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Friday, March 20, 2020

Covid-19: Simple Homeschooling Routines for Muslim Parents & Resources Galore!

Unprecedented Change  

Alhamduleelah in every situation. It is always necessary to remember the Most High in all situations but especially when we see mankind dealing with unprecedented changes in health, livelihood, and the environment. As Muslims we know that truly Allah is always in control. However, it doesn't decrease the challenges that we all are facing. Like so many of you, last week the school I work for informed all staff that that all schools in our district were closing due to the seriousness of the Coronavirus and the safety of our students and coworkers. And so this week over 69, 000 children and young adults were home with their parents trying to figure out the best way to continue to learn at home and homeschool. I received so many calls and texts from frantic friends and even coworkers. Many lamenting that they had never taught elementary math or science or that they didn't know how to teach phonics. Even more parents were rightfully so worried how they would accommodate learning for their children with special needs. My advice was pretty much the same across the board:

Say: Bismillah! Relax, breathe, and build a simple routine

As a homeschooling parent for the last 12 years and public school school teacher, I greatly prefer the autonomy and flexibility that I have to teach my kids at home. Yes, teaching at home can be frustrating, require some planning, there will be messy lessons, and for sure your kids will not learn everything in a day - but guess what? All of that happens in public schools and at colleges as well. The best teachers have to reteach lessons and oh boy are there many frustrations though out the day dealing with any where from 25 to 60 students. You learn. You adjust. You can cry (not in front of the students or your children). You plan again, again, and again. You will get better. You laugh. And learn together with your kids/students. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that just like you, your children are going through a lot of changes right now that will affect them all differently. Be patient. Be flexible. Be encouraging. Remind your children (and yourselves) that change is apart of life and that truly the decree belongs to Allah. As the Allah said (what means):

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones.” (Quran 2:155)


“Therefore, remember Me (God) and I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” (Quran 2:152)

While the nabi (sallallahu alyhi wa sallam) reminded us that: 

Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer!  They are all for his benefit.  If he is granted ease then he is thankful, and this is good for him.  And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres, and this is good for him. (Sahih Muslim) 

So now let's take a look at a simple homeschooling schedule that anyone can customize to meet the needs of their children. 

Generally, my children work at home from 10 am - 1 pm. Then we have another hour of time later in the day or evening. On Fridays we add in an art or craft project. All of my craft supplies I pick up at the Dollar Tree. You can find paint, crossword puzzles, puzzles, crayons, markers, poster boards, cheap glass and plastic and any thing others supplies for $1 a piece at the Dollar Tree! For academic supplies there are plenty of free ebooks and free online resources that I will link below, but if your children are public school students out for the Covid-19 precautions make sure you check the sites and other resources that your school district are using. Any questions or accommodations that are needed, communicate those requests to your children's teachers. If your child's school is using ClassDojo, Class Tag, PowerSchool or any online platforms and you haven't already signed up, now is the time to do that. Teachers are logging in daily and setting up work for students. It is most important that you and your children stay connected to your school district and children's teachers in particular for updates.

Also don't forget you are at home, Alhamduleelah! Your children don't have to work for an hour uninterrupted. If you need to beak up the time, do so! If you want to take a walk or need to cook dinner?  Stop and let them help you. Reading recipes and measuring ingredients is valuable learning and can count for reading and math work!  

May Allah grant us all ease in our tasks, bless us with health, relieve us of difficulties in this life and keep us steadfast upon Tawheed, ameen.

Homeschooling Resources

8. TED Ed

Arabic & Islamic 

Simple Craft Projects