by Eaman Elhadri
Homeschooling is a trendy word being thrown around, especially today.
Let’s clear something up from the door- if your child was in a traditional school setting (public or private school) and all of a sudden was at home due to the pandemic, this is called: crisis-schooling, not homeschooling.
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Now that is out of the way, let’s talk homeschooling vs. cyber schooling.
The term ‘homeschooling’ means many different things to many different homeschooling families. Sometimes you’ll hear it being used interchangeably, but they are not the same.
It’s important to understand the difference in order to make the correct decision for your family.
Watch the Youtube video about homeschooling vs. cyber schooling
The most important lesson – You are already your child’s teacher
You became a teacher when you became a mother.
You are your child’s first educator. Your child is observing and emulating you.
We were created for this, dear mama, and we will always be our child’s teacher.
Now that this is clear, let’s discuss the difference between cyber schooling and traditional homeschooling, plus pros and cons.
What is homeschooling?
Let’s start off by defining 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.
As a homeschooling parent, you are your child’s sole educator. This is sometimes called traditional homeschooling.
Traditional homeschooling is very similar to mothering. Throw in formal lessons and you have, my dear sister, what we call traditional homeschooling.
You will need to understand a bit about the way your children learn (naturally), what resources you need (or don’t!) to meet your family’s needs, what rhythm works for your family, and most importantly, establishing an Islamic, loving environment that fosters learning. (No need to worry as this comes in time by living and learning alongside your child. Read our Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling for Muslim Families here, or grab the Quick Guide from our free Resource Library.)
The Benefits of Traditional Homeschooling
I can think of hundreds of benefits to traditional homeschoooling, too many to name here, but the top for many Muslim homeschooling families is one simple word that has huge value: freedom.
Freedom to practice and teach truth. Freedom to create your own schedule/rhythm and make time for what is most important as a Muslim, Islamic studies.
Let’s move on to the cons of homeschooling.
The Cons of Homeschooling
It is hard for me to think of cons to homeschooling.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle, so perhaps one con would be that it is a complete lifestyle change for those who had their child in a traditional school setting in the past. The adjustment period may be difficult for those who describe change as ‘hard’.
We’re here to help you with this transition: deschooling
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.
In the U.S., there are generally two types of cyber schools:
- Cyber-charter schools which offer completely free tuition
- Private cyber schools that charge tuition
Cyber-charter schools offer K-12 education that is free for families because it is government run. Teachers will conduct LIVE courses to students in a cyber classroom. Students will be able to talk and chat with one another as well.
Children in cyber-charter schools follow the same exact curriculum, school schedule, etc as the local public school. Your child will receive free educational resources in the mail as well.
Private Cyber Schools
The private cyber school option is almost the same as cyber charter-schools, except the classes are generally pre-recorded. This means that parents will need to be more involved in making sure that their child is actually watching the videos and doing the work, etc.
Pros of Cyber Schooling
I suppose the obvious pro is that it is free. But free does come at a cost.
One huge pro is that cyber schooling is done at home. I love this aspect of cyber schooling because it allows the parent to still establish an Islamic environment at home.
Another pro would be that it is somewhat hands-off for the parent. Not completely however – remember you are always responsible for your child’s education and you are your child’s teacher, forever.
Cons of Cyber Schooling
So the first thing that comes to mind is lack of flexibility. You will need to stick to the state department of education’s set school timings, aka schooling from 9 – 4.
Families aren’t currently traveling due to the pandemic, however once it’s over (Ya Rabb), you won’t be able to travel in off-peak hours the way that traditional homeschoolers are able to.
Because your child will be part of the public school system, what is taught in public schools will be required in your home. They will require your child to master lies and bull crap (excuse the French 🙂 ), including evolution as truth, sexual education, etc.
The most disgusting aspect of this, is that sometimes these are non-negotiable, even if you try to opt-out due to religious reasons. For example, if your child is in a biology class with a cyber-charter school, they’ll most likely teach that humans’ descendants were apes.
While traditional homeschooling provides you with the opportunity to pass along Islamic values and beliefs without a struggle, cyber-charter schools will greatly limit your ability to control what your child is exposed to within their curriculum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you be a mix of cyber-schooling and home-schooling?
Parents are responsible for their child’s education, regardless of what type of education their child has. This means if your child isn’t getting what he needs through cyber schooling, crisis schooling, public schooling, private schooling, or homeschooling – you will need to do something about it, whether that is hiring a tutor or tutoring them yourself.
It sounds like cyber-schooling is all bad!?
I have met many Muslim families that have been happy with their cyber-charter schools. In the U.S. the quality of the cyber charter school varies widely. I’ve heard a lot of good stories from families living in Pennsylvania.
The last thing you need to know about Muslim Traditional Homeschooling vs. Cyber Schooling
If you’re fine with being fully on board with your child’s education, traditional homeschooling is best for you.
Cyber Schooling may be the best choice for you if you: have extreme health issues, are a single parent, or are suffering another crisis.
Now that you understand the difference, comment down below as to what YOUR family has decided on. Are you a cyber-schooling family or a homeschooling family?
I hope this has helped, and may Allah AWJ Help us all. Alluma Ameen, wa Jameal Muslimeen. Ameen.
New to homeschooling? Read our Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling for Muslim Families or if you’ve read enough about homeschooling and just need a quick guide to jump in, grab it from our free Resource Library.
If your children have been in traditional school settings (public and private schools) do this first before you start homeschooling: deschooling.
Read this to find out what you need to purchase for your homeschool.