My title is actually very deep, more than I have time to say. At least, what’s on my mind. Our prophet, salla lahu alahi wa salam told us about being moderate. He (saws) told us that Islam is the moderate way and that we should continue on the middle course and that if we go to extremes we find we cannot continue upon that.
Nowadays, spirituality and new age teachings are widespread, instead of “religion”. There are many reasons for this. One is that, in general people tend to want to either do what is easiest, enjoyable, or pick and choose what they like to do in order to feel good about themselves but this is an illusion. Another reason and a very understandable one, is that people are tired of their religious leaders or other persons of standing that they follow being found out to be hypocrites, guilty themselves of going against the ideals that they preached for and against. Perhaps the last group is aware of the inevitability of the fact that we are becoming a global community and that cultures and races are mixing and in so, they fell the desire to know about each other and get along. Lastly, I think another reason (besides Iblees and his followers trying to mislead us) for the “new age” spirituality is that we are all connected. I always used to say that there are hardly any true atheists that most atheists are just mad at God. I really believe this. If you research deeply about science and especially Astronomy, you will find that there are plenty of scientists that gave up atheism or the original theory that the universe “always existed” and will have no end. They were right about the second. We were taught this theory in school about the universe having always been in existence but this has been disproved by science. The big bang theory became popular and with that, many hardcore scientists had to rethink their beliefs-especially man’s superior knowledge and reasoning!
We are all connected. Allah gathered all souls that wold ever come into being and asked us, “Am I your Lord?” and we all said yes. This underlying truth is one of the reasons man seeks to understand.
With “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” we have become a people absorbed with making money and acquiring possessions, thinking this will bring us happiness. Usually, more “things” only provide momentary comfort. We are stressed trying to make ends meet and working overtime just so we can have two weeks vacation every year! This is where balance plays a part and I believe, has gotten popular. Though, it has missed the mark with most. Islam is all about balance. It not only has an answer for every question of the human being, but it addresses all societal issues and problems, while respecting the rights of everyone. In Islam, it is not the individual whose rights come before society but the opposite. Put simply, man cannot run around and sin and transgress without there being consequences to his own self and those around him and in a broader sense, society in large. Who supports the children a man may make with many women if the women do not or are unable? All of us do. This is just one example.
Getting back to my original thought of balance, I have not only learned this in my life but more importantly, for my children. I have read many parenting books among my favorite where “Children are from heaven” “Parenthood by Proxy,” “Raising a thinking child,” “Loving your child is not enough, positive discipline that works,” “Child Potential,” and the 2 bestselling ‘teaching’ books by Ron Clark. I have been to classes, lectures and websites. MOST of the parenting advice is in my deen (way of life) Islam.
When I was homeschooling my friend’s three boys I was thirsty for textbooks, manuals, and any advice or information on strategy I could get. I belonged (and still do) to several homeschooling groups, mostly local. We were invited to what was called a “parenting” class and because of how highly the lady who spoke about the method and her saying how helpful it was to her, I was intrigued. It takes a lot to get me to leave my kids, mostly just arranging child care if my husband was not available! So I was excited about going. It turned out to be a Scientology thing, even though I doubt some of the parents figured that out. HOwever, we watched a DVD series of an interview with L. Ron Hubbard’s nanny and boy, everything she was saying was hitting home. I ended up purchasing this book with a forward from the lady who introduced me to the “class” and i the introduction to the book summed up basically what had been talked about on the DVD. I have heard about Scientology parents being told never to say no to their children. (in essence conveying to their children that they are capable beings who, with encouragement can accomplish almost anything) I’m not sure that never saying no to your child is healthy. I mean, every parent has encountered a dangerous moment when we just could not get to our child in time. And that’s just ONE example! I am sure “spoiling” would come to a lot of peoples minds, but I have my opinion on that as well. We are becoming more “attatched” parents as a nation (I would hope actually I think this lack of atattchment is a white ting because you will find many cultures sleeping with and carrying their babies) instead of “let ’em cry it out it’s good for their lungs” Studies have shown* that overall, children whose needs are consistently and promptly met in the first year of life are more independant and confident, not more dependant, like many popular parenting books would have us think. I don;t know how many articles I have read where a parent, esp a mother goes into parenthood before the birth of their child, then once actually raising the infant to early childhood, change many beliefs. Why is this? Because we are intune and it is important to us the needs of our child and usually are intuition outweighs and is more correct than so-called experts, nosy strangers, or well meaning family and friends. Here I will post an article I found I have saved on an old educational file disk, after my husband erased the hard drive three times in an attempt to keep us from getting viruses!
Islamic Tarbiyyah of Children
from Islam: The Natural Way
In the tarbiyyah of children, you should try to remember that:
o They should be trained to grow up with the attitudes and habits, the adab or etiquette of Islam:
“Be generous, kind and noble to your children and make their habits and manners good and beautiful (Akrimuu awlaadakum was ahsinuu adabahum),”
said the noble Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam).
-> the habit of being gentle and polite – for according to the noble Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), “Gentleness adorns everything” – without being timid, afraid and cowed down;
-> the habit of being helpful and considerate without being loutish in their behaviour to others;
-> the habit of being clean and neat and tidy, of looking after their personal hygiene and appearance.
Children need to develop the adab or the etiquette of Islam: when and how to greet; how to speak, sit, eat, and how to perform natural functions like personal toilet in the clean and efficient manner as taught by the beloved Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam); to do everything in the manner, time and place that is appropriate for it, for example: to be reverent in salat, attentive in class, robust and full of zeal in play.
Children need to develop physical fitness and skills, to be strong and courageous. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) recommended that children be taught horse-riding, swimming and archery.
One Muslim ruler once suggested that his child be taught swimming before reading or writing on the grounds that someone else may read and write for him but no one can swim for him!
From the noble Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam)’s recommendations, we see that children need to lead an active outdoor life and be proficient in some of the martial arts. They should have the stamina for demanding play and demanding work. This implies at least that they should be adequately fed.
Children need to develop a thirst for knowledge, beneficial knowledge – through listening, observation, reading, interacting with others. It is recommended that children be taught from an early age to recite and read the Qur’an and develop a love for it. At an early age, they have the capacity to memorise it and it is common for many children and youths to memorise the whole or large parts of the Qur’an.
From the age of seven, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) recommended that children should get in the habit of performing salat and by the age of ten they should be required to do so regularly.
Children need to develop skills and to be creative and inventive. They should be trained from an early age to take on responsibilities, to organise and take initiative rather than be timid and submissive. They should be able to spend their time usefully and profitably.
They need to develop skills that would fit them for contemporary living and for the particular society in which they live. This may involve anything – from the skills of running an efficient and creative home to the skills that would enable them to earn a living and help them in the process of tarbiyyah when their turn comes. Give a person a fish and you feed just one person; teach a person to fish and he can feed hundreds, says an apt Chinese proverb.
Above all, correct tarbiyyah should ensure that children develop a love for Islam, a love for God and His Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) and that they develop a feeling of pride in being Muslim and a willingness to strive for the good of others.
They need to realise the benefits of Islam, the foundations on which it is based and their need for Islam. They need to value Islam and live by Islamic values.
*The First three years of Life, by Burton White.
I will continue more later inshaAllah of my daughter’s day and what we learned. I went ahead and gave her a three ring binder as suggested in The well Trained Mind. Instead, though the front has a clear pocket so that one can put a paper or decoration. Al hamdulilah someone a while back had given me a dozen or so of these and I keep everything. I put my daughter’s favorite tracing/coloring with a unicorn in the pocket. This got her excited about her binder. This binder I will use for all her Language Arts. It will be divided into four parts. 2 Be continued~
update: We have used one large binder for everything until we add more of her work. The Language Arts section is divided up as instructed in the Well Trained Mind: Spelling, Grammar, Reading and Writing. Further divisions of each are as follows: Spelling is divided into three sections: “Spelling Rules” “Trouble Words” and “All about words” Grammar has two: “Exercises” and “Rules” The Reading section also two “My reading” and “Memory work”. Finally, the writing section has four subdivisions: Copying, Dicatation, Exercises, and Compositions.
For Arithmetic we are currently using worksheets generated online, found on the “Everything U need page” I am also loosely using What your second grader needs to know for math knowledge guidelines and our state requirements TAKS by grade level. Al hamdulilah I already had many workbooks and test booklets. History and Science is covered in my post “Time Flies” and I will be posting more about that inshaAllah. I recently received dozens of text books on just about every subject on every grade level because a local Islamic school closed. I am keeping the ones I plan to use and donating much of the rest to those I know need it and the citywide homeschooling resource where at the conference recently, I took home ten times what other people took!