Homeschooling during the blessed month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the most blessed month of the entire year. During Ramadan, Muslims will be fasting from sunrise to sunset for 29 or 30 days consecutively. Fasting is obligatory for every healthy, fit, able man and woman whose reached puberty to fast during the month of Ramadan;
"Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwa (piety/God consciousness)" [Holy Quran 2:183].
Additionally, attaining and preserving taqwa is important for us as Muslims because Allah Al Ahad tells us in the Nobel Quran;
"The most honoured by Allah amongst you are those best in taqwa (piety)" [49:13]
Moreover, we want to become better human beings, Muslims and get closer to our Creator and Ramadan offers us just that. The opportunity to connect/reconnect with Allah Al Awwal, connect with our souls and control our naffs (desires) in every sense. We control our thirst and hunger by being patient and grateful for all our blessings, we control our speech, our behaviour, we work hard to change bad habits in order to maintain the good changes we bring into our lives far beyond the month of Ramadan.
The virtues of this month are many, from immense ajjar (reward), protection from Hellfire, forgiveness of sins, supplication being accepted and controlling the desires.
Ramadan is also the holiest month because it is the month the holy Quran was revealed [Quran 2:185]. Muslims increase in worship during the last tens days of Ramadan hoping to catch the divine night of Lailatul Qadr.
"The Night of al-Qadr which is better than one thousand months and therein every matter of ordainments is decreed."[Quran 44:4]
"Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times it's like, up to seven hundred times, except for fasting, for fasting
is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his food for Me.
For the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk." [Al-Bukhari]
On the Day of Judgement, "Fasting will say: O My Lord, I prevented him from food and desires, so accept my intercession for him." [Ahmad, Al-Haakim and Abu Nu'aim,hasan]
The Prophet (pbuh) said; "He who fasts Ramadan, due to iman and hoping for reward (from Allah), then his past sins are forgiven." [al-Bukhari, Muslim]
"There are in the month of Ramadan in every day and night, those to whom Allah grants freedom from the Fire, and there is for every Muslim a supplication which he can make and will be granted." [Ahmad, Sahih]
We also have a special set of prayers to offer additionally to the obligatory five daily prayers. These prayers are the tarawih Salaah and up to 20 units are prayed every night.
Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to encourage us to pray at night in Ramadan, without making it obligatory. Then he said, whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and the hope of reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven." [Bukhari]
Having said all that, what happens if your a homeschooling mum during this blessed month and you want to fit in all the ibadah to ensure your really making the most of Ramadan, however, you need to manage school also?
It can be extremely overwhelming trying to juggle so much with long hours of worship and very little sleep, a family to organise and take care of, a home to run and homeschool whilst fasting almost 19 hours each day. Therefore, the first thing I like to focus on is being patient! This is our struggle and test and we endure it with sabr to gain the pleasure and reward from our Creator inshallah. Always try to focus on the reward and that the greater the struggle, the greater the reward inshallah!
During Ramadan we take things easy in our homeschool. School starts later than usual, we may skip days of formal, sit down learning and take learning into the library or other relaxed environments. We incorporate Ramadan into our school day, so we will do more Quran reading, memorise more Quran, discuss Ramadan, look to help the weak by getting involved in community projects, helping at the masjid at Iftar time and so on. My eldest son will also make effort to attend the Masjid for congregation prayers as well as, the night prayer, tarawih. We will also use workbooks and worksheets during this month for maths and english, work that the children can get on with little adult assistance. They will work on their Ramadan project which this year will focus on the changes they want to implement into their lives beyond Ramadan and the children will be working on crafting their own cushions and creating their Eid cards.
This will keep the children busy and learning throughout the month without too much pressure on me and I can also focus on my worship without having to worry about our usual formal teaching and structured routine. This system may not be best for you and your family or alternatively, you may have a system which is better! Either way, please do share your routine and tips for schooling during the month of Ramadan inshallah.