What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a word that has been around since forever. The dictionary describes it as educating (one’s child) at home instead of sending them to a school. The teaching solely depends on parents and the outcomes are their responsibility.
Lots of families around the world, especially Islamic ones in the U.S, adopted the idea of homeschooling for various reasons. The most dominant one is how they want their kids to learn specific things but can’t afford a private school.
Islamic families may struggle in non-Islamic countries to find convenient nearby Islamic institutions that are credible and trustworthy to enroll their children in. That’s why these families turn to homeschooling as a good alternative option.
What Homeschooling is NOT
There are so many misconceptions about homeschooling that stop lots of parents from trying it, even if it’ll bring them and their children great benefits. Now, homeschooling is very different from what it was in the 80s, but unfortunately, the misconceptions about it seem to stay.
Homeschooling Is Not An Isolation
Many parents think that they’ll be isolating their children from society once they start homeschooling since they’ll stop going to school. Well, nowadays you can’t isolate a child even if you lock them in a box, because that little guy will still find something that connects them with the world.
You can homeschool your children AND let them interact with people and have friendships. If you are opposed to your child creating social media friendships, they can still go to the park every day and make friendships with the neighbors’ children.
Homeschooling Is Not Always At Home
You don’t have to stay at home 24/7 to be homeschooling. Homeschooling can be done in parks, field trips, mosques, historical monuments, and basically any other place other than home.
You Won’t Create An Actual Classroom For The Children
Another common misconception pops up when you mention homeschooling: “so you create a classroom in the house?” No, of course, you don’t. You don’t have to imitate real school for your children to learn something. If you think you can create a classroom with 7 or 8 hours of scheduled classes and a break, I can’t promise you it’ll work.
Instead, weave the learning into the daily routine and limit the time required to “sit and learn” and you’ll find great results.
No, It’s Not Done By Luck
If you think parents follow learning schedules by luck, you can’t be more wrong. Homeschooling is about definite objectives that need to be achieved within a timeframe. Schedules may not be tight just like it is in real schools, but parents don’t let their children learn in a messy careless way in homeschools.
So, what’s Islamic homeschooling like? Islamic homeschooling focus on the learning of the Quran, Hadith, Islamic history, Arabic, and the teachings of Islam that your children need in their life.
The 7 Benefits You Should Know About
Some people decide to homeschool their children from the very beginning, others suffer from negative experiences in schools so they shift. Either this or that, what are the benefits of homeschooling your children?
You Get To Be The Source
One of the reasons why people choose homeschooling for their children is that they don’t trust the source of knowledge other people have, especially in Islamic matters. With homeschooling, you get to be the source of knowledge that you gained from the Quran and Hadith and you teach your children the right teachings you were taught.
You may also choose the material you want to use online. Online homeschooling has shown to be incredibly participatory and beneficial to children.
You can sign up your kids in online Islamic classes with credible teachers that you can view their background and experience. This will help them to learn from someone professional and credible, and it’ll help you achieve your goals faster.
You know your children more than anyone else, and you’ll be able to customize their learning experience and implement the things they like whenever they like. You also know their learning pace, so they won’t feel pressured to learn something in a short time.
You Blur The Line Between Learning And Living
Homeschooling families agreed that the right method of homeschooling doesn’t involve imitating an actual classroom with specific schedules. Instead, you blur the line between the daily routine and the learning period.
For example, you teach them how to pray Dhur when you’re about to pray Dhur, you teach them how Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) asked us to help our families and listen to our parents when you’re doing house chores with them, you teach them how to recite Quran correctly while reading together after Asr, and so on.
While some people find this useless, and harmful even, blurring the line between living and learning at most times will allow you to teach them more effectively. You’ll pay more attention to what they can learn in every part of their daily routine and they’ll get immersed in what you teach them as a part of their practical life, not just a lesson at school they have to take.
You Make Your Own Schedule
The previous point doesn’t imply that homeschooling is haphazard. You have to make a schedule in order to assess what you’ve accomplished at the end of the week. However, you get to choose that schedule and pick what you want to fill it with. This flexibility is a great advantage both for you and your kid.
More Time For Interests
With flexible schedules, your children get to have more time to practice the hobbies they love or acquire new ones. You make more time to learn and read the Quran, do sports, and learn new things they’re interested in.
No Peer Pressure
While some children don’t have this problem, homeschooling is a great option for children who struggle with peer pressure, especially if they went to a school where they were the only Muslim kid around. This might not be every kid’s experience in non-Muslim countries, but it is for some children, and they struggle with it for a really long time.
You’ll raise them in an environment free of stress, anxiety, and pressure caused by other people while teaching them, at a very calm pace, how to handle that right for when they get older.
You Create A Great Bond With Your Children
Since homeschooling doesn’t only mean teaching at home, you get to enjoy numerous activities outside with your children. You can take them to the park daily and let them have their fun while teaching them about how Islam taught us how to communicate with people outside, or you can take them to the mosque to learn Quran, pray Dhur, or interact with other children there.
How Do You Start Islamic Homeschooling?
Discuss The Idea With Your Spouse
This step shouldn’t be overlooked. When you both agree on homeschooling you share the responsibility of teaching your children at home. You can divide the things you need to teach your children and each one of you take care of one or two learning areas. This can’t be done if your spouse is not on board.
Talk To Your Children About It
Use the logical way in convincing your children about the idea of homeschooling. Tell them how it’s better for them then get them excited about all the activities you’ll be doing together. Make sure to be realistic and stick to what you said after they agree, or it’ll backfire.
Set Your Goals
You can’t start if you don’t define where you want to go. Set simple, realistic, attainable, time-bound goals in order to follow them. Pick what you want to teach them, how you’re going to do it, when, for how long, and with what frequency.
After setting your goals, set a flexible schedule that includes activities and outdoor experiences for your children. Don’t try to overdo it at first, start small, flexible, fun, and goal-oriented.
Buy The Necessary Materials
Focus on the “necessary” part mentioned. Control the urge to buy everything you see, I know shopping can be hard to resist but I guarantee you won’t need ALL this stuff. Pick only the important books and magazines that will help you in the journey according to the goals you set earlier.
Consider Online Islamic Courses
This could be a great help! You get to choose the course you want your kids to join, the instructor, and the type of the course itself. Online courses are a credible way that will assist you with the areas you have no experience in and will ensure your children learn it the right way.
Finally, I know that homeschooling is not that easy and can sometimes be frustrating for your and your children, but I’m sure you’ll be able to power through. Reflect on your goals and remind yourself why you started following them from the beginning, find other homeschooling families for support, and carry on.