Are you thinking of homeschooling but unsure of where, when, and how to start? Do you often ask yourself if you are ready to add this extra unique occupation to your motherhood title? It’s natural to go into that thinking mode. Most, if not all homeschooling families, have their own story of how they finally came to making a huge decision to dive into homeschooling. I am very proud to say I am one of those homeschooling parents. For me, it involved some really deep thinking, thorough discussion with my spouse, communicating with mentors in the homeschool profession, and above all, some down time, first-class dua. Yes! First-class dua made sincerely with tears of hope and optimism that whatever the results are, everything is khayr (good) and by Allah’s qadr (decree).
Here are 9 tips I’d love to share if you’re ready to explore the homeschooling world:
1. Go on a dua mission with your family. You will need their full-fledged support no matter what. Communicate with them the power of dua.
2. Stay motivated that it will work out even if you experience some glitches along the way. The reality is that you will experience some. As parents, whether we homeschool or not, we will always experience some circumstances beyond our control. We just have to stay focused, be motivated, and continue our thirst for dua.
3. Try to engage your family as much as possible for their support. They are your number one support system.
4. Talk to veterans and newbies in the homeschool profession. Make them your number two support system.
5. Depending on where you reside, search for homeschool co-ops. They are a helpful resource and a huge blessing that is not in disguise. They are definitely not in disguise because they are out there, in numbers! Take advantage.
6. Make financial adjustments. The decision to homeschool can be demanding and would often require that a parent takes on the homeschool journey slowly and steadily but with full unwavering determination to make things work. Obviously, one parent, most of the time, the mum, will sacrifice everything and anything she has, to homeschool her children. Instead of seeing it as a financial strain, have an attitude of gratitude. See it as another form of rizq (provision) and a form of ibaadah (worship). Have the certainty that Allaah is providing you with financial means in many different ways that you cannot even fathom.
7. Let flexibility be your mantra. Don’t start to do too much when you’re a newbie. Take one step at a time. If you’re getting exhausted, be flexible and feel free to make adjustments here and there. Don’t feel sad when it seems as if not much is done on certain days. Many school teachers out there do their very best, yet sometimes get behind in their classrooms because it is obviously exhausting. So, give yourself a break and give yourself a big pat on your back.
8. Communicate often, especially when feeling overwhelmed. If you need to vent, feel free to do so. It’s normal. Don’t wait until you get burned out. A stitch in time saves nine.
9. And here is my final, most important tip: Have ways to regularly unwind your cluttered mind.
I purposely put tip #9 as the final tip because I really want parents who homeschool (especially mothers), to succeed at their best. To be successful doesn’t mean to be perfect. We can never be perfect. We can only work hard, put in our best, and strive for the final abode; Jannah. Hence, go out on dates with your husband if the need arises. Travel abroad with your family. Set priorities for yourself. Go and do anything that is halal and tayyib to rejuvenate you. Read, swim, write, or cook your favorite dish and munch it lovingly all by yourself, and don’t feel guilty for it. There’s no need to feel guilty at all. You’re doing so much already as a mother. If you don’t take care of YOU, how can your weak and unhappy physical body take care of others?
Maryam F cautiously delved and finally dived into the homeschool profession in September 2009, when her youngest child was 3 months old. She is a full-time home maker around the clock, a community health and nutrition educator by qualification, a writer and poet by heart, and a Muslimah by soul. She owns the online scholarship consulting firm Scholarship Plaza, www.scholarshipplaza.com,which was greatly inspired by her staunch advocacy for a debt-free college education.