Asalam alaikum, my name is Zakariya and I am eleven years old. I have always been homeschooled, so I really don’t know what a typical day at school is like, but I do have an idea of what an ideal homeschooling day would be …
My perfect day would start with a big breakfast, including waffles and hot chocolate, but usually I just make myself a sandwich with honey and homemade peanut-butter. I really like to have extra sweet coffee or black tea, but my mom usually only lets me have chamomile or green tea. We don’t live near a bakery, so my mom pays my brother and I to make our own bread, which is pretty awesome because I get money and homemade bread is delicious.
On a perfect day I could jump into my favourite projects right after breakfast, but actually I have some chores to do. My brothers and I take turns washing dishes; we also feed our food scraps to our neighbour’s cows, chickens and cats. Sometimes I have to clean the hammam (bathroom) or wash my clothes, which we don’t have a machine for. In an ideal world, we would have a washing machine and I would never even have to use it!
After chores we have ‘project time.’ Right now my main project is learning about architecture and doing architectural drawings. I draw with pencils and the computer. I’ve used some architecture software and am hoping to get some better illustrating software soon.
I tried making three dimensional building models with balsa wood, but found out that I really like making toy guns instead. I also draw a lot of comics and have been thinking about writing a whole story about what World War III might be like.
Lunchtime always sneaks up on me while I am working on a project. On an ideal day, we would have Chinese take-out or pizzas with fountain sodas delivered, but actually, just like with chores, my brothers and I take turns helping to make lunch, which is usually our biggest meal of the day. My mom says that I am really “detail oriented” so she usually has me cut vegetables into small pieces for fresh salads or sautéing.
After lunch my parents like to have “quiet time,” which for them and my little sisters usually means taking a nap. My brothers and I like to use the computer during this time, either to watch a movie or play video games.
The athan for Asr lets us know that quiet time is over, and, after we pray, we can play outside until Mahgrib if we don’t have any chores to do. I usually use this time without my brothers and sisters around to do my own work on the computer, like right now I like to take a lot of math tests online or make stop animation movies with Lego or paper cutouts.
Usually right after Mahgrib we eat a simple dinner of leftovers or other simple food and then begin getting ready for bed. Most nights we have ‘story time’ and my mom reads either a storybook for my sisters or a chapter from one of the books we have on our Kindle. We don’t live near a library, so most of our reading is done on the e-reader, and after story time my older brother and I take turns reading on it. Right now we are reading through all of Rick Riordan’s books. If it’s not my night to use the Kindle, I usually draw for a little while before I go to sleep. Occasionally I actually stay up longer than my parents and having the whole house to myself is really perfect – the best way to end the day!
Originally published in Discover- The Magazine for curious Muslim Kids, Issue #3