Asalamualaykum Wa RahmautAllahi Wa Barakatuhu.
Religious and educational success is a dream all dedicated Muslim mothers have. It’s a position every mother yearns for her child to be in. With the current traditional school system, many Muslim women struggle to achieve this dream.
As the daughter of one of the first Muslim mothers to homeschool her children in Australia, I can tell you this dream is no easy feat, but with tawakkul (reliance on Allah swt), the right intention, and a kind of perseverance that I think is exclusive to mothers, it can certainly be done.
My mother was simply the cleverest for realising that I would not blossom, I would not prosper, in an environment where children are left to figure out the world without their own parents to guide them through it.
I was homeschooled for 10 years before going to school. They were the best 10 years of my life. The remaining 3 were the worst. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic… but I think you understand my feelings towards the traditional schooling method, yes?
Throughout my homeschooling years I was happy, I was content, I was comfortable. Everyday my siblings and I would wake, memorise and revise our Quran, then begin doing our maths, English, HSIE, science, food technology, woodwork etc. Homeshcooling is beautiful in the sense that if you’re lacking in a certain topic, then guess what!? We have all day to improve on it, there are no unrealistic time constraints. And if you’re talented in another area, then oh my goodness… it’s so much fun as you further your knowledge and increase your skill levels in something you love. The flexible nature of homeschooling means it’s the perfect learning environment. Sometimes one of us would fall ill, which meant a full 3-day biology course. Or we might read a news article about the Israeli occupation in Palestine, which meant a day of political science and debating amongst ourselves. Homeschooling has the capacity to widen the scope and critical thinking skills of a child, which isn’t something that happens at school.
I did not enjoy going to school and reminded my mother of this every day. She would advise me calmly that nothing has changed… my ideas, my values, my independent way of thinking, and reminded me that all she had taught me, Quran, Hadith, Sunnan, need to be applied for their meaning to truly be grasped. Furthermore, their application led to me being a high achiever.
At school, I was classified by my peers and teachers as a ‘high achiever’. I was confused by this, because to me, the effort I put into my work was nothing special. I now realise that it was because of the unique characteristics of a homeschooler, such as self-motivation, perseverance (without threats of detentions or warning letters), dedication to work, etc. Homeschooling allowed academic achievement to be a fairly simple feat.
So, from an Islamic opinion, my mother realised the dream of religious and educational success the right way. My mother raised me with Islam and taught me secular knowledge as a supplement to the process of developing my mind. After that, she released me to a small, controlled section of our reality (aka school), so that I could practice and perfect what I had been taught. Now I feel as though I am equipped to face the world.
Alhamdulilah for the blessing of Islam, and the ability to homeschool your children. It’s imperative for your sake firstly, and then your children’s that you continue to try your best and strive for success in the dunya and akhira.
May Allah (swt) allow for a smooth journey, and your children to be of those who revive the deen and be the cause of its prosperity in the West.