Thursday, 26 June 2014

What to do when everyone else is starting school?


So, you made the decision to home-educate.... and then you see all the children starting school... a hot wave of self-doubt rushes through your veins as you question if home schooling really the right thing to do?

You listen to your family and friends gush about how well their child is doing at school, how their teacher seems to get the best out of them, how amazing the projects are that they work on, how nice the friends that they picked are.... it sounds like a fairy-tale....its certainly enough to burst your little home-school bubble and the image of a tiny, grim child-prison you pictured as being the place these folk call "school".

So what do you do when everyone is starting school?

The truth is, no matter what educational choices you make, whether that is to school or home-school, you have to do what is right for your own family..... and no two families are the same.


The reason I decided to write this post, is to help me to understand my own doubts, as I question if we really are doing the right thing for our children by continuing to home educate.

I think as mothers, no matter what we do we will always feel we are falling short; that we are not giving our children all they need and deserve.
I look at school and I wonder if my children would actually respond better to a teacher within a formal setting, surrounded by fellow peers all working in unison whilst inspiring one another with ideas. 
 I look at how difficult it can be to motivate my kids sometimes...and how sometimes it feels like I am spending more time preparing educational material and lesson plans than they do actually using them!

But then if I scratch a little past the surface, and look deeper beyond the allure of trained teachers and "socialised" classrooms and I see how school strips me of control over exactly what and how my children learn and see and hands it over to someone else who may or may not have their best interests at heart..... then it shifts my focus, because I know myself; I know that I don't feel someone else has the right to decide what is best for my children, especially if what some of the things they call to are in opposition of the Qur'an and Sunnah.

So what is the solution? What is the right thing to do?

While I acknowledge both school and home-school each have their own merits, I have to seek guidance from Allah, be honest with myself and accept what I believe is true in my situation... the cons of school for my family far outweigh the benefits it may provide, whilst the benefits home-school far outweigh its negatives.

So I guess there it is, alhamdulilah there is my answer......for now anyway.

Whatever type of education we choose, there are two things which we have to be sure our decision is based on....

Pleasing Allah first and foremost, and doing what is best for our own family (what is best for them may change from one year to the next).

...And be sure your decision is not based on other peoples choices!

Sometimes we need to pause for a moment, take a break and allow time to reflect upon what is important to us for our own children's needs.
Take a deeper look at how we can balance an Islamicaly sound education while maintaining a healthy social and life experience that works for our own family and vision...not someone else's.

So when you see all the kids heading off back to school and yours are at home with you, take comfort in your choice because it is yours to make.

And then do what all home schoolers do best.....go enjoy the empty park.

5 comments:

  1. As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah, I really appreciate this honest post. It is so hard to not second guess yourself all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wa'alaikum asalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,
      Alhamdulillah.
      It certainly is!

      Delete
  2. Shukran Jazilan! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. My son is starting Kindergarten at home this year and I feel a lot of these same doubts. We are Mormon, but I majored in Arabic language and Middle Eastern History in college, so I hope to teach him some Arabic in our home school. I love your worksheets! -Um Samwael

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    Replies
    1. Afwan Umm Samwael! You are most welcome. (smile)

      Delete
  3. Jazaaki Allahu khairan! Im going trought this questions allmost every year from 6 years....not to mention, thet I live in a country, in which my family apears to be the only muslim homeschooling family...alhamdulillah....

    ReplyDelete

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