Homeschooling is not a philosophy with a set curriculum. It differs from region to region, and home to home. It is the parents who determine the type of education, the child’s role in the learning process, how the topics are taught, what resources are employed or whether it is book learning or education for life. In general, homeschooling is dependent on the parent or parents commitment of time, love, energy and resources towards providing the education of their children at home. Homeschooling can take on any philosophy and curriclum you embue it with.
What is important is that the parents thoroughly thinks about what it means to homeschool, and for the child to beneift, the parents must enjoy teaching, must not assume that they know everything, is willing to find out and explore with the child, and that the child is a part of the learning process (i.e. they are not empty vessels whose heads are to be opened and filled with information). How much the environment is a part of the teaching-learning process is also a factor, as this can help to make homeschooling interesting and stimulating for the child.
Different systems of support exist depending on where one lives. For instance, if one lives in an area where many parents homeschool, the parents can arrange to come together at an arranged time to share their experiences, information and resources. In the country in which you live, there are many online resources for parents wishing to homeschool. These resources include:
- National Home Education Network (NHEN)
- National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance (NAAHA)
- The Scholastic Achievement of Home School Students
- The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)
- Consumer Information on HSLDA
- Home-schooling Resources
It is best to explore all the options, because in this way, you will become familiar with what is involved in terms of your time, commitment, resources, cost of materials, where to go for help and guidance, and most importantly, what type of education you want for your child and why.
The last point is extremely crucial, as this will determine what, where and how your child will be taught, and whether you want an all round education that is Islamically in terms of ethics, social responsibility, self development etc. In terms of commitment, it is important that you are able to sustain a healthy and balanced form of education that involves other children as socializing with ones peers is also a part of a child’s development.
If there comes a junction in your son’s development, whereby it shows that he needs more than you can give him, how you teach him might be better for him, but may create an obstacle if you should find that he has to go to school where classrooms contained over twenty children and each child recieves less attention.
The other obstacle is if one has taught their child in a manner that they are a part of the learning process, and then they have to attend a school where children in general are not a part of the learning process, the child will find it difficult to settle in.
Prophet Muhammad said: “He who does not respect our elder, or is not merciful to the young, or does not feel indebted to the scholars, is not of my Nation” (Abu Dawud, No.4921, and Al-Tirmidhi, No.1925)
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