I have had many stops and starts in homeschooling.
Research was not a problem for me. I found that with Allah’s help, a little ingenuity and tenacity, I did not have to spend money on expensive curricula for Ms Muffet. Within 2 months, I had collected and compiled enough materials for a year’s homeschooling, all on a budget… ma shaa Allah.
Support is also not a problem. My husband is behind me one hundred per cent and my in-laws, whatever their views on homeschooling, have never said a negative word.
Organising has not been a problem either – all the materials are there, systematically sorted and categorised, ready and waiting to be utilised.
So what is it that has been holding me back?
I have come to the painful conclusion that it is my lack of patience that has been ruining every learning opportunity. I would have a number of set goals and when things did not go as planned, I would get frustrated and subconsciously blame Ms Muffet for thwarting my attempts… failing to realise that this whole effort is not about MY DREAMS but about helping HER NURTURE HER OWN!
There were other days when I would get discouraged and hold back… afraid to try for it seemed an insurmountable mountain to overcome. So why even try, right?
Well, today, I read something very interesting. Marty Lane, in “Learning at Home: A Mother’s Guide to Homeschooling” (Sea Change Publications) lists 12 things needed for parents to be successful at homeschooling:
- Genuinely like your child or children and enjoy his, her, or their company
- Have a sense of humor
- Be able to read, write and do basic math and be willing to upgrade your skills as necessary
- Have a commitment to a philosophy that leads you to homeschool
- Be willing to develop communication/listening skills
- Be prepared to receive criticism for your decision to homeschool
- Have a support system or network and/or a supportive partner
- Be able to learn from mistakes
- Be willing to develop limit setting skills
- Be willing to develop patience
- Be willing to develop observational skills
- Be willing to change
I think that the list is applicable to parents in general, homeschooling or not. At any rate, it made me think a great deal about patience. I once told a friend about how I ask Allah always to grant me more sabr in dealing with Ms Muffet and how things just don’t seem to get easier. She laughed and said, “Well, Allah IS helping you whether you realise it or not. We ask for patience, but really, you can’t just ask for it and GET it. It is something that has to be WORKED on – it is only through trials and hardship that you do get patience.”
The Qur’an tells us that Allah is with those who are patient – “O you who believe! Seek Help in Patience and Salaah. Truly, Allah is with those that are patient.” [Qur’an 2:153]
So here I am back on the drawing board, trying very to get back on track and to inject a lot more love and fun into teaching Ms Muffet.
A new day with new challenges… and joys in shaa Allah.