Asalamu alaykum ladies
Im sure you’ve all either attended or at least heard of some type of self-development course, be it via CD, YouTube or in person. They’re the courses we feel the urge to take when we feel life is not quite how we expected it to be, maybe we don’t feel fulfilled, or we need some direction in how to reach our dreams that are so perfectly well drawn in our minds. I myself have taken a few, and whilst I have benefitted, it dawned on me today just how much homeschooling is an ongoing form of personal development for me.
Below are some topics that you’ll often see such courses cover, and my take on how homeschooling provides the perfect platform to learn and focus on these areas, without you maybe even realising.
So, our decision to homeschool was not something that was thought well in advance like some other families. And when I did decide to homeschool, I dove straight into the deep end, searching curriculum, printing worksheets, buying stationary and reading all the blogs and homeschool routines I could get hold of.
Well, that didn’t end so well…
Two weeks in I was totally overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe how much life had changed, and I didn’t feel I was ready to take on the commitment. See, I was missing a key ingredient. My intention and my vision were missing. So, I went back to the drawing board, and after lots of reflection realised that raising and teaching my children for the sake of Allah had to be at the core of my decision to homeschool. Alhamdulillah, having a clear intention and vision for myself is what keeps me going, especially through the more difficult days.
Well, homeschooling certainly provides an opportunity to take ownership. You’ve decided to take ownership of your children’s education, it’s pretty self-explanatory!
This is probably at the top of the list of most self-development course outlines. We get so caught up in life, we fail to plan and set our goals, eventually leading to a lack of fulfilment. I actually felt like I was pretty ok with goal setting before I began homeschooling because I naturally like to plan my day. But homeschooling took this to another level.
Now I plan goals for myself, for all my children collectively, my children individually, break goals down into physical, spiritual, and academic, and I have a better idea of our goals as a family. Phew!
Short-term and long-term goals
Following on from goal setting, the commitment of homeschooling really pushed me to think of our goals on a much broader scale. I was quite content with weekly goals before, but when I decided to commit to teaching my children that just wasn’t enough. I was forced to have a much broader vision, and now long-term goal setting is something we do all the time.
Boy oh boy! I can safely say this has been one of the main areas that I have felt the most improvement. Children are all unique in their own way, and of course, as a mother, I knew that. But I wasn’t quite so aware of how different their learning styles were. And of course, homeschooling uncovers many learning challenges along the way. But since you are teaching your children, it’s up to you to solve these problems (I don’t think I’ve ever researched so much in my life!). Homeschooling has also helped me overcome many of my own personal barriers, and that’s not something you necessarily think of when you do take the decision to homeschool.
I think most of you will agree with me if I was to say homeschooling makes us better listeners. From listening to my children’s hifdh, having one to one reading time, watching presentations, brainstorming, or planning crafts with them, its a must that we as homeschooling mothers are present and ready to listen. Its one of those areas of improvement that gives me the most satisfaction, Allahuma barik.
Picture the following homeschool scenario: One of your kids isn’t paying attention in History, the house is a mess, you had several subjects planned but the toddler keeps interrupting everyone and you’re suffering from major homeschool burnout. When I first began homeschooling, my initial reaction would have been “AAAAARRGGGHHHH!” I was so used to things always being in order, even the smallest things would get to me, let alone all the above!
But as a homeschooler, you come to the realisation that every day is different. It comes with fresh challenges, a whole new set of things to do, and if you’re not able to adapt or if you become stressed at the sight of things out of place, it sucks all the happiness out of your homeschool. It’s a lesson I learnt the hard way. But Alhamdulillah, I’ve managed to become less ‘rigid’ over time, more flexible, and easier upon myself. Im now able to recognise when Im getting overwhelmed and rather than reacting, I take some time off and manage things in a healthier way.
So, there you have it. These are just a few ways in which homeschooling really has been the most fulfilling self-development course I’ve ever taken. There are many more!