“The beauty of home education is that it gives a family more time together–time to solidify relationships, to communicate values, and to focus on each child’s individual needs in a consistent and unhurried atmosphere. “~ Kimberly Hahn & Mary Hasson
Today’s Homeschool Chat brings you @happymuslimhomeschool, a Muslim homeschooling mama, who loves her faith, all things homeschool and coffee, both hot and cold. She also has a blog –https://happymuslimhomeschool.com , where she regularly posts lesson plans, printables and resources that may be of benefit to other homeschool mom’s. On her blog , she also writes about mum’s specific issues which she feels aren’t discussed enough in the Muslim homeschool community, so her blog is a support network for mums which goes beyond sharing resources. She is releasing her first book this September Insha’Allah, the first book ever written especially for Muslim homeschooled children!
1. Tell us a bit about your family and your child/children
Asalamu alaykum everyone, its lovely to be taking part in this Homeschool chat series! We are originally from the UK, however moved abroad a few years ago. Our children are between the ages of 5 and 12, and are an energetic bunch Allahuma barik. They are all passionate and enthusiastic, so there’s rarely a dull moment around here!
2. What was your main reason for choosing to home educate your children
I didn’t always intend to home educate my children, it was something I never even knew existed at first. I had always dreamt of pursuing a career as a primary school teacher, and intended to put my children into a good Islamic school. However, I realised pretty much straight away that the public education system wasn’t meeting the needs for my child. By this time I had heard of home education so we took the plunge and never looked back!
3) What does a “typical” homeschool day look like for your family?
We start the day early, usually everyone is up by 7 am. We are all morning people so this works well for us, alhamdulillah. After breakfast, some outdoor time and typical morning routine things like bed/teeth we start off with Qur’an memorisation and revision straight after. My youngest is usually content with playing with his toys, as he’s had some time with everyone at breakfast. I then listen to the children’s Qur’an one by one, and whoever finishes plays with the youngest. After Qur’an we take a little break and then start our table work for the day. Thus includes Brave Writer, Islamic Studies, History, Science or Geography. We used to do this block of work in the afternoons but I’ve recently changed this up. We try to get this done by Dhuhr, so in the afternoon we have ‘lighter’ work which is more independent such as assigned reading/Art/read alouds. This gives us ample time for outdoor activities.
4) What type of a home educator are you ( structured, semi-structured, unschooling,classical, Charlotte Mason, Steiner, Montessori etc) ?
I don’t follow any homeschool philosophies, and I don’t extensively research them either. I guess if anything we are an eclectic homeschool family since by default we do bits and pieces of everything.
5) What do you love the most about home education ?
I love witnessing my children grow, not only physically but also intellectually, spiritually and in character. I also love that we grow as a family too in these areas, as homeschooling is definitely a family experience.
6) What is your favourite subject to teach and what is your least one ?
My favourite subject to teach is Qur’an, and History. My least favourite is probably maths but I don’t detest it either!
7) What do you find challenging when it comes to homeschooling your children ?
There are so many challenges that come with homeschooling, from meeting the needs of multiple kids, homeschool burnout to over worrying! I discuss a lot of these things on my blog because I think it’s important to acknowledge that homeschooling is hard. However, there is a solution for everything and I think one of the biggest ways to prevent all of the above is to take a step back from anything ‘school’ related, and just enjoy your family. But first and foremost I remind myself and fellow mothers that making du’a and consulting Allah with all your worries is key. We can physically do everything for our children but guidance is from Him, and it’s important to acknowledge this often and ask Allah to grant us goodness for our children and our families in this life and the hereafter.
8) How do you deal with unsupportive family, relatives and friends ?
I don’t really pay too much attention to it, but also I think in most cases unsupportive family are just concerned, and fair be it. More often than not when they see that the children are thriving and indeed are learning, that concern disappears. My advice is to have confidence in your decision, you know the needs of your children and family best.
9) Where do you see your homeschooling journey in 5 years’ time?
In five years’ time, our eldest will be seventeen; a scary thought subhanallah! My hope is that two of our kiddos have several iGCSE’s under their belt, and they have all progressed well with their hifdh journeys. More importantly, I hope that my children are growing up to be responsible and God conscious youngsters who have grasped the basics of their faith and have some idea how they can use their skills to benefit the wider community.
10) What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start home educating their children ?
I would say pray istikhara and go for it. Don’t wait for the perfect space or routine, it will come with time. Start slow and steady with a couple of subjects, and then build upon them once you’ve found your feet a little.
Home educating is a blessing from Allah and one to be cherished; it’s truly a beautiful journey where the whole family thrive, so enjoy it while it lasts.