Motherhood

Homeschooling Mom of the Month – October 2018

Hey everyone! I am so excited to announce that I will be featuring one homeschooling mom every month on my blog. There are so many homeschooling moms that I am inspired by every single day.

So I thought that this would be a wonderful opportunity for myself and you to get to know a homeschooling mom better.

I would love to hear your recommendations. Let me know if there is a homeschooling mom that you would like to get to know more and would like me to feature.

Let me know in the comments if you have anyone in mind.

So without any further delay I would like to introduce to you my friend Syeda from “The Precious Years” YouTube channel.

Syeda is also the Creator of a popular Homeschool Planning App called the “Homeschool Panda“. She is a mother of two beautiful girls.

( links to all her websites and social media accounts can be found at the bottom of this post)

Syeda also happens to be one of the first homeschooling moms I tuned in to watch on YouTube when I was planning to pull out my oldest son from Islamic school.

Her channel really helped me to understand the idea of homeschooling better. Her videos motivated me to take the plunge and go for it. She made it seem so easy and simple.

I am glad we became friends later on through Instagram. A huge Thanks to Syeda for allowing me to interview her. I still continue to learn a lot from her channel. So I hope you check her channel and be a subscriber!

Here is the interview:

1. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you grow up, study, your kids and family etc

My ethnic background is from Bangladesh, I was born in Germany and grew up in southern California. I have 2 daughters alhamdullilah and am married to an amazing and hardworking husband. I have bachelor’s in Computer Science and was working towards my Masters in Information Security but work and other responsibilities got in the way of completing that.

2. Please tell us why Homeschooling was the choice for your family. Was it something you always wanted to do? How long have you been homeschooling?

To be honest, the decision to homeschool was my husband’s idea. At that time, homeschooling was still not a popular concept and had a lot of stigma associated with it. When we had children, we both decided, we would support each other about our parenting methods. I was open minded and the more I explored, the more I fell in love with the idea.

We started from tot school and decided to take it year by year. Now alhamdullilah almost 5 years later, it seems homeschooling was one of the best decisions for our family.

3. Do you follow any specific school of thought or way of homeschooling? Why or why not?

Through years of trying to learn different methodologies, I realized that at the core of all successful educational philosophies is to put the child (or children) first and focus on creating positive habits during early childhood.

As far as my approach, I am very eclectic. I try to incorporate elements from different philosophies which will benefit our homeschooling experience.

4. How do you manage teaching two homeschool children? Please share tips for other moms with multiple homeschooled children!

This has been a struggle and trial and error approach, to where I now feel I can give each of my daughters the time they need. I cannot fathom others who have more than 2 children because it is very difficult to give them all the dedicated time that they require.

Now that my oldest, who is 7 years old, is a bit older and is more independent, I spend more time with my youngest to get her basic skills up to par.

Previously, I would have busy boxes/shelf work/invitation to play set up, where I would spend time with one on their school work and the other would “play” with the educational materials I set out.

5. Please tell us a little more about what does a typical day look like in your homeschool?

In a typical “good” day, I wake up early enough to have some time alone, get lunch ready for the husband while kids get ready for the day. We eat breakfast and start with our “Morning Basket”.

“Morning Basket” is where we read the Quran, Islamic stories, poems, classical books, non-fiction books while the girls color or play or we cuddle.

We then start off with our core subjects (Math, Language Arts, etc.) and then we delve into our main lesson (Science or History on a 4 to 6 week rotation).

We break for lunch and then complete chores and then the girls have their independent reading time. I get some work done as well. Then we do a project based on our main lesson.

Then we all clean up and cook dinner together. Once the girls are in bed by 9PM, I do some more work and then we start it back up again the next day.

We follow a rhythm so even if I have work commitments in the morning then the girls do their afternoon tasks and then we pick it back up. Some days, we play educational board games and read and that’s the extent of our homeschooling during those days.

Some days, we play educational board games and read and that’s the extent of our homeschooling during those days.

No matter what gets thrown at us, we try to make the best of it, together. 😊

6. Has homeschooling benefited your way of lifestyle ? How ?

Homeschooling has been the biggest challenge and blessing at the same time. I cannot imagine parenting without homeschooling. Homeschooling is not just a manner in how we educate our children but a lifestyle for us.

Homeschooling allows us to keep our children focused and committed to learning while maximizing family time and sharing life experiences with them.

Instead of just reading/learning in theory, homeschooling provides us the flexibility and freedom to incorporate a practical learning approach, such as visits to zoos, farms, musems, other cities, regions and other parts of the world that help broaden their mind-set and facilitate a more concrete learning foundation.

We strongly encourage and facilitate social gatherings and opportunities where our children interact with a healthy mix of diversity in their friend and peers.

Sometimes, children tend to gravitate towards their peers within their school, family or neighborhood. However, homeschooling has allowed us to introduce our children to a very diverse group of people by not limiting us to any particular school, neighborhood, faith or teaching style.

We have a better grasp on the values we want to instill in them. Homeschooling has allowed us to be a more connected and close family unit.

7. What is the BEST MEMORY you have of your homeschooling journey?

There are so many wonderful memories that it is hard to choose one. I think what I love seeing is their love and yearning for seeking knowledge. When you see their increasing desire to learn or be more inquisitive, those are memorable moments which are reassuring to a homeschooling parents.

8. Did you ever face criticism from family members or friends for your homeschooling choices?

Yes, many did not understand why we chose to homeschool. Many did not think I was equipped to homeschool without a teaching degree.

Many felt we were making a mistake and being unjust to my children for the sake of wanting to keep them home. Majority of the naysayers are now very proud of our girls and applaud them alhamdullilah. I am also blessed to have my husband who guided me to believe in our parental instincts.

9. You own Homeschool Panda and run a Youtube channel, how is it to handle homeschooling, motherhood and all of these and still be productive. Let us know how you stay productive!

Oh boy, I wish I knew a secret to get it all done. Truthfully, I do not get everything I want to accomplish completed. I have learned I have just so much time in a day and the best way is to prioritize my deliverables. My children and family always take priority. Homeschool Panda is something I am committed to and love seeing so many people around the world using it (over 7,000 users across 55 countries).

My children and family always take priority. Homeschool Panda is something I am committed to and love seeing so many people around the world using it (over 7,000 users across 55 countries).

I also have a new project I am working on called “Organizer Logic” and it has been taking a lot of my time. My goal insha’allah, is to bring out solutions and products that help us simplify our life as parents.

Youtube is my passion project and unfortunately, it takes a backseat the most. However, it is also something I love so my goal is to get more consistent and include that in my self care tasks so I can give it more time.
My children and family always take priority. Homeschool Panda is something I am committed to and love seeing so many people around the world using it (over 7,000 users across 55 countries).

10. Is there anything you wish you did when you started homeschooling that you realize now?

Yes, regret is something that is built into us humans. 😊 One of my biggest regret is that I tried to teach my oldest to read and learned too soon to prove to others that I am capable. We played a lot and I had a lot of fun making their lessons into fun activities but still there is a bit of guilt for what I know was in my heart.

We played a lot and I had a lot of fun making their lessons into fun activities but still there is a bit of guilt for what I know was in my heart.

11. What advices would you give to other homeschooling moms?

No one else besides Allah (swt) knows what’s best for your children or has the best intention. Believe in that and follow your instincts as parents.

You will never choose to do something that will not benefit your children. Make sure your immediate family believes in the vision and then never look back and think twice.

Also, remember, everything worthwhile is always going to be difficult in the beginning.

Do not look for immediate gratification because it takes a while to feel comfortable in the role as a home educator.

All I can say is, if you put your heart into, insha’allah I know you can achieve it.

Please do check out Syeda’s YouTube Channel and her Instagram account to follow. She is a wealth of information for all homeschooling moms!

Instagram

Youtube

Homeschool Panda

Until next time!

Yours Truly,

Tamanna

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2 Comments

  1. Nushra says:

    She is so inspiring.. I just started homeschooling my toddler and we are from Sri Lanka. Here in our country most of them don’t even know the concept of homeschooling. After reading this I really have a good idea about homeschooling.. Thank you so much sharing. And keep doing this good work.

    1. Aww MA sister. I’m so glad this post inspired you!! I searched for inspiration for months before I started homeschooling. We all need that Motivation!!

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