Learning at home lets us fulfil our potential, says Dubai-based father

A Syrian father opts for home-schooling to give his daughters more time to play professional golf.

Hussam Dalile with his daughters Line and Boushra at his home in the Sky Court Tower, Dubai ( Pawan Singh / The National )
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DUBAI // Hussam Dalile decided to home school his teenage daughters.

"They are amateur golfers so they need time for sports and other activities," he said. "When you home-school your children, you have more spare time than when they are in an actual school."

Another reason Mr Dalile, from Syria, chose home was the cost of tuition.

"The schooling fees are a secondary reason for home-schooling my children," he said. "But it's definitely a factor to take into account because they were quite high."

The girls, now 16 and 18, had attended an Arabic school in Sharjah that charged between Dh10,000 and Dh12,000 per child per year. Now they learn at home in Dubai.

"What we used to spend on schooling them and items they needed for the school, we can spend on golf equipment," he said. "This makes it much easier on expenses too."

When the girls were at school he spent about Dh3,000 a year on each for school supplies and other expenses.

"This is much more than what I pay now," he said. "Schooling them in the past was very expensive, but it just costs me a few hundred dirhams per child for their exams."

The girls use computer programmes and online learning courses with videos.

"Their exams are done at a cultural centre here," he said. "My 18-year-old daughter just finished her first year online with the Open Universities Australia in psychology so it works out really well."

And the girls could not be happier with their self-directed learning system. "It really suits our lifestyle and gives us the independence and freedom to do other activities," said Boushra, 18. "It allows us to reach our full potential and doesn't restrict us."

Line, 16, said: "It's like life-long learning and drives us to be intrinsically motivated. It's totally self-driven."