Homeschooling, The Early Years

September 9, 2017

You don’t need a boxed curriculum or a “reading readiness” program to follow! New homeschooling parents want to know what they should do to teach their preschoolers, almost as though, it is a daunting task. My homeschooling confidence comes from experience, but mostly from the belief that, my children are good kids who enjoy learning. I also believe children will thrive as long as they have the proper guidance and support. Our children are born with Fitrah, they are pure and untainted. They will only know what you introduce to them, so give them good and they will accept it.

 

I have spent the last 16+ years reading books on parenting, teaching, religion, sociology and psychology, with the goal to be prepared for rearing children that would not have to recover from their childhood. I have also made many mistakes and learned lots a long the way. I continue to read such books and try new things. I pray for enlightenment and seek counsel from those who are far more knowledgeable than myself. I think back to when Shanaz was learning to read and the stress that came along with it. I had been brainwashed that a child should be reading by five but Shanaz was not. Fast forward to today and you can not pry a book from her hands. Both of my girls are avid readers and making reading part of our daily activities is what I attribute it to. Shanaz learned to read by me reading to her; It was as simple as that. The moment I stopped stressing over her reading and allowed her to enjoy the process; it just happened!

 

I can now say with Allah's Mercy and Guidance I am confidant and ready for any task put before me, especially teaching and rearing my babies who I have bore and nursed.  I will leave no stone unturned and I will try every avenue to give them good in this life and better in the next. It is my plight to also encourage other mothers to reclaim their children! 

 

I have compiled the following  to help them see how much their children are already learning and doing that will prepare them for more formal education in later years.

 

Curriculum Resources

Online activities, and all the wonderful resources offered by our communities such as the Masajid and public library. Get familiar with your local Masajid and spend as much time as possible in the Masjid with your children. There is so many great things to do and learn at the Masjid and library and both places are FREE! Below are a few books that helped me to shape my home education methods, I do hope you will read them and try something new in your early childhood education.

 

  • The Child In Islam   by Norma Tarazi {Absolute favorite parenting book!!!}

  • The Three R’s
    by Ruth Beechick

  • Teach Your Own
    by John Holt

  • Learning All the Time
    by John Holt

  • The Unhurried Homeschooler                 by Durenda Wilson

  • Better Late Than Early                              by Dr.Raymond Moore&Dorothy Moore

 

 
Classroom Environment:

 

Religious Education: Masajid, Sunday School, Maktab, Family Halaqah 


Home Economics: Cooking with Ummi, laundry, etc.


Reading Lab: Livingroom sofa, Ummi’s bed, backyard, library, park etc.


Social Studies: The community around us


Science Lab: The kitchen table, Ponds, zoos, gardens, farms, our own backyard


Arts and Crafts: The kitchen table or the picnic table outside, livingroom floor and ample supplies of materials


Math Lab: The kitchen table, the grocery store, anywhere that counting and grouping can be applied

 

Personalized Curriculum

Developed by Parents, and guided by the interests of their children. Start with a daily routine, such as mealtimes, reading time, Salaah time, work and play times, outside time, bath and bedtimes. (Disclaimer, I'm not strict with bedtimes. I see how they work for other families, however, as a working mother, I always like for my family to get the most out of each day & night together. So after dinner & baths I pretty much let them crash when and where they are comfortable.) 

 

Read books together about all sorts of things, like frogs, and bugs, and dinosaurs, and fire trucks and families and adventures and some girlie themes for your daughters. And then go see the real things! Make a lesson plan for a whole week just about frogs and then go visit a frogs habitat. We also love the Mini Muslim series that teaches moral stories, religious rhymes and duah to young children.

 

Take them with you when you run errands and go to appointments and out to eat, instead of leaving them with a babysitter. As they watch us interact with other adults they learn great social skills, in the safety and guidance of their parents.

 

Developing Large and Fine Motor Skills

We tend to be preoccupied with developing fine motor skills while raising children in a society lacking in active work and play that develops large motor skills. Get outside, every day if possible! Buy your children rain coats and boots and allow them to jump in puddles, make snowmen and go for walks in the woods. Go to the playground a few times a week and let them climb and run and swing and slide and play tag. (Disclaimer, I'm not the get dirty type of a mom, however, there's a dad for that! lol) If at anytime along your homeschool journey you want your child to experience something you personally can't fulfill, have them go with someone responsible who can facilitate it for you.

 

Schools use tracing wavy lines and following trails in workbooks to develop fine motor skills, but in the home, toddlers naturally do this during their play.

 

Here are some examples:

  • Tearing paper and cutting fabrics

  • Squeezing out sponges and rags

  • Playing with playdough

  • Opening jars

  • Constructing with Legos, playing with toys, lacing beads, etc.

  • Drawing in the mud with a stick

  • Working jigsaw puzzles

  • Dialing the toy telephone

  • Drawing with sidewalk chalk

  • Peeling a banana

  • Pouring liquids

 
Socialization:

Socialization happens best within the family, where you have established certain standards and morals and caring for one another comes naturally and is modeled for the little ones by those who are older. Interaction with other children is important too, so join a play group or attend a Co-op, let them play with kids at the park. Don't overwhelm yourself with thinking your children can only learn by being with other children their age. Children actually pick up alot of negative behaviors from their peers so be mindful with who you socialize your children with.

 

Make some friends who support you and your homeschooling efforts, and go on day trips together. The little ones will enjoy having another pint-sized playmate or two, and you will be close by to help them learn to settle disputes and to be gentle and kind to the babies and not hassle the older children too much. This is true socialization.

 

 

"Homeschool knowledge comes from experiences, and those experiences pave the way for future learning and comprehension."

 

 

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