Do you remember my ‘Thoughts’ post and the sister who came to see me which triggered off those thoughts? She left a comment on this blog and I just had to make it into a post because it was sooo beautiful and she refreshed my own will to home educate mashaAllah. Hope it has a positive effect on you too.
(She didnt give me permission to post it and edit some bits lol, so just ignore her praise of me. I’ve got too many flaws and shortcomings to be worthy of such praise. Anyone who has heard me scream at my kids will testify to that!)
Here are her words:
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.