Living in the rural town of Hancock, New York with electricity but no running water, Lorna S. spends the better part of her week keeping her house in order and homeschooling her two younger children who are still at home. With only one family car, she fits in shopping, errands, and laundry when her husband comes home. In the midst of this busy life, Lorna still has her goals of becoming "fluent in Arabic, and do[ing] further study in fiqh." Braving a slow dial-up internet connection, she signed up for SunniPath Academy courses so that she could fit learning into her schedule. "[SunniPath] is bringing the knowledge I need right into my home way up here in the back of beyond in upstate NY. Commuting to the closest big city is 45 minutes away, and winter is no joke in these parts. Being able to stay home with my children, and learn myself, is a great boon."
Women who are honored with motherhood have the necessity of acquiring Islamic knowledge both for their own sakes and for the sake of raising the next generation of children. Knowledge of beliefs, the pillars, and common day-to-day situations are passed down from mother to child, illustrating the great importance of women educating themselves. Zehra H. of Newark, Delaware explains her dedication to learn Arabic through her desire of inspiring her children with the same. "I would love my children to be able to speak and write at an early age—but I cannot expect them to learn if I haven't made an effort myself."
Unfortunately, however, full-time housewives and stay-at-home mothers are oftentimes frustrated by their inability to fit Islamic learning into their lives. Busy with tending to their children and keeping the house together, taking the time to drive to classes outside the home on a regular basis becomes difficult. Fortunately, alhamdulillah, online education at SunniPath Academy offers a solution to this common problem through bringing reliable Islamic learning into your own home. Umm Amatullah of Huntington, New York explains that she studies online "because it is more convenient."
Mothers, for example, can fit in coursework while children are napping or enjoying play on their own. Faiza H., a mother of two young boys in Blaine, Minnesota with no prior exposure to online learning, explains how she fits SunniPath into her life: "I get up early, get done with housework and feeding kids, and in the morning time when the kids are playing by themselves, I try to listen to previous lessons and make detailed notes. With kids, time flies, and I try to do some more after they go to bed."
SunniPath Academy courses consist of both pre-recorded and live lessons. Zehra, who was already familiar with online learning through the University of Delaware, prefers attending live courses because "you have to make yourself make time for class and schedule other activities around class time," ensuring you don't slip behind with your coursework. All live sessions, however, are recorded in case you aren't able to attend live or wish to review key points.
This flexibility is important to women like Ruheena R., a housewife in Southboro, Massachusetts who previously studied in Damascus and Cairo. She currently works part-time, so her schedule varies each day. When working, she listens to lessons in the late evening; on her days off, she makes time either in the morning or the late afternoon. Sometimes, her husband works late, so she listens to courses at night until he comes home. "Alhamdullilah, with the internet at home, it is not difficult to find time to listen to my lessons. I find it very comforting and peaceful to sit down and listen to the lessons at any time of day."
Even if able to leave the home for regular classes, many women can't find scholars they are easily able to learn from locally. Zehra explains: "Our local masjid has a very good traditional scholar mashaAllah. Unfortunately, because I am female, it is sometimes difficult to communicate with him...It is hard to find a group of dedicated sisters who are at the same level who could regularly go to the masjid with me to learn from him." SunniPath courses allow a level of access to the instructor oftentimes not easy for women to obtain in person. With live sessions, discussion forums, and office hours all opportunities to ask questions and clarify lesson points directly from the instructor, women are able to fully benefit from course material. Indeed two of Zehra's favorite parts of SunniPath are the live sessions and the feedback from the teacher and the teaching assistant (TA).
In addition to regular contact with instructors, SunniPath also offers a chance to meet others interested in seeking knowledge. The interactive "Meet Your Classmates" forum and the course material discussion forum provide a great venue for exchanging ideas, insights, and resources.
Best of all, SunniPath is easy to use without a technical background, requiring only a computer, an internet connection, and software generally pre-installed on your computer and if not, available for free download. And should you find yourself unsure how to proceed at any point, live support can be accessed through the SunniPath Helpdesk.
Whether you're too far away from reliable education, too busy to leave the home regularly, or just prefer the convenience and ease of learning from home, SunniPath Academy can provide you with an easy, effective, and reliable means of obtaining Islamic knowledge. In the words of Ruheena, "Sunnipath is wonderful because one can tell that a lot of hard work and sincerity goes in to each and every course. The course selection is great and the teachers/TA's wonderful. I feel comfortable asking questions and feel confident that the knowledge is sound."
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|March 8||Registration Starts - Summer 2011|
|April 5||Financial Aid Application - Summer 2011|
|April 24||Spring 2011 Ends|
|May 3||Summer 2011 Semester Starts|
|June 18||Qibla Amman Summer Intensive Starts|
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