Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies,
I hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday. I recently listened to a YouTube video where a couple of Christian homeschool Mamas were sharing 10 habits they adopt that serves them well in their homeschool. And it really got me thinking about my own habits, and the things that I feel have really helped me manage homeschooling, and that keeps it joyful not a burden. It also gives me confidence that I am doing ‘enough’ because as much as I love the flexibility homeschooling provides, I also like to be assured we did get things done, especially as the kids are getting older and next year we will be looking into secondary school guidelines for our eldest.
So after a sip of coffee and some thought, here are ten habits that have served me well in our homeschool well; and all goodness is from Allah.
Waking up early (ideally after Fajr)
And yes, that includes the kiddos! I know a lot of homeschoolers see the late starts as a homeschooling perk which for some families it absolutely is, but this habit has been transformative in our homeschool. We don’t always stay up after Fajr, but usually, by 6am I am up and the kids by 6.30 ish. It is from the sunnah to wake up early and it’s easy to see why. You can accomplish so much during the early hours of the day, and be done with the heaviest tasks by Dhuhr. Alhamdulillah, we can learn so much about productivity from the life of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasalam!
Du’a is something we should always be engaged, whether the matter is big or small. And making du’a that your day goes well, and that Allah Azzawajal places barakah in your time and energy is agolden piece of advice I was given by a dear friend. SubhanAllah that du’a can literally make all the difference and I’m sure many of you have witnessed it too. Those days you woke up, feeling exhausted, not knowing how you would get through the day somehow ends up with you having so accomplished so much; even those things that weren’t on your to-do list, alhamdulillah!
Starting off the day with Qur’an
SubhanAllah, what better way to start your day and your child’s by spending time with the Book of Allah. Spending time with the Qur’an in the morning, when you are fresh, focused and ready to go is just the most wonderful way to begin the day, and set the tone in your home. It also instils priorities in our children that ultimately it is in the Qur’an we find our guidance and if we hold onto it, everything else will fall into place insha’Allah. Even when you haven’t had the best sleep, or woke up to the house is a mess, the words of Allah are guaranteed to put Mama in a good mood!
Cooking for the week
So often we find blog posts about homeschool house organisation and I spent the longest time ever thinking an organised house was the key to a smooth-running home. But one thing I found was that even after having systems, minimalising and having assigned chores for everyone I’d still have days where I’d feel overwhelmed and the house would be in chaos. And that because I was still preparing breakfast lunch and dinner every day, be it simple meals it still gets messy! That is until I began cooking for the week, Alhamdulillah. I only have a small fridge, so cant prepare tonnes of freezer meals, but honestly cooking for the week has saved more than enough time I can’t complain. Waking up knowing food is already taken care of means less stress for Mom, less cleaning, quicker pick-ups and frees up time for other things. Remember, you can go to sleep with the kitchen in chaos but not without having fed people so tackle cooking before cleaning!
Every Mother deserves to feel good, and homeschool Mamas are no exception. But we get so engrossed with life, we often forget ourselves. That shouldn’t and needn’t be the case. It doesn’t take expensive equipment, a gym membership or a babysitter for you to get in a workout. But keeping active boosts mood, increases energy levels and overall makes you feel good. You can still get those read alouds in, but there’s no need to compromise your health in the process. Remember, a healthy mama is a happy mama, and a happy mama means happy kids!
Have boundaries with my phone
I’m not perfect at this, but I am a lot more aware of having boundaries with my phone especially first thing in the morning. Waking up early is one thing, but what we do at that time is another. I usually give my phone a quick check, reply to a few messages and then put it away. It only takes that one minute to get distracted for half an hour and get lost in the social media sea, so being mindful of the time we spend is definitely a habit that has tonnes of benefits; letting your kiddos waking up to seeing mama fully present being one of them.
Putting on a load of laundry each day
A laundry load away keeps the mountain away. This I truly believe. Yes, you might not always get everything ironed or even put away but there’s nothing worse than having a basket full of unwashed clothes. I tend to get a load on first thing in the morning and get it folded and put away in the evening. Ironing is still my nemesis and I often iron on demand, but I’m ok with that!
Saving long read aloud marathons for the evening
I know lots of homeschool Mamas have morning baskets but for us personally, aside from Qur’an and textbook reading, longer read alouds don’t always work in the morning. I’ve found that my kids associate read alouds as calming and relaxing alhamdulillah and so prefer evening read alouds. Admittedly I do too. My youngest tends to enjoy and play happily after all his energy has been burned as do the elder kids, so we’ve switched to evening read alouds. If you’ve found morning read alouds don’t always go to plan, perhaps give the evening a go.
Planning school in advance
Does this always happen..no. But I do try and have a rough idea of what we will be covering beforehand, even if the prep isn’t done. Using online planning has really helped me with this as I can check our plans etc whenever I get a moment rather than needing my planner, but I’ll save this for another post insha’Allah!
Picking up the house every evening
Again, does this always happen no. But since there’s not much cooking to be done throughout the week, this is so much easier to do, allahuma barik. Having that designated time to get the house picked up, including the kids needn’t be the worst part of the day either. Listen to some Qur’an as you go along, listen to a talk or put on an audiobook. It doesn’t take long but makes the world of difference when you wake up to a clean kitchen that doesn’t smell of leftover food!
And there you have it, ten habits that serve my homeschool well as a Muslim Mama. And before you leave this post feeling a little intimidated, remember these are habits that work for me for the current season of life we are in. They weren’t all habits I had when I had a newborn for example, so take what benefits you insha’Allah.
I’d love to hear what habits have helped you run your home smoothly. Comment below!