'O Allah increase me in knowledge,

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Museum of Childhood

Assalamu alaykum,

last week we saw some lovely pics of the Museum of Childhood in Internet and my kids were asking to go. So today was the day. We set off early as I wanted to be back for my kids evening Madrassa. We took the underground and all four of us went to discover this new, refurbished Museum.

It is one of the newly refurbished attraction in London. We already visited the newly restored London Transport Museum, and today was our chance to see the freshly made Museum of Childhood.

We arrived 10 minutes before they opened and queued up outside. Yes, we actually queued up! At 10am they opened the gates and already school buses were awaiting at the main entrance.

The kids were impatient but i have to stop them to wait for a dear sister.

So we waited for about 30 minutes outside. then decided to wait at the entrance but unfortunately no sign of the sister. So we decided to proceed with our visit. Mash'Allah.

There were lots of different toys, some bring memories of my childhood, some other bring horror in my face as I think about the purpose of Barbie and Ken and other toys such guns and military machine.

The best been the old toys such as dolls house, the smurfs, Teddy bears, Punch and Judy, the old spade and bucket, Lego blocks and Meccano of course and many more.

Kids had a great time. We miss the sister. We pray she is fine and well. Amin.

We even spend sometime in the Quite Room, feeding the baby and praying, hamdulillah.

We went back home with gifts for our friends and family and pics.

So here for you, our pics of the day!

Unschooling to Calvert

Assalamu alaykum,
so how exactly do you go from totally unschooling to Calvert school? Good question!
We started with Calvet just few days ago, so far so good. I am a bit worry that we may slip into the old habit of unschooling! Unschooling my children has been, helpful because after I had my 3rd child I did not have much time to sit and do thing and I felt very guilty, so i approached this method using it daily and really creating an environment for my kids where unschooling was THE METHOD!
Now that we opted for Calvert, I feel that i have to put down some rules and need my children to sit and do their work just like in secular school.
I like them to sit and read, write and learning with me, I also like the idea of unschooling them because i can see how effective it has been. On the way, while using unschooling my kids have learnt how to look after a baby, and all that includes (changing nappies, feeding, washing, changing clothing etc), cleaning the house, the importance of hygiene, cooking and the danger and hazards in the kitchen, how to make shopping using real money and calculating the change, how to write a shopping list, how to read road signs, recipes, how to answer at the door and at the phone (although I won't allow them yet) and lots of other useful life things.
Secular teaching will bring back memories of our old days, the very first few months we started officially to homeschool, the tears, the good, the bad, and why not the ugly!
But hamdulillah, I believe that my decision was at the right time, as I can see already few minor changes in my kids. Both are slowly adjusting to the new routine, they wake up a bit earlier, and because they understood that our schedule is tight they get less into fighting. So that's the other side of the coin, as they say.
In the months to come, many things will change insh'Allah good changes.
In the meantime our timings and activities needs to be modify. We will have to control, when we are going out and what sports we can afford to do. With Calvert the programme is very intense and the child is required to read and write everyday. Also Math play a very big role in our daily lessons.
So there you have it, unschooling to Calvert is like going from 0 to 10 without counting the numbers in the middle.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Calvert School

Assalamu alaykum,
so in the end we opted for Calvert school.
I registered my older one who is 7 1/2 now.
We received all the resources, books,manuals, lessons plan even pencil and paper just last week. When we opened the box we couldn't believe it! The resources are just great. I have my own personal Teacher Manual and all I have to do is to follow day-by-day and just explain to the child the lesson we do each day.
We also have a schedule laid down for us by Calvert which i like to follow. It goes like this:
from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 11.30am . We do different subjects everyday, mainly is literacy, numeracy and reading, everyday. the rest can be science, art, social studies, etc.
So we set off this morning and my boy quickly went back to the old routine of 'sitting and learning'.Of course a bit of complaining at first but when he realized that the work was easy for him he decided to have a go and hamdulillah. We had such fun reading the 'silly stories'. Also we had art and took 'our pencil for a walk'. We came up with two lovely abstract pics that we then coloured with crayons.
Tomorrow is another day of Calvert and cannot wait! Also I found lots of support from Calvert; the teacher is very nice and quickly contacted us to say welcome and to make sure we knew what to do first.
Any calvert user out there? Would you like to share your experience?
i would like to hear from those who used Calvert, specially 2nd grade.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Hydroelectricity and floating boats

Assalamu alaykum,

I never know where to start when it comes down to science. Of course we follow the UK school curriculum to help us. Without it I couldn't start a lesson about science!

On the way we learnt about Animals, human body, our five senses, plants, oxygen, things that are alive and thing that are not, ice, water and gas.

We are now learning about hydroelectricity and floating objects.

Today we took some bits out of our art and craft boxes and made some objects to use for our hydroelectricity kit and the floating objects.

Here are some piccies.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

This and that

Assalamu alaykum,

just clearing up my pc from all these old pics.

So here it goes...

Our Fanoos

A is building a rescue boat

Our pumpinks

Snowy London 2007

A refreshing post...

Assalamu alaykum,
a refreshing was about time!
'After the hardship comes ease...'
Allah is so Merciful! I was at a breaking point and Allah is always so Merciful with His servants!
Ask Allah when you need and thanks Him often. Hamdulillah Rabii Alamin.
Allah Al Fattah!
So after the hardship, a rainbow in our grey sky. I registered A with Calvert and although we have had a place in the Islamic Montessori School, we decided to opt out.
Insh'Allah, this is the way me and dh decided to get and we are feeling so positive about it.
Also A will be having soon his first appointment with the community paediatrician.Insh'Allah we will soon know if he has a condition and how to help him.
In the meantime I am changing 'routine' again. So from Monday dh will have 2 days off to spent with me and the kids. We will all do the house chores on one day only. That means that the rest of the week we will concentrate on the kids education and sports activities.
Insh'Allah. I pray this will work for us all.
I am also getting the kids used to understand each other when they speak, listen and reply, be polite, share and take turns. I have always tried to stress these few points to no avail and the gave up after the first hurdle, this time I am more determined because I know A will benefit from this new tactic. insh'Allah.
I will keep you update about when we will start Calvert curriculum. They will ship it soon, it should take about 7 days to arrive from USA. Insh'Allah.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

ADD,ADHD, Dyslexia or what?!

Assalamu alaykum, my hope is that I can get some help from out there.
My older one, A, has always been a very active boy since birth.
As he started talking very late, he was 3 1/2 when he started saying first words, I contacted my health visitor and explained my concerns.
At that time, I was unaware of anything related to kids. A is my first child, hamdulillah.
So the health visitor quickly suggested for me to be referred to see the Social Services because she did not like my son to be at home.
I was not happy but I did not have choice and just went with what she said. Social services did turn up at my door and made a brilliant report to my health visitor, saying that there was not need for them to get involved.
The health visitor not happy about the report, she decided anyway to register my child at the local nursery school. Clearly my Health visitor did not like the idea of homeschooling.
A spent one year in nursery school and he was not happy.
I pulled him out at the age of 5 and registered him in an Islamic school where he stayed for one year. Since about 2 years now I am homeschooling him.
But I am having difficulties. Still I didn't understand him fully.
He is very active and won't concentrate whatsoever in anything. Today his karate teacher talked to me. She is concerned about him being too active and thinks the child may have an allergy to some food and suffering some sorts of dyslexia.
Which is what I thought when he was little. Now who do I ask for help? Who can help me and my boy without having to go through same problems as the first time with the Health Visitor?
At home we are all very concern for A.
A is a very happy child, he loves building with his Lego, watching documentaries about big cats and riding his bike. He also adores fast cars and knows all the makes and models. He is very thoughtful. He is also very bossy, he fights a lot with his brothers and even if told not to he will run constantly anywhere.
He looks like a normal child, but something I feel inside me tells me that he needs attention more than any other child. So what to do?
Help, please

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Our trip to the London Aquarium and more

Assalamu alaykum,
last Thursday we went to the London Aquaium with some other homeschooling mums and their children.
Kids and I were early so we decided to wonder around Westminster.
Our pics...








Life's a struggle...

Assalamu alaykum,
it's not perfect, it's not easy one and at times it becomes very hard! It's our journey down the road of homeschooling. It's a life's struggle and we try our best to please Allah alone.
Lately I have been thinking a lot, doesn't happen often as I am too busy to sit and think.
My thoughts turned towards my kids education, their upbringing, my life as muslimah and generally our I doing the right thing? I feel so lonely in this hardship, so left out, and don't wish to carry on. Is it just a period? I don't know.
I am too worry, but I don't want to give up. Then I look at the clock, it's time for dinner, then again it's time to study, the again, it's time for it never going to end??! I am tired. I am always running around and my days are so busy. I do never stop.
Just few minutes at the breakfast table to eat a bite and down again with the chores.

Hang on: baby's crying I have go to go.Then I have to take the kids to madrassa. It's already time to pick them up...out in the traffic again!

I am not really teaching them, am I? So what am I doing?
I feel sad. I cannot give them what I was prepare to do. My commitment is not the same as it was one year ago. Or is it?
S. look at me and ask to do some English and Maths, as he calls it. He means,that he wants to study with his books about literacy and numeracy.
A. just doesn't like to do anything. He loves his Lego and Meccano and he is quite content with those, or is he not? I don't know.
I don't know which way to take, how to sort this mess out.
I have tried for a while to put this behind my back but now I am getting too frustrated. We don't really homeschool here, maybe unschooling...yeah maybe...

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

OK then, some sort of routine

Assalamu alaykum,
OK, for those of you that have pointed out...yes we do have some sort of routine in the midst of our days!

Here it goes:
Monday: Halaqa study for me and creche for the kids then Madrassa for the kids;
Tuesday: Karate and Madrassa;
Wednesday: Anything we like to do, range of activities from art&craft to visiting the local farm!Madrassa;
Thursday: Again anything we enjoy to do! Madrassa;
Friday: Rest, pray at the local Masjid and reading of the Qur'an. Madrassa;
Saturday: Karate and rest of the day cleaning, ironing and helping around the house;
Sunday: Swimming and football for the kids. A day of rest for me!!
Next Month this schedule will be review again as my kids might be starting the Montessori Islamic school once a week or the Calvert Curriculum, remember the post about 'Which way now?'
That's all really! I wish I could integrate some more 'schooling' into my routine but I have to accept the fact that my children loves their freedom and learn best by doing things.

Monday, 3 March 2008

A typical day

Assalamu alaykum,
what's it like at my home in a 'typical day'?
We don't know the meaning of 'typical' around here. Every day it's different. We wake up, hamdulillah and after breakfast we do anything we like to do. It could be cleaning, cooking, going to the park, reading, building with Lego or using the play doh to make funny shapes.
We also attend twice a week karate lessons and once a week swimming, we go to a halaqa (study circle) for me but my kids are settle in a creche near by at that time so I can study and they can play with their friends.
There is only one thing that it's distinctive in our day, madrassa. My kids attend madrassa 5 days a week from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. That's the only typical thing!
We like to do different activities and sports and also are very active when at home.
We don't do much sitting and studying as I find that my kids gets bored. But we love the library and my kids like to sit and read books there.
So really this is what we do and how we learn.
No routine, no sitting, no stars, no grading, no writing, lots of reading and fun!