Letting Go of More Reluctance

"Bismillah Sculpture" by Shahida Ahmed (carved cube that reads "Bismillah" click image to see more from the 2010 Global Peace and Unity Islamic Art Exhibit

Bismillah al Rahman al Raheem

Something I would really like to start writing and talking more about here is some of the unschooling stuffs my family does, not just activities but also some of the process stuff we go through. There are several reasons I have been reluctant to share/discuss this aspect of myself and my family–so let’s start there 🙂

No doubt a big ole deterant is the over arching negativity thrown at homeschoolers and my not needing anymore negativity hurled at me for any of the various choices I have made in my life–there are so many areas of my life (homebirthing, home-educating, being Muslim, living overseas, staying-at-home, not vaccinating on schedule, not giving my kids much milk, preferring cotton clothes and natural fiber toys, allowing my boys to play with dolls, allowing my daughter to be shirltess and so on and on) that become subject to judgement and attack that I didn’t feel complelled to open a blog account and attract more. So, I’ll just delete any such spamminess as it may come up. 😉

Another couple reasons I have been hesitant to “publicly” discuss our processes kind of go hand in hand–the appearance of showing off and also my not wanting to contribute to this sort of picture perfect Happy Productive Homeschoolers stuffs which you can see so much of on the web. I think a lot of those latter type–Cleaver Homeschoolers–may actually be hurting some of us, so maybe I am attempting here to counter act some of that. And of course if you breath a hint of some of the struggles of home-educating your kids, the negativity anti-homeschoolers are so ready to jump in and scream at you to throw in the towel.

But it has been during times of searching–not do to self-doubt as I continually pray and ask for guidance about home-educating and I always feel very confident that it is the best choice for my family, *snort* my kids refuse to “get on the yellow bus” anyway, so I guess I’m stuck with them–anyhoo it has been during difficult times and not even so much difficult but also just adjusting and redesigning our style(s) that I have found so much help on the web through blogs, websites and private groups–and that is why I have decided to start talking here about our experiences more, so as to pay it forward so to say–insha Allah/God willing.

And of course now that I have decided to go public I can’t find the freakin software disc I need to download the pictures off my cell phone. :/ Bismillah.


12 thoughts on “Letting Go of More Reluctance

  1. To countermine all the haters out there, and in case you didn’t know, you inspire me so much brookey, and in the best ways. Through your example I learned to trust my body instead of fear it when I gave birth to my daughter. I learned to parent “without a net” and without a stop watch and let my daughter unfold unto herself without deadlines from watching and learning from you as you raised your children during the 6 years you lived here. I learned the question the conventional and find my own answers. You were and still are one of the only sisters who treat me like a young woman instead of dismissing me as a child and made me feel like my input was valued. Jazakallah khair sister!

  2. salaams.

    i think it will be very valuable to others to hear some real stories of your efforts. i agree that some Muslim homeschoolers are doing a disservice to others in the way they choose to portray their experiences, and more importantly in their pushy “you are a bad Muslim if you don’t” mentality. it’s important to know that homeschooling isn’t always the right choice for every family, or even for every child, or all the time, and that’s okay. it’s important to know what really goes into homeschooling so that you don’t feel like a failure when your experience doesn’t appear to measure up to the stories you are reading on other people’s blogs. it is very beneficial to share the processes for how you got to successes, as well as where things have gone wrong. there isn’t one answer to how it works and everyone is going to make some errors. and what is an error for one might be a success for another. so rather than comparing/contrasting, it should be about encouraging. it would be lovely to read more parents being honest about the struggles, instead of trying to portray a “this is so perfect” image publicly while being frustrated and depressed in private convos. maybe then some real sharing of resources could also occur. i mean, if you are onto something and it’s going right – folks want to know what you are doing and how so they can try and know there is a light & benefit to what has been a struggle. and if you are struggling, it’s better to be upfront about the pitfalls to aid others in stepping over them & give others an opportunity to support you thru the rough patches. when i homeschooled, i did it completely alone, with no support, no resources except what i made for myself, no CLUE what i was really doing. but alhamdulAllah, it worked up to a point. but i see so many mothers now who are trying and feel like they are failing, and mothers who aren’t even particularly trying to homeschool so much as deal with toddlers to prepare them for school and feeling like they are failing. i wish i had been online and had a network of support and resources when i was doing it, and a way to hear that i wasn’t the only one struggling and to be told “wow, that’s great” when i wasn’t even sure if something counted as success!

  3. I understand your reluctance to post: they are all pretty serious life decisions. FWIW, I was born at home, never vaccinated and home-schooled for a couple years (6th and 12th grade), and I turned out OK. None of them are choices I would recommend for all people in all situations, but they are fundamental liberties that everyone should have the right to choose for themselves.

    1. Thanks BG. Have you written about your hsing experience? I would love to read about it. I hope to write some about my hsing 10th grade and unschooling myself, iA.

  4. Salaams Dear

    It is never easy and each mom does the best she can. You are a very loving mom and I’m sure it will be okay. Look forward to you sharing your experiences.

  5. Salaam! Brooke, thank you for posting things like this. I learn so much from you all of the time and I value what you say and how you say it. My world, my heart, and my deen have expanded through knowing you. Insha’allah, we all will have this sort of impact on others in our life. You are living it, sistah. I love you for the sake of Allah!

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