About me

Ahlan and Welcome to Garden of Knowledge!

My name is Rafia Saleem and I am a mother of 3 wonderful children - AR 8.5, H 6 and S 2. We recently moved to Doha, Qatar. This blog is a mix of everything, as life is and just like a beautiful garden is. You will have a glimpse of our life's struggles, happiness, good and bad times, challenges of parenting, homeschooling and schooling.

Story of our Homeschooling Journey

We have been on this Journey for almost 7 years. My love and inspiration to homeschooling began, when we visited a family in Edmonton, Canada. They had 5 amazing homeschooled kids and her love for taking control of her kids education had me inspired. My heart, mind and soul all seem to accept everything she shared with me. She gave me a copy of "The Ultimate Homeschooling Book" and my journey to explore homeschooling began with my eldest who was only 5 months old. I also began listening "Lambs to the Slaughter" by Humza Yusuf which I happened to own in audio cassette form (audio Cassette!? boy I feel old, don't think my kids have even seen one of those)

Soon after that my husband and I decided to move to the Northern region of Saudi Arabia. We didn't have a homeschooling community but we did make great friends and met amazing people there. I always stayed in touch with our homeschooling community and close friends in Toronto, Canada.

While living there we made the most out of being in a Country that is the core of the Islamic Civilization. We lived the Islamic Heritage and homeschooled on the road all across Saudi Arabia. While living Saudi I did home-studies and took various certification courses online. InshaAllah here you will find a glimpse into our experience of living in Saudi Arabia, We recently moved to Doha, Qatar, looking forward to benefitting from this country and its dwellers. And as we explore I welcome you to follow along in our adventure.

Why we Homeschool?

As I learned I evolved in my view of "why" we homeschool. Nurturing the love of learning in our children is at the core of it all. Instilling Good characteristics, Adab (Mannerism), Ikhlaq (Good Conduct) and Ihsan (Utmost good) in all our actions is also at the core of it. Children have an innate capability to teach themselves if they have the proper guidance. Providing that guidance is a huge test and challenge. I ask Allah to teach us all that we need to handle this enormous responsibility. We have learned enormously about ourselves our weakness and strengths individually and as a family. Everyday we find a need to better ourselves. I love learning with them, and through their questions. If they ask about something I don't know about we learn and research about it together.

I have to admit that Homeschooling requires an entire lifestyle change, and as parents of these tiny souls entrusted to us from Allah its our duty to constantly work on gaining knowledge and growing with our children. We have more difficult days then good days I feel...but I love them as much as the easy ones because I learn a lot from them.

I would also like to say only Allah knows best how long He has decreed for us to Homeschool our children. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but I would also say, never hesitate to try and if it doesn't work for you than stick to what works best for your family.

Curriculum and How we Homeschool

We have evolved in our Homeschooling Journey and philosophy over the years and still are. Knowledge is never stagnant. We have kept what worked for our family's visions and goals best from the following and let go of the rest.
  • Play based learning
  • Montessori 
  • Living Math and Science
  • Traditional Teaching Methods
  • Waldorf Philosophy - Oak Meadow Curriculum 
  • Unschooling
  • Kinza Academy
  • Charlotte Mason 

Our Homeschool is mainly based around our traditions and rhythms of days, weeks and months. Over the years these have changed and I am looking forward to establishing new ones as we settle here in Doha. I have mainly unschooled our kids with a major influence of living learnings, traditional teaching methods, Waldorf and Kinza (Education Revisited). I have specialized (informally) in using the Waldorf philosophy and adding Islamic values to it while taking some Waldorf courses online. I may not agree with everything I have learned from those course but I did benefit immensely.

What you will get from the blog

  • A glimpse in a homeschooling mom's life 
  • Some ideas on things to do with kids
  • Inspirations
  • Information for those who often ask me and want to know what they should expect in Saudi.
  • A platform those who want to move to Doha Qatar and are clue less of where to start. And what to expect.
  • A place to find resourceful sites and things to do in Qatar for those living here and those visiting.
Deeply honoured that you stopped by :)

May Allah accept our efforts, and grant us tawfeeq (ability) to strive for His pleasure. May He give us tawfeeq to parent our children in the best manner that will prepare them to be Da'ee's (callers of Allah).

I Pray and hope you benefitted and leave inspired

Rafia - Umm Abdir-Rahman