Friday, February 14, 2014

Featured Muslimah: Diary of a Muslim HomeSchool


Bismillaah
"All praise and thanks belongs to Allaah. Lord & Creator of all the worlds. May He bestow His peace & mercy upon the Prophet, his family, his companions, and on all of those who follow them in truth until The Last Day." Aameen


As salaamu alaykunna! 


Al Hamdulillaah thanks everyone for being here and reading. For today's featured Muslimah I was able to interview one of the most popular homeschooling blogs around Ma shaa Allaah Diary of a Muslim Homeschool!

I am excited to feature them, and they was able to answer all my questions. I will say with this interview I was a tad bit selfish and wanted to know how does she have time to really sit down, do printables, homeschool etc.! May Allaah reward the sister with good in this life and the next Aameen.

Enough about my thoughts...keep reading to learn more about such an awesome blog!


1. What's the name of your blog and/or Facebook page?


2. How long have you been doing your blog/page?

I think I started 3 years ago next month inshaAllah, 3 months after starting to home ed!

3. Why do you homeschool? What motivates you?
Why do I homeschool? That is the million dollar question! My reasons for home schooling are many and will probably bore you to tears to go through every one of them! I'll try to be brief inshaAllah.
My reasons have changed a lot since we started, and I think they are always changing as we grow and develop and enter into different stages of life.
My eldest did begin her educational "career" in an Islamic School when she was 4. We actually moved cities to get her in to one. At the time, being young parents we were quite naive in thinking an Islamic School would be the solution  to what we felt were problems within the State School System.
However, we were not at all happy with the Islamic School as we found our daughter was being exposed to things (from both teachers as well as pupils) which we felt were not appropriate or indeed, against Qur'an and Sunnah - which was not something we at all expected!.
We felt at that time, that although homeschooling was the last thing we ever wanted to do, if we wanted to raise our children in a way pleasing to Allah, we had no choice but to start home edding Alhamdulillah. And so our journey began!
Since starting, I have to say that it is the best thing we could ever have done Alhamdulillah, and although we started out because we felt we had to, now we definitely homeschool through choice!
 I have found so many benefits which I never at all perceived before we started on so many different levels; Islamicaly, socially and academically! My family has grown closer together - during the 3 months my eldest was in school, I felt I was running a bed & breakfast, not a home! She would come home tired, we'd have an hour before it was time for dinner, clean up and bed! Now, I feel I am running a home.  I feel like I have stepped up to the plate so-to-speak and I'm taking my role as a mother more seriously.

My kids are able to work at a pace that is right for them in this moment, therefore are able to work to their full potential inshaAllah. If they get something quickly, we can skip ahead, if they don't get something, we can spend more time on it or leave it completely and come back in a few months or even years when they are ready inshaAllah.
The number one thing which motivates us, is Allah. Any benefits to homeschooling that we see from a worldly point of view, are totally superseded by the primary reason we home educate, which is to raise our children to worship Allah, to know for what purpose they were created. This is the motivation and driving force behind our homeschooling endeavours.
We want to live according to the Qur'an and Sunnah to the best of our knowledge and ability. We have high academic aspirations for our children, however, more than that, we want to nurture them upon their fitra and to grow to be strong Muslims and to be of service to Islam inshaAllah.
If my motivation was for anything other than to please Allah, believe me I would have given up a looong time ago!
Sorry, I tried to be brief...and in my mind this is a brief summary of why we homeschool! But I couldn't capture the essence with anything less! I hope you are still awake!

4. I enjoy visiting your page! What tips do you have for homeschooling beginners?
Alhamdulillah, barakAllahu feeki. Everyone is so different. What works for one family, may not work for another. So even with my suggestions here, that's all they are, suggestions based on my own experience which may or may not suit you....so take my tips with a pinch of salt!

I would tell a beginner, to write out why you want to homeschool. Put it onto paper. Your reasons will probably change as you go, but write them down anyway. It can be easy to forget why you started when your day doesn't go quite so well (normal people have "bad" days!)..... but that piece of paper may help remind you and stop you from wanting to give up at a time you feel everything is too much, and help you to refocus!
If you went to school as a kid, then de-school yourself!!!! Everything you learnt about "school" as a child, erase it from your consciousness, because home schooling is not school-at-home! Give yourself and your family time to adjust and learn what works for you! If you find something does not work, you are free to move onto something else that does inshaAllah! Do what works for you and your kids and don't worry about what others are doing.
Don't be afraid to ask other homeschooolers for advise and support. It really does help to know other homeschooling families - and even if there is no one local to you, Alhamdulillah there are some great homeschooling sisters online throughout the world who really can help inshaAllah and give you that support.


5. What is the toughest part when homeschooling?
Keeping the house clean!!!!!!!! That is my biggest gripe and my toughest struggle! When a house is lived in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, its really hard to keep it together! Sometimes I just have to ignore it...otherwise I go nuts!

6. How do you make time for yourself? 
It really depends. Sometimes I get up before everyone else does - I love when the house is quiet and still, I can wake up with a cup of tea in piece and do something beneficial for myself without being bugged, or without feeling guilty my attention is on something, because everyone is still asleep!
My kids have always had a strict early bed-time routine, and so evenings are always free for me Alhamdulillah, but obviously my husband is around then so its not the same as in the morning when I am completely independent with my time!
I definitely need my evening free without the kids though! I need to know there is a time in the day I can "shut off!"

7.  What are some things you learned about yourself as a teacher and a mother? 
I am learning all the time subhanAllah! Hindsight is a wonderful thing right. I have learnt that I have more patience than I thought I did.....although admittedly that is still a personal work-in-progress! I've learnt that being a mother is the most important "job" I could ever have, as it is a constant challenge to continue to adapt and change as my children get older in order to meet their changing needs.
One of the biggest lessons I have, is to know that I as a mother, am more important than friends are, to my children. When we started homeschooling I made the mistake of scheduling social activities almost every day because I feared the "social myth" - however Alhamdulillah, I realised that as a mother, I am more important than friends, especially the younger the children are.
I am constantly re-evaluating my role, as I learn more, and understand more what motherhood and raising children entails. Motherhood, like teaching for me is definitely a learn-on-the-job kind of role! Sometimes I get it right....and sometimes I get it totally wrong! (cringe!)

8. Nobody never told you that when you decided to be a homeschooler you would _______
become so against traditional mainstream schooling! -the more I gain experience in home education, the more I understand how children learn, and see how much dumbing down goes on in (most) schools!  .....its not until you are out of the system that you can see that!

9. As a woman how do you strive to still feel like an adult? What are you doing for personal self growth and development?
Okay, to feel like an adult, then Alhamdulillah we are blessed that where we live, we have a great little community of several homeschooling families who are upon the way of the Salaf, and we try to get together around once a month in the evening with no kids for a grown up night...no kids! (although it is hard not to talk about them!). That one evening is a boost to feel like an individual, rather than just "mama". Its almost like a battery
re-charge!
For my personal self growth and development, I feel it is important to keep on studying. Right now, my major focus above anything else is learning Arabic inshaAllah.. If I can master the Arabic Language, then it will open up a whole world of Islamic Knowledge which just simply is not available in the English!
I have to also admit, I do enjoy reading self-help and  food-as-medicine books to unwind in the evening (I know it sounds quite sad!). But I have read some pretty awesome books, and its nice to read something like that at the end of the day when I'm too tired to do anything which requires effort,  but is still some-what beneficial!

10. For my own personal self (yes I'm being selfish here) Can you please tell me how you make time to do printables, homeschool, parent, and then blog? What is your schedule or daily routine?

I don't do as much as I really would like to, so I am always re-jigging to try to fit in different things. I am not an organised person, as much as I try to be! I need a semi-structure....an idea of what needs to be done but nothing which is set rigidly in stone.
I'm still working on getting to a place where I feel that everything has a smooth running order....I don't know if I will ever get there, but I guess I have a vague pattern to most days.

  •  I like to get up 1-2 hours before fajr when everyone is asleep, around 4:30. ( Its winter now so fajr is late,). This is when I enjoy my tea, and psyche myself up for the day!  This is when I like to do my own study.
  • After fajr is when we do Qur'an.
  • Then its breakfast.
  • Once the kitchen is cleaned we get on with homeschooling - during which time is when I usually (not always) will cook dinner if it needs to be done. (I always cook for a couple of days at a time) ideally, I like to be done with school by lunch because I like my afternoon free as much as the kids do!
  • If everything with school is finished, then the afternoon is to do whatever we want or whatever needs to be done. Chores, play, catch up....whatever the day brings!
  • Before dinner will be tidy-up time so that after we have eaten, all that needs to be done is kitchen clean up and, get the kids to bed so we can come downstairs to a child-free tidy-ish place and switch off for a couple of hours! (I love my kids....but I need my evening break without them or any signs of them! lol)
  • I like to go to sleep around 9:30/10 (if I am being sensible!). - The Summer time will be a whole new routine though when the days are longer!

Writing my day out like that makes it look so easy mashAllah...why do I complain about what I need to do!! lol
 Like I said, most days don't run smoothly, and we don't get everything done everyday. If we work on the Qur'an and get our homeschooling done, then we have had a good day even if nothing else got seen to! I have found that limiting outside the home activities makes getting everything done less stressful and easier to manage Alhamdulillah.

Blogging is a hobby for me. I don't schedule time to blog or prepare printables. Its usually whenever I have abit of time here and there.
 I write about things I would like to read myself! I struggle a lot with homeschooling, so by blogging, writing  articles, or putting up something to benefit others; it really helps me to work through my own thoughts and struggles - its like a self-therapy Alhamdulillah!


Maa Shaa Allaah :-) I really enjoyed this interview! If you want to be featured on "Featured Muslimah" send an e-mail to mariampoppins@gmail.com or principal@mariampoppins.com



No comments:

Post a Comment

We love comments! Feel free to share your thoughts!