Thank you to My Salah Mat for asking me to be a part of this initiative. Below are some of my thoughts on the predicament we all find ourselves in.
We are living in a strange time, all of us simultaneously finding ourselves in a situation we haven’t experienced before. All caught off guard and thrown into something we were not prepared for. Although so much of this situation is out of our control, we shouldn’t forget that how we react and what we take away from this time is still in our control.
Like many of you, I have suddenly found myself not only having to absorb the gravity of a global pandemic, but now also having to entertain and educate my children, mostly in the confines of our home.
I would be lying, if I said I wasn’t scared and overwhelmed at first. The thought of having to keep two young children engaged, with no outside help was definitely scary. However, upon further reflection what I have realized in the past few weeks, is that instead of looking at what I am losing out on, I want to approach this with positivity and rather focus on what I have gained.
Sure this may be hard, but this is also an opportunity for families to get closer, have a positive impact on one another and create lasting memories, inshAllah.
Like everything, this too will pass. But what will we have to show when we come out on the other side. My advice to myself and to all of you is to enjoy the moments. learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom, it is happening all the time. Use this opportunity you have to be with your children as a gift, time to play and engage with them that you may otherwise not have had. Trust your parental instincts. You know your child better than anyone and thus you know the best ways to help them learn.
As you tackle this time at home, ask yourself what is it that you want to achieve when you look back. In our family, we have been using this time to pray together more and play together more.
There is no right way to ‘homeschool’ and there is no right way to approach this lockdown. Do what is right for you and your family. Stop putting so much pressure on yourselves as parents to do things and be a certain way. If you are a loving parent who cares for your child, then your child will be successful. It is not what you teach your child that will make them successful, but rather the nurturing environment which you create around them that will foster their success.
You only need cardboard and some colouring pens for this one!
30 Days - 30 crafts. Set yourself and the children a challenge..they will love it.
Here are some things that have worked for us and our family.
- Having a flexible schedule. We usually have a list of small tasks we hope to get done in the day. Some days we find ourselves doing everything on our list and other days we end up making forts all day and that’s ok too.
- Reading A LOT of books in different mediums including read aloud videos, audio books and online story times.
- Getting creative! We love doing arts and crafts, mostly using things we have lying around the house. My daughter is really into these things and it has been a great way for us to bond. We will often use our projects to incorporate additional learning opportunities, like writing out a recipe and instructions when baking or writing a card for someone to go with an art project we created.
- Puzzles, mag-formers and blocks have been my sons' go to toys. He is more hands on and we spend a lot of time working together or independently on these tasks
- Staying active. We try and get out most days for a walk or bike ride, but also try and be active indoors through some cosmic kids yoga or online PE with Joe. Our house has also turned into an indoor play area with our sofas becoming slides and our living room becoming a gym.
- Board games (current favorites are HISS, Bingo and Hungry Hippo)
- Imaginative play - We made our own cardboard masjid and that has been a huge hit.
- Finally, try and let go a little and allow yourself to just have fun. A happy parent is a better parent, so go easy on yourself. This will be different for everyone. The reality is that we can’t always do everything without eventually burning out. So if this means you let the house stay a mess or eat cereal for dinner then so be it. You’re not going to be having unexpected guests anyway :P.
A massive Jazak'Allah Khair to Khadijah!!!
Khadijah Khaki is an accountant by profession, but more recently has devoted her time to authoring Islamic children’s books (The Prophet Series) and raising her two young children. She is the face behind Lunar Learners, who provide creative resources to help parents introduce Islam with a fun, engaging and simple narrative.
GET IN INVOLVED
This is an unprecedented time for us all. Any help, advice or resources for parents at home with the children will be greatly appreciated by everyone.
If you would like to participate or have some free resources you would like us to link then email us on firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you.