Accepting Your Limits In Your Children's Education
I know I have not written a new blog post in months and I deeply apologize. It happens now and then when a hectic life presides over anything extra. I made every intention to write something since Eid, but many changes were going on with my children and I was trying to cope with the new adjustments and schedules. Then too, as the season changed, illness went through our family, and you know how that goes, no explanation needed! This school year has changed for us. You may know from my previous posts, that I homeschooled my children last academic year exclusively. By the end of the year, I felt burnt-out so I wouldn't recommend it to another mom. My family felt it was high time to ease some of the burden of schooling from my shoulders, whether I liked to admit it or not, and change our educational path. At that point, I truly welcomed the change with relief!
One of our children was starting high school, two in middle school, and three in elementary school. With three different levels of schooling it made no sense to handle it alone, and honestly, I didn't know if it's possible. Nowadays I find it harder to keep up with a different lifestyle, especially in America where hiring any help is pricey.
So, we decided to enroll some of our children in a physical school and some in a cyber school (because of current commitments). I am relieved not to be the main one in charge of my children's schooling this year, and so far it's been a nice change. Even though I may not have to homeschool all six of my kids this year, there is still pressure due to the modification.
Adapting From Homeschool
It has been a significant adaption for us all, since school life has many facets that homeschool life does not. For some of my kids who have never gone to school before, there was a period of adjustment. As a parent of school-going children, there is even more of an adjustment. There's always something that needs attention - multiple emails to read and respond to, teacher meetings and conferences, preparing for tests, too much homework, picking up and dropping off kids, making lunches and snacks, filling field trip and other forms, adjusting to accommodate extracurricular activities, and the list goes on. It is challenging in another way compared to homeschooling, but the benefit is that you are not teaching your kids alone. Also, you have a breather for a few hours a day from the constant needs of your children - and that's a big one for a stressed-out mom. So even though I have been busier in one way, my mind is more clear as the responsibility of educating my kids is shared with others, and from past experience that's the way it should be.
If you have followed my posts in the past, you will know that even though I have homeschooled my children, I've never claimed it was the best nor did I promote it for everyone. There are many factors involved in making this choice successful, even though you may love teaching your children. As they grow older and when you have multiple children, it becomes more challenging and tough on a mother, especially when trying to maintain a home with no help.
I have always emphasized that when homeschooling your kids, the pros should outway the cons. So when the tables turned on me this year, and my cons were higher than my pros, it was time to let my children experience a new type of learning. I'm not saying it's all peachy and perfect, it will never be, and maybe there are more challenges and changes ahead inshAllah. But facing issues with children are inevitable and the way you've raised them will now be put to the test.
Adapting to Regular School
As a mom, if you have kids who have made the change from homeschool to a regular school, you will find it hard at the beginning and your instincts will be on high alert. It is important to remember that letting your kids go, does not have to be a bad thing. You can still be a big part of their lives by playing an active role in the following ways:
By asking your kids questions regularly but casually and without pressure
By listening to your children and letting them say what's on their mind without interruption
By not 'freaking out' when your kids talk openly to you and keeping an open mind because the world has changed since you went to school - so move along with the times
By providing gentle guidance to your kids without intruding
By using humor as much as possible because kids listen more when you are light-hearted instead of stern
By chatting with your kids and making it sound as a life lesson, not a lecture so you don't drive them away
You can't control what comes in your child's path, nor shield him from the harsh realities of life for long. Sometimes parents can monitor their kids a bit too much and think that they can control the outcome of their child's future. In actual fact, only Allah SWT is in charge of our children and their destiny is determined by Him. When you understand that you are only a coach to your kids and you are doing your best to raise them well, it will be easier to let go and trust that they will be okay, by the Will of Allah.
If you enjoyed this post, read some more thoughts on this article at, Regaining Your Balance in Your Children's Education.