So, after a summer that truly did begin to feel endless, especially once October came around and we were still in the US, we made our way haltingly back to the UAE, via Morocco. We arrived here a week ago, and now we are working feverishly to catch up on schoolwork while we settle into the new digs and our new city, Abu Dhabi.
What a wonderful experience it was to be back among our dearest family and friends for the summer. The kids fell right back in with their cousins and friends, and all the time in the world would never be enough for me to spend with my family and friends. We had a lovely Ramadan together with Joanna and her family, and then spent what was left of summer preparing for a new way of school.
We decided–after our experience with a “good” brick-and-mortar school in the UAE; after an extended conversation that went too many directions to follow; after research on our options and how to get started–to enroll the kids with K12 International Academy. I have family and friends who have used online schools and who were pleased with the results, and I was drawn to the rigor of the curricula, especially in core academics. There’s enough flexibility that a student can work in various grade levels at one time, and the International Academy also enables us to fiddle with the schedule as needed to accommodate family travel, international holiday schedules, and whatever else comes up.
We got a pretty good start on school before we left the US, but I have to admit that one’s own space is pretty important when it comes to study. There are books and materials, and there are hours and hours every day when the kids need quiet, concentration, and space around them. This was especially hard in a small hotel room, but I suppose we could always see those few weeks as preparation for this apartment, which is perhaps two-thirds the size of our Dubai villa.
Then, after the usual (and yet always emotional) goodbyes, we were on our way to Morocco, where we spent the Eid al Adha holiday with family, and then took a few days’ road trip through a couple of mountain ranges, up the coast, in to Marrakech, back up to the Middle Atlas, and then Casablanca and on to Abu Dhabi.
Here are a few highlights from the two weeks:
I am thinking it will take us a good week or so to catch up on classes, especially for Noah. He’s about the slowest worker I have possibly ever seen in my life, and I don’t think he has an urgency chip installed. So I’m trying not to pull out my hair. Yes, I’d rather be on the beach (every single day), and I am sure we will get back to the point where that’s part of our schedule. But I have a middle schooler who is now a week behind in school. We have plans today to meet up with the local homeschooler group at the beach. The kids have been informed that our participation depends on their performance. Right now, I am not banking on it.