Homeschooling: Getting Dad on Board

I frequently hear moms asking “How do I get my husband to agree to homeschool?” and, well, I have great empathy for their plight. I’ve heard that if it’s not dad’s idea to begin with, it can be very difficult to convince him to homeschool. This week when someone asked me about this common dilemma I thought back some ten+ years to the beginning of my family’s journey and tried to remember- how did I get my husband to agree to homeschool our kids?

Initially the husband seemed to agree with my homeschooling idea. Perhaps he saw my enthusiasm- pouring over hsing books, joining hsing groups, taking parent and child courses at our local Waldorf school- and he thought something like, She’s going to be great at this! I just asked him how he was so easily convinced in those early days and he says it has to do with him being “weird” by which he means “unconventional” and he says that he’s quick on his feet and “just got it right away that homeschooling was a good thing to do.” I may try again to jog his memory about that time because…

… and then about a year later we moved to Morocco and the man buckled. He began pressuring me to put our four year old into preschool. Now he says “that was only about the language.” Yes, of course. Muslim homeschoolers who move overseas often cite language acquisition as a reason for indoctrinating putting their children in schools once they are in Muslim majority countries. The other main reason is so that the children will learn Quran and Islamic values.

The first two neighbourhood schools I begrudgingly toured with my husband were taught primarily in French. And they happily informed us that the children learn all about Papa Noel and wear costumes for Halloween. Did this appeal to the Western Mom? No. Their curriculum was also cra substandard and they did not have an outdoor play area for the children. Well they had cement driveways. Nice. The third school we toured was a 40 minute drive (not during commute hours) from our home. It was an “Islamic school” located within the compound of a lovely mosque. There was a plush lawn covering the grounds and a slide. One of those detached slides you might buy from a toy store for your own kids.

We arrived at Option #3 just in time for Thuhr prayer and got to witness all the little kids (remember- preschool) pulling on their hijabs and thobes, rolling out the enormous plastic rugs, and lining up to pray. Truly adorable. Then we learned about the curriculum. Yes, we were proudly informed, these three and four year olds were learning not only Classic Arabic (as opposed to the Derija or Tshilhit they speak at home) but they were also learning English. Argh. I was hoping to follow the Better Late Than Early model. The husband was impressed. He decided the son would go. He decided my little four year-old would-be-homeschooler should commute to school six days a week for several many hours every day. I remember there was an option for him to come home for two hours every day for lunch, but obviously that would be futile with the more than an hour’s worth of driving back and forth, so he would be there all day. Full-time.

I decided to opt out. “You want him to go, you have to get him up, get him ready, make his breakfast, get his lunch ready, drop him off, pick him up. I’m not doing anything to help,” I said (and meant). My husband did not get up and get my son ready and make his breakfast and make his lunch and drive him in Casa traffic (similar to LA or NY) to school and then drive back to our side of town and then go back hours later to get him. My husband didn’t put our son in school after all. This solution didn’t come to me immediately or easily, but it came to me and it worked. That was the end of that and the beginning our homeschooling journey.

I hear that dads are more inclined to listen to professional advice regarding these matters of making choices that very much go against the current grain, especially the advice of other males. So you may want to do another thing I did, which was to load the coffee table down with books and printed out data about the success rates of homeschoolers. But then again, that didn’t seem to entirely work for us. Otherwise, some Muslims appreciate a good fatwa, so here’s one if it helps at all- though I’m sure you could find support out there for an opposite view…

Homeschooling our Children is an Act of Obedience to Allah

Question:

If a woman wants to home school her children, to protect them from evil influences, can she do so against her husband’s wishes? Can you provide any articles about educating our children, especially in this secular liberal society?

Answer:

The danger in the non-Muslim schools is definite, and sending our children there when there is a good alternative available is an act of disobedience to Allaah. If you know that you can properly home-school your children, and you know that you can get by it despite your husband’s opposition, then do it by all means, because, “No obedience may be granted to any creature that involves disobeying the Creator.”

Shaikh Muhammad al-Jibaly

imanbendjedidi.blogspot.com

Note: You do not have to be a teacher or have a university degree to teach your children at home. Studies have proven that home educated children are approximately five years ahead of children that attend public school, regardless of their parent’s level of education.

More and more Imams are encouraging homeschooling and some are stating it is a requirement, alhamdulillah.

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20 thoughts on “Homeschooling: Getting Dad on Board

  1. We have just returned from morocco but hope to return in April….we just love it but was concerned about schools….anyone out there interested in homeschooling…Waldorf..montessori style….

    1. I know a few homeschooling families here, but most homeschoolers who move here mistakenly think the schools will be better and put their kids into them 😦

  2. So homeschooling in morocco is legal? I have been looking and looking and would really like a clear answer. I really liked your article and I have a hard time convincing my husband about homeschooling 😦

    1. I think I may have gotten the impression that it was legal for non-Moroccan children, but I would think that circumstances could be created to make it legal for Moroccan children as well just as many families do in other places where they must “be like a school” to educate their own children.

      1. I recently moved to Morocco from the states. I’m used to the idea of homeschooling and had a few friends who were homeschooled. The problem is that my husband has (he’s moroccan) is when chidren “grow up”, how will they go to university and/or upper education.

      2. My eldest is currently earning his US high school diploma online and then he could use that to enter some Moroccan uni’s though he says he may want to continue to study online. So, just like in the states.

        Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:59:33 +0000 To: brookebenoit@hotmail.com

      3. i’m trying to enroll at one of the universities here in morocco, they won’t accept a US high school diploma. i had to translate my diploma, course descriptions and i cant remember what other documents i needed, i had to get them accredit through Amideast in Casablanca and then send everything to the Ministry of Education. it was costly, mostly for the translation. that was in October 1013, i’m still waiting for my equivalent moroccan highschool “bac” degree :(. So i’m just giving u a heads up if your son wants to go for university in moroc. if you hv any questions email me at kchavo_43@hotmail.com

      4. Is it private or state? I am thinking private would be easier. The diploma he is earning is US accredited, and I am expecting to have to do all that kind of stuff, just like I did with other documents for marriage and so on…

      5. i’m trying to enroll at Moulay Ismail University, it’s a public school…. i haven’t really thought about the private ones. My husband is more comfortable with the university since he went there and know some teachers that can help me get in 😉

      6. he’s moroccan, been in morocco all his life, he understands french but i never really heard him speak it

      7. Sorry! I got confused and thought you were trying to enroll your son. Please keep me updated, I am also hoping to eventually go to a Moroccan uni, insha Allah.

      8. lol no problem. i don’t have any kids yet. it’s just whenever i bring up the homeschooling thing my husband disagrees. i found your article and i really loved it. hopefully inshallah my husband will agree

  3. Hi there, Jazak Allah for your article. My husband and I also want to move to Morocco. My son is 4 and my daughter 2. If we were to stay in Canada my intention was to homeschool. I really want to do it in Morocco as well but my husband has concerns if we were in Morocco…For example higher education. You gave me hope however I am assuming the private schools are quite costly?? Also I do want my children to learn arabic as well as Quran. I plan on teaching him french myself insha Allah or through a program. Any info on Quranic teachers in Casa??Also what highschool program is your son using? thanks sister Salam.

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