Category Archives: Age 5-6

Email that touched me. .

Standard

My plan was to make the blog private due to some personal reasons. I didn’t feel many readers would mind as the comments on the blog have been quiet in recent posts.

I was quite shocked at how many private emails I received requesting it to remain open as it has helped with ideas for kids, resources etc. I think most of you readers are lurkers! !

I apologise if I haven’t responded to you privately. There was one email that I received from a sister who doesn’t comment but has been following the blog for many years. It touched me, made me fill up with tears and made me rethink my decision to go private. So inshaAllah it is public again and to the sister that sent me that email. .. Jzk for having a profound impact on me and causing me to reflect on what I do and what’s important to me.

So update from us. .

We’ve had in laws over from Algeria staying with us over the last few weeks. As the children hardly ever get to see my husband’s side of the family every year due to them living abroad, it has been nice for them. But it’s also meant that pretty much everything has gone out of the window!

I find it quite frustrating as R’s Quran schedule is badly affected. She feels it too!  We have started to get back to some sort of normality since they left.

Aside from lots of play, the kids have visited practically every museum in London due to taking the in laws.

I found some cheap sets of magnetix on gum tree to add to the boys collection. They take that out 5x + per day.

image

R attended a local textiles class and made the cushion in the picture above. She used the sewing machine and glue gun. Quite a nice pretty result mashaAllah. The sister who teaches the class is very creative mashaAllah and it was very kind of her to set up a class just for home educated girls during her break from being a teacher.

image

image

We also attended a trip visiting the Brixton windmill which R particularly enjoyed. It came at the right time as we had just finished a project on wind. This windmill is one of the only ones in inner London and is 10 mins from where we live. .. Didn’t know it existed!

Zuzu is as creative as ever. Here he has made a Knight costume and wouldn’t take it off for ages! !

image

Amazing what he can make with bags,  paper, tape and a cereal box!

Finally, a sister shared this excellent article with me. I definitely recommend reading it. ..

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/give-childhood-back-to-children-if-we-want-our-offspring-to-have-happy-productive-and-moral-lives-we-must-allow-more-time-for-play-not-less-are-you-listening-gove-9054433.html

Murajaah (quran revision)

Standard

I haven’t posted about hifdh for a while, I think it’s mainly because it’s just part and parcel of life and we just tend to get on with it.

I thought I would share some of the ways we schedule hifdh and murajaah which I hope will be  beneficial for some of you.

Okay, so to start with, if anyone has a goal in mind for their children to inshaAllah become huffadh one day, I really recommend you start with your children when they are young… it doesn’t have to be a lot but as long as there is consistency.

I see a huge difference between children who were memorising from a young age and children that haven’t.

Let your children get excited about quran, do a little everyday and keep at it. It will pay off later when they are seriously doing hifdh and have to spend 3-4+ hours per day on hifdh and murajaah. This may seem a lot and it is if a child has not been accustomed to  spending regular time with the Quran.

The aim is to build the child’s ability to memorise a minimum of a page a day. Once they reach this level then the real journey begins. Again, it might seem a lot but if a young child is used to memorising say 1 ayah per day then 3 then 5 lines, then 10 etc then 1 page it will inshaAllah be easy for them.

I’m not going to speak too much about the way to do hifdh as a) there are many different methods and b) anyone can become a haafidh with time and dedication.

What I’d like to focus on is murajaah (revision). Oh my… murajaah. ..*sigh*

Murajaah is a journey in itself. It is very much a journey for the one memorising as it is for the one ensuring that the murajaah is regularly being done.

Let me start by saying that murajaah is probably more important than hifdh. A child who memorises but doesn’t have a regular and consistent murajaah program is wasting their time. There is no point memorising if revision does not take place.

I have realised that murajaah will change throughout the hifdh journey…. sometimes due to the student’s needs and sometimes due to the needs of the ‘murajaah manager’!!

Eg, a few weeks ago R’s murajaah was to read 2 juzz per day of quran she has already memorised with the aim of completing all of what she has memorised at least in 1 week to 10 days. I assigned this to her partly because prior to that we had done a long spell of me testing her by listening to all her memorised ajaza and partly because I just didn’t have the time to test her on previous hifdh. The most important thing is to keep the murajaah going even if the child is just listening.

At the moment R’s daily murajaah consists of the following:

1. Preparing the portion she had memorised that morning. Preparation here means that she needs to get it ready for me to listen to. No mistakes allowed. So, she does her hifdh in the morning and then prepares that portion she did  for me later in the day. I listen to her and underline the mistakes in the mushaf. If she makes mistakes she has to go back over it again and again until it is perfect.

2. Preparation of the last 5 pages memorised. She is allowed 3 small mistakes. I then listen to her and again mark the mistakes.

3. Old hifdh. .. this is all old hifdh. At the moment she has to prepare 10 pages for me to listen to. I then listen and underline any mistakes. We just move from juzz to juzz. The only problem with this is it takes ages for her to be tested on all previous hifdh by just doing half a juzz per day, so I tend not to do this regularly as it takes up so much time and is tiring for her and causes me worry because it’s a long time before she revisits the first 10 pages I tested her on. If we’re doing murajaah this way, then I try to ensure she’s listening to as much old hifdh as possible whilst doing easy tasks.

4. Preparation for the following day’s hifdh. She has to read, listen and rescue that portion 10 – 15 times just before she goes to sleep. The reason for the timing is that she goes to sleep with it and it is fresh when she wakes up with that portion being repeated in her mind when she does her hifdh in the morning.

After this, I think I will put her back onto reading and listening and reciting ti a few ajaza per day as the testing 10 pages is quite long and slow. It is very important that the child revises all quran memorised in no longer than 2 weeks otherwise they forget.

I’m not sure if any of this has helped and I’m sorry if I’m not making sense. . My eyes are forcing  themselves closed.

In summary, be very strict with your children’s murajaah, swap between them listening, Reading and reciting and being tested. Murajaah without testing isn’t really murajaah. They need to recite whatthey’ve learnt tosomeone. Balance is needed.

The mother must be ready to sacrifice he time to test/listen etc. It isn’t easy but inshaAllah it will be worth it for them and us. Ameen!!

Muslim scouts

Standard

I would highly recommend that home educators sign their children up to muslim scouts. R has been attending scouts since she was 5 years old. She started as a beaver and is now a girl cub up until age 10/11.

It is very reasonably priced. It’s about £25 for about 3 months and she attends once a week for 2 hours.

MashaAllah the scouts group she attends are run by some amazing sisters who really want the best for the girls. They really are inspiring leaders mashaAllah.

They have instilled some good habits into R, the sports and games are fun and the trips they arrange are amazing mashaAllah.

Recently R attended a church visit as part of her faith badge. Her scout leaders really prepped the girls  islamically for the visit. Yesterday R experienced rifle shooting for the first time and in 2 weeks they’re going camping (without their parents) for 2 nights.

Other trips have been the yearly scout funday, a cave expedition. They did a cake sale for the public etc.

Muslim scouts are everywhere all over the UK. So do check them out inshaAllah. Looking forward to zuzu starting next year inshaAllah.

Today has been..

Standard

..different.

Starting with the positive – yesterday Z went on his first visit alone to HIS friend’s house (ie without his siblings or me!)MashaAllah Z has really taken to her son. We had arranged this about 10 days ago and he was counting down the days. I went to pick him up after a few hours and he was really happy to have visited his very own friend. He seems to be wanting more and more time with ‘his friends’ these days. I think he’s slowly leaving that ‘very youngish’ age where his parents and siblings were enough. What I realised, was how important it is that I provide the same opportunities for all my children and not just my first born.

I had a full day of home ed planned today which completely went out of the window as I had to rush baby S to the hospital. Sadly, the situation has not been resolved, and if she is showing the same symptoms tomorrow, I am going to have to take her back to the hospital and demand some tests. I feel so frustrated with these hospitals!

To end on a positive note, this time last year, I was enduring the pangs of labour…yes, I cannot believe it – baby S is going to be 1 years old tomorrow inshaAllah subhanAllah! I really don’t know where this year has gone.

So, a little about baby S – she’s spoilt by all mashaAllah. We all love her to bits mashaAllah tabarakAllah. She loves Arabic anasheed. She stood alone in the middle of the room for the longest time ever today much to the delight of her siblings. She can say Ummaa (Ummi),   -ish (points to the fish), uh oh (when something happens), and today she said another new word – ‘dog’! We couldn’t believe it. She actually pointed to a dog in a baby book that R reads to her about 5 times a day and said ‘dog’ and then kept on saying it whilst pointing which had us in fits of laughter.

It was a nice end to a bit of a stressful day. I’m quite worried about her health subhanAllah. Please make dua for my little baby S – that Allah protects her and grants her good health. Ameen.

 

Wind project

Standard

We’ve been learning about Wind this month. It’s been so much easier learning altogether rather than do different projects. Just requires me to look at different age  appropriate activities.

We still have another week learning about wind and I have a few more activities lined up for them.

But this is what we’ve done so far. ..

image

R wrote a descriptive piece using each letter of the word wind. I encouraged her to use her senses as she wrote the piece. Not sure if you can see what she wrote, it says:

Whistling gracefully on lovely gentle days. And blowing fiercely through angry stormy times.

Invisible and delicate, it can shatter into a dangerous storm.

Not visible to the eye but can be heard by the ear in sounds of whoosh and whoo.

Dark and dareful in a storm, destroys everything in a hurricane. Swirling round in a tornado.’

image

She built a windmill using a Thames and kosmos kit called wind power 2.0
A few months ago, I and a few sisters ordered some Thames and kosmos kits as the price is so much cheaper when you buy in bulk. The prices are more than 50% cheaper! I’m so glad I arranged the order as the kits are fantastic mashaAllah and a good investment as the other kids will inshaAllah use them too.

image

image

image

image

This particular windmill creates electricity and a bulb lights up without any electricity supply. This led to a discussion about how windmills are used to produce electricity for homes etc. We learnt about the science involved and how it works.

image

With the boys, we read books about Wind and had a bit of fun blowing different objects around using a straw. We also watched some videos of tornados and hurricanes which amazed the boys.

The above windmill also charges rechargeable batteries. Managed to find rechargeable batteries in the pound shop! So R is planning on conducting that experiment. Let’s see if it works!

A sister has arranged a trip to a local windmill in January inshaAllah so that will tie up this project nicely inshaAllah.
I’ll post up some more of what we’ve done next week inshaAllah.

How we learn English

Standard

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.

R

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. …

image

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

image

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.

Z

image

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…

image

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

Y

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.

image

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

image

Matching uppercase and lowercase letters.

image

image

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

image

image

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?

Dua challenge

Standard

There are some Muslims who without fail will always say their morning and evening adhkar. There are others who cannot simply pray the fardh salah. They must pray the 12 rawatib. And others cannot leave or enter the home without saying the relevant dua.

All of the above feel out of place should they miss any of the above. They feel like something is missing and almost perform the above as though they were obligatory acts of ibadah.

As a revert, sadly, those who were around me during those early few weeks and months did not show me the importance of adopting the above. And so trying to get into the ‘habit’ of never missing some of the above acts of worship have been an uphill struggle. It’s taken me many years to reach a point where some of them become habitual… others I still need to push myself that bit more.

With children, especially when they’re young, are like sponges. They are clean slates and what we engrave on them will inshaAllah always remain.

This is why I feel it is essential that whilst they’re young that they get into the habit of doing certain things so that when they’re adults it is so second nature they do it without thinking. My hope is that by working on developing these habits that they will be a means of ajr for them when they are adults.

So I’ve begun to think of ways to get them into these habits. We’re working on getting into the habits of saying our situational duas.

image

As adults we choose to do acts of ibadah because we want reward and we want Allah to love us and be pleased with us. For very young children, it is difficult for them to have the same motivation.

So I sat with the children and spoke about the importance of saying our situational duas. I told them that all of us need to get into the habit of saying our duas. So the challenge is to remember to say the duas we already know, to remind one another to say them, to learn new ones and to help one another in learning them. For every dua they say, they get to choose a sweet. For the boys I further explained that just as I’m rewarding them, Allah rewards us with hasanat and stores them for us. And we’ll see all the stored hasanat in Jannah inshaAllah.

image

As a reminder, I created the above poster as a reminder for them and replaced certain dua posters in different positions around the house. Some posters have been up for years so changing the position slightly has made them take more notice.

image

They made bags to store their sweets and the dua  challenge jar is placed on our main table to serve as a motivation.
This past week they’ve really gone for it mashaAllah and they’ve been saying most of their duas and learning new ones. But what has been so nice to see is them encouraging and reminding each other mashaAllah.

I’ve even withheld from giving them sweets as rewards for a few days to see if they’d still say their duas and masha’Allah they did.

It’s also been good for me to get back into saying certain ones.

I think I’ll carry on with this until the sweetie jar is empty and then hopefully they’ll have got into the habit.

Dissecting owl pellets

Standard

image

Our home ed group ordered owl pellets. Although R has dissected owl pellets before she still thoroughly enjoyed the activity. It was zuzu’s first time and he found it. ..’interesting’.

They were all given owl pellets and began to dissect them and identified which bones of which animals were eaten by the owls. Some owls had even eaten pieces of fabric print!

image

For those who may not know, owls cannot digest the bones of any animals they eat and so they basically vomit a ball called a pellet which contains the bones of the animals they’ve eaten.

Y also had a turn too but found it too dirty and smelly. He’s my ‘ocd clean’ child!!

Both R and I were both surprised that you could even order owl pellets. A sister ordered them from France mashaAllah.

Recent maths

Standard

R

Previously, I was simply following the order of the textbook we were using for math but I found that R found it boring and I don’t want her to hate math like I did at school. So we no longer follow the textbook order or only use a textbook.

For this year, I’ve separated the year into monthly math topics. Then each week I choose different resources to teach that concept. Sometimes she’ll do some exercises from the core book we’re using (Galore Park) and I’m trying to use other resources too.

For example, at the moment she’s learning about negative numbers. We looked at a physical number line and watched this video:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2FI1bjm9UG8&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D2FI1bjm9UG8

We then discussed temperatures on a thermometer and after that she did a few exercises on negative numbers. I’m currently in love with Anchor charts from the US as a tool for learning. So she’ll be designing one for herself about negative numbers and the rules for adding and subtracting negative numbers.

Each day R has math I start off by giving her some mental math exercises as I feel she needs to keep on top of certain math concepts aswell as getting those brain cells working!

We tend to wrap up math with some time on Mathletics.

Zuzu and Y

For the boys we’re currently working on learning numbers 1 to 30, recognising them, writing them, counting from 1 to 30 in 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s. We’re also going to look at greater than and less than and some basic fractions work.

We’ve been learning the teens using the montessori materials…Here’s how. …

image

We use the montessori units and tens wooden cards and number beads. As I only have one number 10 card we use the teen number wipe off cards too.

I start off by showing the boys the number 10 card and then recap that one row of gold beads is 10.

image

I then take one of the unit cards like number 2 in the above picture and place it over the unit zero on the number 10 card and say ‘ten and two is 12’. This is so they understand that the teen numbers have a base of ten and a unit number. I then made number 12 using the montessori number beads and placed it next to the card.

image

Once I showed them a few, I put everything back and they independently repeated the above for each number.

image

Rather than simply teach them the number through recognition, this helps them to understand place value.

Once they’ve completed all the numbers, I then do a random test such as ‘put your right hand on number 14, give me number 18, what number comes after 12’.

I can only do one son at a time so whilst one is doing a hands on activity like the above one with me the other is using Mathletics.

I find that my boys need hands on methods to learn new things and the montessori method is perfect for this.