Evaluating education

We’re staring down a lot of choices in this move. Anyone who relocates, to one extent or another, has the opportunity/need to take just about every bull in their lives by the horns: materialism and clutter; diet and exercise; environmental impacts; healthcare arrangements; transportation; and of course, education.

Foreign kids in Dubai don’t have a public school option. Emirati PS is for Emiratis. Given the situation, I can see how this is the case. At any rate, we now need to (quickly) examine our private school options and select a school for our kids. There are many international schools from which to choose, but on the very first level we have to decide: American or International Academy?

I have my own leanings. I was an exchange student as a high school junior, and returned abroad for a semester in college. My husband’s education was based on a French model and he, too, studied in Europe after finishing his post-secondary schooling. There’s a lot in an IB program that appeals to us.

At the same time, our kids have been learning just fine in an American system. Decent grades, OK progress, nothing astoundingly good or bad. I’ve been less than ideal as a parent of students, I suppose. Been busy between work, farm and the numerous coping mechanisms necessary to get through M’barek’s long business trips and all that, so obviously we all leave room for improvement. But sticking with American school would make re-entry, if it happens, easier.

Is easier better?

Besides, most American schools in Dubai also offer an IB diploma option once the kids get to high school. Mine have a few years before high school. Still…why keep them in the American system now if we might want to shepherd them into IB anyway?

I am probably making a mountain of a molehill, really. School is just once facet of education, and no matter what we choose, I’m pretty sure the whole experience is bound to provide a giant pile of learning for the bumpkin kids.


2 responses to “Evaluating education

  • Terri Russell

    Are there others you know who have made this choice before from whom you could gain insight? Maybe through your husband’s co-workers?

    It’s a big decision, but I know that you will make an informed decision and that the children will continue to learn and grow through the whole process.

    • Old Mucker

      I guess I’m bumping up against the limits of that wisdom, Terri. I think I have a different perspective on and value for the school-versus-education big picture. Que sera, sera, I suppose.

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