Category Archives: English

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.

 

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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. 

Do like us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Home-Educators-Hub/1402235363369019

Don’t miss out on our week of free home education freebies coming soon! 

The Home Educators Hub

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!

Zuzu’s milestone

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My dear beloved Zuzu is my different one mashaAllah. He doesn’t enjoy learning unlike the others. But he’s extremely creative mashaAllah.

I have to sit with him in order for him to complete any formal work. I don’t give him a lot daily. .It is in small bitesize doses.

Yesterday he surprised me. I told him an aunty has a 6 year old boy who would like to be his penpal and that he’s from Canada. He was so excited and he immediately wanted to write a letter. I was so excited!

So he wrote this on his own mashaAllah. It’s the most independent writing he’s ever done and he really tried very hard. He got tired towards the end and asked me to write the rest for him which I did.

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Mental note to make sure he does writing and any English work based on what he enjoys as it’s then effortless and more enjoyable alhamdulillah.

Truly was a moment to remember! Love these milestones especially when they come naturally from the child themselves.

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!

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.