Category Archives: Age 5-6

Extreme exhibition

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We recently attended the best museum exhibition we have ever attended.

The Extreme exhibition in the tiny Horniman museum is on until November and really was just fantastic. Completely hands on.

It does cost to enter but a sister told us about the family membership. We basically got our money back for the visit by paying £32 for the year. And we get free access to all exhibitions as many times as we want.

Here are some pics. I highly highly highly recommend attending. We’ll definitely be going back again inshaAllah!

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Game to play on a large screen about the extremes of the earth.

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Huge block of ice and then a screen that measures the heat. Kids had so much fun rubbing their hands and faces on the ice and then walking over to the screen to see the cold blue bits.

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Huge screen where you can take pictures as though you’re standing in the Arctic and then email it to yourself right there on the spot.

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Measuring how much water in your body.

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Artificial Cave to walk through

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Machine that shows how and why we sweat.

And there was much more.
There are other free exhibitions in the museum too …. Some not suitable as display voodoo etc. But if you buy the family annual membership then there’s an aquarium downstairs too.

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Oh and outside are beautiful grounds with a small farm area with a few animals and picnic indoor area near the farm. It’s a full day out. Did I say I highly recommend it lol! If you can, definitely arrange a visit and sign up to their newsletter as their exhibitions change and are normally fantastic like this one.

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Cleaning bottoms

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Nope, no one has hacked into my blog. This is not spam.
I hope this post helps out any home edding mums who are seriously stressed out. Four words: Let go of perfection.

Right. Some home edding mothers want it all – a house that looks like a museum, homemade gourmet meals, daily bathed children, on top of the children’s education academically, children who are these perfect little believers, the perfect wife, still striving in personal ibadah and the list goes on and on and on.

A lot of home edding mums really beat themselves up – A LOT! A lot are still looking at what their children would be doing in school and use that as a bar to measure their children’s progress.

I have a question for you – do teachers clean bottoms? The answer is no! Do teachers cook 3 meals a day for their children? No. Do teachers clean their classrooms? No. Do teachers breastfeed whilst teaching? No. Do teachers manage different aged children? No.

So, why on earth do many home ed mums try to replicate school at home and why do many keep referring to what their children’s peers are doing, studying, learning at school. Anyone who does this will have a nervous breakdown!

I seriously became ‘free’ when I stopped referring to what they do in school, how they do it etc. Home Ed is not about the national curriculum. Home Ed is about my family’s values, my children’s strengths, my children’s interests and how they learn. Why should I feel compelled to follow a system designed by a bunch of individuals that have never met my family? Where is it written in stone that children aged 7 must know x, y and z and if they don’t know this – they have failed??!

So, if in one day the only academic learning my children have done is read – I don’t see that as unsuccessful home edding. If on another day – they have spent all day doing book work, I don’t see that as over pushing them. Each day is different in home ed.

My eldest will islamically be 10 in a few months time. I can’t believe it – it seems like only yesterday she was like her baby sister unable to speak! They grow so fast. There’s plenty of time to be fully structured – when they’re preparing for exam stage. Until then, following their interests, getting the basics right and having a fun time being together as a family and discovering the world is what suits us.

Dear home edding mums, let go of perfection. If you’re passionate about your children falling in love with learning and discovering, then you’ll have to accept the house will never be 100% clean. Bunging a pizza in the oven and quick meals will become a norm.

I was and probably still am a ‘clean freak’. I love organisation and I love a spotless clean home. But I’ve had to seriously let it go. Years ago, so much of my time went on cleaning that I didn’t have enough time to sit down and read to my kids, or play a game with them or just engage in a conversation of their choice with them.

So I realised I can clean til my hearts content when the kids are older. I can become Chef of the year when I have more time. But right now, its about ‘being’ with my babies. Educating them, facilitating their interests and nurturing them. That is my priority – not the cleaning and cooking.

I’m serious when I say – anyone who is holding on to what children do in school will have a seriously depressed home ed life. Let go of it and watch the transformation in yourself and your children. Let go of perfection. In the future, what will your regret be? That you didn’t clean enough? Or that you didn’t read enough to your kids, didn’t focus enough time om nurturing their faith? Live your home ed life as to the ideal image of your children as adults.

Still here

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I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted. I’ve neglected this blog due to my new blog. Need to make more of an effort to post here more regularly.

So what’s been happening?
R’s old penpal that she’s had since she was 4 years old has started to write to her again and she has 2 new penpals too. Zuzu has 2 penpals. And Y also has one. They love receiving letters in the post.

We’re all kinda addicted to Postcrossing! !! We’ve received 3 postcards from China, USA and Ireland.  And our postcards have reached various countries in Europe. I’m going to blog about how we’re turning this hobby into something educational soon inshaAllah.

The boys are mashaAllah progressing nicely in their hifdh and are both working on their fatha, dammah and kasra at the moment.

Their reading is mashaAllah coming along. Maths is the highlight mashaAllah and I’m just over the moon I switched over to Singapore Math. Esp for Zuzu who just loves math now. He used to struggle before!

R is carrying on as usual with her hifdh mashaAllah. Quran is taking up more and more of time but inshaAllah she’ll get there. Arabic – she’s reading the stories of the prophets in Arabic and translating it to me so I can check her understanding.

English is a mixture of stuff for her. I’m trying different methods to develop her writing. .. Need to blog more about that. 
Math is ticking along for her alhamdulillah. Just 1 or 2 exercises daily.

She still reads a lot but not as much as she’d like as Quran takes up most of her time. She loves baking and probably why I’m not shedding any weight!

Mmm… boys swimming coming along nicely mashaAllah. Zuzu is like a fish in the water mashaAllah but doesn’t really like sports. Y still loves drawing and writing. Oh and Y turned 4 a few days ago mashaAllah. .. brought back sweet memories of my lovely water vba2c mashaAllah. How time flies!

Baby S is 15 months mashaAllah and loves singing the arabic alphabet and is addicted to one arabic alphabet nasheed on YouTube. We’ve all memorised it! !

That’s about it. Nothing exciting I’m afraid. Just ticking along with everyday home Ed. Sometimes it’s nice like that – regular and consistent alhamdulillah.

To all home educators

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Please support this sister as in turn her venture might end up supporting you:

Asalamuu alaykum

Are you home educating? Interested in home education? The Home Educators Hub needs your help! 

We have a wonderful work in progress that will be a great resource for home educators. 

Please help us by completing the following few questions and email it back to homeeducatorshub@gmail.com

Feel free to forward it on to all home educators! 

(1) If there were a series of online home education webinars, would you attend? If yes, what topics would you hope to listen to? 

(2) Do you use tutors to teach your children? If no, please explain why. 

(3) Do you plan or intend to plan your child(ren)’s home education in advance? 

If yes, do you feel you need assistance with this? 

If no, please explain why. 

(4) Which of the following options would you choose and why? 

A. A ready made individualised home education plan for your child (ren)

B. The above with resource lists of everything you need. 

C. The above with actual resources.

(5) Would you be interested in a unit study/topic planning service? 

If yes, what would you expect from such a service? 

(6) How often do you use online resources in your home education?

(7) Do you see ideas on websites, blogs and books that you would like to try with your child(ren)? 

If yes, do you feel you have enough time to prepare these activities? Would you use a service that would prepare these activities/resources for you? 

(8) How often do you speak to other home educators for advice on home education? 

(9) Do you feel it is important to speak with more experienced home educators? If yes, why? 

(10) Would you be interested in a home education resource library?

If yes, what types of resources would you hope to borrow? 

(11) Please state any other type of help or support you would hope for in your home education. 

Many thanks for completing the questions. 

Do like us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Home-Educators-Hub/1402235363369019

Don’t miss out on our week of free home education freebies coming soon! 

The Home Educators Hub

Post office and Postcrossing! !

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Whilst I’m a firm believer in planning home Ed,  I’ve learnt over the years that it’s crucial to be spontaneous and follow the child’s lead.

I was going to go and post a few items and Zuzu was jumping up and down to go to the post office to post his card to his penpal. Instead of taking all 4 kids with me,  I delayed it to when my husband could be home with the other three. On route, we discussed the need for a stamp,  writing the address and his own on the back and what happens to the letter once we’ve paid for postage. Simple conversation really but what was nice was it was just the two of us and rather than me tell him about the process, he witnessed it.  Our local post office is run by a Muslim aunty and uncle and they answered his questions and let him observe everything they were doing. I truly believe Home edders need to try and grab these moments of interest and act on them.

Whilst at the post office, Zuzu saw a rack of postcards. It reminded me of something I’ve wanted to do for ages. …
POSTCROSSING! !!

So when we came home, we finally signed up to http://www.postcrossing.com and the system initiated three addresses: one to Russia, one to Germany and one to the Netherlands! All recipients were adults.  Zuzu and R both wrote their messages. And I wrote the last one with a message about Islam. What is great is the recipients will never have your address to reply to! So I’m seeing this as a good dawah opportunity inshaAllah.

I highly recommend Postcrossing but make sure you understand how it works and don’t let your kids do it on your own as it involves adults too! Oh and on the advice of another sister who has been doing it, when your post comes through don’t let kids who can read pick up the post!

We’re planning to make this educational by marking in green on a map of the world where we’ve sent postcards to. And then in blue arrows all the countries that have sent us postcards. For each country we’ll learn something about that country.

Do check it out!

Breakthrough with Zuzu! !!

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SubhanaAllah by the mercy of Allah I’ve had a huge breakthrough with Zuzu today. Those who have a ‘different child’ will know what I’m talking about. It’s a child that has your face on the prayer mat constantly imploring Allah for guidance and sabr.

Aside from creative making and skateboarding, it’s an uphill struggle teaching Zuzu. I have to be extremely patient with him which I’m often not 😦

He is very slow academically and really not interested in very much. Teaching him is such a test SubhanaAllah. Multiple times I’ve considered putting him in school.

Today I saw a completely different side to Zuzu. We were doing some Singapore Math and initially I thought this is going to take him a very long time. The thing with Singapore Math is something called CPA… You can read more about it here:

http://www.mathsnoproblem.co.uk/concrete-pictorial-abstract

SubhanaAllah I feel like crying. Not only did Zuzu really understand it but for the first time ever he really enjoyed math and asked me to do 2 more exercises!!!

And the reason why he ‘got it’ and enjoyed it so much is because he’s a kinesthetic learner. Meaning that he has to physically touch or handle things in order to learn. Singapore Math is quite big on this. I always had an incline that he was this type of learner. However today, as I sat with him and watched as he whizzed through exercise after exercise because he was using different manipulatives that he moved around, it dawned on me where I’ve gone wrong as his educator and mother.

Today was such a huge moment for both him and myself. Not because he asked me todo more math and enjoyed it. But because I now realise what I really need to do as his mother and educator and hopefully inshaAllah this will change so much for him. Ameen! !

So I’ll be doing heaps and heaps of research on kinesthetic learners,  kinesthetic parenting and discipline.

Truly a light bulb moment even though it’s been staring me in the face for such a long time!

More art and craft ideas

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At our home Ed group the boys made rockets using an empty water bottle, card, tissue paper and stickers. Simple but has already been used loads in creative play!

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The girls did paper quilling. R has already done this before and wanted her own tool and set of special paper quilling paper. But I didn’t get round to getting it for her. Glad I didn’t as each girl got to take their quilling tool and paper home with them much to R’s delight.

Paper quilling is beautiful. If you Google it there are some amazing pieces made by both children and adults.

I definitely recommend trying it out.