In this counseling answer:
•You (at home) will have the greatest influence in shaping up your child’s personality based on her principles, perception of experiences, and ideas.
•It is also important that children go to school and get to know the society that they will live in after they grow older. It is really very tempting to contain the children and control the material they learn and the ideas they receive.
•Choose your school carefully—I know that it could be very difficult to get a good school for children, but it is very important as well—and try to get involved with your daughter by volunteering at her school to get to know what she has been taught.
As-Salamu `alaykum dear sister,
Jazaki Allahu khayran for trusting us with your question. We ask Allah Most High to give all of us guidance and prosperity.
What I understood from home ed is that your daughter is being taught at home only and not within a school facility. If my understanding is true, then I would say that her feeling of loneliness is quite normal because of the fact that she does not have a chance to mingle with other same-age children and to share with them in daily activities (playing, eating, learning, recreation, etc.).
The fact that she is confident and gets along well with other children and adults is great. However, that does not substitute for the fact that she is not mixing with other children to interact with counterparts. If you are concerned with the level or quality of state education these days (as this is becoming an increasing issue in some parts within some Western countries), then there are plenty of measures you can implement to tackle this problem.
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I know that education in Western societies is a major concern for Muslims living in the West, and thus many families prefer to teach their children at home. I have to say I disagree with this, as it deprives children of one of their basic and most important needs at such a young and crucial age. One of the most important methods of learning is by contrast, and that is by being exposed to different environments (home and school).
This exposure provides an opportunity for children to learn different concepts and ideas, some of which will be the same, and others will be different. You (at home) will have the greatest influence in shaping up your child’s personality based on her principles, perception of experiences, and ideas.
It is also important that children go to school and get to know the society that they will live in after they grow older. It is really very tempting to contain the children and control the material they learn and the ideas they receive. However, you can always control and filter out incompatible ideas without taking drastic measures.
I would advise you to choose your school carefully—I know that it could be very difficult to get a good school for children, but it is very important as well—and try to get involved with your daughter by volunteering at her school to get to know what she has been taught. That will also make it easy for you to influence her learning. The other option is if you can contact Muslims within a close distance and collaboratively try to establish your own teaching facility. (This option, of course, requires far more effort but with greater reward, in sha’ Allah.)
I have seen in the past two examples of families who made the choice of not sending their children to school. One of the families left the country and the other family got a problem with their son cause he told them one day that he hates his religion because it prevented him from going to school like normal children. I am concerned that it is far more risky on the child’s personality in the long run.
Muslims living in the West must not run away from surroundings, but should make every effort to give a positive picture of Islam in its true image by example. That would not be achieved if we shied away from interacting with people.
I saw a Muslim child in our local school (7 years of age) so confident and proud of being Muslim that his teachers made him present Islam to other children. As a result, some children became interested in asking about Islam. That is what we should all do, in sha’ Allah, to the good of humanity and be like the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions, spreading Islam by utilizing every chance we can find to talk about this great deen.
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