So, an update…It’s been two and a half weeks since we landed in Dubai. I was in denial and then full of sadness about leaving Bahrain. I was terribly worried about finding an equivalent home. The intensity of some of those feelings have lessened, helped by spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun with fellow homeschoolers – in the shaded parks and even for a day on the beach, watching heaving tourists sunburning themselves raw.
I feel really lucky to be part of what looks like an active and friendly homeschooling group here in Dubai. And we might have found a home, even if it’s not equivalent, especially in terms of rent! It’s going to take a while to get used to a view of a back wall rather than a vista of green play space with the laughter of neighbourhood children wafting over in reassuring waves. But nevertheless it will hopefully be a good home for us.
I’m meeting some families who traditionally school their children too. I get a lot of, ‘What are you going to do when…?’ questions. “What are you going to do when Edward wants to study algebra, you know, the hard kind? And what about Physics and Chemistry, schools have special teachers for this you know”. My answer is always pretty calm these days, I’ve matured, and I say, “It will be fine. I’ll learn what I need to learn to teach what I need to teach and Edward will teach himself as he gets older or we’ll find someone who can help, including his Maths-Whizz father.” I shrug my shoulders as if it’s the simplest thing in the world. They are completely gobsmacked. Their jaws hang open at my laissez-faire attitude. But I feel truly confident that all will be well and I think this confidence radiates because they just don’t know what to say other than, “You’re amazing!” but you can tell this means, in part at least, “You’re so crazy but so sure I just don’t know what to say next.”
It’s lovely having this certainty. I don’t feel it about my everyday approach. Every day, when things are more ‘normal’, not in the midst of a country move, I feel worried I’m doing the right things that particular day. But overall, I feel extremely comfortable with trusting the homeschooling/learning at home/unschooling processs. I have no doubts whatsoever. I feel fully at peace and this will help us during our move in Dubai – with meeting new people, with setting up a new home that reflects our joyful approach to learning whatever the kids are interested in that particular day or sharing what I’m feeling especially excited about that particular day. It’s ironic that the house we might be renting is surrounded by schools and I’m sure I’ll regularly get snared up in school traffic which will be especially galling but also a constant reminder of the joys of what we’re doing on so many levels.
So thanks to good weather, outdoor fun, lovely budding friendships and flexible, social kids I’m coping better with my losses. Some memories are almost too raw and painful to contemplate, like the loss of our dear, dear neighbours. But others are being put into context, lovely and cozy but ultimately perhaps we’ll be better off here. Thank you to everyone who is helping us find our way in Dubai and to all those thinking about us wherever you are in the world. We really do appreciate all your kindness and I am determined to make you proud of us as we surmount the homeschooling and other challenges in Dubai.
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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!