New Baby and Home Ed

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It has been a while since I have written a general update post. So, here’s one!

Baby Y is a month old tomorrow inshaAllah! Where has the time gone? I absolutely have no idea! SubhanAllah. Time really does just slip out of your hands like sand! I feel that my days are shorter – probably because I am a lot busier with breastfeeding and tending to the other two.

Mother in law left mid March and hubby returned to work. So, the last two weeks has been just me and the kids. Alhamdulillah it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Actually, the first day on my own with them, I bundled them into the car (was I crazy going with a 3 week baby!?) and headed off to a home ed group in Putney. It is run by non-Muslims and we had a really nice time. I met 2 lovely women there. Two other sisters attend whom I know and it was interesting to meet new home edders who are not Muslim. Plus it had these wonderful views:

  

In terms of home ed, we haven’t really been doing much. We have kept to Quran and reading. MashaAllah la quwatta illa billah, R completed her hifdh of juz amma some time ago and so is anticipating her juz amma party eagerly. I just feel like I need to get some more energy before I start planning anything. She has made her long list of friends she wants to invite, so it looks like I am going to have to book a hall and plan the party rather than order one already made for you at one of those adventure play places.

Z has shown signs of a ‘love-hate’ kind of relationship for his baby brother. I’ve realised that he is the one most likely to suffer. R has my attention because she is older and we are formally home educating. And baby Y has my attention because, well, he’s a new baby. And so poor Z is the one that could be ignored, although I’m trying to make a conscious effort to do something with him every day. At the moment, I’m in the process of organising some toddler activities for him. I’ll be making some resources and figuring out things we can do with the toys he already has. He is speaking so much more now and showing more interest in doing things, so I think its time we do a bit of stuff that he would do if I could take him to a playgroup. Again, watch this space.

I’m also trying to involve R more with Z and so got the playdough out and they had a session with this:

We also visited the library. And R took out loads of books on animals. She is really into jungle animals at the moment, particularly lions. She enjoys reading facts about them, watching them on the internet and pretending to be one!! So, a lot of reading has been going on here whilst I breastfeed baby Y. I have been reading to Z and Y. As soon as Z sees me reading to R, he brings his favourite books and screams until I open HIS book and read to him. I think I’ll have to switch reading time for R to bed time when we can be alone inshaAllah. I still ensure that R reads to me every day. And she is reading through the Eeman Reading Series. We have a bit of an Islamic discussion afterwards. Books I have read to her in recent weeks are: George’s Marvellous Medicine, various non-fiction books and a new one which we both absolutely love!! Here it is:

 I have read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and so when I heard there was a story book for children covering the 7 Habits, I visited amazon straight away. We have really enjoyed reading the book and I look forward to doing some of the activities suggested in there with R. I am also reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families at the moment which is maybe not a good idea because my hormones are still raging, so my book is often getting tear-soaked! I highly recommend this book.

We have also put up several bird feeders in the garden and out front. And we have had an array of different kinds of birds: pigeons, blue tits, robins. And I managed to take a picture of a blue tit! R is really enjoying observing the birds feed.

 Can you see him?

Today at breakfast, R was talking about her favourite topic at the moment: lions! And she told me ‘Ummi, I want to start a project about lions!’ I naturally jumped at the chance and began printing anything I could find on the net. Printed off lots of activities based on lions and she began her project. She actually worked for about four hours on her project throughout the day. She wanted to continue but I wanted to save some for tomorrow! It actually showed me that when she is interested in something, she will eagerly want to learn and continue with her work. I think I need to grab these opportunities more.

Here is one of the things she did today:

Don’t know if you can see it. This is 2 A3 pieces of card stuck together. She cut out some pictures of jungle animals and then drew the surrounding landscape. Above the picture, she then wrote her own story. She really worked very hard on this and I really tried to give her a lot of praise for it, as she doesn’t do a lot of independent creative writing.

I have been thinking a lot about how I look after my kids, how I home ed them etc. Things have changed since baby Y was born. And I’m not sure if the way I have been doing things is going to stay the same. As I was telling another sister recently, I am Miss Queen of Planning and I don’t know if my way of living in such an organised way is going to suit our ‘new’ lifestyle. I have to tend to baby and also I have a toddler who is very active and I need to give him time too. It is something that I am praying about and I know that Allah (Swt) will guide me to the best way to home ed and raise my kids. Its just about being patient until my dua for guidance is answered. Life includes lots of changes and I know that I must adapt my ways of doing things to fit in with those changes. I guess its just hard to change..

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12 responses »

  1. Salaam,
    MaashAllah, lovely work by R. Taking advantage of such productive learning like that will really help you to manage the needs of all your children, inshAllah. It is much harder when they are doing tasks which need constant monitoring and direction. Sometimes thoses tasks are necessary, but if R can take control of some of her learning that would be wonderful, maashAllah.

    • Ws wr wb

      Jzk sis. Yes, you are so right. I think it is about just grabbing opportunities like this when they arise.

  2. Assalamu alaykum wr wb
    My dear sister
    Alhumdullilah you are all well.
    I’ve missed you!
    I’m sure everything will go really well for you insha’Allah.
    Don’t be at all hard on yourself, enjoy your kids and the precious time you spend together. Reading together has so many benefits, mash’Allah. If ALL my kids could still sit on my lap while I read to them they would!
    May Allah S guide you and bless you in everything, may He make your path to Janna easy for you,ameen.

    Your sister always
    Yasmin

    • Ws wr wb

      How are you my lovely sis? Ameen to your duas. Its true. When you speak to sisters with older children, you realise that one should enjoy kids when they are young as they won’t want certain things to be done as they get older.

  3. Assalam Alicom sister,
    I just came across your blog recently and I’ve read your birth story (and oh boy, did I cry). I’m so glad your getting on with your new baby and homeschooling. I’m homeschooling 2 of my children ( age 7 and 5 ) and then baby Y came along and stirred things up. Our daily schedules were up in the air and things seemed out of control at the time ( sleepless nights, breastfeeding 24/7, no time to plan lessons or activities, …etc). now my baby is an active toddler and from my experience I can tell to JUST HANG IN THERE. You will get back to your normal home schooling schedule( maybe with little adjustments here and there). You are doing a great job. May Allah bless you and your family.
    Keep it up.
    A homeschooling mother from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

    • Ws wr wb

      Oh mashaAllah! You have a Baby Y too! lol Jzk for your advice sis. I think I need to remind myself that life does change and a newborn baby is not a newborn baby forever! lol

  4. Assalamu alaykum sis,

    Masha’Allaah looks like you’ve all been doing some fun things, I love that spontaneous type of learning, even though we don’t do it often, but definitely when a child is interested in something they’re going to be more eager to learn as much as they can about it.

    BTW, I don’t think I’ve congratulated you on the birth of your baby, astaghfirullaaah, Mabruk sis, may Allaah make him a cooling for you and your husband’s eyes, and a pious and righteous addition to the muslim ummah, ameen. May Allaah also make things easy for you, ameen, it’s always a bit difficult in the beginning, you’ve got your routine going with the other kids, then you have to make room for one more, masha’Allaah, but Allaah gives us that ability to cope, alhamdulillaah.

    • I need to try and let R take a lead in her own learning more. I have noticed that she is more eager and more excited when she is doing something that she took an independent interest in.

      Ameen to your duas sis. Jzk for the positive words. xx

  5. Mabrook and al7amdulillah on the safe arrival of baby Y! I’m also pregnant and hoping for a VBAC, so I found your birth story so inspiring, masha’Allah.

    I know you must be absolutely run off your feet at the moment, homeschooling two with a newborn to look after too, but if you happen to have a moment, I would *love* to hear what kind of a program/schedule/plan you followed with R for memorizing Quran? When did she start? When did you start encouraging her to make it a regular thing? How much time did she spend on it? Was it at home or at the masjid? Did she enjoy it? I would be overjoyed if my daughter, like R, masha’Allah, managed to complete Juz Amma by age 5, but I feel completely clueless as to how best to try to guide her through it. I converted 7 years ago, al7amdulillah, but since I never had an “Islamic childhood” myself, I don’t really know how to start. Jazaaki Allahu khayr for any tips or suggestions, and thanks for a great blog!

    • Salaam,

      Jzk for your comment sister. May Allah Swt grant you your VBAC. Ameen.
      Run off my feet is not the word sis! lol

      Well, R started to memorise Quran when she was about 2.5. She was an early speaker so this did help mashaAllah. Back then we used to do a little bit here and there. Nothing too structured. Then when she was roughly 3, it was a little more structured and keeping up her review of stuff she had already memorised. When she was about 3.5, then it was a regular thing. All of this was at home until the last few months when she started attending a Quran class. We have always tried to build a love of Quran in her. Some days she really loves it and wants to move forward, other days she doesn’t. I think most children are like this. But we constantly talk about the rewards of memorising Quran and how wonderful it would be if she would become a haafidha one day. We try to make her feel excited and offer incentives and a lot of praise. Really, she should have completed the hifdh of juz amma a long time ago. But with the move abroad, and the back again, the birth of her two brothers and moving quite a few times – it took a lot of time away from her hifdh. I have seen that a little done every day goes a long way. When we don’t review her Quran for a considerable amount of time, I can see the difference. You see, I don’t just want her to memorise – but I want her to retain it. And this really does require that we do Quran every day. Hope this helps sis. And don’t worry, I’m a revert too and a little clueless myself. But I just think a little every day goes a long way inshaAllah! Oh, and don’t forget to make dua for your children to love Quran and memorise well. And Allah will grant them just that. x

  6. thank you sooooooooooooo much, Jazaaki Allahu khayr for all the advice! I think details like this “come naturally” for people who have been Muslim all their lives, either because they went through it themselves or because they knew tons of people who did, but for me, concrete things like “start around age 2.5” is pure gold 🙂

    May all three of your children complete the whole Quran and love every minute of it, insha’Allah!

    • Wa ikyaki,

      It is what has worked for us, but every child is different. Ameen to your duas and may your children also become haafidhun too. Ameen.

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