Quarantine schooling questions answered!

Video – Realistic Quarantine Schooling Tips for Muslim Families

by Eaman Elhadri

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You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! But, of course, keep in mind that pandemic is a new concept to humans right now! May Allah AWJ lift this fitna off of us as soon as possible.

I’ve answered your questions that you sent by email, dm, or comments on various social media platforms, all in the video above! Or you can read it down below!

What should we focus on at home with kids?

This depends on your predicament completely, however, my sincere advice to all parents is to focus on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. If you’re stressed out, you’re not going to be able to move forward and figure out what’s best for you and your family.

Keep in mind that children don’t express themselves the way adults do, so you have to take time to listen to them so that they feel comfortable expressing themselves to you.

After you’ve established that, take a look at our video, blog post, and FREE Printable called FREE, Cheap, and Easy Activities do to with kids at home! The focus should always be Islamic Studies, reading aloud, and getting fresh air while practicing social distancing of, course. 🙂

If/when you’re ready to add formal lessons to your day, I recommend focusing on Math.  For younger children, 20 minutes per day is sufficient. 

For older children you are going to want to make it longer, for example, one hour daily. A good way to approach this is by conducting mental math in the morning, a formal lesson later on, and then finally follow up with some independent wok.

I’m a parent of public school children.  How should we schedule our day?

This again depends on your family unit!

If your kids were attending traditional school and have switched to cyber schooling or taking their classes online, you’ll schedule your day around that.  Just make sure everything is scheduled around salaat.

If your children’s school isn’t offering anything whatsoever, we have a “No School” Schedule for Muslim Families.

Keep in mind that most homeschoolers tend to stick to a routine vs a schedule, so if you’re considering homeschooling for the long haul, you will most likely stop using schedules altogether. 🙂

We want to homeschool immediately and intend on homeschooling for the long run. Where should we start?

Start inside!  And no, not inside your house. Well, #socialdistancing, but! 😊 I mean inside your heart!

First pray to Allah AWJ and make istikhara. Once you and your husband have decided that this is what you want to do, read our Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling for Muslim Families.

In our Beginner’s Guide you will come across the word ‘deschooling’. This step is very important! This blog article will give you all of the information you need to know about deschooling, inshAllah.

If you’ve already read up on homeschooling and just want a Quick Guide to Homescholing to help you jump on in, pop your email in the box below! –

    How do I get my kids to just sit and listen and work?

    Whether your children were in traditional school or homeschool, we’re all quarantine schooling right now. As homeschoolers, we never stayed at home and now we are trying to get used to staying inside, not going to co-op, not going to sports, not going to any lessons of any sort, not going to the library, etc.

    If you’re having a problem establishing formal lessons, then now is the perfect time to just stop. Take it easy. Read a book. Play. Get to know your child.

    Once you establish a good routine and you feel as though your family needs to start formal lessons, try focusing on one subject at a time, but cut back if you feel as though your child is stressed. It could be that your child is just stressed from the current pandemic predicament.

    If your child has to work on something for cyber school, then you want to first clearly communicate expectations.

    After that, establish consequences for incomplete work.  Just remember to be gentle because your child is doing cyber school during a time of quarantine and their behavior may be a reflection of stress.

    What if my kids have motivation problems?

    Easy, do what your kids like! Don’t know what they like? Observe them. Talk to them. Spend quality time with them. You’ll discover their interests, inshAllah.

    Also, this could be a reflection of their response to the current pandemic and quarantine life. Take it easy. They don’t have to be motivated, just as you may not be motivated right now either. 🙂

    What curriculum should we use for homeschooling 5th grade?

    For most people, curriculum means the items purchased to teach a child. However, I prefer the definition that Sarah Mackenzie from the Read Aloud Revival, uses –

    Curriculum is life. Singapore Math isn’t the curriculum. It is the book we use to teach the real curriculum, which is math.

    The best curriculum, for any grade, is the curriculum that you are going to use. As always, choose what’s best for your family.

    We have already shared our resources for Kindergarten, Third grade, and middle school so far. Watch the accompanying videos as well!

    Video – Kindergarten Resources

    Video – Third Grade Resources

    Urdu Video – Middle School Resources

    How do you get kids of all ages to work next to each other and help them with their work at the same time?

    Easy, #quarantinelife. 🙂

    Here’s the best way – Enter ‘Kitchen table schooling’ – aka everyone sit next to each other and work! You don’t have to sit at a table. We prefer the floor, while using laptop trays or craft trays.

    How about older children?

    Older children (13+) can work in a separate room if you’d like, but without electronics. First communicate clearly, when they’re allowed to be in their room and when they must join the family (i.e. salaat, meals)

    Be prepared to check their work when they’ve completed it. Don’t forget the saying

    “Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.”

    W. Clement Stone

    If you aren’t going to check their work, don’t assign it!

    Our school hasn’t transferred over to online yet, what should we do.

    You don’t have to do anything right now. Your kids will be fine, inshallah.

    If you feel as though you’re ready and willing to get your kids starting with something until they transfer to online classes, check out our blog post –

    Free Education Websites for Muslim Families. 

    You can also check this out – Free, Cheap, and Simple Activities to do at home with Muslim Children.

    How can we keep our children and ourselves calm and positive and help them focus on productive things?

    The truth is, our kids will emulate us. If we want them to be positive and calm, we need to be positive and calm.

    Easier done than said, right? We’ll then why expect that to happen quickly from a child?

    Have a conversation about the pandemic in a matter-of-fact way. Be honest, but you don’t need to provide all of the details.

    The focal point, for ourselves (remember the kids will take heed) should be –

    • Trusting Allah AWJ
    • Tasbeeh
    • Ath-kar
    • Quran recitation
    • Studying Islam
    • Playing the ruqya and Surah Baqarah
    • Try breathing exercises

    You can also practice mindfulness. It’s a buzz word, but guess what, mindfulness isn’t anything new. It’s already a part of our religion.

    Reflecting upon signs in the universe and Islamic teachings mentioned in the texts is one of the great acts of worship enjoined and encouraged in the Qur’an.

    Allah AWJ says (interpretation of the meaning):

    “Those who remember Allah (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted are You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire”

    [Aal ‘Imraan 3:191]

    What are your thoughts on being positive while at home?

    Firstly, and most importantly, think positively about –

    • Allah AWJ
    • life in general

    Negativity is ingratitude and ingratitude is a disease.  May Allah AWJ Free us from that.  Allahuma ameen.

    We must strive to be grateful in our actions through obedience to Allah AWJ; and verbally, by saying Alhemdulilah.

    We must also strive to optimize the benefit of each circumstance by looking at the good and pointing them out verbally in front of our children. May Allah AWJ Help us all with this. Allahuma Ameen.

    You can mention things like how blessed you are for truth, life, internet, food, shelter, family, etc.

     Where are you from?

    I’m Libyan and I was born in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. 🙂 Steelers fans stand up. And no, I don’t watch football. We’re just supposed to say that.

     What are some activities that offer “quality time”?

    Try to figure out what’s important to your family and do that together, such as, but not limited to –

    • Salaat
    • Mealtime
    • Family conversation after salaat and before bedtime
    • Watch lectures together
    • Study Islam together
    • Read aloud time

    If you’re looking for free, cheap, and easy activities to do with kids at home, look no further!

    You may also need to take a break from each other, which will improve quality time later! InshAllah.

     Can you recommend any non-fiction early readers?

    Check out National Geographic, which has different topics, anything from dinosaurs, rocks, weather, etc.

     How do we help kids gain confidence in reading?

    Reading aloud to your child will help her develop an interest in reading, which will allow her to enter the cycle of read>enjoy>become a better reader> and finally, gain confidence in reading, inshallah.

    Here are a few tips to help your kids gain confidence in reading –

    • Positive reinforcement/celebrate small wins
    • Different audience – puppet, sibling
    • Don’t overcorrect
    • Allow your child to hear you read (skip the news!)

     How do you keep toddlers preoccupied?

    Toddlers are the biggest distraction and problem in most circumstances. They are worse than babies because babies will at least take naps!

    Keep your toddlers busy with an item that they are only allowed to use when you work with older children. Try to have a few that you rotate throughout the week.

    Important! Call the item “special” so that your child will view it as special!

    Some other ideas –

    • Sand
    • Water
    • Open-ended materials
    • Play-dough
    • Legos

    Pro tip! – Don’t care about the mess and keep the items on a low shelf, not the top shelf! Yes, there will be a mess. Who cares, they will learn to clean it when they’re older, inshAllah. The toddler years are short.

     Teach Sight Words

    I didn’t “teach” my kids sight words. It’s just not my approach.

    Children will learn sight words when you read aloud a lot.

    Examples of simple activities that teach sight words –

    1. Small container, salt, back of a pencil, sticky note card with sight word. Child writes sight word
    2. The same thing can be done with playdough.

    Helpful Links

    Have Teens at home? Read this.

    Read about Sister Iram’s RAMADAN Activities, Curriculum, and Resources for Older Children and watch her Urdu LIVE VIDEO!

    Want to know why I homeschool? Read this and watch this?

    Want to know why Sister Iram homeschools her children? Read this, and if you understand Urdu, watch this!

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