I haven’t abandoned this blog. Not at all. I write posts in my head all the time. I just don’t get to write them down since we’ve moved to Dubai. I am always thinking about homeschooling, about education, about parenting. And I love sharing my thoughts. But it’s a very, very challenging time right now for us.
It’s been just over one week and I am not adjusting well. I keep talking about ‘home’ and the kids keep reminding me, ‘old home, Mummy’ and I cry inside (occasionally, as quietly as possible, outside)!
Yes, we were totally spoiled in Bahrain but we are really struggling to accept the fact that we are going to have to pay at least double our old rent for a house without a garden or without access to a swimming pool (there’s little else to do here with the kids in the heat, which is 8 months of the year, than swim) or live miles out of town and have to do a lot of driving. I miss our ‘old’ home!
I am struggling to live in a busy metropolis again where you are hooted constantly if you slow down momentarily, to get your bearings. We are living on the 40th floor of an apartment building right on the busiest road in Dubai – and it is really busy, you can clearly hear the traffic hum all the way up here. We have a view of the tallest building in the world. It’s incredible but not where I want to be! I want to have my feet firmly planted on the ground, preferably with some grass between my toes, not hot tarmac or glaring cement.
And I miss our friends. We’ve met some nice people so that’s very reassuring and I’m very grateful. Homeschooling can mean meeting great people quickly. But of course friendships take time.
The kids are getting very little in terms of ‘book time’ but I think they are learning a lot by being fully present during the move, even though that’s stressful for them too. We talk a lot. It will be interesting to see what they have to say about this time, their perspective on it, in years to come. But I’m sure they’re learning a lot about ‘real life’. I got a lot of comments at our first homeschooling meeting today (in a park, now that is a treat, we didn’t have much in the way of public parks in Bahrain) about how ‘well-spoken’ Edward is, so that was a lovely endorsement of, in part, the alternative path we’re taking.
So readers, please don’t despair, you are in my heart. Please bear with me. I will get back ‘in the saddle’ with my blog although I now have to balance it with my Coursera ‘History of the World’ course for which I have to do a third essay by Monday. I am extremely proud of myself that I’ve been able to keep up with the course so far including writing essays, which I haven’t done in years and years, in the midst of the move, and it’s been really energising me, but I am afraid I’m going to miss this deadline. It’s not the end of the world. I’ll only be failing a personal challenge but that hurts! I would like to show the children that it’s important to follow through on commitments and that continuous learning is important even during the most challenging times. We’ll see if I can fit in that essay. But today, I felt I had to blog rather than crack on with that. To keep the faith with you, dear readers. So please wish us well and know that the homeschooling journey continues in the United Arab Emirates, even if it’s a bit staccato right now.
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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!