'O Allah increase me in knowledge,

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Mum Award from Happy Muslimah, Umm Obaidah and Rainbow!

Assalamu alaykum,

I have been tagged trice with this one. I accept the award and jazakamallahu kheiran to all the lovelies out there who thought I was worth the award! So jazakillah to Happy Muslimah, Umm Obaidah and Rainbow!
Here are the rules of this tag:1. Admit one thing you feel awful about (involving being a mom). Once you have written it down, you are no longer allowed to feel bad. Remember you are a good mom!
2. Remind yourself that you ARE a good mom, list 7 things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you.
3. Send this to 5 other moms of the year that deserve a reminder that they too are the best moms that they can be. Remember to send them a note letting them know you have selected them, and also add a link to your post that directs people back to the person who nominated you!
So here it goes.

1.I really don't like when I get upset with my kids! I get very grumpy and not one can talk to kids knows me well as when this happen they do everything to make me feel better again!! Just one smile with their little cute faces and it can melt my heart!!!

2. My list of 7 things I love about my kids:

-I love seeing them together, playing with each other;

-Caring for each other;

-How they can care for me and love me not matter what;

-When they say 'thank you mum' for anything I do even when things are not right;

-I cannot stay without my kids and I truly enjoy so much reading, cooking, cleaning, walking, and learning with them;

-I am so happy that I can see my kids grow everyday!Hamdulillah!

-When I hug and kiss them I can feel the mercy Allah has bestow upon me and my dh.
I am going to tag

wa alaykum assalam

Get together!

Assalamu alaykum,
Another week has passed. A very pleasant week. We have had another week off homeschooling and just take one day at the time. It's just dh has been at home,unusually, for a day and couple of evenings! When dh is around is pretty difficult to get the kids concentrating on their work, mind you he is never at home.
Nevertheless we had a busy week with plenty of occasion to learn new stuff, me included!
Now we spent 5 days out and have 1 afternoon and 1 day indoor, that's pretty all the time I have at home. I find that as the kids get older, they are more demanding not just on what they eat, cloth or material stuff but mentally and emotionally. Also the activities outdoor keep them going and, as they are boys, their energy is unlimited :)
On Monday the boys went back to swimming. They had their usual lesson in Arabic and Quran with Tuesday, they both attended the homework club. The teacher took in S. too, she said that as long as he can read it is fine for him to stay and gave him some Maths worksheets to complete. Tuesday evening A. has wrestling just getting ready for the March tournament.
Wednesday is our day at home and a chance for me to catch up on the chores. Kids spent their day watching a new set of DVDs about the world around us from BBC. Great collection with 5 DVDs. A.loves documentaries. I find them fascinating too and very useful to my science studies. In the morning I took the kids to the local park and they rode their bikes after a long time. Spring is in the air.
Thursday we met with the new home edu group, a great get together for Muslim homeschoolers in a Eastender park, not too far from where we live. InshAllah we will try to attend every week and benefit from other home edu families.
Thursdays and Fridays eve, my kids are at madrassa. This week it was their first week back to madrassa after half term. They spent both days revising the Qur'an and Islamic Studies.
Today, Saturday, A. attended again the supplementary school. He used the computers and learnt with one of my favourite website. Also he enjoyed science, chemistry, literacy, numeracy and for the first time he went for PE; today was the trampolining. That's another great day. I spoke to the teacher before leaving A. she said they will be starting French soon. For my French friend out there, you know how long I was craving for this!! Hamdulillah, it is all working out. While A. was at school I took S. and S2 to the soft play area. This is the only place where I can really relax, while my kids are playing, for two main reasons: 1)the play area is always empty, no other children around when we go; 2) it is a very safe area for babies too, only soft toys and very clean!
Tomorrow, inshAllah, we are at wrestling again, that's almost all day.
Now where is my 'ME' time gone????

apple pie with greek yogurt ice cream and honey

Baby S. in the balls pool
Old sign-Transport Museum
Play area at the Transport Museum
Lovely sky, day out at the park with our bikes
Spring is on its way!!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Learning photography and time well spent!

Assalamu alaykum to all my dearest readers!
May this find you all in good health and strong Iman. Amin.

What a different week we had around here. As pre-announced, A. started his 4 days course 'Introduction to Photography'. The 4 days came and gone, so quickly but I am glad all went well and A. had a great experience.

On Monday when I took him to the centre for his course, I was nervous, he was fine -'just excite'- he said. I was really getting worried in case the course was going to be a photographic exhibition of living beings!

I went in and found a really nice teacher waiting for us. I told her straight that my child is home educate and ask her more about the picutures she would let the kids take. She mentioned natural pthings and objects around just like a pen, a bottle, a plant, a flower etc.and also revealed that her sister does home educate her kids! What a nice start!!!

I left A. with a big grin on his face. I could see how happy he was to be with other kids and in a classroom, what a novelty!

He spent the next fours days enjoying to the full the time with his new found friends. He said some were nice but others were a bit 'rude' - in his own words.

Everyday he left the class with something new and exciting to tell and everyday he learnt lots about photography, for his young age. The teacher made sure all the kids would take pics of things around them and not living beings. Main objects were plants, flowers, bottles, glittery stars, tables, fruits etc. One day the children were taken to the local park to take pics of natural things. They learnt how to develop pictures and how a camera works.

All in all a great week with a twist for him and for me. But also for his brothers. S. and S2 were happy to spent sometime together without the older brother ruling them about. I spent some great quality time with both and I learnt to listen to S. a bit more. Hamudlillah.Usually I will go through A. to understand S. but this time I made time to sit with him and listen to all his stories and his dreams. We read together, usually is A. reading with S., we spent time at the local farm and talked about things he likes to do, we painted, cooked and made shopping together. It has been a really different week. With A. at school from 10am to 3pm, I had tons of time to clean, cook, read that nice book I bought 2 years ago, and just chill out with my other two boys. Mash'Allah wa al-hamdulillah.

I even had time to pick up my Arabic course to revise the lesson before Friday comes.

Tomorrow A. and his friends at the course have prepared a photographic exhibition and will show their hard work. The teacher told us there will prizes and certificates for all. Looking forward to that. Insh'Allah.

This last week we all learnt something: A. learnt: 1)that not all children are nice; 2) look after his belongings when outside; 3) appreciate more home education.

I learnt that: 1) A. needs more independence (with guidance,lol) and I need to entrust him more with things in and out the house; 2) let A. loose a bit more; 3) home education is truly better than any school; 3) listen more and spend more time with S. and S2.

The next set of free courses there will be up in Summer time. Last summer we missed the registration day and by the time we decided to go ahead and fill an application form it was way too late. During summer, the variety of courses on offer is great and there is an higher demand. Last summer there were courses to learn French, Maths, English literature, sewing, dressmaking, henna, cooking, art&craft, lots of free sports and many more activities. There is not really a link I can send out, for those living in my borough you need to visit your library regularly before summer, look for a booklet for summer courses, it's all in there and best of all they are all free!!!!

for now,

wa alaykum assalam

Chicken Pie inspired by sister Rainbow and the book:'How to make an apple pie and visit the world'. I had some leftover roasted chicken. I made a crust with butter, flour and iced water. I then cooked carrots, peas and onions and made a bechamelle sauce. Added the ingredients to the sauce and cooked for 35 minutes (my oven is fan assisted and cook everything super quick!)Quick dish for the busy home educators out there.

Chicken pie, ready to be cook.
the local farm, very welcoming and S. really like it.

Soft Play area in one of the leisure centre. It's massive, I couldn't take it all in one pic. It is divided into 4 floors and kids can climb up and down as they please. Baby friendly!

Tibetan bridge

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Business as usual!!

Assalamu alaykum,

may this finds you all in the best of health and Iman.Amin.
We are back to our normal routine, actually thinking about it, we have never left that routine even during my little 'crisis'!!
Carried on home educating my lovely boys as usual. Just really working hard to make sure my eldest gets an head start before going back to his Saturday school after the half term.
The Saturday school would be a great asset for A's education and mainly in Science, Maths, English and ICT. I am so glad that despite all he got a place and all for free!
These last few weeks I have been searching for free activities for my boys, anything, of course halal, from sports to courses. I am amazed about how many lovely activities and sports free of charge or really cheap for a £1 or less than that, are held in my borough. I found fencing, archery, swimming, courses of French, English, Photography, Computing and even how to build your very own go kart and test it!!!

I enrolled A to a photography course. It's an introduction on how to use a camera, how does a camera work, so I guess a bit of science and maths will be taught and finally how to take great pics! All for free! He will be starting this course next week,during the half term, insh'Allah.

Back to home education, it's going mash'Allah. All praises are due to Allah. Just few days ago I was moaning but I feel better and full of energy. Hamdulillah for Islam and for dua'as!

A. is doing very well with Calvert programme. He is progressing as usual and I realized he can do it all by himself, just a little guidance here and there, but I can leave him to work alone and he can produce a great work. I was really happy the first time I left him. I had to follow S. with his new Math programme and I was away for about 1 hour. I thought I would find A. playing around with his baby brother but I was wrong. I went back only to find him all concentrate, learning about the perimeter and area of solids!!! I never taught him about solids, let alone perimeter and area. Hamdulillah as I can now leave him to do his work, of course he is still in need of a bit of guidance when it comes down to History, Geography and Science activities but for the rest he is quite happy to get along by himself.

Also I was surprised when his teacher at the homework club remarked the fact that he is the only one that can get on with the work without need of help and little guidance. I thought this must be due to the fact that he is home educated and he always work on a 1-2-1 method.What do you think?
At the homework club I gave A. the worksheets from and he completed the daily lessons in Maths, reading comprehension and reading all by himself. The teacher was asking where I get all the resources from :)

For the past few days we have been reviewing the timetables. I left the timetables last year as Calvert doesn't teach it until the child reach grade 3. But I felt he should go back to it just in case his teacher at the Saturday school ask him.

S. is doing great at reading. He is always working very well in Maths and currently studying with Every day I would print out the worksheets for his lessons and he would try his best to work on them. I am glad he can now read and the worksheets reinforced his phonics and reading. I tell you that tutoring programme is great!
In Maths, S. is learning about the signs <, > and = and lot of additions and subtractions. In reading he is doing various exercises such as fill in the blanks using words that contain the short sound A, also words with the sounds bl and cl.

Qur'an and Arabic as usual in madrassa and at home with The ustadh at is really working hard on teaching my kids how to read and I am pleased he gives them lot to do at home. I can see the benefits, again, on working with the child 1-2-1.

In Islamic studies, S. is learning about the dua'a that Prophet Yunus (as) said when he was in the whale. A. is back to the Pillars of Islam and daily dua'as. Repetition is never enough!

for now
wa alaykum assalam x
Pics 1-2-3: Learning about Japanese cuisine:sushi nori with fresh vegetables and rice. Pics 4-5-6-7: A bit of art and craft. Pic 8: S. is counting tens and ones with the help of colourful blocks.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Live for today!!

Assalamu alaykum,
after my sad post few days ago, I received a touching email and a lovely phone call.
I feel blessed to have such sisters around. Hamdulillah Rabbi 'Alamin. Indeed to Him belongs the Heaven and the Earth and all that it contains. Mash'Allah!

I don't want to give up home education, it is not my real aim, nor it is a wish inside me. Far from that!! I wish to carry on as much as Allah will bless me with it.
I do feel very happy with home education and feel blessed that I can do it and that my kids are gaining so much.
Yes, I would love that things could be easier for me and kids. I would love that my dh is around more often to spent time with my kids and help a bit more even if only with doing shopping or run some errands for me.
But this is my test and as I have already said in reply to a sister I shall be strong and try to take one day at the time.
A sister called the day after I wrote that message , in fact she said she tried to call me all the day before just as I wrote the sad post but my mobile was off.
She stated so beautifully that I should live for today and it looks like a simple advice by a dear sister. But it was really what I needed and I appreciated her nasiha so much. I feel I have been ungrateful and also have I put my total trust in Allah? Islam teaches us to put our trust only in Allah, He is our Creator after all!! After the call I hugged my kids strongly just as the sister was advising me to do over the phone and I felt better as I could touch with my heart and my hands the love that Allah has for me and my family all. Jazakillah ukhti, you know who you are. Love fisabilillah to you.
I feel that things can only go better from now and I am recharging by teaching my kids and guess what? cooking!
Don't know why, don't ask! I hate cooking but these days helped me to relax and feel better about my life.
May Allah forgive me for being so ungrateful and may He guide me and my family to what is good, always.Amin.

Later that day I received another call. It was late evening and I was really tired. I looked at the phone screen and realized it was my dh id. I picked up. I don't know why, still I am here wondering, he said just a beautiful thing. He was saying how grateful he was that my kids are home educated and how happy he is that I can teach them at home. He recognized the fact that I have taken up a big challenge and that he is sorry he cannot be around to help. Allah As-Sami'.
It brought tears to my eyes and opened up a new way for me and my kids....Allah Al Fattah!!

Just to finish this post, I'd like to make a special du'as for all the sisters that want to home educate but cannot for their own personal tests, may Allah open a way for you and bring you relief from your hardships.Amin.
For those who you that are looking to start with home education, you will start something amazing and so many rewards and blessings are awaiting for you just around the corner! Don't be afraid to start or indeed to take up this challenge, put your trust in Allah and live for today.
love fisabilillah

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Home education on a budget!

Assalamu alaykum, who said home education has to be expensive!!??
Here some really nice links to keep you going, cheaply :) JazakAllahu kheiran to all the akhwat in the Group for posting the links.
Mind Sprinting Free US curriculum in Math and Reading
Life Science Homeschoolers welcome!
Parents in touch Worksheets, Sats papers, information on education for parents
Primary Resources Free Lessons plans, activities, ideas etc
@ School Provides online Primary curriculum
wa alaykum assalam

Facing hardships and home educating

Assalamu alaykum,
lately I am reading a lot about other sisters preparing to embark on the great journey of home education. I read their posts on the Group, chat with them at the phone and/or email them. Their talks, excitement, research into home education and the ifs and buts remind me of my beginning, our beginning into the world of home education. So much to look forward, so much to gain joy from, mash'Allah.
Four years after and it is still the same for me, I am still so happy and full of energy. I do wish I could do more, I could teach more I could...time's flying and before I know it's tomorrow! But am I really that full of energy? Am I still so full of happiness? Is the stress of everyday life taking its toll?
All these thoughts have brought some deep reflection about my current situation.
Since the very first day I chose home education and I get on with it all by my own. I was not expected a medal here or indeed to get paid for doing what I love to do, but appreciation and maybe a little encouragement would do.
I feel days, months and years later the situation is the same. I chose to home educate because I do believe it is the best choice for my kids. I have so much respect for those mums that have to send their kids to state school because they cannot do home education, or because things are not easy maybe they face some hardships, financial problems etc. May Allah make it easy for all of the sisters in those situations.Amin. I am indeed blessed and thank Allah for it.
Although I am facing some hardships at present and this is effecting me. I am usually a little 'soldier' I march on because that is how I was brought up. No matter what I have always stand up and done what I had to. Most of the sisters I know are like that and just get on with their works. Mash'Allah, may Allah reward them!Amin.
But lately all of the stress related problems of everyday life combined with the old problem of living by my own with 3 kidlets have taken its toll. It's already so hard to function in normal circumstances but imagine doing all that, cooking, cleaning, shopping looking after the education of the kids, a toddler of 1 1/2, the usual errands (bills, bank, post office etc), university studies, Arabic course, sports , madrassa etc and on top not support and stress related to everyday living?!!
I do feel things are a bit too much for me at present.
Should I leave home education? I would be sad to do so, but where are my alternatives? Do I have any choice? Is there a way I can mend such a situation?
I am pondering over those thoughts now and just feeling really tired....
wa alaykum assalam

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A new challenge and so much snow!!

Assalamu alaykum,

we are still finding our feet with the new routine. We have not open the Calvert books for the last 2 weeks or so since this morning!

A. received the last test results back from his Calvert teacher. She was very happy with his progress but asked him to work more on spellings. In Science and maths, all was well and I was relieved that the work I am doing with him, it is appreciated and the the teacher gave him good feedback. She also wrote a letter to me, just to say how happy she was with A. work and to keep it up! I was chuffed, really I was.

So much as happened in the last 2 weeks but I had very little time to update here and I don't know where to start really. I will be brief as time is my great enemy!

I have been in the search for new activities for my kids, free of charge of course! I won't be able to afford all that my kids wants to do!

A. started a homework club and so far he enjoyed the novelty of being in a group and working together with other kids. While he is in there, for about 2 hours, myself and the other two boys are off to the library where S. can use the computer and learn with is favourite website cbeebies.

I have also registered A. to a Saturday school where he will be doing Literacy, Numeracy, Science and ICT. All for free!

Qur'an and Arabic as usual with and in the new evening madrassa just 10 minutes drive from home-love it!

We have started a new Asdan challenge. This time we concentrated on learning about wild animals native of Britain. A., initially, chose to talk about the red squirrel but he soon turned his attention to a more common and easily found wild animal: the badger!

We went to the library and looked for a book. Tons of books I should say. One topic but lots of books. We chose just two and carried on our search on the net. I printed out some reading materials about badgers. I then left all to A. and with little of no help from me, he was able to produce a new piece of work. Another challenge completed, lots more to go!

S. has been writing a lot lately. Just everywhere. I bought him a small writing pad and he started writing down things, anything from food to titles of books. Every time he would show me and he would get so proud when I tell him how good he has been, mash'Allah.
S. is really reading nicely now and we are concentrating on the Eeman Reading Series booklets. A very nice collection of books in English with Islamic moral content for the primary school level.

He is also doing fine in maths and enjoying adding but less subtracting. He finds it hard to take away numbers. Today we were playing the shopping game and when he was time to give the change back he had to work a little bit harder.

Both the boys have restarted Islamic Studies, mainly reading books with me and comprehension of the text. There has been a lot of talking about the topic of angels.

Sport have been on as usual, swimming and wrestling. My eldest will be starting a new tournament next month and he is training twice a week now. It's a lot of work but he does it with passion. Mash'Allah.

On another matter now. I have been looking to get my 5 1/2 registered with the Traffic Club since he was 3! I never went far. Every time they would say that I cannot register him because the health visitor should do so and blah, blah, blah!!

I wrote them and complained about it because I know most of my friends have received a set of 6 free books from them automatically when the children where 3.
Why not mine??

I won the battle....they sent my boy all the books with a letter of apology. :)

We used those books and they are great, S. completed book 1 and book 2 and started the activities booklet that comes with the series. It teaches kids the importance of being safe in the road, in the car, while riding a bike, at the traffic light, etc. Very nice.

Kids enjoyed the snow the past few days and here are the pics....
wa alaykum assalaam

Monday, 2 February 2009


Sunday, 1 February 2009

ei: The Electronic Intifada

ei: The Electronic Intifada

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