Double Edged Sword

Double Edged Sword

by Umm Safiya

A double-edged sword – If you say something is “ double edged, you mean that its positive effects are balanced by its negative effects

Acting in two ways, having dual effect

(Collins dictionary)

Something that can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences

(Webster dictionary)

After 10 years of home schooling, the above saying describes to me, the whole experience in a nutshell

I have always been very honest, maybe too honest, when asked about my home-schooling experiences over the years. I felt it was necessary as I saw too many sisters had this “fluffy” idea of what home schooling really was. Many were inspired purely by blogs, and vlogs, Pinterest pictures and unrealistic stories. All they saw was that home schooling was some fun, super, connecting and just plain wonderful experience. They would start, only to finish a short time later, because it wasn’t quite what they expected…

Now, don’t get me wrong, home schooling can, and is, many times, all of the above, but what these blogs don’t show is the real “other” side of home schooling (the other side of the sword)

For my family, we’ve always believed that home schooling was the best option for all of us, and there wasn’t any better available. This meant, that we were going to have to work real hard to make it work. Cos when you don’t have another option, that’s what you gotta do, right?

I understood, that like anything else in this world that’s important, and deserves commitment, that home-schooling was going to take lots and lots of hard work and dedication. This is the truth about dunya and akhira. Nothing valuable is easy to obtain and hold tight to. And just like relationships with friends, husbands and family, our relationship with our children and home schooling would take a lot of hard work, if it was to stand the test of time.

At first I thought to myself “how on earth am I going to find the time? How will I juggle it all? Is this even possible?” Throughout the years, I still find myself saying the above …. What does that mean ?

It means that home schooling is a huge challenge. It is a heavy burden to bear, as is any worthy task we take to better the lives of us and our children for dunya and akhira.

It is also, amazing, rewarding, fun, exciting, tear jerking, heartwarming, interesting… and more!

It is an opportunity to develop a bond with your children that really is something special. Some days, it can put a heavy strain on it, other days it brings you that bit closer, as you share the growth, education, progress and a view into the world of your child that many parents don’t have the opportunity to experience.

The key is, I believe, to take the good with the bad. Like any situation, everything has its “ pros and cons” but ideally, we need to remember all the pros, when we are experiencing a lot of cons, if you know what I mean?!

Some people may say ”oh but what about this, and what about that?” Bringing up all sorts of negative points that may arise sometimes, in a home-schooling family. I just say, and? What about those things? Don’t all situations have their problems? Schools, relationships, day to day things etc, all come with their problems. Do you run away from them or try to fix them? Of course, you just accept that nothing is perfect, it’s a bad day, or whatever, and do you best to make it “better”

Now don’t get me wrong here, I understand that for some mums, or families, who face exceptional situations, their only choice is to stop or pause home schooling for a period of time or permanently, and that is only for every family to decide. We are all the shepherds of our own flocks.

My point is, when you’re having a bad day, week or even month, remind yourself that everything in this life has its pros and cons. Think about all the reasons you decided to home school in the first place. These are all still valid, even if it doesn’t feel like its going real well at the time.

Now for some tips

**Doa, and prayer

Allah is the best source of help, and none other than Him can make things possible. Pray constantly and ask for His help and that He gives you steadfastness. Without His Mercy, we wouldn’t have got this far. Alhamdulilah !!!!!!!

**Stop, revive, survive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why do you think schools have so many holidays and pupil free days?!?!? Because kids drive them crazy that’s why!!!!!😊

Make sure that you and your kids take time out when you need to. It is completely normal to feel annoyed, irritated and worn out sometimes. We often feel like this with many of life’s situations, and as humans, sometimes we just need a break from each other. Don’t feel guilty, do yourselves all a favor and take some time out!

**Keep things simple

Do not try to complicate things for yourself just because someone else recommends you do a whole heap of this or that. Stick to what is within your means, but the key is, consistency! Yes you are doing enough, yes you’re capable, and yes! Your kids think you’re amazing !

**Get help when you need it, and vent as much as possible

Do not be scared or embarrassed to show the world you are not some super hero robot! It is ok to get help around the house, driving, or even with the kids schooling. You all deserve it 😊and you’ll all benefit from it. No! you are not a failure! No! your kids are not missing out on anything!