Category Archives: Lapbooks

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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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.

Back with Ibn Batutta (finally a post with pics!)

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Monday we kinda started back up with some formal home ed. It feels like AGES since we’ve done anything slightly structured and I know that R was somewhat happy to be starting up some lessons again. It was nice to have some sort of structure to the day but this time with a calm sense of flexibility (in my mind!)

R’s Quran schedule has begun which is taking up most of the day but alhamdulillah we still seemed to get through a lot on Monday:  Galore park English lesson, some quick revision on conquer math and…

an Archery lesson where R discovered she’s left handed for archery!

Return back to her kickboxing class and discussion on what topic she’d like to learn about.

For the boys, covered a little Qu’ran, a little bit of Conquer Math, lots of playing, stenciling and colouring and some English…

Started off by making flags (straws and scrap paper) with the boys. I began to write down the phonics I wanted them to learn and Z wanted another plain one. He said ‘Ummi, I’m going to draw apple’. I expected him to draw an apple but instead he wrote the letter ‘a’ all on his own. I was so pleased that he remembered how to write it even though we’ve hardly done any writing and that he linked it to the word ‘apple’.

I’m going along with the pattern used in the Bob books which I used to teach R (seems like an eternity ago!) Wrote the letters on both sides.

I then wrote out the letters on paper and stuck it to the wall (see next pic). Boys took turns holding up the correct flag as I pointed to the letter. Changed it a little with Z and asked him to tell me the sound – masha’Allah was surprised he remembered and got them all right!

Then let the boys be the ‘teacher’ and they took turns pointing out to the letters and the other one had to hold up the flag and say the sounds. This time Y got it and said a few sounds correctly! They had a lot of fun!

R wanted to start off with a history topic. She initially thought about studying about the Romans but then wasn’t sure so I had a look at the resources we have at home as well as some files saved on the computer and made a few suggestions to her. In the end, she decided to learn about Explorers and Ibn Batutta.

So, yesterday she read a few chapters from this book:

(jzk to the sister who leant it to us – finally in use! 😉 ) and has begun with some thought provoking questions:

* What were some of the dangers that early explorers faced, both real and imagined?

*If somebody from the 1400s were to time travel to the present, what differences would he or she find?

*What types of explorers are alive today? List their occupations and names.

*What are some of the reasons that someone would become an explorer? What qualities would this person have to possess?

We engaged in a lot of discussion and I noticed that in general,  we need to engage in more discussion. I think I’m going to revisit this book which I have on my bookshelf for some ideas:

I can see how important it is to instill creative and critical thinking skills – otherwise whats the point, they might as well go to school!

Today, its been hifdh, Arabic, trip to the library with the boys where I spent ages reading to them – nice change reading to them in the library.

We then all picked the green beans from our garden – its the only vegetable we’ve grown this year but there’s loads of it masha’Allah.

Then looked at our compost which we’re trying to grow and guess what – all the fruit peels, vegetable ends have actually grown into soil!

Here’s R showing me the homegrown soil masha’Allah! Its taken at least a year.

I really believe its one thing learning about something via a book but actually doing it first hand is something else!

R is doing some quran revision whilst I’m finishing this off and then off to a swimming class and then back to some of her topic. I’m going to start the boys off on a lapbook I know they’ll love insha’Allah.

Am absolutely exhausted but seeing them enjoying learning without the confines of school is definitely worth it alhamdulillah!

Self Led Horse Project

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Just under 2 weeks ago, I blogged about R and the discussion we had about a possible Horse Project. I asked a few ‘facilitating’ questions and since then she has been working every day to complete her book (asking me each day if this could stand as her formal English work which I agreed to).

Today at short notice, my brother came over to visit us and she worked hard in the morning to try and finish it so that she could present her finished book. And she did. Everything in this project book was self led and I only helped when she wanted me to help her spell a word or to print a picture from google images. Everything else was her own work. It was very interesting seeing her so engaged in this project – all self led. These two weeks are weeks I will treasure as I began to see my first born fall in love with learning and putting together something of her own that she initiated herself mashaAllah – it is one of the reasons I decide to home ed and it definitely is worth all the difficult home edding days when I want to pull my hair out! 

During these last two weeks, she has read A LOT from a variety of books about Horses (some that she took out from the library and others we have at home), she has written a lot on her own (not copywork) and she has thought about spellings, punctuation and grammar. So, I guess there has been a lot of English lessons throughout the work on this project.

There are spelling and grammatical mistakes in her Horse Project Book but I deliberately did not point them out or make her correct them. I left her alone and she only let me read the finished product today. I felt it was more important to let the project flow instead of constantly correcting every mistake. The fact that all of the writing was her own wording and way of describing/stating things has allowed me to honestly see what areas of spelling and punctuation I need to work on with her.

Here is the finished result by R (age 7):

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All About Z (and his first lapbook!)

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My middle man is 3 years old and almost 9 months mashaAllah! I cannot believe in a few months time he’ll be 4 inshaAllah. Who remembers when he was born?! I wonder if there are any readers out there who have been following the blog since then. 🙂

Z is my child who is different to the other two. He is my test. He is my child who shows me the most affection mashaAllah. He is who he is. Home Ed is definitely going to be different with him. He doesn’t learn like his sister does and his strong character is going to mean that I am going to have to do things differently with him.

Z, like most boys his age loves trains, cars and is mad about fire engines and firemen! So, my house at the moment revolves around HORSES and FIRE ENGINES and in Y’s case – really smelly nappies – I need to start potty training that one!

In the last few weeks, Z has noticed WORDS everywhere. He asks me to read slogans, supermarket labels – everything. I remember when R did this. I take it as a sign that he might be ready to learn some phonics and begin reading. I’m not going to push it though as he is very very very young. I’m going to do it in a really fun and easy way inshaAllah and see how it goes. I read to my kids A LOT and I believe this is something to continue which can hopefully aid their own reading.

Z very proudly made his first lapbook before we went away. He finished all the mini books but we only put it together recently and he is very very happy with his first book!

Here are a few pics of activities I have been doing with Z including his lapbook:

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Family News!!!

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I am under shock and my hands are slightly shaking as I type this.

My little 25 year old brother announced today that he has become a Muslim and is getting married in a few weeks! Am totally under shock. I can’t believe it. I always said I would shout it from the rooftops if someone in my family embraced Islam.

Well, here I am SHOUUUUUUUUUUTING it! lol

Takbeer! Allah Akbar!