” We owe it to ourselves and our families to pull energy-creators into our lives. It is not selfish, it is not off topic, it is not a distraction, it is not time consuming. In fact, if you home educate, you have a moral obligation to keep growing for your own sake. You are your children’s primary role model of what it means to be an adult. Your kids need to see you Be an adult in your own right (apart from parenting), so they know to what they aspire. Yes, they will want to parent ( most likely), but each of us has a unique contribution to make as an adult outside the family too….. You deserve to live your adult life in addition to home educating and spouse-ing. In fact, you must. It’s how you stock your emotional tank and your mental resources to help you be all those people who clutter your head with their perfections. If you are giving what you do not have, go get some.” Julie Bogart , excerpt from ” A gracious Space”
Today’s homeschool chat brings you Ula from @when2became4plus1 or @inquisitiveminds. She is a mother to twin girls and a toddler. She is a Lebanese British and graduated in BA Hons in International Politics and Journalism. At the end of last year she and her friend and fellow homeschooler Griffi created Inquisitive minds. Inquisitive Minds is a weekly session we run in East London, it is a Project Based Learning for 5-10 year olds. They are currently working towards setting a more permanent space to run our sessions. For more information about what they do or questions please feel free to message them on Facebook.
1)Tell us a bit about your family and your child/ children
I am a mother of 3 girls. Twins aged 7 and a 2 year old toddler.
2)What was your main reason for choosing to home educate your children?
I knew I would homeschool before I married or had children. Various reasons including own school experience, that eventually solidified my decision over the years. Some of the most important reasons were, 1) Religious, 2) The system as a whole/what children are been taught 3) The ability to spend time with my children, as well as the flexibility homeschool gives.
3)What does a “typical” home school day look like for your family ?
Since the birth of my twins I have used the same routine which slowly has adapted into our homeschool life.
Once a week Forest school
Once a week we hold a themed session me and a friend run (Inquisitiveminds).
Once a week we try to go on a trip to a Museum or place of interest.
4)What type of a home educator are you ( structured , semi structured , unschooling , classical , Charlotte Mason , Steiner , Montessori etc ) ?
Semi-structured, Project based learning, I do take inspiration from other school of thoughts. Montessori for early years learning.Charlotte Mason for Nature studies.
5)What do you love the most about home schooling?
Spending time with my children.
6)Do you do morning time/ symposium / circle time?
7)What is your favourite subject to teach and what is your least one ?
Favourite- Islamic studies/Humanities. Least- Writing and grammar.
8)What do you find challenging when it comes to home schooling your children ?
Having alone time especially last year grieving and having to continue.
9)How do you find time for yourself/ self care etc ?
Leave the kids with their Dad so I can have my own study time once a week or when possible. When the kids sleep I use that time to read, watch or pamper myself.
10)What are some of your favourite homeschooling related books?
I will only give the one although I have benefited from several-Project-based homeschooling: mentoring self directed learners by Lori Pickeret.
11)How do you deal with unsupportive family , relatives and friends ?
I have learned to accept that not everyone will agree with decisions we make in life it isn’t easy when you are not doing the “standard”. Life has taught me to rely on myself, if I want things to happen I have to make it happen and accept that that may be alone. If after explaining to others you want/need their support and they still can’t show up there isn’t much you can do. It should not have to be this way but it sadly is sometimes. Both my parents have passed away so I have no one but my husband to rely on if I need a break. I am grateful to my siblings for helping out where possible and all the homeschool mamas who have been supportive through advise or even helping me with the pram when we go out.
12)Where do you see your home schooling journey in 5 years’ time ?
I hope we will be travelling to all the places we read about. My daughter’s would like to follow in the steps of Philleas Fogg and travel the world. I hope we can achieve that by then. I also hope the girls will be much better in their reading and writing and in shaa Allah they will have memorised the Quran.
13)What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start home educating their children ?
Trust yourself, set out goals of what you hope to achieve and go easy on yourself there are more than enough people who will doubt you and your decision, persist. If you have help use it. To a Muslim I would say put your trust in Allah, make duaa always and renew your intentions there will be days you have doubts make sure you have a list of all the reasons why you chose this path.
14) Imagine your children 20 years into the future , what do you want them to say about their homeschool experience ?
I hope they feel they were loved and supported along their journey. I hope they feel equipped, have the right tools and skills ready to navigate through life. I hope that they feel we made the right decision for them and that home education gave but took little from their educational experience.