Category: Homeschool


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

 

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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 🙂

 

I finally got this book from the library yesterday and I really like it.  This lady has some really nice ideas that I’m excited to try out with the children so they can get started on their writing skills.  I found her website where I believe there are sample pages for you to check out if interested. 

http://www.peggykaye.com/target.php?ct=welcome

I’m reading the Games For Writing but I also have The Math and Reading ones too.  I’m going to have to check out the other ones here next time.  All I can say is lots of great ideas.  Masha Allah.

Multiplication Struggles

For the past 3 weeks I have been struggling with teaching ds his 3 and 4 times tables.  I remember as a kid mom made me memorize skip counting all the rows up to 12 so this helped me until I memorized the equations.  My son however was really struggling so I watched this little video and tried it today and so far it has really helped his little sis is joining in on it also.  So I’m sharing just incase it can help someone else  Insha Allah.

It’s a video from Math Mammoth.  I’ve heard of them just haven’t used any of their products.  http://www.mathmammoth.com/multiplication_1.php

Wow I have to say so far this method is helping us.  We are still ironing out a few wrinkles but we have accomplished a lot in a week.  A lot more than we have in a while since being pregnant last year.  Now I am not being anal about it we don’t get everything done that is in the folders nor do I fill all 12 for the kids we probably get about 8 filled maybe that will change as they get older.  Anyways I think it has helped a lot in the fact that they don’t have to wait for me to do some work.  There is always something for them to do.   The only dilemma I have now is entertaining my 1-year-old.

I’ve joined this group and there is lot’s of great advice and links.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/workboxes/

 

Workboxes Craze

Ok I’ve been researching this whole workbox craze and have decided to give it a try.  I just started today so we will see if it actually sticks for us, as everything is so disorganized for us right now.  Our house isn’t finished so we are currently doing school in my bedroom.  So it’s me, L, K, and Z 1year old now and in 2 months we will have another baby insha Allah so I’m just waiting to see what things will be like then. (Sigh)  

Anyways due to lack of space we are using hanging folders in crates.  I will keep you posted on how it works also Insha Allah.  Below are a list of sites that I have been checking out on the topic.

The first one is where I first heard about it all…

http://ummihomeschoolsme.wordpress.com/

http://docs.google.com/View?docID=dwstdgn_447mphsmf8&revision=_latest

http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/workbox-directory/

http://forum.homeschoolshare.com/viewforum.php?f=19