Category Archives: Baking

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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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.

Relaxed week

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I had no intention of having a relaxed week this week especially after having a week off formal work around eid time. But we had a relaxed week in terms of formal home ed but alhamdulillah it was a great week mashaAllah.

We visited two different home ed families. Both of whom have kids the same age as my own. So the kids enjoyed socialising mashaAllah and I enjoyed some good adult company!

The kids went to the natural history museum and the science museum. It was jam packed due to half term. But they enjoyed it nonetheless.

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We visited crystal palace Park where they have huge sculptures of dinosaurs. Kids enjoyed some time on their scooters and the boys just loved the dinosaurs.

At home quran hasn’t stopped alhamdulillah. And this week has very much been a ‘do what you like’ week with no planning from me.

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Chocolate hummingbird bakery book cupcakes with chocolate frosting made by R.

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A few weeks ago at our Wednesday home ed group the girls were taught to do henna. This week R has been trying it on herself.

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R has got into glass painting.

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The boys made this from the montessori number rods.

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As you know Zuzu is forever making things from card, bottles. .. pretty much anything he can get his hands on. Zuzu and Y made these helicopters from a bottle, tissue paper, and sticks.

There’s been lots of playing. Role play is constant in our home. I lose track of what role play games they play.

Boys went swimming. Sadly the week didn’t end on a great note… on Saturday I was taking R and baby S to our local muslim swim and as I was about to cross the road a man came out of nowhere and grabbed my head and neck and attempted to steal my phone. I screamed and R was shaking uncontrollably. It was very scary and we are both still quite shaken. Alhamdulillah my scream scared him off but it was a good lesson for me to not speak on the phone in public. Alhamdulillah Allah protected us from far worse. It initiated a lot of discussion with R who couldn’t understand why the man did what he did. We spoke about qadr and there being good in every situation for the believer. .. that Allah was teaching us something.

I’m looking forward to getting back to a bit of formal work this coming week inshaAllah. Hope you all had a good week.

Real home ed and ramadhan

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We’ve pretty much stopped formal work apart from R’s quran schedule and Arabic. For Z, he’s continuing with quran, Arabic and lots of reading eggs.

MashaAllah his reading has really picked up and we had a wonderful moment last week. He decided to grab a piece of paper and a pen and without me asking him he wrote the words ‘see, cat, the and man’. I couldn’t believe it mashaAllah. And now he’s sounding out loads of words, he sees words everywhere when we’re out lol. This is it inshaAllah. When they start acting in this way they’re ready. So am going to carry on as it seems the method I’m using is working with him now alhamdulillah.

Despite not doing much formal work, I feel that we’ve had some real home ed days alhamdulillah. Recently I’ve met a few ‘readers’ of my blog and I cringe
Read the rest of this entry

Kids updates and next year…

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As I write this, R has gone on a trip with her father to the Birds of Prey Centre. It took them about 2. 5hours to get there and inshaAllah they’re enjoying it. There was a special groupon discount which I snapped up for my husband as he loves wildlife. And he decided to take R with him.

So, its just the boys and baby with me today and I’m in a mode of reflection..

Another home ed year (formall home ed year that is!) is moving towards its end. I really don’t know where time is flying.

R is going to be 9 Islamically in Ramadhan, Z is 5, Y is 3 and baby S is going to be 7 months old in a few days inshaAllah. It feels like only yesterday I was waddling around like a duck – ready to pop!

This year has been quite busy – the pregnancy and birth of baby S and then almost 2 months in Algeria for the kids. We haven’t got as much formal work done this year but there have been lots of experiences and other ways of learning which are, in my opinion, more enriching than written work.

So a few updates and thoughts for next year…

QURAN

R: It takes up a lot of time in the day. I have devised a system where we split up all her Qu’ran into about 4 sessions. There has been a lot of trial and error recently with regards to murajaah but alhamdulillah I think we’ve found a system that seems to be working masha’Allah. The aim was for her to complete her hifdh by age 10. We’ll see how that goes…please make dua! For next year, we’re going to increase her daily hifdh portion again inshaAllah so need to reduce some other stuff.

Z: We started Z on his hifdh and mashaAllah he is up to Surah Humazah. He does hifdh and murajaah daily. Plan is to continue this from Sept but try to increase his daily hifdh amount.

Y: We do very light hifdh with him. He has memorised a few of the small surahs and some of his duas.

ARABIC

R: She continues to speak with her father in Arabic but it is now mixed with the Algerian Derja. She can differentiate between the two. She watches a lot of Arabic cartoons. I have downloaded a huge collection of Arabic story books for her which she reads – need to try to make this more of a daily thing. We have just returned to Studio Arabiya. R got bored with it last time as the work was far too easy and she wasn’t being challenged. She now has a teacher that deals with the intermediate/advanced students who already know how to speak Arabic and she is finding the lessons more enjoyable.

Z: Z is learning his Arabic letters and sounds. We hope to have this finished so he can move onto the Qaida within the next month or so insha’Allah.

Y: Y is also learning his Arabic letters but much more slowly. He does the same Arabic letters activities as Z but at a slower pace.

ENGLISH

R: It has been a mixed bag for English this year. Haven’t stuck to one set curricula. Instead chose bits and pieces from different resources. This seems to have worked better for R. She really doesn’t like to stick to one set textbook for English and rather studies English through topic work. I think I’ll be carrying this on insha’Allah. Am making a list of resources to use and topics to cover from September inshaAllah.

Z: The focus has been reading for Z. It is as though a lightbulb has been switched on for Z mashaAllah. He is finally understanding a lot and just generally is a much more pleasant child mashaAllah. There was a time where I found it difficult to bond with him as he was so challenging but we are so much closer now as mother and son and I love him to bits mashaAllah. Back to reading – he’s progressing well. Using a variety of resources. My aim is to get him reading comfortably and fluently insha’Allah. He’ll be using reading eggs and some other resources that I have.

Y: Y has learnt a lot of his letters and phonics informally. I’ve noticed he has a good memory mashaAllah and just seems to remember a lot without any formal teaching. He has asked me to teach him how to write and so I’m going to work with him on that insha’Allah. He also has his own reading eggs account. Wouldn’t have been able to afford this had it not been for a fantastic deal created by a sister. Basically got reading eggs and mathketics for each child for about £5 for the year mashaAllah. Bargain alhamdulillah.

MATH

R: We did some MEP this year. Not as much as I wanted but I have looked at what R would cover in school for math at her age and I am comfortable that despite not doing as much math as I wanted her to do, she’s pretty much covered what she would need to know through the little she has done mashaAllah. Just goes to show that a home ed child doesn’t need to do nearly as much as schooled children and can still learn the same subjects. Decided to choose a different math program for this year. Have enroled her onto mathletics – so will see how this goes. Any recommendations for year 4??

Z: Feel as though Z struggles in this area. Going to try to do montessori math with him for next year insha’Allah.

Y: Y is really good at math mashaAllah! He has really surprised me. He knows and understands a lot about numbers and counting and shapes etc. And he really enjoys it. Going to try and see where this goes inshaAllah.

OTHER SUBJECTS:

Islamic Studies: It has been through reading, discussion and practical application. I feel I need to step up in this area with R especially as she’ll be approaching the golden age of 10 when some things will become fard for her.

Science: Am also considering a curricula this year. Any recommendations?

History: R loooooooves history and has probably read most if not all of the Horrible History books. I have just subscribed her to the All About History magazines for kids. I’d love to teach her more history but with everything else and hifdh taking up most of the time, she’ll just have to do with reading about history at the moment.

Art: R still loves to knit. And yesterday at a carboot sale we bought some balls of wool. She’s going to start a new project insha’Allah. She doesn’t get to do much other art apart from some activity sets we have at home. I’m not very artistic and so I hope I am not depriving her of this just because I don’t like it very much!

Z: Z loves to paint – need to do more of this next year.
Y: Y is surpisingly really good at drawing mashaAllah especially for his age. Again, he keeps on surprising me. But as child no3 I just don’t have the time I wish I had to really develop the areas he seems talented in. Need to think of ways in which I can have more one on one time with him. Maybe it will improve once baby S gets a bit bigger.

Sports
R: R did archery, horse riding, kickboxing, bmxing and swimming this year. She no longer does archery. And she no longer attends swimming lessons as I feel at almost 9 years old, it was time to stop her going to public swimming lessons. Instead, I am going to take her swimming weekly inshaAllah. The swimming lessons served their purpose – she now knows how to swim – so they were definitely worth it alhamdulillah.

Z: Z is very good at sports mashaAllah. He can swim the whole width on his back and most of the width on his front mashaAllah. He recently moved up from Aqua Tots 2, skipped stage 1 and is currently in stage 2. He’s like a fish in the water masha’Allah. He also does kickboxing but missed loads of lessons whilst in Algeria so couldn’t go fir grading this year. He also does football which he absolutely loves. I was really hoping to find a great football club and found one that really is just excellent mashaAllah. Z has also learnt how to ride his bike without stabilisers. He still needs a push off at the beginning but then pedals a lot on his own. Aim is to improve so he can join the other kids on the bmx ramps at the bmxing classes.

Y: Y goes to football classes too. He loves it more than Z! Hoping to enrol him for swimming aqua tots2 from September inshaAllah.

Other Activities

R: R also goes to cubs (scouts) which she just loves! They are taking te girls camping after Ramadan inshaAllah. They learn so much and do so many different activities. Quite a few friends go there and she’s developed some nice friendships mashaAllah. I’ve also heard of a practical skills club for girls for 4 hours on a Saturday – they do Qu’ran and Arabic which I won’t be putting her in for but the other subjects are Islamic Studies and lots of practical stuff like cooking a meal, first aid, table laying, sewing projects, etc etc. But it is quite expensive so am not sure.

Z: Hoping Z will join beavers after March inshaAllah.

R spends free time (although not much of it) reading – she is allowed to read in her bed from bedtime til maghrib time when she prays maghrib and esha together. She loves baking and its great for me as I have a very sweet tooth. She loves the Thursday home ed group and meeting with her friends especially two of them who she meets on Skype now and again. She enjoys playing board games and watching documentaries.

Z and Y: Z is obsessed with a game on the ipad called Temple Run. He’s very good at it. And its a good incentive to get his work done WELL. If he does this, then he is allowed to play on it. He loves going on his scooter and running free in the park lol! Z is also obsessed with cutting and sticking. I find paper everywhere. This year I’m going to use a lot of cutting and sticking resources to teach him his formal work as he really understands a lot through cutting and pasting! Y likes playing with action figures and string! The things he does with a piece of string is quite amazing lol! He has created parachutes with paper and string for his action figures. He’s quite creative. He loves talking and loves me reading to him. He is a computer pro lol mashaAllah and knows how to use the computer without any help. He likes playing computer games. Give him a sharpened (has to be sharpened) pencil and paper and he’s off drawing lots of different things!

And that’s about it. I hope Allah gives me enough energy and patience to continue through next year. Home ed is hard work and what gives is the mother lol! But I guess certain sacrifices need to be made. May Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen.

In pictures…

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So busy subhanaAllah. No time to post but thought I’d share some of what we’ve been up to in pictures…

Freestyle junk modelling. This is Z's robot

Freestyle junk modelling. This is Z’s robot

R finished this knitted bag in Algeria

R finished this knitted bag in Algeria

Snake art with the boys

Snake art with the boys

Yummy cupcakes made by R - she loves baking and alhamdulillah I can now sit back and relax and let her do it alone.

Yummy cupcakes made by R – she loves baking and alhamdulillah I can now sit back and relax and let her do it alone.

Counting activity and number recognition with the boys

Counting activity and number recognition with the boys

R taking an interest in BSL Sign Language

R taking an interest in BSL Sign Language

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Y in the taste experiment!

Y in the taste experiment!

Taste experiment R  prepared.

Taste experiment R prepared.

Decorating numbers - we do lots of stuff with these. Hide them around the house and they need to find number 1, 3 etc. Run to number 4. All numbers at top of the stairs - the boys run up and grab the number I shout out. Works well as my boys can't keep still.

Decorating numbers – we do lots of stuff with these. Hide them around the house and they need to find number 1, 3 etc. Run to number 4. All numbers at top of the stairs – the boys run up and grab the number I shout out. Works well as my boys can’t keep still.

Air pressure experiment with R - fill up a glass of water - place a card on top. Turn it over and watch how the water doesn't fall out.

Air pressure experiment with R – fill up a glass of water – place a card on top. Turn it over and watch how the water doesn’t fall out.

Learning high frequency words

Learning high frequency words

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Z placed these body part cards onto Y's body.

Z placed these body part cards onto Y’s body.