How we learn English


Bit of a longish description of how we learn English and some pics of stuff the kids have been up to in their English lessons. ..

We formally study English three times a week. I say ‘formally’ because we are a book loving family and most of our English studies occur informally.


Each time we study English, R completes 1 page of joined up handwriting practice. She now writes in joined up handwriting. She’s amazed that it is faster than print. I give her a spelling test using a reception to year 6 pdf I found online which includes age appropriate spelling tests.

She then completes another activity for English. This month, this is working through Galore Park. Next month we will be taking a break from that and instead work on a specific English topic for the month.

I read to R almost daily. At the moment I’m reading this book to her. …


Aside from her independent reading I’ve also asked her to start reading to me again. She’s currently reading this to me. ..


I’m trying to ensure the books we read to each other are Islamic books as read aloud times are beautiful bonding moments. What is better to bond over than islamic books?! It’s nice because we often discuss what we’re reading which leads onto questions, opinions and how we can act upon what we’ve read. I highly recommend read alouds. It isn’t just for little ones.



For zuzu. .. he also does English three times a week. Each day for English, he will do one page of handwriting, one spelling test using the same pdf I use for R. He reads 1 book to me – currently the Bob books, completes 1 page from this Scholfield and Sims workbook…


He then completes a fun hands on activity related to our current monthly topic for English.


Y does exactly the same as zuzu but is not reading yet so does not read to me. And is working through a different workbook.

I also read aloud to the boys a lot as I feel it helps them with their own reading. I’m currently reading The 7 habits of happy kids to them and lots of books they randomly bring me to read to them.

Some of the hands on activities they’ve done recently.


Can’t remember if I posted this. Boys running to different letters spread all over the floor.


Matching uppercase and lowercase letters.



Q tip painting to teach uppercase and lowercase letters using a cotton bud and paint. We then made it into a book.



More matching uppercase and lowercase using letter stamps.¬† I’m sure you can tell what one of our English topics was this month!

The kids also use Reading Eggs, Reading Eggspress, Starfall and Spellodrome.

What do you do in your English lessons?

20 responses »

  1. Alsalamu aliekum,

    Jazakum Allah khier for sharing! MashaAllah the activities look like a lot of fun.

    I was interested in the monthly topics you do with R. I remember you mentioned once that you wanted to do something like imagery or whatever each month. Could you maybe discuss this a bit further?

    Jazakum Allah khier!

    • Walaikum assalam
      Oh ok. . Yes I simply split the year into monthly English topics. So one month fiction writing. Another would be a focus on poetry, persuasive writing etc etc. Not sure if this answers your question. Xx

  2. Salam my kids are really young so i don’t really do much yet but i have brought them a magnetic write and wipe board and we watch an episode of sqiglit alphabet on cbeebies which focuses on one letter an episode and practice writing it with the board. They really like it mashaallah. My mother inlaw said she wants one so she can learn English inshaallah

  3. Salam sister, its lovely do see what other homeschoolers do in detail. My daughter is concentrating on writing her own stories based on the story we focus on in the week. My son is nearly 4 so I will be starting the alphabet with him in a few months and will be basing it on the stiener/waldorf method of teaching the alphabet which is a very visual method. Because my kids are still young, I try and stay away from workbooks but reading-eggs is great because she can do it by herself whilst I get on with some house work. And jazak allah for posting the other post on handwriting without tears….I then searched for it on youtube and found some interesting stuff.

  4. Asalamalaikum sister,

    MashaAllah, it’s great to have your posts coming into my inbox!!

    I found the Read and Respond series for literature study very useful for understanding how to study the books we read. Before I decide on what book we want to look at next, I always check to see if it has an accompanying Read and Respond first. You can find them easily on Amazon.

    Jazakillahu khairan sister once again, Umm Hammaad

    • Walaikum assalam
      This read and respond that you mentioned sounds interesting mashaAllah. I’m off to check it out. Jzk for sharing.

  5. Assalamu ‘alaykum, my daughter is 5 yrs old and this year we are using jolly phonics to brush up and recap a few areas. She is also reading from songbirds series and using Reading eggs. She can read so once a month we do literacy project where she reads, writes, we do role play and other themed work relating to the book we reading so if it has some maths or science in it we expand further on those as well. We also do handwriting practise. Inshallah hope to start spelling test with her soon.Jzk for sharing what you do. She finds this more fun then working from books. With my 2 year old I am just starting out with -I spy bottles, reading to him, painting letters, playing with magnetic letters when doing sensory play and stamping. Not doing formal studies with him but just exposing him to it through play.

    • Ws mashaAllah sounds great. I’ve never done spy bottles with my kids but may try it with the baby when she grows up a bit inshaAllah.

  6. Salaaam truly insightful. I have been fretting about trying to fit five days of English in a week when I am working, so Alhmdulilah your post gave me hope. I will try and split it up into formal and informal work i really like that Idea. I was using the Jolly phonics spelling book but would like to look at the PDF. As for Handwriting you mentioned ZUZU does this, Esseyah is a similar age what is he doing to practice his handwriting.

    Please could you make a similar post about Maths. Jazaakum Allahu khairan.

    • Walaikum assalam
      If you search Back over recent previous posts, I wrote about the handwriting program we use aswell as a post on how we do math which was similar to this post. Hope it helps.

  7. Assalamualaikum sis, for English when we’ve been on a trip, I print out the pictures I’ve taken and get my daughter to write a sentence or two about it and make it into a book. I just need to teach her how to expand on her sentances and her grammer, have you any recommendations for grammer?
    She’s also been reading the Eamman series books and we do the workbooks for comprehension. Umm Idris can you give an example of a book you did themed work with and what you did, I’m really interested in this but don’t know where to start. Am I allowed to ask another sister on here? sorry if I’m not. w/salam

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