Day 15 of Homeschooling in the Middle East – The challenges of home educating in Bahrain, or anywhere in the Gulf

It’s my birthday today so a short post! Writing a short post and having an early night is my treat to myself 😉 since the day has been about ‘celebrating’ my birthday the way the kids think I should i.e. having their friends over and a big chocolate cake! And now they are cuddled up with their father watching the original ‘Superman’ movie with fish fingers when they should be in bed. They are in heaven! They think my birthday is the best! But they are so happy. That really is the best present I could ever have. And their excitement about my turning a year older, and having candles on the cake to mark decades instead of single years, is precious.

When I read about other home educators, unschoolers in particular, I am jealous! I am especially jealous because of the environments that they live in. I am trying to home educate in Bahrain in the Middle East, living here as an expatriate (expat). Bahrain is a tiny island. There is no natural beauty (I’m sorry Bahrainis but when you’ve travelled the world widely, you realize this). Bahrain is a desert environment but without the ability to even enjoy the desert – there are oil pipelines all over the place, so no pristine desert, so no off-roading or camping among sand dunes like in Oman, for instance. For most of the year it’s unbearably hot and humid so it’s not much fun for the kids to play outside. Although, my kids do go outside every day for at least a bit whilst others don’t seem to go outside, at all, for months. And at least by not being at school, my kids are able to enjoy the slightly cooler morning hours rather than waiting to go outside after school and homework when it’s either hotter or dark!

I’m jealous of all the amazing community resources so many other home educators have; amazing libraries and librarians (libraries are very limited here and the librarians haven’t got a clue what home education is), we sorely lack museums, community activities, secondhand sales and especially a community of fellow home educators (wherever they are on the unschooling spectrum).

But we do have each other. At the moment, that’s a very tight knit 3 of us, myself and the two kids, since my husband works such long hours and is frequently travelling away from home, but in time, we really hope this will change and he’ll be able to more bodily join us on our home educating adventure rather than being a financial contributor and cheerleader from the sidelines.

Please always feel free to post comments on any of the days you read, however old they are. Your views are valuable and it’s always good to have debate. If you’re busy but enjoyed that day’s blog, please do press the ‘Like’ button at the end of the post. It would be much appreciated as it helps encourage more people to read homeschoolinginthemiddleeast! Any comments about Maths teaching is especially appreciated and suggestions about resources warmly welcome!


About homeschoolingpenny

Hi and welcome! My name is Penny and I used to live in Bahrain but In November 2012 moved to Dubai and now we live in Granada, Spain! If you want to contact me my email is I recommend you start my blog on 'Day 1' but please enjoy whatever you dip into. 23 February 2012 marked the first day of no more school FOREVER for my two kids. Edward, who is nearly 10 had attended a variety of schools since he was very little. Petra, who is now 6, has never gone to school. On this date we decided Edward was never going back to school and Petra never would go to school. We hope to successfully homeschool from this day forward, although we would consider an alternative school as an option- if there was some amazing Sudbury or other really alternative school. Actually, I prefer the term 'home learning' than 'homeschool' because I don't like to think of school coming into our home. In fact, I hope to go further and guide/learn alongside, rather than teach, my kids using the 'unschooling' philosophy to instill a lifelong love of learning in them. We lived in the Middle East and now Spain all of which are very challenging places to home educate. This is an exciting journey that I used to blog about regularly, at first it was on an almost daily basis. Please join me on our travels and I hope we might be able to help each other out along the way. I certainly hope I can be a source of support and comfort and, in time, knowledge to all potential/presently participating homeschoolers/home educators/unschoolers. Good luck to us all! If you want to read about why I started home educating, why I pulled my son out of a 'very good' private school mid-term, how I felt at the very start and how my philosophy has evolved, please start from 'Day 1' of the blog. Please do post comments at the end of any days that you read. Your opinion is valuable and it's great to start up debate amongst other people commenting too, however old the post. Thank you for visiting homeschoolingmiddleeast.
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2 Responses to Day 15 of Homeschooling in the Middle East – The challenges of home educating in Bahrain, or anywhere in the Gulf

  1. shaema imam says:

    Do check out DUNEHA, dubai and northern emirates homeschooling association. They have a facebook page to start and if you are homeschooling (not just considering it), you can join their google group. Even though you are not in dubai, you can definitely make your case!

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