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..... 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 if what some of the things they call to are in opposition of the Kitab 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... 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 you choose, I guess there are two things which you have to be sure your decision is based on....
- Pleasing Allah.
- Doing what is best for your family.
Sometimes we need to pause for a moment, take a break and reflect upon what is important to us individually as a family.
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...not someone else's!