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As salamu alaikum

A week ago my 5 and 4 year old planted some sunflower seeds in a little pot I picked up at Family dollar.  After a week they already shot up and the kids started asking questions.  Which turned into a youtube search for videos showing a seed grow which we found here.  After that we watched this story.     Then I took a couple of seeds and put them in a ziploc bag on a damp papertowel  and now we are watching those daily too.

Today we made a plant part book which I did most of the cutting and they did the gluing and here are the pics.  Hope they are pretty self explanatory if not feel free to contact me with any questions ummjlk@gmail.com.

Book Cover

I folded the green paper with an inch extra over flap on the front part so I could cut fringe for grass.

 

Book open

I used a small brown paper bag with bottom part cut off for the dirt. Stapled it with the green to the bottom of the blue paper

 

Close the cover over dirt

After gluing on all the flower parts and they dried I folded the blue down so that we had a trifold.

 

Back of the book

Back of the book

 

Why My Beginning?

As salamu alaikum and Hello to everyone.

I am so sorry it has been soooo long.  A lot has happened in the past year and a half.  I don’t know how often I will be here but it has been an honor and a pleasure sharing what little bit of knowledge I could about homeschooling that Allah has blessed me with.  As far as “My Beginning” instead of My Test goes, My life began in August of 2012.  I finally found the courage to leave an abusive relationship of many many years.  It wasn’t easy with 5 kids.  I’m not going to go into extreme details at this time but I just want you to know me an my children are doing much better.  Allah has blessed us so much that even I can’t believe it.  Alhamdulillah was shukrAllah.  I’m currently back in school and I am still struggling to homeschool them.  It hasn’t been an easy task but I’m gonna try to do it for as long as Allah allows me too.  May Allah bless and keep all of you and your families safe and your iman strong.  Always remember to Trust Allah.  Alhamdulillai rabil Alameen.

Writing Online

Story bird is a nice site I came upon recently.  Someone shared it on Pinterest.  It does have pictures for those who don’t agree with them.  My 9 year old daughter likes it a lot.  Basically you make your own story books online using different artwork.  The only catch is if you want to download them you have to pay.

Kid’s Blog  This seems pretty nice too.  Probably good for doing quick journal writing some days.

What If They Are Behind?

Does this sound familiar?  This thought often times creeps up in the back of my mind.  Even after 11 years of homeschooling.    After All in my previous post I had mentioned that it was a blessing if we were able to get Math & Reading done.

Yesterday I decided to do Islamic studies, as they always seem to get put on the back burner.  Me and the kids started discussing the blessings of being homeschooled.  My son Luqman who would be in 6th grade is, as I also stated before, very active in sports.  Therefore he is “Socialized” with his public school peers.  He told me that his fellow team mates have no clue what he is talking about when he  talks about some of the things he learns at home, because they haven’t learned it yet.  This made me feel so relieved, as I thought for sure he was behind.   Masha Allah, Allahu Akbar.

This is for those who have this thought, to give you hope and some relief Insha Allah.

Homeschool Shortcuts

Do you have any homeschool shortcuts to share?  If so share it on your blog or re post if you have already.  Or leave it in my comments.

I know one thing I have realized when it comes to school work is, why make your child do a whole page of something he or she already understands?  For example with math.  I usually go over a lesson with them and have them do about 5 problems of that lesson.   If they did it with ease and I’m sure they understand it,  I move on to the next lesson, until we come to a difficult lesson or problem and then we focus on that.  Why waste time having them do 30 problems of something they already know.  How Boring!!!   Also, if we are on a particular lesson they need work in, I only make them do the odd problems first.  If they miss a lot of those I have them correct it, then work on the even ones the next day or squeeze in a couple of them as practice problems while working on the other lessons.  Another Blessing of Homeschooling.  Allahu Akbar!!

While I am definitely not an expert in child rearing or homeschooling, I do have some experiences to share that will hopefully benefit those who are beginning their journey on this path that I am still traveling myself.  I am a stay at home Muslim mother of 5 beautiful blessings from Allah(SWT).

My oldest child is Jamilah, who is 20 and in her 2nd year of college Masha Allah.  I began homeschooling her in 4th grade.  I had no idea what I was doing so she was my guinea pig.  We’ve been through Independant Study, and Charter schools.  When I brought her home I was so paranoid that I was going to mess everything up that I stuck strictly to the book.  We did school just like she was still there.  I don’t think she really was too fond of homeschooling.  She was a bit of a challenge, because she would sometimes resist my teaching her.

When we moved to PA in her highschool years I put her in a cyberschool.  I really didn’t like it because I had no control over what she was learning & since I couldn’t check her answers it was difficult for me to keep up with.  At this time I had 2 more children that I was homeschooling as well.  Needless to say Jamilah graduated from the cyberschool by the skin of her teeth!!

She began school that following Spring at Penn State.  She struggled very hard the first semester, she was taking 3 busses to get there and 3 back everyday.  It was very exhausting for her, but she pulled through it.  She has really blossomed into an  active, intelligent, resourceful young  lady.  She knows how to get things accomplished and she is very determined to get her education.   Since we are a family of 7 with one income, we obviously can’t afford college.  Next semester she plans to attend the University of Pitt, insha Allah.   The things I have learned through my oldest is that you don’t have to worry about messing up your childs education, as long as you have good intentions and give them the right keys and the right environment, they will grow when they are ready.

As I said before she is very intelligent masha Allah.  I am a high school graduate with some college.  She has far surpassed me in education.   The other day she was telling me something about  Calculus and I told her that she sounded like the adults on Charlie Brown.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  This is an interview she did with a dear sister’s husband on his radio show  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nur-uz-zamaan-radio/2011/04/06/seerah-other-subjects-with-imam-naeem-abdullah  I am proud of my daughter, but everything I have I give full credit to my Creator.  Nothing is of my own doing it is all from Allah The Most High.   Another lesson I have learned on my homeschooling journey is to put all your trust in Allah.

My son Luqman is 11 and he is a very kind, compassionate, mature young man.  I started officially homeschooling him around 5 yrs old.  He was a very wiggly, active young man and to get him to sit still for 5 minutes was a HUGE challenge.  Over the years as he matured into a more mild 8 year old version, he was able to sit still longer and stay more focused.  Before that a lot of his learning took place by listening & watching.  At 8 he was more into doing and at 11 he will not waste a moment in getting it done.  His Father keeps him very active in sports as well.  He plays football, baseball, wrestling, & runs track.   Alhamdulillah for him.

My daughter Khadijah is 9 and a very mature, yet innocent young lady.  I’m going to switch gears a minute here and say that this is one of the beauties of homeschooling.  Their maturity is acting like young respectful adults in conversation & appearance,  where as their public school counterparts are usually trying to look like the newest celebrity and gain the attention of the cutest guy at school.  Now as for Khadijah, she has always been competitive with Luqman and wants to learn whatever he learns.  Unlike her brother she loves to read and write.  She  looks up to her older sister as an example and a role model.  I would say her and Luqman are best friends, but they do appreciate having friendships of their own gender now a days.

One thing I will say about both of them is they have truly been my little helpers.  Over the past 3 years I have had 2 pregnancies very close together and was extremely exhausted & burnt out.  For awhile our homeschooling was limited.  We have picked back up on it since the end of last year.  Even now we are blessed if we are able to get in Math, Reading and Writing.

I do worry at times, but I just have to remind myself that they will eventually surpass, insha Allah.  I look to my oldest as a reminder when I feel like this.  I also remind myself that my children are in the best situation even if they don’t get all the stuff now they are learning how to be loving, caring, compassionate humanbeings, in a somewhat relaxing, always safe & loving environment.

My 2 youngest children are Zakariyaa (3) and Asiyah (2).  They are my biggest challenges.  They are competitive for my attention.  They are always taking things from each other and screaming at the top of their lungs when they do.  Asiyah is always hitting Zakariyaa too.  She is my feisty girl.  Masha Allah.

Our days are very hectic with these 2.  I usually try to combine all subjects for Luqman & Khadijah except Math.  So whenever I get ready to introduce a lesson.  The games begin.  Zakariyaa takes a toy from Asiyah or she is trying to get into whatever he is doing, screeeeeaaaaaam, hit,  more screeeeeeeeaaaaaaming then we all have to referee.  Also someone has to go potty or needs a diaper change, something gets spilled, the baby is climbing on something she shouldn’t.  To top it of I am the type of person that can not tolerate interruptions or distractions when I am teaching.  It becomes very frustrating and I become very irritable which in turns makes me exhausted mentally and usually I have to stop so I don’t start losing my cool.  So this is my biggest homeschooling challenge at the moment.

It’s hard for me to get everyone to stay up after Fajr, because we stay up late to spend time with Daddy and also my son’s practices are until 8:30pm.  So everyone usually goes to bed at 11:00pm.  So I let them sleep in after prayer.  Otherwise they will be grumpy and won’t be able to focus or retain anything.  I just have to remind myself that soon this phase will pass and things will insha Allah go back to normal.   I have to trust that eventually the children’s education will balance out.  So what if they don’t know who all the presidents were at the moment or the locations of the all 50 U.S. states.  I still don’t know all of this and I went to public school all my life.

I truly believe through my experience & my children’s that you will not learn something if it isn’t interesting enough for you to learn, or if you just aren’t ready to learn it yet.  My plans with the younger 2 are to not push the education until they are old enough to sit still and focus.  I will insha Allah try to let them focus on their interests as they come along.  I just take the moments as they come.  If Zakariyaa asks to do “homework” I give him a game like Candy Land or stuff to count or we might do some flashcards.  I am not going to worry too much until they show more ability to focus.  So I guess I will basically unschool them until they are ready for more formal education.   I try to make it fun at times even for my older 2.  As long as they are learning is what matters to me.  I have also learned and am still reminding myself of this constantly, that our children’s destiny lies with Allah and everything that will happen, everything that our children will learn and become is already written and will happen if it is meant to be.

Sorry for such a long article.  I pray Allah gives us all success with our children, in raising them to be intelligent, righteous Muslims, who love and fear their Creator Allah.  Ameen.  Again I give all credit to Allah nothing is from my doing.  I thank Allah for my Family and I ask him to make us all grateful for what he has given us. Ameen

Math Drill with Connect 4

As salamu alaikum

Just wanted to quickly share.  I got this idea from a book of games or something like that from the library.  We used our connect 4 game and did our multiplication drills with it.  Player 1 had to answer say 9×4 if they got it right they could drop their checker in if not then Player 2 got a chance to answer it.  If they got it right then they got to put their checker in.  Then it  was P2 turn again.  You could probably do this with other things besides math and you could probably use other games.  Use your imagination🙂

 

Been a long time.

As salamu alaikum,

I know it has been a long while since I’ve been working on this.  I have really had a lot of tests these past couple of years.  This blog may be changing some of it’s tunes here.  As my attitude on life has changed some.   This year I looked back on my life and realized that I had been through a lot before I became muslim.  I never really dealt with the things I had been through.  I always stuffed them down and tried to laugh them off as this is how my mom dealt with life.  Had to toughen up that shell and don’t show what’s inside.  Anyways this blog is going to be more about my life experiences for awhile.  Both before and after Islam.  Some things may be a little tough to chew, but I am just trying to keep it real, as I hope that my experiences will help those who are going through it. Insha Allah

Your sister

Aminah

 

Our Year

As salamu alaikum wa rahmatulullah wa barakatuhu.

Sorry I haven’t really posted much here.  It has been a very busy, very stressful, and very difficult past year for me.  I have reached a point in my life where I have burnt out.  So I just want to tell YOU from one sister to another to please take care of YOU.  Take time out for YOU, make sure YOU are doing what needs to be done to keep YOU healthy, physically, mentally and spiritually. 

I think as women we tend to get everything thrown on us.  I think our spouses and children tend to forget that we are not robots but human beings.  So if your family treats you this way, my advice is to sit down and make them realize everything you do for them and how important you are.  What would happen tomorrow if you just disappeared?  What would happen if they had to do your job?  Do this before you do burn out and then everyone will have to take over your job as well as take care of you.  Anyways I don’t want to vent on here as that would not be fair.  I also want to say that if you have someone who appreciates you and everything you do for them then be grateful to Allah for that and show them the same in return.  May Allah help us to realize the importance that we are to one another and to realize our self-importance in caring for and raising the next generation of muslims.  Amin.

VBAC Stories Part 3

For some reason Allah didn’t allow me the ability to breastfeed baby #4 and I became pregnant 5 mos after his birth.  I found out that a muslim sister was working at the clinic down the street from my house and I was so happy.  I went to see her for about 6 mos of  the pregnancy but the doctor over her head decided that she did not want to deliver the baby naturally due to my 2 C sections.  Now keep in mind my 1st c section was 18 yrs ago and the 2nd was 7 years ago and not only that I delivered a 9lb120z baby vaginal 6 mos ago.  WHAT!?  I basically told her no offense but I’m gonna have to go elsewhere.  I told the sister although I realize that there is a chance I could have a C Section I don’t want my options yanked off the table so early in the game.  I went right back to the doctors I had seen for the last pregnancy and they were more than willing to let me try for a VBAC since I proved them wrong once already LOL!  With this pregnancy I developed gestational diabetes again!  The doctors were of course concerned and every week would tease me that they were debating about me all the time.  

In my last month they sent me for 2 ultrasounds and I knew this baby was going to be bigger than my last one but the ultrasound said 8lbs 6oz and 2 weeks later it said 8lbs 13oz.  I knew it was wrong but I wasn’t going to tell them that.  The way I see it Allah was helping me, because if it said the true size they would have pushed me to have a ceserean.  Alhamdulillah 

At 38 weeks one of my Non Stress Tests didn’t go to well.  (Honestly I think she was just a lazy baby, because she is now and so are all my girls LOL!)  The doc decided she wanted to induce me to avoid risk of stillbirth.  So I made lot’s of istikhara and pretty much went in with the mindset that it is whatever Allah wants it to be.  Although I was beginning to doubt myself with the way all the doctors were acting in the delivery room.  They were more nervous than I was.  LOL!  It really doesn’t matter what you do it is truly up to Allah.  I just kept telling myself this and continued to make duaa.    I went in to be induced and was dialated 4cm so they just popped my water.   I didn’t have anything to eat and they wouldn’t let me eat until after delivery.  I told them even Ramadan wasn’t this difficult LOL!  I was sooo hungry and thirsty and weak.  When you are diabetic it is a lot rougher.  At one time I truly thought I was going to pass out and panicked.   I finally took the epidural.  I had no energy and they wouldn’t let me out of bed again.  I have to walk around when I’m in pain or it is too unbearable.  Masha Allah for those of you who endured it to the end. 

Well ofcourse the time came again to push but I couldn’t remember how and the baby was face up, and ofcourse I had no energy due to starvation.  The doc threatened me to get it right or I was going for surgery.  That’s all it took and after 3 pushes she was out.  Masha Allah. 

Now while I was in labor they were feeling my stomach and asking me how big I thought the baby was.  Astagfirallah but I knew she was well over my last baby but I told her a little bit bigger, maybe.  She weighed 10lbs 2ounces and the doctor said I lied to her.  I appologized but I told her it was for a good reason.  They weren’t too upset since everything turned out well. 

All I can say is Allahu Akbar that is all it truly is.  Allah was there for me eventhough I wasn’t the nicest pregnant lady. LOL!   I am thankful to my creator and I hope that I earned some forgiveness for my sins.  Please don’t take my story as medical advice as I am not a doctor.  Either way that you look at it whether you end up with a ceserean or a vaginal birth remember as muslims we believe everything was already written before we entered this world, my to c-sections were already decreed by Allah, so I am confident that I did nothing wrong as a woman and I have to accept what I have and work with it.  I know surgery is not fun but the most important thing really is ours and the babies safety.  So just keep reminding yourself it is as Allah wants it to be.  I don’t know how many times I have to tell myself this everyday.  Please make duaa for me and my family and I will do the same for you insha Allah.