Thoughts 2…

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Still thinking along the lines of what I posted yesterday and wanted to expand and clarify what I was trying to say based on a few comments.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t homeschool to protect our children or that protecting our children is wrong. Anyone that knows me, knows that I really do try to ensure that my children mix with other children of good characters and to protect them from anything that could corrupt their foundation in Islam and natural fitrah.

But I do think that there are some sisters who literally shut their kids off from the world, don’t want them to mix with non-muslims and this really scares me. As when these kids grow up and have to venture out into the world, I think they are going to have a BIG shock and find it very very difficult to cope. I know one sister’s son who was home educated who was ‘protected’ and when he did meet the world – he lost his emaan, everything. It was so sad.

And I do feel that we should home ed because it is the best option for the kids. Because in my opinion (and it is my opinion – everyone is entitled to their own opinions) when one home educates as the second ‘best’ they go into it with that frame of mind instead of seeing it as a wonderful holistic method of education for their children. The results as a result of that thinking are quite different in my humble opinion.

For example, when I was young. My Dad was VERY very strict. Although he wasn’t a Muslim, he was very particular about how I dressed, that I didn’t mix with boys etc etc He literally hid the world from me down to the things that I watched in my teens! So, when I had my bit of freedom (when my parents divorced), I literally went WILD! And it scares me so much knowing that many Muslims think that because they are Muslim, that their children are saved from this. Or that, if they shut them away from the world that they will grow up as pious Muslims. Guidance is in the hands of Allah (Swt). But I just think home ed should be about PREPARING children from the world.

There are certain things I would NEVER introduce my kids to until they are a certain age as I want them to have a firm foundation in Islam, but at the same time if my children ask me questions then I will give them as open an answer as possible. Eg. R has started asking me about hinduism and divali.

The main point of my previous post was that whatever our reasons, we should always return back to our reasons of why we home ed because this will make us better home educators. I suppose the most important thing is that we home educate to attain the pleasure of Allah (Swt).

And Allah knows best.

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15 responses »

  1. As salaam alaikum,

    Insha Allah, I have keep my thoughts and comments to myself up to this point, but now feel the need to express myself. First of all, I am really glad you brought this up and appreciate you sharing your personal experience of your childhood with us.

    I have to admit that I was one of the naive Muslim home educators for a long time who truly believed that by homeschooling my children, that would save them from exposure to anything/everything haram and harmful.

    It is only as my children particularly my eldest has grown older and I have now gained more experience to realize my lack of wisdom in this train of thought.

    I wholeheartedly believed that I would homeschool all of my children from the beginning of their educational career through to the end of their secondary years. Now I realize that this may not be the best option for all of them and it isn’t necessarily the best either. At this point, I have come to the realization that taking it one day at a time is best and Allah is the best of planners. I am seeing that as they get older they want and need their independence and will need to be allowed to venture out to experience life and make their own mistakes without me hovering over them 24/7.

    It is difficult for many to see this when their children are young as it was for me. You are right though, Umm Raiyaan, Allah is truly the best Protector and regardless of what we do, at some point they will have to learn to fly on their own.

    • Walaikum assalam

      Jzk for your comment sis. You know, I used to think like you too. And what is strange is that although HE is BEST for us at the moment, I don’t know if I will home ed forever. I actually am considering putting her in school at some point as I feel that she would need that experience and hopefully Allah will give her the tawfeeq for her to have a positive effect on others. InshaAllah I hope to do this during the secondary years. x

  2. Asalamu Alecum sister I run a toddler group and my girls do mix with non muslims and also my youngest goes to the local toddler group and mixes there too I do believe if we live here and have non muslim family members also they do mix and not just have muslim friends they can have a mix in saying that it is just outside I have one non muslim friend from ages ago that does sometimes come to my home with her little girl the same age as my youngest and she is a decent kind of person.

    I also think it is good for my daughters to learn to give dawah even my toddler group people do ask is it sisters only but it is open to the general public as it is not an exclusive club and some sisters dont seem to like this me I dont really mind as in my group people do ask about Islam and I do feel we all have the same thing in common children and thats what we discuss and nice for non muslim to know we are not strangers we do enjoy playing with our kids. But in my local toddler group where barely any muslims attend and I really dont know why one really nice sister with niqab used to come and chat to everyone but then told the lady that she is busy with housework and cooking which of course we all have to do that but need timeout with the children.

    I would love a few sisters to come to the under fives I attend I do tell them about it but I dont know I cannot force people I Alhamdulliah have a few coming to mine.
    are but as least when they are home educated it is not in their face but at least they will have the best Islamic background that we can provide them with.

    There are some people I do know that say to me you cannot protect from the world but they are living in it lol they see things everyday that are not suitable but they judge that for themselves Alhamdulliah. May Allah make it easy for all of us.
    Umm R I do know we cannot protect them from everything but i did what to protect them from all of the celebrations we do not celebrate they know what they

    • I understand what you are saying. I think for me, I want to protect my children but I also want to have a close enough relationship to speak and discuss with them about those very things. I don’t want to hide them. I want us as a family to explore them so they understand why they are wrong. But I do feel that there is a certain age and understanding that the child needs to reach before that can take place. Allah knows best. x

  3. Assalamo alaikum,

    I think many of us are initially naive as parents. I was an “only optioner” lol, I used to see children playing in school playgrounds and feel a pang in my heart that my children weren’t going to have that too. However, I was determined that we were going to make the most of it etc. Whilst we can’t wrap our children up in cotton wool, we can do what we can to nurture their Islam and protect them (initially) from negative influences. I myself had a sheltered upbring and was very glad of it, alhamdulillah.

    However, the stark reality is that todays children will be tomorrows adults, and they need to know how to stay within the limits despite the fact that the majority of society is not. I was one for “not letting them mix” until fairly recently. Whilst we went out and about, they didn’t have much close social interaction with non muslims. I do feel that the tiny amount of interaction they now have has allowed them to be able to stand up for what they believe in. If they had been in school from the beginning (ie. the only muslims in the class or school) I’m quite sure this would not have been the case.

    Sorry, I’ve gone off on one here (nobody else listens to me, lol!) but may Allah swt guide all of the muslim children, ameen.

    xxxxx

    • Walaikum assalam

      Exactly! When they do interact it paves the way for them to think, analyse and as you said ‘stand up for their beliefs’. No worries sis, I’m always here to listen inshaAllah! x

  4. Assalamualaykum,
    I don’t believe in over protection, as you know, but I also don’t believe in total immersion into an environment of swearing, disrespect and other fitnah. Home education allows a balance. Children should learn about the world and people, but be able to maintain their own standards of behaviour. Excessive peer pressure may prevent this.
    Plus, I don’t think it is question of restricting mixing with non-Muslims. Just the other day I witnessed a Muslim boy of about six walking home from school with his mother and older brother, swearing about nothing. His mother did not react at all. Must be normal in their house, astafirullah.
    But I also agree very much with Umm Tafari’s view that it is one day at a time. With home education it is always one day at a time, I find. Be grateful for the days.

  5. Assalamu alaykum sister,

    I would like to share some thoughts too inshaAllah.

    The kuffar learn through the environment and the experiences they gain from interacting with it. But a person learns from their experience according their criterion for right and wrong.

    We as muslims learn from the Quran and Sunnah. In these two sources Allah does not only tells us what to do and what not to do but He tells us also about us, about the world, about the kuffar, about the Muslims and how to interact with them. Allah warns us in relation to the kuffar telling us what even their hearts conceal and He tells us about their ways in all the stories of the past. He tells us also how to deal with the Muslims, the good and the bad among them. If a child learns their Deen they will be prepared how to deal with the world inshaallah.

    But they will still need to interact and implement what they learned according to their age and circumstances. I believe a mother knows best what her child is ready for and she can see when and how much a child is reliable to interact without being negatively affected.

    There is another issue which I find very important to talk about inshaAllah. This issue is so vital that can make or break a person, family or even a society. We live in times when Muslims don’t have protection and authority on earth. We live with the kuffar in their lands and under their rule. We went to their schools and more or less we were influenced by their ways. One way in which many of us were influenced is the way we view the concept of authority. In the kufr society authority means power over, dominance, and control. We are so used with it that maybe many don’t even question the validity of it. But what authority is in islam? This is a very important issue to clarify for we all interact with each other, build our families, raise our children having an idea of what authority is.

    I have been thinking about authority recently. I have been looking at the ayat in relation to this issue and all what i find is that authority is all related to taking care. The Imaam is supposed to take care of the Muslims,(their deen and lives) the husband is supposed to take care of his household members(their deen and lives) and the mother is supposed to take care of her children(deen and lives). The hadith says that everyone is a shepherd and will be asked for his flock. When we look at this hadith from the point of the ayah in which Allah states that He created us for the sole purpose to worship Him, then we see that authority is there so one will ensure that those under his authority are well, safe and able to worship, and further more he is there to ensure that they do worship. As much as I tried to find any indication that islamic authority is about dominance and power over, I didn’t find anything to support that. You may ask yourself what this got to do with homeeducating and particularly with the topic discussed.

    The answer is that our authority and obligation over our children is to protect their lives and deen from harm, but it is also to prepare them by the age of maturity to be ready to take the responsibilities of a Muslim. Our goal is to make them independent worshipers who will be questioned by Allah for as soon as they reached maturity which is around 12-13 years old in many cases. So our goal is to have adults by this age. It is not to have children who wait for us to turn our backs so they can be free to do all the haram inshaAllah.

    Why I talked about power over and dominance? When a parent sees their authority as a permission to dominate and overpower their children they will not work on making them responsible individuals with critical thinking but rather they will make sure they listen and obey without a question. As soon as the overpowering seizes for whatever reason, the child will feel free to finally do all the forbidden stuff.

    If a child was raised and rather nurtured than ordered around, taught instead to be overpowered, motivated correctly by knowing that we will be asked and we might get punished by Allah if we stray, then by the age of maturity they will do what they have to do, and abstain from the haram because of belief, conviction and fear from Allah inshaAllah. Obviously if ALlah wants to misguide a child even if the parents did all their best the result will not be that good. But there is where the place of the dua is inshaAllah. We ask our children to become pious and knowledgeable muslims.

    Umm Zaynab xx

  6. Assalamualaikum. Nice thoughts. Although I currently do not homeschool my kids, I do think it is an excellent option and keep my options open to the idea if my children do not benefit from their current islamic school to the level I want. However, I would add that I feel that not every child is suited to homeschooling and nor perhaps is every parent. From my kids I can see how one or two might really benefit but one would definitely not be able to cope-nor would I! So I think its good to have an open mind that one size does not fit all.ws xx

  7. Salam sister,

    nice topic. I been brought up the same way as you. My parents esp my mum is very strict even before they practising muslim and become over protective when they take deen into their live as they feel that they had lost so many things and try to protect their kids which the way they believe should be. Unfortunately when I got a chance, I go over the board without thinking twice, Subhana Allah.

    This is why I am pretty much extra careful to create balance for my kids. Own experience I believe can tell so much! And now having teenage each boy and girl, I found out that it wasn’t easy to create the balance. Of course it’s Alla that protect every each of us but we also been given a chance and we will be ask of what we responsible of, especially our children.

    But, I do put some strict in some rules which I believe at the end of the day what make me who I am with my deen now. If not because the strict and over protective my parents had, I won’t become how I am with my deen now.

    LIke you said, doesn’t matter one are muslim or not, home school are not, the balance is what important. And the balance that we create while kids are small are totally dofferent when they reach teenager. Unfortunately. But, we all best learn while we going which I had.

    Insya Allah , like you said, homeschool is one of the best option, of course and not just dump the workbook, the important is tarbiyah, Doens’t matter kids are homeschool ot not, in strict house or less care house, but the most important is tarbiyah. Although for 5 or 10 minutes, sitting down and talk about deen, iman especially is what important. This in some way, not make much matter when they small. But when they reach 10/11, irregular tarbiyah can cause chaos. And to create balance is so hard, probably from what I am exprience in tis time of the world now.

    and of course doa is one of strong weapon , especially as doa mother for ht ekids. Even every word of a mother toward kids are doa.

  8. Assalaamaualaykum,

    I am the ‘local sister’ umm raiyaan met the other day. Alhamdulillah I have read the comments to ummR’s posts with deep interest. I feel I want to clarify what I meant when i was discussing with umm R about how people approach home-ed. To make it clearer I’m going to describe my chain of thoughts that had led me towards wanting to home educate.

    I have always been a working mum since my eldest was 5 months old, right up to a day before my 2nd was born and then started back at work when she was 2 months old. Why I was working is a long story in itself but once a sister I know was very upset, she had had a reunion with her university friends and they were discussing their careers progressions and she felt like a ‘low achiever’ because she had not used her degree for two years and then became a mother, she stopped working and had been a full time mum for the previous 7 years to 4 kids.

    I consoled her, she is a fantastic mum, her children have excellent Islamic morals, knowledge, manners, interpersonal skills and they’re bright, she manages her home well. I called her a ‘career mum’ and that she had made motherhood her career. Furthermore, where us ‘working sisters/mums’ get our salary for our careers mainly in thus dunya (some of us do good work in our careers and are also hoping for reward in the hereafter), her salary would be mainly in the hereafter. Saying this to her, my own words echoed in my head for months later… Our children are our sadaqa jaariya, but it’s not about the quantity of kids u have, it’s about how u raise them with quality. And deep down I think we all know it’s not even about the end result.

    Since that day i really have been viewing motherhood as a career, something u need to train in, develop in, be the best in, work for and expect your ‘salary’ for.

    Then recently i was in hospital and was quite I’ll, my daughter asked me if I was going to die. SubhanAllah I really thought about what would happen when i die, what would she remember of me, what had I taught her, what would be my sadaqa jaariya in her?

    This coincided with me thinking a lot more about home ed. When I sat with umm raiyaan she really inspired me and I saw how home ed, is not something I am choosing for protecting my kids at all, they are already in Islamic schools and I do actually feel that is protection enough for the moment, so no, for me home ed is not in anyway a solution to the problem, it is an answer for how to actually raise my children myself.

    It is about me actively choosing what i want to nurture in my children, not just imaan, literacy, numeracy and the normal curriculm subjects I’ve read about. It’s about me teaching my kids, morals, manners, character, habits, life skills, about building memories with them and ‘being their teacher and mother’ NOT being a taxi between school and home and getting them ready for the next ‘activity’ or ‘institution’ n their life, be that swimming lessons, visiting friends, playing in the park or even just getting them ready for bed.

    Home-ed allows u to start with a blank sheet and start going crazy on a mind map of all the things you want your child to learn, from courage, love of Allah, gheerah for the deen, respect for women, love for animals and nature, a sense of adventure, a thirst for knowledge, concern for the ummah. then to get imaginative and bring these things to life, so my child won’t learn about caring for animals from a book but I’m trying to arrange with a local petting farm that once a fortnight he will go and brush down the ponies and take care of the animals, he won’t learn courage from studying stories of courageous people in school, he will go out and learn courage by being in situations that require that as part of home ed, be that a camping trip, mountain climbing.

    I hope I don’t make umm raiyaan shy through this, but I found her inspiring because she shows no boundaries to home ed, for her, yes she has worksheets and schemes she follows, but it’s more about finding ways for her children to LIVE what they are learning. So in that respect home-ed is not mimicking school, it’s not a second best option that’s ‘safer’ than school, Islamic or non Islamic, it’s ‘unschooling’ it’s limitless learning, but only for those willing to be imaginative and actively get out there with their kids and helping them to TASTE learning, and LIVE Their lessons.

    …..so that’s what i meant when I was discussing with her about home-ed not being the only option but the BEST option.

    Hope that clarifies things (sorry if it’s too long)

    My challenge now is to try and make being a part time working home ed mum!?!? I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but inshaAllah where there is a will and a step towards something for Allah I know Allah will show the way.

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