- Tell us a bit about your family and your child/ children
– Salaam, my name is Hafa and I’m a homeschooling mommy to five beautiful souls. I am originally from Bosnia, my husband is Turkish and we are a multilingual family. We are from Atlanta (USA) but God had other plans for us so we are currently in Turkey in a small town at the Aegean coast called Kusadasi. We lost our home to fire last year in February, and we decided to move to our house in Turkey until our house back home is fixed. Now we are here, learning all about Turkey, Turkish culture, food, music, history and everything else we can. I have a MS in Psychology.
My kids are ages 10, 8, 6,3 and 1. We are travelling a lot and we enjoy learning about everything we can.
My husband has a medical tourism business here in Turkey and USA and he helps out with lessons whenever he can!
– I wanted my kids to fall in love with learning. I wanted them to learn whatever they wanted, and also see the world as much as they can. I wanted them to experience freedom and love for education. When my oldest was born, I met a lady at the park with her kids and she mentioned the word ‘homeschooling’ to me. We met afterwards few more times and i learned and got motivated about homeschooling. After explaining all this to my husband, he said he trusts me and supports me whatever i decide for our kids. So here we are enjoying our life and homeschooling journey
– We try to wake up all early to pray and talk about God and our religion in the morning. Then we do our chores and have a breakfast to discuss our day. My lessons are usually planned out ahead of time and that helps a lot. With so many kids that means a lot of laundry is happening in our house, that’s being washed throughout the day. We start our school day with a read aloud story, and everyone gets a task while I study with my oldest, and then she moves from Writing and reading to maths while i do LA with my son, and then so on. We do school about 3 hrs mostly main lessons (Math, LA, social studies and art) then we do lunch, go for a walk or go swim at the beach (while here in Turkey in summer) … kids have to complete their audio books and write report and then science happens in the late afternoon. We do more of reading aloud, prepare dinner and play either games or they are free to use their electronics.
We try to be more relaxed in summer but basically review the grade we have finished so they can refresh everything. I don’t have just assign their classes and force them to do those i want them to do. Upon waking up I can tell if they are up for some math or LA or just art … Based on their mood we decide how to start our day. The main idea is to get done with classes and learn, but in what order that is less important … Sometimes we just go for a walk or swim or hiking and do all our lessons in the afternoon.
We also do poetry, Quran ayahs discussion and memorization, health class where we learn about our health (anatomy), different projects, baking and cooking, nature study …. It all depends what day it is and what is assigned…
– Well this is really hard to explain … We are using mainly Oakmeadow and Earthschooling (waldorf), I love to use Montessori for my little ones (preschoolers and Kindergarten), I also love to do child led (unschooling) from time to time …
– The freedom of studying at our own pace and our own place (it could be our home, airport, car, air plane, beach, pool) … The flexibility! This is what I love and enjoy mostly. To see them blossom and build their love for education because they are not forced to follow any rules but to follow their hearts and own development.
– I actually enjoy teaching them every subject. The reason is simple – I’m learning along with them. I’m learning things that I ‘supposedly’ learned in school but don’t remember any of it. It was mostly ‘memorising’ which is not what I do with my kids … We LEARN …
– When one or all of them are having meltdowns at the same time and I have to deal with all of them to calm them down plus stay calm myself, and make sure at the end of the day we all had a very beautiful, peaceful and productive day. It gets hard but then at the end of the day, you wouldn’t believe, i get down on my knees and pray just to thank God for giving me an opportunity to teach my kids, spend time with them every day and letting me experience all these challenges in our homeschooling journey so i can grow to be stronger and braver…
– This was really hard at first. I used to cry a lot, doubt myself until my husband sat me down and clarified to me that i’m the mother and i decide for my kids not somebody else. And if HS is making our family (us and our kids) happy and satisfied i need to ignore others. He, may God always protect and bless him, taught me how to stand up for myself and my kids. Now, since i learned to ignore unsupportive family, and spend time less with them everyone seems to ‘accept’ us as a homeschooling family now… There are still those in our family who show no support but I just try to keep my distance for our own peace.
– I hope, InShaAllah, to be sitting, enjoying my coffee and smiling with a full heart at all our Homeschooling accomplishments. I’ll hopefully have two in Highschool, one in Middle and two in Elementary school.
– You can do it. Do not be scared. You are giving your kids a brighter future and teaching them what schools can never do. Take one day at the time and don’t get frustrated. And on days when you feel you failed them, trust me, you’re doing a fabulous job.