Ramadan and some homeschooling-thoughts

 
 
 

Recently I am reading a lot about very inspirational unschoooling families and I wonder more and more if I would consider us as such, too.
Our kids still are young: my big boy is in kindergarten-age but does not visit one, and my youngest one is nearly two now. So we still have about two years until school is supposed to be mandatory for our oldest, but I’m already thinking a lot about what future type of education to choose for him.
 
I can feel already a learning atmosphere around here and since about a year now I am getting more and more familiar with the homeschooling-idea. Before that, I didn’t even know about homeschooling, I haven’t heard about such a way of life, and in Germany I’ve never met people practicing it.
A very good friend from England brought me to the idea and first I was very sceptical about it. I couldn’t believe that children could learn without a teacher, without schoolbooks and a fixed schedule. I’ve never thought about something apart from school and could hardly imagine an educational life outside a classroom.
But little by little I got the idea; I began to like it and to figure out the good within. I read books and websites and slowly I felt in love with the whole thing. My senses got more sensitive towards my children’s characters, their development and interests, and unconsciously I discovered hidden signs of unschooling in our daily life: My big boy’s interest in numbers and letters; his all-day-long-counting of everything he sees; the play with words and his natural and innocent attempt to write some down; his curiosity about life and everything; his energy and motivation while playing in nature – lost in thought and fully concentrated in what he does…

I’ve never pushed him to learn something, nor did I insist in imposing knowledge.

I strongly believe in the Montessori-theory that things will come on their natural way; things will become interesting for the kids once they are ready for it. I believe in the individual learning rhythm of every child and in letting they choose to learn what is appropriate to their needs in every single moment.

In our own life, we try to live at the fullest, we watch out for the beauty in everything, we try to do what we feel happy with in every single day and we try to accept as much as possible everyone’s mood and interest. We do not plan our daily activities; we try to let us lead by our own curiosity, by the seasons, by the weather and by unexpected things in the every day life.
 
I am not very good in just playing around with my kids and sometimes I do not have too much time to just be with them, but I am fantastic in going out for a nature walk with them, discovering things; I am good in storytelling, In finding new ways to put ideas into action and in trying to find answers together with my boys to all the big questions that appear; I am creative, flexible and ready to learn and to develop myself together with them every single day afresh.
I think this is exactly the be-all and end-all of unschooling: to be ready and open for the challenges of life, to warmly welcome surprises and to enter into the life-long path of every-day-learning.

So now, when I am looking at our actual way of life, I am proud to say: “Yes, we are on our way to become an unschooling family”. We do not know how life will become, nor how our way will continue, but I am happy and very thankful for the possibility to live life as we do and I trust in Allah that it will be good as it continues…

What about you?

 

7 thoughts on “Ramadan and some homeschooling-thoughts

  1. assalaamu alaikum

    I’ve unschooled for years…all six of mine have been at home learning masha’allah..I’ve tried a more structured approach from time to time..bucklimg under the pressure of outsiders iseas of what home ed should be…but a structured approach just didn’t fit our lifestyle….
    It’s a bold step to unschool and I still sometimes find myself having to justify myself to people who look at me dubiously..but I’ve been at it for too many years now to worry too much….the most important thing is to have happy helathy children who LOVE to learn not who leanr because someone tells them they have too…..
    much love
    xxx

  2. oua alaikoum salam dear sister seekingtaqwa,

    mashaallah oua t’barakallah, I didn’t knew you are having 6 children!!!
    that’s amazing!
    and you are unschooling them all… may Allah reward you for all the efforts you do!
    I know, it is dificult sometimes to explain to others the homeschooling-thing, you always feel that you have to excuse, or to defend or to jusify something, because it is so uncommon and most people do not know anything about this lifestyle nor do they understand it.
    so I really really hope that people like you, with a lot of experience, will be, with their well-raised and well-educated kids, best examples to the others.
    may Allah bless you!

  3. Assalaamu’alaykum dear sister,

    Mashaa Allaah, I am interested in the Montessori method too, I was a teaching assistant at a Montessori a few years back and enjoyed my time there, and really loved the idea of “letting your child lead.”

    I’ve since bought a few books, one of it being “How to Raise and Amazing Child, the Montessori way” And it’s really helpful with simple ideas on how to create a Montessori environment in the home. I must admit I don’t follow it to the “T” but I take what ideas suit me, inshaa Allaah.

    I am also thinking of homeschooling my son, but I do feel daunted at how major the task seem to be! But it’s good to have support, that’s for sure. My son is just a little under 2 years of age, but I hope to connect with other homeschooling parents in my country and inshaa Allaah gain some courage to go against the grain!

    Inshaa Allaah your Ramadhaan is going smoothly🙂

  4. Assalaamu alaikum,

    I love the concept of unschooling and can see that children do just pick up things and learn when the time is ready with little or no help; just never had the confidence to see it through past the age of 6.😦

  5. Asalamu Walaikum Sister,
    I’m so glad another sister directed me to your blog. The photos are amazing and your posts are very enjoyable, masha Allah. I am married to a Berber (Sous Valley) and we will be moving to Maroc by the end of next year inshallah. We did spend a year in Casa a few years back and inshallah this next time will be for much longer!
    I am unschooling my kids and would urge you to join unschooling groups such as the ones on yahoo or facebook. I have educated myself a great deal about homeschooling and actually unschooled myself at 15. The support really helps because there is a great deal of aversion to homeschooling and especially unschooling-even in the US where homeschooling is growing steadily–actually homeschooling is REVERTING back to being acceptable and practiced because after all it was the original way to educate children😉
    I would say that unschooling doesn’t really start until about 6 years old because that is when the urge and pressure to confirm to the current educational paradigm begins. Prior to that society accepts that you are just “playing” with or nurturing your children.
    Love and Peace,
    ~Brooke

  6. oua alaikoum salam sister Brooke,
    thanks for your nice comment. Oh how great that you come to live in Morocco… will it be in the Sous valley?
    I think you are right: unschooling does not begin so early, so if I am correct, I am probably not already unschooling my kids because they are still little.
    but BY wants to know already so much and teaches himself a lot through every day life… I just have to give him chances and opportunities and reply to his questions…which are a lot. and I do already have to stand some society pressure, because here in Morocco it is normal to send children in kindergarten (pre-school) at the age of 3 or 4. and there they do already learn to write and read there under pressure😦 so people ask why my son does not go there…
    we will see how we continue…
    masalama and blessings to you,
    itto

  7. Asalamu Walaikum Sis,
    We aren’t sure what area we will live in, his family is currently in Casa. I’m not too picky, but I would like to live somewhere that we could have some animals, inshallah.
    Even though we had agreed to homeschool before we went to Morocco last time, he was effected by the pressure once we were there. We did tour a few schools in our neighborhood and I just hated them. There are so many things about them that are against the educating principles I adhere to. Finally, he decided he liked one school about 40 mins from the house, which meant my four year old would be away from home at least 8 hours a day. Totally ridiculous. I refused to cooperate and alhumdiallah, he came to his senses when I refused to help in anyway(no waking, no breakfast, no dressing!) get my son to school. I really hope we don’t have to go through that again.
    I was using the Waldorf teaching style when my son was preschool age, but he is one of those rare kids that it didn’t really suit him. Alhumdiallah, that helped me to come to unschooling, but I still like a lot of the Waldorf ways of doing things. I would like to get back to it as I think my other children would benefit from it. Your style seems to be fairly Waldorfy–that may be just more familiar to German culture? I mean the felting, beeswax crayons and other crafts your family does are very unique here in the states–only seen in Waldorf schools or Waldorf-style homeschoolers. So, maybe you could placate people by telling them that you are educating your children in the traditional German style, which is not availble in Morocco? I found being an outsider gave me more social leniency than my husband–let them think you are a kooky German!😉
    I don’t keep a blog, but inshallah I’ll visit yours.
    Love and Peace,
    Brooke

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