Most kids would not consider it a treat to wake up at 6:30 a.m. for school. But for the Juma children, it was a welcome change.

A typical day, in a typical world, started as early as 4 a.m. . The children wake up, get ready for school, have breakfast and then leave for the day. Vincent helps take the kids to school in multiple trips, and when they return home later in the day, Rose would have dinner prepared. After eating, they did homework, got baths and had a family devotion before going to bed . But all of that changed.

Rose and Vincent’s children, like other children at Maono Light and around the world, stayed home from school for the next year. There weren’t any buses to catch, so children got a welcome two extra hours of sleep. The challenge was incorporating games between studies to motivate the kids and prevent burnout from too long periods of studying.

The Jumas, along with other parents at Maono Light, bought exams for children to study for and take. They shared subject matters, much like teachers in a school. Families combined children and divided them into learning groups by their corresponding school grades, encouraging the atmosphere of a real school environment.  Vincent’s background in education gave him an advantage, especially when helping children who were struggling. “I tried to cultivate a reading culture in them,” he says. He encouraged them to read story books, and  many children improved in their English skills — particularly Sheryl and Eunice!

Despite the year’s abnormality,  the Jumas are pleased to say the children did well with their studies. Eunice, Caleb and Fedel have each improved particularly well!

Rose sees this year as a great opportunity for children to practice taking initiative in their studies outside the context of a school. “When you set a pace, talk to them, and they understand what they are supposed to do, they can carry on with their studies even when you are not there,” she says. “Nothing is cast in stone,” Vincent added in regards to their kids academic studies. “These children have great potential.”