'O Allah increase me in knowledge,

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Muslims and Home Education

Assalamu alaykum,
it was brought to my attention that my website Muslims and Home Education have disappeared from the internet! I have contacted the server who host my website and they are currently upgrading their helpdesk, my website was accidentally deleted!!! I am so sad about it but Qadr'Allah! 5 years of hard work gone into the website.
Anyway just to let you all know about it and warn you that if you visit the is not my website any longer, at least for the moment. I am hoping they can sort something out!
Wa alaykum assalam

NHM: Story time and more!

Assalamu alaykum,

on Tuesday kids and I decided to join our homeschooling Group for another great day out! We braved the freezing cold in early hours of the morning, well not too early. We left at around 9am.

We were joined by another home educating sister in East London and together we reached our destination: Natural History Museum for 'Story Time'!

The Natural History Museum was the first Museum I visited in London back in 1998 when I first came to study English.

Back to our day out. Kids and I brought back home so many pics and learnt so much.
So much for a single day out. Let's see:

-a workshop about penguins;

-scientific explanation behind two of the most told stories for kids: Goldilocks and the three bears and Rapunzel;

-mammals, A enjoyed so much the big whale and was just keep on saying 'WOW with a big open mouth! :) Alesson about Yunus and the whale was obbligatory!

-learning about rocks and mineral, kids draw their favourite rocks and wrote down a short description of each rock;

-volcanoes and earthquakes, S got so scared of the earthquake simulator. I don't think I will ever take him again;

-finally the old loved 'Dinos'

The Museum was busy with school children but we had such a fab time and we did really enjoy the day after such a long time indoor!

We brought back home some sample of rocks and minerals, a big giant 3D puzzle of the Dinosaurs and a book about Dinosaurs.

Monday, 24 November 2008

A long weekend!

Assalamu alaykum,

back to schooling, finally I have put all my strenght together and took the books out. A has been asking to do the Reading Work Pages all the week. This is an exercise book that goes together with the Reading Book called 'Adventures' from Calvert.
S was not too bothered about not studying but he asked me if we could read books together and wanted me to spell words using phonics. So we played the phonics game with some flash cards. It is a puzzle like and it works by adding letters (sounds) together to form a word e.g. C-A-T = cat. It comes with letters and pictures. A very nice colourful game to teach him to read. His reading is progressing slowly due to my loss of motivation for the last 7 days or more.

Again lots of colouring and play-doh. GEO MAX took over A imagination and he started to build some very nice shapes. Also Dominoes has been a hit around here. Both games were gifts from an ex-homeschooling sister. Her child is now old enough to play GEO Max or indeed Dominoes!

This past week has been the week of changing. I have finally removed my boys from madrassa. It was becoming too much to travel every night back and forth! Also other issues were starting to emerge with the madrassa they were attending. I am happy to say that our days are much more relaxed and I have so much more time to look after not just the boys but also the house and I am on top of my chores! That's a relief!

I have found a teacher for my boys, three times a week. We haven't started it yet, insh'Allah from next week.

I am also reviewing our schedule and feel the urge to add so much art and craft and lots of Islamic Studies in English as my boys have been studying the Aqidah in Arabic.

It has been a very long weekend for some of us. A entered his first wrestling competitions and travelled to Manchester with his team! He enjoyed so much the experience and came back home with lots of memories. Not medals but trophies for most of the wrestlers! Well done all!

Me and the small twos were left home, waiting to hear the news. A. fought all Sunday morning and afternoon, the competitors were really strong! I am just watching the video of his fights, little brave heart! Mash'Allah, tabarak'Allah!

This morning we started with a new fresh mood and positive again about using Calvert. I have to say thanks to the sisters that have emailed me and left nice comments and also to the Calvert support Group. Above all I have to thank Allah for His Mercy and for accepting my dua'as. May Allah increase me and my kids in knowledge and accept our efforts to be closer to Him. Amin

For now, I leave you with some pics, enjoy!! I cannot upload the video of Sunday morning snow. I will try again later...

wa alaykum assalam

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

ON and OFF

Assalamu alaykum,

last week we didn't homeschool. Kids have been unwell. We are still non totally back on track and it has been on/off for the last few days.

We are slowly going back to a normal routine.

I had lot to think about it and hamdulillah things are more clear now and I feel I am ready to re-start. I am re-thinking our home educating method. I really do feel strongly about a more natural approach to home education. I feel kids should be kids until the right age, in Islam that's around 7 years old. Still I like my kids not to get too stressed over learning and taking things a bit more relaxed. I experienced a much more enjoyable period of learning when we were unschooling. Insh'Allah once Calvert will be over next year, I will go for a more 'easy' programme. I have just looked into couple of programmes that I am really interested and they would work great with my kids. Insh'Allah.

I am also re-considering their Islamic upbringing and Arabic/Qur'an are top of the list. I am thinking to un-registered them from the evening madrassa and teach them at home. I can do Islamic Studies and have a tutor for Arabic and Qur'an. Insh'Allah I am looking into this now and will see what will come out of my research. I so miss some good days out with my crew! When you are bound to a programme like Calvert you have to stay at home and follow it until the end. There is good and bad in it. I do feel the programme is great in many aspects. It is already laid out and very well made. Every topic we study is linked throughout the subjects. The resources are very colourful and the method is an old school style. They expect the child to learn cursive.

In many aspects Calvert has been a great success in my home and I would choose it again if it weren't for the fact that you are bound to stay at home and follow through just like in school. But I like to take my kids out and learn about Allah's creation, mash'Allah! Hands-on learning, that's what I like!

For the past week, we enjoyed time together, playing with GEO MAX, puzzles, Arabic matching game, Dominoes and of course LEGO. Also lots of colouring has been going on. We received new packs of coloured pencils and play dough gifts from a dear sister. Check Spelling

For now

x wa alaykum assalam

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Not schooling for a week

Assalamu alaykum,
just a quick post as I am study for my assignments and I have lots of my plate at the moment * duas highly appreciated*.
Last week not schooling for us. We have been so busy with lots of other events that we have totally lack on studying. Never the less, the boys have learnt a whole lot of new things.
Mainly they have been watching documentaries, lots of colouring, phonics and reading. But also the unforgettable LEGO and cooking. This time I taught them how to make a yummy chocolate mousse.
A. has been very helpful around the house as he usually do. S. has been unwell with cold and cough.
The boys have been also busy with Qur'an reading and recitation and had a test at madrassa.
As a new rule in my home, we won't speak English as much as we used, we will just try our out most to learn dh's language and why not a bit of mine too! ;) Mash'Allah wa hamdulillah!
I am sorry not pics again, I didn't have time to set up my PC properly after the crash. I took the PC for repairing and now it is like new, in fact it is even better mash'Allah. But I couldn't set up the software for my digital camera neither the one for my Black Berry.
For now
much love and dua'as
wa alaykum assalam

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A journey through the Universe!

Assalamu alaykum,
another great week of home education has gone! So quickly.
We have had full week. Boys have been busy learning about the Universe and the world around us. We use the DVDs from the new Harun Yahya collection 'Documentaries for thinking children'.
We all sat down to watch the DVDs and we learnt so much. But the one my kids love best is 'Journey through the Universe' . So much to learn about planets and the solar system. A. sat down with the Qur'an and look up all the ayats mentioned in the DVD. Many of which were in Surah Al Baqara. Mash'Allah.

This past week we have been concentrating mainly in History with A.
He has been asking questions about the Stone age and the Ice Age. We watched together the Horrible History DVD about the two eras and talked about it. A decided to draw some pics about Netherlands men. No eyes drawn.
A. received his marked test from Calvert this morning and he was so happy. The teacher said that she is happy A. is improving in writing cursive. He got a big gold star and he was so pleased!This is test 60, we still need to work on 100 lessons before April 2009.

In Qur'an A. is learning Surah Al Buruj and this week lots of Arabic writing has taken place. They are now using Gateway to Arabic book 2. The teacher asked him to write the first 10 ayats of Surah Al Buruj. Also they are revising Ahadith from Bukhari and Muslim (number 1-8) in Arabic. In Islamic Studies they are revisiting the Tawheed. Lots to revise!

S. carried on with reading. I moved him up one level and made sure he can read at least five or more of the most common words. In Maths S. is learning tens and ones. It was hard to explain him at first then I decided to get a bag and put inside 10 objects leaving out few. Then I asked him how many objects I had in the bag and so explained him that the objects in the bag were my tens and the objects outside my bag were my ones. He understood, smiles all around! :)
in Arabic is re-learning about fatha, kasra and damma. In Qur'an they are learning Surah Al Qariah or should I say revising as many kids including S. forgot many of the past lessons. Good on the teachers to keep on repeating all the Surahs learnt last year and the Arabic grammar!
No pics this week as I have been too busy with my study and had a bit of a technical problem with my pc DVd player.

Just a quick update! I am so tired and I better get some rest until I can, as baby S. will be up soon for his night feed!

wa alaykum assalam