Category Archives: Earth, Moon and Space

Family News!!!

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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…

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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

SOLACE for revert sisters in difficulty – please spread the word!

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Please support this email to your contacts – especially those that want to gain some reward from Allah and volunteer for the project. And revert sisters in difficulty who would benefit (it doesn’t matter how small or big the difficulty is).

As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

May this meet you in the best of health, happiness and imaan.

Here is some really exciting news, Masha’Allah.

SOLACE, a new voluntary organisation has been set up to help revert sisters in difficulty.  www.solaceuk.org

At some point, you have most likely received a forward in your inbox or a text asking you if you know of anyone who can house a revert sister who has been thrown out of their home or asking you to donate money for a revert single mother who is unable to pay the rent and has been threatened with eviction.

How often do you think that these sisters get the help they need?  And after their immediate problem is solved, who is there to follow up with the sister on a regular basis, just to see if she is okay?

What most people forget is that many revert sisters may have been rejected by their families and don’t always receive the support they need from the Muslim community either. Sadly, we are not in a position where mosques or Muslim community centres can offer lasting assistance to these sisters and they are often left to fend for themselves.

SOLACE, with the help of Allah, aims to provide comfort, companionship and practical assistance to these revert sisters.

Here is a taster of the kinds of support SOLACE will provide, bi idhnillah;

  • Listening service through the support scheme, by trained SOLACE volunteers
  • Household help for revert sisters who have no family support
  • Counselling by qualified counsellors and life coaches
  • Parenting workshops
  • Coffee mornings and day trips
  • Much more, insha’Allah

By the grace of Allah, we have the support and full backing of Sheikh Haitham Al Haddad, who has given us his time and advice to help establish SOLACE.  May Allah reward him for his generosity.

However, SOLACE needs YOUR help.

Here’s what you can do…

1. First of all, please spread the word to revert sisters you know who may be facing difficulties. They may be coping alone with health problems, suffering depression, isolation or loneliness. Or suffering marital problems or physical/emotional abuse, or needing help dealing with non-Muslim relatives? They may even be considering leaving their Deen.

If so, please pass on the SOLACE website address to them: http://www.solaceuk.org

 2. SOLACE is a voluntary organisation that relies solely on fundraising and donations.  It is still in urgent need of an extra £5000 funding. 

–          If you would like to host a fundraising event in your area please contact info@solaceuk.org

–          If you would like to make a donation, then visit the website where donations can be made via Paypal or direct bank transfer, (to be safe and secure.)

–          If you know of any companies that would like to sponsor SOLACE, forward this email to them and ask them to contact donations@solaceuk.org

100% DONATION PROMISE

You can be confident that 100% of the money you donate goes towards assisting reverts in difficulty.  No money is taken from your donation for our administration costs. 

  1. SOLACE needs volunteers.

Do you know of any sisters based in London who have 1-2 hours a week to spare, to listen and provide support to a revert sister in difficulty? (full training will be provided free of charge).                                                        

Do you, or anyone you know have skills that you think SOLACE could benefit from?

eg. administrative, fundraising, counselling skills etc

SOLACE needs your support to make this a beneficial service for revert sisters in difficulty.

Please make du’a for this project.

JazakAllahu Khairun

Wasalamu alaikum

SOLACE Team

www.solaceuk.org

info@solaceuk.org

(Solace is supported by MRDF: Muslim Research and Development Foundation)

Changing Education Paradigms

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Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu
 
This is just absolutely brilliant. I would really recommend that everyone watches this short video about education. Its why I and many others home educate!
 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U&feature=player_embedded#!
 
Wasalamuu alaikum
Umm Raiyaan xx

What’s in the box?

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My workbox tweak seems to be working well, alhamdulillah. It really is amazing how much work/activities (whatever you want to call it) the child can get done in a day using this system. I belong to the workboxes yahoo group for tips and advice as to what to put into the boxes, organisation etc and I think most of the Mums agree that this method leads to a lot of productivity.

I was supposed to fill her boxes last night, but I and a sister went to visit another sister who just had a baby all the way in North London and got back a bit late and then I was wacked! So, woke up this morning had breakfast, changed the kids, brushed teeth, washed etc and then let the kids play together for a bit. Whilst they were doing this, I filled R’s boxes for the day. Let me take you through her day today:

BOX 1: Quran – she reviewed three long surahs she has memorised, worked on a new one which she was tested on and read from the mushaf. She was very happy because she completed a new surah mashaAllah and put her sticker on her hifdh tree from muslimstickers.com

BOX 2: Islamic Studies – Still using the IQRA Seerah book. We read about why we love the Prophet (saw) and the trustworthy character that he had. She then completed a colouring-reading-comprehension activity.

BOX 3: English – Two lessons from First Language Lessons grammar book. Two lines of handwriting practice from hadith 1 of Imam Nawawi’s 40 hadith.

BOX 4: Special – She made a present for her new penpal in Canada. The card was made on another day. She then had half an hour on http://www.iboard.co.uk which is now free to use! Yipee!

BOX 5:  Reading – I read to her – no guessing which book: Another short story from My Naughty Little Sisters.The reading log chart has proved a success. She can’t wait to finish her 5 chapter books. I was a little worried that chapter books might be too much of a big step for her. But mashaAllah, she read one chapter to me from this book and I only helped her with words she has never come across before. I tested her understanding of the story by pausing throughout the chapter to ask her a few questions. This was to make sure she was actually understanding the story! This is the book she is currently reading(after changing her mind numerous times):

BOX 6: One lesson from the MEP plus an activity. We have number-scrabble pieces. Put them in a bag. She closed her eyes and picked out two, wrote them down on the piece of paper and worked out the sums. (Got this idea from ummrashid). She seemed to enoy it.

BOX 7: Still sticking with our Earth, Sun and Moon project. We spent some time looking at a picture of the solar system and the order of the planets. We discussed their different colours, sizes, names and positions in relation to the sun. R then made a model of the solar system using a board, plastecine, toothpicks and a picture of the solar system. It was a little difficult getting the exact colours right as she was limited by the pound shop plastecine set! But it was a different way of learning about the different planets. She tried to get the sizes right. I then asked her different questions: which planet is the closest to the sun, which one is farthest away from the sun. What position is earth away from the sun etc etc.

By the way, the basketball represents the sun! lol

BOX 8: Arabic – writing practice and reading practice using the resources from altilmeedh.com. She also worked on her Arabic numbers – again, a cutting and pasting activity.

BOX 9: Special – Linked to our project at the moment. She made a Glue Earth. This is quite easy to make. All you need is what is below:

Tape the cling film over the picture of the earth to the table. Mix the PVA glue with the food colouring. And the child paints on the coloured glue to the cling film. You may need to do a few layers. Allow to dry and then the earth can be stuck to a window and you can see the light shine through. I’ll post a picture of it once it is dry inshaAllah.

She’s also been using these:

She made patterns and pictures with them. I then made this pattern for her and she had to copy and colour the picture into the book. One square on her maths paper represented one white cuisenaire rod.

The above suggestion is thanks to ummrashid again!

Right now, she’s watching an episode of Animal Park on bbc iplayer. She is constantly asking me to watch the next episode and follows the stories of the animals featured in the program.

And she’s off to her kickboxing class inshaAllah in a few hours. And that is what was in the boxes!

Workbox Tweak (Long post)

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Yup, we’re still here. Feel like the baby is going to be early. I’ve had a few ‘scary-are-these-contractions’ type pains recently.

 So, what has been going on since I last wrote. Well, here are some pics inshaAllah to explain all:

Remember the picture of our workboxes. Well, our coat hanger was located in a storage cupboard and it kept falling off! “All your heavy jilbaabs”, my husband kept complaining! So, he decided to break down some shelves (where my workboxes were located) and this has now become our coats and shoes space. So, where was I going to put all of my workboxes – there just wasn’t space. And I wanted them downstairs because R does her school in the living room. So, off I went to ikea and bought some cheap magazine files (£1.49 for 5) and her workboxes are now magazine files. The other boxes that we were using as workboxes are being used for a multiple of things.

I have tweaked our workbox system. We no longer use the schedule strip. Instead, each of the boxes you see in the above picture are labelled with the subject. Eg. Quran, English, Math, Reading, Islamic Studies etc. I have also labelled two boxes ‘Special’. These boxes contain fun activities sometimes linked to the topic we are currently learning about, sometimes just something random like porcelain painting. At the weekend, I fill in the weekly planner as to what will go in each box per day (pretty much the same kind of planning I posted about before). Each night, I fill these boxes. Once she’s ready to start or I encourage her to start, she takes one box at a time. For now, we pretty much follow the same order of the boxes. But I may swap the box order if I feel that it isn’t suiting her. I guess this system is a mix between what we were doing before workboxes came along and the actual workbox system. Its working well for us.

So, here is some of the things we have been doing:

QURAN: Usual routine with this – revision, new hifdh and practice reading from the mushaf. As well as her Quran class that she attends twice a week not far from our home. I thought it would be tough for her as the teacher sets quite a lot of homework, but mashaAllah it has been going very well.

ISLAMIC STUDIES: We now do this every day. We have started using this by IQRA. It comes with the text book and the workbook. What I like about this is that each lesson is in simple easy language which R can read by herself and it isn’t too long. Also, the workbook is not just filling in worksheets, there are some hands on activities aswell. As we are now doing Islamic Studies every day straight after Quran, it is a good opportunity to read about the topic (currently the seerah of the Prophet (saw)), we discuss it and then she has an activity:

In this picture, she is actually doing a reading comprehension exercise. But based on the workbook and my own ideas she has also done the following:

 I wrote down the bits in purple. Hubby wrote down the Arabic and then she copied over the Arabic and decorated the poster. It has been displayed as a reminder to always say sallahu alayhi wa sallam when mentioning the Prophet (saw). We discussed why this is so and the importance of this.

She also made these ice cream cones matching the ice cream to the cone based on what she had learnt in the reading exercise. So, Islamic Studies, cutting and glueing, colouring in and reading all in a very simple hands on activity.

ENGLISH: We are currently on lesson 40 with First Language Lessons. I really really like this book. Most lessons up to this point have involved speaking skills. The last 5 lessons or so have moved on to more written work. I like the pace and R really likes it when we do these lessons. Did I mention that the letter she posted to herself came back. She was well chuffed! Anyway, I read a story to her from the lessons and she needed to pick out all the nouns and make a poster.

As part of our English work, I have also introduced copywork. We have done copywork before, but I want to make it a regular feature in our HE so that she can increase in her vocabulary but also to focus on her handwriting which for me is the main point of this copywork. I have islamicized it and all of her handwriting copywork will be based on the 40 hadith nawawi. After she has completed the copywork, we discuss everything we can about the few sentences. With this particular copywork exercise, we briefly talked about Umar ibn Al Khattab. Here is the beginning:

I printed out this paper from www.donnayoung.org and then wrote out  a few sentences and she has to copy the sentences using the handwriting guidelines. I have noticed an improvement in her handwriting already. Question for other home educators: When do your kids move on to cursive handwriting?

Also, as part of English, I am trying to encourage her towards some creative handwriting. We used teacherfilebox.com for this. I printed out a bird activity and she used the lesson to write a few sentences creatively. I liked how she said that the bird eats ‘worm pie’. She didn’t just stick to the list of words they offered for her to fill in her sentences. I think she got the idea from the Gruffalo books!

MATH: We’re still using the MEP. I’m trying to use other resources I have at home to make it more hands on. In the picture below, I asked her to make some patterns using beads and string as this is what she was doing in her MEP workbook.

READING: She is reading loads now mashaAllah. Not just books. But stuff on packages, billboards on the road (got to be careful with those!) I want to move her on to chapter books more. So, got this idea from a dear sister over at http://muslimhomeschooler.blogspot.com/ (Thanks sis!)

Basically, as she reads a chapter she can colour in a square. I have set her a target of 5 chapter books. Once she has read 5 chapter books, she will either get to choose something really fun to do with me (like an outing) or I might buy her a little something. I have some nice chapter books called Cat Tales that I bought from The Book People. However, she wants to start off with the My Naughty Little Sister series. I’ve read two of these books to her already and am a little tired – but she loves them (there’s 3 more to go!)

Oh, and part of reading is me reading to her. I try to include non-fiction reading to her based on our topic of the week as well as ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ lol.

ARABIC: The Quran class that she attends are moving on to more Arabic from next week so I hope that this will improve her Arabic skills inshaAllah. I have decided that she needs to do some Arabic every day. I am not happy at all with her level of Arabic. I know I’ve said this before, but I really would prefer that she reads and writes in Arabic more than English as I want her to grow up understanding her deen in this language. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to Allah that she speaks fusha fluently mashaAllah, but I feel very guilty that I haven’t spent enough time on this. I guess I’m limited because I can’t speak Arabic. How I wish that I could…

Anyway, we’ve been doing a lot of handwriting and reading practice using www.altilmeedh.com. I like the stuff they have on there mashaAllah.

This was a simple reading and matching exercise. I left her to it herself as I really want to see if she is improving in her reading skills. She did it mashaAllah which shows me she is actually reading the words and understands what they mean. Again, she seems to like the cutting and pasting rather than the writing. I guess it makes it more fun. 

PROJECT: We have started a new topic/project. Earth, Moon and Space. Thats why I needed that globe which did arrive. Alhamdulillah for internet shopping.

We started the project off by R reading the non-fiction book that came with Science A-Z.

My ink cartridges are not printing properly, so she read it on the PC. We then discussed what she read. This was a good read. It was as though a light came on when she understood how we get night and day. And that the moon does not change shape physically, but that it is due to how much the sun is shining on the moon.

I have some fun activities lined up which are in the ‘special’ box. Will post some stuff about those in the next few days inshaAllah.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: She started a kickboxing class for girls in our local masjid. She loved it mashaAllah. We met up with some home educators in South London. We went to our usual Thursday HE group in East London. I cannot tell you how much she loves this group. Allah (Swt) has truly blessed this group. All the sisters are just lovely and it really does feel like a family, mashaAllah. I’m going to miss it when baby comes along, but I doubt we’ll be staying away too long inshaAllah. 😉 We have been to A LOT of hospital appointments which I feel has prevented us from doing as much as I planned, but sometimes these things happen. Next week is a busy week – appointments and invites. Some weeks, we don’t see anyone except for on a Thursday. But next week, we’ve been invited by three separate families. Its nice because R will be able to spend some time with other HE children. But at the same time, I feel we are falling behind…maybe its because I know we will be taking a break from HE when baby comes along. I just don’t want to fall behind.

Ah! And last but not least. R received this from her new penpal from Canada! She was soooo excited. And sis, I know you might be reading this. Tell your DD that something will be in the post soon inshaAllah and R was very grateful for the gifts that came along with the letter. She kept asking me loads of questions about Canada. So, I told her to put it into writing to her new penpal. We might have to do a project about Canada once we’re done with our current project.

And thats about it…for now! Happy home edding!