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.
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.
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.”
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,