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  • Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

    This is dedicated to a wonderful contributor to this forum and passionate person who loves being productive and providing awareness on many issues. I learn alot from each and every one of her posts. [MENTION=130569]Oum Soumayyah[/MENTION] this is long overdue, I'm sorry sis.:o

    I am not an expert on the topic (although I did think of bringing in proper research and everything, didn't have the time) but I thought I might give some tips on homeschooling, say a bit about my own experiences and advice in general. I'm not a parent, but someone who grew up in the West. I've been through all three methods of schooling and hope to give some insight about what worked well for me and what you must consider when choosing a schooling method for your kids insha allah.

    For my younger years I went to public school. As a kid I was surrounded by other siblings and my parents were really busy people, so unfortunately I didn't care much about praying and stuff, although my mother (may Allah reward her) was very pious and taught me to pray, read Qur'an and everything.I've never heard of stories of the Prophets, and barely knew about Muhammad (saw). To be honest was disappointing because I knew a ton about Christmas, Jesus, his origins, all that stuff they teach in history. That's when I started taking Qur'an (Tafseer) classes and for the first time I started taking salah seriously,covering my arms, bringing a mat to school even.What brought me closer was the simple fact that Quran actually had meaning (I always thought it was just Arabic). Anyway not to get too personal but things were pretty tough after that....peer pressure kicked in and my mom decided to try an alternative method of learning.

    I did homeschooling for about a year after that. While getting used to it, I was angry and hurt because I thought I was different from other kids and that I was incapable of making friends (because of school problems). My sweet mom reassured me that it was because she wanted me to try excelling in a different environment. So I did it...and she also would sit with me, and although her English was limited, she encouraged me to do my classes, even drove me to the library masha allah. She signed me up for girls' swimming and full-time Islamic circle on weekends...and thus I felt like I had the perfect life. I wouldn't want it any better than this...and I also learned some things about cooking, and did tons of babysitting for my mom. I memorized a lot of juz, watched Islamic movies, read books...I was thriving and this was due to how much effort my mom put into creating a positive environment for learning at home, and by finding ways for me to socialize.

    Then she heard of a Muslim school very far from us.....hours drive away and although she knew she couldn't afford it,we moved and I remember being so excited about starting this new place. I also thought Islamic school would be somewhat of a greater version of the weekend circles I went to. Anyway, Islamic school ended up to be quite different from what I hoped. I can tell you some of the horror but I'd prefer not to dwell into it. Anyway, it was little of a good experience because we were all teens, and kids sneaking in haram magazines, listening to music in class, and apparently I was 'different' according to them and they didn't like it. I had a ton of bullying going on to the point where I slowly deteriorated academically and even worse, spiritually. I cannot blame the school entirely though, the staff tried their best to get good teachers, the curriculum was also very strong secularly, but the religious part of the curriculum just wasn't strong enough, and many times it was skipped in order to prioritize state testing and stuff.
    I realize that I was blessed from a young age to have had such a severe test, but I realize that it took quite a while to completely return to Allah. It is not easy, peer pressure and bullying is real.

    Anyway, this isn't what the thread is all about, lol. I wanted to write what homeschooling can do...and how through my post you can evaluate what method of schooling is right for your kids and how to accommodate them and prepare them for whichever method you choose.

    1)Homeschooling- For me, this was the best mode of schooling ever. But for everyone, it's different. What made it work for me was my mom tried to make learning fun for me, by letting me learn at my own pace, in different settings She also signed me up for activities where I can meet other people and learn about my deen...and help nurture an environment for me to increase my deeni learning. For the folks who want to homeschool, this is extremely important. Not to mention the lifeskills and close bond I had with my mom as a result.

    2)Islamic school- As my story above may have emphasized, Islamic school isn't always the 'best thing' or the 'only solution'. There are some good and some not-so-good Muslim schools. Mine didn't always adhere to Islamic guidelines...and even if it did, it's important for the parents to let their children know if they are enrolling them in Muslim school, that just because the kids are mean, or not well-behaved, that the school is not itself bad, or even more crucial, that it's important not to base what Islam is from the behavior of other Muslims. I learned this the hard way and had cost me to stray from the remembrance of Allah (swt).

    3) Public school- For some people, neither homeschooling nor Islamic schooling can be an option (if both parents work, or single parents, etc., not enough money,) and they send their kids to public school. For the record, if it comes to this, it's best to send them to a school where teachers and staff understand Muslims or have encountered them before. I know a child who is able to pray in the office because the principal knew of her faith, and her mom's wishes and decided to make sure that girl prays every prayer she is in school.Not all staff would be like this, but at least an understanding is important.

    Last but not least, give the their space. Allah (Swt) guides whomever He wills, and as worried as you might be, with all the precautionary steps taken, kids need their own space sometimes and may refrain from even cooperating with you if they feel like they aren't having their own time to themselves.
    As I said before I'm nota parent, but as someone who grew up in the west and has been through all three modes of schooling, I thought my input might help.
    -Figs, your sister in Islam

    (I'll try to post some statistics for homeschooling next week insha allah. I know my post may be biased, but I still hope it helps.)
    I edited this so it can be easier to read. Maybe I'll start another thread on what actions are important to take regardless of what environment you choose your kids to be educated in.
    Last edited by Figs; 05-11-15, 03:49 AM.
    Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

  • #2
    Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

    [MENTION=125704]Figs[/MENTION] !!!!
    Jazaki Allahu khayr sis! That was awesome maa shaa Allah.
    And no sis, it wasn't overdue : ) You're silly.
    And JAZAKI ALLAHU KHAYR for your kind words. That went straight to my heart. I realllyyyy appreciate your kind words sis.
    I'm glad you benefited from some of my posts. And honestly, I can say the same about yours.
    Subhanallah, this post especially is VERY helpful and the editing was excellent! Allahumma baarik laki : )

    And no, you didn't seem bias at all. You presented all the methods, shared your experience, and gave advice accordingly.
    I like how you emphasised on activities and life-skills when touching on the homeschooling method.
    And the part where you talked about giving children their own space totally makes sense. We all need our own space once in a while and hate to feel suffocated.
    You don't want to push your kids away.

    I truly learned a lot from your post. BarakAllahu feeki dear sis: )
    *"None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."* [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
    "Mindless are those who only jump when told to jump, cry when told to cry, and laugh when told to laugh. Indeed, they are but sheep." TheStrivingUmmi

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

      Salaam

      Masha Allah Tabark Allah .... great read , very beneficial and a wonderful post indeed!
      I thank you with jzeeel al shukr and [MENTION=130569]Oum Soumayyah[/MENTION]

      May Allah Subhaana enter you and your families both into the High Firdaws ..
      youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your deathhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgE...kS-Qi3nf3tcvPw

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

        Originally posted by Ibn Taleb View Post
        Salaam

        Masha Allah Tabark Allah .... great read , very beneficial and a wonderful post indeed!
        I thank you with jzeeel al shukr and [MENTION=130569]Oum Soumayyah[/MENTION]

        May Allah Subhaana enter you and your families both into the High Firdaws ..
        Ameen
        May Allah grant you Jannah as well.

        Sis [MENTION=125704]Figs[/MENTION] It's funny you mentioned 'productive' because I'm actually planning on changing my blog name. I don't think the word productive really suits it.
        I far from being productive, but it's definitely a goal in shaa Allah.
        *"None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."* [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
        "Mindless are those who only jump when told to jump, cry when told to cry, and laugh when told to laugh. Indeed, they are but sheep." TheStrivingUmmi

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

          Originally posted by Ibn Taleb View Post
          Salaam

          Masha Allah Tabark Allah .... great read , very beneficial and a wonderful post indeed!
          I thank you with jzeeel al shukr and [MENTION=130569]Oum Soumayyah[/MENTION]

          May Allah Subhaana enter you and your families both into the High Firdaws ..
          Allaahumma ameen brother.
          Anything for my fellow muslimeen.
          I just don't have much benefit to provide in terms of religious knowledge in this forum so collaborating in this small effort
          seemed like something good since I actually know a lot about this. I might make a sequence thread in the future about homeschooling in specific.

          Originally posted by Oum Soumayyah View Post
          Ameen
          May Allah grant you Jannah as well.

          Sis [MENTION=125704]Figs[/MENTION] It's funny you mentioned 'productive' because I'm actually planning on changing my blog name. I don't think the word productive really suits it.
          I far from being productive, but it's definitely a goal in shaa Allah.
          Lol, I really didn't even think of your blog when I wrote that, although I do love it!!!
          Your posts on the forum are plenty insightful, so I hope other brothers and sisters read them in the future.
          May Allah reward you sister, with the very best rewards fiddunyaa wal-Akhirah allaahumma ameen.
          Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

            Originally posted by Figs View Post
            Allaahumma ameen brother.
            Anything for my fellow muslimeen.
            I just don't have much benefit to provide in terms of religious knowledge in this forum so collaborating in this small effort
            seemed like something good since I actually know a lot about this. I might make a sequence thread in the future about homeschooling in specific.



            Lol, I really didn't even think of your blog when I wrote that, although I do love it!!!
            Your posts on the forum are plenty insightful, so I hope other brothers and sisters read them in the future.
            May Allah reward you sister, with the very best rewards fiddunyaa wal-Akhirah allaahumma ameen.
            Jazaki Allahu khayr sis!

            Ameen to your du'a! May Allah grant you much much more: )
            *"None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself."* [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
            "Mindless are those who only jump when told to jump, cry when told to cry, and laugh when told to laugh. Indeed, they are but sheep." TheStrivingUmmi

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

              Jazakallah khair for all your efforts!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                Assalamu aleykum,

                I do agree that Islamic schools are not always ideal, but alhamdulillah there are some good ones out there though you may have to search far and wide to find them. Ultimately we felt that a good Islamic school was the best environment for our kids, but struggled for years to find one with the right balance between Islamic and secular studies. Our boys now go to an Islamic boarding school - I was adamant that they must be brought up in a single gender shariah-compliant environment and with good round the clock supervision to ensure development of Muslim character and behaviour. They are fully immersed in Deen, able to dress as Muslims, surrounded by other Muslims, are able to fully practice our religion with have a huge emphasis on Islamic study in their daily lives. If no good Islamic schools are available, then yes, homeschooling is the next best answer, especially if the parents have the knowledge and time and can access all the material needed. There is no way that I would send my kids to a state secular school insha'Allah - too much freemixing, misbehaviour, bullying, bad morals being taught etc.
                Allah is so Great and Merciful that although we continue to disobey Him, He still awaits for our repentance so that He may forgive us.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                  Jazakillah khairan for your input, sister. Really liked reading it and I have also thought a lot about homeschooling, how it would be like and such.

                  Just like you I've been to both public schools and Islamic schools, but never been home schooled. Growing up I've had to go back and forth between changing 6-7 schools because they weren't good.

                  Just like your experience with the Islamic school, many things were different from what was expected. The only good thing was the emphasis on the prayers, apart from that no other religious studies or anything alike. I had gone to 4 different Islamic schools and they all were pretty much the same. What I liked though from the Islamic schools was that I didn't feel much different as I felt in public schools because of the hijab and the religious beliefs. Everyone knew where I came from and there was no bullying in that regards.

                  In public schools, the teaching system was good, we learned a lot. But the problem was more like the kids and some teachers just because you have a different faith so the bullying was intense on that part. The other problem was the religious studies and some sex education classes we had. Changed between 3 public schools here too.

                  I've read a lot about homeschooling, both the negative parts and it's positive parts, and I have mentioned it to my parents to start homeschooling our little brother if it's possible. Because honestly, he learns a lot more at home than he does at school. Because we are so much older than him, we have lots of experience and help him a lot.
                  Homeschooling isn't that much popular here in Sweden and there are quite some conditions set for it.
                  "Let the days do as they please, and be optimistic when destiny decrees. Do not despair due to the events of the past, for the events of this world were not meant to last." - Imam Shafi'i

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                    ma sha Allah great post.

                    I really like/love the idea of being able to learn at home and study the deen independently, ma sha Allah the bit about home-schooling made me want to be 15 again so I could be home-schooled.

                    In high school, although I didn't notice it at the time - it was a really unIslamic environment. Young kids doing zina, gossip, bullying, islamophobia/racism, learned behaviour that stay with you even after you leave school.
                    Abu Malik at-Ash'ari reported:

                    The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Cleanliness is half of faith

                    and al-Hamdu Lillah (all praise and gratitude is for Allah alone) fills the scale, and Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah)

                    and al-Hamdu Lillah fill up what is between the heavens and the earth, and prayer is a light,

                    and charity is proof (of one's faith)

                    and endurance is a brightness and the Holy Qur'an is a proof on your behalf or against you.

                    All men go out early in the morning and sell themselves, thereby setting themselves free or destroying themselves.



                    حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ مَنْصُورٍ، حَدَّثَنَا حَبَّانُ بْنُ هِلاَلٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبَانٌ، حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى، أَنَّ زَيْدًا، حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ أَبَا سَلاَّمٍ حَدَّثَهُ عَنْ أَبِي مَالِكٍ الأَشْعَرِيِّ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الإِيمَانِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلأُ الْمِيزَانَ ‏.‏ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلآنِ - أَوْ تَمْلأُ - مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَالصَّلاَةُ نُورٌ وَالصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ وَالْقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَكَ أَوْ عَلَيْكَ كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا ‏"‏ ‏.‏

                    Reference : Sahih Muslim 223
                    In-book reference : Book 2, Hadith 1
                    USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 2, Hadith 432
                    (deprecated numbering scheme)

                    أَلَمْ تَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً ۗ وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُجَادِلُ فِي اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَلَا هُدًى وَلَا كِتَابٍ مُّنِيرٍ - 31:20

                    Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him].


                    Please take a look at my blog : http://thinkingmuslima.blogspot.co.uk/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                      Originally posted by LailaTheMuslim View Post
                      ma sha Allah great post.

                      I really like/love the idea of being able to learn at home and study the deen independently, ma sha Allah the bit about home-schooling made me want to be 15 again so I could be home-schooled.

                      In high school, although I didn't notice it at the time - it was a really unIslamic environment. Young kids doing zina, gossip, bullying, islamophobia/racism, learned behaviour that stay with you even after you leave school.
                      Yeah sis, homeschool is really good:up:
                      Thank you for the reply, sorry I didn't reply earlier.
                      If I have any kids insha allah I think I'd homeschool them.

                      In America homeschooling mainly began because many religious Christian and Jewish families wanted to raise their children with not only a strong academic background, but a good religious background where they can think for themselves. That's how it evolved and I believe the same has occurred for Canada, and the Uk. It's still uncommon for minorities like us to adopt the system but that's also changing.
                      I met many lovely people who learned their entire time homeschooled from many backgrounds, Latino, African-American. It's something to consider insha allah, I highly recommend it. :up:
                      Last edited by Figs; 11-11-15, 02:36 AM.
                      Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                        Originally posted by Hataw View Post
                        Jazakillah khairan for your input, sister. Really liked reading it and I have also thought a lot about homeschooling, how it would be like and such.

                        Just like you I've been to both public schools and Islamic schools, but never been home schooled. Growing up I've had to go back and forth between changing 6-7 schools because they weren't good.

                        Just like your experience with the Islamic school, many things were different from what was expected. The only good thing was the emphasis on the prayers, apart from that no other religious studies or anything alike. I had gone to 4 different Islamic schools and they all were pretty much the same. What I liked though from the Islamic schools was that I didn't feel much different as I felt in public schools because of the hijab and the religious beliefs. Everyone knew where I came from and there was no bullying in that regards.

                        In public schools, the teaching system was good, we learned a lot. But the problem was more like the kids and some teachers just because you have a different faith so the bullying was intense on that part. The other problem was the religious studies and some sex education classes we had. Changed between 3 public schools here too.

                        I've read a lot about homeschooling, both the negative parts and it's positive parts, and I have mentioned it to my parents to start homeschooling our little brother if it's possible. Because honestly, he learns a lot more at home than he does at school. Because we are so much older than him, we have lots of experience and help him a lot.
                        Homeschooling isn't that much popular here in Sweden and there are quite some conditions set for it.
                        Yes sis, I agree with a lot of what you said. In Muslim school we tend to feel less standing out, but then the cons can be kinda surprising.
                        And public school has those things you mentioned, can be hard.
                        Homeschooling is seen differently in different parts of the world. In America, China, Canada and I think UK it is getting increasingly common.
                        It really depends on the society like you said. Insha allah though there are alternatives and things you can do to help your future children insha allah whichever school you enroll them in insha allah.
                        Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                          Originally posted by niqaabi_nusrat View Post
                          Assalamu aleykum,

                          I do agree that Islamic schools are not always ideal, but alhamdulillah there are some good ones out there though you may have to search far and wide to find them. Ultimately we felt that a good Islamic school was the best environment for our kids, but struggled for years to find one with the right balance between Islamic and secular studies. Our boys now go to an Islamic boarding school - I was adamant that they must be brought up in a single gender shariah-compliant environment and with good round the clock supervision to ensure development of Muslim character and behaviour. They are fully immersed in Deen, able to dress as Muslims, surrounded by other Muslims, are able to fully practice our religion with have a huge emphasis on Islamic study in their daily lives. If no good Islamic schools are available, then yes, homeschooling is the next best answer, especially if the parents have the knowledge and time and can access all the material needed. There is no way that I would send my kids to a state secular school insha'Allah - too much freemixing, misbehaviour, bullying, bad morals being taught etc.
                          Jzk for your reply sister. Sorry I didn't see it earlier, I totally forgot I made a thread about this lol.
                          Islamic schools are a good thing for our kids, and ideally would be something I believe would truly help our kids.
                          One of the reasons I mentioned homeschooling was because in many places in the west, including the big metropolitan cities in the country where I live, there are tons of Muslim kids but no
                          super strong Islamic school. Our family had to relocate for that reason. It would be a dream to find a single-gender school like the one you mentioned. The school I went to was mixed, even in high school
                          and you could imagine how awkward it must have been. I hope dearly insha allah that as Muslim communities raising kids in the west we can invest more into our Islamic schools and be self-sufficient academially as a
                          demographic insha allah (of Muslims).



                          Originally posted by ashmeo View Post
                          Jazakallah khair for all your efforts!
                          Wa iyyaka brother, I didn't realize I had replies, I forgot to look back.

                          Feedback is welcomed anytime insha allah. I shall try to make a sequence thread insha allah if time permits.
                          Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                            Jazakallah khair

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Islamic School, Public School, or Homeschool?

                              Originally posted by dua.javed View Post
                              Jazakallah khair
                              Wa iyyaka ukhti, no problem:up:
                              Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.

                              Comment

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