortunate as to be able to do a house exchange or to house sit and cut our costs down that way, there would still be the cost of getting the family there and the many "little" expenses and unexpected expenses that arise with moving half way around the world temporarily with a whole family and making adjustments to a new country/culture. (And of course who wants to travel that far without doing at least a bit of sight-seeing :) which of course is another cost)
  • With the whole family along what language do you expect Rob would speak when he got home??? English of course! So he would not be as well immersed as we would like. (We do realize that almost everyone speaks English and would want to "try-out" their English on him, but if he made a point of speaking dutch and letting people know he wants to speak dutch that could still be beneficial.)

Option Number 2:

Rob goes on his own and spends June to August in the Netherlands taking University language courses and immersing himself in society to learn faster.


  • more fully immersed in the language to learn it more quickly
  • not "tied" down by his family making him more flexible to do volunteer work or other items that would help him to use the language regularly
  • less living cost as it would be easier to find a place for one person to rent or room-and-board
  • only one plane ticket to purchase :)
  • lots of fun and adventure for Rob :)


  • Three months away from his family! Now he felt that this would be workable if I would come for a month. And I felt that I could not leave my children behind for a month. So it was suggested I just go for two weeks, which would be a bit more doable, but he still doesn't see the kids for three months and that still adds and extra expense
  • not quite so much fun and adventurous for the rest of us :(

Option Number 3

Purchase the Rosetta Stone learning package and self-teach during the summer months.

Advantage - well these are pretty obvious

  • less costly - no plane ticket(s), no second home costs, less costly or at least not more costly then university fees
  • together as family
  • Rob would still be able to work the odd hours here and there (side jobs, piggy-sitting :) to bring in a small amount of cash. He of course said he had to work at least couple weeks in the truck (can't get that diesel blood out of him), to which I said "that depends on your progress report" :) - but he could be a occasional (key word) relief driver.


  • "self-discipline" would be the key word! Would he stick to it and learn it efficiently and effective on his own?
  • not immersed so would it stick long term if not using it regularly?
  • hmmm ... that's not near as much fun as travelling :)

Option Number 4

Try again to find a good dutch teacher in Ontario (even if it means relocating) who can teach at an intense level and devote the summer months to this. While I can speak English, I cannot teach it, so he's not just looking for someone who knows the language but someone who is able to teach it properly. We did look into this previously and inquired at the dutch embassy but there were no good options that we could find, the few available were not during the summer and Rob has absolutely no time to add another course during his school year. So it appeared if this were to be an option it would have to be a private tutor who could accomodate Rob's desire to learn during the summer.

Advantage - some of these are going to look familiar :)

  • less costly - no plane ticket(s), no second home costs, likely less costly or at least not more costly then university fees
  • together as family
  • a teacher to keep him on track and guide and assist him better
  • Rob would still be able to work the odd hours here and there (side jobs, piggy-sitting :) to bring in a small amount of cash. He of course said he had to work at least couple weeks in the truck (can't get that diesel blood out of him), to which I said "that depends on your progress report" :) - but he could be a occasional (key word) relief driver.


  • not as immersed so would it stick long term if not using it regularly?
  • again ... that's not near as much fun as travelling :)

So that sort of gives a rough idea of what we are weighing out. We were leaning strongly towards Option Number 1 or 2 at first but as the time came to make a decision and actually consider handing over those precious $$$$$$'s it was beginning to get harder to see our way clear on these options. (We promised the kids by the end of January we would make a decision about whether we would be spending the summer in the Netherlands) Rob had originally said that he felt the benefits of learning the language justified getting a loan to accomplish the goal, but ... ya ... that's a lot of money to accomplish a goal that is nice and an advantage but not a necessity.

So at this point, unless something magical happens, Option Number 1 is off the list. Ah man ... no fun adventure!

This week we discovered there was someone we knew (not well, but still not a stranger) who had actually taught dutch before. A phone call was made ... it would appear we're going with Option #4. The best option overall, just a bit more boring and less adverturous :) We are hoping that this option will work out, there are some issues that might hinder the situation, but suffice to say that at this time it would appear we've found an answer.

There is some consideration to still apply Option Number 2 with a bit of a modification. Instead of Rob taking the complete 3 intense language courses offers through the summer he could just take the first course to get a good basis and grip on the language and then return to spend the rest of the summer doing Option Number 4. This would be a three week course, so he could go for 3-4 weeks on his own, still a bit of a cost, but not quite so in depth.

And if necessary Option Number 3 can always be applied to compliment (or would it complicate?) Option Number 4.

So anyways, Option Number 4 it is. We are staying here this summer!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dear Marietta and Rebecca

Hello Girls, how was your day today? I know that each day after school you come and check your e-mail and a few blogs, including ours. And each day I get a comment about how I have not updated the blog. So here is a blog post just for you! :)

I said that once I was caught up on the paperwork and my book club and society study stuff I would post something ... and this morning you reminded me that I was done those things and so I no longer have an excuse. I agree with Marietta that if I just posted something every day ... like "everyone" (really how many people is everyone?) else does ... then I wouldn't get behind. While I am sure you think blogging is a very important task for me to do each day, I'm afraid it is not that high up on my priority list when there seem to be so many other things that I could be doing. But I realize that it is very nice to keep up-to-date on the little tidbits of life and this is a fun and wonderful way to do it, so I keep trying. I'm afraid I am always behind, when I work hard to catch up on one project I let others slide behind and then I need to catch up on them and it's a vicious circle. I haven't yet figured out how to stay caught up and maintain everything on a consistent basis. I really need to learn better time management, I'm afraid I'm not a very good example to you.

So while I do not think you will be finding a post a day, I will try to entertain you a bit more often with some updates. I think I still have a few updates to do from the end of 2010 and then it's on to 2011. I am sure if it is a problem to find pictures to post you girls will likely have some to share with me, especially you Marietta, as you try to learn how to use our family Santa gift that we just received - Photoshop Elements (so you can teach me, right:). Once you get that mastered then you can learn how to use Photoshop Premiere and fix up our home videos. Just like mom, you always complain that there so many things you want to do and not enough time (cardmaking, scarpbooking, loom knitting, photoshop, various other crafts, cooking, baking, playing outside) ... I'm glad you can relate a little to how I feel :)

Well I hope you had a good day today and now I must get back to my other important tasks ... like making lunch :)


Saturday, January 1, 2011

From Our Family ...
To Your Family

We wish you all the Lord's blessings in the year 2011!
While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22