This is for all my friends who’ve asked me how I do it.
The number of times I’ve asked people the same question! When I get asked that now, I realise how far we’ve come. If you ask the people I knew back when we started, they’d tell you exactly how worried I was that Monday afternoon when I trekked to the lighthouse at the Corniche park in Abu Dhabi.
I’ve been homeschooling since my eldest was 2 years old. That makes it almost 6 years since I first started. The way I’ve worked with the kids has evolved over the years. We had to adjust timings and methods to our growing family and my stamina to deal with everything.
I still have the schedules I drew up. I have schedules that I made before the kids and after they were born.
Children grow and change so fast that what works for 6 months may not work beyond that. I’ve readjusted around changing nap times and potty training. I’ve cut back during pregnancies and language learning opportunities, such as the 2 years my son went to an all Arabic Quran school. He learnt how to speak Arabic and memorised a whole chapter while he was there. I worked on everything else after he came home from school.
We did so much learning on the ipad while my daughter was covered from head to toe in eczema. She sat in my lap while I we read anything and my toddler climbed all over us.
The first year my son was homeschooling full time, my 2nd went to the same school while my toddler clung to my legs, super clingy in her terrible twos. We spent a lot of time with a white board on the floor, me scribbling away and making up stories to make math fun.
When there were no books, I wrote my own stories. When my toddler climbed my back, I’d rock her while explaining things to the others.
My house was often a mess. I struggled to figure out how to keep the clock work running while doing this homeschooling thing. I would figure things out and then something would slip, someone would get sick, or there was an urgent errand and my schedule would get messed up.
I eventually figured it out. But it wasn’t always so clear cut. There was a long learning curve. And it was full of tears and back aches. Sometimes I feel like I’m still figuring out. Like the other day, after having a great morning, my 4 year old threw a tantrum over something I forgot to do for her and she cried and wailed while I got everyone in the car. I lost my temper, and shouted. After a few minutes on the road, I finally realised I have to stop expecting things to be perfect someday. There is no such thing as a perfect morning, a perfect day. I prayed to Allah to forgive me for trying to make things perfect, that ability belongs to Him alone.
One of the things that I always loved reading about was how other people did it, and thats why I’m going to write about how we did it insha Allah. Maybe I’ll throw in some schedule making advice, but I really want to share the phases that we went through from different aspects, different ages, family commitments, cooking, housework, illnesses and pregnancies. If there is anything anyone would like to know please mention it somewhere, on my facebook page or leave a comment and I’ll try to to include that as well.
For now, I’d like to finish my tea while its still hot.