Interview with Bariah


Interview with a

Welcome Bariah!  A mother of four children, including one with Autism, she is a nature loving, honest, awesome person who will definitely make you smile.  Raw and refreshing, she is the true definition of inspiration.  Grab a cup of chai (if the kids let you) and enjoy!



How many kids do you have and what are their ages?  

I have four children. Khaled 9 years old , Maryam 5 years old, Muaadh 3 years old, Zainab 2 years old.

How long have you been homeschooling for?

Always I suppose, none of them have ever been in school.

Do you follow a particular method?

In the earlier years we did something that probably has a name but I don’t know what it’s called. Radical Schlepping? I just went to the library and walked in the parks and trails. Its when you pack snacks, walk around trees and avoid people. In this method one repels circle time and finds that organized group activities disrupt the circadian rhythm. I think most followers of this method grow up to be primitivists or hemp activists. However, fortunately for my children things have changed.
Now I have direct instruction curricula for math and reading that I follow with my eldest who has autism spectrum disorder.  Direct instruction is a scripted method of teaching, has rigid lessons that are in a textbook (gasp!) and you need to be sitting at a table. I have a well trained mind recommended phonics text book. I pull it out every once in a while for my 5 year old who is neurotypical (which loosely means normally developing or not autistic). I write a lot of menus for pretend play restaurants and grocery lists for pretend play shopping trips. We are finally doing some group activities, with actual people. I feel we might be on the road to becoming eclectic homeschoolers.


Why does your family chose to homeschool?

When my eldest son was school age I visited a few private schools and public schools. I could not wrap my head around how they would individualize his education, given the structure of a school and how it allocates its resources. How can a socially and intellectually struggling person maintain their dignity in a place where their whole person is considered deviant from the norm?
A guide/apprentice relationship is the basis for all positive learning, and this relationship is born from trust. When there is no trust, there is threat and avoidance and a person may learn skills to survive such an environment but if it is at the cost of their motivation and confidence then what have they really gained?
Teaching my children is a privilege. I feel I will homeschool each of my children for a different reason. I hope Allah allows me to continue this journey.

What does a good day look like in your house?

A good day is when everyone does something productive, we spend time outdoors, I haven’t yelled and screen time was none or limited.


What does a bad day look like in your house?

A bad day is when I have been a completely wretched parent, kids have watched disney programs and the baby fell asleep on the floor near the computer chair to the sound of her brother wandering around a Minecraft world, and I am over eating and trying to drink my body weight in coffee counting away the miserable hours to  bedtime.

What are your three homeschooling essentials?

My car.
My son’s therapists.
The library.

What was your biggest homeschooling mistake or set back?

Overspending on supplies. Moving houses. IMG-20160123-WA0065
Reading too many homeschool blogs, just kidding!

Whats the best part of homeschooling?

My children and I are together all the time.

Whats the worst part of homeschooling?

My children and I are together all the time.


YouTube Chanels: I am scared of youtube, one thing leads to another and you end up watching some guy who can fit himself in a giant soap bubble.
I left Facebook ages ago, yes!

Blogs:  Don’t really read many anymore. I follow some art blogs now, just for the pretty pictures. 
Place to shop for homeschooling supplies:, other homeschoolers and ebay.
Children’s book: Too many to list. My children enjoy drama, anything with drama in it that is also clever. Try some of Chris Van Dusen. 
(Board)GameWe haven’t advanced to that stage yet. Does perfection or zingo qualify as a board game?


Looking back on your homeschooling career, what advice would you give to yourself when you first started?

Slow down.  Save your money.  Focus on yourself and read more books.  You will be enough.  Children actually grow up (who knew!).

Have you ever thought about giving up? When, why, and what got you through?

Yeah!  Many times, I want to quit almost every year.  Because
sometimes I just don’t wantIMG-20160123-WA0068 to do any of it.  I often want to send my special kid to school and homeschool my neurotypicals.  I feel that after being a mom for ten years I don’t know what I am doing, I am tired and slightly disillusioned.  My relationship with my ten year old is still very much like with a very young child.  I am sure things will change as my children get older, however despite homeschooling for all these years I feel I am still at the start line but without the starry eyed enthusiasm of all the new homeschooling moms.  What gets me through?  I am not sure.  Stubbornness?  Allah makes it easy perhaps just when I am thinking about giving up.

Who or what is your biggest homeschooling support?

The homeschooling community. Go TMH! Just knowing they are there makes me happy. The GTA is a great place to homeschool, so many activities, community programs, other religious and secular homeschoolers, there is something here for everyone.  Don’t overlook this blessing!

How do you manage to juggle all the demands of motherhood and housework while homeschooling?

I have superpowers. One of my superpowers is selective apathy. There is also high disorder threshold, self deprecation, teeth grinding, satire, insomnia, selective hearing, bagels.  Honestly I have no idea.  I don’t manage.  Allah has all the power so I think some days He makes some things easy and other days other things become easy.


What does your family usually eat for breakfast?

Various types of eggs and toast.  Breakfast is a grand affair.  We love breakfast.

Where was the last place your family went to enjoy some quality time together?

The living room.

What is something you do for yourself to feel good?

I try to keep connected to the Quran through some kind of external commitment like a class.  I like to run and ride my bike.  Sometimes I read classic literary romance novels and classic science fiction, I watch BBC period dramas. I am thinking of creating a society called the Gom Jabbar because all nerds want friends.

Can you share a confession of something you let your kids do that others may not know or approve of?

In another life I was a personal trainer.
I let my kids jump in puddles with the wrong shoes and let them sleep in my bed.


If you were an animal, what would you be:

Something cool, like an antelope!

Thank you so much Bariah.  It was truly an honour to have you join us on the blog.  May Allah SWT always bless and protect you and your family.  
Happy Homeschooling!
Aasiya <3

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One Comment

  1. Pat Walling January 25, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    It is quite interesting and informative to read how home schooling works for various families

    Some different theories and practices but it seems to produce a cohesive family life

    When the parents (teachers) are together on the same page it’s a win win situation. Who is more dedicated to your children’s future in education

    Keep up the good work


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