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April 20, 2015

Homeschooling—A New Concept in Middle East

By Om Khalid

They say a bamboo plant seems dormant for years, with no growth visible to the casual observer, yet there comes a time when suddenly its shoots spring up and grow several feet in a single day.

The bamboo comes to mind when observing homeschooling activity in Kuwait. Such was my experience as a mother who had been homeschooling in secret since 2012 and finally decided towards the end of 2014 to anonymously start writing about my decision via social media. Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to my blog and Instagram account—which both puts words to the frustrations we face with the current state of compulsory schooling, as well as extolling the benefits I've enjoyed with homeschooling and how much I believe it could offer other families and even society at large—and discovering other mothers who loved the idea, I founded the Kuwait Homeschool League organization.  I then was invited to a local “TED”-style speaking engagement for local visionary change-makers, to a packed venue with an intrigued audience. Many signed up to receive the Kuwait Homeschool League newsletter to learn more about homeschooling and many expressed interest in being members of the League to further the goals of achieving official integration of homeschooling into the educational fabric of Kuwait.

The first-ever Kuwaiti homeschool association

Members of Kuwait Homeschool League and myself have high hopes of being able to make positive inroads within the country’s legally grey area towards homeschooling by first of all garnering positive public opinion through social media, webinars and other events and then approaching the legislative and administrative authorities with the aim of making Kuwait an officially and legally supportive country for homeschoolers as well as a vanguard of a homeschool movement in the region.

On a more personal note, I’d just like to say that as the founder of Kuwait Homeschool League, my membership with HSLDA was a high moment for us. We hope to benefit from HSLDA’s legal expertise in drafting legal proposals to work with officials and to navigate the bureaucratic requirements in order to make homeschooling a reality for more families in Kuwait.

In conclusion, a very big thank you and mountains of gratitude for the good people of America who have inspired me to this homeschooling path. In the field of educational freedom, it is they, the first homeschoolers who have been the true pioneers. Thanks also to the second generation of homeschoolers, who carried on the torch, and all the mothers who authored books or blogged about their decision to homeschool and their experiences. Their words of wisdom and support, infused with the sincerity of their intention to dedicate themselves to their families and to raise and educate their children to the best of their ability for the pleasure of God our shared creator, is a great example. It is thanks to God’s guidance and to their shining example that inspired me to bring homeschooling to my own family and to my countrymen.

Much appreciation and respect goes towards HSLDA as well for its role in advocating for the freedoms of not only those within the United States but for those abroad as well, and also for their noble recognition that we are truly all connected, one human race and one global community, and together we stand united in a shared goal: raising and educating our children well that they might grow wise in instruction and service for the benefit of the world and all their fellow men.

Please join me in prayer asking God to bless us all in achieving our shared goal.

Om Khalid is founder of Kuwait Homeschool League.


 Other Resources

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Kuwait page.