Beautiful..

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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:

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.

UmmH
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16 responses »

  1. Wow mashallah I loved reading this post!

    I think its disgusting how motherhood is looked down upon as if its something of a lesser importance than working in the ‘outside world’ …. having said that being brought up within this system we have this tendency buried deep inside us I feel ….. always wanting to be doing some kind of work to bring worth to our lives, going back and forth in our mind and heart … no motherhood is the best … no I have to be a career women….

    I also left uni with a very prestigious degree but never undertook work instead got married and had kids now I hear people talking behind my back about how I wasted my life … (Im 27 … my life has hardly started) … bolder people come and tell me how they think its a waste to do such a hard degree and never use it :s blah blah blah…. then you have a inner battle with yourself ….

    Im not the only one, I know of other mothers … who want to go back to work/education etc to feel that they have some kind of worth …… Thats partly my reason for wanted to home ed. I dont want my kids to be stuck within these crazy thoughts n fell worthless when in fact a persons worth does not come from what career they have but their iman, character, morals how they interacts with ppl especially spouses n children…

    The best job a woman can do is take care of her kids the best she can, I want my daughter to feel this with all her heart. Besides she wont be asked on the day of judgement how much money she earnt but rather will be asked about how she brought up her kids. I want my son to appreciate women: mothers, sisters, wives and daughters and not undervalue them because they do all the tedious jobs they have to do like pairing up kids socks! And to know that their own outside job is actually just a means for them to do their real job which is to be a good dad, husband, son, brother, community member.

    I cant believe I wrote so much but I really felt this post and wanted to say a few works too.

    ws

    • Assalamu Alaikum sis

      MashAllah, jzk for a thought provoking comment. SubhanAllah! How true. You should meet the sister who wrote that comment. I think you would have A LOT to talk about. She shares your exact thoughts! x

  2. Subhan ALlah sis, u made me cry. May ALlah bless you. I’m struggling to be a part time home ed mum myself, my son also goes to an islamic school and …. you said it all dear. May ALlah make it easy for us to bring them up loving Him Subhanwatallah and worshipping Him subhanwatallah alone in all they do and make them a sadaq e jarriya for us. ameen.

  3. Assalamualaykum,
    I enjoyed Farah’s comment maashAllah. It does annoy me how when asked to state “occupation” putting “housewife” elicits a patronising “It’s a very important job”. Does anyone actually ever put home educator in that box?
    I do find it surprising that people find selfworth in the world of work, when many work practices seem to treat people as worthless, and strip them of their personality and individuality.

  4. Assalamu alaykum, I guess if women for generations and generations were looked down upon in their own homes for the reason that they are housewives and mothers only, then they will search for ways to feel worthy out of the house. If you go through history and see how the situation of women has been and how little it changed it will become clear the reason certain things are happening. If a woman is appreciated in her own home she will not need to prove herself out of it. If women feel worthless in their own houses or hear of women made to feel worthless in their houses, they will see having a profession as a protection of her dignity. I am not saying women are right to criticise those who choose to stay home and fulfil their duties as wives and mothers. But I can understand what pushed them to see being a housewife and a mother degrading. If a woman cooks and her family praise her food she will feel happy that she did something good for them and she will feel capable. If a woman cooks and her family disrespects her because they view her as the cook of the family then she will search for a different place and way in order for her to feel appreciated. If another woman tells her she chose to stay home to cook and look after children, she may see the black stamp on her dignity which she experienced herself or so often heard others saying that they experienced.

    I know it is annoying but once you understand where it is all coming from then you can at least explain that you feel fulfilled and appreciated enough.

    • Ws

      How true sis! I think that is why it is important for us to raise the next generation of men to respect women and the role that women take on in Islam.

      • Assalamu alaykum sister,

        I totally agree with you! I am too happy to find that other sisters share this opinion alhamdolillah. It gives me hope for the future. I don’t differentiate also between my daughter and son when it comes to picking after themselves, not messing the house, and cleaning after themselves. It is much easier for me to do it but I want to build habits in both of them inshaAllah.

        But respect is so important! Every Muslim has the right to be respected and treated well. It is so important our sons to learn that women have this right as the rest of mankind. That it is haram to look down, humiliate, disrespect, offend, and harm a Muslim(women including).

  5. aww. all this reminds me of the beautiful saying of the prophet saw that a women is gaurdian over her husbands house and his children and will be asked about this responsibility.
    sisters i often think life is so short there are mothers who work or they stay at home and their children are in school,yet they struggle to accopplish a days work yet alhamdulillah we manage to do all that with kids behind us all day, we succesfully homeschool,and hopefully we also make time for our husbands. So sisters isnt this an achievement in itself?
    other sisters might not admit it but they do envy us

  6. I also enjoyed Farah’s comment marshaAllah, and agree with it. I gave up a highly paid ‘respectable’ job to raise my daughter 2 years and I don’t regret it ever alhamdulilah!

    Umm R – on a different note, I am trying to find a post re receipe of spaghetti carbonara. Any help?

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