All the parents who are finding themselves thrust into a sudden school-at-homer position, my heart goes out to you. You are in a difficult position caught somewhere between school and home education.
What you are doing isn’t home educating or homeschooling. Rather what you are doing is school-at-home which is something entirely different…and something most home educators run away from and advise against because we know it brings tears, stress and overwhelm.
I’m not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing. I know many of your schools are providing you with homework assignments for your children that you’ll be expected to carry out.
But what I do want to say, is if you want to find success during this turbulent period and keep all your hair in tact, you have to let go of school expectations for your family. You have to start rethinking how you see education through the lens of your home, rather than through the lens of school.
This is a period that if you are to embrace could provide your family with no end of benefits; far beyond just the academic expectations.
Rethink learning through the lens of home not school
I want to invite you to rethink what you know of education through school, and consider how it may look instead within the home; your home.
Your childhood memories of school and of how learning looks in the classroom is not how it is going to look within a family environment. And why would you want it to be anyway? Neither you nor your children would want to live in a school, so don’t try to make your home into one.
Schools require schedule and rigidity.
Homes thrive on routine and flexibility.
Schools require authority and instruction.
Homes thrive on partnership and collaboration.
Schools require groups strictly organised by age.
Homes thrive on the interactions of the young and the old working side by side.
Schools require silent classrooms and taught learning.
Homes thrive upon juicy conversation and interest led discovery.
Schools require a disconnect from emotions and feelings.
Homes thrive on acknowledging inner thoughts and emotional states, not hiding them.
Put your home at the center of your family learning during this time.
You are not a teacher, and your children don’t need you to be one. What they want and do need however is you; mum.
Whether you are completing assignments your school has set you, or you have been left to do as you choose, make sure that you consider the properties of your home before you consider the expectations of school.
Let me ask you now to think of home. What comes to your mind? Stop a moment and have a think.
I’ll tell you what comes to mine:
Food, home cooking
Home isn’t a building. Nor does it have to be something that you own. We have always rented ours.
What makes a home is the family within it. It is you.
Home is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the outside world providing warmth, comfort and safety. It is a place to relax and find comfort. It’s a place of belonging and welcome.
Home is home and there really is no other place like it.
Home is where the heart is. It is where families are born and memories made. Home is a place of nurturing and happiness. A hidden away place far away from prying eyes where you can laugh, love and play.
Home can indeed also be a place of sadness and difficulty. I’m not trying to paint an Instagram filtered picture of unrealism here that makes us all feel inadequate because I’m sure there is not one person reading this who won’t have something troubling them at some point. All families do.
There is no home without its share of troubles. Loved ones become sick. Incomes get lost. Marriages have struggles. Mothers suffer depression. Landlords don’t always do repairs. But in and amongst all of all the challenges we may face, the home and what it represents for us and our family cannot ever be replaced. And it always our sense of home and togetherness that we all come back to and try to keep alive.
Find your inspiration
So when it comes to education with your family, the first place to gather your inspiration from isn’t the schools, rather it is your home.
What do you want your home to be?
What does it mean to you?
What gives you the feeling of home?
Embrace those characteristics and prioritize them in during this unsettled period you find yourselves in whilst the schools are closed.
Your home should be at the center, it is the foundation upon which the education that you cultivate with your children is laid.
Further help for schooling at home
If you are looking for advice to help you during this period at home, I have free pdf eBooks you may find benefit and comfort in reading insha'Allah.
Whilst what you are doing is not home education, the advice found in these eBooks are certainty transferable to your current situation....and perhaps may even help you to take a step into home education for your family once this pandemic ends insha'Allah
Home Learning (an eBook put together to aid Covid-19 school mums)
Advice For The Muslim Homeschooler
Homeschooling Your Preschooler
Quick Start Guide To Starting Homeschool
Surviving school-at-home online workshop
Sunday 29th March I am offering a free one-off live workshop designed to help offer advice to my school-at-home mum friends insha'Allah.
This is a strictly women only event and you must swear by Allah that you are female to attend and won't allow any men to hear whilst you join in.
Find our more about my free Surviving School At Home workshop.