Category Archives: Age 9-10

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!

Singapore Math

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I really don’t know where the time goes! Can’t believe tomorrow is Wednesday!!

Kids have been pretty much doing their normal share of formal work. Watching documentaries and the usual imaginative play, zuzu’s arts and crafts and Y’s drawings!

R went on a trip today to the British Library where she attended a book making workshop. She was fascinated by the library but a bit disappointed that it is only for adults!

I’ve started a new math program with the boys which I’m really happy with alhamdulillah. It’s called Singapore Math. I listened to a workshop a few weeks ago and spoke to a fellow home edding sister who uses it and I was sold! I can see the difference in my boys already mashaAllah.

The ages in Singapore are different. So grade 1 there is actually year 2 here in the UK but the program is so thorough that even my nearly 4 year old is really understanding math! Because we’ve started at grade 1 it’s a year and a half in advance for Zuzu and 2 and a half years in advance for Y (were they to be in school) so am taking it nice and slowly.

I’m not a huge fan of swapping and changing resources as I feel quite a few home educated children kinda suffer whilst mum is constantly trying out something new which leads to no consistency. Math needs to be consistent even ifonly done in tiny small doses. I used to be like this when R was younger and learnt the hard way!

The boys were learning math using different resources but now I feel better that I’ve chosen something for them that I’ve researched and seems to suit their way of learning.

I was going to start R off on Singapore math but decided against it as she needs consistency in her math rather than changing to a new method.

I hope to blog more about Singapore math as it really is great. Singapore leads in math results for children in the world and now I can see why.

If you’re interested, do a search in YouTube and you’ll find lots of videos as to why this is a great program and why the UK is using it in several schools.

Big thumbs up from me. Anyone else using it?

Simple art and craft ideas. .

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A few art and craft ideas that our home Ed group arranged for the kids that you might want to try at home. .

At our home Ed group the girls made mosaic coasters. The kit came with everything and was quite reasonably priced for about 24 coasters.

The sister bought them from Baker Ross and they turned out really nice.

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R and I had the job of grouting all of the coasters for everyone as the glued tiles had to dry for about an hour. The grouting was quite therapeutic!

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The boys also made these mosaics using painted egg shells on a paper backed piece of cardboard.

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And highlight was making their very own marble run using a shoe box and straws. Simple activities but two happy boys alhamdulillah. ..

Looking for penpals for Zuzu and R

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Zuzu walked up to me today and decided that he would like a penpal from Russia! Mmm… That might be tricky and I tried to explain that to him but in true Zuzu style, he won’t have it any other way. So please are there any sisters out there in Russia reading this blog? Zuzu is almost 6 and keeps asking me every 5 minutes if I’ve found him a penpal!

R is also looking for a penpal. She had one a few years ago from Canada but became a bit disheartened when she didn’t receive a reply to her last letter.

Any sisters out there with a daughter in a different country between the ages of 9 and 11?

Please let me know. Jzk!

Email that touched me. .

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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.

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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.

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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! !

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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)

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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

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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.