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

Monday, 29 December 2008

Call this justifiable??!!

I write this while tears stream from my eyes, I have become more aware now of the situation in palestine and the current situation there, this is so sad, I feel so helpless and angry. Palestinians are labelled as the terrorists when they are the ones having their land stolen from under their noses,kicked out from their own homes, left without electricity/water etc, innocent people killed, including women and children! subhanAllaah, why do people think this is justifiable???!!!! Wake up!!! open your eyes and look at the reality. Insha Allaah we need to make lots of du'a for our brothers and sisters in Palestine, May Allaah help them and grant them peace in the land which is rightfully theirs.
I came across this on'a learning muslimah'

Look into my eyes
And tell me what you see.
You don't see a damn thing,
'cause you can't possibly relate to me.

You're blinded by our differences.
My life makes no sense to you.
I'm the persecuted Palestinian.
You're the American red, white and blue.

Each day you wake in tranquility,
No fears to cross your eyes.
Each day I wake in gratitude,
Thanking God He let me rise.

You worry about your education
And the bills you have to pay.
I worry about my vulnerable life
And if I'll survive another day.

Your biggest fear is getting ticketed
As you cruise your Cadillac.
My fear is that the tank that just left
Will turn around and come back.

American, do you realize,
That the taxes that you pay
Feed the forces that traumatize
My every living day?

The bulldozers and the tanks,
The gases and the guns,
The bombs that fall outside my door,
All due to American funds.

Yet do you know the truth
Of where your money goes?
Do you let your media deceive your mind?
Is this a truth that no one knows?

You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of Zionists.
I'm terrorized in my own land
And I'm the terrorist?

You think you know all about terrorism
But you don't know it the way I do,
So let me define the term for you,
And teach you what you thought you knew.

I've known terrorism for quite some time,
Fifty-five years and more.
It's the fruitless garden uprooted in my yard.
It's the bulldozer in front of my door.

Terrorism breathes the air I breathe.
It's the checkpoint on my way to school.
It's the curfew that jails me in my own home,
And the penalties of breaking that curfew rule.

Terrorism is the robbery of my land,
And the torture of my mother,
The imprisonment of my innocent father,
The bullet in my baby brother.

So American, don't tell me you know about
The things I feel and see.
I'm terrorized in my own land
And the blame is put on me.

But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is our land and there we'll remain
Until the day our homeland is secure.

And if that time shall never come,
Then we will never see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will my fight for justice cease.

And if I am killed, it will be in Filasteen
It's written on my every breath.
So in your own patriotic words,
Give me liberty or give me death.

And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!" (4:74)

Saturday, 27 December 2008

bribes and pipe cleaners

Masha'Allaah Dd(8) really pleased me today, she went on Whizz Maths and one of the lessons was on counting money, I suggested again that she try counting on, for example there was a 10p,and two 2pence's, so I told her to say the 10 and then count the 2p and then the other 2p, which broke it down for her, and she found it quite easy, ok, ok, I'll let you in on something, it wasn't that easy for me to get her to do it, I had to actually bribe her with a chocolate, lol, I don't like to do that, but anything for her to at least try it! Anyway it worked, so we'll just have to see if she tries this by herself next time.

Dd(8) and Ds(6)decided to make a few things from pipe cleaners today, Dd(8)made bracelets, and Ds(6) made dinosaurs, he's crazy about them! masha'Allaah. Dd(8) took the photo of them, and asked me kindly if I would put them on my blog, so here they are:

(Dd(8) made the purple dinosaur.

I've been thinking today about handicrafts, I read that Charlotte Mason included these in her teaching, these are not just art and crafts as we know today, but crafts which will support a child into adulthood, such as sewing,knitting,pottery,oil painting etc... I would love them to try pottery insha Allaah, I did try it a long time ago, and made quite a mess, that's the picture I had in my mind earlier when thinking of introducing it, but I think it would be fun.
When I was a teen I remember I used to love making things from dough and baking it in the oven until it was hard, I would then paint it and glaze it. I had a book, which I found at my mum's house last year, which I used to copy ideas from, I was so happy when I found it, but unfortunately never ended up bringing it back home for some reason, hopefully my mum hasn't got rid of it, I would love to do that with them also, you can make so many things.

Oh, today, the baby took his first few steps masha'Allaah, he's been practicing balancing for days now, it's so cute masha'Allah, he'll let go of whatever he's holding and just stand there, with his hands in front of him as if he's saying ''hey, look at me! no hands!'' lol, so today I was encouraging him to take some steps, he was loving it. So probably wont be long now before he's running wild with the rest of them insha Allaah.

Become inspired..


The secret of education is respecting the pupil.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank goodness I was never sent to school;
it would have rubbed off some of the originality.
--Beatrix Potter

Teaching -

They may forget what you said but
they will never forget how you made them feel.

We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.

It's not what is poured into a student, but what is planted.
--Linda Conway

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.The great teacher inspires.
--William Arthur Ward

Most teachers waste their time by asking questions which are intended to discover what a pupil does not know whereas the true art of questioning has for its purpose to
discover what the pupil knows or is capable of knowing.
--Albert Einstein

Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.

Great minds discuss ideas, mediocre minds discuss events,
small minds discuss personalities.
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel
that you, too, can become great.
--Mark Twain

Friday, 26 December 2008

Too much play, not enough work!

I haven't been posting my daily updates like I should be, but most days it's just the same work we do each day, not much to tell about, so I've been wondering whether to update once a week, or just when I feel we've done some interesting things that day and worth writing about, hmm, not sure, will see.

Well, this week there's not much to update on, what's with me and consistency ey?! Most day's by the time everyone's had breakfast, got dressed etc... the morning's almost gone, then the baby normally needs a nap, food has to be cooked etc.. I don't know what the best way is to organise our time better, and get the most out of it, another hhmm! But the kids have done a bit here and there. They did some handwriting practice, and masha'Allaah they really tried hard to get it neat, I was very pleased with the effort they made.

I paid for a subscription again with Whizz Maths, an online tutoring programme, as I mentioned before, Dd(8) is quite behind, and really needs the extra help, the programme costs £27.50 a month, bit steep, but it monitors your child's progress, and alters the programme accordingly, so it's kind of like having a virtual maths tutor. The last time she used it, her maths age shown on her progress report was 5.97, today it's up to 6.12, obviously she has learnt more since stopping it before, but apparently the child can improve on their maths by up to 2years/grades using whizz maths, according to previous results they've seen, I hope it works for her insha Allaah. Here's a couple of pics I took earlier of the lessons.

Dh has been helping out with teaching the Qaa'idah alhamdulillaah, been great with the extra help and the kids are loving it masha'Allaah. Dd(8) and Ds(6)began to get a bit confused with some of the words, and were not reading the sounds properly, I don't know what happened, especially with Dd(8),she was progressing very well masha'Allaah, but that one day, it's as if she had forgotten some of what she'd already learnt, so she had to be taken back a couple of pages, which she wasn't happy about, but today things were alot better alhamdulillaah. SubhanAllaah, when you teach your kids you need so much sabr, at times when I'm teaching Maths or the Qaa'idah, and it seems like they just don't get it, or sometimes with Maths, like yesterday, I was trying to suggest to Dd(8)some quicker ways to solve some of the problems, she didn't want to listen, and she worries I'm going to confuse her, but all I expected was that she listen to the suggestion and at least give it a go a few times, but no she didn't want to, times like this can be very frustrating, but I guess it's all part and parcel of homeschooling, alhamdulillaah.

Lately I've been doing more reading into Charlotte Mason, I've joined a couple of yahoo groups, and just tried to find out more about her philosophy, methods etc... it very much appeals to me, but I know I need to do more research first before we change over completely. Narration and dictation appeal to me very much masha'Allaah, but I have yet to incorporate them into our daily routine, but what I need is a schedule, when oh when will I ever put pen to paper and write one down?! put the procrastination to the side, and just do it! (just telling myself off, hehe). Insha Allaah, this weekend I need to sit down, away from the computer, and sort out what we're going to be doing, what methods I want to introduce etc.. and try harder next week insha Allaah.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

good habits

The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children. — Charlotte Mason

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Muslim Yahoo group for Charlotte Mason

While doing a search on Yahoo groups I just came across a group called muslimcm I've just signed up to join. This is the description of the group :

This group is for Muslim families that want to homeschool using a Charlotte Mason approach. Whether you use a packaged curriculum (such as Ambleside Online) or make your own, this is the place for discussing Charlotte Mason in an islamic manner. Non-muslims are welcome to join, but there will be no room for off-topic religious or philosophical debate. Allah subaha wa t'ala is sufficient and in him we trust.

Charlotte Mason on Amazon.com

Here are some books on the Charlotte Mason method, listed on Amazon.com, again I would like to note that any purchases made through these links will insha Allaah generate a small income for me and my family, which will help fund our homeschooling. Any support is much appreciated.

Charlotte Mason Books

Here is a list of Charlotte Mason books from amazon UK, I would like to note that any purchases made through these links will insha Allaah generate a small income for me and my family, which will help fund our homeschooling. Any support is much appreciated.

Quotes from Charlotte Mason 4th Volume

Nobody knows how much is possible to any one person. Many persons go through life without recognizing this. They have no notion of how much they can do and feel, know and be; and so their lives turn out poor, narrow, and disappointing. (p. 9)

Never think of your meals till they come, and, while you are eating, talk and think of something more amusing than your food. (p. 13)

Thirst is a simple fellow; the beverage he likes best is pure cold water. (p. 15)

We should always have something worthwhile to think about, that we may not let our minds dwell upon unworthy matters. (p. 21)

Never knowingly read anything or listen to anything which could suggest unclean imaginations. (p. 52)

Never let us reflect upon small annoyances, and we shall be able to bear great ones sweetly. Never let us think over our small pains, and our great pains will be easily endurable. (p. 90)

The other and surer way of guarding ourselves from this evil possession of self-pity is to think about others. Be quick to discern their pains and sufferings, and be ready to bring help. (p. 90)

To be benevolent is to have good will towards all men. (p. 91)

Kindness is to make everyday life pleasant and comfortable to others. (p. 99)

The essence of acts of Kindness is that they should be unremembered. (p. 101)

A grateful heart rejoices not only in the gift but in the giver. (p. 109)

Formal thanks are proper enough on occasions, but there are other ways of expressing gratitude. A glance, a smile, a word of appreciation and recognition straight from the heart, will fill the person who has done us a kindness with pleasure. (p. 109)

If we would but believe it, we have all courage to face any calamity, any enemy, an death.
(p. 122)

It is a bad thing to think that time is our own to do what we like with. We all have duties, and a certain share of our time must be given to those duties. This power of making oneself work is a fine thing. Every effort makes the next easier. (p. 173)

The child and God

"Children should be taught their duty toward God. It is their duty. That which they owe, to love Him "with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their strength" these things are seldom taught as they should be."

-Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason Quotes


"In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mothers first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet and growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it for the most part spent out in the fresh air."

Language arts

“But one who tries this method on himself will find that in the act of narrating every power of his mind comes into play."

Nature Study

"We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things."

"Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life."


"The peculiar value of geography lies in its fitness to nourish the mind with ideas and furnish the imagination with pictures."

Time for mother.

"If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would have the courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favourite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents. The mother would then be able to hold herself in "wise passiveness’ and would not fret her children by continual interference even of hand or eye - she would let them be."

-Charlotte Mason quote.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Daily report (22/12/08)

Sorry, I know I haven't been updating much lately, Dh came back from hajj masha'Allaah, may Allaah accept his efforts, ameen, the kids were very excited as he'd been gone for about 2 weeks, so we didn't get much school done, plus haven't been able to come online that much. So I made sure tonight I got on here and wrote something, may not be exciting, but for me this is a place I can record my little ones progress, and gather our memories of homeschooling.

Well, today, I must say was a great day, alhamdulillaah. I'm trying to get myself to bed alot earlier these days, aiming for 10.30, last nite got into bed just before 11pm, which is great for me as I'm the kind of gal who could stay up practically all night, but my average time of going to bed was about 2.30, sometimes 3 or 4, but started bringing it back to about 1, so 11 is a great improvement, just got to stick to it now insha Allaah. It is vital I get more rest, as lately I've really started to feel the tiredness, and it's affecting the schooling, so a big reason to break this habit of mine.

Ok, back to today, I know I went a bit off track there, hehe, well Ds(6) is off school for 2 weeks, so schooling the 3 of them right now, masha'Allaah we had a good day, few tears and squabbles, but we made it through alhamdulillaah, and the kids benefitted masha'Allaaah.

Started our day a bit late in the morning, but we did:

Daily adkhaar (rememberance)

Qaa'idah - Dd(8) now moved onto a new page, introducing the sound made when fat-hah comes before waaw, and makes the 'ow' sound as in 'now', I tried to push her a lil bit harder today, as I don't feel we're doing enough, and the girls, I feel are getting used to only doing little portions of work, she did bring on the tears a bit, and complained she couldn't do it, but I knew she could as she'd already read out the sound, so I persisted and the tears eventually stopped, and the page got read a few times, alhamdulillaah. I'm really pleased with the progress she's making Allaahumma baarak feehaa, and I know she can progress alot quicker if she does just a bit more a day insha Allaah. The other day when Dh was here, he was helping her with the Qaa'idah, and he said he thinks she would do really well in Damaaj (yemen) insha Allaah, a place of gaining knowledge, that we may go to insha Allaah.

Dd(5) is also making progress Allaahumma baarak feehaa, insha Allaah with being more consistent, which I am trying my hardest to attain, she will move along alot quicker also.
Ds(6) doing well Allaahumma baarak feehee (think that ending's right?!)

Maths - Used some blocks today to try and reinforce the concept of number bonds, hadn't thought of doing it this way before, but got the idea from Let's play Maths, and the kids loved it! it's the first time I've seen them this excited about Maths, lol, so maths can be fun! I also gave them some numbers on a sheet to work out which two numbers add up to make that particular number, they enjoyed doing this also masha'Allaah. It helped them to really understand the concept, and it was nice to see Dd(8) understanding it, as she did struggle a bit the other day, working from her workbook.

We also carried on practicing telling the time, I showed a few examples on the clock face, and then they completed some worksheets. I've promised them that when each of them learns to tell the time properly, I will buy them a watch as their reward, so they're quite excited about that, masha'Allaah.

Reading Reflex - Started Ds(6) on the book today, he done well, baarakAllaahu feehee, I've wanted to start him for a while now, I intended to do it after school with him but have never started the routine, so now is the perfect time insha Allaah. I have alot of confidence in this programme masha'Allaah, I have seen results with Dd(8) and Dd(5) and find it an easy programme to teach masha'Allaah.

We weren't able to fit in handwriting today, I tried to do as much as we could, but insha Allaah we have tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Daily report (16/12/08)

Today we only managed to do work in the morning, but we covered quite a few lessons alhamdulillaah. I let dd(5)sleep in a bit, as she didn't go off to sleep till a bit late, felt bad to wake her, so she did miss out on most of the morning.

Well, we started off again with our morning adkhaar (remembrance) really trying to keep this up insha Allaah, and make it a daily habit, alhamdulillaah I'm starting to remember some of them off by heart, as well as dd(8).

Qaa'idah - still working through the lesson on 'sukun' Now on line 3 masha'Allaah.

Handwriting - dd(8) didn't get to start her worksheet yesterday, so started it today, same as what dd(5) did, started on the O's and C's, as I mentioned before, the reason for taking her back to the same stage as dd(5) is to ensure each letter is being formed correctly, and any bad habits are corrected early on insha Allaah, also to encourage neatness in each individual letter.

Maths - Both dd(8) and dd(5) started on the Singapore maths books today. dd(5) started on some counting exercises, this is actually a year one workbook, so I'm gonna see how she gets on with it insha Allaah. dd(8) worked on number bonds, there was a few tears, as she didn't quite get it at first, so I had to keep explaining, and giving different examples, eventually she seemed to understand the concept of the lesson a bit more, but I want her to start memorising her addition facts again, as this will help her in this area insha Allaah.

Remembered to continue our lesson on telling the time, this was very informal, just told dd(8) to get the baby's play cube which has got a clock on it, and just revised what they learnt yesterday, dd(5) decided to join in and grabbed one of the time books with a clock face on, this was while I was in the kitchen doing something and they sat in the hallway, the simplicity of homeschooling ey! Not every lesson needs to be done at the table masha'Allaah.

Reading Reflex - dd(8) worked on the a-e word list, she had to sort the different words all with the a-e/ay sound, but into different spelling groups, for e.g rake would be in the a-e list, day would be in the ay list and so on. Need to start working on her spelling insha Allaah, I intend to put together some word lists based on sounds/words we've already covered and work through a few at a time, it's through teaching this book, that I've actually realised how confusing the English language must be for a child and someone who is learning the language, but with time and effort it can be mastered insha Allaah.

We didn't do science today as I intended, late morning the baby needed a nap, and I ended up taking a lil nap with him, I was so tired! dd(8) read a bit from her madinah arabic book, the one for kids, and that was our homeschooling done for the day. SubhanAllaah I'm just finding it a bit hard to fit everything in, the morning flies by, by the time we've had our breakfast, got dressed etc... but I'm trying to make good use of the time we have and mainly get the most important subjects done, if they're done I'm happy masha'Allaah. One thing we need to focus on also is Islamic studies, this is most important along with the Qaa'idah, insha Allaah I need to make a plan for it and get started asap.

The Fundamentals of Lapbooking

Article by Carrie Kerr (129 pts )
Published on Dec 8, 2008

Lapbooking is a whole language approach to education. It's often used to compliment a unit study or as an alternative to a book report, and can be a fun and motivating experience for teachers and students!

What is Lapbooking?

Lapbooking is a whole language learning approach that results in a keepsake of a project that your students will cherish. Each student has the opportunity to create a unique piece of work for the topic they have studied. It's a three dimensional compilation of writings, drawings, and creative expressions adhered to a file folder. The folder sits on the reader's lap, opening at the center to reveal various learning efforts, almost like a pop-up-book full of treasures! The children are always very excited and proud about their work. In the end, it serves as an artistic portfolio that can be displayed and treasured over the years.

Read More

Monday, 15 December 2008

Daily update (15/12/08)

Well, today went pretty well, got up about 6.30 with ds(6) saw him off to school and waited for the girls and the baby to wake up. Masha'Allaah in this time I was able to have my breakfast, organise a few things, and have things ready for the day, what a great start to the week! alhamdulillaah. It did really feel good.

I actually held back from going on the computer last night (well, not the entire night, I did go on for a little bit before going off to bed), I really wanted to go over some of the Well trained mind again, and start implementing some of their curriculum into our learning. It helped so much to get it written down onto paper, to have a plan of action, it helped me to feel more motivated, as it kind of started to go down a bit recently, but alhamdulillaah I feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things, May Allaah help me (and others who are in need of it) to be more consistent and hard working when it comes to teaching my (our) children, ameen.

Ok, so back to today, we started off with our morning adkhaar (rememberance) and then started on the Qaa'idah (to read the Qur'an), Masha'Allaah DD(8) is doing well, and progressing quite fast, Allaahumma baarak feek. Today she learnt a bit more about the rule of the qalqalah letters, which when appear with a sukun above, they are to be pronounced with an added stress, qalqalah meaning 'shakiness'. I had her copy the rule down onto paper, which will be filed into her folder insha Allaah, and added to when necessary.

DD(5)is working through letter recognition practice, she is doing well Allaahumma baarak feehaa, but I just need more consistency with her insha Allaah, so she can progress faster insha Allaah.

I have decided to take things a bit slower and not rush them with their writing, I want to make sure they are forming each letter correctly before moving onto the next, so DD(5) and DD(8) are both working through Zaner Bloser's handwriting programme (as recommended in the Well trained mind)DD(8) is able to write masha'Allaah, but I know that she doesn't form all of her letters correctly, and bad habits can be hard to break if left.
DD(5) is also working through her numbers one by one, if I can see that she is able to write a certain number correctly and neatly, then I do allow her to move on to the next.


We're working through 'first language lessons for the well trained mind' We are now on lesson 12. Today I read out the Aesops fable 'The lion and the mouse' which both girls enjoyed, I then asked DD(8) some questions from the book, to make it easier for her to remember parts of the story, I wrote down her answers, and she drew a picture to illustrate the story. This was a narration exercise,used regulary in classical education, which is what I'm trying to implement bit by bit insha Allaah.


We didn't do a full on maths lesson today, but we did have a mini lesson on telling the time, DD(8) did a few exercises in her workbook, starting with '0'clock and half past, it went well masha'Allaah.

Unfortunately we didn't manage to do the Reading Reflex today as we started out a tad bit late, but insha Allaah tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Useful and informative blog

You may have noticed that I've been adding a few posts from the blog Higher up and further in , well, I've been on this blog most of the night, discovering all the great posts that are there, masha'Allaah there is so much useful information. This blog is mainly centred around the Charlotte Mason approach, and includes alot of information on parenting/homeschooling (copywork,narration etc...)
My printer's been extremely busy this evening, I have found so much that insha Allaah will be useful for me and my family. I have printed posts such as 'picky eaters...There's one in every home' 'The habit of obedience' 'The strong willed child' 'Chores for little ones' 'Our nature journals' and much more.

For the imperfect folks

Another inspiring post I've just read....

On Monday, I disobeyed Flylady and did not bless my house.On Tuesday, we ate supper an hour late because I was blogging.On Wednesday, I combed the snarls from my daughter’s hair too roughly and brought tears to her eyes.As you can see, I am a successful person. Yes. That’s right. If you don’t believe me, ask Winston Churchill. He said, “Success is nothing more than going from one failure to another with undiminished enthusiasm.” Oh, how true that is. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I fail daily. But I just dust off my britches and get back up again, and again, and again…
Read More....

Narration - Getting started

Children naturally narrate daily events to mom and dad and to each other. We all do this and so, at first, when attempting to apply narration to the schoolroom, the mother is often surprised to find that her child offers a brief sentence or two mixed with a lot of 'ums' and 'ers.' Don't let yourself get discouraged, because this is perfectly natural. Just as a beginner plunks out a few notes on a piano, your child is floundering in the initial stages of sifting, ordering and framing information in his mind. This is actually a very complex process and will take some time to master. Try it, yourself, and you will see just how difficult it is.
Read more

Friday, 12 December 2008

Lapbooks and unit studies

I have recently come across a fantastic website which provides you with all the printable resources you need for unit studies and lapbooking, and covers a huge variety of topics. Insha Allaah we're going to start our first lapbooks, K is going to do one on honey bees, T - Butterflies and U - dinosaurs. I can't wait! I think I'm more excited than the kids, especially since I've printed all the things out. Masha'Allaah for the lapbooking, all the research has been done for you, which allows you to just print, cut and get on with it! and best of all, it's free!

Also take a look at this lapbooking site, very informative and useful masha'Allaah.

Teaching children to think -Quote

“When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think.” –Bertrand Russell

Ten Habits of a Happy Homeschool

Masha'Allaah I found this to be rather inspiring.


As I’ve reflected over the last ten years of teaching my children, a few habits we have developed over time have come to mind that have helped our home to be a happy place of learning.

1. I rise before my children and have at least ½ hour to myself and I dress and make my bed first thing and greet each child with a ‘good morning’ and a smile. This doesn’t come natural for me because my dad was a night owl and I followed in his footsteps. The change was not easy, but has been very rewarding.

2. We have a general routine that gives my children a map for their day. They feel secure and happy knowing the day’s general plan and their duties.

3. Every afternoon I have one hour to myself. No interruptions allowed (unless a child is bleeding to death!). My children are required to be on their beds at this time reading or writing what they wish, but no noise allowed. We’ve done this since they were toddlers and call it Quiet time.

4. I continue to educate myself as well as keep up a hobby. I consider this very important for ALL mothers.

5. I keep four books going at all times by my bedside and read ½ hour before bed, choosing whatever book I am in the mood for at the time. (fiction, spiritual, nonfiction and a child’s book I am proofreading)

6. I purpose not to yell and try to be pleasant when correcting, remaining firm, but kind. I am still learning to do this, but see the improvement and it makes everyone’s day go well since mom sets the tone for the day. What a great and wonderful responsibility given to mothers!

7. The children play outside at least two hours a day whether they want to or not. We also sharply limit unattended playtime with other children. The TV is in our bedroom so is virtually unused except for news and the occasional carefully chosen video or DVD.

8. We eat supper together in the evenings and we speak of worthy subjects. Often the children narrate to dad stories from the day’s lessons. It is a happy time.

9. We have a bedtime routine that includes mom or dad talking and praying with the children before bed and we make sure that they are not sad or angry while drifting off to sleep.

10. One evening a week is reserved for Family Fun Night -- even if it means saying ‘no’ to invitations elsewhere and one evening a week is Date Night for mom and dad -- even if it means staying at home and putting the children to bed early.

Lastly and most importantly, I have allowed myself to dream (or shall I say I have been given a vision?) and I’ve made all decisions in light of it, even when ridiculed. This has required the development of a thick skin. But history has shown us that anyone who blazed their own trail, who heard the beat of a different drummer and who challenged the status quo, faced similar obstacles --- They also changed the world.

Qur'an course for kids

Just recieved the link for this website through email, have taken a quick look and it looks really good masha'Allaah, this is the kids course, but they have one for adults too.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Every bit of progress helps

We haven't really done any homeschooling this week, due to celebrating 'Eid, but insha Allaah hope to pick up again next week. I've decided to try out the singapore maths workbooks, we've been working from '150 daily maths lessons' and it's ok, but I'm eager to give the singapore maths books a go after the good reviews I've read about them, obviously it's not for every one, but I've taken a look at some of the sample pages available, and it appeals to me very much, let's hope it does to the kids too insha Allaah.
Sinapore Maths is now available to buy in the UK.

Alhamdulillaah T is now almost writing her name, it's quite long but she's trying her best masha'Allaah, and her reading is also coming along well, I just need to make sure I sit down and read some books with her more often insha Allaah, and have her practice words she's familiar with, and sounds she's working on.

K is really behind with her maths, she was in school for a while, and is now supposed to be in yr 3 but I started her on a Yr 1 maths book to see exactly what she knew, and it's only within the last 5 mths that it clicked with her how to do a sum, I couldn't believe it, so I'm thinking about getting extra maths tuition for her, there is a sister who teaches maths and charges £5 per hour, which is very good, so she might start there insha Allaah, and hopefully it will help her to catch up a bit quicker.

My son U attends school, but I just wanted to add how much I feel he is progressing with his reading and writing masha'Allaah, Allaahumma baarak feehee. In his school I think they put alot of emphasis on having very neat writing, as he tries his best to write it as neat as possible, and tells me that he is beating so and so in his class, bit of healthy competition is fine insha Allaah, and is doing some good. Also he is trying to read more, and spell words out, he now seems more eager to read and interested to learn, whereas before he wasn't that bothered.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Educational quotes

Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.-- George Evans

The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned this afternoon.-- Anonymous

We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.-- Anonymous

“It is highly important not only to be learned but to be virtuous.” ~George Washington

“The main hope of a nation lies in the proper education of its youth.” ~Desiderius Erasmus

“I don’t want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer that to their being educated by the state.” ~Max Victor Belz

“The geniuses of the ages were generally brought up in home schools.” ~Raymond Moore

“Educating a child is a natural process. Home schooling is nothing more than an extension of parenting.” ~Sue Maakestad

“Home is the focus of the work of home schooling parents. Perhaps like no other challenge in life, homeschooling forces us to consider our identity and our roles as mothers and fathers, and it allows us to shape every aspect of our home—its tone, the way it’s decorated, the media we allow to enter it, what we eat and how we eat, how we celebrate, how we laugh, how we rest, and how we prepare for the unexpected.” ~Renee Ellison

“A nation may be ever so civilized and yet lack wisdom.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Don't quit!

The Don't Quit Poem

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you're trudging seems all uphill, When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about, When he might have won had he stuck it out; Don't give up though the pace seems slow-- You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than, It seems to a faint and faltering man, Often the struggler has given up, When he might have captured the victor's cup, And he learned too late when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-- The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far, So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-- It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.- Author unknown

Inspiring quotes

"Let no feeling of discouragement preyupon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed."- Abraham Lincoln

"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation." - Arthur Ashe

"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Tips for homeschooling your preschooler

Preschool is a great place to start homeschooling for various reasons. First of all, preschoolers are generally curious and love to learn new things. Additionally, preschool is not mandatory from a legal perspective, so it is a great time to ease into homeschooling and figure out what works for you and your family, before the pressure of record keeping, testing and so on become required.

Monday, 1 December 2008

A fresh start

I've been intending to set up this new blog , since my old blog mum of four, got accidentally deleted, and I've kind of given up waiting for blogger to get back to me after my request for it to be restored, and even if it is restored I've read that my posts wont be. So it's time to start fresh I think. I feel so happy to finally have a place again to post updates on our homeschooling and other relevant information. This will be a place where I can keep on track of what we're doing, what we're following etc, my thoughts etc... just like a journal, a place where insha Allaah in years to come my kids can look back at all the things they did and how they've progressed.

Ok, so a little about me, I'm a mum of four alhamdulillaah (all praise be to God), my 6yr old son attends school, and I homeschool my two daughters aged 5/8, I also have a 9mth old baby boy alhamdulillaah. So as you can tell I'm kept busy. I came into Islam in 2001, and have finally discovered my purpose in life, that is to worship my creator to the best of my ability, and obey him.

At the moment homeschooling is a bit up and down in my house, but slowly slowly we're getting there, I'm working on getting to bed earlier, as I've got a bad habit of staying up very late, I just seem to come alive around 10/11pm and my average time to go to bed was about 2/30 - 3 a.m, I've been bringing the time back to about 1ish, which is an improvement for me, insha Allaah I aim for about 11pm as my limit, we'll see how it goes.

Since reading 'The Well Trained Mind' I've become interested in classical education, the trivium, which is the three part process of training the mind (will write more on this soon insha Allaah), also I have been reading more into Charlotte Mason's philosophy on education and parenting, which is very interesting, and I hope to slowly implement her ideas into our family insha Allaah (god willing).

Apart from homeschooling and daily parenting, I enjoy gaining knowledge of Islam (which right now, I'm not doing enough of, but will restart studying insha Allaah) I also like to explore different avenues of earning money, mainly online, but I'm aware that there's so many scams out there, one has to be so careful, but there are alot of legit ways, I occasionally post these on another of my blogs 'Ideas, resources and tips for the sahm (stay at home mom)

Ok, so that's it for now, will be posting again soon insha Allaah.