Asalamu’alaykum was rahmatullahi was barakatu ladies. It’s been a while since I’ve written up a blog post. With full on homeschooling, and launching The MHSM Membership, things have been busy. But today, I want to touch upon what I believe is something that when many of us begin to simplify our homeschools.
And that is using time as the measure of our progress. And specifically, there is an overwhelming belief that simplifying our Muslim homeschool means that everything will just take less time.
Less time planning.
Less time teaching.
Less time overall homeschooling.
We associate simplifying with reducing time in everything.
And while it’s true that when we do start to strip away all the unnecessary add ons in our Muslim homeschool, when we do let go of the pressure that everything needs to be an elaborate setup to spark curiosity and enthusiasm, when we do have fewer subjects to prepare for – it will definitely reduce time in certain areas of our homeschools in sha Allah. Certain being the key word here.
Because I want us to think about something here.
Many of us don’t just reduce and simplify things for the sake of it, do we? We don’t just wake up one morning and think, I need to simplify my homeschool!
The want to simplify is usually the result of a gradual thought process, lack of contentment in our current situation, and the feeling that things aren’t where we want them to be.
It can also be from the feeling like we’re not spending enough time on the things we want to, so we simplify things not only to open up more white windows to just rest, and pause, but also so we can actually spend MORE time in those things we want to, correct?
So, though time spent in certain areas might reduce, time spent in other things might actually increase because you’ve made more space. And you’ve intentionally done so!
As Muslim homeschool mothers, it’s important to remind ourselves that looking at suggested schedules from blogs and websites and hoping to get school finished up by 11 am or wrapped up in just a few hours a week, isn’t necessarily what WE should attach to simplifying homeschool with.
Because we often overlook that the reason WHY many of us don’t finish up quite so quickly is because…
perhaps we’re simply doing more or more of what we want to prioritise to begin with.
Let me say that again – the reason we might not finish up as quickly as other suggested schedules is that maybe we’re simply doing MORE to begin with.
And not the unnecessary things that you feel don’t bring much value. But more of the things that matter in our MUSLIM homeschool – that are actually our biggest priorities.
Because that suggested schedule that wraps up at 11am, probably won’t account for Qu’ran memorisation for example, revision or a long intense discussion in Islamic studies that day. All before the English and Maths. It probably is based on JUST the English and Maths.
That suggested schedule might not take into account teaching your child how to pray as an important goal for your homeschool.
Or reading and prioritising the Book of Allah before you even jump into independent reading.
And so, when you try to achieve that same goal of finishing up by 11am – in order to measure that you’re simplifying has actually worked, you’re going to feel like you’ve fallen short.
Whereas in fact, it may just be that you were just doing more. And so it’s inevitable that it will take you longer right?
And so, this is something I wanted to highlight upon today, especially as we ease back into out homeschool routines.
Reducing time in ALL areas of our Muslim homeschool isn’t necessarily our aim.
A more accurate way to look simplifying our homeschool is to take out the unnecessary things so we can spend more time doing the things that matter.
So let’s touch upon how this might look.
We might simplify our cooking, so we can spend those long hours doing hifdh with the kids.
We might overlap subjects, so we can plan and teach two things at once instead of separately.
We might try to keep on top of the clutter, so it’s easier for us to pull things together, rather than having to search through things we don’t even use.
So you see – simplifying HAS impacted our day.
Because maybe cooking used to take much much longer before, but with some tweaks and planning, we’ve managed to reduce that time, yet still feed our families wholesome meals.
Maybe we used to teach History and Geography separately, only to find were so many opportunities for overlap, so we bundled them together, giving more time to go in depth.
Or perhaps we used to constantly buy things, thinking we needed all the latest resources and curriculum, but dropped this idea, decluttered, and no we’re actually doing and using MORE of the things we have because they’re easier to find.
We have simplified. It has made a difference. It has been time well spent in sha Allah. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s reduced time in EVERYTHING, does that make sense?
So, if ever you feel like your homeschool takes longer – try to assess WHERE it takes longer. And if what you are spending longer on is WORTH IT. And if it is, don’t feel the sudden need to cut it in half.
Don’t just think – I need to reduce it all.
Instead, be clear on what you consider as your main priorities and don’t feel pressured into giving these areas less time.
And also, be clear in what you consider are your lighter priorities, and don’t feel pressured into giving these more time.
In a nutshell, try to pinpoint specific areas where you feel like time can be reduced without it affecting
the outcome. And then pinpoint areas where you feel like time should be INCREASED so you can really go heavy in the things that matter to you and your family in sha Allah.
Because what we choose to spend time is an indication of our priorities. And as Muslim homeschool mothers, our deen shows us what to prioritise, Alhamdulillah.
If you’d like more support in your Muslim Homeschool, sign up for this upcoming free workshop I’ll be delivering this month. Doors for The Muslim Home & School Maker Membership will also reopen the same day, so come join us!