There are some topics that I try to avoid because I don’t feel qualified enough to write/talk about them. I may be talking from a “tip of the iceberg” kind of experience, but I still think I should say something, perhaps someone out there might find inspiration…
2+ years ago, the tides of life moved my family to the other side of the red sea. I had superb plans for myself and perfect road maps for my daughter. But man proposes and Allaah disposes. Plans didn’t quite work out. Things got messy. Long story short, my daughter was unable to go to school for more than 1 year.
You’re wondering why I was worried about schooling for a 4 year-old, abi? Well, that’s Nigerian mentality for you. Even in our time, as far back as the late 80’s, our parents enrolled us in Jẹ́léósinmi (kindergarten) as soon as we started walking. But over there, parents hardly talk seriously about school until the children were 6+. The closest international school was 1 hour drive from the house and the standard was too low for my liking.
The Nigerian bones in me felt totally uneasy. That was how I started homeschooling my daughter. Well, in my case, one could argue that I had no choice. It was a mixture of “having no choice” and “wanting the best”. So, I willing chose that path. I had a plan for her and I didn’t want to compromise…
Meanwhile, I was working full-time (including night duties). I was heavily pregnant with my second baby. Baby came and I was tending towards a burnout. Hubby was away for a while, but he helped tremendously whenever he was around. I knew I had to stretch myself a little further, but I prayed to Allaah for sound health and patience. My prayers were answered. AlhamduliLlaah.
I ordered books through a friend who is an educational consultant. I searched through the internet for ideas and guidance on homeschooling. I spoke with other parents who homeschooled their kids. It was rough, but I kept my eyes on the goal. From maths to English, to qiraa’ah and tahfeedh… clumsy, but we enjoyed every bit of it.
My point is this, people only see how stressful it is but only you can feel how gratifying it is when you watch your child grow and learn under your nose. You get to know each other better. You are in control and your child gets better quality of parenting. On a lighter note, you will also save some money, because you don’t have to pay for school uniform, bus and administrative fees!
If you’re seriously considering the option of homeschooling, I’d say: go for it. You won’t regret a thing! Your child can hang out with her peers and experience the normal childhood adventures every child needs. You can opt for a more flexible job to create more time for her. Your parents and inlaws will complain that “this was not how they brought you up”, but you will get over the guilt when you see the results of your work.
Two heads are better than one; better results can be achieved when you and your spouse support each other on this cause. We have seen parents of 5, 6, 7… children who successfully homeschooled them up to secondary school (or 12th grade). Such children perform excellently when they go for university entrance exams. They develop perfectly into normal teens and adults.
I’m not saying that homeschooling will work for every child, every parent and every family. All I’m saying is that, it does work.