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

Friday, 11 December 2009

Check out CurrClick's freebie pages!!!

If you haven't come across CurrClick before, then I would definitely recommend you go take a look. They have so many resources covering all academic topics, which you do have to pay for, although I don't find it expensive.

PLUS they also have a freebies section which Masha'Allaah is very impressive, there's about 5 pages full right now, this evening I've purchased a cursive handwriting course E-book from them and an Aesop's fables Copywork book, plus from their freebies pages, I've downloaded a few resources, such as : Amphibians Unit study, Journal Junction: signs of spring, TBB calendar card kit, and a few others.

These are all sitting on my desktop now, waiting to be used, can't wait insha Allaah ! :D

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Home Educators in record petition to MPs, and some thoughts from me :)


The law is that children should receive a "suitable education" for their age and aptitudeMore than 70 MPs have handed in petitions from opponents of plans for the compulsory registration of families who educate their children at home.

Commons petitions from more than 120 constituencies were presented - a record on one subject in one day.

They call on England's ministers not to go ahead with plans for a register or with proposals for council officials to be given new powers to enter homes.

Ministers say the reforms will check children are "safe and learning".

The plans came from a review into home education carried out by Graham Badman, which reported in June.Kent's former head of education had been asked to check if local authorities were monitoring and supporting home educating families properly.

As part of this, he also looked at whether home education could be a cover for abuse.

'Harass families'

The presentation was led by Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart.The petition for his constituency said:

"Petitioners believe the recommendations are based on a review that was extremely rushed, failed to give due consideration to the evidence, failed to ensure that the data it collected were sufficiently robust, and failed to take proper account of the existing legislative framework".

It went on to say the proposals should be withdrawn and instead steps should be taken to make sure local authorities were following existing guidelines on home education.Our reforms are looking at how we can put in place better checks and balances, so we can be confident every child is safe and learning.
Diana Johnson, Schools Minister.

In a statement on his website, Mr Stuart said: "These petitions show the extent of opposition across the country to proposals which will give local authorities the power to harass families who educate their children at home, even when there is no suspicion they have done anything wrong."

On the basis of a rushed study and flimsy evidence, the government is proposing to spend tens of millions of pounds going into the homes of home-educating families and subjecting them to inspections and a licensing regime."

Schools Minister Diana Johnson said:

"We fully support the right of parents to educate their children at home, that is why, as part of our response to Graham Badman's review, we are providing more support to those parents who choose to do so."

''Children who are home educated will have better access to things like school libraries, sports facilities and music lessons and we will also provide more tailored support for children with special educational needs"

''Our reforms are looking at how we can put in place better checks and balances, so we can be confident every child is safe and learning."

What Schools Minister, Diana Johnson said at the end of this article, I found very positive, I myself am not against the Education Authorities making it compulsory for all home educators to register, as I think it is something which needs to be done, because unfortunately not everyone who keeps their children at home are genuinely home educating them, there are always cases of child abuse coming up, and if this is something that needs to be done in order to make sure children are genuinely be educated and looked after then so be it.

I hope though that we will get the support we need, and not be looked down upon or criticised, and that there will be more facilities available for those who are home educating, insha Allaah.

I may be close to having a visit from the LEA, my daughters go to a school in the afternoon where they learn Qur'an/arabic/Maths/English and Science, and today the LEA turned up unexpectedly, they questioned my youngest daughter, now the teacher has said I need to fill some kind of form in, presumably for the LEA.

I can feel myself panicking already, and the stress is slowly building, I keep asking myself 'why all the panic?' for me, I'm worrying because my one daughter is very behind, last year didn't go as well as I'd hoped, and I'm just worrying that they're going to refuse my application of home educating, especially my eldest.

Is this what happens? could they just insist I put them in school, or would they give me time to come up to what they would call 'standard' ?

In some ways I'm also looking forward to having contact with them, if they do contact me that is, not to always have that worry, and just to keep me on my toes more insha Allaah.

Anyway will keep you updated insha Allaah.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Our new spelling programme

I am so excited!!........I've chosen a spelling programme which I think will be really good for the girls insha Allaah, I have read about it briefly before but never really looked into it, you can take a look at a sample page here of book 1, which can either be bought through post or as an E-book. The name of the programme is Sequential Spelling, and does not follow the traditional way of learning to spell, but rather helps the student to identify the different spelling patterns in words, it is a 7 level programme, and works from easy words up to the more advanced.
I was very impressed when I had a look at the sample pages, it is very different to how spelling is normally taught, and looks far more easier. I will let you know how they get on with it insha Allaah.

I've provided some links below to more info about this programme.

Plus here is a blog article I found through another blog, written by a home school mum who uses this programme.

Animal Classification display posters

I was mentioning yesterday my plan to introduce Animal Classification to the girls, I did start with T(6) today, she's just working through her lapbook at the moment. I was looking for some printable posters to put up on the wall, really hoping I would find some free ones, but unfortunately I didn't, but I did find some which I purchased for £2, which wasn't bad. There's 9 colourful posters, and the descriptions for each group are very clear alhamdulillaah.

Insha Allaah, will laminate them and pop them up on the wall later.
If you follow the link, you'll find the posters are the twelfth ones down.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Dealing with an injured finger!

Before I go off to bed, I thought I'd do a quick blog update, Yesterday T(6) jammed her finger in the door, so we didn't get off to a good start at all, Qadr Allaah, at first I thought her nail was half off, so I started panicking, it was horrible, but once I was able to look at it, I realised it was the skin on the finger that had been pushed forward, not very nice to look at, but I'm glad the nail was fine alhamdulillaah. T was a bit shocked, love her, she didn't want to look at it first of all, but she eventually calmed down. She's had it checked by a doctor and they said it should be fine insha Allaah, but did suggest we may want to take her to A&E if we suspect there's any problems with movement etc... so as you can guess, there's wasn't much homeschooling going on here yesterday!

Today, we've mainly been working on Maths and English, T(6) who is feeling a lot better alhamdulillaah is doing well with her reading Masha'Allaah, we're still working through the Reading Reflex, today she worked on the sound 'th' , Masha'Allaah it went well, we also read book 3A, from the synthetic phonics series. Alhamdulillaah T is able to read many of the sight words in the books so far, especially as they repeat often.

T also did a bit of cursive writing practice, and Masha'Allaah she's not too bad at it, I was impressed, Just need lot's of practice insha Allaah. She also did a bit of Maths from her workbook, counting money, and then went on some of the Science clips and activities on the BBC, she had fun alhamdulillaah.

K(9) did some work on vowels and consonants today from her workbook, some Maths, and Masha'Allaah she is progressing, as I mentioned before she is quite far behind for her age, but I'm pleased with how she's now starting to get a bit more comfortable with working with bigger numbers, even myself, I'm learning all over again! that's definitely one of the many beauties of homeschooling, we can re-educate ourselves at the same time :)

That's about all we did today, K went to Madrassah in the afternoon, she has also started doing Maths and English there now, so I'm hoping that will give her the extra help she needs insha Allaah. I kept T home today, so I did work with her in the afternoon, as she was at the Doctors in the morning.

Insha Allaah I plan to introduce animal classification with the girls tomorrow, I've printed the lapbook resources off from Homeschool Share , also I purchased a downloadable unit studies pack which looks quite good, you can view some preview pages here.

So will looking forward to starting that with them tomorrow insha Allaah.

Thanks for reading :D

Monday, 7 December 2009

Yearly plans for Science

For those looking for a spine for teaching Science, I came across these yearly plans and thought they may be useful,

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Home Educators and The Truancy Act

Another article from IHSAN

Another LEA experience.

Here's another encounter with the LEA from the same website, a more positive experience from the start alhamdulillaah, it does make you feel better when you hear these stories, it also makes me feel more encouraged to register with them, and if I was to do so, the reason would mainly be to keep me on my toes a bit more, insha Allaah.

One parent's experience with the LEA.

Masha'Allaah I found an interesting article on the IHSAN website, regarding the LEA, it is one sister's experience with them.

I myself, have not registered with them as yet, although I have been thinking lately whether to do so or not. A few experiences I read about before plus this one kind of made me feel a bit negative towards involving them, but I have heard a couple of positive stories at the same time, so you just don't know until it's your turn I suppose.

All I can do is try my best with my kids to give them the best education I possibly can.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Timez Attack - free download

Just dropping a quick link, it's for a free game called Timez Attack, which teaches multiplication facts. I remember coming across it before, but don't recall seeing a free version, mine's downloading now :)

Monday, 23 November 2009

Feeling a lil down....

My apologies to anyone who's at all interested in my blog, for my inconsistent posts, as I have said before I am a procrastinator, there's no doubt about that! sometimes my mind is just simply not in blogging mode, or I intend to do it, but I put it off and off, until a whole month or so has gone by, one of my bad points I'm afraid.

Alhamdulillaah though, our homeschooling is going well, We're trying to fit in what we can in the morning, as the girls attend madrasah 2-7, masha'Allaah they're really progressing now, Allaahumma baarak feehim (May Allaah bless them in it, ameen.)I think we need to be starting earlier in the morning in order to get it all in, this I have to work on insha Allaah.

Doing my best to help K(9) to catch up in her Maths, it's becoming a bit overwhelming at times because there's so much I feel she should have memorised or know how to do by now, like with the times tables, skip counting etc.... I'm trying to keep her focused on one thing at a time, and myself!, but I do feel we need to put alot of effort into this area insha Allaah.

We've just re-started using the Reading Reflex, T(6) is on the advanced code section now, Masha'Allaah, before starting back with this, we've mainly being using the synthetic phonics books by Ruth Miskin, I may have mentioned them before, these are great Masha'Allaah.

Well, 'Eid is on Friday insha Allaah, we're looking forward to it, not sure what we're going to do yet, will attend the 'Eid salaah in the morning, I missed the last one subhanAllaah. I bought the girls their dresses today in Asda, they're so lush Masha'Allaah, I wouldn't mind one in my size :) Will just be on the lookout now for the boys insha Allaah.

Right now, I'm feeling a lil bit down, our lovely cat Madinah recently brought home some fleas :( I've used a few products from the Bob Martin range but the problem's still there, and actually seems to have worsened, I've now started using Front line on him, which is supposed to be the best one, and rather expensive too :( the pet industry is booming, subhanAllaah, anyone who has a pet will probably agree that it's not cheap when it comes to veterinary care, food etc... but he's worth it though... well, anyway back to the fleas.... I've now found them in my room, and it's that, that's mainly the cause of me feeling so down, when you retire to your bedroom at night , you want to feel relaxed, and you don't want to be worrying about a flea jumping on you, the other night when I discovered I had some in there, it was about 3 in the morning, and well.... you could say I was flea hunting, I must have picked about 6 or more of the critters off my bed, eventually I slid under the blanket, trying to guard my face from any that may have wanted to attack me, and finally fell asleep, who'd have thought something so tiny could make us big people feel so intimidated.

Insha Allah they'll be gone soon, I hope! the whole house needs treating, room by room, which is going to take time, it needs de-cluttering too! but insha Allaah we'll get there in the end.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


Sunday, 25 October 2009

The coming week......

I've been planning a few things I'm going to do with the girls this week insha Allaah, with K I will be re-introducing money for Maths, I don't feel she's competent enough for her age in this area, and it's been a while since I first did the lessons with her, so we will go over it again insha Allaah, with T, she will be learning about solid shapes. This evening I printed out some flashcards and worksheets to accompany the lessons, as well as some colourful posters to put up on the wall.

We're also gonna work a little more on nouns, just so I know K completely understands it all, we are working through 'first language lessons' by Jessie Wise, Co-author of 'The Well Trained Mind' and so I've just printed out a few worksheets for a bit extra practice, I also intend to introduce verbs with her, we were talking about them last night, and she caught on real quick masha'Allaah, so insha Allaah we won't have to stay on that for too long.

With T we will pick up where we left off in the 'Reading Reflex', and for both I want to continue doing daily narration work, using 'Aesop's fables' insha Allaah.

I posted a link to a poem on the parts of speech last night, well here it is, we have it up on our wall, ready to be memorised, insha Allaah it'll be a help.

And with Autumn upon us now, I would love to start a wall display, 'sparkle box' have some nice pictures and other resources on this season which would come in very handy for this.

Going back to Ramadhan, we did do a display, but unfortunately it never got finished, but I was happy that we had it half finished, rather than not done at all, insha Allaah I will take a few pics and post them before we take it down for the next one :)

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A fresh start....

After quite a long break away from my blog, I return once again! I do apologise for not being consistent with the updates, I will try my best, insha Allaah.

We are now getting back into our homeschooling, we are kind of late, it was supposed to be September, but better late than never :) We're just starting off mainly with Maths and English, and I intend to start re-introducing the other subjects over the next couple of weeks insha Allaah. Throughout the Summer holidays I had wanted to plan for the coming year, something I had not done before, but after being away for half of the holidays, my plans went down the drain, but Qadr Allaah, I will do what I can.

I do want this year to be better than last year insha Allaah, I have said this before, and I'm sure I've said it many many times since then, it starts with me.......with planning, consistency etc... So far I feel a bit of a failure with the homeschooling, I know I need to do better and be more on top of things, my children rely on me for this, amongst other things.

This year is a fresh start for us, a time to make some positive changes and improvement insha Allaah. I want to help K(8)tch up with her Maths, hopefully before the end of the year, this is one of my goals, and also to have T(5)ading fluently, we haven't used Reading Reflex for a while, instead we were using the synthetic phonics series by Ruth Miskin, and just working through the books, which each have a few stories in them, alhamdulillah she enjoys these, I will re-start reading reflex, and continue to use these alongside for extra practice insha Allaah.

I also recently signed up to the smart kiddies website, the kids find it useful for Maths, majority of the lessons will start off with a tutor teaching the concept, and then will follow with some online practice activities, and assesment, they can also earn points through playing Math games, and earn certificates, I printed some off tonight and will award it to them tomorrow insha Allaah, K has seen hers and was so happy, insha Allaah I'll laminate them and they can stick them up on the wall.

Tonight I found a realy useful poem for teaching the parts of speech, insha Allaah I will have mine memorise this, and also make sure that they understand it too.

Thanks for reading :D

Monday, 31 August 2009

Islamic Copywork

Tonight I came across a great site, called Islamic Copywork, I printed quite a few things off, I especially liked the 'Obedience to parents' sheets, which quotes ayats from the Qur'an emphasising the importance of obeying the parents, which the child has to copy.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Animal school

Take a look at this touching, thought provoking movie from raising small souls.com, it actually made me feel a tad bit emotional. There is music playing, so you can just turn it down if you wish insha Allaah.

Ramadan memory game link

I just found a great resource for use in Ramadan over at UmAbdul Basir's blog, it's a ramadan memory game, you can print it out in B&W or colour, your choice. I've just printed mine out now on to cardstock, and waiting for Dd8 to colour them in, and then we can laminate them insha Allaah.
You'll find many more ideas for ramadan in the sister's blog I just mentioned, may Allaah reward her for her efforts and sharing these great resources with us, ameen!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

What's happening with us?

Assalamu 'alaykum and Hi!

Well, it sure has been a while since I've posted any proper updates, I can't believe I've left it this long, my apologies for anyone who's at all interested in my blog.

BTW......Ramadan Mubaarak!!! May Allaah accept our fasting and good deeds, ameen.

We haven't done alot over the summer holidays, we did go away to Wales to see the family for two weeks, and then to London for another week, it was nice to have a break away for a bit alhamdulillaah.

We're currently in the process of putting up a Ramadan display on our classroom wall, insha Allaah we'll have it done before it ends !! ;) For some great ideas for things to do with the kids in this blessed month, and yourself, check out TJ Ramadan

I'm also busy at the moment planning for the new school year, Dd5 will be coming up to Yr1 and Dd8 yr 4, I'm still trying to follow the suggestions in The Well Trained Mind, as well as taking little bites from the Charlotte Mason method. I'm really hoping this year will be alot more productive and consistent, as I have struggled a bit to keep things flowing nicely, insha Allaah this year will be better.

Thursday, 13 August 2009


I'm sorry for not posting any updates for a while, I've just been busy with life in general, been away recently also to see family. I really do want to start posting again on my blogs, but I feel my life and home needs some organising first, so I can start to think a bit more clearly insha Allaah (God Willing).

So no, I haven't disowned my blogs ;) feel quite sad they've been a bit neglected, but insha Allaah will start posting again soon. x

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Major Accomplishment!

Apparently Dd(5) doesn't need me to teach her anymore......

''I don't need to be homeschooled any more.....I already know how to do school'' she said,

I think that should be world news and wow I must have done a great job! hehe

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Back on the blogosphere!

Assalamu 'alaykum,

I haven't updated the blog recently as I went away to my mum's in Wales, had a nice break alhamdulillaah, I think I needed it. Just trying to settle back into life in Brum now, and get back into my normal routine insha Allaah. So watch this space!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Toe Funny!

''How come my toes can breathe underwater for a long time?''

My 6yr old questioned while laying in the bath,

Lol was my only response, and ' I'm going to put that on my blog!'

Time saving tips, free ebook

Another useful resource on homeschool freebie today - '77 time saving tips for busy parents and families'

Description of the ebook - A great collection of simple, practical to-the-point time-saving tips that you can put to use instantly, covering not only general principles of managing your time, but also specific household, kitchen, business, computer, shopping, and family ideas that can save you time and energy.

Freebie will soon expire.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Have a giggle at these...

"I'm glad I'm finally eight. This is the oldest I've ever been in my entire life!" -- 8 year old son.

"Why don't you get some expensive money?" -- 3 year old daughter, when told by her mother that she could get a small toy but that the ones asked for were too expensive

"I have a rock in my nose." -- 2 year old son, greeting his mother after preschool, a full hour after recess was over.

"Tell me when you're asleep, ok?" -- 7 year old son, overheard talking to his 5 year old brother.

"Don't kid me, Mom, I know they're my feet." -- 3 year old son, when his mother told him his shoes were on the wrong feet

"How do you put make up on your mind?" -- Girl, when told she should make up her mind.


Monday, 30 March 2009

Time management for homeschool mums - Free-ebook!

I don't know about you, but I'm not all that great with my time management, some days I'm on top of everything, the day's plan is going great, place is clean, kids in bed on time, you name it, but then come another day, everything is a shambles, the place is a mess, don't have time to fit all our lessons in, kids in bed late.... you get the picture right? I'm constantly up and down with my time management, so when I checked on homeschool freebie today, I was delighted to see that they're giving away a great resource to help with this, check out the description below -

Finding Time To Do It All: Homeschool Moms Share their Time Management Woes and Solutions (PDF ebook) - In today’s resource, we went right to the source and surveyed over 400 homeschool moms to discover what Time Management concerns, secrets and suggestions they might offer if they could share their experiences with other families. The “real life” insights, frustrations, tips, and ideas that they share here address the unique time management issues that homeschool families face. Discover what Time Management solutions have worked for others, and apply them to your own household!

Click here to download today’s resource!

Note - The free resources on homeschool freebie are normally only available for 1 day, sometimes longer.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Green thumb family toolkit

This is crazy, we know… but sometimes that’s the way we do thing around here.

With garden season right around the corner… and the economy being the big scary mess it is… we just decided (literally on the spur of the moment) to offer our huge Green Thumb Family “Toolkit” at a jaw dropping discount you’re not gonna believe.

19 wonderful resources designed to encourage and inspire your family to learn together, work together and grow together in the great outdoors… all Spring and Summer long!

And it’s… how much?

Click here to check out the Green Thumb Family Toolkit… and prepare to be amazed!

I just went ahead and purchased this, I personally think it's great value, and seen as we've recently started doing a bit of gardening of our own, thought it'd be a great resource to have.

btw, I am not an affiliate for homeschool freebie, I will not get anything back from this, Just wanted to share with whoever may read my blog.

Note - Resource will soon expire.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Inspiring Quote

This morning I came across this beautiful quote by Og Mandino, I found it really inspiring and motivating, I think I'm gonna print it out and pin it up on my wall! insha Allaah.

“Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.” Og Mandino.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Tuesday's update

I know, haven't posted any of our 'learning' updates for a while, afwan, blogging seemed the last of my priorities lately, but I have missed it, insha Allaah I'll get back on track.

Well we started off our day a little bit later than I wanted to today, but alhamdulillaah it was still early.

We got started on our morning adkhaar, masha'Allaah the girls are starting to remember many of them now.

Dd(8) got her qaa'idah out, she's now learning the long vowel 'a' , progress could be alot faster if we spent more time on it insha Allaah, would like to start doing an extra lesson in the afternoon insha Allaah.

Dd(5) still working on the small letters, just going over it each time until she can recognise each letter well, she's getting there Allaahumma baarak feeha.

As I wasn't able to get most of the planning done for this week over the weekend, except really for maths, today was a bit unstructured, but actually seemed to get quite a bit fitted in, I chose some things randomly, and to tell you the truth I kinda enjoyed it, but I do still like to have some structure, but it made a change.

I signed Dd(5) up for Whizz Maths, Dd(8) is also doing it, masha'Allaah after doing her assesment, it showed that her maths age is 6.31, Allaahumma baarak feeha, I was very impressed, alhamdulillaah, I'm hoping insha Allaah this programme will benefit both of them, I have seen progress with my other daughter also, masha'Allaah, but we haven't been using it consistently, would like to try and schedule 3-4 days for them to go on and do a couple of lessons insha Allaah.

So today, Dd(5) did a lesson on place value (on whizz) and measures, I could see she was getting a bit frustrated with the programme, as there's so many questions, and sometimes she just wasn't getting it, but she was determined to keep going, I think probably because she knows that they give you points for each lesson and test, and then the child can go spend it in the online virtual shop, she really wants to buy a pet! lol.

She also did some pattern worksheets, we've done a few lessons on this topic, alhamdulillah all has gone well.

played a few learning games online, some memory games, watched little bit of adem and the ants (what a name ey?! lol) on bbc, it's kinda like a maths cartoon, first sounds game (also on bbc).

We did some sight words practice, masha'Allaah she knew quite a few of them, plan on doing a little bit of these each day insha Allaah, probably just about 5 minutes, as at this age they tend to lose focus easily, and don't want to be burning her out now! insha Allaah.

" Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. "-- Roger Lewin

I probably did less with Dd(8) today, I think mainly because I had to spend alot of time sitting at the computer with Dd(5) doing her assesment, I couldn't leave her do it by herself as not everything on there is voiced out.

She did also go on Whizz, she worked on doubling, which I think she got,alhamdulillaah, when she came out of school back last year, her teacher told me she was having trouble understanding doubling and halving, so I'm glad it came up now, she also did place value,seasons.

Did some workbook exercises for Maths, she worked out a few money problems, and did subtraction.

I copied some worksheets from a couple of her english books for her to do, one was 'simple sentences' which focused on capital letters and full stops, also 'letters and words, the 'ow' sound'

Science - Just a bit of reading and a worksheet on the topic 'growing up' looking at the stages of life etc...

I know it doesn't look alot, but at the moment really trying to work on my consistency, last week we did 'school' each day alhamdulillaah, and so today I felt this was better than nothing, insha Allaah, at least they'll learn something, I don't really want to be dishing out worksheet after worksheet, but it's made me realise that when I need to get busy with something, for example the cooking, attending to the baby, my eldest daughter at least can be sitting down with a workbook, instead of wasting time, I like to see them more as a backup, but i think they are great for subjects such as english/maths.

" Teaching does not make learning --- organized education operates on the assumption that children learn only when and only what and only because we teach them. This is not true. It is very close to 100% false. Learners make learning. "-- Education Reformer John Holt

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Free poetry e-book

Don’t Forget the Poetry by Amy Ringger (PDF ebook) — This brief but activity-filled unit study on poetry will get you excited about studying poetry with your kids this coming year. This little gem was written to put the tools in your hands to immediately be able to bring poetry to life for your children!
* Learn how poetry opens the door to improving your grammar and spelling skills.
* See examples of poems in different forms that her family has written (that you can emulate) to show you that anyone can write poetry.
* Learn how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your kids’ own imagination and writing skills by creating their own poems.
* Follow Amy’s helpful tips and instructions for compiling your own book of poetry favorites using blank books.
* Also included: Amy’s own “gold nugget” resource guide to favorite family-friendly poets and poetry books, to ensure you get started with some wonderful poetry your kids will love.
This short little guide will help you put together a concise, “hands on” unit study that — accompanied by a trip to your local library — will give you all you need to conduct an entertaining, educational and memorable study of poetry. It does NOT require a lot of preparation on your part to implement. You can read through it and map out your study plan in about an hour.
To download this freebie, click here!

(offer will soon expire)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

The importance of friendship

Did you have a best friend when you were a child? well, I'm sure most of us did, my bestest friend before high school was a girl called Heidi, she lived next door but one, we would have sleepovers and all sorts, we had some good times.

Well, now it's nice to see my eldest daughter who is 8 becoming rather fond of a close friends daughter, Masha'Allaah. Up until recently she always preferred playing with the boys, before we left Cardiff her best friend was Abdul-Hakim, and she just found boys more exciting than the girls, more energetic like her masha'Allaah.

But now, as you can probably understand, I'd prefer her to develop friendships more with girls around her age, she's growing up masha'Allaah, and I think it's important that she can have friends who are being raised in the same way she is, learning the morals and manners she is insha Allaah.

Companionship is very important for us as adults, and who we choose to keep as our companion, and likewise for our children too. We want them to be influenced in a positive way, and feel proud of their islamic identity insha Allaah.

So tonight my daughter wrote out a beautiful poem from one of her books for her friend, and on Thursday she gave her a gift of a book she had copied out herself, which took a bit of time to complete. Alhamdulillaah, it's nice to see children eager to give one another gifts, and to feel the joy out of 'giving' not just when 'recieving'.

The water cycle

Every two weeks we go to Umm Faatimah's, who also homeschools her children, we take it in turns to plan the lesson, this time it was her turn.

The topic was the water cycle, Masha'Allaah, everything was planned really well, may Allaah reward the sister ameen. The lesson started with a brief talk, and then the kids watched a short video clip, showing how it actually rains, the kids enjoyed it masha'Allaah.

Then we had a little demonstration using the kettle and a cold spoon, to show how when it boils, the steam rises up, and created tiny droplets of water on the underside of the spoon, this helped them to understand the water cycle a bit more.

The kids then had an acitivity to do, I didn't event think to take pictures until this point, hence the reason there's only a couple here of the finished job.

I think we all learnt a thing or two that day! alhamdulillaah.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Simple Ways To Make Babies Smarter


*Make eye contact. Take advantage of those brief moments when your newborn's eyes are open and look right into them. Infants recognize faces early on -- and yours is the most important!
*Each time he stares at you, he's building his memory.
*Stick out your tongue. Studies show that newborns as young as 2 days old can imitate simple
facial movements -- it's a sign of very early problem solving.
*Let him reflect. Have your baby stare at himself in the mirror. At first, he may think he's just eyeing another cute kid, but he'll love making the "other" baby wave his arms and smile.
*Make a difference. Hold up two pictures about 8 to 12 inches away from your baby's face. They should be similar but have one small difference (perhaps a tree is in one but not the other). Even a young infant will look back and forth and figure out the distinguishing features, which sets the stage for letter recognition and reading later on.
*Chat Her Up, Make Her Laugh, Blab away. All you may get is a blank look, but leave short pauses where your baby would speak. Soon she'll catch on to the rhythm of conversation and start filling in the blanks.
*Go gaga. Your baby really tunes in to your silly cooing and high-pitched baby talk.
*Clue him in. When you announce, "I'm going to turn on the light now" before flipping the switch, you're teaching cause and effect.
*Tickle her toes. In fact, tickle her all over. Laughter is the first step in developing a sense of humor. And playing games teaches your child to anticipate events.
*Be a funny face. Puff up your cheeks, and have your toddler touch your nose. When she does, poof! Have her pull your ear, and then stick out your tongue. Make a funny noise when she pats your head. Keep to the same routine three or four times, then change the rules to keep her guessing

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Free islamic resources

Assalamu 'alaykum,

Masha'Allaah I just took a visit to the lifetime learning blog, and found a link to a great site in which you can download free du'a posters, and which I'm sure will make for a good colourful display on your classroom wall, insha Allaah. The sister also had a link to the freezone section on the Ad-Duha website, where you can find e-books written specifically for muslim children, and are fully illustrated but contain no images of humans/animals.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


I was just forwarded this in my email, thought it would be a good poem for kids to memorise insha Allaah.

The word Qur-aan linguistically

When broken down methodically

Means reading or recited piece

By most of those who dare to teach

It's reached us in its purest form

From massive chains still carried on

The Arabic speech of Allah

Revealed to Ibn Abdullah

In word and meaning both preserved

In mus-haf form gone undisturbed

A standing challenge for all time

For those who claim it's just a rhyme


Thursday, 5 March 2009

This tickled me....

My eldest daughter (8),

"Hoyo, these are called eyebulbs?" (pointing to her eyes)

I could not stop laughing, and she then corrected herself with the right word 'eyeballs'

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Tagged:Mom of the year award

Masha'Allaah I was recently given a 'mom of the year' award from homeschooling muslimah, wow! jazakillaahu khairan sis, even though I feel I'm really undeserving of this, I really appreciate your kindness.

The rules of the tag are:

1. Admit one thing you feel awful about (involving being a mom). Once you have written it down, you are no longer allowed to feel bad. Remember you are a good mom!

2. Remind yourself that you ARE a good mom, list 7 things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you.

3. Send this to 5 other moms of the year that deserve a reminder that they are too the best moms that they can be. Remember to send them a note letting them know you have selected them, and also add a link to your post that directs people back to the person who nominated you.

*1. I feel awful that I don't do enough with my kids, like activities, crafts, taking them to the park etc...


*Alhamdulillaah I'm happy that I'm trying to instill in them good mannerism, and teaching them the importance of worshipping Allaah alone.

*I love how they're sometimes so eager to please me, I may find one cleaning the bathrooom or kitchen as a suprise, masha'Allaah.

*I love seeing the look on their faces when we go somewhere special and different than usual.

*I love it when they quietly utter the words 'I love you' what mother doesnt?!

*I love seeing my girls dressed in abayah and hijab, Allaahumma baarak feehim, may Allaah always guide them, ameen.

*My kids love it when I'm a 'cool mum' lol, and act all silly and giggly with them.

*I love my kids' individual characters, Allaahumma baarak feehim.

I think that those deserving of this award are:

Some of you may have already had the award, if so, don't worry about doing the tag again.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The week so far...

So what have we been up to so far this week? well, mainly the usual subjects, alhamdulillaah the girls are coming along well,Allaahumma baarak feehim.

I'm not going to ramble on tonight, feeling rather tired, so instead have just put up various pictures of the last few days.

Dd(5)decided to do something creative today with the money, I was rather impressed masha'Allaah, she said it was a whale.

we played a couple of card games to help aid memorisation of number bonds.

Dd(7) has been working on the unit, doubling plus 1.
Reading time!

I think last time I updated properly I mentioned about no longer having a lift to school for my son, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, if I was going to homeschool him or find a way to get him there, well anyway, there is a sister living not too far away from me, who was willing to take him to school and bring him back. Morning times we do have to take a little walk to her house, which takes about 10 mins, we have to get there before 8, alhamdulillaah, so far things have run quite smoothly, I feel like crawling into bed when I get back though, it just shows how unfit I am! today we decided to take the shortcut through the park, which insha Allaah we'll probably do from now on, much nicer than walking down the main road..

A squirrel in the tree (not very clear though )

Oh, and just had to squeeze in one of my little cutie! Allaahumma baaraak feehee.

Friday, 13 February 2009

This mess is a place!

We don't always do school on a Friday, and so today was one of those 'no school' days, I was feeling in the mood for giving the house a good clean, I had hopes to get the whole of the house done, and the windows outside, lol, but soon realised that just wasn't gonna happen. I had a good sort out of our classroom, put a few more things up on the wall, so it gives it more of that classroom feel, threw out 'loads' of paper, I have this habit of piling them up wherever I see an empty space, it's as if I feel the need for every side to have something on it, lol. I was happy with the end result, I couldn't bring myself to do a before and after shot, I mean it wasn't 'that' bad, or maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better about the amount of clutter that was piling up, hehe!

So here you go, a little peak at our classroom, it's slowly coming along, alhamdulillaah.

The big brown cabinet you can see, was so cluttered on top, it was a proper eyesore, things balancing on top of each other, but now I just have our laminator, cd player, and printer stored on there, and one or two other things, but it looks a whole lot better to how it was masha'Allaah. Also the silver drawers had loads of paper on top, no organisation whatsoever, it's so nice to have it all clear. Let's just hope we can keep it like it insha Allaah.

I cleaned up a bit also in the front room, and then helped Dd(5) with her bedroom later on, it looked like a bomb had dropped in there, no kidding! it's been like it for weeks, because she keeps piling things up on the floor, like clothes etc.. and it's basically become too overwhelming for her to clean up now, I'd kind of given up asking her to go clean it up, cos I know she wouldn't do it all. So I decided to help her with it, and insha Allaah starting from tomorrow, they will all have to go to their rooms twice a day, 1pm and 6pm and make sure everything is back in it's place, we did start this before, but I'm not sure how it stopped. Insha Allaah, this way they will keep on top of their rooms.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I had lost my usb cable, well as you can tell by seeing the last picture, I've found it now, alhamdulillaah, it was in the cabinet amongst all the papers, lol, well, at least they're out of sight there! So I've had a few different pics I'd wanted to post of when it was snowing etc... so will add them below.

I also came across these quotes on housecleaning, hope you like them! love the first one, so to the point! haha.

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints, 1966

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy. ~Author Unknown

I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. ~Roseanne Barr

The trouble with living alone is that it's always your turn to do the dishes. ~Author Unknown

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. ~Nancie J. Carmody

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance. ~Author Unknown

This mess is a place! ~Author Unknown

My idea of superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors. ~Bette Midler

A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's all in the attitude - housework is exercise. Slim your way to a clean home! ~Linda Solegato

If the shelves are dusty and the pots don't shine,
it's because I have better things to do with my time.
~Author Unknown

There may be dust in my house but there isn't any on me. ~Author Unknown

Source:Quote Garden

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Daily Report (well, trying to make it 'daily!' lol)

We started off today a bit late in the morning, waiting for Dd(8) to wake up, and myself just dawdling, I get like that just after breakfast some mornings, but we need to start working on having an earlier start. Our average start lately has been around 10am, at least an hour earlier would give us more time insha Allaah.

We worked on usual subjects, had a good Maths lesson with Dd(8), we are working from the Singapore Maths workbooks, as I mentioned before she's a bit behind on Maths, and so I started on yr 1 book with her, some of it we just skip, anyway, today's lesson was introducing the method of counting on, I have encouraged this with her, so she was familiar with it, but I think today just reinforced it more for her, Allaahumma baarak feehaa.

With the reading reflex lessons, Dd(5) is flying through them, Allaahumma baarak feehaa, we did two today, they were easy for her masha'Allaah. Not many more lessons, and then she'll be moving on to the advanced code, where it will introduce sounds like 'ch' 'sh' 'ck' etc... I need to buy more readers for her insha Allaah, still haven't got anymore yet, I want her to be more encouraged to read insha Allaah, but hopefully as she progresses more with her reading, she will be eager to start hitting some books.

For Science, we are following the methods and suggestions in 'The Well Trained Mind' , we are working on the animal kingdom, and the second animal Dd(8) chose was 'Domestic Cats' this order was great, as we've just got a cat a couple of wks back, and it's encouraged my daughter to read the book I got from the library on taking care of cats.
So, I read from the encyclopedia a few paragraphs, then Dd(8) narrated back to me what she remembered, she did rather well, Allaahumma baarak feehaa, a tip I picked up from Karen Andreola's book 'The Charlotte Mason Companion' when doing narration, is at the beginning for starting, write down some of the important words, like dates, places, names etc... which are contained in the paragraph, chapter you are going to read to your child, and read them out to your child, mentioning that they will hear these words, and are free to use them when narrating back if they need to. I will start off doing this, but I think as they get the hang of narrating more, I may stop doing it, Allaahu a'lam.
Then, Dd(8) went and drew a picture of the cat (without the face) to accompany her narration in her folder.

Well, still haven't completed the lapbooks, hopefully by the end of the year! haha, insha Allaah they will get done soon. The kids have been talking about doing another lapbook, I told them they need to get this one done first before moving onto another one, it's my fault really, they're happy to do it, it's just getting the time on top of everything else to sit there with them and get it done, but hopefully soon insha Allaah.

Spoke to the school today, and said that Ds(6) may have to stop coming after the holidays, the brother said not to worry, something will be sorted out insha Allaah, so I will wait and see what comes up.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


I've just looked back at my last homeschool update, and realised it was on the 18th January, I was suprised I'd left it so long. I only have a brief update, and a few thoughts I need to blog about insha Allaah.
Well, school's been going well, alhamdulillaah. Masha'Allaah we've had quite a bit of snow in the last week, so the girls did some pictures with a snow theme using cotton wool, cut out some snowflakes, we talked a little about the sense of 'touch', and the girls touched some snow and told me what it felt like, I then did a poster on it. I've taken quite alot of pictures but unfortunately I can't seem to find my usb cable to connect my phone up to the computer, insha Allaah will have another look and get them up on here.

Girls are coming along well with reading the Qaa'idah, masha'Allaah, maths is starting to become a bit more fun since we started using the '150 daily maths lessons' book for Dd(5), Dd(8) sits in on some of her lessons, and some of the extra practice has done her good, allaahumma baarak feehaa.

Both coming along well with the reading reflex lessons, masha'Allaah, it's exciting to see the progress alhamdulillaah.

well, I did say it would be a 'brief' update, it's quite late here, wasn't sure if I was gonna get the time to type anything up, I've just finished planning what we're gonna cover tomorrow, and didn't want to leave it any longer before writing something on here.

Today, the brother who picks my son up for school and brings him home, informed me that after this week he will not be able to take him anymore, due to clashes with time, as he also picks up at another school, and it takes extra time to come to this area, I was gutted when he told me, I actually felt close to crying, there are many reasons why I prefer my son to be in school, one of them being the interaction with boys his age, if he were to be homeschooled, he'd mainly be around girls (his sisters), and also my husband works away, and I feel it is important especially for my son to have a role model, someone who can set an example daily for him, and at the school, brothers teach there, and I feel this is good for him insha Allaah. He's also doing well with the Qaa'idah Allaahumma baarak feehee, I fear now that if he were to come out of school, I'm not going to be able to help him progress as quickly as he probably is now.

The options available to me right now, are probably to get the bus over there every day, with the kids and the baby, I'm not keen on taking the bus, especially with a big pram, I used to do it for a while back in Cardiff when I was pregnant, it was quite hectic somedays, often we'd have to let one or two buses go by as they would be too full, or the weather would be bad etc....
or my other option is to homeschool him also, I'm scared of taking on this extra challenge in a way, don't get me wrong, I would love to teach my son along with my girls, but when I did used to have him home before he was more interested in playing than learning, and it was just easier to teach my eldest daughter, and actually my youngest, as she would like to sit it on a lesson, and be eager to do some work, so from that lack of teaching him at that time, when he did go into school, he was very behind, and had to be put back to Reception when he should have been in Yr1. Now alhamdulillaah, he has started to catch up, with his reading etc.. but he still has got alot of catching up to do insha Allaah.

There are days also when my son and my youngest daughter go in silly moods, and often my eldest daughter will too, and no matter what I say to them, they'll keep giggling and joking around, I find it stressful when they're like this, and I wonder how many of those days would we have if I were homeschooling them together.

I feel quite confused right now about the whole situation, it's funny cos only a week or two back, I started to have thoughts about bringing my son out of school, mainly due to an increased 'bad' attitude he has had, which I feel he has picked up since starting the school, also at one point, I had been reading something about teaching our kids, and it made me feel bad in a way that I was homeschooling my daughters but not my son, and how that he's out from the home from 7.30 am until nearly 4pm each day, I'm missing out on a big part of his life, but then I started to think about the importance of him having his friends, teachers etc... and thought maybe it's the best thing for him to be there, Allaahu a'lam.

I think I need to make istikhaarah insha Allaah, and take it from there, I wondered earlier whether to start looking again for a house in the area that the school is in, so I could keep him in there, but imagine I do move, and then decide that I'd rather homeschool him? hhmmm! we're all feeling kind of settled here now alhamdulillaah, and masha'Allaah we've got a cat now, so haven't really heard any mice, that was one of the main reasons I wasn't feeling too happy here, but so far so good alhamdulillaah. Insha Allaah, intending to restart my driving lessons again soon, but not sure when, and don't know how long it would take to pass my test, so I can't rely on that.

Like I said, I will make istikhaarah, maybe speak with the school, see what they suggest. To be honest, the thought of teaching my son , does kind of appeal to me, but I'm just feeling very apprehensive, I don't want to mess his education up, and I'm just feeling a mixture of emotions right now, mainly sad, for my son, he has said that he would like to be homeschooled, but he's also said he'll miss so and so, etc... and I can kinda tell that he will miss going to the school, I want him to be settled, and don't want him in out of school, well, Allaah knows best, it's written already, so I shouldn't stress myself over it, will keep you updated.

Sorry for the essay!

Friday, 6 February 2009

15 Tips to Raising Great Children Insha Allaah.

Children are easily influenced by their surroundings. These days, it is extremely difficult to expose our children to an ideal Islamic environment given the influences from media, friends and even other members of the family. With television, radio, Internet and forms of media mostly touting un-Islamic values, it is up to parents and adults close to the children to set the correct example.
It is impossible to shield our children from all the negative forces that can shape their minds and, ultimately, their behavior.
However, by our own example and showing them better options, we can set them on the true path, which is to obey the commandments of Allah (swt) and our Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him). Here are some tips you may want to follow in helping your children grow up with Islamic values.

Start by teaching them the importance of Worshipping only Allah: The best thing any Muslim parent could ever teach their children is to emphasize, from the day they can comprehend, that Allah (swt) is One and no one is worthy of worship except Allah (swt). This is the fundamental message of our Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) and it is our key to Paradise.

Treat them kindly: Kindness begets kindness. If we were kind to our children, they in turn would show kindness to others. Our Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) was the best example in being kind to children.

Teach them about Muslim Heroes: help your children grow up with Islamic values of Muslim heroes. Instead of Batman or Superman, tell them about real heroes such as Abu Bakr, Umar ibn Khattab, Othman bin Affan, Ali bin Abi Talib and others. Tell them how Muslim leaders brought a real peaceful change in the world and won the hearts of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Let children sit with adults: It is preferable for children to be among adults, especially when listening to Islamic lectures. The Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) would often put children in the front row when he spoke to the people.

Make them feel important: Consult them in family matters. Let them feel they are important members of the family and have a part to play in the growth and well being of the family.

Go out as a family: Take family trips rather than allowing your children to always go out only with their friends. Let your children be around family and friends from whom you want them to pick up their values. Always remember that your children will become who they are around with most of the time. So, watch their company and above all give them YOUR company.

Praise them: Praise is a powerful tool with children, especially in front of others. Children feel a sense of pride when their parents' praise them and will be keen to perform other good deeds. However, praise must be limited to Islamic deeds and deeds of moral value.

Avoid humiliation: Similarly, do not humiliate them in front of others. Children make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes occur in their efforts to please the parents. If you are unhappy with your children, tell them in private.

Sports: The Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged sports such as swimming, running and horse riding. Other sports that build character and physical strength are also recommended, as long as the children maintain their Islamic identity, wear appropriate clothes and do not engage in unnecessary mixing.

Responsibility: Have faith in their abilities to perform tasks. Give them chores to do in line with their age. Convince them that they are performing an important function and you will find them eager to help you out again.

Don't spoil them: Children are easily spoiled. If they receive everything they ask for, they will expect you to oblige on every occasion. Be wise in what you buy for them. Avoid extravagance and unnecessary luxuries. Take them to an orphanage or poor area of your city once in a while so they can see how privileged they are.

Don't be friends: It is common in the West for parents to consider their children as friends. In Islam, it doesn't work that way. If you have ever heard how friends talk to each other, then you will know that this is not how a parent-child relationship should be. You are the parents, and they should respect you, and this is what you should be teaching them. The friendship part should be limited to you and them keeping an open dialog so they can share their concerns with you and ask you questions when they have any.

Pray with them: Involve them in acts of worship. When they are young, let them see you in act of salaah (salat). Soon, they would be trying to imitate you. Wake them up for Fajr and pray as a family. Talk to them about the rewards of salaah so that it doesn't feel like a burden to them.

Emphasize halaal: It is not always good to say "this is haraam, that is haraam". While you must educate them on haraam things, Islam is full of halaal and tell your children to thank Allah (swt) for the bounties He has bestowed on them- not just for food and clothes. Tell them to be thankful for having eyes that see, ears that hear, arms and legs and, the ultimate blessing, Islam in their hearts.

Set an example: As parents, you are the best example the children can have. If you talk to your parents rudely, expect your children to do the same to you. If you are disrespectful to others, your children will follow too. Islam is filled with Divine advice on the best ways to bring up your children. That makes it an obligation upon parents to be good Muslims so their children will try to emulate them. If you don't take Islam seriously, neither will your children. It goes back to our third point, which is to give them Islamic heroes. As a parent, you should be their number one hero.
Al Huda Institute, Canada

Note from myself - with regards to the part 'Don't be friends' I agree, that you should have a friendly relationship with your child, but within limits. Sometimes when we get too 'pally' with our kids, they can often lose some of the respect for us are 'their' parents.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Feeling panicky!

I was just sat here finishing off online, when a thought just came to my mind, 'what if I don't teach my children properly, and they end up not knowing enough?!' scary thought huh? but I'm sure majority of us have had this thought cross our mind sometime or another. At the moment I really don't feel we're doing enough, and I think that's why this thought has just come at me, I need to put my mind more to the planning insha Allaah.

SubhanAllaah when you look at the big picture, our kids education and academic future insha Allaah is in our hands, it's a great responsibilty, and one that I need to be taking alot more seriously, I owe it to these kids, I can't mess it up for them insha Allaah. And it shouldn't be all about academics, their deen is so much more important, and right now to tell you the truth, we're not really doing any islamic lessons, I'm so not sure which resources to use, we started with these books, can't remember what they're called right now, but the kids just didn't seem to be that enthusiastic, and it didn't encourage me either. I have the IQRA books, and was thinking about starting them up again, I just don't have that really positive feeling about them though. I don't know why. So that's also something I need to get a move on with insha Allaah. Because each day is so very precious, we lose a day, we lose another opportunity for learning, I feel so bad for my kids right now, I don't want them to be behind, Dd(8) is with her Maths, but coming out from school last year, she was, and has progressed a bit more, since homeschooling her again, Allaahumma baarak feehaa.

Insha Allaah I will start working harder with them, doing the best I can, and at least I can say 'I tried'!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Apologies for no updates

I'm so sorry I haven't updated the blog for a couple of weeks, I decided to take a bit of a break (from the blog) but insha Allaah should get something up on here this week. Planning on getting the lapbooks finished off insha Allaah, the kids have been working on them now and again, but it's about time they were completed, will post up some pics when they're done insha Allaah.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Last week's update/report

I've been meaning to come on and do a post before this, but been busy busy and just didn't have the time to come on and blog. So just a brief update for last week. Alhamdulillaah the week went well, we've been doing the usual subjects daily, Qaa'idah, Handwriting, Reading, Maths, we're still working on number bonds, trying to get the girls to memorise the different combinations for numbers up to 10, it's kind of a slow process though, and don't want to hold them back until they've memorised them. In the singapore maths guide, it recommends your child learning them as quickly as they can, even though some may learn it quicker than others, apparently it can be a great help as they progress with Maths, it says to give your child lots of practice with the number bonds, but you can move on and continue to have the child memorise them through the next few units. It's kind of getting a bit boring staying on the same topic, so can't wait to move on insha Allaah.

Dd(5) has been practicing some stories in the Reading Reflex book, she's coming on really well, Allaahumma baarak feehaa. But normally one story is enough for her to read, she get's a bit fed up of reading after a bit. She's quite different to how Dd(8) was when she was learning to read, she was alot more eager, and read loads and that really helped her to progress quickly, masha'Allaah she's the kind of child that when she wants to do something, she'll put her mind to it and keep trying till she's learnt it, she learnt to tie her laces by herself, and plait hair, I was shocked when she did her first plait, same with riding a bike, Allaahumma baarak feehaa.

I introduced history last week, we are working from the book 'story of the world' by Susan Wise Bauer. The first chapter was on ancient nomads, I read aloud to the girls and then Dd(8) narrated back what she remembered, and drew a picture to be filed in the history section of her folder along with the narration page. Insha Allaah we are going to continue with that lesson tomorrow, Dd(8)really loved the story about a young nomad girl, and can't wait to continue with it, she came downstairs not long ago looking for the book so she could read the rest, but I told her that it was just for our lessons, and besides I don't think we'll be working on everything in the book, I'm gonna leave alone myths and the like insha Allaah.

Have been reading through the Charlotte Mason Companion, masha'Allaah I love this book, it contains much useful info on child rearing, such as bickering amongst siblings, instilling of good habits etc... and also the home education side. I find the book to be very inspiring masha'Allaah, after it I would like to try and read Charlotte Mason's homeschooling series through properly.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Lil update of yesterday and today

Yesterday we only managed to do our akhaar, Qaa'idah, handwriting and some Maths practice, I had a guest coming for the day, and had to go out to get some things, felt a bit gutted we weren't able to do more though.

Today, I had an appointment, so we didn't do anything today, time we got back it was duhr time, had to serve lunch etc.. It started snowing again when we were out, the bottom of my abayah,my socks,trainers were all soaked through! my feet were like ice.

Bought a few Islamic books today, masha'Allaah they were quite cheap, there was one I bought called 'My Yemeni Village' by Goodword Kids, and written by a 13 yr old boy living in Yemen. Earlier when taking a look at the book, it dawned on me that maybe this is what is classed as a 'living book', it gives a personal insight into life in Yemen, and not a book of dry facts. I was so excited, lol, ok I was probably was a bit over the top,lol.

Tomorrow we'll be going to a sisters house insha Allaah, that we go every 2wks to do a lesson there, we're going to do a sale with things we no longer need/want etc.. insha Allaah there should be quite a few sisters there, so looking forward to that. The last time we did it, the kids really enjoyed, it gave them the opportunity to handle money in real life situations, which was one of the main reasons we did it.

Oh, and Dd(5) can now write her name Allaahumma baarak feek. I am so pleased, her name is quite long, but she just copied it almost daily, until she was able to write it by herself. So well done T!

Ok well that's it from me for now, will try and remember to take some pics of the sale tomorrow and post them up if I can.

P.s You may be wondering what's with the flowers at the top? lol, well, was looking for a picture to go with my post, related or not, and just loved this one, it's so beautiful masha'Allaah)

Monday, 5 January 2009

Monday's Report (we're back!)

Well, it's been a little while since I last posted, I have not had much time lately to update, and I decided for us to take a break last week as it was Ds(6)'s last week of his holiday, not much of an excuse huh? but this week things have got to start getting a bit more serious insha Allaah, alhamdulillaah we started the week off well, we did:

Our daily adkhaar

Qaa'idah - Dd(5) has now finally moved on to recognising the small letters, how they look when joined up and used in words. Dd(8) is progressing quickly Allahumma baarak feehaa.

Handwriting practice - Dd (5)practiced the letter 'a' and 'd', she can write these masha'Allaah, but does need just a bit extra practice in forming them correctly.
I have decided to move Khadijah on, rather than hold her back going through the letters, majority of them she forms correctly masha'Allaah, there is the odd one that she doesn't, but insha Allaah we can work on them as we move along. She did practice one or two letters today, but tomorrow insha Allaah she will do a couple of pages from the end of the Zaner Bloser book, copying short sentences. Insha Allaah I intend to start doing more copywork with her.

Reading Reflex - Both doing well on their lessons masha'Allaah, I do need to find some good readers for Dd(5), she has read through the first set of 'bob books', I'm not sure what the second set are like, but I really feel she needs to have more reading practice each day, but with phonetic books, not whole language, as this is what I normally come across in the library etc..

Maths - We're still working on number bonds, have included Dd(5) I think she is capable of understanding the concept insha Allaah, I just need to reinforce it more with her. Dd(8) is understanding it masha'Allaah, but we're gonna spend a few more days on this unit in the Singapore maths book. We have started memorising number bonds, starting with 1 and 2. we will do this at the beginning of each maths lesson insha Allaah. I feel it is important they understand the concept and know the number bonds off by heart.

Science - We are following the study suggestions in the 'Well Trained Mind' so our lesson consists of me reading a passage from the animal encyclopedia, Dd(8) had to choose 20 animals she would like to learn about, the first one we started with is the anaconda, Dd(8) narrated back to me in her own words what she remembered, while I wrote it down. Narration apparently is an excellent form of training for the mind, and is used in classical education and was a method used by Charlotte Mason also.

Grammar - Working from 'first language lessons' by Jessie Wise. A new poem was assigned to be memorised, called ''work''by anonymous,

Work while you work,
Play while you play,
This is the way
To be happy each day,
All that you do,
Do with your might;
Things done by halves
Are never done right.

Alhamdulillaah we fitted everything in, I was very pleased with that. I've done my planning for tomorrow, insha Allaah, it will be an even better and more productive day.

I am still currently in the process of looking into Charlotte Mason's philosophy, I ordered the book 'A Charlotte Mason Companion' by Karen Andreola, it arrived last week, I was so excited, I've started it, and read quite a few pages, it has alot of useful information. I would like to read the 'original homeschooling series' by Charlotte Mason after this insha Allaah. I just want to take my time, and introduce things slowly, we may end up a mix of classical and Charlotte Mason, as both sides appeal to me, but are very similar with certain things, such as narration,copywork.
Ok, I'm off to read, will try my best to update tomorrow insha Allaah.