Workbox Tweak (Long post)


Yup, we’re still here. Feel like the baby is going to be early. I’ve had a few ‘scary-are-these-contractions’ type pains recently.

 So, what has been going on since I last wrote. Well, here are some pics inshaAllah to explain all:

Remember the picture of our workboxes. Well, our coat hanger was located in a storage cupboard and it kept falling off! “All your heavy jilbaabs”, my husband kept complaining! So, he decided to break down some shelves (where my workboxes were located) and this has now become our coats and shoes space. So, where was I going to put all of my workboxes – there just wasn’t space. And I wanted them downstairs because R does her school in the living room. So, off I went to ikea and bought some cheap magazine files (£1.49 for 5) and her workboxes are now magazine files. The other boxes that we were using as workboxes are being used for a multiple of things.

I have tweaked our workbox system. We no longer use the schedule strip. Instead, each of the boxes you see in the above picture are labelled with the subject. Eg. Quran, English, Math, Reading, Islamic Studies etc. I have also labelled two boxes ‘Special’. These boxes contain fun activities sometimes linked to the topic we are currently learning about, sometimes just something random like porcelain painting. At the weekend, I fill in the weekly planner as to what will go in each box per day (pretty much the same kind of planning I posted about before). Each night, I fill these boxes. Once she’s ready to start or I encourage her to start, she takes one box at a time. For now, we pretty much follow the same order of the boxes. But I may swap the box order if I feel that it isn’t suiting her. I guess this system is a mix between what we were doing before workboxes came along and the actual workbox system. Its working well for us.

So, here is some of the things we have been doing:

QURAN: Usual routine with this – revision, new hifdh and practice reading from the mushaf. As well as her Quran class that she attends twice a week not far from our home. I thought it would be tough for her as the teacher sets quite a lot of homework, but mashaAllah it has been going very well.

ISLAMIC STUDIES: We now do this every day. We have started using this by IQRA. It comes with the text book and the workbook. What I like about this is that each lesson is in simple easy language which R can read by herself and it isn’t too long. Also, the workbook is not just filling in worksheets, there are some hands on activities aswell. As we are now doing Islamic Studies every day straight after Quran, it is a good opportunity to read about the topic (currently the seerah of the Prophet (saw)), we discuss it and then she has an activity:

In this picture, she is actually doing a reading comprehension exercise. But based on the workbook and my own ideas she has also done the following:

 I wrote down the bits in purple. Hubby wrote down the Arabic and then she copied over the Arabic and decorated the poster. It has been displayed as a reminder to always say sallahu alayhi wa sallam when mentioning the Prophet (saw). We discussed why this is so and the importance of this.

She also made these ice cream cones matching the ice cream to the cone based on what she had learnt in the reading exercise. So, Islamic Studies, cutting and glueing, colouring in and reading all in a very simple hands on activity.

ENGLISH: We are currently on lesson 40 with First Language Lessons. I really really like this book. Most lessons up to this point have involved speaking skills. The last 5 lessons or so have moved on to more written work. I like the pace and R really likes it when we do these lessons. Did I mention that the letter she posted to herself came back. She was well chuffed! Anyway, I read a story to her from the lessons and she needed to pick out all the nouns and make a poster.

As part of our English work, I have also introduced copywork. We have done copywork before, but I want to make it a regular feature in our HE so that she can increase in her vocabulary but also to focus on her handwriting which for me is the main point of this copywork. I have islamicized it and all of her handwriting copywork will be based on the 40 hadith nawawi. After she has completed the copywork, we discuss everything we can about the few sentences. With this particular copywork exercise, we briefly talked about Umar ibn Al Khattab. Here is the beginning:

I printed out this paper from and then wrote out  a few sentences and she has to copy the sentences using the handwriting guidelines. I have noticed an improvement in her handwriting already. Question for other home educators: When do your kids move on to cursive handwriting?

Also, as part of English, I am trying to encourage her towards some creative handwriting. We used for this. I printed out a bird activity and she used the lesson to write a few sentences creatively. I liked how she said that the bird eats ‘worm pie’. She didn’t just stick to the list of words they offered for her to fill in her sentences. I think she got the idea from the Gruffalo books!

MATH: We’re still using the MEP. I’m trying to use other resources I have at home to make it more hands on. In the picture below, I asked her to make some patterns using beads and string as this is what she was doing in her MEP workbook.

READING: She is reading loads now mashaAllah. Not just books. But stuff on packages, billboards on the road (got to be careful with those!) I want to move her on to chapter books more. So, got this idea from a dear sister over at (Thanks sis!)

Basically, as she reads a chapter she can colour in a square. I have set her a target of 5 chapter books. Once she has read 5 chapter books, she will either get to choose something really fun to do with me (like an outing) or I might buy her a little something. I have some nice chapter books called Cat Tales that I bought from The Book People. However, she wants to start off with the My Naughty Little Sister series. I’ve read two of these books to her already and am a little tired – but she loves them (there’s 3 more to go!)

Oh, and part of reading is me reading to her. I try to include non-fiction reading to her based on our topic of the week as well as ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ lol.

ARABIC: The Quran class that she attends are moving on to more Arabic from next week so I hope that this will improve her Arabic skills inshaAllah. I have decided that she needs to do some Arabic every day. I am not happy at all with her level of Arabic. I know I’ve said this before, but I really would prefer that she reads and writes in Arabic more than English as I want her to grow up understanding her deen in this language. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to Allah that she speaks fusha fluently mashaAllah, but I feel very guilty that I haven’t spent enough time on this. I guess I’m limited because I can’t speak Arabic. How I wish that I could…

Anyway, we’ve been doing a lot of handwriting and reading practice using I like the stuff they have on there mashaAllah.

This was a simple reading and matching exercise. I left her to it herself as I really want to see if she is improving in her reading skills. She did it mashaAllah which shows me she is actually reading the words and understands what they mean. Again, she seems to like the cutting and pasting rather than the writing. I guess it makes it more fun. 

PROJECT: We have started a new topic/project. Earth, Moon and Space. Thats why I needed that globe which did arrive. Alhamdulillah for internet shopping.

We started the project off by R reading the non-fiction book that came with Science A-Z.

My ink cartridges are not printing properly, so she read it on the PC. We then discussed what she read. This was a good read. It was as though a light came on when she understood how we get night and day. And that the moon does not change shape physically, but that it is due to how much the sun is shining on the moon.

I have some fun activities lined up which are in the ‘special’ box. Will post some stuff about those in the next few days inshaAllah.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: She started a kickboxing class for girls in our local masjid. She loved it mashaAllah. We met up with some home educators in South London. We went to our usual Thursday HE group in East London. I cannot tell you how much she loves this group. Allah (Swt) has truly blessed this group. All the sisters are just lovely and it really does feel like a family, mashaAllah. I’m going to miss it when baby comes along, but I doubt we’ll be staying away too long inshaAllah. 😉 We have been to A LOT of hospital appointments which I feel has prevented us from doing as much as I planned, but sometimes these things happen. Next week is a busy week – appointments and invites. Some weeks, we don’t see anyone except for on a Thursday. But next week, we’ve been invited by three separate families. Its nice because R will be able to spend some time with other HE children. But at the same time, I feel we are falling behind…maybe its because I know we will be taking a break from HE when baby comes along. I just don’t want to fall behind.

Ah! And last but not least. R received this from her new penpal from Canada! She was soooo excited. And sis, I know you might be reading this. Tell your DD that something will be in the post soon inshaAllah and R was very grateful for the gifts that came along with the letter. She kept asking me loads of questions about Canada. So, I told her to put it into writing to her new penpal. We might have to do a project about Canada once we’re done with our current project.

And thats about it…for now! Happy home edding!

5 responses »

  1. Assalaamu ‘alaikum Umm R,

    I haven’t passed through here for a VERY long time. Mashaa`Allah your progress with R. is amazing. May Allah preserve and increase it for you, aameen.

    RE: Chapter books. I don’t think they are too big a step. J gets the most unmotivational, uninteresting books from school, so we simply go to the library and loan books for him to read as well. He reads chapter books too, mashaa`Allah and is doing well with them. Chapter books are good for them ‘cos they can pace themselves through them and it’s exciting to place a bookmark in their books too! 🙂

    I’m currently reading him one of Roahl Dahl’s books, and he insists I read two chapters a night so that we can ‘finish the book quicker and get another one!” Kids, eh?

    • Ws wr wb

      Hey sis! How are you? Long time! We actually finished George’s Marvellous Medicine before I gave birth. R loved it!

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