Month 3 of Learning at Home – Who’s the Saviour of Education, great teachers or great homeschoolers? Both!

FOREWORD: If you’re new to homeschoolingmiddleeast, welcome! I highly recommend that you start reading from ‘Day 1’. The fastest way to access this is to look for ‘Archives’ on the right hand side of the home page, click on ‘February 2012’ and scroll down to the bottom of the page that opens. If you want a quick first visit, you could type a term e.g. ‘socialization’ or ‘university’, into the ‘Search’ box or of course you could just read my latest posts without doing anything!

Why I recommend starting at Day 1 is because this is an adventure into homeschooling that is not yet 3 months old and the journey has been a rollercoaster  – philosophically and emotionally, catalogued daily for the first couple of months. For you to get the full intellectual and dramatic impact, it’s best to start at the beginning. You might be contemplating home educating and wonder what those early nail-biting days feel like or you might enjoy reading somebody else’s take on an experience you share with me, or you might be more generally interested in my thoughts and feelings on education and parenting. Whatever the reason you’re reading, I’m really humbled that you’re taking your valuable time to do so and I really hope I can be some kind of hope or inspiration for you. Thank you! Now for today’s post…

More excitement! It’s almost too much in one day. First of all my first ever guest post ( and now a post written about my post (which was written about his post!!)

There I was, sitting innocently at my desk, getting my evening fix of all the good stuff everyone else writes (writing more successfully and with more acclaim than me), reading this post (with my mind wide open as usual when I read him) when suddenly, smack in the middle of my intellectual frequency I get a huge ego rush! Totally unexpected. I thought I was reading a post about creating innovation in education when smack! my ego gets hit with, “If you are involved in Education, Homeschooling, even parenting, the “HomeschoolingMiddleEast” blog cannot be missed. I am humbled being followed by HSME, indebted by HSME’s patronage, and after having whole pieces of a recent post used as fodder for a HSME post, I feel undeserving of the attention. HSME raises so many valid points related to my comments I am compelled to clarify

HSME! That’s me! Although, stupidly, I had never thought of myself as an acronym. Very cool! After continuing to read the rest of the post, almost in a daze of ego-euphoria, I say ‘almost’ because Constant Geographer (what IS your real name?!) is always far too interesting not to get properly engaged with what he’s saying, he ends his desperately sad post with, Oh my gosh! It’s me again! He’s talking about little ol’ me again! It’s too much! “Thanks, again, to HomeschoolingMiddleEast for inspired thoughts and comments, for commenting, for revealing the weakness in my writing, and in doing so, helping to strengthen my rhetoric. Yes, due to the diligence of parents like you, “saviours” will no doubt erupt from future generations. PAX” Peace indeed! And I can’t help myself. I can’t help repeating it verbatim here! I am too thrilled and excited. I’m sorry; you experienced bloggers must think I’m pathetic! But it’s only been just over 2 months since I embarked on twin journeys filled with doubt and uncertainty – blogging and educating at home.  They were started on the same day and one was born because of the other. I am posting about a pretty niche topic in a very niche part of the world (I mean, be honest, how many of you actually know where teeny tiny Bahrain is? Especially before the advent of last year’s ‘Arab Spring’?!) And how many homeschoolers are there in the Arabian Gulf? Not too many! So, what I’m agonizing over is a pretty niche topic with a potentially small world of readers. And then here comes big, popular, interesting, educated ‘Constant Geography’ referring favourably to me in a post. It’s too exciting! And totally unexpected.

What’s even more exciting, for me, which I commented about after reading the post, is that ‘Constant Geographer’ even made me feel better not just about my writing but also about my son, about our learning at home journey. I wrote, “…what almost made me cry was your statistics; the low number of parents interested in their children’s education and your stories of how shockingly badly your students write. I felt almost sick and I’m not being confronted by that on a daily basis. I worry myself into premature grey hairs because my 7 year old doesn’t want to write, won’t be able to spell etc… But after reading your post, I thought, there is no way, with two articulate, caring adults leading his educational adventure that Edward’s not going to leave home not only being able to write, but write really well, to compliment his supreme verbal communication skills. He may only be interested in learning how to write well when he’s in his teens, until then I’ll have to sweat it, but it WILL happen! At the moment, Edward’s learning how to be a bit of a maverick in a pretty conservative society and our main job is to support his self esteem, his sense of identity right now. Everything will have its time…”

Please do check out this post. If you care about education, it’s really, really thought provoking. And subscribe! For sure I didn’t reveal any written weaknesses, we all just get caught up in our passions and it’s good to hear other perspectives, that’s all. I wish more people would comment on my blog, would call me out, would challenge me, but in a way that’s really moving the debate forward. But I know everyone is really busy. But it’s just so intellectually satisfying (let alone, maybe only once in a blue moon, who knows, egotastic (my pc wants to correct that to egotistic but I don’t mean that, I mean egotastic!) to have a back and forth debate with someone you’ve never met, hardly know, yet really respect.  I highly recommend it! It makes the world feel so much smaller and so much friendlier and so much more interesting! I mean what’s not to like about this kind of writing, “I’m not especially angry about being a witness to the U.S. government’s critical neglect of Education; I am dismayed, saddened, chagrined, stymied, and incredulous, and usually all of these simultaneously. I can completely appreciate homeschooling of children by smart educated parents, technologically savvy and with more than a mere wit Socratic exuberance themselves who see the world as a laboratory, and have a thirst for learning” – I love that, “dismayed, saddened, chagrined, stymied, and incredulous, and usually all of these simultaneously”. The passion just seeps into your tired bones at the end of the day. Like ‘Constant Geographer’, of course I wish he didn’t have to feel this way. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions but to have it embraced with such fervour has got to mean that it’s going to be OK in the end. Somehow.

AFTERWORD: If you would like to make life easier (who doesn’t?!) scroll down the right hand side of the page and click the ‘Follow’ button. Posts will be delivered to your email inbox until such time you may not want them anymore.

Don’t feel shy! Please always feel free to email me ( or ideally post comments* on any of the days you read, however old they are. Commenting helps others who may well like to have more ideas or suggestions about the topic concerned or you can ask me a question that you think others might also like answers to.

If you’re too busy to comment that day, but enjoyed what you read, please do press the ‘Like’ button at the end of the post. Again, you have to have clicked on the title of the post to get the ‘Like’ button option at the end of the post. Commenting, ‘Liking’ and Following is much appreciated as it encourages more people to read homeschoolinginthemiddleeast! Any comments about Maths teaching is still especially appreciated and suggestions about resources warmly welcome, as per the plea in my post: Take care. Have a great day and thank you for visiting.

*How to make a comment – If you are reading posts on the homepage, you will see at the bottom of the post, in tiny grey writing either e.g. ‘7 comments’ or ‘Leave a comment’. Click on this to add yours. If you’ve clicked on the title of the post, you can see any comments that have been left already, and space for your own, right at the bottom of the page. Your views are valuable and it’s always good to have debate.


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 Month 3 of Learning at Home – Who’s the Saviour of Education, great teachers or great homeschoolers? Both!

  1. shaema imam says:

    I got excited reading your post too! I have come to bed exhausted but with my tablet to see what ideas i can pick up from your blog. Another day of ambitious goals, hits and misses, unexpected learning experiences and feeling inadequate as a parent… With your blog to read and the other blogs and references you bring in, it makes me feel that i am genuine to feel overwhelmed, but that i must carry on like so many others around the world trying their best with the kids in their lives. Thank you for your efforts and enthusiasm!

    • You are so kind, Shaema. But I was sorry to hear that you feel this way – especially when you are someone who is trying their best. Please be kind to yourself too! Anything I can do to help makes me feel so good and that this blog is worthwhile! After summer I’ll be back on to more issues that will hopefully interest and help you. BTW, a Dubai move is back on the cards. I’ll keep you posted! x

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