An Introduction to new Homeschoolers

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Homeschoolers

First exchange with new homeschoolers…!!!

We’ve been homeschooling Aarohi for almost 6 years now. As I explained in our earlier article, how we arrived at this decision and it sure has turned out to be the best thing we’ve done so far in our lives. Living in Dubai, we’ve been a part of the local homeschoolers community called DUNEHA. There are about 75 families in Dubai and how it works is that we’re segregated into groups of 5 families who get together once a week for a Science co-op. Through our group, we undertake various activities for the education of our children. Once in a while, we get introduced to new families who are on the verge of taking the decision of homeschooling their children or still struggling with the decision. We recently got introduced to one such family through one of our friends Mr. Gerald Elvey. As we started interacting with them, it turned into a very interesting conversation. Here is the first exchange between us.

Our first mail:

Hello,
My name is Abhijit Roy. I got your email from Mr. Gerald Elvey. He told me that you were looking to start homeschooling your kids and were hoping to talk to other homeschoolers.
My wife, Snehal and I have been homeschooling our daughter, Aarohi since her birth and will be happy to answer any questions you have. Snehal is in India right now as we’re expecting a new member in our family. I’ve added her also in c.c. So, please feel free to ask anything that you would like to get a clarification on.
Cheers,
Abhi.

Aastha’s reply:

Hi,
Congratulations to the family!
We have been homeschooling our daughter Tvisha (3 years 8 months old). She did attend a preschool in India for about 3 days and that’s when I decided against formal schooling for her.
How old is your daughter?
What exactly do you do when you homeschool? I just let her play, explore and learn.
Few things that I was concerned about are: her ability to socialize and make friends; and what happens if we have to return to India? I believe homeschooling is not recognized there.
I’m planning to go for the Duneha meet up and have also enrolled for the science coop. I hope I get more sorted with the entire concept of homeschooling.
Thank you so much for writing in. I have been really looking forward to emails from other homeschoolers.
Best regards,
Aastha
Homeschoolers

Our reply:

Hi,
It’s always nice to meet like-minded people, but anybody who’s homeschooling their children, are like family to us.
Aarohi is 5 and a half (almost 6) now. Well, there are 2 types of homeschoolers, one who follow a curriculum that one can buy and the others who don’t follow any curriculum. These are called un-schoolers. We are in the later category. For us, the education is Kid led. We’ve populated our house with all the things that we would want Aarohi to pickup like – books (story as well as academic), arts and craft material (watercolors, beads, origami, pottery), piano (Casio), flute, puzzles etc. Soon enough she gets interested in doing one of those and then we do that for as long as she wants to do it. One of the ways that we get her interested in doing something is that we do it ourselves and then out of curiosity she also picks it up. We’ve also enrolled her in performance arts like – Ballet and Kids Theatre. We’ve also taken membership with a books library.
DUNEHA is one of the great things that we discovered when we came here 3 years back. We met all of Aarohi’s homeschooling mates through them and have built great relationships, not only for her but also us.
Aarohi has never faced any socializing issues, she mixes very well with other homeschooled children, as well as our friend’s children who are schooling, as well as new kids that she meets in her Ballet and Theatre classes. We came here 3 years back, before that we were homeschooling her in India (Pune). Let me assure you there is a huge homeschooling community in India, Pune itself has more than 200 families with whom we were interacting.
Please don’t be worried about your child’s future. You’ve taken the right decision, the tough part is already over. But, now the real work begins. Parent participation is vital for homeschooling. It would be too long for me to explain everything we’ve done with Aarohi here. Instead, let me direct you to our blog about how we’re going about raising Aarohi. You can go through it to see our journey so far. It’s still a work in progress, hope you like it:
Cheers,
Abhi.
Homeschoolers

Aastha’s reply:

Hi,
Sorry for replying at this hour. I avoid using any screen in front of kids, so I get to check my emails either when they are sleeping or not at home.
Thank you for such a detailed reply! If you don’t mind can you share the details of the book library and kids theatre? Tvisha loves reading and pretend-plays. Colouring is another activity she enjoys but I don’t want to put her in any class for that. I ll let her learn on her own at this age.
I finished reading your blog posts minutes back. And, I am way too impressed. Hats off to you and Snehal for putting in the efforts you both have.
I do hope that our families get to meet sometime.
Best regards,
Aastha
Homeschoolers

Our reply:

Hi Aastha,
I understand. Also, I’m glad you liked our blog.
The library and Kids theatre are both in Mall of the Emirates:
You can check their websites but in our experience the best way to get a good idea about them would be to visit them and see for yourself. Once you reach MOE, you need to find DUCTAC (Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre). There you’ll find both of them. Also, just FYI, there is one more Drama School that we looked at before going with Kids Theatre – http://dramascene.com/. You can meet them also to have more choices.
Looking forward to meeting you and your family someday soon. In the meantime if you would like to connect on facebook, here’s my profile – https://www.facebook.com/abhiroy19
Cheers,
Abhi.

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