Category Archives: Planning and Organisation

How I plan and organise my homeschooling.

Every day is different

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No two home Ed days are the same.
Some days we knuckle down to a lot of book work. Other days we don’t do any book work at all.

For example today, I fell ill and just couldn’t do anything. So my plans didn’t materialise but that was absolutely FINE.

We had an autonomous day. I actually see these autonomous days as real home Ed. .. More than the structured days. I love them and really need to make more space for them.

So this was our day:

R woke up prayed and did her hifdh.
Boys woke up and read in bed and then played with their cars.
Baby S woke up and I gave her her milk (she still breastfeeds).
We all had breakfast and spoke about all sorts as is usual at breakfast times for us!
Boys did murajaah.
R did her murajaah.
Boys played and watched a documentary.
R carried on with a paper quilling project she’s working on. She’s really into that at the moment after borrowing the tools from a friend.
We had lunch and prayed.
Kids decided to watch a few documentaries.
I put baby S to sleep and fell asleep with her.
Woke up and a delivery from my dad arrived for Z (he turned 6 today) … a new electronics set.
The boys spent ages using the set.
R decided to do a few electricity and magnetism experiments.
Prayed.
Tested R on her hifdh and some murajaah.
Did a bit of tidying up together.
Prayed maghrib together.
Kids played, read and entertained their baby sister.
Had dinner.
Tested out a new projector for work… They were amazed – felt as though we had a home cinema lol. (We don’t have a TV at home).
Got ready for bed. Duas and adhkar.

A very chilled out autonomous day. Love these days. I don’t see them as unsuccessful home Ed days as home Ed is life. . It is real living. Embracing the flow. .

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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.

 

Cleaning bottoms

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Nope, no one has hacked into my blog. This is not spam.
I hope this post helps out any home edding mums who are seriously stressed out. Four words: Let go of perfection.

Right. Some home edding mothers want it all – a house that looks like a museum, homemade gourmet meals, daily bathed children, on top of the children’s education academically, children who are these perfect little believers, the perfect wife, still striving in personal ibadah and the list goes on and on and on.

A lot of home edding mums really beat themselves up – A LOT! A lot are still looking at what their children would be doing in school and use that as a bar to measure their children’s progress.

I have a question for you – do teachers clean bottoms? The answer is no! Do teachers cook 3 meals a day for their children? No. Do teachers clean their classrooms? No. Do teachers breastfeed whilst teaching? No. Do teachers manage different aged children? No.

So, why on earth do many home ed mums try to replicate school at home and why do many keep referring to what their children’s peers are doing, studying, learning at school. Anyone who does this will have a nervous breakdown!

I seriously became ‘free’ when I stopped referring to what they do in school, how they do it etc. Home Ed is not about the national curriculum. Home Ed is about my family’s values, my children’s strengths, my children’s interests and how they learn. Why should I feel compelled to follow a system designed by a bunch of individuals that have never met my family? Where is it written in stone that children aged 7 must know x, y and z and if they don’t know this – they have failed??!

So, if in one day the only academic learning my children have done is read – I don’t see that as unsuccessful home edding. If on another day – they have spent all day doing book work, I don’t see that as over pushing them. Each day is different in home ed.

My eldest will islamically be 10 in a few months time. I can’t believe it – it seems like only yesterday she was like her baby sister unable to speak! They grow so fast. There’s plenty of time to be fully structured – when they’re preparing for exam stage. Until then, following their interests, getting the basics right and having a fun time being together as a family and discovering the world is what suits us.

Dear home edding mums, let go of perfection. If you’re passionate about your children falling in love with learning and discovering, then you’ll have to accept the house will never be 100% clean. Bunging a pizza in the oven and quick meals will become a norm.

I was and probably still am a ‘clean freak’. I love organisation and I love a spotless clean home. But I’ve had to seriously let it go. Years ago, so much of my time went on cleaning that I didn’t have enough time to sit down and read to my kids, or play a game with them or just engage in a conversation of their choice with them.

So I realised I can clean til my hearts content when the kids are older. I can become Chef of the year when I have more time. But right now, its about ‘being’ with my babies. Educating them, facilitating their interests and nurturing them. That is my priority – not the cleaning and cooking.

I’m serious when I say – anyone who is holding on to what children do in school will have a seriously depressed home ed life. Let go of it and watch the transformation in yourself and your children. Let go of perfection. In the future, what will your regret be? That you didn’t clean enough? Or that you didn’t read enough to your kids, didn’t focus enough time om nurturing their faith? Live your home ed life as to the ideal image of your children as adults.

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

Loads of educational books for sale

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Here are loads of educational books for sale inshaAllah.
You don’t need to buy the whole lot in each picture. You can choose individual books. Just let me know each title please.

As I don’t have time to list each individual price, let me know what you’d like and I’ll send you the price which will include p&p.

If you want more info pls Google the title of the book.

First come basis inshaAllah. I will only hold the books for 24 hours. If payment hasn’t been made then I will give to the next sister. Please send your order to ummraiyaan@googlemail.com.

Please do forward to other home edders/schools etc.

Here are the books (apologies in advance some of the photos are upside down and rotation doesn’t seem to be working! !)

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Singapore Math

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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?