'O Allah increase me in knowledge,

Friday, 30 January 2009

One week off...

Assalamu alaykum,
the past week we have been having a break from home education, just to recharge our batteries and because I allocated this week for health check ups. Kids had their teeth and eyes check-ups. All is well hamdulillah bar a little scare that my optician decided to give us. She referred A to hospital for an urgent check up on one of his eye. She claimed she saw a bleeding vessel on the back of his eye. I got a bit scare on that day. But all turned out to be just fine.The doctor at the hospital said that it is just a ticker vessel, a bit different than the others surrounding the back of the eye. Nothing to worry about.Hamdulillah!
The past week brought some new, inshAllah good, changes.To start with, our routine has changed again.
We now home educate from Monday to Thursday. Throughout the week the kids do attend swimming as well as wrestling and madrassa for Arabic, Qur'an and Islamic Studies.
On Friday we have decided to take it off as we used to, but with the exception of the evening madrassa.The new madrassa, 10 minutes driving from where we live, runs only on Thursdays and Fridays evening from 4pm to 6pm.Hamdulillah for that as I wasn't too keen to go back to the usual busy evening routine with 5 days madrassa.
On Tuesday A. attends an homework club where he can use computers and with the help of a professional can work on lots of different subjects and bring his own homework and projects.
The rest of the days, specially mornings are dedicated to Calvert and ASDAN. For the younger one, UK National Curriculum using Schofield and Simms and Oxford Tree Learning.
Our next challenge will be a research about a wild animal native of Britain. A. chose to write about badgers. Another Asdan challenge off our shoulders! Honestly, this Asdan is really good, I am very impress with the challenges and the content of the course. I do a bit anxious at times when we don't do any challenge for a while, but then I know that we can work on our own pace. No need for rushing and finish on an agreed time like in the case of Calvert.
At the moment, with Calvert on the go, Asdan and the UK National Curriculum, it looks like a big mess, but what a beautiful mess!MashAllah.
No pics this week :(
for now
wa alaykum assalam

Friday, 23 January 2009

The National Army Museum

Assalamu alaykum,
While I am writing this we are still on the train going back home after a long day out.
Lately we talked a lot about the war. It all started when I bought the PC CD-Rom game 'Quraish' back on December.
We talked about the Quraish tribe, the year of the Elephant, Surah Al-Fil, the Lion of 'Ain Jalut and the battles against the Mongols that were led by Genghis Khan, shortages and sheltering during WW2. It all continue with Palestinian 3rd Intifada. May Allah restore peace. Amin.
Today we went mainly for the play area inside the Museum. It was described as a really nice themed area. So me and other two sisters set off in the morning and went to see for our self this play area.
The entrance is free but sadly the sessions last only 45 minutes. Well, at least it should have had lasted that long.
The kids liked it. Inside featured a castle, a big tree and other various activities with slides, soft play area, a rock climbing, and 2 big rocking horses.
When the session ended, too soon to be honest as the kids wanted to stay longer, we headed for the Museum. It was not in programme to visit the Museum but to my big surprise that was the best thing we did for the day!
Inside the Museum, an area dedicated to the 'making of Britain'. A walk through the most significant part of the British History mainly past wars. A vast collection of soldiers' uniform, armours and cannons.
On the ground floor you can find an area called 'A soldier story' and it is dedicated to the last war Britain fought in Afghanistan. I was not really looking forward to see this last part of the Museum and felt uncomfortable thinking about how many Muslims innocent have suffered as a result of 9/11. Subhan'Allah. Inside you can see the weapons and all the latest equipments deployed in Afghanistan , read letters from soldiers to their families in Britain, pictures of the actual battles against the Taliban and much more. My eldest even had the chance to hold a riffle.
As we are coming back home, we are reflecting about the day and our heart again goes out to the Palestinians and to all our brothers and sisters that are suffering everywhere in the world. May Allah bring peace and alleviate the sufferings. Amin.
For now
X wa alaykum assalam
...back at home it's time for the pics!!

sand bags and a weapen used in the Afghanistan war

riffle deployed in the Afghanistan war
indian soldier and his wife 17th century
nice soldier uniform
Study area for the kids, worksheets ready to be filled!
' knock down that soldier' game
British soldiers in North America, freezing conditions
play area, big castle
veru heavy mail armourm 31Kg!!!
going to battle
Burgundian handgunner
climbing high

Friday, 16 January 2009

Dressing up as a Victorian Traveller!

Assalamu alaykum,
it has been a while since I last updated this blog.
Things have been really frantic around here. In fact with Calvert and Asdan on the go and the new season of outings with the homeschooling Group, it has been waaayyyy too busy.

But here's it's a quick update.
A. is still working in regrouping and subtraction. He is finding it really hard to regroup and subtract 2 digits number. I allowed him to use counters to help him with tens and ones and regrouping.
So the struggles goes on...I could see a little glimpse of understanding just few days ago but then he fall in despair again! :(
In English we have been busy with a Composition titled 'If I were a teacher!'. It was funny to read the composition as it looks like A. would be a very serious teacher but he would only give homework to his pupils once a year!!

We also read a new story about the new theme 'Amazing Animals' : the ants. I always find the ants so fascinating, really amazing animals, Allah Akbar!
In History we are now reading about Slavery and used this website to get extra useful facts about the topic. Also the pics we took at the National Maritime Museum sometime ago came handy. We visited the exhibition about slavery and a really helpful lady on that day talked my kids through about African slaves and showed them around.
In Science, we read about sounds. We really did skim through the topic as it is not much of interest around here. After all sounds are all around us!
Qur'an and Arabic have not be in our timetable this week as the tutor is ill. May Allah restore his health.Amin.

Now for S.
S is improving a lot in reading and he has now finished level 4. He can now read other books of his choice with a bit of guidance form his older brother.
I have dusted the Jolly Phonics workbook and made lots of copies of letters sounds and phonics. Also couple of interesting games with words.
S is slowly completing his first lapbook about Phonics.
In Maths S carried on with adding and subtracting to and from 10. Also he used the measuring tape to measure various items around his bedroom and recorded all the measurements in his book comparing them.

In the last two weeks we attended two outings with the homeschooling Group.
The first was at the Transport Museum. Kids attended two workshops. For the eldest it was about Victorian Travellers and A. had a chance to dress up like a middle class Victorian man.
For the youngest, they enjoyed talking about transports, and make a big red bus made of big blocks of foam. They then ended up breaking it all! S said that was the funniest part :)

As part of our Asdan challenges, we had it to cook a two course meal. A. made and cook a big round pizza, his favourite Italian dish. He then made a big green salad with eggs, cheese and green olives. I captured all with my camera as pics will need to be sent to Asdan as proof of the completed challenge. We also had some of A. little friends around. As part of Asdan, he needs to proof that he can entertain for a coffee with his friends and show them around the house. All done and captured on camera!!!

Today we visited the Imperial War Museum. It was about a week that were talking about sheltering in World War 2. A. prepared an illustrated presentation using this BBC website and wrote a description using his own words about how was life in the shelters during World War 2.

The presentation will be sent out to Asdan as it is part of another challenge.

This week we even had time to fit in some art&craft lesson. This time we used colourful Pipes cleaners to make little pets such as a chick and a bunny.

Kids have carried on with their usual swimming and wrestling session. Both sports would be useful when filling up the Asdan challenge about Health and leisure activities.

For now it's about it.

Hope to keep this blog more updated but I doubt it as time is pretty limited.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Sitting Bull and Quraish

Assalamu alaykum,

just an update about our progress.
In the last week we have been busy with few new themes including a new PC CD-ROM game called Quraish and 2 new Lapbooks!

In Maths A. has been learning how to regroup and adding and regrouping and subtracting. He found it hard to understand at first what regrouping means. So I allowed him to use colourful blocks to help him understand how to regroup in tens and ones and to trade tens for ones.

In English we reviewed words ending in -ture and -tion and made sentences with them. Also we study nouns and pronouns. The composition for this week was about 'My best friend'. A. decided to talk about a friend he met at the madrassa and they used to get along very well and still meeting every week till now.

He also started a new lapbook called 'All About Top Gear Cars!' It is a collection of colourful drawings, obviously cars and information about how the engine works, the history of cars, the speediest model, and all about his favourite cars.

He also started to write down a presentation about safety on the road, namely safety when crossing, for ASDAN. He made a poster to go with it and worked on some worksheets we downloaded from the Renault website. He then rehearsed his presentation in front of me and dh and he is now ready to make his presentation in front of his friends. Insh'Allah will invite them over for a coffee.

In History A. study about Custer's land Stand 1870. One thing will stay with him, the fact that Sitting Bull killed a bull when he was only 10 years old. :)

In Islamic History we read about the Year of the Elephant and Quraish mainly due to the fact that I bought this new software CD-ROM game called 'Quraish' and A asked so many questions about the actual historical period.

Qur'an and Arabic, we carried on reading and memorizing Qur'an everyday for 30 minutes and also with the tutor.

Now for S.

S. is carried on learning how to read with the Oxford Tree books and the adventure of Kipper and Floppy. I dusted the Jolly Phonics workbook (we did not use this book since A was 6!). I photocopied lots of pages for him to work on. We started with the sounds -ch, -sh, -ar and -an.

I also helped him compile his first lapbook about Phonics.

In Maths S practiced more on subtracting and adding. Also we started to regroup in tens and ones.

We done some Science too and talked about living things and non and the parts of a plant.

In the afternoon I allocated 30 minutes per each child to work on their own favourite educational CD-ROM. While A chose Quraish, S opted for Learning Ladder 5-7 years old.

So this is our week update. Just to keep me in track with our progress.

Incl. in the pics: kids decorating their bedrooms with rockets, stars and planets!

x wa alaykum assalam

The day my kids learnt...

...who the Muslims really are!!!

Assalamu alaykum
today we attended the rally in support of the Palestinians in Gaza.

We set off in the early afternoon and together with a dear friend, we went to Embankment where the peace protest was gathering.

When we get off we couldn't believe the sheer of people! Muslims and non. Allah Akbar!!
We were quickly given couple of banners and leaflets as we enter the heart of the protest. My kids were so amazed by the amount of people, thousands and thousands, Muslims and non, Palestinians and all around the world!

We walked slowly down the street shouting our anger and frustration (kids enjoyed this part): Free, Free Palestine!
We passed by the Parliament and Downing Street. The protest was really well organized and very peaceful. We stopped at Trafalgar Square where speakers took the mic and spoke out about the real situation in Gaza.
At some point I felt so emotional and I could see my friend was too.

This was the day when my kids learnt that a Muslim is like a body, when one part of the body hurts, all the body hurt, and we are all in pain!!! Yes, in pain for Palestine!!
Allah Akbar!

Please keep the Palestinians in your duas

x wa alaykum assalam