Asalamu alaykum Mamas, I hope you’re well. When we begin homeschooling, or even some time into it, it’s normal to feel a little dubious about the whole idea. Homeschooling is not the norm in many parts of the world, and when those around you question your choices, it’s all too easy for Mama to feel doubtful and anxious in her decision.
Especially when even she herself feels ‘school time’ is the elephant in the house. But, there’s a reason that feeling usually arises and its probably because our home and school haven’t quite merged together. Most of us ourselves went to a traditional school, so embracing the homeschool life can take a little getting used to because our own school experiences can easily filter and even shape our homeschool.
So how do we make that transition, for our homeschool to be interwoven in our day like everything else…
not this thing that feels like two completely different pathways?
Here are a 10 tips that can help you merge together your home and school in sha Allah.
1) View homeschooling as a lifestyle choice; something you do not something that needs to be done. This is something that even after years of homeschooling, I remind myself of often. Homeschooling isn’t a to-do list, it’s a lifestyle choice. When we treat it this way, we become mor eopen to the flexibility and freedom homeschooling provides.
2) Use a homeschool routine to help guide your day, not dictate it. On the same token, keep some things regular to help you keep sane, like bedtime routines.
3) Be spontaneous; it is one of the biggest perks of homeschooling! Whether it’s taking a day off to get outside, replacing the books with an afternoon baking marathon, or taking the books with you on a road trip, go for it. Not everything has to be planned in homeschooling; you can choose not only what to do, but what is best in that MOMENT.
4) If something unexpected comes up, shuffle things around without feeling the pressue to drop school entirely. Remember, real life is not always predictable, so focus on having a positive attitude, rather than relying on perfect circumstances. The more flexible you are with homeschooling, the easier it is to stay consistent.
5) Don’t reserve the ‘fun things’ for the weekend. Have that pancake breakfast on a Tuesday if you wish!
6) Take into account seasons of life when planning the homeschool year. Vacations, newborns, moving home etc. This allows you to embrace the ‘full-on’ months and not feel guilty for the more relaxed times.
7) Remind yourself that mess doesn’t have to mean stress. This was one of the hardest things I came to accept but the reality is the mess will always crop up; I mean who always has the energy to clean after an evening of Sports clubs? Rather, get that morning tidy up in, and then get into the school work. Get used to the idea that your home may not look like a showroom, and when it does it may not always last for long – but you’ll get to it when you can. Adjust your approach to housework, just as you’re breaking away from the traditional school experience.
8) Connect with other homeschool mamas; find your tribe as they say! You will soon come to realise your day looks a lot like theirs, you share the same struggles and you can benefit from each others experiences way beyond curricula recommendations.
9) Recognise that learning isn’t confined to a particular time and space. So feel comfortable taking learning to the sofa, floor schooling whilst the toddler plays around you, and take things outdoors. The more you get used to the idea that learning can be both ‘formal and informal’, the more you’ll begin to feel the wholesomeness homeschooling has to offer in sha Allah.
10) And finally, embrace this blessing Allah Azzawajal has blessed you with. For when you come to appreciate and love the full days you have with your children, praying together, reading, learning and overall growing and creating memories together, the gap between Home and School will merge beautifully in sha Allah.