Mom of the Month: Khadija Amjad {December 2021}

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The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms: working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Khadija Amjad! Each month we will feature one special mom as the mom of the month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!

December Mom of the Month: Khadija Amjad

Khadija Amjad is a DMV native, mother, wife, educator, podcaster, girl scout troop leader, and passionate about supporting community projects.  She holds a Master’s in Education from GMU, an Educational Specialist degree in Reading from UVA and a Public Health degree from GWU.  She was a part of the 2006 Teach for America corp and taught in Washington, D.C. in the first Early Childhood Cohort. Khadija homeschools her two amazing children: Maryam, 9 and Hashim, 7. She also serves as the Director of Education at the McLean Islamic Center where she oversees education programming for adults and youth. She recently completed the first season of her podcast Homeschooling 365 where she shares homeschooling advice.

Mom of the Month: Khadija Amjad

Here is our Q&A with Khadija:

How is your homeschooling journey going?

Each year our journey brings new experiences, challenges and joys. When the pandemic hit almost all of our extracurricular activities came to a halt. Now our new normal consists of a slower pace and a more thoughtful approach to weighing which experiences or activities will occupy our time. I try to prioritize my connection with my children and their interests when planning for our homeschooling year. I also leave room for flexibility. Just a few weeks ago my daughter brought home a stack of books on birds form the library because she wants to do a bird study. While this was not part of our plan and will require me to some research and prep, I am excited to learn about birds with her! 

I use the summer as my time to reflect and plan. I love learning from others so whenever I can, I find mentors for myself in areas that I want to improve. I believe strongly in mentorship so last year I started a Homeschooling Support Group for new homeschoolers. Parents who were new to homeschooling could join a small cohort that was facilitated by an experienced homeschooling parent. 

I was consistently recognized as a top tier teacher by the administrations and being a classroom teacher seemed to come easy but homeschooling really gave me a reality check. Even with two degrees in education and experience teaching in a variety of settings, I struggled and still do. I find that developing myself as parent and facilitator of my children’s learning is what drives our homeschool forward. Even the most seasoned homeschooling parent will have moments they feel overwhelmed or inadequate. Its okay to give yourself some grace and find support. 

Mom of the Month: Khadija AmjadHow do you balance homeschooling and other responsibilities in life?

Balance requires constant tweaks and adjustment. The pandemic has really helped me prioritize. I used to be the type of person who wanted to do it all. This would mean I would often be trying to cram in conference calls and emails in between homeschooling or staying up late to get it all done. However, this year I went against my nature and not only embraced saying no but also subtracting. 

I love learning about efficiency and I try to implement some simple things into my day so that we can get all of our stuff done. I start my day with prayer and meditation. I make sure to prioritize what I want to achieve that day. I also turn my phone notifications off when we are homeschooling or when I am working on something specific. I try to check text messages and emails at predetermined times so I don’t get side tracked.  

As my children are getting older the rhythm of our homeschool is changing as well. They are becoming more independent. They can make breakfast for themselves; they like to help prep or cook dinner and are able to clean up after themselves. 

Each quarter I prioritize goals for our homeschool, home and also my professional activities. My list of “Want Tos” is really long but I have gotten comfortable with accepting that there will be time for these things in the future and I can only do so much right now.  

It took me some time to accept that I am an introvert and so I have really begun prioritizing down-time for myself after social activities. I love to read so I have been making more time for that. So far this year I have read 92 books!

Mom of the Month: Khadija AmjadWhat are three things that you want your kids to learn from you?

My children have had a front row seat observing all the work I do. Ever since they were babies, they would accompany me to meetings and conferences. They have seen me wear different hats such as mom, teacher, director, troop leader, etc. They even give me feedback on my podcast episodes. I want them to know that they can explore a vast number of interests in their life. They don’t need to feel pigeonholed into one career and that they have a lot to offer the world. I want them to be empowered to be the change that they feel is needed.

I try to be honest with my children about my own personal growth and highlight areas that I want to improve. I want my children to learn how to embrace their own personal growth and have a growth mindset in all areas of life.

One of the main reasons that I homeschool is that education transcends textbooks and tests. I want my kids to learn how to use their creativity to answer the challenges of the future and to continue learning for the sake of learning. 

Khadija and family at beach

Do you know an amazing mom that would be a great mom of the month?Nominate them here!

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Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). Since then they have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back a little over two years ago. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), and Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but she is constantly challenged and stretched in ways she couldn't have imagined. She spends her days talking Star Wars, legos, playing dress-up, and chasing her toddler. We all know motherhood is challenging so she wanted to band together with other mothers to start this site to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping.