Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Homeschooling life so far

Our homeschooling life so far is just blissful, al7amdulillah! It's going just as well as I had hoped and dreamed, both in terms of lifestyle and in terms of learning. Al7amdulillah :)

While everything is roses and sunshine, I want to note down a quick description of our daily and weekly rhythms. All the homeschoolers I know, whether in real life or online, seem to have ups and downs in their homeschooling experience, so I want to have something concrete to refer back to if we, too, hit some sticky patches!

This is still really a preschool year for Basbusa, since she won't be five until July insha'Allah. So even if we were planning on introducing formal academics, we wouldn't be doing much of that just yet, especially since she's picking up plenty on her own, al7amdulillah. For now, our only curriculum-based learning is RightStart math, level A.

The girls wake up around 6:30-7:30. After breakfast, saying goodbye to Grandma, and taking Baba to catch the train, Basbusa usually plunges into a pile of books while I finish  my cup of tea and tidy the kitchen. Then all three of us head toward our project-room, where we have all our books, art supplies, and project materials. (Plus lovely natural morning light, and a bird-feeder right outside the window. The other day, Kunafa, currently 2 1/4, astonished her Baba by teaching him enthusiastically how to tell the difference between a tufted titmouse and a dark-eyed junco, and how to differentiate between a "mama cardinal and a baba cardinal" and a "mama house-sparrow and a baba house-sparrow." And she was the very first one out of all four of us to identify a bird we had never seen before, as a woodpecker. She was right. It was a downy woodpecker, but I had to go check it in her favorite bird-book book before I believed her. Sub7anAllah :)

So, once we're in the project room (usually by around 8:30 or 9:00), I read stories to Kunafa until Basbusa finishes up her reading, and then read aloud to her, too, if she wants me to. Then we do Quran. And then, it's up to the girls. Would they like to do art? Project work? Math? More stories? We hang out in the project room until about 11am, with a snack in the middle. If the girls have lots of energy to burn, we head downstairs for some bed-bouncing and gymnastics, or go play in the garden. (Increasingly, as the weather gets warmer, we're doing books and Quran in the garden, too.)

On Mondays and Fridays, we have nothing scheduled in the afternoons, so our morning activities usually extend a bit longer. Then we have lunch, and then I send the girls off to entertain themselves while I do a little work on some projects of my own for an hour or so. And then we usually head to the park and the library. On Tuesdays, we head out to our playgroup, which lasts until 2:30 or 3:00. On Wednesdays, we meet another family for a playdate and some informal Arabic reading and writing lessons for the girls. On Thursdays, our schedule changes: we head out to gymnastics at 8:30am (picking up a friend along the way), and the girls spend the next three hours bouncing and jumping and running and climbing with some of their closest friends.

Al7amdulillah, this routine is simply idyllic. Al7amdulillah, the girls are happy, and are learning faster than I ever expected - even Quran, which I had been so worried about. They have many close friends of all ages, but more importantly, I can see them becoming closer friends with each other with every day that passes, al7amdulillah. They're getting plenty of playtime outside; they don't have to wake up early and rush out the door. And as for me, I get to hang out with amazing mom-friends three times a week, while our kids are playing together! So al7amdulillah, homeschooling so far is just wonderful. Al7amdulillah.


  1. Assalaamu Alaikum sis, so heartwarming to read this baarakallaah feekum. Sounds a perfect schedule and activities for all of you. May Allaah make it fruitful and a success for you. Aameen.

  2. Assalaamu Alaikum
    Lovely update! I hope when we begin homeschooling I too will have both a relaxed attitutde and a prepared environent so my kids can thrive inshaAllah. May Allah talaa bless your efforts.

    I was wondering if you can tell me about Kunafa's favorite bird book. Libraries in my city are quite disappointing (compared to where I used to live). I've been trying to nurture my son's interest in birds and I'm thinking of buying a few books to help us along. He's exactly Kunafa's age.

    Anyway thanks for the update and I would really appreciate if you could respond.


  3. so wonderful that you are enjoying homeschooling — happy for you guys! :)

  4. You have a great idea in detailing the highs of your homeschool. We are in a bit of a rut at the moment and your post reminded me to reread some of the posts I wrote back when we were in a better place. I really think a large portion of our angst is the current unknown in math curriculum for us. I'm sure as soon as I get it all squared away things will start moving more smoothly over here. Thanks for taking telling me about your experiences with Right Start. I appreciate your sharing it with me.