So you want to HomeSchool?

  


Where do I start? What do I do? What do I need? Is it going to be expensive? These are some of the questions everyone asks.

 

First thins first, do your children attend school? If so, you have to de-register by writing a de-registration letter to the school. Once the school receives your letter you can then remove your children’s names from the school roll. This is a legal requirement so take care in writing your letter. If need be, I can provide you with a template inshaAllah.

 

Ok, so you’ve deregistered what now? Well, the children and you need some time to de-school. Use this time to find out about your children’s learning curb – are they a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learners? What are their interests? What do they love/dislike? What do they have difficulty with? Don’t jump into the deep end and insist on them sitting with worksheets, it will only end in tears! Once you have gathered all the information, then you can plan ahead.

 

Do I have to be a Qualified Teacher or have a Degree in certain subjects to homeschool? 

Ask yourself, who taught your children to crawl, walk, eat and talk? Did you send them to school to be potty trained or sleep through the night? These are very difficult things to do and many, many qualified teachers would not have experienced any of the ‘hardship’ we have faced when our children were younger. But we did, they are walking, talking, eating and there was no need to send them to an institution to master it all. It was us who did it! 

God has created everything with an instinct to learn and to imitate so the best qualification we really need is to be the greatest role models for our children. If we can master that then we have succeeded.

Educating a child is a natural process. Homeschooling is nothing more than an extension of parenting. (Sue Maakestad)

 

 Do I need to follow the National Curriculum or anything specific? 

Nope! It is up to you what you want to teach your children so teach according to their interest. Although, there is no harm in looking at different curriculums to get an idea, especially if you are pro-structure. My advice is not to heavily depend on something because if you can’t follow it to the T then you will feel like a failure. Take the good and leave the unnecessary stuff behind.

I have a simple topic based curriculum which is cross curricular. For example, if we are working on the Human Body, then we link it to History. We look at various illnesses that affected people in the past and for Islamic Studies, we would discuss what is mentioned in the Quran.

 We also do a lot of Lapbooks and Notebooking. A Lapbook is topic based project where children use various mini books to fill in the information. This is a great way of learning about a particular topic with little chunks of writing.  www.homeschoolshare.com has 100s of free lapbooks, it’s one of our favourite sites.

 

Notebooking is more suitable for older children, it involves a lot of writing but is a great way of working on a project. My favourite Notebooking pages come from Imans Homeschool, she has a lot of other great resources too. www.imanshomeschool.wordpress.com

 

Our favourite site for worksheets is Super Teacher Worksheets. Although we do a lot of hands on activities and lapbooks, we also use this site a lot. It is the only site that we actually pay for. At $19.95 per year, you do get your money’s worth. There are several comprehensions which coincides with common topics studied and lots of mathematical concepts explained in a fun way. www.superteacherworksheets.com

 

If your children learn best through textbooks then Galore Park books are highly recommended. We use the Science, History and Geography for independent learning.  www.galorepark.co.uk

 The best reading books for Maths, Science, History and Geography are the Horrible Series. They are factual, quirky (sometimes silly!) and very interesting. 

What if I can’t teach 9-3.30pm? 

Don’t worry, there is no set time for teaching or learning. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can take it at your children’s pace. If they get frustrated or even bored with something then you can always come back to it. From experience, all you need is a maximum of 2 hours a day to cover most topics and that’s even after taking breaks in between. The rest of the day is learning through play. Remember, we don’t have registrations, assemblies and lining up to go to A-B. The beauty of homeschooling is that it’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t get finished, it won’t have an affect on the children’s SATs results. There is always tomorrow, inshaAllah, to try different methods in explaining something that was not understood today.

 

Is it expensive?

To be honest, it’s how expensive you make it. The most essential thing you will need for homeschooling is books, books and more books! Use the libraries to your advantage and then gradually build up a home library. Books are inexpensive but the information they contain are priceless. Go to your local carboot sale, you will pick up some great reads for pennies. Make sure you have a vast selection of fiction and non-fiction books readily available. Introduce your children to different genres and cultures, let them develop a thirst for reading and ultimately learning.

The Book People are amazing! You can pick up whole book set collections for a great price. www.thebookpeople.co.uk

 Educational resources are widely available and they are inexpensive. Be creative and make your own by recycling everyday materials. Utilise GooglePinterestand Youtube. If you are on Facebook then join all the homeschooling pages and jot down ideas. There is a wealth of information out there, take some time out and bookmark them. Knowledge is power.

 I run the Greater Manchester Home EducatorsFacebook group. You can find an extensive list of online resources amongst many other helpful tips there. Also The Resource Lady sell affordable homeschooling resources and is run by fellow homeschooling mothers.

  

But what about socialising?

Well it is a fact that homeschooled kids are actually more socialised by not being restricted to just their peers. Homeschooled kids play with children from various backgrounds and ages and with their siblings. Think about your own schooling. Were you in the same class/year as your sibling? Did you meet up at playtime and have a good chat? Or was it ‘embarrassing’ for your older sibling to even come near you?

Yes, children in school socialise but they are restricted to a set time and group. You will not find an entire class of 30 children playing together, everyone splits up according to popularity and even ability. At home, your children could be best friends but in school it’s simply understood that they are in a different world. This is how family breaks down! This is how we differ. Alhumdulillah, our children aren’t segregated because of age/ability and there is no assumption that they should have different friend groups that don’t include each other but rather develop a strong bond of kinship. We are thinking outside of the box as our children enjoy spending time together rather than be separated by the ‘norm.’

What if it all gets too much? 

Communicate, communicate and ask for help! It is imperative that homeschooling families meet up with other families, either for support or a general chit chat. We all have good and bad days and nothing works better than making dua and sitting down with a fellow homeschooler, with a cuppa and discussing the highs and lows of the day.

Jazmin Begum Kennedy

Bio: Jazmin Begum-Kennedy is an experienced teacher of Primary and Secondary Education and is an acclaimed professional artist (JBK Arts) and published author of Mercy Like the Raindrops. Furthermore, Jazmin is an online counsellor specialising in Domestic Abuse, Rape and Child Abuse. She also works for The Nisa Foundation as a Women’s Aid Worker.

Jazmin was the co-founder of the UK based charity Care for Children, helping children worldwide with the necessities of life. She is an activist who passionately supports the Palestinian struggle. She is now the co-founder of the Nisa Foundation, working as a women’s aid worker for victims of Domestic Violence.

Jazmin currently homeschools her 3 children full time whilst managing a network for Home Educators in the Greater Manchester area. She also runs her own business selling Educational Resources (The Resource Lady) and leads workshops for The Workshop People.

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