"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
-Charlotte Mason

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Introducing Montessori to our homeschool / Inviation to play & create..

I'm Back....... again! dont know how many times I'm going to say that lol, will I ever be consistent with this blog? maybe not, oh well just popping in to give an update on whats been happening with us. My two girls are back in the learning centre they used to attend, they were missing their friends alot so decided it was probably best for them in that sense, they're doing ok alhamdulillah. My eldest son is now on InterHigh maybe only until the summer, but we're thinking of maybe having him continue his learning on there, not sure yet though. 

 I did mention in one of my previous posts that I was becoming more interested in Montessori, especially for my 1 year old daughter, I've set up a shelf for her toys now, it's from Ikea, at the moment she likes to come along and knock the odd toy on the floor, some she will spend a little time with but I'm hoping as she gets bigger she'll start interacting more with them God willing ! (Excuse the grubby walls behind, well overdue for a re-paint!)

 I recently bought the book 'How to raise an amazing child the Montessori way' , it's a good read and packed full of inspiration and beautiful pictures. It's helped me to understand a bit more about how to observe the child and what to look for. I've also ordered a montessori album to give me some guidance on what kinds of activities to do with her and in what order, theres so much on pinterest but I'm the kind of person who benefits from a visual plan, telling me what to do and when! I think that's why I like The well trained mind so much :)

I've signed up for The Keys Of the universe elementary montessori albums for my 7yo, just printed it all out, there's alot of theory to read to start with to understand how it all works and then bit by bit will get started with some lessons. I will continue to use alot of the resources recommended by The well trained mind, I'm going to try and merge them somewhat together if I can, I'm always open to using something in my kids education which will be useful, so don't think I'm going to be stuck exclusively to one way, not for now anyway, will see how it all pans out though, God willing.  

At the end of last year I set up an invitation to play/create for my 7yo and 11yo, using natural materials from the house and garden and play dough, they absolutely loved it alhamdulillah and it was fascinating to see them get so creative with what I laid out for them. Definitely want to set another one  up for them soon iA.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

History Odyssey Curriculum - Free Downloads!

Just popping in quickly to share with you these free downloads from Pandia press for the History Odyssey curriculum, we've been using Story of the world by Susan Wise Bauer but saw a recommendation for this curriculum & it does actually incorporate SOTW. I'd heard of History Odyssey before but never really looked into it properly. From what I've seen so far it looks like a really good curriculum & looking forward to getting started.  Well I've got my mum arriving in a bit & this house is a bit of a mess! so best get off the computer :).....Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Back once again!

Assalamu' alaykum & hello! ;)

Well it has been a while! Just noticed I haven't wrote anything since July 2013! Shortly after that I found out I was pregnant alhamdulillah, was nothing like my previous pregnancies, I suffered from hunger pangs alot, but didn't really want to eat, plus then I started heaving if I got really hungry, it was awful, I had a love hate relationship with food, my day revolved around it, I hardly went anywhere & the kids didn't get much of a great summer holiday :( But alhamdulillah gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in March, Allahumma baarik fiha, slowly slowly we're getting into a routine, the early days were probably the hardest, but things are going alot more smoothly now Allahumma baarik.

Dd14 has recently started with InterHigh, she's not really enjoying having to do homework, not that it's alot lol, but at least it's something more consistent for her. Ds12 is going to be starting an English IGCSE course with Catherine Mooney Tutoring , we've just had the course materials through & I'm very impressed with the book that she's put together Allahumma baarik. We missed out alot last year and the kids are behind quite a bit, but we're just working at their pace, what's the point in stressing, plenty of time to catch up insha Allah.

We've recently started using the Classical Conversations cycle 1 memory cards, at first my eldest two weren't too keen, especially as I had come up with a song for learning the one piece, but they soon got into it :) and by the end of the day, my 12 yo was caught quietly singing it to himself lol. I've promised them if they fully complete cycle 1, we'll have a little awards ceremony with certificates & prizes iA, so that's got them motivated, especially my 6yo & just the other night he was telling me what his favourite pieces were so that was nice.  I've also just started reading 'The Core' by Leigh Bortins, the founder of the Classical Conversations programme, I'm only so many pages in but already I'm really loving the book & she explains in such a clear & concise way what a classical education is that you can't help but agree with her, although maybe not everyone will.

I find myself leaning alot towards the classical education, but also sometimes towards other methods. I have recently started looking into the Montessori approach & this is probably something I will try to implement more with my youngest as she grows insha Allah. I try to do hands on activities with the kids whenever I can insha Allah, but this is not always possible, some days we're getting the bare minimum done but it's always a work in progress :)

Well, it's time for me to head off to bed now, it's 2.23 a.m here in the UK & I'm sure the baby will soon be waking! I will TRY to post more often & get some pics up iA, thanks for reading x

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Recommended resource for outlining

I can happily say the trip to the dentist today was not as bad as I had imagined, I started getting really nervous in the hours leading up to the appointment, and I mean really nervous, I lost count of how many trips to the bathroom I had actually took! lol.  I was booked in to have iv sedation to help me relax, which it did, and I felt like it only took about 5 minutes to take the tooth out, but when I came out I was surprised that over an hour had passed! The pain set in as soon as the numbness wore off, so have to make sure I'm well topped up on the ibuprofen & paracetamol tonight!

One resource I wanted to share this evening is Beginning Outlining by Remedia Publications. The link I've given is to a pdf version of the book on Currclick, I searched and searched online for a copy here in the UK, but couldn't find anything, except from Amazon, which cost £18.75 + £9.44 delivery. So as you can imagine I was over the moon to find an online version. Insha Allah in September when we get started properly with our learning, I'll be following some of the guidelines from The Well Trained Mind, and for my son's grade level he would be expected to know how to outline, which is basically summarising the main points of a text in order. I'm not sure if he's actually learnt this in his previous school, don't think he has, but it was suggested by the authors of the Well Trained Mind to start with this book. So we've started with a few pages at a time, quite basic to begin, but he's really enjoying it, and it's actually making more sense to me now :)

So over the holidays we're just going to be preparing for September, make sure our classroom looks top notch! or as near to top notch as we possibly can xD.  I just splashed out on two colourful drawer units with work boxes from Staples, £50 each but I just couldn't resist! These ones are very similar but ours have 8 drawers and the colours are slightly different..

......There's quite a few books that I need to order, which I normally buy from Amazon, and a lot of the time from 'new and used sellers' which surprisingly 'new' are sometimes cheaper than the 'used' bizarre! Along with that, I need to carry on with the task of de-cluttering this room, I hope one day soon it will all be organised and I can share some photos on here, it's not too bad at the moment, just not exactly the way I want it to be, but it's a work in progress I guess, always improvements to be made :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Yet another 'update' title......

Doesn't time fly?! Can't believe it's been about a month since my last post! I'm really not all that good with keeping my blog updated, I admit I should try & make more effort, but as the old saying goes 'better late than never!' ey 

As it's coming to the end of the academic year, we haven't really been doing a lot, mainly brushing up on some grammar, I'm still having to remind mine to put a capital at the beginning of a sentence & full stop at the end! just hoping that all my constant reminding will somehow make it stick someday! 

We've been using Conquer Maths, to go over previous work they would have learnt while in school, which some was pretty much forgotten. Dd12 struggles in many areas of Maths, so we're kind of doing one topic in  a lower year, then doing the same in the next year up and so on. I'd much rather her be going over the lower work and basics to make sure they are fully understood & mastered than keep working on her years work just because 'that's what she should be doing'. Alhamdulillah that's one of the many beauties of homeschooling, you can go at your child's pace, they don't need to feel inadequate because they don't get it, and it does help them to build their confidence masha'Allah.

With Ds5, we've mainly been working on his sounds & using the beginning lessons of Reading Reflex. I was quite surprised when he came out of school that he didn't know more of his sounds, and I was expecting him to be able to blend some words. He has struggled with it a bit, but we've persevered, and I started using the flashcards from Ruth Miskin's phonics programme with him, just introducing 5 at a time in the order suggested. Today we had a small breakthrough, after not doing the reading reflex lessons for quite a few days, he found it a lot easier to say & blend the sounds, and then the same when we were reading one of the Bob books.  

My aim for the coming weeks is to put together a varied collection of fun learning resources for Ds5, for language learning & Maths. I do like how in America they put together Math & literacy centres, I've printed off a couple of activities we can do together & also he can then do them independently insha Allah when I'm helping the others. One site I came across recently is TeachersPayTeachers , they have alot of free resources to print off as well as paid, and the ones I've come across are certainly worth the money in my opinion.

I've been using pinterest alot lately, and it's amazing what you can find on there, sometimes a bit too much information overload, but I tend to just pin alot of things I like the look of and return to them later. One idea I came across that I really liked was the one below (only decent shot, the others were blurry! :/) you basically draw a car park on a big sheet of paper, if you have it, card stock is best, but mine is just paper. We added an Asda building and queued all the cars up, I wrote cvc words which Ds5 has been learning onto each space, and then simply told him to park in the space which said 'sat' or 'cat' etc.. I added one or two sight words also that have come up in his reading book. Also once he found the correct space, I would ask him to sound out the word before he parked the car there. He seemed to enjoy the game, and I'm thinking to make another one with numbers iA.

I did intend to add a few more photos of what we've been getting up to lately, but my battery just died on my camera, and it's 12.45 am here, so time to get myself off to bed.  I have an appointment at the dental hospital tomorrow for a tooth extraction which I'm not entirely looking forward to, so roll on tomorrow evening when it's all over & done with! insha Allah. x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The start of our Nature Journals...

Our Nature study

Today We started Nature Studies, I bought each of the children their own sketch book to start a nature journal, the ones I originally wanted were from an art shop and cost around £7 each, I wouldn't mind if it were just for the one, but when you have 3 children to buy for, as you can imagine it's not cheap.  So we found some in What! for £2.50, and insha Allah they'll do the job :)

Our Nature study
(excuse the funny colour on the hand, occurred post processing!)

We started close to home today.... in the back garden, Ds5 did get a little distracted along the way, and started drawing vampires! but along with his magnifying glass he seemed to enjoy the exploring.

Our Nature study

Our Nature study

I came across a lovely site today, which inspired me to get started with the nature journals, and hopefully insha Allah we can work on them regularly.

I printed some leaf and flower i.d sheets for them to stick in the back of their journals, for later referencing, and also printed off a 'blackberry hunt' worksheet to go out and do either this week or next week.


Charlotte Mason would say about Nature Study.....

This is all play to the children, but the mother is doing invaluable work; she is training their powers of observation and expression, increasing their vocabulary and their range of ideas by giving them the name and the uses of an object at the right moment,--when they ask, 'What is it?' and 'What is it for?'
(Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.46-7 )

All this is stale knowledge to older people, but one of the secrets of the educator is to present nothing as stale knowledge, but to put himself in the position of the child, and wonder and admire with him; for every common miracle which the child sees with his own eyes makes of him for the moment another Newton.
(Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.54 )

As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child.
(Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.54 )

Mothers and Teachers should know about Nature.--The mother cannot devote herself too much to this kind of reading, not only that she may read tit-bits to her children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observations.
(Vol 1, II, Out-Of-Door Life For The Children, p.64)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

New post on 'Capturing the beauty'

I've just updated my photography blog with some recent photos I've taken, feel free to go check it out! :)