Homeschooling is Rising in Popularity
Are You Considering Making The Switch Permanent?
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we can pivot and do what is necessary to survive. Schools shuttered at the beginning of the pandemic, and then transitioned over to virtual learning or homeschooling. The suddenness of the shutdowns caused families all over the world to scramble and operate in survival mode for longer than we would have liked.
As life has slowly re-opened and we have returned to some level of normalcy, it’s already clear to many families that school is never going to be what it was – at least for the foreseeable future. School districts are struggling to adapt under the weight of new, unfamiliar conditions, and that’s understandable, but for many families who have had positive experiences of having their kids learn at home, they are more open to the idea of transitioning their children to homeschool full time, even beyond the pandemic.
This phenomenon is not just happening with a small number of families – it’s playing out across the world. Families are realizing that the traditional school model isn’t necessarily the best thing for their children. Homeschooling offers more flexibility, a less bloated daily schedule, more time for their children to explore other interests, and provides a richer, more customized educational experience.
Of course, many Muslim families have been homeschooling their children from day one. Yusra Sumair of Peaceful Mothering was unable to find an Islamic school for her children, so she and her husband made the decision to homeschool their children. She shares her reasoning and advice for making this enormous decision.
“You’re homeschooling? Your children will lag behind.”
“Your children won’t succeed unless they’re in school.”
Ever since I made the decision to homeschool my children, I’ve heard these questions from friends, family, and strangers. None of them are true – they’re myths. Your child doesn’t have to be a perfect student to be homeschooled. Every child has their own strengths and weaknesses, but you can customize each child’s education path to ensure they succeed. Let me make it clear that homeschooling is not for everyone. It is challenging and will most definitely test your patience, but if you persist and persevere, the results can be amazing.
Where do I start?
When my husband approached me with the suggestion to homeschool our then toddler, I was baffled. I had no idea where to start or how to plan things for her. As a mother, I wanted the best for my child but I was anxious and somehow worried that I’d fail. But in the face of this uncertainty, I did a lot of research and learned that kids who are homeschooled, perform better than kids who are sent to school, and Alhamdullilah, my daughter performed better than I expected.
During my research, I learned that Finland’s education system is considered No.1 in the world. There, children are not persuaded to study at a young age, and instead spend their early years playing, and exploring, boosting their creativity until they start preschool at 6 years of age. During their years of common basic education, students are not selected, tracked, or streamed.
The Islamic perspective
Our beautiful religion Islam tells us to do the same thing. A mother is asked to nourish her children with love and care and focus on Tarbiyyah initially to make her children better Muslims and better human beings as a whole.
However, in the rest of the world, many parents put their children in secular schools, where they must legally start school at the tender ages of 3-5 years. This can lead to unwanted exhaustion, tantrums, less creativity and play time. You’re familiar with the school drop-off, seeing these really young children hide behind their parents and weeping loudly when taken to playgroups.
Positives of homeschooling
If you’re on the fence and like the idea of homeschooling but aren’t ready to make the commitment, here are some of the positives that can help sway your decision:
- By teaching your kids at home, you can give them a purer Islamic environment than they would have in a secular school environment
- YOU are the one making the decisions for your child regarding their curriculum and daily schedule
- Your kids are afforded the time to explore new hobbies and interests
- The learning experience can be so much richer, with living books, open-ended materials, quality resources, opportunities for handicrafts, and real-life experiences.
If you’ve made the decision to move ahead with homeschooling, make dua’ for you and your children to be successful, insh’Allah. Do lots of research so that you know what you’re up against, and so you’re able to stay focused. There are many amazing resources available with printables, curriculums, planners, and everything you need to get started. You will likely hear comments like, “You can’t manage,” and “Oh, you have so much time, but we’re too busy for that,” but don’t let that deter you. Put your trust in Allah subhana wa ta’ala and see how things turn your way and the end outcome will be wonderful, insh’Allah. May Allah subhana wa ta’ala accept it from us. Ameen.