Children · Expat Moms and Kids · Finding your path · Freedom · Homeschooling · Homeschooling whilst Unschooling · Islamic Homeschooling · Islamic parenting · Islamic society · Islamic values · Living by the Quran · Muscat Moms and Kids · Muslim Mama · Parenting · Quran · Reaching for Jannah · Social pressure · Way of LIfe

The most practical parenting plan:3 stages of respectful parenting 

The most practical parenting plan:3 stages of respectful parenting . . "A child is a student when playing with sticks. A child is a student when learning to write between lines. A child is a student every single minute because he/she is already living his/her life; we must refrain from entertaining the thought that we need to train children to begin living their lives as adults" . . Click the link on the bio for the blog post on the The most practical parenting plan:3 stages of respectful parenting . What methods do you lean towards? Do share your thoughts💟 . . https://nuzham.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/the-most-practical-parenting-plan3-stages-of-respectful-parenting/?preview=true #homeschoolingmom #homeschool #muscathomeschoolers #muscatbloggers #muscatblog #muscatblogging #omanmums #omanblog #muscatblogging #muslimama #muscat #unschooling #homeschooling #joyfulmamas #motherhoodrocks #letthembelittle #educationsystems #sunnah #raising #lovelearning #themomtribefollowloop #mamatomama #mamaloop9 #mamacanteach #learningathome #muslimama #islamicparenting #instamom #muslimhomeschool #motherhoodthroughinstagram #cheekygigglesonapumpkintummy

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Today I came across a post on a popular mommy page where a mother was asking for book recommendations to teach her 5 month old baby. Teach. Not read to or show but teach.

The other day, another mom in the same group had posted a message out of panic. Due to being pregnant with her second child, this mother had been unable to teach her child to write and do sums and now she is worried that the child would be a failure and shunned. How old was the child in question? Two.

Two years old. 24 months.

We have fallen prey to the demands of this world. We created those demands and now, are in danger of being crushed by them.

When something as natural as learning starts to stress out the student or the teacher,then there is something unnatural in the mix. Take a break and evaluate your goals and priorities. 

“A child is a student when playing with sticks. 

A child is a student when learning to write between lines. 

A child is a student every single minute because he/she is already living his/her life; we must refrain from entertaining the thought that we need to train children to begin living their lives as adults

Here is a beautifully explained piece on parenting that I try to remember to live by:

“On the subject of raising children, Ali ibn Abi Taalib (RA) said:

“Play with them for the first 7 years of their life, then teach them for the next 7 years; and then finally advise them for the next 7 years afterwards .”
*First 7 Years
In the first 7 years, your goal is to build a strong connection with your child. This is the foundation, the base from which your relationship with them grows. If this rock is solid, the remaining years will be much easier. If this foundation forms poorly, the next years will be more challenging.
If you have young children, this (first 7 years) is the time to roll up your sleeves and invest, heavily, in yours and their future. In fact, you will be rewarded for all the righteous progeny that survives you, not just children, until the Day of Judgement.
*Next 7 Years
Once children reach 7, they are ready to learn. This is the time they are sponges, ready to soak up anything and everything you tell them, teach them, show them, and do in front of them. If you built that solid foundation in ages 0-7, they are now more than willing and happy to learn from you.
This is the time to teach them everything — aqeedah, halaal and haraam, fiqh, all the things they need to know to survive throughout their life. Qur’an and seerah are also very important; as one prominent tabi’een said, “we learned seerah (frequently and in details) from our parents the way we learned Qur’an.”
Teach them sports too, Rasulullah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Teach your children Swimming, Archery and Horseback riding.” They gain many benefits from it, including physical fitness, learning teamwork, and sportsmanship.

*The Final 7 Years
Once your children hit 14, they are probably already mukallaf (full adults Islamically, and accountable for their actions) — this happens at puberty, or at age 15 at the latest.
At this age, you are mostly out of the picture. Children achieve independence; their personalities manifest; they look more to their peers than their parents and families. During these critical years, befriend them, advise them, and do what you can; understand that they are now full adults, and the choices are theirs to make, right or wrong.
If you worked hard during the last two periods of 7 years, you will already be that trusted confidant, that advisor, that go-to person when they need help or advice. Be part of their lives, and advise them as best you can.

May the almighty aid us in raising our kids!

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Choices · Finding your path · Freedom · Social pressure · Way of LIfe

7 stages of becoming terribly unpopular in the world of adults

1. Choose the least trodden path

When you are pushed into being an “adult” with the passing of a birthday, you are immediately expected to follow the Pied Piper because you are now expected to go with the flow. 

The first stage of becoming unpopular is looking at other options. It is not an unforgivable offense but considering a path that has not been heard of is frowned upon.

Arm yourself with knowledge of all the possible routes and choose what works for you.

2. Stick to the path doggedly 

You are now on a quite lonely journey after choosing your path. Be ready to face problems because you cannot depend upon a list of solutions on hand. Use information to jump through the hurdles in your path. Be prepared for slight hostility and snarky remarks along with the discouraging stories.

Listen to every bit of data you are thrown but sift through and keep only what would help you on your chosen path. It may sting and it may burn but hold tight to your rope, for you are doing it right.

3. Dare to question the norm

Congratulations! You are now officially on the path to becoming properly unpopular. Now that you have chosen your path, it is time to start questioning the reasons behind having to follow a certain path. If all these people are doing it, there has to be something in it, yes? Find the reasons. 

Ask, learn and share your findings. Question the logics and be stubborn with the responses. Nothing has to be set in stone; you might even feel the norm is the way to go! Keep an open mind and question every aspect.

4. Defy the norm

You are now on shaky grounds; you still have one chance of returning to the comforting company of many or bearing the storm on your own. Make the decision based on your findings from the previous stage. If you feel that the usual route will serve you best, do it with all your heart and feel free to stop reading. 

If you are determined to contest for being the most unpopular, keep reading.

Make your informed decision and do whatever you need to do to twist away from the other path. Do it with a bang for extra points.

5. Refuse to heed the unsolicited advice

If you thought you were stubborn, think again. For no one can be more persuasive than people who cannot bear to see another making separate choices and breaking away from the pack. Under the pretense of concern, you will now be showered with gentle chidings and a few horror stories too.

Do not bother to explain why you do not agree with them; be creative. The best way to annoy them is to blatantly not listen to any advice that would take you off your path.

6. Stick to your guns even if left alone

You are almost there! Now that you have established yourself as a stubborn fool, be prepared to be shunned. You have an opportunity to pretend to be a celebrity because all eyes will fall on you,judging and awaiting your fall.

Question the importance of certain people in your life and complete this stage accordingly. Enjoy the solitary benefits that come with your advanced stage. 

7. Take a stand and stop apologising and explaining your successes. A smile would do in most usual cases.

 Want to know of another way to be sure of completing the 7th level?

Talk/write about it and you are golden; you have now succeeded in reaching the premium levels of being unpopular. 

Bask in the warmth of their disapproval, for you now have fresher air to breathe and grow.

Expat Moms and Kids · Freedom · Homeschooling · Homeschooling whilst Unschooling · Islamic Homeschooling · Islamic parenting · Islamic society · Islamic values · Muscat Mom and Kids · Muscat, Oman · Muslim Mama · Parenting · Unschooling · Way of LIfe

To School or Not to School

“What school does she go to?” asks a well-meaning person about my almost 5 year old.

“She doesn’t yet. We are homeschooling at the moment” I reply in weary apprehension, expecting another tirade of shocked expressions and 5 minutes of a lecture on how they know what would be better for my child. You know, because, they have seen her couple of times and have children of their own, they automatically become self-proclaimed experts on my child too…(mini rant over)

To be honest, the above scenario does not happen as often as I claim it to but the after effects of such a confrontation and the willpower it takes for me to not respond in kind, has me agitated for a while, and thus, prone to a lot of dramatics.

Most people are genuinely curious about what homeschooling is all about and their questions are always welcome because they are merely asking without assuming the worst or telling me how “wrong” I am.

What exactly is homeschooling?

It is basically the education of a child at home, primarily by the parents.

Then what in the world is unschooling?

It is a more radical form of homeschooling where conventional school systems and curriculums have no place; the learning is experience based on each child’s preference.

Is it legal?

Yes, depending on the country you live in. Most governments require parents to educate their children but they do not govern what kind of education that would be.

Do you follow a syllabus?

Not at the moment, I pick up on my child’s changing interests and we focus on whatever that maybe.

So, you are unschooling?

No.

Then you are simply being a teacher at home but for one child?

No.

What exactly are you doing?

I am helping my children learn in any way that they want to, without allowing the constraints of a label restrict our learning.

That is what we are doing.

Going against socially expected norms and the “done-thing” is much harder than I thought it would be. The inner turmoil I face at wondering if I am doing right by my children keeps me up most nights. Then I Google. And I panic even more.

It is always scary doing something different, especially when it comes to your children; there is absolutely no way of knowing if you are doing the right thing till it is too late. There have been many days when I have wanted to throw in the towel and do what we are “supposed” to be doing but I always backed out after a frustrated husband finally looked about ready to agree with me.

After many prayers and contemplation, things started coming into better perspective.

Homeschooling was introduced to me accidentally through a video from a lovely site called Rahmah Muslim Homeschool . Intrigued, I started researching on this since providing a wholesome Islamic education was absolutely important for us. After sifting through a whole plethora of information on the net, I was muddled as to what I should be doing. I decided to pick a site, and start off from there. Although I am unable to remember the site, it did have quite an extensive list of homeschooling activities that included teaching sight words. Jumped  right on the sight word train and spent a night cutting and pasting words intended for my then  2+year old little girl to memorise and start reading because a certain list I picked up on another site claimed she should be reading by the time she was 3 years of age.

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This method may work and she was quick to memorise the words. It took even longer time helping her forget them to help her focus on sounds.

Needless to stay, sticking to a rigid schedule whilst trying to tick off everything in my “list” took its toll on us and I felt it was just too tough because I was not a qualified teacher. After audibly questioning my decision to move into finance instead of education after leaving school, I started looking for online education degrees. Long story short, I came to my senses before paying for a full degree programme that I never would have completed.

Then I began to look into local homeschooling families and to my surprise, there was a whole community in Muscat! I began this journey in trepidation with absolutely no support system but meeting this wonderful group helped by reassuring me that we were doing just fine. One mother in particular fascinated me with her attitude towards learning and living, and she helped me finally figure out how to let go of social expectations and focus on what would be best for my family. You can follow her journey on Raggamuslims.

I have been meaning to chronicle our journey but kept putting it off till I read a well thought out piece in Happiness Is Here and realised how our journey could help another family make their decision to create their own path.

Homeschooling for us is now merely a loose label that we use for sake of ease when having to answer a question about school for our children.

Our learning journey at the moment is about listening to their (now 4+ and 2+ year olds!) interests and learning about them with them. However, I am a firm believer in the power of reading and the vast knowledge accessible to one with the ability to read, which meant that I could not adapt the relaxed method of “letting them learn”. Instead I looked into Jolly Phonics method and took their online course in order to teach reading.  We do not focus on traditional mathematical lessons because it simply does not interest them; they learn that through play. I cannot draw to save my life and so, skipped over teaching them how to draw. Instead, I made sure they have easy access to crayons, colour pencils and paper, and now, I am amazed by their creativity. My 4 year old wants to try out school at one point and we would let her if she is sure that is what she wants but for now, we are enjoying the journey  with a lovely unicorn learning her letter sounds and a curly-hair ball of sunshine with an interest in shapes and a love for gluing things.

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The unicorn is doing a Sound Sheet for letter “f” and her brother is doing a gluing activity with shapes, hastily drawn by yours truly

I have stopped worrying about what education should be and I am focusing on letting them decide their learning experience. Shedding all the preconceived notions of education that I was taught all my life is still a work-in-progress but I am slowly but surely coming out of that state of mind.

Our journey is not about schooling nor is it about not-schooling; it is about learning naturally and developing a lifelong love for learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equality · Freedom · Women

To the women…

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To the women who fought for the rights,
And to the women who are still denied them.

To the women who achieved their dreams,
And to the women whose dreams were quietly squashed.

To the women who received a heartfelt wish today,
And to the women who received none.

To the women who hold their heads up high,
And to the women whose heads remain bowed in fear.

To the women who stand up for themselves,
And to the women who need to be sheltered.

To the women enlightening in freedom,
And to the women living in thirst of education.

To the women enjoying a life of equality,
And to the women forced to obey.

To the women who rejoice at their gender,
And to the women cursing the same.

To the women blessed with the joys of motherhood,
And to the women clinging on to hope for the same.

To the women able to leave a life of abuse,
And to the women helplessly tied in one.

To the women shrugging off judgments,
And to the women cowering against them.

To the women with a house to enter,
And to the women fleeing theirs in fear.

To the women who are aware of such a day,
And to the women who would wonder at its existence,
Happy international women’s day!