Monday, July 03, 2006

What do others think of your homeschooling efforts?

Assalm alykom:

While homeschooling is becoming more popular and common, it is still considered out of the mainstream. Therefore, people might find it odd that you have decided to take up this life style with your family. My husband travels to a variety of masjids throughout our state doing workshops on Islam. The children and I sometimes travel with him. I like to go with him because it avails me the opportunity to meet different people. Actually, when I meet someone new, they are the ones who usually ask about my children and where do they go to school. I think that this is because parents are really becoming concerned about what kind of education their child is receiving, what kind of role models they are looking up to and what kind of people they are socializing with. Here are some of the comments I get:

Some people look at me as some kind of super woman. They tell me: "I could NEVER do that" "How do you do it with four kids" Well my advice to them is it is not for everyone. It is difficult and it has become a "lifestyle". There is a great deal of sacrifices. You sacrifice your time immensely. You sacrifice a "truly" clean house. The list can go on. Therefore, I never tell someone oh you can do it it is easy. I do find it difficult. However, I have found that I am getting better at this lifestyle, and it is getting easier for me.

Another comment I get is that "I could never do that because I am not educated enough." I have a business degree in marketing, and I still feel I am relearning all the things I new before. My advice to them is that if they really want to homeschool, you should try the state funded virtual schools. These are very easy to follow, and there is always guidance from a teacher, and accountability with mandatory state testing. Another route for those who are not confident, would be to buy a boxed curriculum. These companies who offer this, also sometimes offer teacher support for an additional charge.

This is a frequent question" I am afraid that my child would not be getting the social interaction that he or she needs." I have not found this to be a problem with my children. My children are very friendly when they meet new people or are with their friends that they know. Involving your children in activities such as sports, girl or boy scouts, or after school/weekend programs in masjids can help develop their social skills. I am trying to improve this myself, but have not found the appropriate activity. This next year, I plan to be more aggressive in finding something my children will enjoy, Inshallah.

One last frequent comment I have heard is that the quality of education is not good for homeschooling. Parents many times tell me that their children are very smart, and are in gifted programs and that homeschooling will not facilitate their child's education. I think personally that is changing. Colleges and scholarship programs are seeing that the placement test for homeschoolers are high, and they are recieving a quality education. Many colleges, such as Harvard, are allowing homeschooled students into their programs.

I think a lot of these questions I get are based on myths about homeschooling. I would love to hear what people think about your homeschooling efforts.


Cristina Mariam said...

- Salaam:
how they are brainwashing the parents?!
- if someone has a degree in marketing or other field and still thinks they do not have enough skills to homeschool their kids;
- this is something else - I think they are trying to make the parents feel incapable of doing this - so they would not be involved with their kids homeschooling or their regular schooling, etc.

Um Nour said...

Assalm alukom Sister Mariam:

Jazzakallaho karain for your coment. I am glad to see you are taking an interest in homeschooling.
I am not sure what you mean by brainwashing the parents. However, let me clarify my personal experiences better. When people tell me they are not educated enough to teach their child, they tell me they have no college degree or classes at all. Therefore, they are intimidated to teach their child by homeschooling. So, when they ask me if I have any college experience, I tell them that I have a degree in marketing. Then they say oh, then you are qualified. Well, no, I am not as a teacher per say. However, my advie to them is to either do the virtual state schools or a boxed cirriculum. They are designed for the parent to really teach the child as a teacher would. With the virtual schools there is accountability. My children are tested with other public school children, they are required to send monthly samples to our assigned teacher, and the teacher communicates directly with my children as often as needed. All I am saying is for those who feel they lack the appropriate education to teach your child, this type of program requires no prior education. This virtual program is for the one with no education ,or a marketing degree or even a doctor. I know that some of the boxed cirriculums such as "Calvert" also provide teacher support at an additional charge. I am only offering this advice because some people want to homeschool but are intimidated to actually do the educating. I offer this advice to help those with this issue.

SUHAA said...

jazakAllah kheir for this post, i intend on homeschooling at least 1 of my kids this next year inshaAllah, and im not sure how to break the news to my parents and everyone just yet! :-) especially because we have an islamic school nearby that my daughter attended the past 2 yrs.

Um Nour said...

Assalm alykom Suhaa:

Just because your child is in an Islamic school, that does not mean the the school is right for your child. I kow several parents who had their children in an Islamic school. When they decided to pull their children out and put them in public school, the parents found that their children where behind everyone else. Therefore, all Islamic schools are not the same. I do not know why you want to take your child out. in your area, if they offer the k12 program that I am in,It is really considered public school. Therfore, there is no difference as far as the state is concerned. The children take all the state tests just like eveyone else. If you need help with homeschooling, do not hesitate to ask me. I am happy to help.