Homeschool: How to prepare for productive results?
If you want to homeschool your children, you must have thought about productive homeschooling.
With the help of fellow home educators, below is a checklist for a productive education that instills the consciousness of Allah.
1. Correct your intention
Remember that Allah says,
“And I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran-51:56)
Educate your child with the intention of pleasing Allah. Reading, learning, and contemplating about the signs of Allah have been discussed in Quran and hadith. The first command to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was to ‘Read!’ (Quran-96:1). Intend to teach them so they grow up to be Muslims who are true slaves of Allah and who use their knowledge to spread good and give back to the Muslim community.
When you make intentions, your work will be blessed.
2. Be a learner for your homeschool
You can’t teach someone something if you don’t have enough knowledge about it. You have to remain in touch with education constantly and stay updated. So, Read the Quran regularly, learn and revise the interpretation of the Quran and hadith.
Learn about your child
Although your children grow up in front of your eyes. But there is still a lot thing to learn about them. You have to know about their behavior, attitude, interests, and brain capacity. There are lots of books and free courses available online for self-study.
Stay updated with the world of knowledge
When homeschooling your children you need to be aware of what is happening throughout the world. So, subscribe to the academic and research newsletters.
Follow blogs and research magazines. And always search for the news. Also, follow reliable Muslim scholars on academic sites.
3. Make the knowledge Centered on Allah
To achieve an education system where the Greatness of Allah and His attributes and laws are discussed clearly, try to make references to verses from the Quran that relate to a particular learning objective and cover the explanation of those verses.
Make the Quran relevant to children’s lives. When they come across a hesitation in life, let them reference the Quran for an answer. Take the Quran as a constant reference, an integral part of their studies.
Make learning the Tafseer (explanation of Quran) together. There are some awesome child-friendly resources for the Tafseer like the Mini Tafseer series by Ad-Duha Institute which you can use.
Teach your children to remember Allah in every instance – see His Greatness in everything.
4. Emphasize interactive learning during homeschool
There is a famous quote that is truly inspiring:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.”
Teach through engaging and relevant hands-on activities that will imitate your children’s senses and help them understand the topic in-depth. Research shows that children learn the best through play and observation for at least the first seven years of their lives. So, teach them age-appropriate activities and topics.
In Islam, teaching your children to learn to pray from a little age has great importance in showing us the age when children are ready for structured learning. Always encourage them to connect back to Allah and be more mindful.
Compulsory schooling starts at the age of seven. This proves that less structured learning and more play helps to increase children’s performance.
5. Teach them to contemplate
Contemplation is a lost worship. Allah commands us to contemplate and reflect upon the Quran. All knowledge is from Him. When delving into the knowledge and understanding of the world, there is every opportunity to study the signs of Allah and to contemplate on them.
How do we teach our children to contemplate? Let them ponder over the verses of the Quran besides learning literature and English. Teach them to love nature and spend time to see the beautiful signs of Allah as they learn their science. Teach them to think rather than constantly feeding them with facts. And, let them write down their observations and findings in their idea logs.
6. Facilitate Project-based learning in homeschool
Project-based learning is a student-centered education that helps students actively explore real-world problems and challenges and acquire deeper knowledge. Choose a topic or central theme that is relevant to Islam and put together a unit study that will enable them to understand their learning objectives in the context of that topic.
When a topic is covered, wherever possible, highlight with example and a chance to actively use that knowledge to fulfill their duties first as slaves of Allah and then to fellow members of the community
Teach by example and actively participate with the community and help those in need. Also, teach them to do good in public and private.
7. Instill the love for the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
Role model the practices of the Prophet (SAW) in various aspects of daily life. Delve into the Seerah (life of the Prophet (SAW) as you learn about different concepts of life. The reference to hadith and the ways of the Prophet (SAW) can be easily integrated into every subject.
Study the manners of the Prophet (SAW) and try to inculcate the lessons from hadith as an activity. For instance, you can teach them a hadith each week and try to find ways to implement it during the week. Let them write the hadith out as copy-work and be creative. Repeat the same hadith every day for the entire week before your lessons will finish. Ask them to take turns the hadith in teaching as well.
As a parent, beside homeschool, you can help out your children’s learning with activities and curricula that follow these guidelines even if your children go to school.
Research about the teaching methods of the Prophet (SAW) and his behavior towards children and emulate him by being merciful, forbearing, lenient, and encouraging. Besides teaching, treat your children with respect and remember that they learn best through emulation. Always remember that you are their role model and this is really a huge responsibility.