Just got back from a week of camping with some other home educating families. Feeling a bit down to be back in London. I so wish for the idyllic, green, free life for my kids. ..
We recently attended the best museum exhibition we have ever attended.
The Extreme exhibition in the tiny Horniman museum is on until November and really was just fantastic. Completely hands on.
It does cost to enter but a sister told us about the family membership. We basically got our money back for the visit by paying £32 for the year. And we get free access to all exhibitions as many times as we want.
Here are some pics. I highly highly highly recommend attending. We’ll definitely be going back again inshaAllah!
Game to play on a large screen about the extremes of the earth.
Huge block of ice and then a screen that measures the heat. Kids had so much fun rubbing their hands and faces on the ice and then walking over to the screen to see the cold blue bits.
Huge screen where you can take pictures as though you’re standing in the Arctic and then email it to yourself right there on the spot.
Measuring how much water in your body.
Artificial Cave to walk through
Machine that shows how and why we sweat.
And there was much more.
There are other free exhibitions in the museum too …. Some not suitable as display voodoo etc. But if you buy the family annual membership then there’s an aquarium downstairs too.
Oh and outside are beautiful grounds with a small farm area with a few animals and picnic indoor area near the farm. It’s a full day out. Did I say I highly recommend it lol! If you can, definitely arrange a visit and sign up to their newsletter as their exhibitions change and are normally fantastic like this one.
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. …
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!
I really don’t know where the time goes! Can’t believe tomorrow is Wednesday!!
Kids have been pretty much doing their normal share of formal work. Watching documentaries and the usual imaginative play, zuzu’s arts and crafts and Y’s drawings!
R went on a trip today to the British Library where she attended a book making workshop. She was fascinated by the library but a bit disappointed that it is only for adults!
I’ve started a new math program with the boys which I’m really happy with alhamdulillah. It’s called Singapore Math. I listened to a workshop a few weeks ago and spoke to a fellow home edding sister who uses it and I was sold! I can see the difference in my boys already mashaAllah.
The ages in Singapore are different. So grade 1 there is actually year 2 here in the UK but the program is so thorough that even my nearly 4 year old is really understanding math! Because we’ve started at grade 1 it’s a year and a half in advance for Zuzu and 2 and a half years in advance for Y (were they to be in school) so am taking it nice and slowly.
I’m not a huge fan of swapping and changing resources as I feel quite a few home educated children kinda suffer whilst mum is constantly trying out something new which leads to no consistency. Math needs to be consistent even ifonly done in tiny small doses. I used to be like this when R was younger and learnt the hard way!
The boys were learning math using different resources but now I feel better that I’ve chosen something for them that I’ve researched and seems to suit their way of learning.
I was going to start R off on Singapore math but decided against it as she needs consistency in her math rather than changing to a new method.
I hope to blog more about Singapore math as it really is great. Singapore leads in math results for children in the world and now I can see why.
If you’re interested, do a search in YouTube and you’ll find lots of videos as to why this is a great program and why the UK is using it in several schools.
Big thumbs up from me. Anyone else using it?
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.
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.
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! !
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. ..
I would highly recommend that home educators sign their children up to muslim scouts. R has been attending scouts since she was 5 years old. She started as a beaver and is now a girl cub up until age 10/11.
It is very reasonably priced. It’s about £25 for about 3 months and she attends once a week for 2 hours.
MashaAllah the scouts group she attends are run by some amazing sisters who really want the best for the girls. They really are inspiring leaders mashaAllah.
They have instilled some good habits into R, the sports and games are fun and the trips they arrange are amazing mashaAllah.
Recently R attended a church visit as part of her faith badge. Her scout leaders really prepped the girls islamically for the visit. Yesterday R experienced rifle shooting for the first time and in 2 weeks they’re going camping (without their parents) for 2 nights.
Other trips have been the yearly scout funday, a cave expedition. They did a cake sale for the public etc.
Muslim scouts are everywhere all over the UK. So do check them out inshaAllah. Looking forward to zuzu starting next year inshaAllah.
I completely forgot that the home ed group we attend had booked the forest school today for the little ones aged 5 and under. So we were back there again today. Z and Y both had a blast and were both so keen in engaging with the forest school instructor. In fact I feel Z got more out of this session than the session for the older kids yesterday.
They started off by talking about the life of a tree and pretended to be seeds that grew into shoots then trees etc. They then took a basket and had to follow the trail of pine cones which would take them to the forest.
They all then collected different leaves, berries etc and brought them back where they made a giant collage and a small clay collage each.
Highlight though were making these herb dolls by taking out the insides of an elder branch, inserting a pipe cleaner and then threading on a conker. The rosemary twigs acted as arms and legs for the doll.
What I love about forest school is the children are at one work nature, get absolutely filthy and really use their creative skills in the natural environment.
Quite a few of you have emailed me asking me for details. Details of the one I’ve mentioned is here:
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.
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.
Chocolate hummingbird bakery book cupcakes with chocolate frosting made by R.
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.
R has got into glass painting.
The boys made this from the montessori number rods.
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.
Today another home edding sister kindly took R with her own children to attend a workshop at the Benjamin Franklin House Museum. I was ever so grateful that she helped by taking R as I really don’t think R would have been able to attend. I feel very nervous travelling on public transport with a breastfeeding baby!
When I collected R, she didn’t stop talking about the workshop and said it was one of the best ones that she has been to. The workshop was educational, informative, fun, lively and included a mixture of history, science, technology. I was sad not to have been there but from what R told me – it is a workshop other home educated children really should attend. The museum is in Central London and lasted 1.5 hours.
At home, I enjoyed some quality time with the boys before baby S awoke from her nap (she’s extremely clingy!) Need to do something about their sibling rivalry though – that’s the one aspect of home ed that I don’t like it – the constant arguing and fighting between my boys…*sigh*
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 when they tell me how long they’ve been reading the blog as it means they saw my awful super structured home edder type posts right at the beginning. I feel like we’ve got into a nice pattern of formally work plus following their interests etc.
Here are some real home ed moments recently:
R handled some real live birds of prey.
I love this picture of my boys mashaAllah. They were talking about the pigeons. And I think the robot found the conversation very intriguing.!
Last week R made homemade pizza dough in the morning and then made the pizzas for our dinner in the evening. She loves baking mashaAllah. I often give her free reign of the kitchen so long as she tidies up afterwards. It’s actually quite nice to have home made treats without baking myself!
Kids enjoyed a pizza making workshop at Pizza express. This was what prompted her to make her own at home a couple of days later!
Found these bug collecting sets in the 99p shop. Come with tweezers and magnifying glass. Kids had a ball findng insects in a local common. They came home with:
A lizard! R tells me it’s a salamander.
They found beetles, millipedes, spiders. All on my kitchen table!
We also thoroughly enjoyed attending a South London home ed sports day. MashaAllah the kids surprised me. Y took his races very seriously. It was really funny.
Yesterday we joined a few other home edding families who are friends and took a trip to Dorking Forest. The kids had a blast and the husbands and kids went on a hike. R was so excited to tell me that they found a nest with newly hatched birds and unhatched eggs. She said it looked so surreal. Beautiful scenery from the top of Dorking forest.
Today we spent the day cleaning the house ready for ramadan. We’ve made a rough ramadan plan as a family which we’re all rather excited about.
All formal home ed will stop. R wants to fast the whole month again. I’ve warned her it’s going to be tough. But she keeps reminding me that she fasted the whole month last year mashaAllah so she can do it again this year. I said it’s up to her but you remember that she isnt baligh yet so to take it easy. But she diesnt want to.
She’s also set herself the goal of reading the whole quran this ramadan and has split the daily pages into designated times. As a result, we’ve decided to support her in her goal and reduce the hifdh amount and do more murajaah on previous ajazaa instead. She seems quite happy with that.
She’s also making a knitted hairband for baby S and a toy that she’s going to crochet.
I love real home ed like this MashaAllah.
Hope everyone has an amazing ramadan where Allah distances then from the fire permanently and forgives them.
Please remember my family and I in your duas.