Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Table of contents
- What is Montessori Egypt?
- Who is behind Montessori Egypt?
- What is the purpose of Montessori Egypt?
- How did the homeschooling journey in Egypt start?
- Is Montessori the only way to homeschool in Egypt?
- What courses does Montessori Egypt offer?
- How does the homeschooling journey continue after the age of twelve?
- As a homeschooling family in Egypt, what are the pros/positives of your experience?
- What are the cons/challenges of homeschooling?
- Is homeschooling expensive?
- Do you have to be a full-time Homeschooler?
- Was homeschooling fun and easy?
What is Montessori Egypt?
“Montessori Egypt” and “Homeschooling in Egypt” are both my predestined path. I would like to think of Montessori Egypt as an initiative to spread awareness among parents about raising peaceful children.
Who is behind Montessori Egypt?
On April 18, 2011, Marwa Rakha became “Om Adam”, or Adam’s mother.
When Adam was five months old, I wrote an article for Campus Magazine criticizing traditional schooling. I asked readers for ideas. For the first time, I had heard of the Montessori Method, and of homeschooling as an educational alternative.
I began reading Dr. Maria Montessori’s books:
The Absorbent Mind
As Adam grew up, I shared our activities, outings, and field trips on social media. Soon we got the attention of an online platform. The renowned relationships and dating writer now wrote a weekly article about the Montessori Method, and how it could enrich a toddler’s life at home. The articles also shyly referred to homeschooling in Egypt.
A couple of months later, I began presenting a daily 15-minute segment about the Montessori Philosophy on TV. Parents loved that segment, and it positioned me as a rising Montessori Educator & Guide in Egypt.
What is the purpose of Montessori Egypt?
Montessori Egypt aims at educating parents and parents-to-be about raising children that are balanced, independent, peaceful, and happy. The culture of child-rearing in Egypt does not offer the most child-friendly environment. Myths and fallacies are presented as facts, and children suffer.
Montessori Egypt articles and videos tackle topics such as reward and punishment, independence, child-led weaning, child-led activities, sensitive educational and developmental periods, the prepared environment for a child, behavioral issues, parenting mistakes, child development, how children learn, how they concentrate, and many more topics that aim at ending the vicious cycle of child abuse.
How did the homeschooling journey in Egypt start?
Our “homeschooling in Egypt” journey began when I refused to send Adam to a nursery. I decided to take his education into my own hands. I began implementing everything I learned in the Infant/Toddler Montessori Diploma (0-3). The goal was to provide him with rich real-life experiences, and various activities to develop his skills at his own pace.
Out of respect for the little inquisitive mind and curious hands, I was keen on always finding a way to help my child explore safely, instead of simply saying “no”! For us, homeschooling rarely took place at home – especially during the first nine years of our journey.
Homeschooling simply meant that “the home” was in charge of “the schooling”. I was first in charge of properly educating myself – acquiring one Montessori diploma after the other according to Adam’s age and needs. Second, I was in charge of planning and presenting the activities, while respecting his individual needs and interests. Third, I enjoyed the field trips that supported our homeschooling goals.
Is Montessori the only way to homeschool in Egypt?
Parents could implement the Montessori philosophy whether they are homeschooling or not. The Montessori didactic materials and the Montessori-inspired activities can enrich any curriculum. Having said that, it is of equal importance to say that Montessori is not for every child. Some children thrive more in groups than in one-on-one presentations, for example.
What courses does Montessori Egypt offer?
For those who choose to homeschool using Montessori, or those who decide to integrate the Montessori Method into a traditional school curriculum, Montessori Egypt courses provide the structured tutoring they need. All the courses explain child development, Dr. Maria Montessori’s life and methodology, and the materials and activities by sequence, purpose, and detailed presentation.
How does the homeschooling journey continue after the age of twelve?
By the age of eleven, Adam showed signs of readiness for online homeschooling. Slowly he was growing less dependent on Montessori materials, his ability to understand abstract concepts was developing steadily, and he welcomed the new phase in the homeschooling journey by joining Time4Learning.
As a homeschooling family in Egypt, what are the pros/positives of your experience?
Being in Egypt is in itself a huge addition to the experience. Egypt is so culturally rich and diverse. Just by living here, we have explored history and geography in the most amazing hands-on method imaginable.
I either found or shipped internationally materials for crafts, art, and science experiments.
Another positive aspect of our homeschooling experience is ensuring that Adam has the time to explore and learn on his own. He was never overloaded with homework or classes, for example. Almost twelve years, Adam is a self-learner, explorer, and a budding programmer.
In a relaxed environment, Adam has been learning Arabic, English, Chinese, Italian, coding, and chess – Here is a list of his tutors. He has explored playing the piano, art lessons, gymnastics, tennis, and swimming. Most importantly, he truly got to know the elders of our family. Spending a lot of his time with his grandfather, grandmother, and grand aunt helped him create deep memories, and build a reservoir of unconditional love.
What are the cons/challenges of homeschooling?
The major drawback in our homeschooling experience is not having a routine involving meeting other kids his age. Most of our activities are now online. Having said that, it is of equal importance to highlight the fact that social skills develop in real life not in a classroom.
The social skills required for a functional human being develop by actually dealing with people from different ages, backgrounds, and situations on a daily basis – This has actually been one of the major successes in our homeschooling journey.
The most difficult hurdle to jump was getting the Montessori materials to Egypt, as well as the books and encyclopedias needed to support Adam’s education.
Is homeschooling expensive?
That is another great thing about homeschooling. There is no “one way” to homeschool. You, as a parent, get to choose your expenses. Think of it like going to a store, pushing a shopping cart, reading the labels, and choosing what to buy now, what to save for later, and what you do not need.
Do you have to be a full-time Homeschooler?
Homeschooling families differ greatly; thus, I will only talk about my experience.
The short answer is yes, homeschooling is a full-time job.
The detailed answer is it gets better with time.
Birth to three – as long as the child is awake, he requires your full undivided attention.
Three to four – you get a 15-minute break every few hours.
Five to six – you get a 30-minute break every few hours.
Six to nine – you can actually get some work done.
Nine to twelve – the child needs your full attention for a couple of hours.
Was homeschooling fun and easy?
I know that our pictures could imply that the homeschooling journey was always fun. This is highly misleading.
Yes, I did my homework. I educated myself, planned well, and had the best intentions.
No, I was not always certain and confident. I had many “I’m giving up” moments. I had doubts. The stress was unbearable. I had episodes of depression that varied in intensity and length.
Adam is raised by a Montessori-mom; nonetheless, he is still a child. He goes through phases of tantrums, stubbornness, resistance, negotiation, laziness, etc.
No matter what challenge we are going through, we always have our bond to fall back on. Attachment parenting does pay off.