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Homeschooling is a wonderful option for Muslim families. We want our children to be in loving, supportive environments, yet some of us don’t have access to private schools.
Some of us can’t afford private school. Some of us only have access to private schools that are young and haven’t been well established.
And, unfortunately, there are some private schools that are a more of a business instead of a school.
Watch the Muslim Homeschooling Q&A YouTube Video!
There is a solution!
Many of us have been homeschooling since the beginning, with some of us even deciding that homeschooling was right for our family prior to having children!
Some of us have graduated our children from homeschool. Many of us have experienced all seasons of homeschooling – from caring for an infant, to surviving the toddler years, to dealing with high school credits.
No matter our circumstance, we are stronger together.
Homeschooling is a beautiful journey!
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What is homeschooling?
According to Oxford Dictionary, homeschooling is a verb that is defined as
educating (one’s child) at home instead of sending them to a school.
There are various homeschooling philosophies and methods. Every family is as different as the fingerprint God has created us with! Let’s chat a bit about common misconceptions.
Homeschooling doesn’t mean virtual schooling
Usually when people think of homeschooling, they envision a child working behind a screen. Cyber school, or virtual school, is an educational process that allows children to take all, or most of, the required courses for a degree, diploma or certificate online.
Essentially, cyber school is public school at home, as the same state standards and curriculum are commonly utilized. The children are communicating with a teacher and other students in the virtual classroom.
Although this is an option for some families, virtual school isn’t the same as homeschooling.
Homeshooling looks a lot like living
Parents make decisions for their child concerning curriculum, schedules, procedures, etc. They will then set a ‘beautiful feast’ before their child. This entails, but isn’t limited to, providing living books, open-ended materials, quality resources, opportunities for handicrafts, and real-life experiences.
You won’t always find a virtual aspect in this equation.
Homeschooling is not school at home
Don’t try to mimic a classroom environment by implementing rigid school schedules. Next thing you know mama is the teacher, dad is a principal, and the child is a ‘student’.
This setup is not going to work in a home environment.
We strive to blur the lines of learning and living
During a child’s free time, they may choose a toy or they may choose a handwriting book, without distinguishing this experience as play vs. work. If you were to take a peek into our daily lives you’d observe what may seem to be “regular life” or “just play”, but trust me, the children are learning more than we think!
Homeschooling is not all about formal lessons
You may be wondering, “What about more formal work such as math or writing?” This is best described as a tutor style situation.
For example, the parent explains the concept of multiplication, presents the child with manipulatives for concrete representation, and then assigns multiplication problems for independent work.
Although formal lessons are part of an older child’s homeschool day, it doesn’t have to take up the bulk of our day.
Homeschooling will not resemble the school you went to when you were a kid
Homeschooling will not look like you think it will . It will not, and should not resemble the school you went to when you were a child.
Go in with that mentality and you will be successful, inshAllah.
How to get started with homeschooling
Step 1: Pray about it
First and foremost, as with all other decisions, pray about homeschooling.
Step 2: Speak with your spouse
Speak with your spouse about your desire to homeschool and pray about it together. Make sure you are on the same page.
I don’t recommend homeschooling if your spouse disagrees with the concept. However, you don’t have to give up on the idea completely.
As time passes, your spouse may agree to try it, God Willing.
Step 3: De-school
If your child has previously attended school, they may have preconceptions regarding what school is supposed to look like, and so do you. Parental de-schooling will help you get out of the school mindset and adjust to homeschooling, inshAllah.
Make comfort a priority at this time. Change is hard. Take it slow.
Allow your child to drive the change by giving them as much ownership as possible. Don’t introduce formal work quite yet.
The de-schooling process may take a few weeks to a few months. Be patient!
Step 4: Understand your country/state laws
Research and understand your country and state laws. Alhemdulilah, homeschooling is legal in most countries around the world.
If you live in the U.S., most states are pretty lax about homeschooling.
Step 5: Do some research
Research all things homeschooling to gain an understanding of homeschooling methods, resources, curriculum, schedules, etc. And, most importantly, try to gain an understanding as to how children learn through living.
Spend some time watching YouTube videos about homeschooling. They’re fun and can give you insight as to how a homeschooling day in the life can ‘look’.
Click here to watch MY YouTube videos! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE and hit that BELL so you’ll be notified when I upload new videos to my channel. Thank you!
Keep in mind that your homeschool will never be exactly the same as the You-tuber you just watched (including me 😉 ) or the neighbor down the street.
Step 6: Resist the urge to buy everything!
Don’t do it boo. Just don’t.
Here is some fair warning. There are a tonsssss of options out there with respect to homeschooling resources.
Resist the urge to purchase everything because we don’t need it all.
Step 7: Gain an understanding of various homeschooling philosophies and methods, but…
… don’t get hung up on them! Many of us start off strictly adhering to one homeschooling method, and then finally realize that we are eclectic so that we can meet the diverse needs of our children. 🙂
What’s more important is understanding how YOUR child learns and provide a ‘gentle feast’ before them.
Step 8: Find your local tribe
FYI: This post was written pre-pandemic. Follow this advice when the pandemic is over! InshAllah ya Rabb.
Go on field trips or even plan for a weekly mom days out! Some groups have even decided to start co-ops. The ideas are endless.
Search your local Masjid for Muslim homeschoolers in your area. Create a local group on Yahoo or Facebook so that people can find you on a google search.
Step 9: Implement a daily rhythm
Don’t create a schedule, create a rhythm. If you don’t already have one, start a daily rhythm with your family.
Keep it simple!
Sample Daily Rhythm:
- Morning Basket
- Lunch (kids help prep and clean up)
- Field Trip/Extras/outdoor play
- Dinner prep & eat
- Chores (entire family)
- Family time
Work this out to suit the needs of your family, just remember to schedule all things around salaat.
Step 10: Read aloud to your child
Read aloud to your children often. Ease into homeschooling by reading aloud at least ten minutes every other day.
You will see immediate benefits.
Grab some books from your local library and enjoy! For more information about reading aloud, I recommend this awesome book.
You can purchase the Read-Aloud Handbook here or by clicking on the image below.
Step 11: Create a homeschool vision statement
Begin by asking yourself what you want the day- to-day atmosphere of your homeschool to look like. Write that down.
You should also know your “why” for homeschooling and be able to articulate it. Write it down and hang it up on a wall or fridge!
InshAllah, doing this will help you become better equipped to face tough times (and the critic that lives in your head.)
Step 12: Set goals for your children
The same way we make goals for everything else in life, we should also make goals for homeschooling. Goals provide a direction and a framework for our lives and for our homeschooling year.
InshAllah, setting goals will help you decide on subjects to study and purchases to make. Be sure to make your goals as specific and measurable as possible.
When setting goals, don’t forget to focus on behaviors and not outcomes. For example: Bad goal – Khadijah will become better at Math by May 2022. 🙁 Good goal – Khadijah will spend 15 minutes a day, four days a week using resources to practice her addition and subtraction facts. 🙂
Lastly, JUMP IN!
You can do all the research in the world, and still not truly understand homeschooling until you actually start. You’ll learn as you live.
You, my friend, are the student after all, not the child!
We live and we learn and we make changes as needed.
Tips for success in homeschooling
As with all circumstances, first put your trust in God. Then move forward with the following tips:
Tip 1: Stop the comparison trap
Your children aren’t going to become someone. They are already someone right now.
Don’t make decisions based around homeschoolers on social media or little Johnny down the street.
We all learn at a different pace and we aren’t computers! One of the perks of homeschooling is that you can gauge what each child needs and move forward from there.
Your family is unique and beautiful, Praise God. So should be your homeschool!
Tip 2: Be consistent
Ah consistency. We hear and read about it often.
There are books upon books written about consistency, and for good reason. – It leads to success.
After all, we know that the best of deeds are those that are consistent, even if they are small.
Consistency is something we all struggle with, but it’s one of the most powerful tools in life. Research basic tips on consistency and try one today!
After awhile, this act will benefit you and your family.
Tip 3: Find Support
I often feel like I’m an island.
We’ve all been there and some of us are still suffering from loneliness. Some of us are even facing critics (or the critic in our own head).
Find your tribe and meet often. When times get tough, you’ll need your tribe to lean on.
Tip 4: Manage your time
Who has hours upon hours of free time? Not moms. That’s for sure!
We all have the same 24 hours in a day and need to be wise about what we do with it.
Time is a great blessing and to manage our time wisely, we must first understand where it goes!
Try this – start off documenting your time for an entire week. After each half hour or so, write down what you’ve done.
You will be amazed!
Many of us are surprised that we haven’t been so busy with cooking and laundry after-all! 😉
Do some research on time management skills and apply each strategy gradually. It will make all the difference.
Tip 5: Make space for YOU, mama
It’s quite common for moms to forget about themselves when starting homeschooling. I would like you to make space for yourself, dear mama. You have needs and you have every right to take time out each day to focus on what brings you peace and calm.
My form of creative meditation is slow stitching with a hot cup for a little bit daily. Even 10 minutes of just doing what brings you peace will be beneficial, dear mama.
Common questions/FAQ about homeschooling
Do I need a degree to homeschool?
No. You don’t need a degree to homeschool. You don’t need a teaching certificate to homeschool. You don’t need classes in Education to homeschool.
Mama, you are more than capable of homeschooling your child, degree or not!
Homeschooling is not the parent as teacher, rather the parent as an awakener.
Many of us with a degree in Education testify that the bulk of our education focused on classroom management. Can a degree teach truth? love? patience? beauty?
You can do this, mama!
How will I socialize the kids?
We homeschoolers find this question…uh, silly. After-all, we socialize by moving our mouths and speaking to humans. 🙂
FYI: This post was written pre-pandemic. Follow your local officials.
To find Muslim homeschoolers in your area, search your local masjid. One quick way to spot homeschooling families is to pray Dhuhr at the masjid.
See any children? They’re probably homeschooled!
You can also create flyers so that other Muslim homeschooling families can find you.
Another great idea would be to create a Muslim Homeschool Facebook or Yahoo group for your city/region. That way you’ll be found on a google search, inshAllah.
May Allah (AWJ) bless our children with righteous friends. Ameen.
Are there any laws about homeschooling?
Homeschooling is legal in most countries. Research your country and states laws before you begin homeschooling.
How will I know what to teach?
It’s not about what to ‘teach’, as much as it’s about how to set up a loving environment. It’s about providing a feast and allowing children to get out into the world.
Research more to gain an understanding, however the goal is self-lead learning.
Click on the title to read more about homeschooling in the following books:
What should our schedule look like?
Create a rhythm, not a schedule, and make sure it suits your family.
Some of us have newborns. Some of us have chronic illnesses or a sick spouse or children.
Some of us have spouses that work abroad. Some of us move a lot.
Some of us have toddlers (aka a blender without a lid). It’s YOUR homeschool. Make it yours 🙂
No matter what your rhythm may look like, schedule everything around prayer. This is yet another benefit of homeschooling. Praise God.
How do I grade my kids?
Grading your child is a personal decision, so do some research and pray about it.
Most homeschooling parents prefer to work to mastery, which means they don’t move on until their child has mastered the skill, topic, or concept.
There are a few valid reasons why some may choose to grade their high schooler’s work. One common reason is that many homeschooling parents feel more comfortable having grades listed on their child’s high school transcripts.
Or some families intend on putting their child in public or private school in the near future.
You don’t always have to grade to show work. You can set up a simple binder or container system to save important work for each child.
Lastly, make sure to research your country and state laws to see if they require you to turn in grades.
What products should I buy?
Purchase only one thing – what you need! 🙂
Here’s the thing. What you have at home already is probably sufficient for now.
Go shopping around the 300,000 items at your house and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of pencils, pens, and paper!
What homeschool curriculum should I use for Kindergarten?
If your kindergartner is developmentally ready and interested in formal lessons, you may choose from a variety of options out there. No matter what you decide on, use a gentle approach.
Want you kindergartner to learn about Hajj? This may be exactly what you need!
How much does homeschooling cost ?
However much you can afford to spend! 🙂
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) estimates that the average parent spends about $300 to $600 per year, per child, on homeschooling curriculum, games, and books. However, there are plenty of ways to save money on this expensemoneycrashers.com
The best tactic is to first shop in your home because you have about 300,000 items! Then only purchase what you need.
The last thing you need to know about homeschooling
Homeschooling is a natural extension of parenting.
God decreed for you to be their mother, therefore you are already their ‘teacher’. You ARE enough, and you can do this, mama!
Want to teach your child about Hajj? Grab this!
The question is not,—how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education—but how much does he care?
And about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? And, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?
~ Charlotte Mason ~
I’d love to know why YOU homeschool! Shoot me an email, or tell me all about it in the comment section below!