What can I do for you?
Homeschoolers work hard. Muslim homeschoolers work harder: on top of the challenges that all home educators face, we find ourselves and our families having to work with learning materials that – almost in their totality – were created by non-Muslims for non-Muslims.
The ultimate aim of the Muslim parent is to educate their children to live Islam in everything they do.
In order to do so, we rectify distorted perspectives for our children, provide explanations, amend existing resources, and sometimes even create our own.
Admittedly, sometimes the solutions per se are more scrappy than elegant, but this is what this blog is all about: sharing a good idea when (and if) I have one.
I will share my homeschooling related ideas with you: the believer that cares about her religion and is prepared to strive and make some sacrifices to cultivate herself and her children upon it.
What kind of resources are we talking about?
I’ll be honest: new ideas keep cropping up all the time… but the printables I have been working on so far include:
- Workbooks to accompany well known books written by the scholars of Islam (books that you are likely to have at home but consider too difficult for your children to just pick up and read);
- Other ideas on how we can help children extract benefit from authentic books that have not been adapted to their level;
- True stories, islamic stories, re-written to be more accessible to our young audience;
- Games to facilitate the acquisition of the Arabic language;
- Tools for planning and organisation;
I rely solely on the works of the ulamaa’ and students of knowledge because I am not a person of knowledge myself. May Allah protect me from ever putting myself above my place.
I will also write about homeschooling, to share whatever I think could benefit someone else in my position, insha’Allah. Again, I don’t claim absolute authority (is there even such a thing in parenting or homeschooling?), I only speak from my own experience.
I always found homeschooling blogs a great source of ideas and benefitted deeply from the work of some sisters bloggers, may Allah reward them with good. Home education is a new concept to my family and most of my close friends do not homeschool, yet I don’t feel isolated: I know that – in sha’Allah – inspiration and support can be just a few clicks away. Part of what it means to be sisters in Islam in the 21st century!
I started my first public blog, Islamic Bedtime Stories, in 2015, as a place to channel my enthusiasm about the homeschooling life (or lack thereof!) without completely clog up telegram groups with my brilliant ideas and life changing epiphanies *rolls eyes at self*
In my defense, I was never in for the “glory” (eh eh). I ask Allah to rectify my intentions and keep them pure for His sake.
This blog is intended to be less about self expression and more about sharing benefit. Helping people that want to homeschool but they don’t believe they can; or they already do but they could use a few ready made islamic printables.
It is also a tool for reflection and accountability, for myself first of all. Because, when I set out to explain something to others, I end up seeing things more clearly myself; when I try to encourage or advise others, I am more likely to remember those words when I am the one who needs them.
Every success is from Allah and we ask His mercy and guidance.
Who am I?
Born in 1981 in a small village in Northern Italy, I wanted to go away since I can remember. Don’t get me wrong, I had a brilliant childhood and my family was – and still is – lovely. But I was hungry for “the world”. I always had a huge fascination for different cultures, different faces, faraway lands and lives we can’t even imagine. To my frustration, there wasn’t a great deal of diversity in my life in the 80s, but I always picked the non caucasian Barbie doll (when there was one!). I couldn’t understand how so many people could be perfectly content without ever trying out life in a different culture, or even being remotely interested in people with a vastly different story. I would still have a curry or sushi any day of the week rather than pasta, if you see what I mean.
When I could write, my father taught me my first words in English. He had learned it for work. I taught myself the rest of the basics from tapes. Learning languages is your real ticket to get to know humanity, first hand. The night before my very first proper language class (French, in middle school) I couldn’t sleep for the exhilaration.
I went on to study Modern Languages at my local university. Now that I had almost completed my transformation into someone “normal” who would fit happily where she was – I entered the selection process for the Erasmus university exchange, just to see how good I was. I got picked. I packed my suitcase to the UK and the rest is history. I became a linguist. I studied phonetics, phonology and language endangerment. Of course, I had many friends from all over the world.
Allah places people in our life with purpose. Most of the people that were meaningful to me in my life in the UK were Muslims and, by the end of my Master’s degree, that was starting to show. We started to compare our ways of life and, for once, the “open mind” I had always been so proud of was actually working to my benefit.
I started a PhD in which I was going to document a highly endangered language spoken in the Amazon rainforest. I absolutely love linguistics (yes, present tense!). However, when the field trip to the Amazon that was being planned never happened, I wasn’t even sorry because – over the last year or so – my heart was being gently stirred in a different direction.
After a lot of soul searching, even more reading and a million questions asked, on 3 December 2006 I was waiting anxiously for it to be time to go to the new Muslim women circle at a local mosque. One of my friend had introduced me to it. All morning I had been thinking about how Muslims prostrate in prayer. I couldn’t get over the greatness of that gesture. Something that I would never do for anyone in the world, ever! Yet my desire to do it for Allah was overpowering. As I got up from my chair and stood still, a voice in my head was screaming: “You are crazy! This is not for you!”. I think we all know who that was. I did prostrate that time. Nothing had ever felt so appropriate. Later that day, at the mosque, I formally entered into Islam.
What am I upon?
After entering Islam I never looked back, but I did look around. I learned – much to my disappointment – about the existence of many different sects and deviated beliefs. With the help of my new husband – a born Muslim, from a different continent and with a completely different story – I understood why, on top of following the Qur’an and the Sunnah, we need the correct methodology.
Anyone can claim to follow authentic sources, but then interpret them according to his desires. This can lead to an immense variety of results; each of them fatally flawed. I learned that having the correct understanding is indispensable.
I had left Christianity, a religion in which the original message from God was lost to a world of well wishing and hedonism, and I knew that I had chosen Islam because that connection between the Prophet sent by Allah and us – here, today – still exists. That road can be traced back, and trace it back we must.
This does not mean that we should live our daily life as they did in 7th century Arabia; it means that the only correct way to understand the Qur’an and the Sunnah is the way of the first 3 generations of Islam (the salaf as-saalih).
Alhamdulillah, there have been scholars in every era that have worked to keep that path clear for us all, may Allah have mercy of the ones who died and preserve the ones that are still among us.
My husband and I have been blessed with 4 children: one of them has gone straight to Jannah before her birth into this world (in 2014) and 3 we are given to raise (born in 2008, 2011 and 2015). Allah is to be praised for everything.
Without my children and the rights they have upon me, nothing in this blog would exist, nor would I have the motivation for it.
I ask Allah to forgive all my shortcomings and my mistakes; and I ask you specifically to forgive those you will see on these pages.
Are you also a homeschooling mom?
Or do you want to provide authentic Islamic resources to your school-going children?
What kind of resources would you like to use with your kids?
Drop me a line on social media or in the comments below and let me know!