Homeschooling 101

How to Homeschool – 5 Essential Steps to Prepare to Homeschool

How to Homeschool - 5 Essential Steps to Start Homeschooling from Our Muslim Homeschool

The new school year is here and homeschool prep is at the forefront of our minds. This may be your first homeschool year and you’re wondering how to get started. How can you homeschool if you’ve never done it before? These 5 essential steps will show you how to homeschool easily throughout the year!

We often start the year with good intentions, meticulous plans and well-prepared resources. However, after a few weeks, we risk the ‘homeschool slump’ when the enthusiasm dips and the good intentions we started out with are difficult to maintain. With these 5 key steps, you’ll be in control of your homeschool life!

How to Homeschool - 5 Essential steps to start homeschooling! From Our Muslim Homeschool

This blog-post contains affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

1.   Work out your daily rhythm

To discover how to homeschool in the best way possible you must realise that everyone is different. There is no one correct way to do things, so spend some time figuring out what works best for you and your family. 

During the day, structure your homeschool subjects in a way that makes the most sense for your child. If your children are more focused in the morning, get the difficult topics (like maths) out of the way first. If your children start to get a little tired around early afternoon, use that time for gentle and relaxing Poetry Time. 

How to Homeschool - 5 Essential Steps to Start Homeschooling From Our Muslim Homeschool

Figuring out what works best will go a long way in keeping your days as stress-free as possible. Your rhythm may change throughout the year – you might enjoy Poetry Time over breakfast! And that’s fine. If you pay attention to how your children respond to their subjects, you’ll know instinctively when and how you need to change things up. 

Related: Homeschool Poetry – Why bother?

.

2.   Establish morning and evening routines

Even before you start homeschooling, it’s a good idea to get your whole family into a routine for each day. Routines are very different from schedules! Schedules can be restrictive by dictating what gets done and for how long, and if you have a bad day (and let’s be honest, the reality of homeschooling is things rarely go according to plan!) then the whole schedule can fly out of the window leaving you more stressed and unorganised than before!

Routines are different. Routines tell you what order to do things. This gentle structure is very helpful for children in keeping them grounded and focused. They are able to relax by anticipating what comes next in their day – whatever time that may be! 

Incorporate a routine in the morning before you start school. For example, your children have to make their bed, eat breakfast, help clear the table and then get their school things out. 

How to homeschool - 5 essential steps to start homeschooling

When it comes to the evening, nothing helps kids wind down for a good night’s sleep like a stable evening routine. As mothers, we are used to using a bedtime routine to help babies sleep through the night, but older children benefit from a bedtime routine just as much. For example: Once they finish their work for the day, they can put away their school things, eat dinner, clear the table, tidy up their toys, have a bath, read in bed, and then lights out. 

A routine is the perfect way to add structure to your day without the restrictions of a tight schedule that can easily go off track.

If you’d like to know more about using routines in your day, I talk about it more here!

Related: Productivity and Time Management for Homeschool Mums

3.   How to Homeschool and get the chores done too

Chores are something we all hope and pray we can implement with our children, but day after day we find ourselves overwhelmed with housework and it seems like no one is helping! When trying to homeschool, it can be extremely difficult to focus on enjoying the time educating your kids when a long list of chores is distracting you. 

By distributing manageable chores across your children, you achieve a number of things:

⭐It’s less stressful for you when you know certain things are taken care of. 

⭐It instils a sense of responsibility amongst your kids.

⭐They develop a meticulous love and care of their home and bedroom. 

⭐Home economics is an extremely valuable homeschool subject. Giving your children chores will teach them life skills which will prove to be priceless in their older years. 

Consider adding ‘Chore Time’ to your daily routine so you can better relax and focus on quality time with your children.

.

4.   Plan your meals

Staying with the theme of organisation, meal planning goes a long way in keeping you in control. I talk about how to implement meal planning into your homeschool in my podcast: Raising Mums – Run Your Home Like A Boss

By knowing the week’s menu, you can plan your shopping ahead of time and only buy the items you need each week. This way, you save money and reduce the amount of food that goes to waste!

How to homeschool - 5 Essential Steps to Start Homeschooling 
From Our Muslim Homeschool

Get your children involved by asking them which meals they would like to have. Your older children could even help prepare a meal each week. This is a great opportunity for them to learn those all-important life skills!

I use a fantastic online meal planning tool called PLAN TO EAT. If you would like to try it out, they are currently running a 30-day FREE TRIAL!

CLICK HERE to sign up! 

Related: Podcast- Run Your Home Like a Boss

5.   How to plan your homeschool year

Planning is essential when homeschooling. You need to have an idea what you will use each day, otherwise you find yourself constantly frazzled trying to get resources ready on time. 

It can be very easy to fall down the ‘homeschool rabbit hole’ when looking online. The longer you search the more excited are to try every curriculum and every downloadable resource you can find. Whilst this is thrilling at first, after a while you quickly become burnt out by the amount of activities, eBooks, and videos you have at your disposal. 

.

It’s impossible to predict what your entire year has in store for you, but you can find the balance between structured organisation and having freedom to change things when you need to:

Yearly: Each year, have a loose plan for how you will homeschool. This plan includes books you will read, Maths and Phonics programmes, Science and History topics, etc.

Every 6 weeks: This is where you can be more detailed. Using the topics and programmes you’ve already chosen, plan 6 weeks in detail. Which subtopics will you cover? Which pages of those books do you need? Which activities and worksheets need to be prepared? Gather everything together and note down your plan so each day your mind is clear, and you know exactly how to homeschool that day. 

how to homeschool - how to start homeschooling
From our Muslim homeschool

Remember, you can’t possibly do everything! So, pick the topics you want and prepare the activities you can realistically get done.  

Want to know more about planning? Check out Homeschool Planning 101.

Related: Podcast-Homeschool Planning 101

What advice would you give?

When it comes to homeschooling, countless people have plenty of advice! We all need help from other homeschool mums, so please share your advice in the comments below.

What steps do you find essential when starting your homeschooling year? How do you homeschool successfully?

Share with us in the comments below!

.

What is Homeschooling? | Life and Learning in a Muslim Homeschool

what is homeschooling? Life in a muslim homeschool

The beauty of home education lies in its diversity. When I’m asked “What is homeschooling?”, I struggle to answer! Home education looks different in every family you come across. It’s true!

However at its core, homeschooling is when parents have chosen to educate their children outside of mainstream schools. Simply put, it is when parents take a much greater responsibility in the education their own kids.

The reason why homeschooling looks so different in every family is because home educators don’t believe in the “one-size-fits-all” approach of mainstream schools. Instead, homeschoolers are creating bespoke learning experiences for their family, based upon their ideals, beliefs and the individual needs of their children.

what is homeschooling

I am delighted to bring Shazia into this space, to share her story with you here. Her approach to raising her children is an inspiration to me, and her many followers on Instagram.

In this blogpost, Shazia explains what homeschooling is to her family; what it looks like, how it all began, and some parting advice for those who want to know how to start.

It’s truly an honour to share her insights with you here. 

what is homeschooling

Life in a Muslim Homeschool

“Assalaamu alaykum, my name is Shazia and alhamdulilah I am a mother of three beautiful children aged 13, 11 and 8 years old. We live in the East Midlands in the UK and I began to home educate nearly 7 years ago.

As a family we love to spend much time together, whether it is in the outdoors, at museums, heritage sites, islamic events or just being at home snuggled up to watch a movie or playing board games.

We love travelling and especially visiting Muslim countries to explore the rich Islamic history they have to offer, perform ziyarahs, and absorb different cultures. 

We do plan things last minute and are quite spontaneous and adventurous in our trips, the children and their dad more so than me. I have woken up to being told we are going France and by the evening we are driving into Paris, or that we are going camping in Wales on a late afternoon and are pitching our tent as the sun begins to set.  

How our Homeschool Journey Began

We never started off as a home-schooling family. In fact, I had never even come across the concept of home-schooling until my husband mentioned it to me when the children were toddlers and I was contemplating nursery settings.

At that time, I wasn’t keen on the idea and never pursued it until the children began attending school. This is when I began to feel the void of them being away from me for so many hours.

Related: Day in the Life | What Homeschooling is REALLY LIKE!

I started to look more into home education and then deregistered them from primary school. The work at primary level was so basic, and I felt confident that as someone with a university degree, and as a part qualified accountant, I could just teach them at home and enjoy them during these most precious years where they need me to help them build a strong foundation.

Alhamdulilah, Allah facilitated this opportunity for us as it has truly been such a blessing for us as a family. My elder children have now started their journey into secondary school education so I now have just one child at home who has never entered the school system.  

What is Homeschooling to us?

A typical day in our home always begins with Fajr prayer followed by the recital of Quran and dhikr. I feel it is so important to feed our soul early in the morning and then feed our body.

This structure has always helped us to begin our day in a calm and relaxed manner. Once the elder two have left for school, I sit with my eight year old to read our current read aloud book. This is normally followed by literacy work around the book which may be comprehension worksheets, creative writing, or poetry.

We have a short snack break and begin her maths work. I prefer to keep our lessons hands on and find unit studies allow us to incorporate many subjects from one topic.

We have plenty of free play time in the day and I try to plan days in the week as our ‘outing days’ and a few as our ‘home days’ as this helps me to balance my household chores for the week.

We have a very large home-schooling community in our city and many activities are always being arranged. We take part in a monthly forest school session, climbing, ice skating, cooking club and many random park meet ups.  

Related: Homeschool Day in the Life with Arabic Flashcards

How to Start Homeschooling

Due to Covid I’m sure many parents will be wanting to embark on the home education journey and many will have decided it’s not for them. Either way, we are all home schoolers, some on a full time basis and some when the children return from school/weekends or holidays.

Having children in school and at home, I know there are pros and cons to both. What matters the most is you and your child being happy. You know your child best and you are the only one who will ever want them to succeed in deen and duniya more than any other teacher.

You really will make some of the most amazing memories together in this time. Admittedly home-schooling isn’t easy, and requires a sacrifice from you in your time, income (if you have to leave work to pursue it) and personal interests. It doesn’t mean you lose all of these but you must forgo part of them for a greater thing which is time with your children.

I would say sit down and plan how you want to educate your children, how you will allocate your household chores during the week and how much time you need for your own self. Don’t forget to have time for your own self, for your own spiritual needs where you can pray Salah and read your Quran without interruption.

When you are elevated spiritually you will feel happier and be able to give the best of yourself to your children. May Allah put barakah in your home-schooling journey and do perform istikharah before you make this decision.”

what is homeschooling

Thank you Shazia, for showing us what homeschooling is for your family. JazakAllah khayr. That was so inspiring! mashAllah

You can follow Shazia, and her incredible our home-schooling journey on Instagram  CLICK HERE


If you would like to share your family’s unique Homeschooling Experience with our community, please get in touch!
We’d love to hear your story too. insha’Allah.

Peace and Love,

Our Muslim Homeschool Dr Gemma Elizabeth

 

 

 

How to Start Homeschooling | Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

how to start homeschooling, choosing a homeschool curriculum

To start homeschooling, you need homeschool curriculum. But how do you choose?

In this part of the world we are blessed with an abundance of homeschooling resources. There is a wealth of free information online and with the click of a button you can have homeschool curriculum shipped to your door the next day. But with so much available, many mothers feel overwhelmed.

how to start homeschooling, choosing a homeschool curriculum

When you’re learning how to start homeschooling, it is difficult to decide which one to go for. How do you choose between them all? They all look so good! Right?

In episode 26 of the Raising Mums podcast, I talk LIVE on Facebook and Instagram about what you need to think about when you start homeschool curriculum shopping. I also teach you the three things you need to think about before you buy anything!

If you want to know which homeschool curriculum to chose for your children,

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

How to Start Homeschooling Course

 Launch your Homeschool is an online course designed to help Muslim families who want to start homeschooling. It will guide you as you navigate and design your own path home-education. Built upon a foundation of Islamic values, and the framework of the Charlotte Mason Philosophy, I’ll be there supporting you step-by-step!

I strongly believe that there is no one-size-fits-all curriculum for homeschooling. So in this program, I give you the tools you need to find your own way, based upon your values, your unique children, and your family dynamics.

A large part of learning how to start homeschooling is the planning. That’s why I’ve dedicated several modules in the course to Homeschool planning and time management; so that you can begin your homeschooling journey positively and with confidence. 

I also go into detail about common mistakes homeschoolers make in their first year so you can avoid them!

The aim is for everyone who enrols in the Launch Your Homeschool course to go from feeling overwhelmed, unsure and confused; to confident, excited and well prepared for coming homeschool year.

.

How is it taught?

I know first hand how little time mothers have to study when their children are young. For this reason I have kept the lessons short, around 20 minutes, but packed with value, so that you can watch them during nap-time or while you have your morning coffee. Everything is pre-recorded, and you have lifetime access, so you can go back and rewatch any of the lessons whenever you want. 

In addition to video lessons, you’ll get access to a buzzing private student community on Facebook, all the homeschool planning material you’ll need to plan out your year AND 4 LIVE Q&A sessions with me!

Enrolment closes TODAY! Sunday 19th July 2020, at 11.59pm GMT.

To find out more, and to see if LAUNCH YOUR HOMESCHOOL is for you…

CLICK HERE! ** LAUNCH YOUR HOMESCHOOL ** 


I’ll be taking a few weeks off from these LIVE Facebook and Instagram broadcasts, but I’ll be back again after Eid for some more Raising Mums goodness! insha’Allah.

Peace and Love,

how to start homeschooling
.

How to Start Homeschooling | Homeschool Planning 101

how to start homeschooling homeschool planning 101

Homeschool planning is a big part of knowing how to start homeschooling.

In episode 25 of the Raising Mums podcast, I discuss how homeschool planning can give you freedom and flexibility. How, if done well, homeschool planning can give homeschool mums peace of mind, and confidence in the plans they have laid out.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?!

how to start homeschooling | homeschool planning 101

I also spend some time introducing and taking questions about our online homeschooling course Launch Your Homeschool.

Homeschool planning is key if you want to know how to start homeschooling well.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

How to Start Homeschooling Course

 Launch your Homeschool is an online course designed to help Muslim families who want to start homeschooling. It will guide you as you navigate and design your own path home-education. Built upon a foundation of Islamic values, and the framework of the Charlotte Mason Philosophy, I’ll be there supporting you step-by-step!

I strongly believe that there is no one-size-fits-all curriculum for homeschooling. So in this program, I give you the tools you need to find your own way, based upon your values, your unique children, and your family dynamics.

A large part of learning how to start homeschooling is the planning. That’s why I’ve dedicated several modules in the course to Homeschool planning and time management; so that you can begin your homeschooling journey positively and with confidence. 

I also go into detail about common mistakes homeschoolers make in their first year so you can avoid them!

The aim is for everyone who enrols in the Launch Your Homeschool course to go from feeling overwhelmed, unsure and confused; to confident, excited and well prepared for coming homeschool year.

.

How is it taught?

We know first hand how little time mothers have to study when their children are young. For this reason I have kept the lessons short, around 20 minutes, but packed with value, so that you can watch them during nap-time or while you have your morning coffee. Everything is pre-recorded, and you have lifetime access, so you can go back and rewatch any of the lessons whenever you want. 

In addition to video lessons, you’ll get access to a buzzing private student community on Facebook, all the homeschool planning material you’ll need to plan out your year AND 4 LIVE Q&A sessions with me!

Enrolment closes Sunday 19th July 2020, at 11.59pm GMT.

To find out more, and to see if LAUNCH YOUR HOMESCHOOL is for you…

CLICK HERE! ** LAUNCH YOUR HOMESCHOOL **


I’ll be back LIVE on Facebook and Instagram on Sunday 19th July 2020 at 10am GMT, when I ‘ll be talking with you all about,

Homeschool Curriculum – What to look for and how to choose!”

I hope I’ll see you there!

Peace and love,

how to start homeschooling
.

How to Start Homeschooling | The 5 Mistakes Homeschoolers Make!

How to start homeschooling | 5 mistakes homeschoolers make

I know you’re enthusiastic to start homeschooling your children. That’s amazing! Maybe you’ve read “all” the books, picked out a curriculum and you feel prepared. But before you launch into home education, I want to share some mistakes that homeschoolers make…so you won’t make them too!

How to start homeschooling | 5 mistake homeschoolers make so you don't make them too!

This season of the Raising Mums, is dedicated to the parents who want to know know “How to Start Homeschooling.”

In episode 24, I spell out 5 mistakes that I see homeschoolers make. Honestly, I should know – I’ve made them myself!

So if you want to know how to start homeschooling, this episode is a great place to start.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

How to Start Homeschooling

The Five Mistakes you should avoid are:

👉 Spending too long searching for the “perfect” curriculum

👉 Under-estimate the importance of a happy mum

👉 Pay too much attention to the opinions of others

👉Buying all their curriculum for the year at once

👉 Referring back to school as their “go-to” model

But let’s be real here! These are only a few of the mistakes that homeschoolers can make.

In my new course, “Launch your Homeschool“, I dive deep into the common pitfalls homeschoolers make. In fact, almost every lesson highlights mistakes that other home educators fall into, and gives you solutions to avoid them.

Launch your Homeschool, our online Homeschooling course, is coming on 11th July! Insha’Allah.

If you want to find our more about Launch Your Homeschool, and get access to Early-bird Prices

SIGN UP to our Homeschool Community Newsletter!

.

Next week, Sunday 12th July, I’ll be back with another LIVE Broadcast on Facebook and Instagram at 10am GMT. insha’Allah

We’ll be discussing, 

“Homeschool Planning 101”

I’ll see there!

Peace and Love,

how to start homeschooling
.

How to Start Homeschooling |What you Need to Begin

how to Start homeschooling

When thinking about how to start homeschooling, the first thing most of us will consider about is “What books do I need?” But before you start buying any homeschooling books, there are some other things you need to work on first ...3 other things in fact! 

In episode 23 of The Raising Mums Podcast,

I discuss the 3 Qualities that Homeschool mums need to develop to homeschool well.

How to start homeschooling | 3 Qualities you need to start

In this Live Broadcast, I discuss:

👉Why the willingness to learn and grow is so necessary

👉 How to deal with failure and mistakes

👉The importance of being clear on your “why”

👉And I give more details on my Upcoming Homeschooling Course “Launch Your Homeschool.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Launch your Homeschool, our online Homeschooling course, is coming on 11th July! Insha’Allah.

If you want to find our more about Launch Your Homeschool, and get access to Early-bird Prices,

SIGN UP to our Homeschool Community Newsletter!

.

Next week, Sunday 5th July, I’ll be back with another LIVE Broadcast on Facebook and Instagram at 10am GMT.

We’ll be discussing, 

“The 5 Homeschooling Mistakes that New Homeschoolers make!”

I hope I’ll see you there!

Have a great week friends.

Peace and Love,

Homeschooling children
.

Books to Read when you Consider Homeschooling

Are you thinking homeschooling your family? Here are a list of books that you’ll want to read to help you make that big decision.

If you’re thinking about homeschooling your children, the first place you’ll want to go, for reliable and complete information, are books.

Books to read when you consider homeschooling your children. Recommended reading and booklists!

From my experience, families who are considering home education for their children, often feel overwhelmed with books that are heavy on detail or educational philosophy.

Instead, what I’d recommend is that you read books that paint a picture of what homeschooling could look like for you. Rather than bogging you down in details, the books I recommend allow you to draw inspiration and take ideas that suit your family dynamic and belief system.

Primarily the books I’ve included in this list of books to read when you’re considering homeschooling, are memoirs of homeschooling families (real and fictitious) and a few others with a similar approach.

This blog-post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read the Disclaimer.


Books to Read when you’re Considering Homeschooling


A Funny Kind of Education by Ross Mountney

Ross Mountney is an ex-teacher from the U.K., who many years ago left the mainstream educational system to home educate her two daughters. In this memoir of their homeschool experience together, Ross Mountney shows the reader what homeschooling really looks like! It’s moving, hilarious and forces the reader to question what education can look like.

A Funny Kind of Education is one of the first books I ever read about home-education and is the one that inspired me to truly consider beginning our homeschooling journey.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins

Over the years, there is one book that I come back to again and again. That book is “Mere Motherhood” by Cindy Rollins

Cindy Rollins began her homeschooling journey in U.S.A. in the 1980’s, and 9 children later (yes…that’s 8 boys!) she tells us all about her family’s experience home-educating.

The book is written so honestly, and with such a heart-felt message, that you can’t help but fall in love with their story. The author, after decades of homeschooling and facing the ups-and-downs of life, gives the reader perspective and consider what homeschooling could mean to them in the long-run.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

If you’re looking for a book to show you what a true education is meant to be, then you’ll want to read For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.

After years of research and personal experience, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay wrote this beautiful book. Based around principles set out by Charlotte Mason, the author forces the reader to consider what is education, and how can we provide that in our home.

Some sections of this book contain Christian rhetoric, and readers of other faiths may choose to skip over those parts.

This is the book that inspired me to begin learning more about the Charlotte Mason philosophy, and is the book I always recommend to families who want to know more about the CM method without being inundated with the finer details.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Homeschooling for Excellence – by David Colfax

The Colfax family didn’t begin homeschooling their family to get them into Havard, but somewhere down the road that is exactly what happened!

Homeschooling for Excellence is a memoir of a home educating family from U.S.A. who took their children out of school and gave them the freedom to learn whatever is was they wanted to learn!

The book is written in a conversational style, where the parents talk honestly about their approach to education, the lessons they learnt and lists some resources they used.

It’s a truly inspiring story. In fact, I feel like finding my copy now and re-reading again!

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola

Pocketful of Pinecones is a fictitious account of a homeschooling family, which was written to inspire mothers through hard times. Karen Andreola, the author, is an experienced homeschooler herself, and pours into this story the lessons she learnt along the way.

It’s written as the diary of one mother’s year of teaching her children at home, with a focus on nature study.

It’s a deligthful book to read, and will help readers to better understand their role as a homeschooling mother, as well as give some insight into what a Charlotte Mason homeschool day might look like.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto

This list would not be complete without something from the legend that was John Taylor Gatto.

If you have ever struggled to justify home education to yourself, or others, this book will help. From years of working in education, and his extensive research, Dumbing Us Down outlines many deeply rooted problems in mainstream education.

This book is eye-opening and will soften the heart even the biggest cynic to homeschooling!

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


I hope this has helped those of you who were unsure where to begin with their homeschooling research. Memoirs and personal accounts provide insight and inspiration, as well as information on “how-to” do it!

If you have any questions, pop them in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

99 names Allah children

P.s. Did you know I have a PODCAST, where I answer a lot of your questions about homeschooling? Make sure you check it out!

10 Points of Homeschooling Advice from Veteran Homeschool Mom

Homeschooling advice from veteran homeschool mom

How often do we look back on something and think, “If wish I could have done that differently.”?

Not often are we given the gift of parenting, or homeschooling, with hindsight. But with almost an 11 year gap between my two oldest kids, alhamdulilah, I’m given at least a peek into how my homeschooling decisions have played out over time.

Homeschooling advice from veteran homeschool mom

Advice to noew homeschoolers from veteran homeschool mom

I hope my hindsight can be of use to you as well, as I reflect back over the last 8 years of homeschooling, now that my oldest is, mashaAllah, graduating high school.

Academic rigor is secondary

So often we spend hours upon hours trying to find the perfect book. It’ll have all the right information, with all the best activities, and thorough tests and quizzes to make sure they don’t miss a thing.

But what about the atmosphere in our home? What about nurturing that love of learning that comes naturally to children? How long do we spend thinking about that?

I wish I would have given my daughter more time to be a kid. More time to explore and learn at her leisure, and not during some scheduled hour-long exploratory time. You can’t schedule curiosity.

Don’t let others dictate your homeschool

If you’re just starting with homeschooling and you don’t have much support around you, it’s tempting to fill up your curriculum list with impressive books and resources to try to sway them that you’re not ruining your child.

Let me tell you something – a book list is not going to change many people’s minds.

Pick the resources you feel are best, for your child. How many school teachers do you think are making curriculum decisions based on what their parents or neighbors think? They choose books they think will be the most effective. Period.

Get acquainted with various homeschooling methods

Most of us have gone through the public school system. It’s all we know. Then when we start homeschooling, we dream of bulletin boards, and an in box for assignments.

Sometimes we have to jump into homeschooling because traditional school isn’t working, so we might not have a lot of time to read up on the various methodologies. Even if that’s the case, start reading the core book on each topic and see what speaks to you.

Think of yourself as an educator or mentor, not only an administrator

An administrator simply makes education more accessible. They order books, organize lesson plans, and grade work. An educator or mentor understands how students learn, how their environment affects their learning, and has some basic understanding of psychology.

Be the educator. Treat homeschooling as your career, not a task. That means reading and studying about your chosen career.

Homeschooling advice from veteran homeschool mom

Less semester-long classes

The semester long classes were great, and I love that she made some friends in those arenas, but I think we did too many, which made it hard to take part in anything else. We barely went on field trips that related to her lessons because our schedule was so jam packed with classes.

As I’m faced with the temptation of signing up for all the interesting classes again with my younger kids, I remind myself that childhood is not the only time to learn. We can, and should, learn as adults as well. If they miss out on a class about sewing, or woodworking, or reptiles, there will be opportunities for them to learn about that as an adult as well, if they so choose.

Ask help from the community

In the six years we were exclusively homeschooling my oldest (she spent the last two years at a local college finishing her high school diploma), I had three more children and we moved twice. To say I was a bit distracted would be an understatement.

Alhamdulilah, we made do, but it would have been easier if I reached out to community members to organize study groups while she was reading classic books since I did not have the time to read them along with her. If you find someone who is passionate about a subject, they are usually happy to help the young generation to explore that passion.

Grades and deadlines

We are pretty relaxed in the early years of homeschooling, but I do suggest to start grading and giving deadlines one year before you’ll be keeping specific records. In the US (though each state is different), you don’t have to keep records until the student is in high school.

It is a disservice to your child to first experience real deadlines and grades when it will be on their permanent record.

Less is more

Okay, we don’t want to take this to an extreme and ignore educating our kids, but hear me out, especially in regards to graded assignments.

The fewer number of graded assignments you give, the more weight each one has, which means they learn to give their best time and attention to each assignment. They can’t just slop something together and know that something that was easier for them, and therefore they got a good grade on, will even out the poor assignment they just turned in.

Less formal assignments, more time to sit and think about them independently.

Never, ever stop learning

Show your child what it means to be a lifelong learner. Sign up for classes, read books, watch documentaries. Even if they scoff at your boring choices for how you use your time, they will be noticing that you didn’t stop learning when you graduated. And neither should they.

Veteran homeschool mom advice to new homeschoolers

Make du’a

Last, but not least, don’t forget that striving to provide opportunities for a great education is in your hands, but the end result ultimately is not. Allah has a plan for all of us, and sometimes it may look like it’s not going your way. That’s okay, too. Patience is what we do have control over. In sha Allah be patient.

Shannen is an American Muslim convert, homeschooling mother to 4 daughters and mediocre housewife. She enjoys blogging, knitting, quilting, and avoiding housework. Read more on her blog about their Islamic homeschool, green(ish) living, and the ups and downs of parenting. You can connect with Shannen on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.