©2017 by The Halaal Household.

HOME EDUCATION

An Extension of Parenting!

The development of a child's body, mind & spirit best happens in a secure, loving environment. When their foundational development is properly in place, their education occurs much more readily. They cannot be rushed or pressured, or we risk shortchanging the process. Homeschooling brings families closer together, lets learning happen anywhere, anytime, and gives children the freedom to explore individual interests and tailored areas of study. Other benefits include allowing for shared learning experiences among siblings and other home educated children, exploring the world with field trips and learning adventures, and the opportunity to nurture and provide individual attention to your children.



Some families almost seem forced into homeschooling their children after other failed education methods. Whereas I made the decision I wanted to homeschool before my children were born. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice for us and with the current climate of the world we live in, I really don't see another choice. My siblings and I went to city-bound public schools. At the time my parents knew nothing about homeschooling nor did we have Islamic schools in our area. We had the best education our parents could offer us. My parents would supplement us with summer reading programs, day camps, and Islamic Sunday schools. However, I believe influence can be poison to impressionable young minds. You are the company you keep! Never underestimate the power of having your children in environments that are not conducive to their system of belief. I found that all the cool things my peers were doing, happened to also be things that Islam directly forbade. My saving grace was watching older family members make negative choices and not wanting the same fate. How unfair is it for a child that is put in a war zone and expected to survive with no protection? Many of our schools have become wars zones for our children. My job as a parent is to protect and support my children. Homeschooling allows me to create a safe haven for them until they are ready for their own personal Jihad.

 
Image by Element5 Digital

WHAT IS YOUR CHILD'S LEARNING STYLE?

YOUR WAY MAY NOT BE THEIR WAY!

Knowing your child’s learning style is KEY to successful homeschooling. If your child has been overwhelmed, frustrated and disconnected with homeschooling, you may be approaching it in a way they can’t relate to. A lesson can be approached in a number of different ways and your child has a unique way of learning that will work the best for them. There are many different combinations of learning styles and it is important to note that no one is ever just one concrete style. We all learn in a variety of ways and each time your child is just “not getting it” you may need to re-evaluate and approach it in a different way.

 

CHILD LEAD LEARNING

This is probably the main reason home education is so different from school. We all learn more effectively, and it’s more fun, if we can learn about the stuff we like. You can also go at the child’s pace, rather than the child having to go at the class’s pace.

ADJUST THEIR ACADEMICS

If your child really struggles with certain subjects, if they have “uneven skills”, but excels at others, you can structure their learning accordingly, which helps to boost their confidence. Some children feel shy to express they don't understand something in a traditional school environment, out of fear that they will be teased or labeled.

SUPPORT & SOCIALIZATION

The social aspect of home education is often mentioned but you can join local homeschooling groups where you meet other families who are homeschooling. This helps to network with mothers who have similar morals, values, and beliefs. Parents begin sharing skills and resources to teach children and before you know it a homeschool co-op is born. Home education groups can provide great social interactions and there are also groups on Facebook.

 

Don’t listen to any negativity around you from either people giving it or the thoughts in your head. Remember why you wanted to homeschool your children and be proud that you are able to follow through with it.

  • Be happy

  • Think positively

  • Learn from your mistakes

  • Laugh often

  • Stay strong

  • Value all Allah has given you

  • Be proud of the mother you are

  • Practice Selfcare 

  • Be thankful

  • Believe in yourself

  • Make memories

  • Love unconditionally

 

RETHINK  EDUCATION

set a path for homeschooling.

RETHINK DAYCARE

Childcare can be one of the biggest expenses involved with raising children. No matter how good a daycare center claims to be, it doesn’t match the love and nurturing care that you can provide for your children. Workers at daycare centers are employees  and they won’t bring genuine attention to instill the morals and values that are important to you. They cant give your children unconditional love or nurturing. Do what it takes to revamp work schedules to keep Mom home or mom and dad can take turns providing care when the other is at work. As a stay-at-home parent, you will eliminate the expenses associated with working outside the home and may drop into a lower tax bracket. An added bonus is you get to experience all of their first time milestones.

RETHINK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

When you consider the things children want and “need” for class, school supplies, safety, sports, and fitting in, free public education is pretty pricey. Private schools, obviously, are even more expensive. While homeschooling is not for everyone, it offers you more freedom and can also be totally free when you have good resources.

RETHINK MIDDLE SCHOOL

For many middleschoolers, peer pressure is an ugly fact of life. We need to encourage our children to make the right decisions, and those decisions mean that our children will have to know when to do the right thing even if it goes against what's 'cool.' Teaching tweens to be individuals takes time! Homeschooling allows them time to figure out who they are and to choose friends who are like minded with similar interests and values.

RETHINK HIGHSCHOOL

As long as you’re rethinking, go all the way. The homeschool movement has caused the system to rethink the word “education" altogether. Highschoolers can take college classes for both high school and college credit. General degree requirements can be fulfilled from home and affordably. Most county colleges will allow homeschoolers to attend at the age of 16 with a simple placement exam. The credits they earn can be transferred to a four year college easily.

 

CORE PRINCIPLES FOR CHILDREN

START WITH SEVEN!

Truth – Always tell the truth.

Justice – Always stand up for what is right. If you see someone doing something wrong, stop them or tell an adult.

Harmony – We breathe because trees give us oxygen. Everything on earth is in harmony. Take care of nature.
Never litter.

Balance – Don’t eat too much or watch too much TV. Always have balance.

Order – Respect your parents. Respect your elders. One day, you will be an adult and you will want to be respected too.

Reciprocity – Be nice to people and make friends with people who are also nice to you.

Propriety – If you are doing school work, know that it is time to learn, not play. Be on your best behavior everywhere you go.

- N. Asante

TEACH LITTLE GIRLS

  • THAT SHE IS DIGNIFIED, GRACEFUL & RESPECTED

• To never follow the crowd, her uniqueness is what makes her special

• That she is beautiful just the way she was created & designed to be

• To be neat and orderly

• To care for her own room & help her mother with household chores

• That the best companion is a good book

• To care for her person, keeping the best hygiene & a lady like appearance

• To exercise a quiet reserve in the presence of boys and men

• That all cheap/sly talk is unbecoming

• That no one has the right to exploit her or her body

• That modesty is a priceless treasure, and will prove to be a great protector for her

• That her brothers are better escorts than most other young men

• That her mother is her best companion and counselor

• That her thoughts or conversation should be good and worthy of her time

• That she should be helpful & kind

• To choose her friends very wisely/friends she can look up to or grow with

• That there will be time enough to learn the wonders of the world after she has

learned that which would keep her safe in it.

• That the old rule, “A place for everything and everything in its

place,” is a good one

• That she should eat /cook good food & drink plenty of water for her  health & beauty.

TEACH LITTLE BOYS

  • TO BE LEADERS NOT FOLLOWERS

• To be strong and brave

• To shun evil companions

• To respect wisdom

• To be gentle with girls /woman

• To be courteous

• To be prompt

• To be industrious

• To be truthful

• To be honest

• To prefer the companionship of his sisters over other girls

• To honor his mother and father

• To watch his temper

• To discard profanity

• To be thoughtful and attentive

• To keep himself pure

• To be his sister’s protector

• To dress for success

• To use common tools skillfully

• To care for his own room

• To do all kinds of housework

• To earn money and how manage it

• To be neat and orderly in his habits and appearance

• To be self-reliant

• To be his father’s partner

 

"Teach your children to learn and they will learn how to teach themselves."

 

HOMESCHOOLING AT A GLANCE

Home Education Works for Us

We have had the pleasure of homeschooling for the past seven years. There has been several highs and lows but hands down it has been the best decision for our family, our children's education and their Deen. We have three beautiful daughters: Sajwa 16, Shanaz 12, Suhailah 3, & One VERY energetic little boy: Silahudeen 6. We are currently homeschooling Shanaz, Silahudeen & Suhailah. Sajwa attends a medical arts & health occupations program at a technical institute. She too was homeschooled until we decided the technical school could better prepare her for her career goals.  Our children are different in every way. We are eagerly trying to foster their unique qualities and abilities. I have found that learning our children is one of the magnificent gifts of homeschooling. Through learning your children you know how to give them what they need to flourish.

LOOP SCHEDULING

Loop scheduling

Planning a loop schedule allows you to stress less about how often a subject gets done in your homeschool. Loop scheduling doesn’t assign a particular subject to a particular day. Instead, you have a list (loop) of work that you do during a certain time period. When it is time to work, you simply move to the next subject on the list and start there.

Let me show you how this could work. Let’s say you wanted to do history, social studies, Quran memorization, and science with your child on a regular basis. You know on any give day you have about an hour to spend working on these content area subjects.

  • On Monday, you might sit down and do a history assignment that takes 45 minutes. Then you use the remaining 15 minutes to read a chapter in social studies.

  • Tuesday, when you sit down to work, you move next to Quran memorization. You might recite a Surah you are working on and then listen to a reciter for the same Surah. That takes up the entire hour of your time.

  • Wednesday you may have an appointment which requires you to be out of the home.

  • On Thursday, you can move right into a science experiment and lab report which take about 30 minutes and then spend the other 30 reading the next chapter in the history book and listening to the narration.

  • What will you do on Friday? Begin with Social studies, because this subject receives minimal attention this week.

So although we missed Wednesday we looped in Social studies so it still gets done. So now you're not stressed about coursework because you haven’t missed anything. The next day you just pick up where you left off and do the next thing.

OBSERVE YOUR CHILDREN

All home educators go through the phase "Am I doing enough?!", sometimes we continue to revisit this phase throughout our homeschool journey. We look around, seeing what others are doing and start feeling like we aren’t doing enough, planning enough, children are not learning enough. Use your child as your guide. What is his attitude toward his schoolwork? Does he appear frustrated? Bored? How long does it take her to finish her work? Does it seem too difficult, too easy, or does it provide just enough challenge to keep her engaged?

A daily homeschool schedule consists of planning out what you feel is an appropriate amount of schoolwork for your children each day. If they work diligently and finish early, they'll have earned the extra free time. If they dawdle and it takes them all day, they’re choosing to cut into their free time.

There may be times when you can tell that it's taking them longer than usual to complete their work not because they are dawdling, but because they need help understanding a difficult concept. There will also be times when you can tell that they are finishing too quickly because the work is too easy.

If you’re a new homeschooling parent, it may be difficult to tell the difference. Don’t stress. Spend some time observing your child. You may have a struggling learner who needs to slow down or a gifted learner who needs a greater challenge.

What is too much for one student may not be enough for another, so don’t rely on arbitrary guidelines, such as the curriculum publisher’s schedule or a typical course of study.

Those are tools, but they should never be your taskmaster. Don’t fret and worry and panic so much about the future and choices you’ll need to make four years down the road – that you forget to live in the moment. In the here and now with your children.

TOP 7 REASONS WHY I HOMESCHOOL!

1. I can not supervise the environment of public or private schools. I know how my children are being taught & what they are being taught. When my children are home I know they are -for the most part- safe. 



2. The Islamic school close to home is not feasible at this time for my family.



3. The public school system is an environment unfriendly to religion, especially Islaam. In these environments teachers and administrators actually, work against the parents & teachings of Islaam. Children can pick up hostilities & poor behaviors. Muslim Girls seem to receive the most pressure & discomfort, especially if they wear hijab. Children experiencing this dual message often become confused and rebellious.



4. I want to remove my children from an environment of drugs, violence, alcohol, sexual experimentation, gangs and peer pressure. (For as long as possible) Homeschooling allows me to oversee their education in a healthy, safe, secure, Islamic centered environment. 



5. We can set a school schedule more friendly to the demands of our lifestyle. When homeschooling you don't have to worry about conflict arising from a desire to have the children attend Jumu'ah prayer, or making the Salaat during the day,  A homeschooling family sets its own schedule. Classes can be held on Saturday and Sunday, over summer breaks & holidays. Our school studies are light during Ramadan and we take time off to celebrate Eid.


6. My children have social interactions with their peers regularly. The benefit of homeschooling is being able to direct them to healthy associations & structured activities.


7. I want my children to be critical thinkers & self-motivated learners. I also get to share in my children's learning

experiences & milestones.  Parents don't need to be scholars in order to homeschool. In many cases, parents learn right along with their children. Sometimes even choosing topics they themselves wish to explore. We use a certified online core curriculum & supplement with other learning tools. It takes all the guesswork out of coordinating your children's education plan.

ALL SOCIALIZATION IS NOT GOOD!

Most Homeschool Moms would agree that we are asked about the importance of socialization so many times. You almost know when the question is coming. "So, what about socialization?"  I'm totally amazed at how ignorant people are to the world around them and how it was designed to classify us. Socialization in the public school system simply teaches your child how to group themselves in their particular social economic statuses early in life.

Family, peers, schools, mass media, community, religious organizations/affiliations, recreational activities, sports & volunteer groups, all play a major role in the socialization of a child, and ultimately their development. With so many ways for my children to develop socially, why on earth would I be worried about them missing out. It is our responsibility as parents to choose carefully from those social avenues listed above, to have our children learn, grow and develop from. The consequences of your choice can be life altering and severe!

Ok, so let's stop and ask ourselves; what is the true meaning of socialization?! Socialization is a method used to prepare children to successfully navigate, communicate, behave & live in the real world. Which means learning to interact and deal with people of all ages, abilities, races, and backgrounds.  I'm sorry, but the public schools in my area can't offer my children that.  In my opinion, playground/locker room socialization is actually detrimental to our children on so many levels. Children are acquiring the rules of behavior, systems of beliefs and attitudes from other children who "ARE NOT" being reared with the same morals and values we are trying so hard to instill at home and in our Masajid.  Please tell me how this is beneficial to my child.

Children also begin to follow groups in school where they are easily accepted by their peers. Sorry, but for me this is tragic! The idea that each child your children will socialize within the school, has the same opportunities that foster good moral conduct and success is an illusion. These children spend most of their waking hours in the care of school personnel; who in fact are not being paid to raise your children and instill value in them. The children in the schoolyard are being deprived. Peer pressure and influence is real! I find that by far the most detrimental stage of this happens in middle school. A good student is often looked down upon for academic achievement. It's not cool to be smart, and particularly for minority children. This is a concept I can't get over. I look at my daughter and some of the things she says and does would simply make her a target for this "social abuse." These are the characteristics of her that bring me great joy. I am so grateful, I can offer her a safe environment to be her true self and not have to try to be accepted by others. Therefore we carefully select activities for our children to attend with other like-minded peers with similar morals as well.

As the primary agents of socialization and the first educators, the parents should assume the essential role and responsibility of setting a foundation that cultivates, teaches and nurtures the child. NOT THE SCHOOL! The role of religion and moral conduct has been diminished by our society and it's popular culture. The socialization process has such an enormous impact on our children and they're overall development. I can not afford to take that chance. We will continue to explore ways to help my children establish healthy and beneficial relationships outside of the home. Structured socialization, is influential in a positive way. This is not to say there won't be any negativity, but I would like to have faith that the good outweighs the bad in these chosen social environments.

Structured Socialization that is beneficial for my children's growth and development are the only kinds of socialization I'm interested in. For example:
Organized spelling bees, debate teams, math leagues, and science clubs give homeschoolers a chance to compete and socialize academically. Sports activities like soccer, field hockey, and track also allow them to interact with their peers. They build esteem, leadership skills and learn cooperation. Religious programs at the Masjid also offer your children a chance to be in a diverse setting and allows them to expound on a different level. Play dates or recreational outings with their peers who have parents with like-minded morals and who you trust are also great ways to establish social bonds. During these activities, they work, play & learn with diverse groups of children and also some children who have similar upbringing and values. At the end of the day, the sole purpose of these activities is constructive and not destructive!

Do not let people fool you into believing that if you homeschool your children, they will lack in some kind of social development. This is hogwash!

 

"Homeschooling really is beautiful.  It's not just sitting down all day and doing book work. No. Not even close. It's mothers (and fathers)  interacting with their children and instilling morals, reading stories on various topics, praying Salaat, running errands, learning how to count money in the check out line, cooking and baking treats, serving others, discovering together, lots of time spent outdoors, defying stereotypes, removing labels, focusing on child centered education and learning all of the time. "

 

HOME LIBRARY

I've found these books to be of great benefit to me and my family.

We try to find and implement at least one new concept from each book we read. We have classics that hold such a special place on our bookshelves. The classics we tend to reread whereas other books serve a limited purpose.
There are some books that restore your faith and optimism or those that challenge you to take action. Nonetheless, books are very special to us. I will use this section of the blog to showcase books that in some way have helped me to grow as a woman & wife, in my parenting and homeschooling journey.
{In no particular order!}

Leonard Sax, MD, PHD

BOYS ADRIFT

This book deals directly with issues concerning unmotivated boys. I was lent this book from a friend and I could not put it down. I finished the book in a day. At the time I was trying to figure my next course of action for my son's education. After returning the book I felt the need to purchase my own copy.

Durenda Wilson

THE UNHURRIED HOMESCHOOLER

A simple and sweet perspective of homechooling without force. This book is very short and can be finished in one sitting. It offers practical advice from an experienced homeschooling mother of seven. This book has some biblical reflections.

Norma Tarazi

THE CHILD IN ISLAM

I purchased this book before I even gave birth to my first child. This book helped to shape my view of parenting and develop my personal style of parenting. I have found myself lost in this book with every new baby. I highly recommend this book and it is featured as one of my favorites.

 

"Whatever your stage of life, remember you’re right where Allah has allowed you to be. He chose you for this task, for these children, for His plan. Trust His plan, for surely Allah is the best of planners "


Sakinah Ishmael

 
 

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