A growing number of people including Muslims, are choosing to educate their children at home. The benefits of home schooling can be divided into three interrelated areas:
- The advantages in encouraging, and maintaining an Islamic way of life,
- The academic benefits and
- The social benefits for both the individual and the family.
Reasons Parents Choose to Teach Children at home
- Public and/or private education is not as thorough as a parent wishes. No Muslim day school close to home.
- They wish to remove children from an environment of drugs, alcohol, sexual experimentation, gangs and peer pressure, and to put them back in a healthy, safe and secure environment. Thus adding the benefit of directing them to healthy associations.
- Removing children from an environment unfriendly to religion, especially to Islam, and unfriendly to difference. In these environments teachers and administrators actually work against the parents' authority, shifting it instead to themselves. Other children can and do pick on the hostilities and mirror the hostilities they see back to Muslim children.
- A desire to set a school schedule more friendly to the demands of an Islamic life. When home schooling, a parent need not worry about conflict arising from a desire to have children attend Juma prayer, or going to Hajj, or even traveling during the cool school months to other parts of the world. A home schooling family sets its own schedule. Classes can be held on Saturday and Sunday, over Christian holidays, while being light during Ramadan and stop for a day or two (or more) during Eid.
Results of a Homeschooling Study
A study completed in 1992 by Steven Gray, Ph.D., found that regardless of why families began home schooling, the top reasons for continuing were quite consistent: family unity and socialization; emotional healing, restoration of motivation and positive behavior; academic success; and flexibility in choosing curriculum and teaching methods.
Resources and State Laws
There is an abundance of information available on every aspect of home schooling from bookstores, libraries and home school support groups. These resources can provide information on the various aspects, from making the decision, all the way to where and how to help the home schooled child apply for college admission! Home schoolers also have several national publications to choose from.
Home schooling is legal in all 50 states, but regulations and law vary widely from state to state. Obtain a copy of the state law from the department of education. (please do not tell them you are planning to home school until you've made the commitment). It's a wise idea to contact a local or state support group. They can't provide valuable information regarding how the law is being interpreted as well as a wide variety of other topics.
If you feel uncertain about meeting state requirements, research other options. In most states, you can enroll your children in a correspondence school, others will allow you to use the series of certified teacher consultant.