Are you a Happy Homeschool Mom?

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies, how are you this fine Sunday morning?

As you know, I decided to make a short series discussing different phases/stages we as homeschool moms go through, and even moms in general. Since we covered the ‘apprehensive’ homeschool mom last week, I thought it would be a good idea to move to the other side of the spectrum today and discuss the ‘happy’ homeschool mom.

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Needless to say this is a wonderful phase to be in, and we all hope and pray that this phases never stops!

And this is something every Mom can relate to.  For you may have just started homeschooling, and your heart is bursting with joy knowing that you made the right decision for you and your family.  Or you may be a veteran homeschool mom, whose children are much older now and the fruits of your labour are ripening before your eyes.  Whatever the case may be, its wonderful seeing your children thrive and your homeschool blossom, alhamdulillah.

Thus, it’s important to recognise that the ability and opportunity to teach our children is certainly a blessing from Allah Azzawajal, and this blessing should not be taken for granted. Hence this post is more of a reminder to myself first and foremost and to all my fellow mamas. 

It’s equally important to point out that although these things are something we should acknowledge when we are in this stage, they also are a means of becoming ‘happy’ in the first place.

So lets ensure that we remind ourselves and each to cherish this blessing we have and perhaps implement some of the following things…

Renew intention
I’ve mentioned this before in several other posts and I’ll mention it again for a reason.  See, sometimes its easy to fall into the trap of reminding ourselves of our intentions when things are a little rough, and we need a boost to keep on going. But its important to acknowledge and renew our intentions in time of ease too, not just in times of difficulty.  So take a moment to pause, and renew your intentions for raising your children.  Yes, its a means of bonding with our children and creating memories but there’s more to it than that.  The wider purpose of raising our children to be mumins, pillars of the Ummah and hopefully a sadaqah for us should be at the forefront of our minds at all times.

Make Dua
SubhanAllah, I cannot emphasise this enough!  Motherhood and educating our children is an enormous task and responsibility, none of which would be possible without Allahs mercy upon us.  So its paramount that we ask Allah to keep us sincere and humble in our homeschool journeys and gives us the tawfiq to raise our children upon the Qu’ran and Sunnah. 

Abū Hurayrah ( رضي الله عنه ) that the prophet ( صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) said:
“Whoever would like Allah to answer him during hardships and difficulties then let him increase in supplication during times of wellbeing.” [Tirmidhi]

It’s also important to acknowledge that one of the characteristics of having istiqamah is to be consistent in our deeds so its essential we make dua for this too.

Abu Hurayrah reported: The Messenger of Allah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ) said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.” (Ibn Mājah)

Help others
Alhamdulillah your feeling uplifted, so why not take the opportunity and reach out to others?  Anything from a few words of encouragement, sharing ideas, helping with planning and house organisation really go a long way. Allah Azzawajal is in the aid of a person who aids his brother, so let us grasp this opportunity and hold hands with one another in anyway we can.  When we look to the example of the Prophet Sallahu alayhi wasalam and the noble companions, we find that they were always looking for opportunities to help others, but sometimes as mothers we feel like our opportunities are limited.  But I remind myself and you, my dearest homeschool mama, that a little goes a along way.  Share your blessings in any way you can, for truly we are in the ones in need.

“O My slaves, you will not attain harm in Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefit in Me so as to benefit Me; O My slaves, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that will not increase My Kingdom in anything; O my slaves, were the first of you and last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that will not decrease My Kingdom in anything; O My slaves, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and I recompense you for. So let him who finds good praise Allaah and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself.”[Saheeh Muslim]

I hope this post benefited you and that you continue to thrive in your homeschool journeys and feel free to share with sisters who may benefit.
I really enjoy writing about real life Muslim homeschool mom experiences, perhaps I’ll turn them into a podcast one day-sisters only of course!


My advice for the New Homeschool Mom

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies

I hope you are all well.  We’ve had a cold going around this week, and thus haven’t had a typical homeschool week, alhamdulillah ala kulli haal.

How has your week been?

I often get asked from mothers who have just begun there homeschooling journeys about ‘where to start’.  Or mothers who have started but feel overwhelmed with all the changes.  So I thought I’d share a few tips that may help make that transition easier.

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The Irritated Homeschool Mom

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies

I can’t believe its almost the end of October! We’ve been at our usual school routine for almost six weeks now and time has flown!

And although I thoroughly enjoy our homeschool journey there are times it can get tough.  Which brings me to the subject of this post.

You see, no matter how much we do enjoy our journeys, we are still human and are prone to days that don’t go as planned.  And despite having meal planned for the week, waking up to a clean house and lessons laid out on the dining table (go Super Mum!), it can take something mundane and you and you get irritated-fast!

So how do we come with days we become irritable?  Especially when these sorts of days keep on cropping up and start to affect the overall atmosphere of our home.  

I know the term ‘self care’ is often thrown out their at us Mothers when we seem to be having a bad day, but I’d like to delve a little further.

So instead of the term self-care, I propose ‘listen to yourself’.

Why do I say that?  Because for me ‘ self-care’ isn’t enough.  That one night ‘off’ to read a book whilst putting on a face-mask although can help temporarily, doesn’t always get to the root cause.  It allows you to pause and reflect when alone but not so much when you need it the most – when your with your children.

See difficult days are not related so much to the trigger i.e your toddler interrupting read aloud time again and again but more so when you haven’t paused to listen to what YOU need.  Like I mentioned on a recent Instagram post, as homeschool Moms we get so caught up in making learning a ‘freeing’ experience for our children, we somehow shackle ourselves.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

So take some time out and listen to yourself.  

Did you eat breakfast or did you only plate up for the kids?
Did you get a good nights sleep or were you last to sleep and first to rise?

Did you enjoy the lesson you taught today or did the over-planning tire you and reduce it to a checklist box to get done?
Do you have enough gaps in your day to prolong positive learning opportunities or are extracurricular activities making life rigid?

Most importantly…

Are you rushing your salaah to get started on dinner, thus losing the beautiful essence of khushoo?
Are you yourself connecting with the Qu’ran, beyond revising with your children?
Is your intention to teach your children revisited often or has it gone rusty therefore you’ve lost your way?

Ask yourself what is bothering you. Listen intently and carefully.

It could be something as simple as you’re hungry to something much deeper like feeling a dip in your emaan.  Once you’ve pinpointed the root cause of your irritability, you can work on solutions and thus avoid being an irritated Mama.

As I say, it’s not the morning basket that makes the morning pretty; it’s you.


Make the Week(end) work for you

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu my dear Mamas

I hope you are all having an enjoyable weekend.  I’ve intended to write this post for some time and asked on Instagram if you would be interested in reading it, to which several of you replied “Yes!”.  And like one sister pointed out, the struggle of finding time to enjoy our time is an issue Mamas in general face so much needed!

Before I start, let me explain the reasons as to why I personally made some changes and why the weekend wasn’t working for me.  See, I’d trained myself to see as the weekend as a break up of two things.  The first day was the ‘I’m not lifting a finger at all’ and the second was ‘Oh my gosh, its time to get my house back in order’ day.  Which meant I’d be deep cleaning all day, spending little time with my family: stressing myself out before the new week had even started.  And then homeschool planning after all the cleaning and cooking wasn’t exactly what I looked forward to either, especially if I just realised that I didn’t have the supplies I need!

So, I made some changes.  which have helped me regain that balance I was craving, Alhamdulillah, and I hope they help you too.

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The Three Cs

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu Sisters!

Its been a while since my last diary entry and it feels good to be writing again.  We took some time off school and then dove back in a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t had much time to post.  

This is something I was meaning to write about a while ago, and I shared the title on my Instagram page.  

My three Cs of homeschooling.  In other words, a simplified way for me to keep our homeschool in check.  

1.Correct intention and action 

This is the foundation of our homeschool, and my motivation as a Muslim homeschool Mama.  It is the core of our homeschool, and the factor that needs constant renewal.  Starting off with the correct intention, it is crucial that all our actions, big or small, are done to please Allah and only Him, and homeschooling is no exception. 
With the correct intention our homeschool will thrive insha’Allah.  But of course, correct intentions must be coupled with correct actions. So we must strive to ensure that our actions are according to the Quran and Sunnah, and for me as a parent this is where I have really benefited in teaching my children as it has propelled me to learn more so that I may teach my children that which is beneficial, Alhamdulillah. 

2. Confidence

This is the factor that I feel every Mama needs to hear, Homeschooling or not!  Its so easy to get bombarded by information that we start to feel incompetent.  The dreaded ‘Am I learned enough?’ and ‘Am I doing enough?’ can throw us off course.  And since homeschooling is so varied and unique to each family, comparison can be poisonous!  So this factor reminds be to make confident in the decisions that I make for my family, that is where my expertise lies.  And I urge you Mama’s to be confident in your decisions too since a confident homeschool Mamas attitude will have a ripple effect and equip your children will confidence too.

3. Consistency

One of the biggest things that I’ve learnt over the course of teaching my children, is to be consistent.  And by this, I don’t mean that every day needs to look the same.  But that keeping learning opportunities alive during seasons of life that may be out of the ordinary.  Whether there’s a new baby on the way, or you’re moving house, try to keep learning consistent.  This is especially the case if you’re children are memorising Quran too as revision needs to be consistent and daily.  So definitely adapt to the seasons of life, but don’t disregard consistent pockets of learning, even if they are limited to just core subjects.  It makes it much easier to then transition back into full on homeschooling when things have settled.

I hope you enjoyed reading todays diary entry.  I’d love to hear what keeps your homeschool focused, comment below!

 

 


Enjoy your Homeschool Season

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu Sisters,

Imagine this. You take a couple of minutes to check your Instagram post and see you a fellow homeschooling family outside, school finished and now headed to the lake…

Thats all well and good Alhamdulillah, until you realise the time difference, they  are several hours behind you but still managed to get things done before you.  Panic kicks in, you post a question on Instagram asking for tips which come flooding in…..and before you know it, you begin to question everything about your homeschool.

What you don’t realise is that post you saw, that tiny glimpse of someone else’s life, was just that.  A glimpse.  Rather than look at what was different between your families and someone else’s and give yourself grace, you chose to only look at the word homeschool and instead gave yourself tonnes of grief.

See, we are all in different seasons of our homeschool.  Some of you may just have started your homeschool journey and finding your feet, others may have been schooling for several years and now have the addition of a newborn, and a toddler who demands attention.  Others may have been schooling for several years now and are now on the verge of considering high-school options-a whole new world!  But homeschool seasons aren’t restricted to the ages and grades of your children.  What about  considering LIFE itself???

You may be moving home, have guests round, starting house renovations or going through a difficult time in life.  These are all life seasons, including the ups and the downs.  

So rather than compare, or yearn to be at a particular season to start or fully focus, embrace what you have now. 

Enjoy
-The novelty of sitting on packed suitcases while doing some morning Math.
-Starting English a little later because you want to snooze with your newborn.
-Wrapping up by lunchtime because the kids now work independently

or simply being happy with keeping your school consistent through more difficult times.

Adapting and embracing to each season allows us to create positive memories.  Sitting at the school room table wont be remembered quite the same as sitting in an empty apartment-seriously!.  If you want to keep HOME the focus of your homeschool journey, its important to school around life seasons and enjoy the moment.  Some seasons will be faster than others, some will be easier, some will be a mix of both. 

But whatever the season, enjoy the pace you’re going at.


Aligning Post Ramadan & Homeschool Goals

Assalamu alaykum sisters,

It’s that time of year again where most homeschooling families are wrapping up their current school year and busily planning for the next.

In the midst of researching curriculum, lesson planning, stationary hauls and typing up weekly schedules, it’s all too easy to lose sight of those goals we set a mere couple of weeks ago.

Those goals we set in the last third of the night…
The schedules we jotted down after finishing Taraweeh…
The daily practices we began to implement and promised ourselves we would carry on…

Yes, I’m talking about our post-Ramadan goals.

Ramadan – seems like only yesterday that we were planning its arrival and yet it seems like it was months ago.

After the excitement of Eid wears off and we start to find our feet again, old habits start to creep back in.

As mother’s, and specifically homeschooling mother’s, the weight of planning our children’s goals and objectives for the year can often lead to us giving our own less importance.

Slowly but surely…
The Qur’an memorisation we made time for, now gets filled with lesson planning.
The promise of physical self-care gets replaced with copious amounts of coffee again.
Our own path of seeking knowledge suddenly comes to a halt.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need too and should prioritise our own goals too. And YES, you do have TIME!!

How? Here are a few tips.

Instead of separating the two, why not plan your goals alongside your homeschool goals? Pull out your Ramadan goals, and have them next to your while you are planning your year. That way, you can account for both and plan your daily routine in such a way where you give everything adequate time.

For example, if you made the intention to memorise Qur’an daily, why schedule this in at the same time as your children. Perhaps Stay awake after Fajr, give your children their hifdh portion, and while they are memorising, you can memorise too.

If you had a pile of books you intended to read, ensure you read snippets during the day. So while the kids are playing after your morning subjects are done, have a well-earned break and read a few pages; alternatively leave a little early to collect your child from Arabic class so you can read in the car while you wait. Don’t wait until the kids sleep to get your daily dose of reading in…it won’t always happen and eventually you will place the unread book back on the bookshelf.

My overall advice to myself first and foremost and you, is to carefully look at those pockets of time, scribbling out anything unnecessary as well as ensuring you aren’t spending too much time in one area (homeschool prep can take over your life!!).  Then add in your Ramadan goals and make these a priority and part of your daily routine.

Because these goals we made when we feeling spirituality uplifted can change the whole dynamics of our homeschool and ultimately our home life.

So pick up that pink highlighter and get writing. Don’t allow your Ramadan goals to be left in your planner until next Ramadan.

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My dear sister – I need no explanation.

Asalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu everyone,

I hope you are all having a fruitful Ramadan. I’m off social media to take advantage of this blessed time but I popped back on to share this reflection which I think some of you may resonate with.

Yesterday, we went to our local masjid and as we walked into the sister’s section the salaah had already begun, the Imam was reciting, there was a wonderful atmosphere, filled with peace and serenity.

But just as I was about to join the jama’ah with my kiddos I was swiftly told I had to go upstairs since this area was for women without children.

I didn’t mind, and off we headed upstairs. But as soon as we reached the top of the stairs, I almost felt like I was in a different masjid. The atmosphere was totally different.

I wasn’t met with silence but with the sound of a crying baby, the smell of bottled milk and a sight of scattered baby bags.

As I made my way further into the room, I walked past a woman trying to settle her child before the next rakaah began, another scrambling to find things to keep her toddler busy and another who just looked worried; I’m guessing she was hoping her baby would sleep through the salaah.

And it dawned on me. That even though I didn’t know these women, and they didn’t know each other; we were connected.

We didn’t have to say anything but the struggle voiced itself.

I didn’t know where she was from, but I had a good idea of what was going through her mind.

And I’m pretty sure we all had a pack of baby wipes in our bag somewhere.

You see, when Ramadan comes, we as mother’s often voluntarily put ourself at the back of the queue. We facilitate everyone else’s ibadaah, be it ensuring our children read more Qur’an, to making sure our husband’s clothes are ready for taraweeh, to cooking up a gourmet iftaar.

And while that is wonderful, and a path to seek reward, sometimes we need to just put everything aside….just for a few moments, and think about nothing and no one, except for ourselves.  Because these precious moments give us the momentum to then give back to those around us.

Aside from that, I noticed something just as wonderful. Our common struggle resulted in a non judgemental atmosphere.

You see, I understood why the sister was there….and that was far dearer to me than caring if her child was in her pyjamas. 

Sisters didn’t get mad when a random toddler tugged at their khimar…they were used to it.

Noone seemed to point fingers when a child was disruptive – there were no stern looks. 

My dua for you my dear sister is that you benefitted from those few moments of peace…may Allah reward you in abundance for all your beautiful effort, Ameen.

And if you ever run out of baby wipes? I have plenty…don’t worry.


Parenting popped my personal bubble.

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies, what comes to your mind if I was to say…

“Parenting popped my personal bubble.

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Let me elaborate.
Do you ever miss…
Praying salah without someone tugging at your khimar, perhaps in a quiet room, with lit candles and bukhoor burning in the background?
Eating a chocolate bar, without having to share a piece?
Being able to focus on your needs, without having to pause to cook, clean or tend to kids?
Having a decent nights sleep, without that having to mean you wake up to twice the amount of chores?
Attending classes at the masjid without worrying about finding a creche?
Having time with your spouse, when you could take impromptu holidays and have alone time that didn’t need to be scheduled?
Being your pre-baby weight, since you’ve had children your body has not been the same?

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My Bad Homeschool Day Survival Guide

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies

No matter how much we plan, schedule, and prepare, it’s safe to say that sometimes those wonderfully planned school days just don’t work out. 

But don’t panic!  Heres a quick guide to help you recover your day and not let one bad homeschool day turn into one bad homeschool week!  Be it the night before, during the day, or dealing with the aftermath, we’ve got you covered.

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