No internet for 3 weeks – what have we been up to?

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We moved to Streatham on 26th December 2008 and alhamdulillah Allah (Swt) has been ever merciful to us in bringing us here. There is so much happening and my life has become very busy again with homeschooling and dawah.

As I haven’t had the internet for three weeks, I have so much to say in this post and so many pictures to show you that I don’t know where to start. Mmm…

Okay, probably with what is happening in Gaza and how that has had an effect on our home ed. As we don’t have a TV and didn’t have the internet, we were not seeing the images that most muslims around the world were seeing. We were hearing reports and saw pictures in newspapers but didn’t really know the real devastation that was taking place until the internet was restored. When it was, we were on Al Jazeera every day. Although I do not understand Arabic, the pictures were enough and R watched the news with her father. Perhaps, some of you will say that she is too young to see all of this, but we felt that it was appropriate to show her what was going on. It led to us buying a map from Lidl. If any of you have a Lidl near you, they might have some left. It is a huge map of the world and is a wipe off one. We showed her that Palestine used to be the whole entire country and how much the Jews have taken their land. She really feels for the Palestinians and along with her sleep supplications, she makes dua for Gaza every night. Masha’Allah.

Alhamdulillah, Allah (Swt) has placed us near Streatham Common. If you have not been to Streatham Common, you really need to come and visit. It is so beautiful. At first, you think that it is like any other park with greenery and a children’s play area. But, hidden away are three ‘secret’ gardens: the rock garden with waterfalls, an English garden which has an old water well and sun dial and the white garden which comprises of white chairs and white plants and flowers. After passing through all of the gardens, you walk up a hill and enter the woodlands area. You feel as though you are in a different world. Here are some pics (by the way, we met the park warden who gave us a tour of the whole park and he gave us permission to take the first photo as it was an olive tree – so don’t worry, we were not teaching our daughter to walk all over plants!)

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Can you believe this is South London! I couldn’t and can’t wait to visit it again insha’Allah.

The week before last, we also went on a trip to the Transport Museum. Our second trip. This time, we attended a workshop for key stage 1 children where they would build a bus. Here are some pics:

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Although R enjoyed the day, for me the best part was walking home across london bridge, talking about the river thames and taking in the beautiful views:

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R is improving nicely with her reading masha’Allah. And I think I am going to have to purchase box set 3 of the Bob Books quite soon. We have been working on some jolly phonics and one day, we worked on the ‘oa’ and the ‘ai’ sounds. She then copied a whole page of ‘ai’ words from the Jolly Phonics Word Book and then read each word to me. So, a writing and reading lesson rolled into one.

We also made a phonics center from  ‘Take me to your seat centers’. We made it together, so cut, laminated and stuck together.

dsc00388dsc00389dsc00392dsc00396       I know I have raved about these centers before, but really they are fantastic. And they can be used again and again. Go to the shops and this would cost you maybe £7 for a game like this. But the book is £10 – has everything you need to make 14 educational games. All you need to do is cut, laminate and stick. I photocopy the worksheet that goes along with the center three times, so that when we pull out the center again, she can complete the worksheet again. This allows me to check her progress.

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R started a 10 week pottery class for home educators in Clapham lsat Monday. She loved it. It  was nice to see so many homeeducated children there. You could really see that homeschooled children are so different from schooled children. I spoke to the instructor and each child should make certain items by the end of the course. Will keep you posted.

We have continued with our Adam (as) unit and read from this book (highly recommended) as it has activities related to the story. It is written as though the child goes on the journey of the actual story.

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dsc00375 We also completed some pages from the Islamic Education book based on the creation of Allah which ties in with the unit: dsc00385

R is now learning the dua for getting dressed and has completed a few other surahs and is now memorising surah duha, masha’Allah.

We completed a lapbook on 1-100 from homeschoolshare.com. One of my goals (you can view my goals for this year in one of my posts. See the ‘Planning’ tab) was to teach R numbers 1-100. Through this lapbook, she has learnt all her numbers and since completing the lapbook, she has been taking her lapbook out on her own and counting all the numbers. Although she now knows her numbers 1-100, I am going to do maybe 2 more weeks worth of 1-100 work just to consolidate what she has learnt. Here are some pictures:

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dsc00397dsc00398dsc003991 What I like about this lapbook is that a lot of the pieces can be used again for learning. For example, the numbered bricks. I asked my daughter to make me 64 and 83. I also put out a number, in the above example, 31 and asked her to ‘make’ the number with the squares where a blue strip equals ten and a green one equals one and a red one equals 100 .

A few other things that have changed but which seem to be having a positive effect on our homeschooling is a slight change in my general timetable. Normally, I feed the kids, dress them, do my cleaning and then start. But I have decided to start before the cleaning and clean whilst she is busy doing some work. This has really worked for us. We get to do more during the day and as there are a few other activities either I have to do or R has to do which requires us going out. This leads me on to a problem.  Arriving here in South London has been a blessing as there are so many activities. Pottery, ice-skating for homeschoolers, a South London home ed group that meets weekly, Arabic classes etc etc. Now, I do want R to do these activities. However, travelling to the venues, planning my day etc means that we miss out on doing work at home. I don’t know what to do…can anyone advise please. The situation is such that if we do many outdoor activities, that means that we have less time to work on her goals at home.

Finally (I did say it would be a long post!) I made this:

dsc00326 It is basically a way of storing all of her work. I bought a large ringbinder and made the front cover. The picture is of something that she made so as to personalise it. You can do this with multiple children. Their ringbinder boasting a picture of something they made on their own. Inside the ringbinder are dividers for subjects and many plastic wallets. In our yearbook, the dividers are: Reading, Maths, Writing, Islamic Studies, Arabic, Science, Art Work, and Trips which stores entry tickets to museums, bus tickets etc etc.  All of her work will go inside these wallets with the ‘best work’ on the outer part of the wallet.

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Before the dividers, I have three other sheets. One is a picture of my daughter. If you do not take pictures, then you can think of something else. The other is a sheet headed ‘My handprints’ and we painted her hands and she printed them on to the sheet. And the other is a sheet entitled ‘All about me’. On that we have the following:

Name:

Age:

Favourite Colour:

Favourtite Book:

Favourite subject:

Favourite Surah:

Favourite food:

Things I like:

Things I dislike:

I allowed her to fill this in on her own and helped her with other sections. The reason for these three pages is to see how much she changes through the yearbooks we will do every year. Not only physical changes through her photos but also how her likes and ‘favourites’ also change.

The yearbook is also an opportunity to store work done, allow for her to show her work to guests which she loves doing. Helps me show other homeschooling mothers what we are doing which can give them ideas, and also helps me to look back at this yearbook when her brother is due to start work at a similar age insha’Allah. As well as R being able to look back at things we have done.

And that is it for now. 🙂

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16 responses »

  1. mashaAllah WELCOME BACK SISTER! LOL my son and i have visited your site so much, i think we ran out of ideas and were just WAITING and learning SABR for when you would post again mashaAllah 🙂 It is nice to hear you are happy where you are now, bi’ithnAllah. Looking forward to seeing more posts, the longer the better 🙂

    • Salaam,

      Jzk for your comments masha’Allah. Will try and post as much as I can insha’Allah. Do take care and I pray your home ed is a success bi’idhnillah.

      Wasalaam,
      Umm R x

  2. as salamu alaykum

    mash’Allah u r in streatham! I live in croydon, we used to meet when I was coming to north london to visit some friends (halaqas etc) If there is any event during this week at the mosque, please let me know insh’Allah! Nice to have u back on the web 😉

    PS: yeah, that park is beautiful mash’Allah!

  3. Assalaamu ‘alaikum Umm R!

    Mashaa`Allah, it’s great to see you back in action and those pics of the park (and R’s work) are fantastic, albeit being a bit small!

    Guess what? Looks like I’ll be back on the fulltime HS scene inshaa`Allah, and I’m trying to not only catch my breath but also my bearings. I actually feel a little lost **blush**.

    I’m going to be using the next 2 weeks to structure, plan and prepare, cos there’ll be two homeschoolers: Jund & Ru.!

    • Walaikum Assalam wr wb,

      My dear darling Umm J. You were my inspiration to homeschool masha’Allah and am so glad you’re back!!! Yay! Listen, since I’m just round the corner from you…lets meet up inshaAllah! If you need anything and need an update on groups etc that you actually introduced me too, just gimme a shout. Look forward to hearing from you insha’Allah.

      Wasalaam,
      Umm R

    • Salaam,

      by the way..jzk for pointing out that the pics are small. I don’t know what has happened. Normally you can click on the pics and enlarge them but it doesn’t seem to be working. I know you’re good with computers Umm J….help me out here! 🙂

  4. Assalamu Alaikum

    I’ve decided to take the plunge into homeschooling with my son after him being at nursery for a year. It was fun while it lasted, but ultimately, i’ve realised he’ll get soooo much more with me teaching him. HOWEVER, feeling really apprehensive about things like ‘can i really do it’???? is it normal to feel this way? Also, i’m the one who’s going to be taking full responsibilty as my husband works 5 days a week and could only do things with him during the weekend.

    The main reason for writing is to ask how did you find an active homeschooling group? I still want my son to meet other children, but all his friends go to school, so we wouldnt be able to meet with them and do activities. In addition to this I want to be in contact with other mothers who are homeschooling as it’s nice to be part of a community. Please advice.

    JZ

    • Ws wr wb,

      Dearest Umm Eesa,

      How are you? How is your sister? MashaAllah, you’re still looking at my blog!I am so glad you have decided to homeschool. I always thought you were more than capable and that your kids would really benefit from it. Sis, you can definitely do it. If you want to have a chat about it, please feel free to email me or call me. If you don’t have my tel number ask Fatima and she’ll give it to you insha’Allah. By the way, it is sooo normal to feel nervous and all sorts of other feelings. Just breathe and relax insha’Allah. Regarding your questions, please do get in contact with me and I’ll answer all of them. It is just that there is so much information to give to you and it would take me ages typing it up here. Please call me.

      Take care sis,
      Wsm,
      Umm R x

  5. Salaam, really like that ringbinder idea. My kid’s work is in box files, labelled by year, but personalising the file is much better!
    Will it all fit in one ringbinder per year though!?
    I’d say make the most of the out door activities, unless they make you all tired or stressed. It is a blessing to have so much on your doorstep, alhamdulillah.

    • Salaam,

      Yes, it will all fit in one ring binder. Even our workbooks go in there. You just need to make sure you buy a really big ringbinder! Or, if it isn’t big enough, create a small A4 ringbinder per subject and still personalise it!

      Wsm.

  6. Salam sis,

    I have been on homeschoolshare.com and I cant find that beautiful lapbook you done, could you please direct me to it when you have time, its just the kind of thing I need to do with S InshaAllah.

    W.salam 🙂

    • Salaam sis! They have removed the lapbook. The person that uploaded it has asked the site to remove it! But guess what, I still have it saved on my computer. Email me cos I know I’ll forget and I’ll email it to you insha’Allah.

      Wsm,
      Umm R

    • Ws wr wb,

      Jzk sis for your kind comments. Look forward to looking at your blog insha’Allah. Sorry, which lapbook would you like the stuff for? The 1-100? Please let me know insha’Allah.

      Jzk.
      Wasalaam,
      Umm R

  7. Asalaam alay ki ukt,

    Pray you and you family are well aand in good health, Insha Allah. I have been following your blog for some time now, Masha’ Allah it has been a benefit for me and my just turned 5 year old. He loves the activities and if I’m stuck for ideas he reminds ‘lets try Ukty’s site’.

    Just teaching numbers, would you be able to email me the Lapbook and any other materiel regarding number work. It would be much appreciated.

    Jazakallah khair.

    Umm Yahyaa.

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