Category Archives: Self initiated learning

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. .

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.

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

Breakthrough with Zuzu! !!

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SubhanaAllah by the mercy of Allah I’ve had a huge breakthrough with Zuzu today. Those who have a ‘different child’ will know what I’m talking about. It’s a child that has your face on the prayer mat constantly imploring Allah for guidance and sabr.

Aside from creative making and skateboarding, it’s an uphill struggle teaching Zuzu. I have to be extremely patient with him which I’m often not 😦

He is very slow academically and really not interested in very much. Teaching him is such a test SubhanaAllah. Multiple times I’ve considered putting him in school.

Today I saw a completely different side to Zuzu. We were doing some Singapore Math and initially I thought this is going to take him a very long time. The thing with Singapore Math is something called CPA… You can read more about it here:

http://www.mathsnoproblem.co.uk/concrete-pictorial-abstract

SubhanaAllah I feel like crying. Not only did Zuzu really understand it but for the first time ever he really enjoyed math and asked me to do 2 more exercises!!!

And the reason why he ‘got it’ and enjoyed it so much is because he’s a kinesthetic learner. Meaning that he has to physically touch or handle things in order to learn. Singapore Math is quite big on this. I always had an incline that he was this type of learner. However today, as I sat with him and watched as he whizzed through exercise after exercise because he was using different manipulatives that he moved around, it dawned on me where I’ve gone wrong as his educator and mother.

Today was such a huge moment for both him and myself. Not because he asked me todo more math and enjoyed it. But because I now realise what I really need to do as his mother and educator and hopefully inshaAllah this will change so much for him. Ameen! !

So I’ll be doing heaps and heaps of research on kinesthetic learners,  kinesthetic parenting and discipline.

Truly a light bulb moment even though it’s been staring me in the face for such a long time!

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.

Relaxed week

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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.

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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.

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Chocolate hummingbird bakery book cupcakes with chocolate frosting made by R.

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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.

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R has got into glass painting.

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The boys made this from the montessori number rods.

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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.