Hey sis, yes you....the one who is doubting whether you really are cut out to educate your family without school. I have a secret to share......
Confident homeschool mummas are not born....they are BUILT!
We all want to be confident we're doing the right thing.
We want to be confident this thing called homeschool will all work out in the end.
We want to be confident we won't ruin the kids future and give them every opportunity for success!
The truth is, there is no way to know what will happen tomorrow, let alone five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years in the future. Whether we chose homeschool or school, those same concerns will still be there, it's just for some reason we seem to be a little more aware of them when we chose to home educate.
Confidence grows with time and experience. And you only get experience by pulling up your sleeves and jumping in.
I started homeschool when my first-born was four. At the time of writing this she is now fifteen. We have completed primary education from reception class through to year 6, and gone through secondary education from year 7 to year 10. She completed four GCSE's this year (12 months earlier than her schooled peers) with the rest to complete next summer insha'Allah. If you asked me all those years ago when I started if we would make it this far, I'd have told you no! Never in a million years did I expect I would ever homeschool, let alone make it all the way through to the end of compulsory education Alhamdulillah. Indeed all praise is due to Allah.
I'll tell you what has got me to my 11th homeschool year through all the ups and downs; the constant questioning of whether I'm doing the right thing along with the random attacks of self-doubt. If you have been following me a while you'll already have heard this story - but it's a good one to hear again and I love telling it because the lesson it gives has served me well, Alhamdulillah...
A couple of years after I began home educating I had the opportunity to speak to a homeschool veteran. This mumma was indeed a veteran; she had unschooled all of her children, the youngest of whom was then 18 and just graduated (they're American).
I asked her, what do you do with that niggling voice at the back of your head that makes you constantly question am I doing the right thing?
She leaned forward, looked me straight in the eye and said.....
"That voice never goes away until the kids grow up and homeschool is *done*. So get COMFORTABLE being uncomfortable".
That there is the ONE piece of advice that has kept me going all these years alhamdulillah. The one piece of advice that has helped to hush my doubts and encouraged me to keep pushing forward.
Those concerns, those worries and anxieties we have are what keep responsible parents on our toes. It is what helps us to not become complacent and ensure that we do indeed give our children everything they need to thrive, bi'ithnillah.
If you want to homeschool with confidence, then you have to....
Learn to get COMFORTABLE with not knowing how this will all turn out and enjoy the adventure.
Whether you chose school or homeschool, both have their share of challenges - there is no escape. The only difference being that the challenges each option gives may differ.
Worrying about a tomorrow that may not even happen, steals the joy out of today and when you finally reach that distant tomorrow, you'll likely look back with regret at all the fun you missed out on while you were consumed on making sure everything was done "right".
Instead of being so focused on the future, stay present and do what you need to do to make TODAY a success. Because if you make today successful, and do this every day that follows, then your children will reach next week, next month, next year or several, with everything they need to succeed, bi'ithnillah.
Learn to TRUST yourself and your ability to deliver the best for your family.
Rest assured that if you are a responsible, engaged and interested parent, you have what even the best teachers in the world can never compete with...
YOU. WILL. NEVER. GIVE. UP. ON. YOUR. KIDS.
You will do all that it takes to make sure your children get everything they need, insha'Allah, because that's what parents do. Don't doubt that for a second.
Learn to TRUST your children because they are way more capable than you realise!
Children are so much more capable that many of us ever realise.....certainly more capable that the mainstream education system gives them credit for.
All that children need are opportunities and a welcome invitation to learn, discover and explore. If you don't believe me, take a look at your children and pay attention to what areas of knowledge and skills they have picked up without any adult intervention, simply because they were interested themselves.
Children know how to learn. All we need to do is provide the right opportunities and environment. Our job is to continue to fuel a child's natural curiosity about the world just as we'd continue to lay down logs to keep a fire alight.
Learn to TRUST the whole homeschool process
You have to trust the homeschool process and understand that you're in this to win the marathon, not the sprint. Homeschool isn't school and it simply doesn't work in the same way....not if you want to stay sane and happy anyway!
Homeschool requires a different way of thinking, a different way of understanding education and how learning looks within the home rather than school. Trust these differences, and trust that it will all work out, insha'Allah.
John Holt, an early pioneer for (secular) home education, famously said:
"Any child who can spend an hour or two a day, or more if he wants, with adults that he likes, who are interested in the world and like to talk about it, will on most days learn far more from their talk than he would learn in a week of school."
You're in prime position to spend more than an hour or two a day with your children, and your interest in talking to them about the world as well as introducing them to others who can is something that doesn't need to be forced. It is something you simply do as part of family life.
Most importantly, learn to TRUST the One for Whom you are ultimately striving to do all this for
Ultimately, no matter what our reasons for choosing homeschool may be, no matter what benefits we see or what is behind our why, the number one reason any of us take this path is to please the One Who Created us. And so, never give up in making dua'a and trusting that Allah will settle your family's affairs.
If you're looking for someone to hold your hand and help you transform from overwhelmed and burned-out to excited and confident about your ability to homeschool, please do consider joining my Homeschool With Confidence programme. A 16-week live course for Muslim mums that gives you dedicated support, mentorship and coaching to help you uncover how you can homeschool with complete confidence in your ability to educate your children without school and live the homeschool life you want, insha'Allah.
We start the next round on June 3rd insha'Allah. Visit the information page to find out more and register....I look forward to welcoming you on board with a tribe of like-minded sisters all striving for the same thing.