Back to a Semi Stuctured Approach (longish post)


Before we left for Hajj, I was testing out the unschooling waters and mashaAllah saw many benefits not just for R but as an entire family. Often, I see a trend in many home educators (including myself) where we concentrate so much on the eldest child and neglect to some extent the holistic education of subsequent children. I can see how easy it is to fall into this pattern especially if the little ones are perhaps preschool age or younger. It is something that I am trying not to do. Each of my children are special in their own right and in their own position in the family; be it 1st, 2nd or youngest!

On that basis, I have shuffled things around a bit. Now that we will be adopting a semi structured approach, I am leaving all formal PLANNED learning til the afternoon when at least one of the boys is napping. Z doesn’t look like he’ll be napping for very much longer in the afternoon.

So, here’s what happened yesterday:

  • After breakfast – kids played – poor Y – he always ends up in a doll’s cardigan!
  • Whilst they were playing, I hit upstairs with my cleaning products and changed sheets, cleaned bathroom etc
  • Then, I brought down R’s beads and the large Melissa and Doug beads and all of them enjoyed beading for around 40 minutes. I sat with them whilst they were doing this. I had actually thought that Z and Y would share the large toddler beads but Z surprised me by choosing R’s beads and made me his first ever bracelet! Good way of developing his fine motor skills. Was also very pleasantly surprised to see him quietly concentrating for so long.

Y got bored after a wall and so took out the box of animals. Whilst he was away, his vocabulary really picked up mashAllah and now he knows the names of quite a few animals and was very happy to tell me them as I lined up the animals for him.

  • R was still making a necklace for me and so the boys and I did some stenciling.

  • Prayed dhur
  • Made some spaghetti and had lunch.
  • Read to the boys.
  • R decided she wanted to make a Mosaic frame from an Art book she took out from the library last week. She read the instructions and started right away. She wants to frame a painting she recently completed. It is an adult paint by number of a horse that she finished a few days ago. It was quite difficult as each piece to paint is quite tiny and the paintbrush is very fine but she finished it (I think it took her almost 2 months).

R had to make the mosaic pieces and as the pattern involves tessellation, she had to draw a grid of 1cm x1cm squares. It was a good opportunity to bring a bit of Math and we discussed the centimetres and millimetres and a square having equal sides and the importance of precision and patience. After this, she cut up the squares from two different pieces of coloured card.

  •  Put boys to sleep
  • R then did Mental Math, two pages on measuring from the MEP Year 2 book.
  • Asr and as R started the work below, I hit some work with other things I’m doing
  • Quran – Murajaah and hifdh
  • Arabic reading and writing exercise
  • R announces she wants to do a country project on Antartica – so I started a bit of research on what I can put her way (a bit of unschooling facilitator coming in there!)
  • Boys woke up
  • R has taken an interest in poetry and words that rhyme recently. So, scrapping the English workbook for now and starting a unit on poetry from a book that a sister bought her from TK Maxx (amazing what you can find in there and jzk sis! 😉 )

    R is going to write a poem about Autumn and so she started a Spidergram in preparation for her poem content.

  • Maghrib
  • Hubby came home
  • I started cooking and doing a bit of tidying up
  • Boys were playing and R was telling hubby all about her day
  • Got R ready for kickboxing – she’s really motivated as she won ‘Student of the month’ and received a certificate and prize last week. Her instructor said she was very good in her techniques and behaviour. I think this is what she needed in order to increase her confidence – something I’m really worried about. I’ve noticed she is losing her confidence in many things – Im not sure if it is age related. Her instructor said she’s now ready for grading and so R is going to attempt to go for a kickboxing belt in a few weeks time.
  • Dinner and R went to kickboxing
  • Esha
  • Read about 8 books to the boys and then put them to bed
  • R returned from kickboxing, got changed, grabbed a Michael Morpurgo book she’s currently reading and read til about 9.15pm
  • She went to bed, I did some tidying up
  • And then finally…MY TIME! 🙂

(I often like to write these posts more for myself than anyone else. It allows me to see how much quality time Im giving to my kids (if any) and where I am wasting time and how I can better make use of my time. Although this blog is public, my main goal is recording this home ed journey so that my children and I can look back at it when they are young adults inshaAllah).


16 responses »

  1. Assalamu alaikum sister,
    Please could you tell mr where you take your daughter for kickboxing lessons.
    I would like for my daughter Rayyan to start something like that to boost her confidence also inshAllah.
    JazakAllah khair
    Shenaz x

  2. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatu Sister,

    Jazak Allahu Khaira for your posts which provide insights into your family’s learning journey – MashaAllah Tabarak Allah May Allah swt make your journey easy for you and your children and make it a source of reward for you in the Hereafter, ameen. Also, may Allah swt accept your Hajj and reward you and your family with the highest level of His Paradise, ameen.

    take care
    wassalam alaykum
    sydney, australia

  3. As salaamu’alaiki ukthi,

    Masha’allaah sis i recently came across your blog and I Love it! Allaahu Mubaarik Alayki. I was reading some of your posts from years back and the change in you and your kids through the years is amazing. I ask Allaah azawajal to continue guiding you all through your journey.

    Um Umayyah.x

    • I like the alphabet stamps, puzzles, stacking boxes. To be honest, if I had the money I would buy all of their products – really good quality and teach very good skills. x

    • Ws, there are many different opinions about these things. I, personally have no problem with stenciling in the sight of Allah. And Allah knows best.

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