Category Archives: Animals

Dissecting owl pellets



Our home ed group ordered owl pellets. Although R has dissected owl pellets before she still thoroughly enjoyed the activity. It was zuzu’s first time and he found it. ..’interesting’.

They were all given owl pellets and began to dissect them and identified which bones of which animals were eaten by the owls. Some owls had even eaten pieces of fabric print!


For those who may not know, owls cannot digest the bones of any animals they eat and so they basically vomit a ball called a pellet which contains the bones of the animals they’ve eaten.

Y also had a turn too but found it too dirty and smelly. He’s my ‘ocd clean’ child!!

Both R and I were both surprised that you could even order owl pellets. A sister ordered them from France mashaAllah.

Real home ed and ramadhan


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
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Feeling better and LV Countryside Live!


My last post was quite depressing wasn’t it? lol! Jzk for all the lovely encouraging comments – I think it was just one of those days!

I’m the type of person who really gets down when having a really bad day. I normally can plough through most things but when I have a day where I’m exhausted, ill – then I really just beat myself up and get all negative – not good I know!

Anyway, the following day after my post – I didn’t go anywhere which was fantastic. I think all the running around chauffering the kids to different activities has worn me down. Friday was a great day masha’Allah.

I started by giving all the kids a bath – those with big families know what a mission it is to bath all the kids lol! And then had a full home ed day:

  • R did her hifdh, murajaah and Quran reading.
  • Z completed memorisation of a new surah and was well chuffed to place his sticker on his juz amma tree
  • I then did a lot of Math with Z – number work, MEP lesson and conquer math
  • Tested R on her multiplication by asking random questions – she then did a lot of MEP work and some conquer math
  • R started her new spelling book and played on the CD Rom that accompanied it
  • Z did some reading eggs
  • More quran for R
  • Read a lot to the boys
  • R finished a couple of novels

I felt as though there was calm at home – maybe its going out too much but I think my serious duaas the night before may have been answered!

Today, we set off to Lea Valley Countryside Live which takes place every year. We were gutted to miss it last year and so in July, I made sure I put the date in my diary. It was a lovely sunny autumn day and the kids had a blast. Saw some other home educators there too which was nice – but by the end of it, I was absolutely shattered.

Here is some of what they got up to:

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If anyone sees this post in time – it is on again tomorrow – just google Lea Valley Countryside Live and you can do – based in East London and its free for children – they got to take everything they made home. Adults entry fee is £4 each.

Trent Park Equestrian Centre


I had never heard of Groupon til a sister emailed me a link saying that R would love it. Groupon is basically a company that offers members (membership is free) HEAVILY discounted tickets for things ranging from haircuts to meals out to day experiences.

The link she sent me was a half day experience at Trent Park Equestrian Centre which included stable management, horse riding for an hour, lectures. I jumped at it and booked it for R. I kept it a secret and she only knew when we drove through the Park gates and saw the horse logo! Her face was priceless. All along the journey she kept asking me where we were going. I replied that I had an appointment and she didn’t think otherwise and kept reading her horse novel in the car. (If anyone has any children who are horse mad – R has just finished the second novel in these series and has said apart from War Horse, its the best Horse books she’s ever read. Here is the link:

It was a lovely day and she literally had the groupon experience all to herself. I made sure I didn’t book it during the half term.

Here are some pictures of the day:

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Some of the highlights of the day were:

  • She was able to pick her own horse to ride
  • There was a male pony whose mother died and so they put him in between some females as the males kept bullying him. Was a highlight as R has a thing for orphaned horses!
  • R was able to tack up her own horse. The lady was quite surprised how much she knew about horses.
  • She groomed a pony using lots of different brushes and cleaned out his hooves. When she was cleaning out his back hoof – he passed wind right in her face!
  • She rode for one hour – did a figure of 8 on the horse, did an around the world (I think you can see it on the pictures where she has to turn on her bottom around the horse without any help)
  • She visited lots of different breeds including one who won Best Horse at the Horse Show in 2010
  • At the end of the day, she was given a huge piece of chocolate cake and a hot chocolate drink in front of a horse jumping training session
  • And a lovely pink Rosette to take home

I’ve seen this groupon offer pop up on Groupon quite a few times since I booked it. Oh and if you do end up going, ask for Lucy from Manchester as she was absolutely brilliant with R!



Home Ed isn’t something separate from life. It is a part of life. These last few weeks have been very busy – I have been extremely busy with various things I do. One of my closest friends got married. And then, my little brother got married on Friday mashaAllah. It was a really joyous day for us – to see him do the nikah in our local masjid wearing a thobe when he wasn’t even Muslim a few months ago. SubhanAllah, how Merciful Allah is.  So it has pretty much been running around doing lots of ‘life’ things! During that time, the kids have played a lot. R still does her daily murajaah and hifdh. Maths a few times a week. Arabic 2-3 times a week. I read to her a few times a week and she normally has her nose in a novel or non-fiction book. Aside from that, not much else. Z is obsessed with lego and the entire living room floor is kind of covered completely in hundreds of lego pieces. I don’t bother tidying up. I wait after a good 3-4 hours and then once he’s completely done – then we all tidy up together.

Z had his first swimming lesson last week. He did pretty well for his first lesson – mashaAllah he was so excited to be doing something just for him. R also started swimming lessons but was in the wrong group. They put her in a group that was too difficult for her and so she cried throughout most of the lesson as the children were way advanced. I thought something was wrong when the lesson started but I didn’t want to go in there and pull her out in front of everyone. She perservered bless her – and still attempted to do what the others were doing through her tears. After the lesson, spoke to the Manager and quickly corrected their mistake!

For English this week, R wrote a poem about winter and then drew a picture to go with it mashaAllah

Winter Poem

It reads:

‘On a winter’s day there’s frost
And all the grass is lost
Throwing snowballs in a fight
On every frosty night
Red cold grumpy faces
Fingers that shiver and quiver in cold places
Evergreen trees
With all their leaves
White fluffy snow
Spread like a carpet below’
I’ve noticed that Z is a very hands on type of learner – I’m hoping to start a few things with him. I feel the need to restructure our days a bit and so will do a bit of planning tonight inshaAllah. Baby Y is very much like his sister was at that age – he is speaking a lot – loves to look at his books and points to all the animals he knows and repeats their names, loves counting up to 10 in Arabic and English and then surprised us by counting backwards from 5 to 1 the other day. He loves animals like R and often I find them curled up on the sofa looking through the Animals Encyclopedia. My dear beloved Z is very different and prefers his own company. They are all different but all special in their unique ways.

Up and down


That’s how I feel with this blog. Times when I want it to be private. Times when I feel maybe its benefitting others and should remain opened. I just don’t know. Opened it again. May close it again. Who knows! I’m probably not making any sense!

Anyway, on to blogging. Things have been very quiet over the Xmas period here. Didn’t intentionally mean to stop formal learning but it kind of happened anyway. A few sisters in South London got together and organised two weeks of fun activities (10am to 3pm) for children age 4-10. They charged the Mums and all money was going to a sister in need. R attended 3 of those days and made a candle, baked, a wall hanging piece, she sewed. It was nice mashaAllah. Felt weird without her at home. She came back filthy on all 3 days – proof that it was fun!

I’m in planning mode to start formal home ed again on Tuesday. Looked through R’s Horse Project book and I’ve decided to spend the next few weeks on handwriting and spelling in English. Using an old Handwriting workbook by Sue Palmer. And for Spelling, we are using this. She has already started and I like it. Here is part 1 if you’d like to use it: Spelling Rule 1

At the moment, it is still very much about horses around here. I still read aloud to R and at the moment I am 3/4 of the way through War Horse by Michael Morpurgo.   She is absolutely hooked. R has started a new self led project. She is currently in the process of writing down her ideas for a horse novel. Her idea not mine. She has asked me for guidance on how to write a story so we used a book a sister bought us from TKMaxx. It started by getting the child to think about the planning stages. She seems to be engrossed in that at the moment.

 As for the boys, lots of free play, drawing, watching stuff, fighting, beating each other up when one has something the other one has and generally driving me up the wall. But alhamdulillah, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Self Led Horse Project


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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A late memorable moment…


Have to record this so that I can inshaAllah look back at this post when R is much older as it was a moment I’d like to remember. Might not seem much to you all but it was a moment for me and I guess for her.

One of my reasons for home educating is to instill a love of learning in my children. Actually, not a love but a great desire to absorb and be fascinated by the world around us.

You’re all  probably sick of hearing about R’s passion for horses but that is what my daughter is currently obsessed with.

Tonight, we had a very late dinner. After finishing off her dinner and eating a satsuma, R exclaimed at 8.30pm, “Ummi, I just love horses and I want to learn new facts and information about them all the time.” So, I thought to myself, ‘Okay, this is a moment for me to facilitate’.

“R, well why don’t you think about creating your own project about horses.” “Really?”, she asked eyes wide open with excitement. “Yes, and you could even make a book if you want.”

And then that was it – she was off in a world of her own. She started telling me about what she was going to put in her project book: poems about horses, facts about horses, an account of when she rode Saffron (last week), pictures, a collage, a story. She grabbed a pencil and a piece of paper and within 20 minutes, she had written lines of poetry, and some facts (so that she wouldn’t forget by tomorrow morning).

I read some of the poetry and I thought she had used a word that wasn’t related to horse. So I asked her about ‘mucking with bales of hay’ asssuming she wanted to use a different word but had become confused. Only to find out that mucking is a technique to do with horse hay!

Now, it was almost 9pm at this point and I really wanted more than anything to get all 3 to bed. But I stopped myself and let her write til 9.15pm as it really was a moment of creativity for her and I didn’t want to stifle that.

Sometimes, it may not  be the right time but I think as home educators we need to make it the right time and give our children that time when they suddenly show a love of learning and expression.

Sometimes our children may say something and thats when we need to go into ‘Facilitator mode’ and gently encourage and supply an idea or two and then watch the wonders of self-initiated learning unfold.

And for me, this type of learning beats textbook work anyday. Its why I chose to home ed and it is why I love it even past 9pm!

R chose a title for her new project…she named it…’The Treasure and Beauty of Horses’ by R.  (mashaAllah) 🙂



Yesterday, after R had completed her Quran and English, I got the kids dressed. Both Z and R wanted to know where we were going and I kept telling them that they would see. R was very intrigued and kept asking questions. So we drove to East London and when we arrived at a Riding Centre, her expression was absolutely priceless mashaAllah.

Anyone who has been reading my blog will know how MAD about HORSES R is. I simply cannot afford to send her to private lessons. So, when a fellow home educating sister arranged lessons in a group setting at a fraction of the price I jumped at it!

R was so shocked when she saw the riding area and of course the horses. She donned her riding hat and the instructor led her to Saffron who R instantly built a bond with. Those who know me, know that I don’t really do animals. A cat running past me makes me jump and so I was quite surprised as I led her as she rode and the horse trotted. A sister’s daughter warned me that Saffron was somewhat grumpy and his side kick to me was proof of that.

Anyway, was a fantastic half an hour mashaAllah. My lovely home edding sisters in South London who might be reading this, watch this space as I’m in talks with some riding schools here to see if they could give our kids group sessions at a very cheap rate inshaAllah. I’ll be in touch  😉

What I love about home ed is that you can go with what interests your child and tailor all subjects to that interest. So, for R she reads novels about horses, encyclopedias about horses, writes stories about horses, does arts and crafts about horses, and now sport. School would never allow for us to educate her according to her interests. Alhamdulillah for the ability to home ed!