Category Archives: Product Reviews

To all home educators

Standard

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

Advertisements

Handwriting without tears

Standard

For the boys, I’ve been using the program Handwriting Without Tears. It’s an American system for teaching handwriting and I feel it is great. A lovely sister bought the book for me all the way from the US when R was little but by the time it arrived R was already able to write.

But now alhamdulillah it can be used for the boys. Let me run you through how it works. ..

image

So I can use it for the remaining 3 children who will be learning how to write, I photocopy the pages.

image

The lesson starts off with me showing the boys how to write the letter on a small chalkboard. I was given these tiny chalkboards and they are perfect size for this program. It is important that they see each step of writing the letters in the specific order.

image

Next, I wipe off the letter in a wet sponge in the same procedure of writing the letter. It has to be in the same order. So the shape of the letter is still visible on the board because of the water.

image

After this with a dry cloth, I then dry the letter. .. again ensuring I’m drying it in the correct order of forming the letter.

image

After this the boys then do it with their boards and chalk, sponges and dry cloths. And then I give them a sheet from the book to complete independently. Above Y is completing his sheet.

What is great in my opinion about this method is the repetition of chalk, wet sponge and dry cloth. The child sees the method of writing the letter three times. The size of the board is crucial and is great because the child uses the board edges as margins for the letters. It is very difficult for small children to form letters freely on a page. And so drawing the necessary lines along the edges of the board helps them control each letter or number.

Handwriting Without Tears includes lessons for uppercase and lowercase letters aswell as numbers. We do a page a day whenever we do English. MashaAllah I can honestly say it has been really good for the boys.

Oh and I found the app on the ipad so sometimes they can supplement it with that.

Hope this helps anyone looking for a handwriting program for their children.

REVIEW: Studio Arabiya!

Standard

This review is soooo long overdue subhanaAllah. Jzk to all those sisters I mentioned it to briefly and who patiently waited for me to post this post.

Those of you who have been reading the blog will know that a huge part of R’s formal studying is Arabic. Alhamdulillah, by Allah’s grace she is fluent in spoken Arabic mashaAllah. She speaks Derja (Algerian dialect – with typical Algerian body language an’ all lol) and fusha Arabic. She can read and understand and also writes.

She does Arabic with her father twice a week and is currently working through the Madinah Arabic books – currently working through the second book. In these lessons with her father, she does A LOT of writing, grammar, spelling, and dictation. After he’s gone through a grammar lesson with her, he sets her a lot of work and sometimes it takes up pretty much the whole day not to R’s liking but she has to do it! This is something that I feel is compulsory for her and no unschooling element to it allowed!

In addition to this, we started her on the Studio Arabiya trial a few months ago. It was a 2 week trial but I felt that it was so good that I decided to pay the monthly fee.

Her teacher is in Egypt and they do their lessons via Skype using some other software where R can view the book they are going through. For me, the main reasons why I like Studio Arabiya are:

1. R loves her teacher, Sister Reem, who I feel is just great mashaAllah. I hope Studio Arabiya give her a rise in her pay as she really is fantastic mashaAllah.

2. The entire lesson is in Arabic with no English at all (I assume they have different options for those who are just starting out with the Arabic language).

3. For me, the ABSOLUTE plus side is that for 30 mins 5 days a week, R gets to practice speaking. Her written and reading skills she can practice in her lessons with her father. She does speak to her father in Arabic as he has forbidden her to speak to him in English but I wanted her to speak as much as possible with others. In these lessons, she hears and speaks Arabic with her teacher whilst learning reading skills, grammar and vocabulary for 30 mins each day.

I asked one of the Directors about the fees and free trial for others and this is what she said:

Our basic price is $79 per month for the standard, which includes 10 hours of one-on-one time with the teacher.  If a student wants the intensive (20 hours per month) or to take both Arabic and Qur’an, the monthly tuition is $139.  We offer a family discount of 10% off for families of 2 or more students.  Everyone that signs up automatically gets the first week free.  This way they can try out the classes risk-free to see how it works.

(DO NOTE THAT THE ABOVE ARE IN DOLLARS – WHEN YOU CONVERT THE CURRENCY – ITS NOT BAD IN MY OPINION)

We did try the Quran tuition at Studio Arabiya but R didn’t like it and I didn’t think it was worth it as her father is a Quran teacher. But for those that are looking for that, then they provide that option too. Although, my husband says that Quran needs to be taught in the more traditional way with a teacher face to face. Each to their own opinion I guess.

I would thoroughly recommend the Arabic program at Studio Arabiya. I’ve seen a huge difference in R’s confidence in speaking to someone else other than relatives in Arabic and the staff really take the parent’s opinons and choice into consideration. Ie. some of the work was too easy for R so I asked them to push her which is just what the teacher did mashaAllah. Very professional mashaAllah and definitely a thumbs up from me.

Check it out: http://www.studioarabiya.com/

Family News!!!

Standard

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!

We’re back…

Standard

Assalamu alaikum,

Ummihomeschoolsme has been closed for some time. I can’t go into details but I had to make it private for some time. I apologise for not replying to everyone individually who emailed to ask for access or to ask that it be reopened etc. I ask Allah (Swt) to accept this blog as a means to attain nearness to Him, to help others along this home ed journey and to protect, guide and nurture myself and my family along the way. Ameen.

We’re back! 🙂

During Ramadan, I have been planning for next year inshaAllah and we are going to be trying out some new methods, curricula and so stay tuned for more ummihomeschoolsme posts.

A request please: I hope that I will not have to make this blog private again and so I ask you all to make dua for me and my family.

JazakhaAllahu khairan,

Umm Raiyaan

Review and Writing

Standard

When I said R hated the workbooks, I haven’t gone back to them at all. And so I am trying to find alternative ways for her to work on her writing but in a fun way. She still emails her friends mashaAllah which is good but I really want her to learn her grammar, spelling etc through writing and just writing freely. We have done a lot of creative writing. But I’m trying to include different forms.

A few mornings ago, R started reading one of these magazines:

It is an old issue mashaAllah but she really got into it. What I liked about it was that it is sooo child friendly, colourful, fun and the children really do learn about their deen. R learnt about the 3 types of hajj and we talked at length about Zamzam. Within this particular issue was an activity which encouraged the children to write a newspaper report! When I saw this, I thought brilliant mashaAllah – just what I need! She didn’t feel like doing it as she wanted to carry on reading it but its definitely something I’ll keep inshaAllah for later. Whilst she was reading, I thought it would be great for her to write a review. After she finished, she wrote a review about the magazine for the aunties who read this blog. I corrected the piece for spelling mistakes and grammar. She then spent some time doing some ICT and typed up her report.

Here is what she said:

“Assalamu Alaykum aunties. I am writing about a magazine. It is called Little Explorers all about Hajj. I liked reading about Zamzam. I learnt that Zamzam is the best water in the world. There was nothing I didn’t like. I think other children would like it. I also liked the activities.”

The review is very simple 🙂 But I’m trying to bring in writing for different purposes and so I hope to expand on review writing the next time she does a review inshaAllah.

Anyway, back to the actual magazine. I would really recommend buying a subscription of Little Explorers. The excitement of receiving their own copy of a magazine addressed to them is priceless. And the magazine itself is top quality, no faces, full of colour, great activities and very engaging. What was nice for me to see was a good balance of easy to read language but also challenging words at the same time, an educational type activity linked to what they had read, something fun and she really enjoyed the comic strip at the end mashaAllah.

10/10 for us alhamdulillah! Visit http://www.littleexplorersmagazine.co.uk/ today and invest in a subscription for your kiddos!