Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homeschooling Means....

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

- Home-schooling means biting your tongue/lip to stop yourself from smiling every time someone sees your children use HUGE kitchen scissors to comfortably cut up things and exclaims with horror, "Don't use those! They are dangerous for children!"

- Home-schooling means not speaking openly about your children's earlier-than-usual milestones and abilities and letting people assume they are lagging behind their schooled counterparts.

- Home-schooling means truly putting your trust in Allah, because your children's intelligence and achievements are not judged by standardized tests and report cards that "rate" the progress and academic excellence of a child on the faulty "cookie-cutter" system. You might not have report cards and numbers to satisfy you as a parent about your child's progress, but you DO have your own maternal instinct and gut feeling that lets you know via simple observation how intelligent your children are.

- Home-schooling means always remembering the things you disliked in your own childhood, and ensuring that these things don't happen to your own children. E.g. taking permission to go to the bathroom in front of the whole class, red-faced with embarrassment to announce your nature-call to the whole classroom; using a filthy school washroom without a door-lock, wishing no one comes in while you "go"; the immense hurt and burning tears caused by being scolded harshly in front of 25 other kids and kicked out of class because you were making an artistic card for your teacher whilst she was teaching something else (which you found very boring); being forced to go to school when you are sick, when all you want to do is stay in the comfort of your home with your mother and play with your toys.

- Homeschooling means never forcing your children to study the Quran when they want to do something else. Result? They come after you, asking you to teach them the Quran (as well as other books, e.g. Science books!).

- Home-schooling means having a child with an open book/pencil standing at the kitchen counter next to you as you chop vegetables and cook at the stove, giving them directions and checking their work. Through this experience, the child simultaneously learns about cooking and your recipes. :)

- Home-schooling means feeling a rush of emotional "pride" and tears of joy well up in your eyes when, on coming out of your room, you see your children lined up, with one loudly leading a "mock" salah (with perfect recitation ماشاء الله لا قوة الا بالله), and the other following willingly (May Allah reward the people at Al-Huda for making the "Thank You Allah" cassette, in which Asma Zubair has taught the salah in a way that is fun to learn and so easy to memorize) - and secretly observing them perform this salah perfectly as a part of their "play", without anyone forcing them to.

- Home-schooling means enjoying your children's childhood and letting them enjoy it too; enjoying their company to the full, knowing that one day they will be all grown up and gone; remembering that your house will then be empty and they will insha'Allah be in their own homes, enjoying blissful matrimony with their own spouses and children (may Allah grant them every blessing of this duniya and the next, ameen).

- Home-schooling means passing by huge brick buildings and feeling grateful to Allah as a family that my little treasures are not "trapped" inside it 5 mornings a week against their will, but rather, are "free" to wake up when they want to, have a leisurely breakfast, and to know that their mother is nearby always to run crying to, and to play all they want! I can list many negatives as well, but I am thankful to Allah that for us, the positives of homeschooling by far outnumber the negatives.

- May Allah grant us protection from harm, and even more fruition and barakah in our endeavors. Ameen

-- By Sadaf Farooqi