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Reflections of a Homeschooling Dad – Part 4| No Regrets

Homeschool dad 4

Bismillah
Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3| PART 4| PART 5

“Whoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make for him a way out and provide for him from where he never imagined. And whoever has Tawakul in Allah, He is sufficient for Him. ”
{Surah At-Talaaq 65: Verses 2-3}

When we choose unique paths in life, we tend to make a lot of risky decisions. We can never be sure that the decision we are making will definitely work out for the best, but we can have faith, hope, and Tawakul in Allah. It is also important to do Istikhara before making such decisions.

Deciding to go against the norm and to home-school my children was one such decision. Even after much research, there is often a nagging feeling of ‘what if I am making the wrong choice’ and this is accompanied by a sense of fear when entering new territory. I felt this fear when I first started home-schooling my children, but now the fear is all gone.

It has been replaced with excitement, passion, happiness, goals, and a sense of contentment that makes me state quite confidently, “I have no regrets with my decision to home-school my children.”

What makes me so confident in this statement?
The fact that my children are happy confident individuals who love learning and reading, the fact that my children enjoy their childhood and have more time to play and learn naturally than most children their age. The fact that each of my children are at least a few months, if not a year, ahead of the average child their age in terms of knowledge and development, and the fact that my children get to pursue their own interests and devote enough time to it, whether it is nature, electronics or art.

With fear out of the way, the road is now wide open to focus on, and attain our long term goals. I have settled into a state of mind in which I know that home-schooling is best for my family, and every family-related decision I make revolves around having the time and ability to home-school my children. Such decisions like deciding where we live, what job offers I consider, the timings of my working hours, or where we go for vacation are examples of such decisions and I always make my decisions based on how it would affect our home-schooling. Everything revolves around giving my children the time and quality education they deserve in order to grow into knowledgeable, practicing Muslims with leadership skills and the confidence to use these skills for good.

The possibilities now seem limitless as we explore the different ways to learn, various things to study, resources to use, and places to visit, and every day I look at my children with happiness as I see them growing into morally conscious children with noble goals.

This is why I don’t regret choosing to home-school. I would rather turn down a high paying job offer than to give up home-schooling my children, because the educational experience I am able to give my children at home is far more important than the amount of money I earn.

How to home-school without regrets?
Not every family ends up as happy as we are, and there are people who chose home-schooling for their children and ended up changing their minds with a sense of regret. Generally this is due to a few mistakes which you can easily avoid. The following is a list of things you can do to avoid disappointed and regrets when choosing to home-school your children:

  • Have a clear vision and to set specific goals.
    Don’t choose home-schooling as a way of following a trend or just to be different, do it with a clear vision of the kind of leaders that you are raising. If you are clear on your long term goals and plan your curriculum, etc. accordingly, you are unlikely to regret this decision.
  • Do it with love and passion
    Home-schooling can be very tiring and stressful. If you allow yourself to be overcome by emotions, home-schooling can be stressful for both you and your children. Take care of your own emotional health and maintain a positive attitude. Teach your children lovingly, and stay optimistic. In shaa Allah, this will make it a manageable experience.
  • Cherish and enjoy the extra time with your children because one day they will grow up and you will miss the time you spent together
    Continuing on from the previous point, remember that one day your children will become independent individuals, they will leave your home and start their own lives. Enjoy every moment with them while they are still young. If this part of their life passes too quickly with negligence, you will have many regrets when they move on.
  • Celebrate the small victories together
    A key tactic to achieving any goal is to celebrate every small victory along the journey towards that goal. In terms of home-schooling, it means to celebrate achievements like if your child has achieved learning how to read or completing a grade ahead of time or learning a new skill, or solving a complex problem. Each victory or achievement should be celebrated in order to encourage growth.
    This benefits both you and your child. It helps you measure and keep track of your child’s growth and development, which increases your confidence in home-schooling and lets you see how well it is working, while your child too will grow in confidence and increase in love of learning when they notice that the learning is not going unnoticed.
  • Make time for yourself to recover and relax
    Finally, you need to avoid burnout if you want home-schooling to work. The key to avoiding burnout is to make time for yourself. Set time aside daily for yourself to do things you like and to take a break from the children.

The easiest way to do this is to set a strict bedtime for your children that is at least an hour or two before you go to sleep, so that you will have those two hours every evening to unwind, spend time with your spouse, and take a break from parenting. Remember that you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family.

Authored by Ustadh Ismail Kamdar
Edited by Umm Ubaidullah

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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