Category Archives: Arts and Crafts

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.

Boys Update

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Thought I would quickly do an update on the boys home ed as time is just flying by and mashaAllah they’re progressing nicely. So just trying to capture their progress.

Y just turned 4 years old a few weeks ago and Z is inshaAllah going to be 6 tomorrow!

Personality

Z: Z has always been my challenging child. He still is mashaAllah but is calming down. I’m beginning to finally understand him! I think a large part of my frustration was that I was trying to change him. But now I realise that I have to work with who he is and that has brought more harmony within home. He is my most affectionate child subhanaAllah and I do love him dearly. Zuzu has surprised us in recent months in terms of what he is doing academically – more on that below.

Y: Despite being 2 years younger than Zuzu, Y is as tall as his brother. His friends who are the same age as him look tiny next to him. I often have to remind sisters when Y and other boys are arguing that actually he’s the youngest or the same age. I think due to his height and the way he speaks, people including myself expect him to behave like a 6 year old. I would say Y is my wise child. Yes, he screams and throws tantrums like any 4 year old but he is my wise child mashaAllah. He speaks like he’s been raised in an upper class family. Everyone we come across laughs at how posh he is. His vocabulary is huge and sometimes in a normal conversation, he surprises me as I really can’t understand where he learnt ‘big words’ and is able to use them in the correct context?! He’s the nerd of the family!

Quran

The boys do hifdh and murajaah daily. They start off with murajaah and then do their hifdh. We were taking this very slowly with Z as he would sometimes take 1 week to memorise a small ayah. But mashaAllah he’s started to improve and is able to memorise more in a shorter space of time. Y is just like his sister R, Allahumma barik alayhi, he has a very sharp memory. And so at the moment, we’re warming up his brain and then we are going to start him on serious hifdh later on towards the year.

Arabic

The boys do Arabic evey day. At the moment their Arabic consists of learning how to read and vocab. They are at the same level and so it is easier to teach them together. So far they have learnt all the names and are able to recognise all of the Arabic letters, they have alhamdulillah learnt all the letters with fatha, kasrah and dammah. And are now reading simple 3 words. This has very much been taught using hands on methods, competitions between them, moving around etc. Learning how to read with a Qaidah wouldn’t work with these two and so alhamdulillah the hands on way of teaching them has really worked. I’ll try and post the types of games and methods we have been using.

English

Z: Z is alhamdulillah reading simple books. Daily, we review phonic sounds such as ai, ee, igh etc. And we also do a quick test of sight words. Then some handwriting, maybe a spelling test or spelling workbook pg, some new phonics work, he reads to me and then it is either comprehension, sentence structure, poetry etc. Sometimes this is workbook related sometimes its a game.

Y: I didn’t want to put any pressure on Y as he has only just turned 4 but he loves to learn mashaAllah. And so Y is roughly at the same level as Z. And I do the same with him as I do with Z. Alhamdulillah he’s reading simple books now and can write.

Math

Both boys are using Primary Mathematics from Singapore Math. It is Grade 1 which is roughly Year 2 level and mashaAllah I am so very happy with this program. I think Z has a mathematical brain. He is really surprising us in maths. His mental maths is mashaAllah better than what I remember of R. He really enjoys Singapore Math and just loves doing Maths. I try to use lots of different hands on resources to supplement our maths lessons.

Science

I had to rejiggle our schedule. We now do Science one day a week and I ensure it is hands on and fun. We don’t follow a curriculum. It is based on what we have, what their interests are etc.

Islamic Studies

We are currently making a lapbook on the creation of Allah. It is a simple lapbook I did with R when she was little. Most of our Islamic Studies take place through discussion and my daily Islamic reading to them immediately after breakfast. This initiates questions and discussion. We live Islamic Studies – I don’t believe it should be taught via textbooks at such an early age.

Other

Z is mashaAllah a fantastic swimmer. I wish he would do more sports but he isn’t really interested. The only sport he loves is skateboarding! Y is learning how to swim and loves football. Z is still forever making things. His interests at the moment are: inventions, earthquakes, landslides, and anything to do with war (artillery, soldiers etc etc). Y still loves drawing and recently loves colouring. His interests are practically everything. He is like a sponge that wants to know and understand everything. I’m struggling to keep up with him to be honest. Both boys play with their magnets, make geometrical designs using coloured wooden shapes, play educational games on the computer, watch things like How Its Made, Fierce Earth, Absolute Genius etc. They role play A LOT!! Sometimes I laugh at what a simple toy becomes during their role play. Eg we have these bright orange hot wheels type tracks that are quite bendy – from these orange plastic sticks,  they have made a pretend camp fire, swords, a bridge and the list goes on! Oh and they love playing with their little sister mashaAllah. She loves them and just lights up whenever they play with her. I think she might be a bit boisterous as she grows!

Sibling Rivalry

They fight. And they fight a lot!!! And I’m not talking about little squabbles but sometimes full on physical fighting. I hate it and it really does get to me. I feel like a policewoman most days. But I guess it is normal. They are 2 boys very close in age who are in each other’s faces every day. I’m working out ways to keep them separate at times just so as to have a bit of peace!

How I’d like to improve

I would like to be more patient and shout less! I really would like the fights and taunting to reduce. I would like to be able to read more to them and do more art. I’d love to do more project work but find once I’ve got the basics out of the way, there just isn’t enough time. When the clocks go forward, I want to spend more time outdoors inshaAllah.

 

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?

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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.

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. ..

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

Country projects completed

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For the month of November, the children chose to learn about a country of their choice. This is a bit of a long post but wanted to put everything in one post.

R chose Brazil. Z chose Canada. Y chose Antarctica.

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They all began by doing some flag work. Antarctica doesn’t have a flag so Y designed his own with lots of snow everywhere!

For R’s project, I let her decide how she wanted to learn about her chosen country.

R mapped Brazil and used a key to identify mountains, rainforest etc.
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She was reading about the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere of the world and that the southern hemisphere have their summer whilst the northern have their winter. She’s not sure but she thinks Brazil may have two different seasons in one country as the equator runs through Brazil? Anyone know if this is true?

She then researched what the Brazilian flag represents. .
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She then decided to research and compare the life of a city child and rainforest child in Brazil and wrote about it. .
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She chose the Squirrel monkey to research. .
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We fortunately know a sister who is Brazilian living in Brazil. I had my first marriage meeting in her house many years ago mashaAllah. So R compiled some interview questions, typed them up and we emailed them over. MashaAllah the sister’s daughter went to great length and really put in effort to answer her questions in great detail. R asked questions like ‘what does it feel like to be a Muslim girl living in Brazil?’
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The girl sent R some photos and one that amazed R were some Capybaras crossing the street as though they were tiny mice or rats that cross the street at night in the UK. Capybaras are huge rodents. . can you imagine catching one in your kitchen!!

R made some traditional food and made Pao de Queijo which are Brazilian cheese breads. They bring back memories of my above friend making them for me when I was  pregnant with R as I was addicted to them.How time flies. .now R is making them for me.
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We used cornflour as we couldn’t find tapioca flour.

R decided to create a poster to put it all together.
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Onto the boys. I kept it very simple with the boys. ..

Z wrote Canada and Y stamped Antarctica with the alphabet stamps.
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They then coloured their country on a world map.

The boys made igloos using sugar cubes.
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We watched some videos about igloos and Eskimos on YouTube.

We then looked at a great Usborne book we have which is perfect for younger children and they chose an animal from their country.
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They coloured the animal and did some light copy work. We looked at pictures online and watched more videos and read some books about the animals in their country.
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Z decided to make a Canadian aeroplane..
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I was telling a sister that unlike his brother and sister, he really doesn’t like to do math, phonics etc. But he loves this kind of stuff.

We also discussed the time difference and different sports that are played such as ice hockey. Z also spoke to his uncle who has been living in Canada for the last few years.

Both boys were very proud when we put their little books together. .
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And that’s the end of another project for November alhamdulillah. I wanted to do more for both our wind project and country project but as we were going to Forest school every week there wasn’t enough time. But it goes to show you don’t need to cover everything when learning about a topic. Today I’m planning our next project inshaAllah. . Science experiments for science and climate and weather also for science/nature.