Last year, we decided that we were going to homeschool Belle. This decision was based on a multitude of factors, including the quality of education she had been receiving. The biggest issue was the bullying she had experienced throughout the year, and the lack of response from her inexperienced (it was her first year) classroom teacher and the school administration.
I spent weeks researching curriculum and programs before selecting Moving Beyond the Page (an integrated language arts, science, and social studies curriculum) with Everyday Mathematics. Moving Beyond the Page was a really solid program and literature rich. Belle moved away from textbooks to novels and activities.
The hard part was motivating a 9 year old who was distracted by her baby sister and a dad that was accustomed to sleeping in (replaced by naps with the baby). This led to a progression of later and later start times, and sometimes a lack of any work being completed. The positive side is Belle and Zofia truly adore one another. The negative was that I spent my time at home fighting with Belle to do schoolwork and neither one of us was getting a break as make up work consumed our weekends.
We decided this spring that Belle needed to go back to a brick and mortar school. We started casually asking friends about their schools and reading websites. We did drive-bys to establish locations, and researched the difference between British (many schools offer this) and American (limited offerings) curriculum. Based on our findings and what we knew about various schools, we arranged school visits.
On Monday, Belle took a placement test and on Tuesday, she was accepted into Year 6 at Al Ain International School. I just paid her registration deposit and by the time I arrived back to my school had received the first term invoice. So starting September 8th, this will be her new school: