Tag Archives: raki’s rad resources

Our Next Adventure

As many of you know, we have finished our Moroccan adventure.  We loved our time in this country, but it was time to go.  If you would like to check out our next  adventure – stop by our new blog – RVing with the Raki’s.  We have purchased an RV and are traveling around the US, Canada, and wherever else we may wander with our three children.  We will be homeschooling the boys in English, French and Arabic, while exploring the great outdoors, eating local,  (and as organic as possible) and seeing what new lessons life has in store for us.  Here’s a peek at our new home:


At our new blog, you will find blog posts from ALL the members of our family, so please stop by and see where we’re at!

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources


Posted by on July 6, 2014 in Homeschooling, Travel



Living Among History


Not long ago, we took a trip to Fes, one of the oldest cities in Morocco.  We walked around the medina, the 100_6989city walls, and an Islamic school that were all built around the year 825 A.D.  It was amazing to see, but the most amazing part was that there were people living right there in the middle of this amazing, historical place.  There were kids kicking a soccer ball, ladies shopping, men drinking coffee, just like every other city I’ve been to in Morocco. 

100_5206We don’t live in quite as historic of a setting, but we still live in a city where donkeys pull carts down the street, meat hangs outside of butcher shops and vegetables are sold by farmers more often than by supermarkets.  This type of setting is amazing for my children.  I love the fact that they can recognize city walls, they know that meat comes from cows (and sheep and chickens) and that everything and anything can be bought at the souk – including a live chicken that will not be live when you leave!  They know that the man saying “eeep” outside is looking for something to buy and the sound of a man calling “Allah Akbar” over a loud speaker means it is time for prayers.  Since we moved here, we have seen ruins and plazas and other amazing things that they wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise.  Having this kind of background knowledge will be an asset for my children. 


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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Cultural Pictures in Morocco

A few weeks ago, I started taking Arabic lessons.  I go twice a week to learn Classical Arabic so I can help Kal with homework.  (Classical Arabic is not the language on the street here – Darija is.)  Since I know so very little Arabic, I am still very much at the point at a picture and repeat the word over and over stage.  Today I was looking at pictures of meal times, and I realized that the pictures showed traditional Moroccan meals, than if I showed to students in America, they may not recognize as breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It reminded me that what an image means to you is so very cultural!  I see it in my classroom all the time – my students look at a picture of something (say a bagel, or a bag of carrot sticks, or raccoon) and they have absolutely no idea what they are looking at. Or, they see a familiar event (breakfast or a party or a school bus) and it looks so completely different from what they know as that event (sausage and eggs for breakfast for example) that they don’t make the connection.

So,  here’s something fun for you – here are some pictures Kal and I use when we are learning Arabic. 

Can you tell which picture is a wedding? 

Can you tell which picture is an important holiday? 

Can you tell which picture is a Friday afternoon lunch? 

Can you tell which picture shows soldiers? 

Can you tell which picture shows a typical dinner meal?

Can you tell which picture is meant to show a farmer?

Can you tell which picture shows a mom making bread?


Picture A


Picture B


Picture C


Picture D


Picture E


Picture F


Picture G



Heidi Raki blog signature photo 



Can you tell which picture is a wedding? Picture B

Can you tell which picture is an important holiday? Picture D (Eid al Adha)

Can you tell which picture is a Friday afternoon lunch?  Picture G

Can you tell which picture shows soldiers?   Picture F

Can you tell which picture shows a typical dinner meal?  Picture A

Can you tell which picture is meant to show a farmer?  Picture E

Can you tell which picture shows a mom making bread?  Picture C


Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Morocco and Language

Going to live in a country where English isn’t the first language is complicated.  Going to live in a country where there is no set first language is even more complicated!  And language in Morocco is extremely complicated!  Obviously English is not the first language of Morocco.  The first language for most residents of Morocco is Darija, a form of Arabic mixed with Spanish, French and Berber.  Many people speak French at home as well, especially in the upper classes.  In the rural areas, there are lots of people who speak Berber.  Language is a mixed handbag here – and it’s not uncommon to hear more than one language come from the same person in the course of of one conversation (or even one sentence!)

Even though Darija is the first language of Morocco, no one attends school in Darija.
Morocco Airport sign in different languages photoMost students (including Kal & Zaiyd) attend school in Classical Arabic and/or French.  Public schools teach a lot of Arabic and a little French.  Private schools teach about a 50/50 split.  Mission or French schools teach a lot of French and a little Arabic.  Then there are schools like mine, where students are taught in English all day, and receive a little French and a little Arabic.

Living in a society with this many languages going on is amazing to me.  I love how the people around me – including my students – can switch from one language to another almost seamlessly.  I learn so much from my students, including the importance of using their home language to help them understand certain concepts.  One way I use this in my classroom is to identify numbers in 4 languages during Calendar time.  We look at the “number of the day” in English, French, Arabic and Spanish (I have a student from Spain too!).  It has been a great way to talk about the “tens part” and the “ones part” of a number word.

Heidi Raki blog signature photo  

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


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It’s been too long!

Wow, I bet you guys thought I fell off the face of the earth!  I promise you I haven’t.  I’m still here in Morocco, COLLABORATIVE BLOGSteaching and working hard at being a mommy!  I’ve also been working hard at my “business” – Raki’s Rad Resources.  I am running a blog called Raki’s Rad Resources, as well as blogging on 3 collaborative blogs – Simply Learning Centers, Classroom Freebies Too and Connect-a-Blog (where I write a Monday from Morocco post each week).  So, I have been blogging, just not here – lol!  Here is an update on what we’ve been up to, as well as a promise to blog on here at least once a week!!

  – Kal & Zaiyd are attending a Moroccan private school called Groupe Escolaire de Tournesol (Sunflower School).  100_7086They go to school in French for half of the day and Classical Arabic for the other half of the day.  In addition to learning French & Arabic, they are learning Darija – the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, as this is what they speak with their friends on the playground!  Both are doing well within their programs!  Kal is able to read and write in Arabic and French, and his speaking and understanding is coming along.  Zaiyd can recognize his letters, numbers and colors in Arabic and French and is just starting to speak and understand them.  Zaiyd is also learning to read in English at home – so he’s been a busy boy!

– Sam just turned one!  He is also starting to walk and loves to tear all the toys out of the box and throw them on 100_7132the floor!  He drives Halima, our nanny, crazy, but she loves him none the less and speaks to him in Darija all day long.  He understands words in both Darija and English, but he isn’t speaking at all himself, except to point at the food he wants and go ehhhh!


– We have recently been to Fez, Meknes and Ifrane, which was all amazing and beautiful.  We took way too many pictures, slept in a hotel right next to the old Medina, and walked until our legs hurt – it was great!

– In January, we took a weekend trip to Seville, Spain.  We loved Spain so much!  After the 100_6485comedy of errors getting there (missing our rental car, paying for a taxi to the airport, getting charged for two cars, getting charged for an extra hotel room for Sam) we had 3 amazing days walking around and seeing all the sights.  We hope to go back to Spain, and possibly Portugal over the summer.

– Raki has decided not to do his residency, but has kept himself very busy teaching English, freelancing as a medical writer and helping me to run my Raki’s Rad Resources business.

– My school year is almost over.  It has been challenging, but I have grown so much as a teacher!  I am really enjoying teaching first grade and teaching students to read for the first time!  I will be teaching first grade again next year, and I’m looking forward to it.


That’s all for now, but I promise to try and check in weekly!


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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


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