So pretty much the fact that humans know there is a God isthat it is within our very own souls and denying it is denying human nature.That is what Muslims believe.
Many parents (not just Muslim) are concerned about the lack of God in schools. It is also ourIslamic duty to nurture this Fitrah or nature, and to protect our familiesfrom the punishment of the Fire, which is also a command of God. So manybelieve that protecting their children’s nature to believe in God is theirdivine duty.
Questioning the existence of God, Denying it, considering that itis OK not to believe in God, and other ideas are a threat to this and corruptthe true purpose of mankind's existence, which is to believe and thereforeworship and obey God. Secular public schools have no room for this kind ofattitude in their curriculum. Rather they foster an atmosphere of tolerance to any and all beliefs. Concern and respect for all humans is essential, but clear distinctions between right and wrong and the obligation to convey this message to others is also an Islamic duty.
The condition of Islamic schools
Many parents were not happy with the way Islamic schools arerun and the values they are teaching. There were sisters who mentionedthat they had withdrawn their childrenfrom Islamic schools due to the teachers’ ignorance about Islamic ways ofteaching, disciplining and Islamic manner.
A vital point that one mom made during this discussion wasthat when homeschooling, the parent educator needs to constantly evaluate hisor her own behaviour for negative habits that they may be passing on tochildren. You may be protecting your children from the negative in schools andIslamic schools, but to pay attention to protecting children also from wrong culturalpractises mistaken for true Islamic teaching and your own failings as a humanbeing. I thought this was an excellent point. Just because you are a parentdoes not mean you are perfect. If you have taken the responsibility to educatethis child, then ask if you have really received an education in Islamyourself?
Bullying and anxiety
This was also a common thread. Many families had withdrawntheir children from schools and had not sent the younger siblings to school at all, because ofthe bad experiences of their older children. The bullying and pressure to conformhad taken its toll on some children’s physical and mental health.
Effective use of time, preserving individuality and teaching social conduct rather than "socialisation" (aka being like everyone else)
This was also an excellent reason many stated forhomeschooling. As children we were once curious and individuals. Over the yearswe were schooled out of this important human trait. The one method foreveryone, one curriculum for everyone and one time for everyone to learn systemhas put many people off institutionalised schooling.
The prison model of “time served” in each grade/credit wasalso mentioned. Homeschooled children are learning faster, making better use oftime and resources in the community, have better social opportunities and soon. Instead of being lumped together with everyone of the same age in a coupmentality similar to that of a prison, the homeschooled kids learn to socialise with peersand also with people of various ages. They are self motivated learners notdriven by envy, competition with others, but are taught to compete with theirpersonal bests.
You can find various articles and books on this subject, Idon’t want to go in to this in too much detail or the post will never end.
Attachment parenting and the guide apprentice relationship
This was my favourite. Homeschooling for many is a revivalof the parent’s role as a the main guide in a child’s life. You are not a pickand drop service, the enemy, the dummywho doesn’t understand your kid and so on. It is a means of empowermentfor the parent and a way to re-establish this ancient, God given responsibilityto prepare a child for adulthood.
Many moms also talked about how they lovedhaving their children at home. They stressed the importance of always being ina dialogue with their kids about what they wanted from their education andgiving them the choice of school. Homeschooling mothers of older children saidhow their kids do not want to go to schools and when they had been sent forpersonal reasons ( new baby, travelling etc) they had begged to come back.
Older children who chose to attend high school for ease ofcollege entry, after being homeschooled all their lives, are grateful to theirparents for not sending them to school and recognise their education as a realprivilege when they were around their high school peers.
So these were some reasons the mothers in the Muslimcommunity are homeschooling. There is a Christian homeschooling conferencecoming up that I intend to attend. The Christian homeschoolers are decades oldhere and I would love to benefit from their experience and knowledge.I will post about that conference later inshaAllah.
For more information on the Toronto Muslim Homeschoolers click on this link .