Asalamu alaykum wa rahmtaullahi wa barakatu sisters
Ramadan is just days away, and im sure like many of you, I’ve begun to reevaluate our year.
Where has the time flown since last Ramadan?
What have I achieved since last Ramadan?
Did I manage to keep up with the goals I set myself?
Did I fall back into old habits?
But in today’s post, I wanted to specifically discuss some thoughts that have been surfacing in my mind in regards to homeschooling. Its a huge part of my life, and one that consumes a lot of my time, energy, and day to day focus. Its one of my biggest priorities, and its one that im always thinking about because it concerns the well-being of my children.
So, when I sit back and reflect on it, I find myself feeling like im on a rollercoaster. We have had a shorter school year than normal this year and that alone is enough to cause panic.
I stare at the unfinished textbooks, the stack of books I didn’t get around to read, realising that our Arabic journey is going slower than what I wanted and that my youngest is still interested in playing with his cars and still hasn’t shown any interest in phonics, while other 4-year-olds are already starting to read.
The panic starts to creep in…
I begin to become anxious. The questions that originally surfaced, now lead to a barrage of more questions…
Have I done enough?
Do I know what im doing?!
Can I actually educate my children?
Why don’t my children know x, y and z yet?
Are my kids behind?
Why do I have imperfect days, when others don’t seem to?
Am I depriving my children of a ‘proper education’?
But I’ve realised that all these fears crop up because my measure of a successful homeschool year gets distorted over the year, and the intention that I had, becomes hazy. I begin to measure success at surface level, limiting my children’s education to mere pen and paper when educating my children is so much deeper…
And so I begin to curb my thoughts, and in doing so my reflection questions begin to change…
Are my children growing up being aware of Allaah and His Greatness?
Is the sunnah interwoven in my children’s’ every day lives?
Do my kids understand the purpose of life?
What relationship do my children have with The Noble Qur’an?
Do my children realise the importance of seeking knowledge and are they actively doing so?
How are their manners, first and foremost with their Creator and then others around them?
Are my children growing up to be good citizens, are they caring and compassionate individuals?
How is the relationship between me and my children, is it one of love, respect and communication?
Do our ‘bad’ homeschool days really outweigh the ‘good’ days?
Are we still HOMEschooling or homeSCHOOLING?
I start off by reminding myself…
It is narrated on the authority of Amir al-Mu’minin (Leader of the Believers), Abu Hafs ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), say: “Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended. Whoever migrates with an intention for Allah and His messenger, the migration will be for the sake of Allah and his Messenger. And whoever migrates for worldly gain or to marry a woman, then his migration will be for the sake of whatever he migrated for.” Related by Bukhari & Muslim
My panic slowly begins to settle…
See, if my intention to educate my children is pure and done in the correct way, then surely the effort, time and sacrifice have been worth it. And if im able to see some progress in the questions that I’ve just asked myself, it becomes clear to me that we’re doing ok…
That isn’t to say that the more academic side of learning is not to be evaluated. But for me, that’s the second half of the questionnaire, not the first. These things don’t hold weight if I haven’t bothered with building the foundation for my children because without it I have set my kids up to fail.
So now as I continue my reflection, and list the pros and cons of our year, I know where to start. Now I can begin to reflect on which areas my children need to work on, slowly working my way through the questionnaire.
And as the list of areas of improvement begins to grow, my yearning for Ramadan increases, because I know Im in need of this month of mercy to set myself up to continue on this journey of educating my children.
May Allah allow us to witness Ramadan, Ameen.
Share your homeschool reflections below, I’d love to know how you are preparing for Ramadan.