Qur’an (hifdh)

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah we manage to practise few surahs from the Qur’an every day in the mornings.

Sumayya has finished memorizing surah Mutaffifiyn. She has 3 more surahs to memorize (Naba, Naziat, Abasa) to finish juzu Amma- the last ten pages of the Qur’an. Because we listen to surahs from juzu Amma a lot she knows the first 5-6 ayats of all three remaining surahs. We only have to focus on one at a time, listen more with repetition/drill inshaAllah. Normally she recites 3 longer surahs and 3-4 short ones by heart daily.

Safiyya has finished memorizing Asr, Alhamdulillah. She is learning fast because she is still on short surahs. She has memorized Fatiha, Ihlas, Falaq, Nas, Masad, Kafirun, Kavthar, Fat’h, Fil, Quraish, Asr. She recites all these every morning by heart- it doesnt take long as these are really short. She is memorizing surah Maun at the moment.

We have been doing more Qur’an centred work with Sumayya the past couple of weeks . I hope it will make it easy for her to use mus’haf and she will get used to Arabic print, thus finding it easy to read later on.

I self-taught myself how to read Qur’an this way. I would play a surah by Sh. Hudhayfi from http://www.quranexplorer.com and follow it with my finger from the mus’haf. I would listen carefully, notice the sounds and rules and make notes on the go. This method helped me to improve my reading (I still have a lot to improve but at least I can read now).  So, I have been trying to teach Sumayya how to follow the surah whilst reciting it, her finger should point the correct word she is uttering at the moment. My philosophy was ‘You recognize the letters so you should be able to recognize what word you are saying’ and mashAllah she was very keen to able to identify the words of an ayah. I would never push if she doesnt want to follow from the mus’haf but just wants to recite the surah itself.

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Arabic Progress

Bismillah,

I dont want to make blogging a burden on myself lol. So, inshaAllah whenever I get time and motivation, I will share our updates and progress on each subject. So this is the Arabic progress so far.
Alhamdulillah, Safiyya now recognizes all the letters of the Arabic alphabet.  She has kinaesthetic learning style which means she likes to touch, feel, hold, make and do things in order to learn. My two main tools of teaching the Arabic alphabet has been the Arabic Alphabet wooden puzzle set and Arabic Alphabet blocks- both from emaan.productions.com.

She does the puzzle and we sing along the “alif, baa, taa” nasheed pointing to each letter at a time. Then I ask her to point to letter ‘daal’ etc. Then it is her turn to ask, she pretends to be a teacher and asks me to show letter ‘x’ etc. She loves being a teacher lol.

With building blocks, I ask her to make a train by putting all the letters in the alphabetical order alif-to-ya. Alhamdulillah she has just mastered to put all the arabic letter blocks in the right alphabetical order by using our Arabic Alphabet poster as a reference. Then again I ask her to show me different letters one at a time. Then it will be her turn to ask. At the moment she is trying to write her name in Arabic as she started to attend the Arabic school on Sundays with her sister. She knows ‘sod’ ‘fa’ ‘yaa’ the letters used in her name and she can identify the beginning letter in simple words such as Qaf for Qolam, Mim for Masjid etc.

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Seerah Progress

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah, this year we have been learning the life of the prophet Muhammad (saw) in more detail. We have two books to use for our seerah studies. I use the following book during our study time. We read one story at a time and do a follow up activity. So far we read the following: The Prophet’s birth; Nursed in the Desert; A visit to Yathrib. I read the story and summarize it to the girls. Thereafter, I ask them to narrate the story back to me whilst doing a follow up activity. They narrated the 1st story like this: The prophet was born in Arabia many many years ago. There were three towns in Arabia at that time: Makkah- a barren valley where people used to come to pilgrimage of Hajj; Madinah- an oasis famous for its palm trees and dates; Taif- mountainous refuge place during hot season famous for its grapes. Muhammad (saw) was born in Makkah. His mother’s name was Aminah, father’s name was Abdullah.  The prophet’s father died when he was a still baby. 

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The most needed quality

Bismillah,

Wednesday morning. It is a normal homeschooling day for us. I prayed fajr with my two girls, we made zikr and dua. Alhamdulillah, Sumayya loves this morning ritual and most days follows me without being told. Safiyya, my “ants-in-her-pants” 3 year old, on the other hand, doesnt like praying that much at this stage but enjoys making dhikr and dua. She always asks for healthy sweeties and oranges in Jannah that doesnt make her eczema worse, subhanAllah :). Poor child suffered from a bad eczema as a toddler and is not allowed citrus fruit, most sweets and chocolates. May Allah give her and other eczema prone children a complete shifaa, amin.

Anyway, we have breakfast following which we all sit down to do our numeracy and literacy. Safiyya is currently working with phonics, numbers 0-10, counting and simple addition with numbers 0-5. She is also practising independent handwriting. She has a writing workbook where she does lots of tracing, colouring and following the lines. She loves that. But she is not very keen on independent writing. And she keeps moving about during lessons which makes me ANGRY….

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Why I decided to homeschool…

Bismillah,

I have read a lot about homeschooling long before my eldest child reached school age. Full time public schooling is optional from 4 years old and compulsory from 5  in the UK. There are religious, philosophical and other reasons for our decision of homeschooling. But, ultimately, husband and I believe we can offer a more suitable education for our children at home.  I will explain how we reached this decision and why I pulled my 4 year old out of public school after 3 months of trial period.

Firstly, I read a lot on homeschooling when Sumayya was still a baby. I was greatly influenced by some 19th century educators such as Montessori, Charlotte Mason who emphasize the importance of home education. I read lots of books on early learning and children’s development between the age 0-5 by authors such as Waldorf, Doman, Montessori. I have really enjoyed to participate in my children’s early learning and was able to teach Sumayya how to read and write, early Maths and beginner’s science before she reached optional school age (which is 4 in the UK).

However, when the time arrived to send Sumayya to school in September 2011, I was not ready to conceive the idea of full time home education. My main questions being a) Till when do I homeschool? b) And how about her socialization and English? With these in mind, we have sent her to school.

Another thing that made me comfortable with full time public schooling is that we live in catchment area of good schools and she was allocated one of the really good primary schools where we live. Plus, I was aware of flexi-schooling arrangements being legal in the UK and thought would try to arrange flexi-school for her later on.

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Kid’s Talk

Bismillah,

This is again a new project I have been thinking for a long time. All you need is a child/children and a clean notebook. Write down “Kid’s Talk” on the front cover page of your notebook. And you can record your child’s very unique conversations and talks in this notebook.

Sometimes my children amaze me with very thoughtful statements. Sometimes they make us laugh with their innocence and very funny talks. Sometimes what they say really makes me ponder. I always think I will write it down before I forget as I would like to read and remember these days together when they are older. It must be especially nice to read it together when they are adult and have their own kids. But all too often I forget, with some much running around the house lol.

Anyway, later I had this idea. It’s impossible to record all of their conversations and talks. But what if each week I try to spend 10 minutes  doing a focused activity merely to get them talk, cause a conversation and I can write their conversations, thoughts, opinions and ideas on that topic. Once a week seems to be okay and this weekly KIDS TALK activity takes maximum of 10 minutes. I present something visual, a picture, an object and pose 1-2 question and try to cause a useful and meaningful conversation with both my kids, Sumayya and Safiyya. And inshaAllah I will write down their answers and opinions quickly after the conversation. This gives me a chance to observe their speech development and note what is going on in their minds. I invite all of you to participate in this project and share your notes on your KIDS TALK notebook. Let us have fun reading our kids thoughts and it is so joyful thing to do too!!!

OK. This week’s topic for KIDS TALK is “Growth and Change”. You need to find three pictures of your children as babies and three recent pictures. Talk to them what they did then as a baby and what they can do now as 3 year old/ 5 year old. Try to remember what they say and how they express their ideas and thoughts. Remind them how Allah created them as baby and Allah provided food/family for their healthy growing and therefore we have to be grateful ( this helps to develop the Habit of Gratitude) .

Please share the conversation you have with your kid/kids here inshaAllah, would be nice to read what they come up with :D

MUM’s Discussion Group

Bismillah,

I know it takes awhile to this discussion group to take off. Nevertheless, I have to start it at some point inshaAllah :).

I run mum’s discussion group with some local mums monthly where we discuss our kids’ new habits, developments and attitudes and how to deal with behavioural problems each family facing at the time. Alhamdulillah we all find it very useful and I really enjoy listening to other mums’ stories and how they solved the problem etc. I really enjoy learning from their experiences.

So, for a long time I thought of organizing some kind of online group with some sisters whom I have come to know online. And some sisters I know in life but am unable to meet physically every month to discuss the issues relating to children. When we do meet once in awhile, often there is not enough time or will to discuss such things. So, inshaAllah this group will bring together all the great mums out there who are willing to share their experiences: what problems they are facing with children’s tarbiyya, adab, manners and how they are trying to solve such problems, what is working and what didnt work etc.

Every week we choose a different topic and I invite everyone to contribute to the discussion by answering 2-3 questions I pose inshaAllah.  So, this week’s topic is the importance of  HOME environment in children’s tarbiyya. Feel free to answer any of the following questions or just talk about what is the role of HOME environment in children’s tarbiyya. What was the home environment like in prophet’s companions households? I mean the younger sahabas who were children during the lifetime of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w? For example, Abdullah ibn Umar r.a, the son of Umar ibn Al-Khattab r.a was a young child during the lifetime of the prophet s.a.w. He is considered a sahaba as he got to see the prophet. What was his home environment in the household of Umar r.a?

Here are the questions:

1. What opportunities for loving can your home provide?

2. Name some worthwhile things to do at home (with or without kids) ?
3. “You are what you eat” can this become “You are what you read”. What type of stories do you mostly read at home (with children or your own reading)?
4. Name three simple things you remember doing at home as a family where everyone enjoyed and had fun. (watching, cooking,baking sth together etc)
5. Name three simple things that makes you angry/upset at home (the sight of unwashed dishes, untidy bedroom, kids wardrobe messy/clothes unfolded etc)?