Asalamu’alaykum ladies, it’s been a few weeks since my last blog post; finishing up our school year, thinking about the next, and Dhul Hijjah and E’id celebrations, things have been busy here. And I know many mamas are knee-deep in the trenches planning for the upcoming year too, which is why this post will be the first in a series of homeschool planning posts, starting with our homeschool vision and breaking this down into a plan and statement.
Before adding items to our Amazon cart or researching curricula, it’s important we reflect on why we homeschool our children and what we hope to achieve by Allahs permission. As Muslim homeschoolers, we have unique reasons for choosing this path, but our fundamental motivations are similar. And so, let’s start with outlining our homeschool plan, starting with some shared reasons we have in common.
As Muslim homeschool parents, we homeschool because…
Our children are our responsibility.
As Muslim parents, we know that Allah has entrusted us with the crucial responsibility of our childs tarbiyyah. This duty doesn’t end when they reach the standardised ‘school’ age. For us parents, it requires significant time and effort, so we can raise our children to be aware of their Creator, learn about the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam and follow his example, and help and educate our children to understand their purpose in life. And homeschooling provides us with the opportunity to remain the primary educators of our children, allowing us to strengthen our foundational beliefs as Muslims with more freedom and flexibility. By homeschooling our children, we can raise our children to have a strong foundation in their deen, and ensure that the atmopshere and day to day choices in our homes facilitate this not only for our children, but for us as a whole family in sha Allah.
We want to to build a strong family unit.
As a homeschooling family, we prioritize spending time together every day, not just in the evenings or on weekends. This allows us to create opportunities for meaningful connections with our children and to strengthen their relationship with Allah. Our daily interactions with our kids serve as bonding moments that reinforce our values as Muslims, including our commitment to caring for, respecting, and helping those in need. By integrating our learning and living, we demonstrate to our children the importance of our parent-child, sibling, family, and community connections.
We want to give our children a good quality education.
As parents, we know our childrens likes, passions, strengths, and how they learn best. And so, when it comes to educating our children, we can consider all of the above when it comes to their learning. Unlike the school system, where teachers have to teach everyone in almost the same way, at the same time, teaching the same thing, we can teach our children what they need to know in a way which they learn best. We can customise their learning for them so that they can excel in their ways at their own pace. And not only can we choose how to teach our children, but we can also prioritise the things that matter to us as a family, which for a Muslim homeschool family will, of course, be our deen which we can make a core in our homeschool; we can decide to start our day off with hifdh, introduce Arabic and spend time teaching our children Islam both as a focused subject as well as intertwined into other subjects too. Teaching our children what they need to know and how they learn best are two components of a successful, well-rounded education in sha Allah which will benefit our children even after they fly the nest.
These are some shared reasons. But of course, you’ll also have some reasons you homeschool that are unique to your family and circumstances. All of these reasons will become part of your more comprehensive homeschooling plan, which, as you grow and mature in your journey, you’ll keep adding to, especially as the kids get older, you enter different seasons of life, your kids mature and so on. Because the further you go along, the things you’ll need to think about will also change, and things you were thinking of early on in your homeschool journey will look different several years in, though the purpose will largely stay the same. Your plan is your reasons, coupled with particular focuses for that year, that you’ll tweak and adapt.
But your mission statement is a little different. Think of it as a mini version of your plan; it’s taking all of the above and making it more concise, so we can quickly remind ourselves of what we’re trying to achieve daily. The plan is detailed,wheras the statement captures the essence of your plan but is a quick read, a kind of note to self. And for the most part, it won’t change, though it probably will evolve.
So you might thinking, Umm Saleh, why do I need a vision statement? Well my sis, here’s why.
If you’ve been homeschooling for a while or just started, you’ll know we get busy. Really busy.
Because we aren’t just homeschooling, we’re also taking care of the home, our responsibilities, our learning that isn’t alongside the kids and everything else in between. And if we don’t take a minute to remind ourselves of what’s essential for our family, things can slip or feel a little compromised. Especially since there’s so much information about homeschooling and the best ways to homeschool, I’m telling you from my experience, sis. Plus hearing from mothers from different corners of the world, for many of us, it can feel pretty overwhelming. There’s so much choice; many suggested schedules, and so many supplies it can feel like information overload. And many times, we might be busy doing so much, but if it doesn’t align with what we want for our family, it’s fallen short.
And that’s a cycle we want to avoid getting stuck in ( think planning, then planning again and planning again a couple of weeks later).
So this is where our homeschool vision statement (aka mission statement) comes in; because it isn’t just a theoretical beautifully written piece of writing you stash somewhere in your homeschool planner. It serves a bigger purpose.
Our homeschool statement will
→help us sift through all the choices and make the right choices for our family in sha Allah; from curricula to books to outdoor activities, you’ll find it easier to see what fits your values rather than get frazzled.
→is will help you keep our decisions more well-informed instead of on a whim, so less sporadic buying and waste.
→remind us of what we want to achieve, so we can determine if it’s worth doing or incorporating so less stopping and starting (and getting tired!).
→help us curate a routine that makes space for those meaningful things so were not constantly squeezing things in and running out of time, which affects the quality of what we do.
It’s the reason why the routine module is right at the end How to Homeschool Multiple Kids course, because we go through all the legwork in the first several weeks, starting with our homeschool vision. The routine really is the easy part when you’re clear in what you want to achieve first in sha Allah!
Here are a few prompts to help you craft your own vision statement.
In our homeschool we…
I want my homeschool to be…
I want my kids to look back at their homeschool and remember…
Learning for us is…
….is so important for us; thats why we…
The atmosphere is our homeschool should be…
If I could describe our homeschool in … words, it would be…
These are just a few examples, feel free to adjust, and think of your own. As long as you keep it concise, and avoid making it generic by capturing what homeschool means for you and your family, thats great. Your routine then would be based off this, but we’ll touch upon this later on the series.
So take some time to really think about what is it that you want to achieve from homeschooling, what is it that really matters to you, how would that look like practically in your home. Whether you’re just starting out in your homeschool journey, or you’ve been homeschooling for years, don’t wander; get clear on your homeschool plan and vision statement so you can homeschool with clarity in sha Allah.
Here are some other ways I can help you keep your homeschool meaningful and manageable.
- Register for the FREE Five Steps to Simplify your Homeschool Workshop, where I share a step-by-step process on how to simplify your homeschool, especially if you’re prone to overplanning, and overcomplicating it all.
- Join the How to Homeschool Multiple Kids Course, and start building the homeschool of your dreams today.
- Join me inside The Muslim Home & School Maker Membership for ongoing support and community, for Muslim homeschool mothers.