Category Archives: Reading

Planning-ish for 2012/13


Been in ‘planning-ish’ mode.

Not as much planning as I’ve done before. But feel ready to start properly again in a couple of days insha’Allah.

Thought I’d share what academic planning I’ve kind of decided for the children insha’Allah.

R who is now 8 years old:

Quran – she has started her new hifdh program with the goal to complete her hifdh in 2 years time inshaAllah. A lot of the time in the week is being devoted to this inshaAllah.

Arabic – Carrying on with the Madinah Arabic books for children, plus a new program called ‘Understand The Quran – children’s course’. Am hoping this will aid her in her hifdh. Masha’Allah she can understand some ayat here and there and sometimes translates to me but I would really like her to really understand the Qur’an a lot more. We’re taking a break from Studio Arabiya for now but may return to it later on insha’Allah.

Islamic Studies – very much a part of life – lots of practical elements, discussion and application. I feel this is the best way to learn the deen. As she’s growing, I want to focus a lot on taharah insha’Allah.

Math – MEP Year 3 and I’ve just registered her on Conquer Math

English – Galore Park, new Spelling book series, First Language Lessons for grammar and handwriting. Really want to push her in her creative writing so got a few resources for that plus insha’Allah my two years of Creative Writing components for my degree will hopefully come in handy.

Everything else will be as and when she wants to do it.

Activities – Pottery for one term, Swimming, Archery (just starting down the road from me alhamdulillah and quite cheap!), Kickboxing and Cubs (she’s too old for Beavers now)

Zuzu who is now 4.5 years old and Y who is 2.5 years old (although they’re 2 years apart, Y seems to know as much if not more than Zuzu so thinking of doing light stuff with them together):

Quran – basic small surahs

Arabic – learning the alphabet

English – phonics and reading loads to them

Math – MEP Reception and Conquer Math Reception

Lots and lots of fun preschool unit studies based on what they enjoy/interested in.

Activities for Zuzu – Swimming, Jujitsu and Beavers (when he turns 5 insha’Allah)

Maybe I’m overdoing it on the activities front but I’m trying to squeeze in as much as possible between now and when baby is born insha’Allah as I have a feeling no.4 is not going to be easy from what I’ve heard from others – so might be out of action for a while!

That’s about it – oh and all subject to change depending on where this year takes us! Can’t believe I said that – so different to how I first started as a home edder!

R and Reading


A few sisters have emailed me privately about R and what she reads, where to get books from etc. So, thought I would blog about it.

Just to clarify R is currently 7.5 years old mashaAllah, Z – 4, and Y 2.

Books are a huge part of our life. In fact, they were a huge part of my life as a child. My Mother would take us religiously to the library each week and I devoured books as a child and teenager. It was always a dream that my children would have a love of books.

I think my love of books comes from the fact that I was surrounded by books as a child and saw my parents always reading. I think R loves books for similar reasons – we have books at home, go to the library A LOT and she sees me read. I can’t see a child having a great love of reading if they don’t see their parents read.

As for books that she reads, she reads non-fictions, novels, chapter books, magazines – all sorts. I tend to buy books based on her interests so yes, we have quite a few chapter story books/novels on HORSES! I get these very cheap on which is great otherwise I couldn’t afford it. We also go to charity shops and a lot of her horse books I’ve bought from there. In fact I bought about 10 of Tilly’s Pony tails from a charity shop in Luton on a trip we went to. Great bargain!

I haven’t found many quality Islamic chapter books out there and this is a disappointment. I have put a few R’s way but I guess the lack of quality made her bored and she didn’t continue reading them.

As for books with magic etc. I think because we spent a lot of time when she was younger talking about why we don’t believe in Magic, what Christmas is, importance of tawhid, not worshipping anything other than Allah etc etc – when she comes across shirk in books she doesn’t feel comfortable and says she doesn’t want to continue anymore as there’s something ‘haram’.

I do not blot out books with concepts that go against Islam though as I feel that she will come across these things and I would prefer to discuss them with her – show her how it doesnt fit in with our beliefs/practises etc. I don’t believe in placing her in a cotton ball and scrutinizing every single book. I trust her and I feel that she is old enough to know blatant shirk and kufr from belief. Naturally, there are some books that are a no no such as romance etc.

So, when we go to the library – she has free reign as to what she picks – I take a quick look and give her the choice/make a suggestion. Eg, recently she took out a historical horror book. I told her what it might be about and she wanted to read it. She began and then 3 chapters in she stopped because it was too scary. I guess she’s very innocent in that she likes books about animals so I don’t have too much to worry about right now.

Even when she’s older, I believe it is important to give her the freedom to choose but to always keep the communication avenues open to discuss anything she may come across in her books as one day she will come across EVERYTHING – so in a way it is preparation. A time and age for everything insha’Allah..

Z read his first word!


A milestone for my Zuzu mashaAllah. He’ll be four in about 2 weeks inshaAllah and he read his first word by himself – ‘Cat’. I know I’ve been there with R but each milestone another child reaches and the fact that I as his Mum and home edder get to witness is truly a moment to be treasured! R was there too and we all gave him a lot of praise, encouragement and hugs!

#lovinghomeed 🙂

Recently in pictures..


Just a few things we’ve been up to…

Here are some plants_3-4_vocabulary_cards we used for our Plants topic incase anyone wants to use them. R matched up the words to their meaning and we discussed it in relation to what she read in this book plants_3-4_nf_book_-_mid.

Book Sale for Syria 1


Assalamu alaikum,

I’m sure you all know whats happening in Syria at the moment. A dear sister I know is a part of the organisers of the Aid Convoy to Syria (

I am selling the books below and 100% of the proceeds will go to Syria inshaAllah. The Convoy is leaving on 11th March inshaAllah so you will need to be quick.

All books are sold in bundles and not individually. First come first serve basis! No returns accepted. Remember – your children may enjoy/benefit from some of the books and you get reward for helping your brothers and sisters in Syria (remember to correct your intention!) Apologies for the pics that where you need to turn your heads lol! Was in a rush!


Why is a sandwich called a sandwich?


R asked me this question at dinner time today. So, courtesy of (!) we found out why. I knew this from primary school but wanted her to find out herself.

A bit of informal geography as R located the Hawaiian islands previously known as the Sandwich islands on the world map. Also, a bit of informal Islamic studies as we discussed why gambling is haram.

Interesting background to the sandwich:

Looks like a good site for other ‘Why’ questions – Z’s favourite word at the moment!

My Zuzu


Zuzu is Z’s nickname. It came about when we were in Algeria – my brother in law called him Zuzu when he was about 6 weeks old and it has stuck with us ever since. 🙂

I feel somewhat emotional writing this post and wallahi the tears are forming. Motherhood isn’t easy – in fact its the hardest job anyone can ever do. And it is particularly trying when you have a challenging child. I think Zuzu was a shock to me as he is the complete opposite to his sister. He is demanding, emotional, stubborn, strong minded and will argue his point of view and yes all at the tender age of not even 4! He is who he is and I have finally realised that I cannot change him but nurture his good qualities and work with what I have and that is his unique personality mashaAllah.

I have been advised by many sisters that he will change as he gets older – they told me that when he was 2. Two years on and he is the same old Zuzu. His strong personality has often made me cry – wondering if he would be better off in school. There have been times where he has driven me absolutely angry mad where I really wonder what I’m doing wrong. I have cried to Allah, made so much dua for him that he will turn out okay and that Allah shows me the best way to handle his strong character. SubhanAllah, since the last part of my pregnancy with him (3 week pre-labour of 2-3 min contractions apart!) he has been my test.

Sometimes we look at people and we think that everything is rosy but we do not know the struggles people go through behind closed doors. Every mother wants the best for their child and every mother hopes that their child will grow up to be a good rounded indivdual. As Muslims, our aspirations for our children are even greater.

It has been a struggle with Zuzu and there have been many times where I have pondered as to how he will turn out. But this week – something has changed – I’ve had a breakthrough with him.

I don’t know whether its because I have consciously spent more time with him or whether it is the answer to my duas. Only Allah knows. But this week, I have seen a MASSIVE change in my son. He is speaking a lot more, asking more questions, understanding what I’m saying more and smiling and making us all roll over in laughter. He has become a very affectionate little boy and not the terror I thought he was.

This week, he has shown qualities I never knew existed. Tuesday, he had his second swimming lesson (he’s never had any lesson prior to this) and he shocked us all by going under the water and picking up a rod from the bottom of the swimming pool floor. The teacher came and spoke to me afterwards and commented on how hard he tries. Other children takes weeks and months. I couldn’t believe she was talking about my Zuzu – who I thought would struggle with anything.

And then, this week I started to teach him some phonics. I was amazed at how quickly he was learning his sounds, how much he enjoyed doing the fun activities with me and it made a huge difference to how he was during those days. Don’t get me wrong – he still has his moments especially with his little brother but something has changed mashaAllah.

I feel terrible for how I have labelled him. I now see my son, Zuzu, as a child who is different, unique with amazing potential. I guess its down to me as his Mum to help him with his potential and to bring out his best qualities. I often feel very guilty as a Mum – I think all mothers do. I have often felt particularly guilty about how I am with Zuzu but he said something to me a few days ago which made me smile. He said, ‘Ummi, you’re the best in the world!’ I really hope by approaching him in the best possible way that would be good for HIM will make me just that – the best Ummi for my children.

Here is my Zuzu’s week of home ed:

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