You did your research, you got the resources, you set up your timetable and you’re ready to begin your homeschool journey and then, your health-carer turns up and the questions arise…
‘Why aren’t they in school?
‘Do they mix with other children?’
‘Do you not think they need to experience a classroom environment?’
I don’t know who needs to hear this for the hundredth time but…
‘You are the parent, not them!’
How you choose to raise your child is your choice and YOU will be accountable!
Most people seem to make bad judgements about homeschoolers due to the manner of education and in particular socialising which is the main topic of what I will be covering in this post in shaa Allaah! I’m sure we all could write essays about this topic.
Now, nobody is saying that there are no social benefits from going to school. I’m sure a child can be social at school but I don’t believe for a second that school is the ultimate BEST place to socialise a child. Please understand the difference! Social development is very important to the homeschooler. If anything, it’s a huge reason why parents opt to homeschool since it allows flexibility and more control over who or what a child is exposed to.
Here are our top reasons (my husband included) why we believe schools are not necessarily the BEST place to socialise a child and Allaah Ta’ala knows best:
Socialising means different things to different people
As muslims, we dont care about numbers (popularity) we care about truth so one true friend is better than 100 fake friends
A childs confidence does NOT depend on them going to a school
In fact, there are many school children who lack confidence and social skills. Children at school are also more prone to bullying, peer pressure or some sort of abuse that parents may live to never know
Skills of socialising can be attained from various places
This includes places such as the home, relatives, other homeschooled children, penpals, mosques, libraries, friends, neighbourhood, youth club, outside of school activities including madrasa, sports, outdoor space such as walks, shopping or trips and many other suitable environments etc
Children at school don’t have much in common
Schools force children to spend years in the same company of other children who only have one thing in common; age. Now, you may be thinking some children do make friends with other children of similar interests but that only happens after and NOT before they enter the classroom. When a child is accepted into a school, only age and then location is taken into consideration. No other compatibility is taken into consideration such as religion, interests, learning style or level of maturity etc
There is not enough socialising time given to school children
School children here in the UK spend at least 6-7 hours, 5 days a week at school. They are given 1 hour of that time per day for a lunch break in which they are able to mix with other children. The rest of those long hours are spent in the classroom behind a desk; either listening to the teacher or getting on with work. Teachers won’t let a child socialise in class and from my experience, if caught talking, have said themselves ‘this is not a place for socialising, this is a place for learning’. The amount of time schools take from a childs day does not even allow them enough time to socialise with others outside of school (especially true in UK). I can only imagine how tiring it must be for those who actually manage to accomplish participating in out-of-school activities both guardian and child. I guess you can always wait for school trips which sometimes come once a year or the holiday breaks. Hmmm…
Children don’t always get to sit with whoever they like
A lot of school teacher’s have this belief that children shouldn’t sit in class with those they feel most comfortable around. I understand that some friends can affect their peers concentration but joining a child with someone they don’t feel safe or comfortable around is uneccessary in my opinion and can discourage a child from wanting to come to school altogether
Teachers impact a child’s confidence
I hope school teachers realise how serious and real this is especially those who yell & give detention as a way to ‘discipline’ a child which can lead to a child becoming rebellious. A teacher’s role is a huge one in which they are replacing the time loving parents wish they had with their children. Teachers are in a position to make or break a child yet not enough one-to-one time is given to every child which is something a child needs daily to meet their potential.
Sadly, schools only have one parents evening within the whole year. Are teachers really putting on their real character when parents meet them? Is this one evening enough time to have a good look at your child’s yearly progress? Allaahu aalem.
If you would like to continue the list in the comments, please feel free. I’d love to hear what you think too in shaa Allaah.
Well, it all comes down to this. The decisions YOU make for YOUR family are YOUR right & you dont need peoples approval!
As long as you are not being neglectful and keeping your child from benfiting with others then please do yourself a favour and ignore the judgement people make which they have no knowledge about. People are afraid of what they don’t know! Remember, worrying about what others think about your parenting whether family, friends or a doctor will only hold you back from reaching your own goals as a family.
You may be killing yourself over the opinion or judgement of someone who is not even the one fully responsible for your children.
If you homeschool, good. If you dont, good for you. Remember, you’re the parent, not them, and it’s all about tarbiyyah (cultivation)!
Please take care of yourself and your family first!
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Jazaakom Allahu khair!