Homeschooling in Dubai – Coming up to Month 3


For those who may be wondering how homeschooling in Dubai is going…well, we’ve been here nearly 3 months.

We’ve done well.

We’ve worked hard to find a home and make a home.

All the books are out.

Some lessons are going on.

I’ve met some nice people.

I’m exploring options in terms of classes.

I’m feeling less overwhelmed.

I’m getting to know my way around; found a library, local shops, a nice public beach. I’m finding some particular specialist help I’d like – an osteopath for me, a kinesiologist for Edward. I’m getting some fresh angles about my kids which is a really exciting eye-opener, if challenging.

We’re already looking towards the future – what are we doing in the summer? Barcelona? Nice beaches, but we have those here. Is it educational enough? Sure! Let’s plan on that. Guidebook already borrowed. And even, on the odd occasion, we’d discussed what’s after Dubai? Not so much progress on that one. That’s not a topic we share with the kids either. Too unsettling for them but sort of freeing for us.

We’ve even got our first visitors coming. A good prompt to get those last things sorted that have been dumped on the ‘guest bed’! So we’re open for business!! Had to publish a great article on my Facebook page though, warning those child-free visitors that my time is very limited – despite their probable belief that ‘just being a Mum’ would mean oodles of time to take them sightseeing and wining and dining! Hope you can read it!


Thanks to the extreme generosity of a new Dubai friend who was prepared to be a wonderful trans-Atlantic, ‘Amazon’ Post Mistress, I have taken receipt of a stack of books which I’ll talk about once I’ve read them…

Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun by Dayna Martin

101 Reasons Why I’m an Unschooler by PS Pirro

Deliberate Motherhood: Of Peace, Purpose, Order and Joy by ‘The Power of Moms’

Teaching Your Children Joy (Teaching Your Children Values still hasn’t been dispatched) by Linda and Richard Eyre

Five in a Row, Volume 1 by Jane Claire Lambert (for teaching)

Dr Wright’s Kitchen Table Math by Chris Wright (looks a bit scary!)

And I recently purchased on bookdepository, ‘Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting’ by Dr Laura Markham, creator of ‘Aha’ Thanks to for that suggestion. I was looking for something to stop me shouting at my kids once and for all. It’s been 8 years of fruitless trying after all. And I think Markham might have the answer. A shouting chart that the kids maintain! I will go through the humiliation. I really will. But not this week 😉

The other book I got and have also started reading (brought down from the top shelf in my closet to do so!) is, ‘How to Talk to your Child about Sex’ by Linda and Richard Eyre – of the Values and Joy fame above. I am thinking it’s about time to have ‘the talk’ with Edward and having been talking to some other Mums to see what they think. Amjad is NOT keen. I am totally fine with it as long as Mr. Communicator doesn’t spread the word. I’m not sure he could stop himself and that’s my block so far, not so much his tender age. This book tackles the ‘how to’ very, very well I think.

And last but not least, I ordered books for the children’s monthly homeschooling book club for the next 3 months, since they take such a long time to get here and Edward isn’t the fastest reader. He’s also got to squeeze his book club read in with ‘Lord of the Rings’ which is quite a big ask! He absolutely loving ‘Rings’ and there’s not much room for anything else. Together we’re enjoying ‘Ship of Adventure’ by Enid Blyton though, I read it to him, despite him being obviously more than capable of reading it himself, doing so affords awesome cuddle time. It’s wonderful old-fashioned fun and has taken hold of his imagination in a way the more famous ‘Secret 7’ or ‘Famous 5’ never did.

Phew! I think I’ve nearly finished the Dubai update!

It’s been SO stressful not having time to blog. Writing this feels SO good, even if nobody reads it, but SO great if you are! Thank you! It’s been so stressful not finishing my Coursera History course either. I feel I’ve really let myself down and resentful that unfortunately I didn’t the required support to finish it. There wasn’t quite enough belief in my continuing education, no matter whether it’s the ‘right time’ or not, as I had in myself 😦

Dubai, we’re here, we’re homeschooling, we’re gettin’ out and about. Show us what you’ve got to offer! So far, we’re making the most of the parks and beaches. Indeed, I decided last weekend to prioritise being outside, lessons or not, because come April, it will be too hot. Thereafter, life moves inside 24/7, noses pressed on the baking glass for the next 6+ months. Brutal.

But for now…trying to find a rhythm, meaning and happiness wherever we are.

IF YOU’RE NEW TO HOMESCHOOLING MIDDLE EAST, welcome! If you are interested in reading about our homeschooling adventure, I recommend that you start reading from ‘Day 1’. Why I recommend starting at Day 1 is because this adventure into homeschooling has been a rollercoaster; philosophically and emotionally, which you might learn, seek solace from or even be thoroughly entertained by. 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 we share, 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! 

The fastest way to access ‘Day 1’ 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!

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! 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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7 Responses to Homeschooling in Dubai – Coming up to Month 3

  1. Glad you’re settling in. Or, with all you’ve got going on, maybe “settling” isn’t the right verb. Adventuring in, perhaps. Love the advise column clip!

  2. Dad says:


    I love hearing from you

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please do share your insights after reading the “Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids” book… I know I nag my family too much, I have read about the harmful effects of this habit, but am unable to break free from it. Help!

  4. Ben says:

    I am looking to meet unschooler…
    So do you stil’ in Dubaï actually ?

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