Asalamu’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies. Alhamdulillah, I’m ready to share my ten-year homeschool reflection with you all.
Today’s post is a deeply personal one. In fact, it’s made me pretty emotional and quite teary. As I think back and reflect on how my children were so young, small, fragile, our steps into homeschooling without even the ‘label’, the assortment of things we’ve done together, the books we’ve read, discussed, taken something away from and still talk about to this day, the learning we pushed to get done even when we were tired; the hours I have spent with my children.
The days that flowed, the days that felt heavy, the times where I felt uplifted, the times I felt too tired to continue, the times I felt supported, and the times I reached our support, the times that I felt I felt more pressured to include all the things to the gradual understanding of what it really means to serve the needs of my family.
Needless to say, it’s taken me aback. Alhamdulillah.
And it’s been in my mind for some time now to get my ten-year homeschool reflections written down because it isn’t always easy to find and read about thoughts and experiences from veteran Muslim homeschooler mothers, as other communities can. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t consider myself a ‘veteran’ or ‘expert’ homeschooler by any means, I really don’t. And I’m still learning about how I can improve and build upon my own homeschool everyday. But I can say that homeschooling has been such an integral part of my life for so long now, Alhamdulillah. And I’m hoping that the little I’ve learnt along the way will be useful for mothers just starting, considering or even a few years into their own homeschool journey with their children in sha Allah.
I initially intended to write down ten points to summarise my ten-year homeschool reflection, but I found myself adding more and more. I could have easily written a hundred, but I stopped myself at around fifty, so this post doesn’t get even longer than it is.
So here are my fifty reflections, in no particular order, as a Muslim homeschool mother who has homeschooled for a decade. And all goodness is from Allah.
- The ability and freedom to homeschool is a huge blessing from Allaah.
- Spend time with the Book of Allaah everyday, prioritise it above everything else.
- Facilitate and be heavily involved in your child’s hifdh journey, it is beautiful.
- Go beyond integrating Islam into other subjects; give Islamic studies its own dedicated time, go deep.
- Keep your eye on the goal and don’t get distracted.
- Prioritise the connection with your children over any curriculum.
- Make learning the Arabic language a priority for even young children.
- What becomes a staple in the homeschool world, doesn’t need to be a staple in your homeschool.
- The daily routines and rhythms outweigh the once in a while things.
- Resolve any strains, difficulties or challenges within your relationships instead of trudging along.
- In an ever-distracting world, be present.
- Know the difference between comparing and getting inspired.
- Remind yourself that this life is temporary, and your homeschool days are short-lived.
- Enjoy your beautiful children.
- Learning doesn’t need to be complicated; it needs to be meaningful.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of good ol’ conversation.
- Being a student yourself, makes your more empathetic to your children’s learning journey.
- Homemaking as a homeschooler requires tweaking but can be done.
- Your mama first. Don’t ignore your maternal instinct.
- Reflect often. Reflect often. Reflect often.
- Your children are observing you navigating life; set a good example.
- Make du’a for your children constantly for guidance is with Allaah alone.
- Change doesn’t always mean disruption; it can also be a chance to learn.
- It isn’t about having things in abundance as it is about your attitude.
- The choices you make every day aside from homeschool will influence your homeschool.
- It isn’t about getting things done quickly, it’s about getting things done well.
- Set the same foundation for all the kids, and also tap into individual strengths.
- Focus on how you can maximise learning. Think quality over quantity.
- Your diet directly impacts your energy levels. Stay nourished.
- The environment can help or hinder progress.
- Days ‘off’ don’t mean that learning stops.
- Support is important. But it can come in many forms.
- Don’t be afraid to tweak things. But be mindful of overanalysing.
- Customise the learning journey and styles, but don’t recreate the wheel constantly.
- Familiar usually means it’s working. A good indication to stick with it.
- Utilise multi-tasking and uni-tasking; both are appropriate in different situations.
- Know that you set the tone for your home mama. You really do.
- Rest when you need to. Push through when you should.
- Laugh with your children!
- Some days will be harder than others; it’s all part of the process.
- Streamline the things you can so you can spend time on the less predictable things.
- Sometimes the path that is worthwhile isn’t always easy. But ease isn’t always the goal.
- It isn’t just about the children. Homeschooling is a family affair.
- Those who may initially disagree with your decision usually come from a place of concern. This usually passes with time.
- You don’t need to have all the things for learning to feel rich.
- Acknowledge the difficult days. Think of solutions. And move onwards and upwards.
- Remind yourself your children are a huge blessing, not a burden.
- Deal with the non-homeschool related things; don’t let homeschooling be the reason you don’t.
- Be attentive in not just the teaching, but also the correcting.
- Be thankful to Allaah for this opportunity to cultivate your children.