So You're Feeling Overwhelmed?
Alhamdulillah you have entered the realm of homeschooling. May Allah bless you on such an amazing journey ameen. This is a wonderful time to make many memories with your child(ren) and promote a closeness in bonding and establishing a lifelong love of learning. You may be new to this journey or finally getting into the groove of it. One thing we can all relate to is that feeling where we can become overwhelmed. This feeling can come from many places and happen at any time. The purpose of this article is to focus on ways to avoid that feeling and if it just happens to catch you, the steps you can do to get rid of it.
A typical homeschooling day could be working with more than one child, taking care of your home, cooking and cleaning. One day it might feel like it’s too much. I recommend several steps to help overwhelmed parents.
1.) Keep Allah First.
There are many duaas one can say in times of frustration. In keeping Allah first you are putting more barakah into your actions. When there is a mistake or problem, seek refuge in Allah and make duaa for patience. Make a wudu and pray a few rakats, this gets you spiritually grounded and focused. Also when your soul is at ease, everything else falls into place. Before you begin the day’s lesson say Bismillah, recite faitha and keep the remembrance of Allah. Look to Allah for ease and your days will go smoother. Express gratitude for what you do have and goodness will increase. The more you show gratitude the more you will enjoy the honor of teaching and being a homemaker. We must remember that others may not have the benefit and pleasure of doing such an extraordinary task, in that we must show thanks and remember Allah for everything He has given. There is an ayat in the Quran that says:
It is through the remembrance of Allah that the heart discovers rest." 13:28
2.) Take care of yourself
We are often very absorbed in what is going on in our homes that we tend to neglect ourselves. We must remember that we are an important part of our home and that if we do not function the whole structure of the house is thrown off. This goes into our homeschooling as well, if there isn't enough time taken to get refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated then we will approach our homeschool in a manner that does not warrant a positive energy, we won't put forth that “give it your all” energy. As I mentioned our homes run smoothly when we tend to take care of ourselves. More importantly if we spiritually take care of ourselves, it would be better for our mental and physical state as well. Of course there is nothing wrong with other outlets to take care of yourself such as a spa day or maybe its shopping for some as we all know that when you look good you feel good. I often recommend that if the day becomes too much then take time out, even if its 10 minutes, use that 10 minutes to make a wudu and a few rakats, it will change your vibe and put your soul at ease. Allah mentions good treatment to ones parents in the Quran, and for our older children we must share this with them as well
"And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims." 46:1
"And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination."31:14
3.) Organize your time
I mentioned in an episode of Homeschooling Now! that organizing your time will lead to an easier homeschooling life. For instance, if you take the time once a week, say Sunday to sit down and map out the goals and accomplishments you would like to achieve during the week this would help you get your priorities in order. If the library story time is on Wednesday then on Tuesday the clothing should be ready and laid out for the next day. Lunches can be packed in advance and library cards put in their proper place. When Wednesday morning comes everything is ready to go, you are not rushing to find everyones clothes and shoes, there is some organization. Preparation is the key as my husband Ameer Idris always says and its true. You know the library is on Wednesday and so on Sunday night when you sat down to write out the sechdule for the week then you already knew ahead of time to prepare for that day. I also recommend investing in a calendar, the kind that is big and you can mark down the days of doctors appointments, story time, and family visits. It helps in homeschooling because you know that the homeschooling day will go differently based on that schedule and you know that you may need to work a little longer the day before because you won't be doing much on the day of doctors appointments or you will know what work you need to focus on later in the week. Alhamdulillah for the joys of homeschooling
4.) Support Support Support
A lot of moms (especially ones that are homeschooling for the first time) become overwhelmed when they do not know what to do or how to begin. Having a strong support system is important for mothers to have that extra vote of confidence that they may be lacking and also it is good for advice and ideas. Sometimes we feel alone and we need to reach out to others. Alhamdulillah the Islamic homeschooling scene has increased and there are many resources for support. We have parents on the Habeebee Homeschooling group on facebook that are very good at encouraging and supporting other mothers. Also the group provides an outlet for questions on parenting. There comes a time when we may question our role as a mom and teacher, these are the times when we should seek much support and assistance. Mothers have come to the Habeebee Homeschooling group because they just did not know where to start. Also mothers come to show support and positive encouragement when there are accomplishments and success in a child’s homeschooling experience. On these groups we mention free resources that help in getting mothers started; sometimes we all need that extra push but alhamdulillah a loving one that will help you in the best choice you have made...which is taking the lead role in your child’s education.
5.) Don't compare your child or yourself to anyone else
Now this list was not comprised in a particular order, except number one. After number one the rest of these steps are individually important and when put together can change your homeschooling, a lot and even outside of that. These steps are beneficial in everyday life. Our last step is not comparing your child or yourself to anyone else. I recently mentioned on the radio show about this issue. As parents we tend to measure our accomplishments by when everyone else has reached theirs. Your child is unique and moves at his or her own pace. What another child has done does not mean your child will reach the same level at the same time. Simply let go the notion that your failures and success lies in the hands of others. Do not doubt your parenting just because little Ahmad across the street can sing his ABC's backwards but your son Jabril wants to spin in circles all day. While we can promote, encourage and support our children, we cannot force them to reach levels they aren't ready for yet. Know that true success comes from Allah and that we can make duaa and ask Allah for that tawfiq, keep being patient and enjoy our children. Homeschooling done in a loving environment that promotes the love of Allah and His Messenger salallahu alayhi wa salaam and a love of education will help a child to blossom before you know it.
The (only) protection comes from Allah, the True One. He is the Best to reward, and the Best to give success. 8:4