Category Archives: Age 9-10

Death and hifdh

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Last week was a very intense week for us a family. A sister Solace UK had been supporting was dying and eventually did return to her Lord. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioun. So formal home Ed kind of flew out of the window as I had to arrange for transportation of the body, the ghusl, janazah and then burial.

Despite not being as available to the kids as I normally am, they got to experience praying the janazah, and witnessing the actual burial of our dear sister. Real Islamic studies lessons subhanaAllah…They saw the body taken out of the coffin, lowered into the grave, and the wooden planks positioned over the body. They then contributed in filling the grave with the crumbled earth. It was a very moving experience for them and I think it left it’s mark on R.

A sister asked me if it would be too much for them. I said no. Death is a part of life and it’s a reality they need to know and remember.

Since then, she’s developed a sudden interest in the journey of the soul after death and the signs of the day of judgement. So I’m in the process of stocking up some books inshaAllah. If you can recommend any good titles, please do let me know.

This has led us onto thoughts about R’s hifdh. I’m of the opinion that a child doing hifdh should never really stop hifdh but to reduce it if more time is needed for murajaah. However, recently we have decided to stop her hifdh for about 10 days. Her murajaah has become very intense in recent weeks and we feel it is best to do a huge intense round of murajaah before continuing. We have always had the target of her completing her hifdh by age 10 and inshaAllah Allah will bless her to reach that target. But after the recent death, it has changed our perspective somewhat.

There’s no rush. In fact, I’d rather she finishes later by 16 and memorises it well and really solidifies and consolidates her hifdh than to complete by age 10 and her hifdh is patchy.

We’ve also been thinking about our intentions towards hifdh. Since R has been memorising, she has always wanted a huge party with her friends once she finishes inshaAllah. I have no problem doing that for her but I want all of our intentions to be pure and so we’ve decided to postpone the party some time after she completes all her hifdh. In that way, we hope that our intentions will be purer.

After she completes her hifdh, it still be a private affair. No one knowing aside from us in the family. Trying to link that back to shukr and being grateful to Allah. Then later on we’ve agreed she can tell her friends so as to invite them to her party. I don’t want her to start advertising it as soon as she’s completed as it interferes with her intention. And it affects my own. Life is preparation for the next life. We need to be careful what we say and do and how we do things…. As they either have a positive or negative effect on our next life.

May Allah help us all. Ameen

Easy Art

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Arts and crafts, experiments and hands on learning is what makes home education fun. Sadly I’m not artistic but I have to still strive to include it in our home Ed.

Here are some random arts and crafts, hands on activities the kids have recently been enjoying:

R is really into paper quilling at the moment. It’s a slightly complex hobby ti have and requires a paper quilling tool, onion holder,  special paper and board with pins that you see in the picture. Pic 2 and 3 are some of the designs that she’s made mashaAllah. Really nice hobby.

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The next activity is so easy to make and really great results. Take a canvas, we bought ours from the pound shop. Using making tape, tape your name or a design onto the canvas and then paint over the canvas. Once it’s dry peel off the making tape and lovely piece of art. We recently did this at home and I like the results:

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Our home Ed group is really great mashaAllah. Each week the kids do something different.

For the older girls…

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Flower pot painting and decorating boxes with pretty napkins.

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Weaving baskets. This set is brilliant. It comes with a cardboard ready bowl and weaving tool.

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We separated the remaining Lego into colours and the kids have been using the Lego a lot.

Going to try to do more activities like these with the kids. Home Ed isn’t just about academics.

Every day is different

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No two home Ed days are the same.
Some days we knuckle down to a lot of book work. Other days we don’t do any book work at all.

For example today, I fell ill and just couldn’t do anything. So my plans didn’t materialise but that was absolutely FINE.

We had an autonomous day. I actually see these autonomous days as real home Ed. .. More than the structured days. I love them and really need to make more space for them.

So this was our day:

R woke up prayed and did her hifdh.
Boys woke up and read in bed and then played with their cars.
Baby S woke up and I gave her her milk (she still breastfeeds).
We all had breakfast and spoke about all sorts as is usual at breakfast times for us!
Boys did murajaah.
R did her murajaah.
Boys played and watched a documentary.
R carried on with a paper quilling project she’s working on. She’s really into that at the moment after borrowing the tools from a friend.
We had lunch and prayed.
Kids decided to watch a few documentaries.
I put baby S to sleep and fell asleep with her.
Woke up and a delivery from my dad arrived for Z (he turned 6 today) … a new electronics set.
The boys spent ages using the set.
R decided to do a few electricity and magnetism experiments.
Prayed.
Tested R on her hifdh and some murajaah.
Did a bit of tidying up together.
Prayed maghrib together.
Kids played, read and entertained their baby sister.
Had dinner.
Tested out a new projector for work… They were amazed – felt as though we had a home cinema lol. (We don’t have a TV at home).
Got ready for bed. Duas and adhkar.

A very chilled out autonomous day. Love these days. I don’t see them as unsuccessful home Ed days as home Ed is life. . It is real living. Embracing the flow. .

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.

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. 

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