Salam and Hello to all my wonderful and supportive readers. Today, I am honoured to introduce a very inspirational woman and mom Ayesha. Ayesha is our homeschooling mom of the month! That means you will get a closer look into Ayesha’s homeschooling journey and tips she shares for other homeschooling moms.
Just in case you do not know Ayesha, I am going to quickly introduce you! Ayesha is one of the Two sisters of Ayeina Official. Links to their Social media networks is at the end of the interview!
Ayesha (the first half of AYEina) – A soul juggling between the roles of a mother (of 2), wife & daughter in law – is currently a student of Islamic Psychology at IOU with a previous degree of Masters in Business Administration and Ta’leem ul Qur’an. With a hint of space in-between, she occupies herself in arts and crafts, photography, writing her heart out and sewing. Always in search of contentment, finding it nowhere else but in Allaah.
1) Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and a little bit about your background!
I’m Ayesha (first half of Ayeina – cofounder of ayeina.com) – homeschooling mother of 3 (with one child in Heaven), currently a student of Islamic Psychology at IOU (something I’ve been studying for the past 6 years
2) when did you start homeschooling your kids and what motivated you to do it?
Seeing the school systems around and their curriculums/environment etc. Made me want to homeschool. At first, probably like all homeschoolers, I kept wondering If I could do it, but Alhamdulillah (Praise to the Lord) it was easier than I initially thought.
3) What does a regular homeschool day look like at your home?
Our day starts with Fajr (Sunrise). Fajr to dhuhr (midday) is usually all things studies – be it mine or kids’ – be it Quran, Islamic books or other subjects. Be it memorizing the Quran verses or reading. Be it craft projects or just discussion time with kids. Our homeschool session ends with dhuhr salah.
And even fajr to dhuhr time slot is not completely dedicated to homeschool. We have breakfast in that time slot and my studies (especially when I have my exams going on.
4) How do you set and achieve your goals daily as a homeschooling mom?
To be honest, I keep only one goal a day. If I achieve it, I call it a success. Some days even one goal is hard to achieve and by now, I’ve learnt to not beat myself up for it.
5) Do you have a “secret” to share with our readers who are homeschooling or are planning to homeschool?
Don’t underestimate the time spent with kids. Simple discussions sometimes prove more beneficial than the planned craft project. You don’t have to teach kids formally or guide them by hand every time. Sometimes you’ll see them excelling forward even without you ever teaching them a certain thing. And this will also help you feel less overwhelmed as a beginner. Your presence is a gift to them. The discussions with you. The answers you have for their questions – all of this adds up as a homeschooling experience.
6) Your planner has inspired me to get organized and in control of my life. What inspired you to create Alhamdulillah and the Planner series?
After becoming a mother, somewhere down the line I lost my identity (just like most of us mums do). I found myself in a downward spiral constantly. So #AlhamdulillahForSeries gratitude journal was the first step towards lifting myself (since back then, there were no Islamic journals in the market, we decided to put it out in the world as well, hoping that if it has helped us,it may help others too and Alhamdulillah it did. Mum’s not only ended up using it for themselves,but also with their kids .
And then when I lost my son, productivity journal came into being. And from that came the barakah planner as the kids added up in the equation. After losing my child, even though I was completely content with the will of Allah, I lost all motivation of this dunya. I just wanted to float above the tides. I didn’t even want to swim with the tides, let alone swim against them – but something had to change.
I had my daughters depending on me. I had to get myself up. And after so many years of studying Islamic Psychology, I felt like it was also my duty to serve others with what I want in my life as well. And with lack of self help Islamic products in the market, I hope we’re able to fill that gap for the betterment of mental health in the ummah.
7) As a female entrepreneur, a mother and a homeschooler how do you balance your daily life?
By keeping the bare minimum goals only and then outsourcing most of the tasks. For eg: Fajr – Dhuhr = my studies + homeschooling (+breakfast of course). Dhuhr – Asr = AYEINA time (answering DMs, doing stories, answering comments/emails etc.) Asr – Maghrib = house chores (cooking, cleaning etc. (sometimes it’s me cooking while the kids clean up Alhamdulillah – big boxes around the house help kids clean up better without much assistance from your end). We outsource most of AYEINA tasks since it’s something supererogatory and giving it more time than the dhuhr to asr slot affects my obligations (and fard comes before nafl).
But as you know that running a blog and a business together requires a LOT of work, having a team is a blessing. My sister, her husband, my husband, our lovely intern and a virtual assistant makes the job manageable Alhamdulillah. It’s no use creating products for mental health while I’m putting my own mental health at stake by overdoing everything.
So having a team means we don’t end up with the profit we may have otherwise but it’s sustainable that way because it saves us from burn out and since it’s not our source of income, we’re fortunate to completely invest back whatever we earn. AYEINA is simply a sadaqah jaariyah project for us. May Allah accept it.
8) Would you say you have melt down moments as a homeschooler? If so would you give us an advice on how to tackle those tough days?
Of course there are. I’d say let go of the goal you set for that day. That’s the beauty of homeschooling for you. Flexibility. So be flexible and let go when it all gets too overwhelming. You’ll find the melt down moments subsiding this way and sometimes just ‘being’ makes you feel human again.
9) What is your most memorable Homeschool day memory ?
When my younger daughter wrote her name all on her own even though I didn’t even start practising writing with her. Turned out, she learnt from her sister (both passively and actively) alhamdulillah. It’s was one of those days when I got even more sure that I want to keep homeschooling.
10) Last but not least please let us know more about Ayeina Official and how it has evolved from the beginning till today!
We started it back in late 2015. First of all it was just the #AlhamdulillahForSeries gratitude posters. Then came in the #iwillinshaAllah series. And then the #preRamadanProductivityCourse – a set of 28 spiritual, personal, social and creative challenges spread across a time period of 7months to help myself and others achieve their productivity goals one by one before Ramadan so they can experience the beauty of that blessed month in all its glory bi’idhnillah.Follow on INSTAGRAM