By: Krystle Crossman
Cilia Ndiaye began home-schooling in 1987. Her parents were worried about her being in the public school system due to bullies. She is of Muslim faith and those in the public school system used that against her. They would call her a Nazi and rip off the scarf that she wore on her head (hijab which is meant to cover the face for modesty). Back in 1987 people were calling her parents irresponsible for their choice as home-schooling was not as prevalent as it is today and people thought that would ostracize the child from society.
Home-schooling proved to be very beneficial for Ndiaye because she is now home-schooling all six of her own children who range in age from one to 12 years old. She says that there are a lot more support groups and resources for Muslim families who choose to keep their children out of the public school system.
According to data from the National Home Education Research Institute, Christian families, Roman Catholics, and Protestants make up a huge majority of home-schooled children while the Muslim faith is far down on the list, almost non-existent. There use to be many stigmas that go along with home-school if you are of a Muslim faith but those are quickly disappearing which means more and more Muslim families are teaching their children at home.
Dr. Faheem Younos says that when Muslim children who are first-generation are home-school it takes away their ability to fit into society in America. The parents however are worried that what their children are being taught in the public schools will go against certain parts of their religion and their children are subjected to bad treatment and prejudice.
Ndiaye turned her passion into something that can help others. She created a lesson plan for Muslim parents who choose to teach their children at home. One of the things that she did was create a coloring book that taught the English alphabet but used cultural Islamic themes like some of the holidays that they celebrate. She puts all of her lesson plans online for free because she knows that there are a lot of people out there who cannot afford to pay for them.
There are many Muslim parents out there who still seek a way for their children to get an education not only in the basic subjects, but in religion and morals as well. It is said that they would rather send their child to a Christian school than a public school because of the morals and values that are taught.