Monday, August 20, 2012

Homeschooling in Morocco

by Heidi Raki  
TPT Storefront: Heidi Raki 

In June 2011, my husband and I moved our family to Morocco. We wanted to give our sons, ages eight, four, and one, a chance to experience their father's native culture. Also, we wanted our children to have opportunities to learn and speak Arabic and French, languages taught in Moroccan schools. Yet, we worried about the kids developing their English skills while overseas, so we chose to homeschool part-time. 

The children learned a lot in Moroccan schools, but it was soon apparent they didn't always transfer foreign knowledge into English concepts unless pointed out to them. This was particularly true with our four-year-old, who knew the days of the week in Arabic and French but struggled with them in English. In addition, both boys failed to increase their English vocabularies unless prompted.

After a year in Morocco as a homeschooling parent, I discovered a great deal about my children and how they learned. For example, my eight-year-old was a receptive/visual learner. He learned best by reading books and watching movies. He was content getting information through books and websites. Also, he loved facts, and he stored them in his memory bank to be recalled when needed. The four-year-old, on the other hand, was a hands-on learner. He needed to immediately use knowledge gained, whether it applied to playing games or to real life scenarios. He loved to learn via art projects, computer games, cooking projects, or puzzles. He remembered events and ideas but did not recall specific facts unless they related to something of importance to him. It remained to be seen what learning styles the one-year-old developed over time. 

Some of the resources used were:
                 Lower Elementary Grades (ie. eight-year-old):
                                Narrative Writing Journal 
                                Mister and Me Packet 
                                Reading Response Journal 
                 Early Childhood (ie. four-year-old):
                               Primary Narrative Writing Journal 
                               Word Family Making Words Center 
                               Word Family Self Correcting Puzzles  
My kids were wonderful examples that no two children learned the same and that learning took place continuously. Whether homeschooled or in traditional classrooms, I realized there must be consistency in teaching and learning. If they missed a day or two of English lessons, they wanted to discontinue their classes. Therefore, it fell upon my shoulders to be consistent and teach two hours of English and along with their French-Arabic lessons on alternating days. After summer break when school began, the hours decreased to one per day. Even though this was little time, the children connected the knowledge learned in Moroccan schools to English words and concepts. 

Through homeschooling, nothing got lost during translations. The children connected two diverse cultures, and they enriched their learning experiences. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello I am homeschooling my son, and I am researching to find the standard common core/or curriculum for 1st graders for all subject areas such as mathematics, science, writing, reading, spelling, language arts, history, and arts. I would like to know if you would recommend me or suggest me books I may purchase to base the lessons. Or even websites would be quite helpful.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


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