Its that wonderful time of year where we all feel excitement for our fellow brothers and sisters on Hajj, and anticipation for the coming of Eid.
I’ve been following Shade 7 Publishing for some time on Instagram and had been planning to buy their book ‘The Story of the Elephant Pop-up and Play book‘ for my boys for Eid al-Adha.
Well, I was thrilled when the publishers reached out to me and offered to send me a copy to review, as well as offering all my readers a DISCOUNT CODE on the price of the book. I am so excited to share this beautiful book with you all.
‘The Story of the Elephant’ is an Islamic children’s book based on Surah al Feel (Chapter 105) of the Holy Quran.
For those unfamiliar with the story:
The tyrant ruler of Yemen, Abraha, leads his army of elephants to Mecca to destroy the Ka’ba. Allah sends a great flock of birds to protect His house, they drop stones onto the soldiers from a great height and the whole army perishes.
It’s the perfect story for a children’s book!
Uniquely, this play book features pop-ups, interactive flaps and tabs, as well as a colouring map and press-out elephants to re-create the story. It is suitable for ages 3+.
The army of elephants!
Beautiful bird pop-up
The Ka’ba – Dramatic End to the Book
I thought it would be fun to make a YouTube Video of my first impressions when I opened up the book. I hope the video will be useful for you to see inside this book and help you get a feel for it. It’s my first ever Youtube Video, so please forgive my amateur videography skills! I’ll get better insha’Allah!
Well, my thoughts on this book are…it’s brilliant!
Firstly, its is really well written. It kept my boys engaged and interested.The language used is pitched at the right level, being neither too complicated for little ones, nor to simplistic.
“Abraha was so cross, he sent an army of elephants to Mecca to destroy the Ka’ba stone by stone.”
Secondly, the paper is thick and glossy, and will withstand whatever little hands try to do to it!
My favourite bit…Pull the tab and the elephant kneels down!
Pull the tab to watch the stones drop
The illustrations are beautifully hand-drawn and the pop-ups are completely charming! My kids were so excited when they saw them:
“Look Mummy, the elephant’s got a hat on!”
“Look at that! Look at that!”
I particularly appreciated how the publishers have incorporated a little Seerah into the book. They mention that the year of the elephant is the same year that our beloved Prophet was born in, and talks a little about Abdul Muttalib. They add another dimension to the educational experience by referring back to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and the duaa he made to protect Mecca.
Abdula Muttalib’s camels
The duaa of Abdul Muttalib
The book also features some duaas in Arabic, which are very clearly written, with vowel markings, transliteration and translations, so anyone and everyone can benefit from them.
There’s a simplequiz at the end to reinforce what your children have learnt, with the answers hidden underneath yet another flap!
The book contains a large pocket at the back that contains the colouring map and a press-out card Ka’ba and loads of elephants. One way you could use this is to re-create the elephants approach to Mecca using these press-out figures. For kids that enjoy hands-on learning activities, this is great way to reinforce what they have heard and bring the story to life.
Colouring in his Ka’ba
“I’ve got the mummy elephant! You’ve got the baby one!”
The whole family joined it!
My 5 year-old son loves this part in particular! He keeps bringing out the map and adding more and more detail to it. Then he sets up all the elephants and the Ka’ba with great satisfaction! Unfortunately its all a bit to fiddly for my 3 year-old to do on his own, so he’s happy looking through the book again and again, pulling all the tabs and lifting the flaps.
Using this map to revise geography
Reenacting the approach of the Abraha’s army
This book is definitely robust enough for young children. So far it has survived some serious love from my little ones!
‘The Story of the Elephant’ makes teaching this Quranic tale, not only easy, but a really special and memorable experience for children. It has to be my kids’ favorite Islamic Children’s book at the moment.
It is not just a picture book, or a pop-up book, its a whole educational experience. It encourages learning and love for the Quran in a variety of ways and at a variety of levels . We even used it to teach Geography, History, Character building and Islamic history.
I highly recommend this book. We absolutely love it!
EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE:
The publishers have very generously asked me to pass on a DISCOUNT CODE to you all.
This discount is exclusive to the readers of Our Muslim Homeschool.
Receive 45% DISCOUNT off the cost of the book.
Visit TAQWA MEDIA and enter the Discount Code OMHS2015 at the checkout.
This is offer is limited to the first 6 copies sold.
Thereafter, it will entitle the customer to 20% discount. This offer is only valid for then next 2 weeks.
(09.00GMT Saturday 12th September to 09.00GMT Saturday 19th September 2015)
Shade 7 Publishing have also created a cross-curricular 6 week lesson plan pack to go along with this book, for children in years Reception to Key Stage 2. It conforms with the New 2014 National Curriculum framework in the UK.
For my followers the publishers have agreed to:
1 Book + 6 week Lesson Plan Pack for £49.99 (inc. UK shipping).
3 Books + 6 week Lesson Plan Pack for £99 (inc. UK shipping).
If you live outside of the U.K. contact them directly for shipping costs.
If you are interested in the lesson plan pack, then email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange purchase.
We will be working through some of these lesson plans over the coming weeks insha’Allah. I will keep you all up to date and show you how we have been using them on my Instagram and Facebook accounts.
I hope you found this review helpful. If anything is unclear, or you need more information, please leave a comment for me down below and I will do my best to answer your questions.
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This week in our Muslim homeschool we have been looking at the story ofProphet Ibrahim (AS).
In my humble opinion, I find children retain these Islamic stories better if they are followed up with a hands-on activity. This craft is very quick and easy, and will help your children to remember what they have heard.
The story I related can be found in the Quran [6:75-80]. We began by reading a simplified version of this story from theI Love Islam Series: Book 1.
The story tells us how Ibrahim (AS) asked his people if they believed a star was God, but when the star disappeared in the morning he said, “See! That star is not Allah. Allah would never go away!“
Then he asked his people is the moon was Allah, but when morning came he said, “The moon cannot be Allah, because Allah would never go away.”
Finally he asked them is the sun was God, but inevitably the sun set and so the sun too could not be Allah. Allah always exists. He never sets and never goes away!
During a busy homeschool day, it can be hard to find the time to cook, let alone cook something healthy and nutritious. Don’t get me wrong, last year I found myself resorting to frozen meals or takeaways all too often. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day! I decided that this year I would stop making excuses and get organized before our homeschool year began.
Before our homeschool year starts, I wanted to fill up the freezer with a variety of slow cooker freezer meals that we can turn to on those super busy days. If I know that we are planning to be out of the house all day, or if we have to be somewhere very early in the morning, I can rest easy knowing that we have these slow cooker meals already prepared in the freezer.
The idea is that you do all the prep work, like chopping vegetables and measuring out ingredients, in advance, and put everything into a zip-loc bag.
Then the night before, just take one packet out of the freezer and allow it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, empty the contents of the bag into the slow cooker, set on low, and leave to cook until dinner-time. That’s it!
Please note: There are some ingredients you cannot freeze (e.g. yoghurt), but you can still prepare everything else in advance, and just add those separately when you’re ready to cook.
When your house is chaotic, you kids are fighting and you have 101 other things to do, at least you know that dinner will be ready on time! No chopping, not peeling, no stirring and no mess to clear up afterwards!
These meals should be eaten within three months of being frozen.
1. Start by writing the name of the dish, any ingredients that need to be added later, and the best before date on the zip-loc bags.
2. Assemble all the ingredients you require for this meal prep.
3. Mix all the ingredients together according to the recipe you are using.
Learning the ninety-nine names of Allah should not be just about memorising a long list of names. It should be something that helps children to understand their Lord and form a relationship with Him. It should be more than just words on the tongue, but should touch their hearts and deepen their love for God.
One way of engaing young kids in Islamic education is through arts and crafts
This week in our Muslim homeschool we learnt the name:
Al-Malik – The King and Owner of Dominion.
We began by talking about the definition:
‘Al-Malik is both the Owner, who possesses, and the King, who has complete authority and commands what He possesses. The One to whom the commanding and forbidding belong to. The King, The Sovereign Lord, The One with the complete Dominion.’
Whilst the kids were making the Crown Craft (outlined below) our conversation went something like this:
“Allah is The King. He is The King of kings. He is your King!
But what is a King? What does a King do?”
After a bit ( NO…. a lot!) of prompting they arrived at the answer,
“A king owns everything, tells everyone what to do and punishes those who disobey him.”
“But who owns the King? Who tells him what to do? Who punishes the King if he is naughty?”
“Allah is the King of Kings! Al-Malik!”
It is important for your children to understand that He is not like anything they can imagine. He is not like any King they know, and He most certainly does NOT have a crown!
Children’s Crown Craft
Fun fur (1-2″wide)
From the gold card, cut out two strips, each approximately 2″ wide.
Staple two card strips together. This will be the base of your crown.
Spread PVA glue along the bottom half of each card strip and stick the fun fur along this edge. It will look best if you allow some of the gold card to show at the top.
Meanwhile cut out 4 more gold strips from the card, each 1″ wide.
Staple 2 strips together, with the gold side facing inward.
Once the glue has dried on the fur, staple the wider card strip together, making sure that it is the correct size for your child’s head.
Attach this across the top of the crown base.
Repeat from step 5 with the remaining strips and staple perpendicular to the first arch.
Decorate the crown with stickers and jewels.
When everything has dried, push the tissue paper up into the underside of the crown and use your selo-tape to secure it in place.
Now your kid is ready to be a king (or Queen!). Whilst they play remind them,”You are a King, but who is your King? Who is the King of kings? Who is al-Malik? ……. ALLAH!!!!
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As a homeschooling mom, I spend the best part of everyday with my children. They witness and learn from my character and actions every day. But there is one problem, I am a perfectionist. What effect will this have on my children?
I have spent much
time reading and reflecting on perfectionism and parenting, and wanted to
answer the question: Are Perfectionists Bad Mothers?
The short answer to this question is: Yes, they can be bad
mothers IF they don’t do something to control it.
Of course being a perfectionist has its positive points. The
house is usually presentable, there is home-cooked food for every meal, the children
are dressed well; but underlying this outward image is an inner struggle and
discontentment with every action and every effort.
I come from a long line of perfectionists and no doubt at
least one of my children will follow me in this.
New studies have shown that
perfectionism is primarily a genetic trait, and the parenting and the
environment a child is exposed to only play a secondary role. This means that
perfectionist parents not only have to deal with their own drive for
perfection, but also their children’s too!
If a perfectionist mother has such high expectations on
herself, then it only follows that she too will have high expectations for her
children. If she cannot tolerate her own imperfections, she will not tolerate
them in her child. This inevitably leads to the child feeling that her parents
are constantly dissatisfied with her, and feeling inadequate.
Perfectionist parents often confuse their own sense of
self-worth with their child’s, feeling that if the child looks good, then I
look good. However when the child does not behave as the mother feels is
acceptable, then the mother takes that personally as it reflects badly on her.
This internal pressure can often be triggered by competition;
competition with family, friend’s children, school friends or even the children
of complete strangers. This obsession with looking ‘perfect’ in front of others
is at the detriment of the child’s confidence.
Children learn from the way we
behave and can see when mom is trying extra hard to impress. Despite what we
say, they see the way we behave and act first.
But of course, no one can be perfect. Not mom and not her
child. That child’s inability to live up to expectations, will cause her a
long-term sense of failure, a lowered self-esteem, which may in turn result in
resentment and anger towards her mom.
Perfectionism can block communication between a mother and
her child. The child knows that she has to fine, so she pretends to be ok, even
when there are problems. She knows that admitting any problem will affect her
mom negatively, so she stays quiet.
Perfectionists spend so much time worrying; time that could
be time spent playing with their children, getting to know them and teaching
them life-long lessons.
These moms will often focus on that child’s ‘status’ or ‘achievements’
and no longer put emphasis on values like kindness, honesty, diligence. Surely
it is more important as parents to equip our children with good character than
with good grades.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“The most beloved of
Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners.” (Al-Bukhari)
Perfectionists have an increased risk of clinical depression,
eating disorders, suicide, and are more resistant to treatment as they don’t
want look as though they’ve failed.
So to all my fellow perfectionist parents out there….
Remove the worry from your heart and find the love.
Connect with your children
Feel happiness to be with them
Be grateful for your children
Don’t compare yourself to others
Have fun with them and relax
Let your children be who they are
Let go of expectations
Relinquish the power that you feel you have and remember
Only He can change your state and only He can ‘fix’ that which you
Instead of filling your mind with stress and discontentment, focus
on filling your heart with gratitude and submission to the Will of the Divine.
You will never find perfection in this world. Perfection is
For truly, it is in the Remembrance of God that the heart
finds Peace. Quran (13:28)
Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.
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Like most homeschooling families, I started planning for the next year of home education at least 6 months ago, and have been slowly collecting different resources as I find them. This is what we are going with this year!
This blog-post contain affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.
My children are 5 and 3 years old.
Below I have listed the curriculum we will be using for M as he starts Year 1 (Kindergarten) from September. For A, my pre-schooler, we will not be following a set curriculum, but will draw ideas from few different books, which I also have listed below.
The books listed below are the ‘main’ texts we will be using, but we will also draw from many other resources that we have at home; as well as online and from our library.
We also enjoy frequent field trips!
If you are interested in any of these books, just click on the title of the book for a link to Amazon or the relevant website.Please note: This does not include our reading list, i.e books (fiction) that M will read or will have read to him.
I hope our curriculum helps to inspire other Muslim Homeschooling Families, as so many others have inspired me!
YEAR 1 / Kindergarten Curriculum
It is my opinion that religion should not be taught as an academic subject, but rather it should be something that children witness as part of normal life, learning from your example and other good company. However there are some books that we will use for activities and to stimulate discussions:
For this year we will follow an interest-led approach for the humanities. By this I mean that we will have a relaxed approach to these topics, studying what-ever M wants to learn about using books from our local library.
We will be primarily doing the study of nature this year. However when the weather doesn’t allow us to go outdoors, we will use the latter two book for fun science experiments:
If you would like more ideas for Curriculum choices, particularly for older children, I would recommend visiting Noor Janan HomeschoolandIman’s Home-school; both great resources for Muslim Homeschoolers.
To make sure you don’t miss the next in the series, please Subscribeto my blog, or follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
If you have any questions, or any ideas for future posts, please leave them for me in the comments below. If you have a blog post about you homeschool curriculum. please feel free to link it below. I’d love to know what your using!
As I mentioned before, you can find your local group of homeschoolers on Facebook. Another place you can look is Home Education in the UK who have a list of all the homeschooling groups around the country with contact details. Surrounding you and your children with like-minded people is so important, especially in the beginning. Go along to one of the group’s social events and ask a lot of questions. That’s what I did!
Starting this ‘journey’ is such an exciting time. The main advice I would give is learn as much as you can about home education, stay flexible, and don’t be disheartened if things don’t go as planned. It’s still early days!
We are so blessed to have this opportunity to stay home and educate our children. Alhumdulillah!
For more experienced home educators: What resources would
you recommend for a newbie homeschooler? Please share with us in the comments below.
Do you like the idea of homeschooling, but are not sure what
it will entail? What does home education really mean in a practical real life
situation? How do I know if it will be right for us?
This article will highlight some of the pros and cons of
homeschooling so you can make an informed decision.
You will need to decide personally how important each
positive or negative is to you. This will depend on your character, your
situation and your child. Homeschooling is a fantastic option, but it is not
for everyone. I hope this article helps you to decide if it is for you.
Home education gives you almost complete control over WHAT
your child is learning and HOW they are learning it. It also means parents can control what your child is exposed to: friends, books, music, peer
pressure, bullying, religious teaching to name a few.
Whilst there is some truth in the argument that children
need to learn the social skills to deal with these negative things, there is a lot of
harm that can be done to a child, particularly to his character, when exposed
to them on a daily basis.
Homeschooling allows you to schedule school around you family’s needs, and not schedule the
family needs around school.
For us this means we rarely do formal school on a Friday as it is
our Sabbath. Instead, that time is spent reading Islamic children’s books,
doing an Islamic craft, or something like that. When they are older, we will use that time to go to the mosque for Jummah too insha’Allah.
As a home educator, you have complete flexibility over what
you are teaching you child. You can add in subject that they wouldn’t be
learning at school (e.g. Arabic) and disregard those subjects you find
inappropriate (e.g. sex education).
If the curriculum you buy is not working
for your child, you can switch to another one in the middle of the year. Or if
he is not understanding a concept well, you can go back and revisit it. If your
child is gifted in a topic, you can provide her with more challenging material
that she would not get at school.
Home schooling also give children the opportunity to pursue
their talents that would otherwise be difficult if they were at school 6-8
hours a day. If you child is a talented tennis player, you can fit his school
work in around his sports lessons. The same can be said for any talent or
interest that your kid may have.
You can book holidays in ‘term-time’ and benefit from
cheaper rates! You can stop and start school whenever you need to, as long as
your child learning is not interrupted too much. For example, over Ramadan, we
do very little formal schooling, but will make up for lost time over the
Better exam results
It has been shown in studies in the US that children who are
home educated performed better on standardized testing, than those in
mainstream education .
One reason for this is you are providing you child with
one-to-one tuition for every subject, every day, rather than sharing the
attention of the teacher with thirty-five other kids. You will be tailoring the
way to teach each subject to the unique way your child learns. You will be
pushing him when he finds something easy, and going back when a concept is not
understood. So its hardly surprising really that home-educated kids are doing
Spending all that time together, and sharing all those
memories inevitably brings a family closer together, especially the bond
No school runs!
I know this sounds silly, but listen!
Imagine allowing your children to wake up whenever they
naturally get up, having a relaxed breakfast, and not having to ‘rush rush
rush’ to get everyone ready and out the door! No waiting in traffic, no
stressing about uniforms, or thinking about packed lunches, washing sports
kits, remembering book bags or signing forms. Instead mornings are just…EASY!
This is the big one that everyone fears! Instead of handing
over the responsibility for your child’s education to a group of strangers, YOU
are completely responsible. If they don’t do well academically or personally, the responsibility is on you.
Personally, I think even if your child was at school, you
are still entirely responsible. The day you had your baby, the day Allah
entrusted that soul into your care, was when you became responsible and
accountable for the education of your child.
Homeschooling your children will almost always require one
parent to put their career on hold. Therefore is usually means that home
educating families have to live off one-income alone.
Since homeschooling is almost completely unheard of in the
UK, most people are either confused or shocked when you say that the kids are
homeschooled. Most will make the assumption that you are depriving your kids in
But sometimes people will surprise you with positive
comments like, ‘Aren’t your kids lucky!’ Or ‘I wish we’d thought of that!’
The kids are ALWAYS
Of course, most of the time, I view this are a good thing. I
love their company. Homeschooling would be a very difficult thing if I did not.
But there are days, that all mums go through, when you just ‘need a break.’ But
when you homeschool, there is no break from the kids…..EVER!
There are times when it can be emotionally very draining, and it is not uncommon for mum’s to suffer from ‘burnout’ if they don’t take steps to avoid it.
Your house will never
So if the kids are always home, then it follows that it will
always be a mess! That, in addition to the fact that, you will have to find
space for all the extra books, science experiments, art supplies, and all other
manner of ‘educational resources’ that will inevitably end up littering every
available surface. Your home will never be a show home, but it will be filled
with memories that are (in my opinion) worth so much more.
Keep kids active
It will be your responsibility to make sure the kids stay
fit and healthy. At school children do sports at least three times a week and
run around in breaks etc. If they are not attending school, you need to find
ways to keep them active. Choose something that your child enjoys. Don’t force
them to do a sport they dislike, just because their peers at school are doing
it. Think outside the box. Hiking, skating, rock climbing are just as good
forms of exercise as any organised sport.
Even if you have a very relaxed take on home education, you
will still need to have some level of organisation and planning. Personally, I
like to have the year planned out in general terms, and then plan in detail just
one month ahead of time.
Planning out what subjects you will cover and how you will
‘teach’ these subjects does not need to be complicated. For those overwhelmed
by all the choices, or concerned that they won’t cover ‘everything they need
to,’ should consider a boxed curriculum. These are more expensive, but contain
all the texts you need for every subject, all the worksheets and even a
timetable to follow. There are numerous websites and books available, most from
USA, that outline what should be covered and when. I will cover my recommendations
the next post in the series.
You have to ‘find’
friends/ social opportunities
If you yourself are very shy or suffer with social anxiety,
this may find this aspect of homeschooling difficult. You will need to ‘get out
there’ to give your children opportunities to meet new people and make friends.
But consider this negative point to also be a positive one.
You can encourage friendships for your child that you feel may benefit him, and
limit friendships with kids who might be a ‘bad influence.’ If done well and
with thought, your child will know how to interact comfortably with children of
all ages, races and different backgrounds to their own. Something that no
school can offer.
Homeschooling can be more expensive than sending you child
to school. You will need to buy things that ordinarily he would get for free at
However, there are curriculum choices for every budget and
if you spend wisely, it doesn’t need to break the bank. Just remember that
peer-pressure itself can be very expensive and think of all the money you’ll be
saving by not having to buy the lastest toy, shoes, clothes, video game or
mobile phone for your child. Or going to every classmate’s birthday party,
class Christmas presents and other school events.
There are so many free resources online, as well as
homeschooling communities that sell things second-hand once their child has
finished with them. So don’t be put off by the cost of homeeducation, it can be
done to within your budget.
You may be asked for a home visit from an LEA official or
school nurse, or be asked to provide some kind of written information. I would
recommend dealing with these authorities with a touch of caution, and do your
research on what information you need to give them by law, and what you do not.
If you decide to put your child into school at a later date,
you may find it difficult to get them a place in the ‘best’ schools.
You also need to consider University. Universities in the UK
do accept homeschooled kids, but it will require you as a parent, to correspond
directly with the university early on, to find out what records need to be kept
and what other requirements they may have. Like with all things in homeshooling,
the responsibility is with you and it just requires a little more planning. You
may want to consider sending you kid to a university in the United States, where
colleges are more familiar with home education and some actually now prefer
home educated students .
So now you’ve heard the truth. You know the main advantages
and disadvantages of homeschooling and I hope this helps you to make a decision
on whether to home educate your child.
A Guide to what Home Education is, could be and definitely is not!
Home education is on the rise! However many people in the UK still do not realise that homeschooling is an valid and legal option for the education of their children. Many naively think they know what it is, but they really don’t! In this article I will outline what home education is, what it could be and what it definitely is not!
To homeschool in the UK is an extraordinary thing! In 2007, it was estimated that only 34,000 students are being home educated in the UK . Whilst it is almost certain that this figure has increased since then, compared to the massive home-ed movement in the United States, where there were 1,770,000 children being educated at home in 2013 , homeschooling in this country is still in its infancy.
I get so many messages and emails from Muslim women, who are considering homeschooling, but have been ‘put off’ by misconceptions and false ideas of what it entails, often assuming that it would be much harder than it truly is. So to discover what homeschooling really is, we will begin this article by looking at what it is NOT and those things that ‘put people off’!
To homeschool you have to….
Recreate school at home
This is something that almost all new homeeducators do at the beginning, calling upon their memories of school and how ‘teaching’ was done. Whilst this may work for some, it is definitely not a requirement. You do not need to structure your day like that at school, stand at the front of the class lecturing, create a classroom in your home, and you don’t even need to follow the National Curriculum . If you want to mimic the school environment you can, but if you want to do your ‘own thing’ with your children, you are free to do so. Remember, you chose not to not send your child to school for a reason, so think twice before you turn your home into one.
Be a teacher
There is a preconceived notion among many that only a teacher knows how to teach ‘properly.’
Think about this.
Whilst a teacher may know how to manage a class of thirty-five kids without it descending into anarchy, who knows your child better? Who knows how she learns best? Who knows what motivates her and what she is interested in? Who would put that child’s interest above and beyond her own?
You, as a parent, can be the best and only teacher your child will ever need. Of course, it will require a little effort on your part, but it certainly doesn’t mean you need to go out and start a teacher training course!
Stay at home all the time
Certainly, in my situation, nothing could be further from the truth. Home educators seem to have this uncanny ability to make anything and everything a ‘learning opportunity!’ You do not need to be sitting at a desk with a textbook to be learning. In fact sometimes the best and most lasting lessons are those seen and done in the ‘real world.’Furthermore, because you are in control of how you plan the ‘school day’, you can take educational trips whenever you want. If the sun is shining you can pack up your Maths books and take them to the park, or instead of learning about coastal processes and wave erosion from a dry textbook, you can pack up the car and head to the beach. What better way to learn about the natural world, than to experience it first hand; a trip to the woods, a walk in the countryside. The world is your classroom!
Depending where you live in the country, there are also many sporting and musical groups for children of all ages that homeschoolers can make the most of, and many of these are free.
Since you are working one-to-one whith your child, the material you need to study each day takes considerably less time that if they were at school. At school they have to share the teacher’s attention with thirty other students, waste time with assemblies, standing in lines, and other ‘busy work’. All of which are not for the benefit of the individual student, but rather for ‘classroom management.’ So, with all this extra free time, there is plenty of opportunity to go out and about, visiting National trust properties, going rock climbing, learning to swim and pursue any other interest or talent your child may have.
Have a gifted child
Yes it is true, some homeschooled children are geniuses! And yes, homeschooled children do perform better in standardised tests, often working at least one year above their school peers , but not all home educated kids are geniuses. Most, in terms of their IQ at least, are pretty ‘normal.’
Have a stupid or delinquent child
Some people, particularly those of an older generation, will make the assumption that you homeschool because your child got expelled from school for bad grades or bad behaviour. I cannot deny, that this may be the case for a few families, but like I said before, most homeschooled children are pretty ‘normal.’
Be a highly religious/ new-age type
A growing number of families who practice their faith, whatever that may be, are choosing to home educate due to concerns over the moral upbringing school offers, or fails to offer, their children and the potential harm the school environment could do to their character and faith. In the UK a large proportion of homeschoolers are from religious families. However there has been a massive increase in numbers who have no particular religious affiliation, many of whom are professional middle-class families, disenchanted by the education that mainstream schools offer.
You need to be wealthy
Nothing could further from the truth. In fact most homeschooling families are living off one-income, whilst the other parent stays home full-time.
Whilst I am the first to admit that I have an unhealthy addiction to all things ‘educational’ and must be Amazon’s best customer, none of these things essential to provide your child with a wholesome, well-rounded education.There are so many curriculum, books, computer programmes, educational toys, craft kits etc. that are marketed at mums and dads like us. Remember, most of them are money making ventures, and whilst there may be some merit in their products, they are NOT necessary for your homeschool.
All you really needs are pens, paper, a library card and maybe an internet connection. As the children get older you can borrow and swap books with other homeschoolers, and even share teaching responsibility (called a co-op) for certain subjects with other mums. It is not the money you have that determines how well your child does, but the time that you give him.
What is homeschooling then?
It is anything you want it to be! That’s the great thing about this form of education. You can make it into whatever you wish. You can cater to your family and child’s needs and interests. You can adapt it to your own education philosophy or integrate your religious teachings into everyday classes. If you choose to create a traditional classroom in your dining room, you can. If you want to provide Montessori resources, you can. Many people travel the world, whilst their children learn on the go. Some prioritise religious teachings, whilst others organise their day to allow their children time to excel in sporting or musical talents. Others choose unschooling or project-based learning or classical education. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what all these terms mean…you soon will! What matters is that you want to homeschool and you are taking the first-steps.)
The key thing here is that homeschooling can be whatever you WANT it and NEED it to be.
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