'O Allah increase me in knowledge,

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Water Cycle

Assalamu alaykum,

we just finished another day of Calvert, mash'Allah.

Days are going so fast and in the process my boys are learning lots of new topics...and I am learning too!

The last two Science lessons were about water cycle. We talked through how the water cycle works. Where they water goes, how water gets dried up, evaporates and then got back to be condense.

To teach my boys about how the water evaporates and then it becomes condense again we made a little science project.

You will need:

2 plastic cups

1 spoon of sand

plastic sandwich bag


What to do:

Fill one plastic cup with water. Put the sand in the other cup but not fill it to the top.

Now pour some water into the cup with sand, just about to cover the sand. Put the cup with sand and water in the plastic transparent sandwich bag and close it. Put the bag in a sunny spot.

Now wait and see. As the air inside the bag becomes warmer, the water start to evaporate.

The gas on air will form condense and in turn you will see tiny droplets of water in the bag (condense)

Water as a gas cools in the air.It condenses. When water condenses, it changes from gas back to a liquid that you can see. In this experiment the child can learn about water cycle. In fact this project includes both condense and evaporate.

So that's our little project for the day!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Unschooling: our passion!

Assalamu alaykum,

I know you may be thinking 'what she is on about?'

Yes we are still using Calvert distance learning and very happy with it but not fully as we were with unschooling. Well, let's analyze the twos.

Calvert is a school programme recognized in US, fully structured and it comes complete with all that you need to teach your child for one year.

Unschooling is an homeschooling method where the child lead his own learning. It is a freestyle as I like to call it. Kids learn through playing, reading and mainly hands on-life. Parents needs to make available all the resources and allow the kids to freely chose what to learn.

Take today for example. We have been out all day. Kids re-started their swimming lessons, they had passed their levels and now are enjoying a more challenging step in learning how to swim.

They then had their first lesson of climb-walls too. They enjoyed it a lot, more than I was expected. Although they didn't reach the end of the wall, hamdulilah it was an experience.

We then had a picnic in the park and enjoyed a long day there. They did ride their bikes and saw so much to last for a week.

We saw people wasting water. It's something I really don't like. Every time the weather gets warmer, in the park kids enjoying playing with water coming from little fountains made purposely for this. Water gashing out not stop...what's a waste! My kids asked me why people don't take care of using water carefully as so many in the world suffer without water! Astafirullah!

We then watched how inconsiderate people can be with the nature. Some kids were throwing stones to the squirrels and also they were breaking branches of the trees nearby.

Here another lesson hands on-life. I explained to the kids how important it is to look after Allah's nature. Sometimes I wonder what other parents teach to their kids.

It's all so convenient leaving your kids doing what they want while you are at the mobile or chatting with your friends! But what about considering some respect for the nature!!

We had a full day and now we are very tired. Kids are watching a DVD, yes I allowed them to watch some toons while I am here putting my aching feet up. I will have to go soon anyway as dinner doesn't get ready by its own and kids need a bath....all three of them!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Hardship? Remember The Prophet SAWS PBUH..

When becoming humiliated, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam) in Ta'if.
When being starved, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam) tying two stones to his stomach in the battle of Khandaq.
When becoming angry, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam)'s control of anger on the martyrdom of his beloved Uncle Hamza.
When bleeding from any part of the body, remember the Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s body covered in blood on his return from Ta'if.
When feeling lonely, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhiwasallam)'s seclusion in Mount Hira
When feeling tired in Salaat, remember the Prophet (sallallahualayhi wasallam)'s blessed feet in Tahajjud.
When being prickled with thorns, remember the Prophet (sallallahualayhi wasallam)'s pain from Abu Lahab's wife.
When being troubled by neighbours, remember the old woman who would empty rubbish on the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
When losing a child, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhiwasallam)'s son, Ibrahim.
When beginning a long journey, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s long journey to Madinah.
When going against a Sunnah, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s intercession,
(Ummati,Ummati, Ummati) (My Ummah).
When sacrificing an animal, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam) (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s sacrifice of 63 animals for his Ummah.
Before shaving your beard, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam)'s face rejecting the two beardless Iranians.
When falling into an argument with your wife, remember the Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s encounter with Aisha and Hafsa.
When experiencing less food in the house, remember the Prophet
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s days of poverty.
When experiencing poverty, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam)'s advice to Ashaab-e-Suffa (People of Suffa).
When losing a family member, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam)'s departure from this world.
When becoming an orphan, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s age at six.
When sponsoring an orphan, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)'s sponsor for Zaid ibn Haritha.
When fearing an enemy, remember the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam)'s saying to Abu Bakr in Mount Thour
Whatever situation you may find yourself in, remember your role model, the best of creation:
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Teaching kids to forgive...always!

Assalamu alaykum ,

'forgiving and forgetting is better than resenting and regretting!' I read this somewhere in the net!

" … whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allaah…" [al-Shoora 42:40]

Teaching kids how to forgive is one of my main goal. I find that it is a very important matter and feel so strong about it as I see that some adults don't have the heart and most probably were not educating into forgiving one another. How many times you walk the streets and see people agruing for a parking place or some other silly matters! Wouldn't this world be a better place if we all could take a step forward and really forgive one another for Allah's sake!?! A kind word opens the doors to people’s hearts and removes enmity from them, and tolerance, forgiveness and sincerity restore love between people. When a person speaks a kind word and turns a blind eye to bad treatment, he earns people’s respect and makes the one who has done something bad apologize for his bad behaviour or stop persisting in it.

Perseverance and forginess go hand to hand.

Just read the hadith of our beloved Prophet (sallahu alaye wa sallam).

A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: "O Messenger of Allaah, I have relatives with whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off; I treat them well, but they treat me badly; I try to be kind to them, but they are cruel to me." He said: "If you are as you say, it is as if you are putting hot ashes in their mouths. You will continue to have support from Allaah against them so long as you continue doing that." (Reported by Muslim, no. 2558)

When children fights and it would be nice that the nearby adults/parents/carers could take the oppurtunity to refresh the children about the importance to ask one another about fogiveness, sorry never hurt anyone. Of course the child/dren should mean what he/she says and understahnd the importance of treating others with respect in the first place. Just a while back, S had done something not nice to a friend and quickly ask to be forgiven and said sorry. Unfortunatly the carer of the other child did not accept S apology and remarked by saying 'Sometimes sorry is not enough!' I found it a bit just harsh specially when you think that S is only a 4 1/2 years old and that he quickly said he was sorry.

Another good discussion should be started here about the important of asking for fogivess to others and specially to Allah. Making tawbah to Allah brings us closer to Him Ta'Ala and makes us realize how powerless we are.
Rushing to condemn and criticize without looking for the appropriate moment usually leads to the opposite of the desired results. Humility and a gentle approach lifts barriers and removes aggression and hostility. According to a saheeh hadeeth narrated by ‘Ayaad (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has revealed to me that you should be so humble that no one oppresses another or boasts to another.” (Reported by Muslim, 2865).
“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e., don’t punish them).”[al-A’raaf 7:199]

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Some good reading...

Assalamu alaykum,

just a list of good books for kids, books my kids enjoyed!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Cat in the Hat (Dr Seuss Green Back Books)

There's No Place Like Space: All about Our Solar System (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Oxford Reading Tree collection Kipper's story books (all the collection)

Three Billy Goats Gruff

Basic Duas for Children By Sr. Nafees Khan

The Goodword Book of Quran People for Kids

Zaahir and Jamel the Camel - Hajj

Zaahir and Jamel the Camel at the Mosque

Prophets sent by Allah by Moazzam Zaman

Just to cite few

Friday, 18 April 2008

Homeschooling and house chores

Assalamu alaykum,
hot topic with homeschoolers!
Homeschooling keeps us busy. So busy, our house can quickly become a mess.
So how exactly you balance a clean home with the heavy work of teaching?
Families who home school must figure out a system for getting household chores done. Homeschooling usually means a family will be spending more time inside their home than their average public/private schooling counterparts. This often leads to a home looking more lived in and getting dirty or messy more quickly. Homeschooling and chores do not seem to go together, but they must.
Organization is the key! There is a time for homeschooling and a time for cleaning!
I am a firm believer that kids should be involved in cleaning. Those who knows me can relate to this!
Many parents are over-protective of their children, often doing every little thing for them-including thinking. One of the most obvious reasons for this is the increase in older first-time parents who want to do everything for their child when it arrives. Other parents hope to make up for all they didn't receive as children.
So how can we enable our children to be self-sufficient?
Involving kids around the house is an important part of learning.
When we finish study, we start our chores. I give the kids their task and time to complete them. Of course there is a reward for helping. The reward is that they can get a penny to put away in their money box so that they can then buy a nice book or a toy, most likely the latter! With that, another lesson comes into mind. The value of money and how hard it is to earn it, and also hygiene is a key in Islam, in fact is half of the faith.
Kids can do little chores, depends on their ages.
Let them spray and wipe. Kids love spray bottles. Let them handle all the counters and surfaces that can be sprayed and wiped with a paper towel. Let them do some easy-to-reach windows, too. You may have to go over them again, but you’ll be surprised how well a child can do windows.
Get a feather duster. Despite the myriad of cleaning products, a feather duster is all you need to remove dust from your furniture and tables. Given something fluffy, your kids will love to dust for you.
Let them wash the floor. Easy with floor wipes! My kids favourite!
Kids love charts! Make a simple chart of different chores and have your kids put a sticker under their name whenever they do a job for you.
Don’t forget thank-yous, hugs and praises. Everyone appreciates a pat on the back. They’ll be more willing to help out next time!
Cleaning must be done a little but everyday. Putting away books, toys, clothes etc once used, de-clutter when possible recycle and re-use, and keep toilet and kitchen clean and germs free!
Just 30 minutes a day can change the way your house look. It will make you feel better and re-fresh. Helps you concentrate with teaching and makes easier to find the all important worksheets, booklets, pencils and so on.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Our week

Assalamu alaykum,
what a week this has been!
I have been busy more than any other week.
Kids have started their science club last Friday. Mash'Allah i was happy to see them sitting with their peers, sharing each other company.
Saturday we had a good cleaning around as we were having guests on Sunday.
Kids helped with house chores and then we went out for a bit of food shopping.
I asked them both to take a small note book to write down all our expenses. Subhan'Allah, food inflation! The prices have gone craze out there!
Sunday morning, we went out with dh. We spent half day together as a family. Dh treated us to lunch out to my favourite restaurant: TURKISH and all it's delights!! Mash'Allah. Kids missed to spent time with their dad, he is always ts busy with work and we don't really get to see each other much.
Sunday eve, our guests arrived mash'Allah. They came to see the baby. They come from far so we had to make some sleeping arrangements for them.
We had a lovely evening and kids were happy to see their friends.
I made some simple cooking including that lovely lentils soup spiced up with some chillies, roasted chicken and potatoes and different salads including lettuce and tomatoes, feta cheese and red onions and eggs and mayonnaise.
Monday we re-started our routine. Calvert in the morning and madrassa in the eve.
We made some projects with A to teach him about long and short vowels sounds. We cut out pics from a food catalogue and chose the ones with long sound and short sound. Then glued them in a lap book and stick it on the kids bedroom.
Tuesday same as Monday. Wednesday had to visit dentist. Got some lovely freebies for my kids, little toothpaste, toothbrushes and a good information booklet about dental hygiene.
We were invited to a picnic afterwards but too late and couldn't attend it.
Today we done Calvert in the morning and S was learning with Learning Ladder in my pc.
Hamdulillah Calvert is going so nicely and the first test is dues soon.
A is very confident and I am wondering if I chose the wrong grade for him.
But I am also happy to repeat the grade if it needed. So far it looks like he knows most of the things already.
Tomorrow science club again, we are so looking forward to it, insh'Allah.
Will let you know what they learnt....

Friday, 11 April 2008

Science Club

Assalamu alaykum, we started the science club!
Mash'Allah. Today was our first day. We woke up early and get down with tidying up the house. Then got ready and left to go to our first session of the science club.
Both. A and S are registered.
They received a folder and the teacher gave them a presentation about what they are going to study and what projects they would be doing. Mash'Allah, it sounds really interesting.
Picture Captions

The teacher will back up science study with islamic knowledge. So the kids will benefit 'Science from an islamic point of view'
Today we didn't do Calvert and we missed it. Subha'Allah, one day away from it and we feel already different. Must be down to our re-found routine!
No madrassa either. S was not well after the science club, so I decided to keep them at home and just have a relaxed day off!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Lentils Soup

Assalamu alaykum, this is must be one of my favourite soup ever!

It's health and just pick me up with I am low.

Good for those who you suffering anaemia.

250g ( 9oz ) red lentils1 tin chopped tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, skin removed and chopped3 carrots, peeled and chopped3 sticks of celery, washed and chopped1 large onion, chopped some freshly grated ginger, optional vegetable stock or water pinch of salt freshly ground pepper
add the lentils to cold water and bring to the boil, skimming off the foam
cook gently for 15 minutes, put aside
in the meantime boil all the vegetable together for 20 minutes in the stock or water
add the lentils to the vegetables
blend them all together
add more water or stock if needed
season to taste

Here are some pics. Before and after!

Yum, yum.

Bon appetit!


Assalamu alaykum,
we are now waking up much earlier than other days mainly is because i like the house clean and kids ready with fresh clothes before starting Calvert and National curriculum.
Days are filled with activities and we are getting along very well. Calvert is a breath of fresh air and a new start after so many months away from homeschooling.
The baby is much more settled now as he is eating solids and sleeping more so many days are getting slowly but surely back as normal.Hamdulilah.
My children are learning again with a more classic method. I teach them 5 days a week every morning and after learning with me they are off to rest. Most of their free time it is spent in their bedroom building with Lego or Meccano or playing with cars.
But other time they like to sit and learn with pc-rom. We have some really nice one.
For Arabic/Qur'an we use Multi Madrassa and Arabic for English Speakers Junior.
Insh'Allah you buy these in any good Islamic shop. We got them off
Some other time I will switch on Arabic Cartoons, Al Jazera Children channel.
I would love for my kids to speak Arabic Classic and not just a dialect e.g. algerian or morrocon. Althought I don't mind if together with Arabic Fus'ha (classic Arabic) they can learn the dialects.
How do you teach your children Arabic?
There are so many lovely resources out there that you can get lost.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Science lesson link
Assalamu alaykum, just to share the link we used for our science lesson.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Today's science lesson

Assalamu alaykum,

London woke up under a calm, soft, white and unreal day! It's April, BST (British Summer Time) started but....It's snowing!

When I open my eyes this morning my kids opened the curtains and from under my duvet I looked outside. A magical scenario. It looked like a painting in motion. -It's snowing- they shouted happily!!

We run downstairs and looked at the garden full of white, soft snow.

My hubs went outside and got us a bucket full of snow. So the kids and I started to build our own house snowmen! Whe then looked at it while melting with the warm of our hands and the temperature in our house.

The kids asked me all sorts of questions e.g. where the snow come from? why is it snowing? why does it melt? how many degree should be outside for it to snow? Wow!

So much reading it's taking place at the minute. Also what I could answer I used islamic background to explain.

I like to share some pics.

our garden table and chairs!

the roof of the kitchen looking out from my kids room

our backyard! Yes one Yard!!

our house snowmen!

My broom, broom car!View of the front road.


Assalamu alaykum,
many sisters asked me why I kept my blog private. I guess some sisters were really reading me!
So here it goes again. only for the sake of Allah, to please Him only. I think some may benefit from my writing and I am happy to share it. Insh'Allah. So we are officially RE-OPEN!!!!!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Arabic resources

Assalamu alaykum,
my kids do learn Arabic at the madrassa. This madrassa is excellent. My kids have learnt so far proper pronunciation of the Arabic together with same very nice memorization of Ahadith in Arabic.
They learn the language using Gateway to Arabic. I know these books since long before my kids attended this madrassa and they are really good quality.
At home we do little but I like them to watch Arabic cartoons and to use pc-rom that teach Arabic such as Multi Madrassa or Arabic for English speakers Juniors.
Both are very good and if used them regularly can really improve the child's grammar, dictionary, pronunciation and reading.
We also use various games such as match cards in Arabic.
We also bought PDQ Arabic for English speakers from Linguaphone. I must say this is one of the best language course I have ever bought. I am always so positive and suggest it to others, mash'Allah. It comes with audio cds and a book to learn the language, writing and reading.

Re-thinking our days

Assalamu alaykum,
so much to do and so little time!
I have been thinking about our busy days. So as I was mentiong on the last post, I am re-thinking our busy routine.
Starting from Monday, no more halaqa, i know it is a a sad thing but I don't have time to fit that in. Also i am cutting some sports such as karate and adding a new activity.
Our schedule will look like this, or something like this:
Mon 9am to 11.30/12pm Calvert school - lunch - madrassa;
Tue 9am to 11.30/12pm Calvert school - lunch - madrassa;
Wed same as above;
Thurs same as above;
Fri 11.30 to 1pm science club - Jamah - lunch - madrassa;
Sat swimming - lunch - Calvert school;
Sun day for me and cleaning!
It's still a very busy schedule but i couldn't do it any better for now.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Keep it for us!

Assalamu alaykum,
this blog supposed to be for me and the boys. For us, to keep all our records in. I's like to show it to my boys one day. So, I decided to keep it for us, just as it was at the very beginning! Mash'Allah. Also no many readers to leave comments, I guess my blog is no so popular and my life's bit boring...hamdulillah. I don't have much to say as my days are so filled with the kids, my life is all devoted to Allah's pleasure and what you see is what you get.Hamdulillah.

So we started Calvert. Mash'Allah. I love it. A is really happy with it. Every morning we get ready for it. We start to study at about 9am. Every morning we have about 30 minutes of Math and then Reading/Literacy for about 40 minutes. After that is a bit of rest for my child.
In the meantime, S study with his cd-rom, Learning Ladder 5-7 years old. He is learning about Phonics, Shapes, Counting, Letters sounds and so much more.
After a little 10 minutes rest, we re-start with writing. Last lesson it could be anything such as Art&Craft, social studies, geography, science etc.
We received the teacher's comment about our first Calvert Test. She was very pleased with the outcome and gave A a big star. A was pleased and felt more encourage to do his very best.
A is very good in writing now; his work is neat and his spelling very good.
At madrassa, the boys are learning lots of new dua'as and ahadith in Arabic. A is learning Surah Ash-Shams and S is learning Surah Al-Qaria. Both are doing Ahadith in Arabic and lots of Arabic writing. A showed me his Arabic writing few days ago and I was pleased to see that the teacher gave him 90% as in the past he had problems in understanding how the Arabic letters join together.
as i always say, practice makes perfect!
About me now.I am very tired and had another big pain in my back. It seems like it will never recover. I am in such a pain. Hamdulillah. I gave up all my time for my kids sake, but my health is not too good. I should really think about myself but how can I? My kids rely totally on me.
It's not easy. Also, we are passing a very bad period for our finances. We had to give up so many activities for now. Starting from this month, no more karate classes. Will see about swimming. Life's so hard when it's only one to work. Also I came to realize how expensive can become homeschooling.
So we have to cut a bit of things here and there...may Allah make it easy for us all. Amin
Another day has gone, looking forward for tomorrow, insh'Allah.