How on earth can we keep homeschooling simple during Ramadan? With energy levels low, homeschooling can be exhausting. But it shouldn’t have to be that way.
Many people get swept up in the ‘School At Home’ idea and it’s stressful! With my own kids doing distance-learning with an international school this year as opposed to home education, I’m finding myself caught up in the same stressful bubble of “School At Home”. But, there is a better way!
Home educators around the globe are familiar with the idea of “unschooling” (opting for child-led activities as opposed to constant structured learning), but I’m not going to focus on this concept here, because it takes a major mindset shift for those of us still adjusting to home education. Instead, we’re going to focus on “Simple Homeschooling”.
The suggestions below are ways to incorporate learning into your day without overwhelming yourself. Your kids will be fine if they don’t get all the worksheets and assignments done this month. We need these four weeks to breathe and so do the children!
Read, read, read!
Seriously. Read all the books. All of them. No matter what the topic, genre or age group – just keep reading. Even the adult books can be edited slightly during a read aloud.
Make reading time fun and stress-free by:
- Letting the kids choose which book you/they read.
- Giving them something to occupy their hands whilst they read – playdough, lego, and mindful colouring pages are all awesome! (Try these Ramadan-themed mindful colouring pages from Twinkl!)
- Keep it short. Read 10-20 minutes of one subject and then let them have a break. I send my kids outside on the trampoline for 15 minutes!
- Picnics and reading time go REALLY well together, because which child doesn’t like snacks? Cut up some fruit, some home-made biscuits, even some (cooled) herbal tea!
- If you need more ideas for reading time, check out the Our Daily Wonders Reading Challenge!
Healthy eating and life skills
Ramadan is the perfect time to tackle a healthy eating topic and throw in some life-skill lessons whilst you’re at it. You won’t even need to deviate from your usual schedule. Pull the children into the kitchen when you’re prepping for Iftar or Suhoor.
Here are some ideas:
- Explain why you’re making your chosen foods.
- Teach them why we open our fast with dates.
- The importance of staying hydrated.
- The foods we can eat which have high water content.
- The benefits of fasting for the body.
- Each child can design their own Suhoor and Iftar menu, making sure they include all the important food groups.
Some easy dishes children can help with are:
- Overnight oats
- Avocado toast
- Homemade date bars
- Fruit and date platter for iftar
Be clever with your time
Recognise when both you and your kids are in the best headspace to work. Some people work best first thing in the morning. I am NOT one of those people! I need a couple of house to clear the grogginess, so I like to read, meditate, or journal, so I schedule independent activities for my children first thing in the morning. Mid-morning is best for any subjects that need a little extra focus (Like Maths, for example).
So, think about your energy levels (and your children’s) and decide when is the best time to do certain activities. Plus, if you’re going to be up a little later each day anyway, don’t be afraid to leave some activities or reading until the evening!
I’m talking free art journal time. Don’t stress about tutorials or long, complicated craft activities. I’ve found the most creative and artistic times we have had were when I’ve given my kids a sketchbook and art supplies and let them do whatever they want!
Art journaling is therapeutic and hassle-free. Set up a corner in your home where you don’t mind leaving a mess… because it WILL get a little messy. I have a large table in the kids’ playroom that is ONLY used for them. We can leave out paints, pastels, glue, and journals and it won’t disrupt the rest of the house!
Big shocker. I like journaling! Here you can print out a FREE Ramadan Journal for your kids. Journaling is great for reflection and encouraging children to acknowledge their thoughts and emotions and make sense of them.
However, a diary is slightly different. We’re in unusual times, and this Ramadan is likely to be very different to what we’re used to. This is the perfect way to document those differences. Take note how you embrace this Ramadan as a family. You could even combine this idea with the Art Journal idea!
Some topics for your kids to write are:
- What did you eat for suhoor?
- Did you pray taraweeh as a family? What was that like?
- How do you spend iftar?
- Did you engage with family and friends? (Over Zoom or something similar. #StayHome 😉 )
- What are your typical days like?
- What physical exercise did you do?
- How will you spend Eid?
- How is Ramadan different in your country?
Secular education is important, but you can afford to move it down your list of priorities to make space for Qur’an time during this month. I don’t mean sit your kids in a row and bash them over the head with a Qaidah; I mean help your kids engage with the Qur’an in a fun and positive way:
- Have Qur’an playing whilst they do something creative like painting or building Lego.
- Read them stories from the Qur’an. My kids and I love My First Qur’an Storybook from Goodword Books.
- The KiiTab Pen and accompanying books from Learning Roots are pretty amazing. I purchased them a few weeks ago and my kids are having so much fun!
- Beneficial Screen Time! Give yourself a break and try the Learn Quran With Zaky videos. My kids have the app on their iPads, as well, and it keeps them engaged and they always learn something.
- Try out Muslim Kids TV for more guilt-free screen time. Read my review here.
This one is the most important one. Family time. Keeping homeschooling simple in Ramadan is key to having more positive family time. You can’t relax if you’re stressed about Maths sheets and copywork! Take a breather and just enjoy this special time together. Trust me, it will be a Ramadan to remember for your children. Just keep things simple to remove the stress and let yourself enjoy this exceptional Ramadan together.
How will you keep homeschooling simple?
Let me know in the comments how you will be using ‘Simple Homeschooling’ in your routine!