Posts Tagged ‘homeschooling’

I had an odd lump in my throat when I dropped of LF2 and LF3 off at school; she sat wistfully on the sofa. ” Do you want to come with me to drop them off'” ” No, Mama.” It felt so weird like was I punishing her. ” I don’t want people to ask me why I am not coming to school.”

Her name was on the school list, I guess her withdrawal letter hadn’t been processed yet. No new backpack or lunchbox for her. LF2 got this whole set and I finally gave in got LF3 the Star Wars one he wanted. It was his first day of kindergarten (Am on an anti-brands promotion binge, would not get him Toy story 3 paraphernalia or Iron man 2 sneakers- meanest mommy in the world.) No back to school night, no first day of school pictures with shiny new shoes and a new outfit.

“Come on we will be late,” LF2 called. This will be interesting, may be she can learn some responsibility now. She is the second child but will be the eldest in the family at school.  Her older sister won’t be there to take care of her, to make sure that they weren’t running late.

I finally enrolled her in the K12 online school program. It didn’t help that her ‘school’ will start two weeks after her siblings- It’s done, I will  be her teacher … but they call me her “learning coach” and the lady who will guide us, the teacher??? I just received an email showing me then we can log in.

She is fasting almost everyday and she is only 9. I like having her around- I didn’t realize how much I missed her. And I am much calmer with her too. Maybe that’s just because I am fasting. Ya Allah, make this easy on me and even easier on her. Ameen.

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Today I went to visit the home study coordinator at LF#1’s school.  Earlier in the month I spoke to the CAVA people at the Book Festival. I have to make a decision and I needed a nudge in the right direction. You know Allah send signs and we choose to acknowledge them or ignore them.  Instead of  a nudge I got a big push. I heard this on the news. These kids were in middle school in suburbia. Even if the stats are exaggerated I can not take the chance that my child will accidently walk into middle school CHILDREN engaged in sexual activities, I have thought of homeschooling off and on for a very long time. I read Sheikh Hamza Yousuf & John Gatto. His Underground History of American Education is a fascinating read, its available online for a free read. Watched these wonderful Muslim families for inspiration.

Homeschooling frightens people; they start thinking extremist, on the fringes of society, hippies, loony. I am just plain scared that I won’t be the best teacher for my children.
Will I be organized enough? My husband is concerned that our kids won’t be able to compete with kids attending schools. Both of us attended top notched colleges, so he expects that from our children.

InshaAllah, I plan to take a  baby step, I’m going to start my eldest next year- I can’t swim until I step into the water. I spend 2-3 hours with her going over homework, tests, stuff she didn’t ‘get’ in a class filled with 32 kids. So I should make the commitment and get her out of the system. I will still have 2 in school. I will have to make a LOT of changes but if I don’t- If I don’t change direction, I may end up where I am heading (Lao Tsu).

At least a million American home school their kids. It’s not common knowledge that ‘accomplished’ people like Sally Ride & Sandra Day O’ Connor were home schooled. Not that these are my role models but it may sway some: Will Smith and John Travolta home school their kids.  Francis S. Collins, the head of the public part of Human Genome project, was homeschooled and never followed any type of formal curriculum.

Allah’s Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said,

All of you are shepherds and each one is responsible for his flock. A leader of a people is a shepherd and responsible for them. A man is a shepherd over his family and is responsible for them. A woman is a shepherd over her husband’s house and his children and she is responsible for them. And a servant is a guardian over his master’s property and is responsible for it. So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges.” (Bukhari)

I know people in my family, my social circle will talk- the nay sayers, the ‘whys?’, the ‘watch her fails’- People will make it all about my hijabiousity, my holier than thou-ness.  They don’t understand that there are so many factors. My husband went to public school all his life but even he acknowledges that this was before the cellphones/texting days, things have drastically changed.

We chose to live in this school district because our neighborhood school was a Blue Ribbon school.  The student to teacher ratio was 20:1. But things are changing so fast. With budget cuts so many good programs have been dropped. This year we had to pay for field trips. There will be 32-36 children in LF#1’s class next year. Sometimes when I ask her why didn’t you understand what the teacher said? She says ‘ it was too noisy’!  She learns more in an individual setting whereas LF#2 thrives in a group setting.

May be it is all mostly about deen. Her salah/hijab is about to become fardh on her. If she is home, salah training will be easier than having her do all that in school when she is not in the habit yet. She is not a super hero- sometimes I think it is too much to expect from her, the only hijabi in the school. She and her sister have been wearing it to school every Friday since they were in KG, but it gets harder each year instead of easier. The older the kids get the less accepting they are. Some still are, others are so mean- especially because of  the political climate today.

My children’s public school experience has been fulfilling so far.  There are many kids who attend public school and turn out OK. Some are even more pious than their parents, I have seen examples in my own in-laws.

But what if my child is not that strong and then I regret it. Allah knows my niyyah is to give my child her haq- her right to be protected from harm & the best education out there.  I do not want be in the position where I see so many parents that I counsel, what if we had done this or that?  The rest is up to Allah- may He guide them and make them the best of the Ummah. Ameen

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