In this counseling answer:
“I think, ideally, if a parent can homeschooling or look after their child actively until they are 7 years of age, then after that they should enroll them in the public school system. But parents need to play an active role in the school and become an ally of the school through parent councils and other volunteer initiatives, so as to know, on an ongoing basis, what is going on with their children, and to teach their children the Islamic values as well!”
As-salamu `alaykum dear brother,
I understand your concerns. In fact, my wife and I homeschooled our first son for a couple of years.
I believe that each form of schooling has positives and negative aspects. Perhaps there is no one way of deciding what is best, as different things may be better for different children.
The first seven years of a child’s life is the most precious. What you teach them then is manners and upbringing will stay with them for the rest of their lives, `in sha’ Allah.
However there are other elements to consider:
1-First and foremost, we need to prepare our children to be good Muslims.
2-We need to assist them so they can become strong, vital members of their society who can be pillars not only in the Muslim community but in their entire society and country.
3-If we are homeschooling, we must take into considerations the expectations from the ministry of education for each grade level and try to ensure that we are properly teaching them according to their level.
4-We may want to consider networking with other parents who are home schooling to support each other as it is a lot of work.
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I am not a fan of many of the models of Islamic schooling I have seen so far. Many of these schools do not properly equip our children to be ready for the societies in which we live (in Western society).
In Islamic schools, there is an Islamic studies component and Arabic and a place to pray, those are all good things; however many times the children grow up isolated from the rest of society. When children are isolated, later on they don’t know how to interact in society and can fall prey to the many ills for which they were not prepared.
Furthermore, a proper Islamic school model would integrate the Islamic components in all subjects. Many of the current models separate the academic subjects from the Islamic piece and teach children that they are all separate — this is fundamentally incorrect. Furthermore, Islam equips us be a vital part of our societies. It is our personal interpretations that de-skill us from our role in the world in which we live.
The other option is regular public schools. I think, ideally, if a parent can homeschool or look after their child actively until they are 7 years of age, then after that they should enroll them in the public school system.
But parents need to play an active role in the school and become an ally of the school through parent councils and other volunteer initiatives, so as to know, on an ongoing basis, what is going on with their children, and to teach their children the Islamic values as well!
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