Archive for February, 2007

I can remember an acquaintance used to answer her phone, “Anwar residence,” which I thought pretentious and a bit too posh. I quickly shook that idea out of my head. I mean at least the person on the other end of the phone knew immediately if he/she had the wrong number. Then one day this acquaintance needed a lift home from school. Any normal person would ask if we were going past her house but no..she had to say, “Are you travelling past my estate?”

Estate? It’s a house for crying out loud.


Nothing much to report here at Camp Tasmiya/Tasmiya Estate/Palace Tasmiya. It’s just been a hectic week with nothing to show for it bar a grumpy woman,three grumpy boys and one grumpy cat. Then there is husband and the other cat – they never get grumpy alhamdulillah. Just what is their secret?


Him (looking sullen and depressed): I’m getting so fat!

Her: You look good in those pants. Those pants fit you well.

Him (nearly in tears): That’s because these are my FAT PANTS!

Her: Oh. Well..ummm – I would never have guessed.

Him: *sob!*


Tasmiya: So what would do if you discovered an alien in our backyard?

6 year old: I would make friends with it and look after it.

Husband: Yeah, me too. What about you?

Tasmiya: I’d report it to the appropriate authorities and demand a finder’s fee.

*waits for death stares*

*they don’t disappoint*


Despite the fact I am so insensitive and sometimes deliberately try to stir him up so, husband just laughs it off and never stews or sulks. As Dictator Princess always says, “Don’t hate y’all – just say machaAllah.”

I can remember the reactions I saw from various friends and family members when I spoke about my intention to homeschool my son. There were those who just answered with silence. Some raised their eyebrows, looked at each other and sniggered like they were sharing an inside joke. Others were genuinely interested and supported my decision. Then there were those who seemed to take it as an attack on their choice to send their children to school or as an attack on the state/federal/Islamic school system and immediately went on the defensive on why homeschooling was not a good idea not just for themselves but for me, too.

I started attending a homeschooling playgroup and met a group of wonderful mothers. We were all so different & from a myriad of backgrounds yet united in our decision to school our children at home. Information and advice was passed back and forth without hesitation and the children were happy to share their favourite toys during free play time. I was truly blessed by knowing these people.

Then came Year 1 and under pressure from family, I decided against continuing my homeschooling. I was reluctant to tell my homeschooling friends of my plans for the new year. I was sure I would be met with the same reactions as the schooling parents. I misjudged and underestimated my homeschooling friends. They did not attack, ridicule or offend me. They listened, sympathised and not once judged me.

I was invited to continue attending the playgroup since I still had younger children who technically I *was* still homeschooling but I felt I had best leave the space for a true homeschooling family. I was touched by their ongoing support and even if they disagreed with my decision or thought I was making a mistake, they never once made me feel inadequate as a parent or as an educator of my children. I even called one mother who is a qualified teacher and racked her brain with my saga about which school to choose for my son.
I haven’t kept in contact with them through no fault but my own laziness and part of me is embarrassed that I didn’t have the fortitude to keep up with schooling at home.

The homeschooling parents I know are confident in their choice of education for their children so don’t need to ridicule or belittle anyone or feel they have to defend their decision (unless of course they get asked that dreaded socialisation question!)

This is why I love them.

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