Muslims believe that every person is a born a Muslim, that is that every child is born pure and one who is submissive to Allah (God). They believe that as a child grows they change based on what they are taught and who they are taught by. Then some of those people come back to being Muslim after deep reflection over the course of their life. This is what happened to me. My father is Muslim and my mother is Catholic. Although I was raised with some knowledge of both religions, I came back to Islam in my early 20s...
Over the past year, I have done some very deep reflection on what I want for my children. Not only in the way I want them to be educated, but they way I want them to grow up, what I want them to see, and hear, and learn, and from who I want them to learn. I had so many thoughts running through my head, so many considerations, so many doubts, that I decided to start this blog so that I may organize my thoughts, clear my chaotic head and really think deeply about these issues and how I was going to handle them, and perhaps inspire others to do the same.
I spent almost a full year researching different methods of education, reading various books on homeschooling, visiting numerous schools in my area of NJ, Islamic, public, and private, (before I moved abroad), spoke and had meetings with numerous friends and family members on the subject of educating children. In the end, I decided I was going to try homeschooling for a year, and that if it didnt work out I could always put her back in school. However, during this same time, my husband and I had been looking into moving abroad to give ourselves and our children exposure to the world. We wanted to expose them to various languages, cultures, and lifestyles outside the United States. By Allah's grace, my husband was given the opportunity to work in Luxembourg for 3 years and we happily accepted.
This changed a few things for me, but mostly I had to reconsider homeschooling because I would now be living in a country where the offical language was not English, but French, German and Luxembourgish, and I would not know anyone. I didn't want to isolate my daughter, and I wanted to give myself time to adjust to a new country. So I researched the various schools in Luxembourg and came across the Waldorf school. I had always been interested in the Waldorf philosophy, however, the cost of sending a child to a Waldorf school in the U.S. is exhorbant. In Luxembourg the price is very reasonable, so I decided to enroll her in the Waldorf school, and she and I are both very excited.
While I felt completely happy and comfortable in my decision, there were still holes that had to be filled. How would she learn Arabic? What about Quran? Who will teach her Islamic Studies? And what about English Reading and Writing (since the schools here are taught in the local languages)? This is when I decided that I still had to homeschool. And so I will be homeschooling her in these subjects previously mentioned. In addition, I will be attempting to work with my son as well, although I havent quite figured out yet what methods I will be using with him. I plan to take it day by day.
May Allah guide me and keep me patient and strong in this journey.
I also write for a blog called growmamagrow that has been adopted by Patheos.com which is an interfaith website.