I want to homeschool – where do I start?


Two homeschooling mothers left comments on the blog with quite a few questions that others seem to be asking me. So, instead of replying as a comment. I thought I would answer their questions via a post. Please remember, this is my own method of homeschooling and organisation. There are others but I am only going to post what has worked for me. So, here goes:

Where to start once you decide to homeschool?

1. List all the goals you have for your child per subject for the entire year.

2. Once you have divided your goals. Sort out your resources…this could be printouts from websites, educational games online, educational resources bought from ebay, amazon, WH Smith etc, books, textbooks.

3. Then form a REALISTIC timetable for your children. Remember it has to be realistic. Think about their attention span, age, capabilities etc. Decide what subjects you are going to do on what day each week.

4. Work through your subjects as per the capability of your child. For example, it may take you 1 week to learn about shapes, but 2 months to learn about time. Be flexible so that your children can grasp the concepts at their level and time.

5. Then, make your own timetable. Include everything. EVERYTHING! From cutting the nails of your children to doing the ironing. Everything that is your life should go into that timetable. I tend to form one for each day. That way, I know when I need to clean each room, when I need to cook, when I need to do the shopping, my own personal ibadah (worship) time and so on. Include days out. EVERYTHING.

6. Then fit the homeschooling timetable that you have already prepared into your timetable. Now your week should be complete. I don’t put times next to my timetable. I just work through it during the day.

7. When it comes to cooking, I have formed two weekly cooking timetables. Week 1 and week 2. I DO NOT cook every day! I normally cook for two days. I alternate, so once I have cooked week 1 and week 2, I go back to week 1. Now that I know what I am cooking each week, I also have a ready shopping list for each week. Saves money and time in the shops. I just buy what I am going to cook. I tend to change my weekly menus every month (just because my husband likes variety).  And no, I do not cook complicated dishes unless we have guests. Quick, cheap but scrummy yummy is what it’s all about! 🙂

I have two children (for those who are asking). R is nearly 4.5 years old and her baby brother will be 1 years old in March insha’Allah. I have changed organised my timetable such that the main bulk of the home ed is done whilst he naps. However, recently he seems to be changing and so I just preoccupy him with something, carry him, feed him whilst I home ed her. Actually, I now am able to clean whilst homeschooling her and have figured out ways in which I can do homeschooling and something else at the same time.

I do not speak fluent Arabic. My daughter and husband speak Arabic together. Alhamdulillah. But when it comes to Islamic studies, it is I who teaches her. I believe I know enough to teach her..alhamdulillah and there is much out there that can support anyone who wishes to teach Islamic studies in a fun way.

Sisters may be thinking, oh – its easy for you to homeschool your daughter. You only have a baby to worry about. I am also finishing my academic studies, working a couple of hours a week, involved in dawah activities as well as learning tajweed and hifdh, in addition to cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing. What I’m saying is. You can do it! Even if you have a busy schedule like me, you can do it. You just have to be strict with your time and organise yourself.

I must also state that I have ‘tweaked’ my timetable so many times as life has changed. You must accept that you will need to do this. It could be due to a new class you are starting, more demands from the children, more demands from hubby or whatever. Alhamdulillah after much tweaking – I now have a timetable that seems to sit well with my family. I truly believe that when everything else is going smoothly in life, then home ed is sweet. When the washing piles up, the house is dirty, the children smell and you can’t remember the last time you did some personal ibadah, then not only do you suffer but so does home ed. For me, organisation is and will always be the key to happy homeschooling (as well as the important dua to Allah (Swt) to make it successful and easy for you!).

Like someone said, it is not that we do not have enough time in the days of our lives. It is just that we do not know how to use the seconds and minutes that we have.


18 responses »

  1. Assalamu ailaykum sister,

    this is grast advise, do you mind if I SHARE IT WITH OTHERS?

    Jazzakullahu khair and may Allah continue to help you in teacching ur daughter.

  2. Thank you sis. I’ve been waiting for this post! It all seems easy when I read it, but I know it requires a great deal of self discipline and self organisation. I am now able to see more clearly which areas I need to work on more than others. Will definitely start clearing up the ‘mess’ in my head, 🙂

  3. It sounds great! Would you mind sharing with us your recipes? You may think it’s silly to ask for but some people (like myself) would really benefit a great deal from ‘tried and tested’ quick home recipes, especially ones that you are able to cook in bulk and which will last for 2 days and which are healthy at the same time. I know it is not a subject of ‘homeschooling’, but it can ease homeschooling a great deal. Thank you sister and may Allah bless you for all good that you are doing.

  4. Masha ALLAH, may ALLAH rewards you Sis, you just ‘scored’ here with all of us that read this..lol..I just want to add from my own exp. try to identified the activity that takes most of your time, and work around it. For example, I have a weakness with my computer, eventhough I told myself that I will only check my email, or print something out, or just google something, I ended up doing more than what I should be. So I limit myself.

  5. wow…this really makes me want to roll up my sleeves and start home-eding my tot (smiles*)

    looking 4ward to more posts like this on the “hows”

    jazaakAllah 4 this…

  6. Great article. My son is 2 and I’m really thinking about homeschooling him. Seem like I’ll need to be really organized and disciplined if I really decide to do it.

  7. salaam,

    mashallah you are doing a great job. I came here to see if my schedule could be tweeked a bit but what you wrote i’m already doing. inshallah just adding another child to my learning schedule.

    aloha leila

  8. Salaams,
    Thank you for that post! MashaAllah, there’s so much info about homeschooling (thanks to kind HS mom’s like yourself sharing) that it’s making it really easy to get started!
    One thing i’m still unsure about though – Can you recommend specific “school books” that i can use. I notice you make reference to some workbooks (like the Bob books), and it would be nice to have a few in mind that you (or others) have found helpful so as not to waste money on ones i won’t use.
    Thanks a lot sister.
    The HS sites you have listed is great btw!

  9. JZK

    Could you please write a bit about what to start with in terms of subject matters and at what age/months. My problem is I am lost with topics that I should start with. Any ideas……….


  10. Salaams,
    Just saw the post after mine (by Annon) and wanted to offer some help – hope that’s ok.
    I was directed to this website: http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primaryframework
    by my teacher friend. It’s very very helpful- it outlines all the learning objectives for the subjects for all the years so you know what they “should” know at what age. They also give examples of how to teach it. Take some time looking over it, as it has A LOT of info on it and it takes a while pick out what you need.

  11. Assalamu alaykum ukhti, that’s so sweet of you to write this post. Of course it is very useful and a good reminder!!
    Best of all (quoting): “I truly believe that when everything else is going smoothly in life, then home ed is sweet. When the washing piles up, the house is dirty, the children smell and you can’t remember the last time you did some personal ibadah, then not only do you suffer but so does home ed. For me, organisation is and will always be the key to happy homeschooling (as well as the important dua to Allah (Swt) to make it successful and easy for you!).”
    I must say a good routine and keep up with a strong timetable is what you need. You can slip up sometime, don;t be afraid, but keeping up with it all is the key and believe me it is not hard!
    Wa alaykum assalam xx

  12. assalamu alaikum sister:

    yazakillahu khairen to show us how is your routine to homeschool…i have one baby he has 5 1/2 years old and i try to homeschool, with your post ill do it better inshaAllah…

    wa salamu alaikum

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