The page for “E” shows three eggplants and the phrase, “Every elegant elephant from Egypt attended the Eid day ball, and brought enough enormous eggplants to last until fall.”
Ms. Ndiaye puts her materials online free of charge because she sees a demand and knows some people cannot afford to buy her curriculum.
“I personally view it as an obligation to God,” she said.
Even then, 50 percent of her daily emails are from people asking her to develop new materials. “There is no way to meet the need,” she said.
At first, Ms. Ndiaye was selling her material to individual families. In the past few years, however, groups of home-schoolers have created larger family collectives to purchase her lesson plans.
Ms. Ndiaye said the more religious a Muslim family is, and the greater their concern is with public schools’ effect on their children, the more likely they are to send their children to an Islamic school or educate them at home.
In 2004, Sarah Yazback, who has a master’s degree in education psychology, started her own online group, Muslims Educating Children at Home, which has grown to 150 members from around the United States and the world.
The Germantown mother home-schools her five children, ranging in age from 6 months to 12 years. She said she lets her children’s own interests dictate the lesson plans, calling her approach “very much child-led.”
This also means giving her children different paths to learning. Her house has about 7,000 books — about 2,500 of them children’s books — workbooks, games and a “big outdoors, which is very critical,” she said.
She sees most fellow Muslim home-schoolers in the area as well-educated. They have college and graduate degrees, and even the younger women aspire to work toward their degrees.
She sees the recent growth of home-schooling as a result of the assimilation of immigrants into the culture. Often in the countries from which recent U.S. Muslim immigrants came, home-schooling was not legal. When they settled in America, they — and their children — were abruptly introduced to new ideas, social practices and cultural expectations, but the idea of private education was a big step.
“You need a few decades for anything to spread to the minority population,” she said.
She has seen this idea in her group when it comes to alternative medicine. Many immigrants arrive with traditional views of medicine, she said, and it takes awhile for them to realize there are other options.
Teaching a way to liveView Entire Story
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