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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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.


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.


The self-care myth

Asalamu Alaykum ladies
Ever find yourself…

Still wearing the same pjs/shalwar kameez/sheedh or baati you woke up with at 5pm?
Forgetting to brush your teeth?
Eating the whole family size bar of chocolate, instead of a couple of squares?

I feel you, I’ve done the same.

You see as mothers, and homeschool moms, in particular, I feel, as our responsibilities increase and the demands of daily life seem like an ever-growing mountain, we tend to put our self-care on the back burner.  

Ahh yes, the infamous old ‘Self-care’ that we’ve all heard about before.  It’s the term we google late at night when we’ve slept with our coffee-stained PJs, wondering whatever happened to the old me. 

But self-care for me is simple. 

It’s anything you do for yourself that feeds your mind, body and soul. 

And a word of warning here..it doesn’t have to be so elaborate! One mistake I feel we make when we do have those late night panic attacks, is to associate self-care with something that takes up hours of time which we don’t have, hence we swiftly click off Google and go back to binging on our chocolate bar.  

But self-care doesn’t have to mean we need to go on a mountainous hike, all alone, with a coffee every morning before the kids wake up.  Or that you must commit to a gym workout every day while the hubby keeps the kids.  While it’s fantastic if you can do this (!), it’s not realistic for everyone.   

On the other hand, don’t make the mistake of thinking that those pockets of time you do have for yourself though, are better spent on doing something else either. When we make self-care an extra thing to squeeze in ‘if we have time’, as opposed to a ‘priority’, we fall into a vicious circle of feeling like we’re living in the same day.  Lack of nourishing ourselves, and giving to others constantly without replenishing, leads to a bad case of getting burnt out. 

So make a promise to yourself today and… 

Don’t skip that shower to get an early start on breakfast.
Pray on time, the hoover can wait.
Brush your teeth first, the kids seemed to be immune to each others ‘morning breath’ anyway.
Realise when one cup of coffee becomes one too many, and replace with water instead.
While the kids are playing, read that book which inspires you.
Don’t skip making the juice because of the mess.  It doesn’t bother you when you know allowing the kids to make pizza will make them happy, so it shouldn’t bother you when you know how good it will make you feel after.
Get the workout in – come rain or shine!
Schedule a class for yourself, either in person or online.  Do what works for you.
Go for a long walk, and take the kids with you if you have to!

Have a wonderful day ladies!

 


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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Unfiltered Homeschool

My carpet full of crumbs,
Sticky fingers on the wall.
Paint marks on my hijaab,
But that’s not all.

Flour stuck on the floor,
From pancakes, we made this morning.
My four year old asking me to read,
But I can’t stop yawning.

My coffee has gone cold,
While picking up the books.
Cars, trains, and piles of sand,
And of course his yellow truck.  Read More


Encouragement for the homeschool mum

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

I pray that you are all in the best of health and emaan, ameen. A few weeks ago I stumbled across a post on a Christian homeschooling blog, it was a list of bible verses that were there to encourage mums to keep plodding through this homeschooling journey.

So, I decided to make one for myself and all my fellow Muslim homeschooling mums. I needed something to look at that would provide me with some motivation, hope, remind me of my intention, and what I could do when I need help. The days when you wake up and the thought of a science lesson make you sigh, or the time things were going great until you realise that the house has turned upside in the midst of your reading to your four-year-old. We all need something to uplift us, and where better to turn to than the comforting words of the Qur’an, and the wonderful example of our beloved Prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam.

Homeschool Mum Encouragement Printable-page-001 (1)
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