MEP: Year 1

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah we have now finished the 1st ten lessons from MEP Year 1 with Sumayya. It seemed too easy at the beginning but now I am doing plenty of supplementary activities based on teaching guidelines and we are all enjoying it.

We are still improving the concepts of less/more, how many more/how many less, repeating patterns. But, the exercises in the workbook is getting more challenging.

As you can see child has to figure out what to do, how many to sticks/dots draw to make signs correct etc. She reads the instructions by herself and if confident goes ahead if not asks me to explain what to do.

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A letter to grandma

Bismillah,

Thanks to Skype, we have been enjoying talking to my brother and sister recently. They didnt have laptop+internet before  so it was the first time the girls got to see their aunty and uncle. They are getting to know her cousins too. Maybe these might have encouraged them to be a bit more talkative to their grandparents on the phone. Usually they dont like speaking to my mum and dad on the phone. My mom and dad dont have either laptop or an internet connection yet but inshaAllah we will get a chance to see them through skype when they visit my brother in the capital soon.

Anyway, the bottom of the matter is, Sumayya is so keen on writing letters on MS word.  She wrote a letter to my mom.

She drew herself, Safiyya and Ibrohim on the picture. And she has asked her grandma to bring some cats and chicks when she comes over inshaAllah.

She has been using MS Word for 3-4 months and can type words, can insert shapes and choose colours for her shapes and choose borders/lines for decoration. First we let her do work on MS Word but now we limit it to a great extent as both myself and hubby fear that it might overtake her handwriting. At this point she needs lots of practise with her handwriting. As kids grow older, naturally they get more curious about all the technology out there so inshaAllah will have plenty of chance to explore. But, as much as we can, we should try to limit the use of technology at this early years. That is what we have decided.

And for her English handwriting, I am letting her do copywork. InshaAllah when she is better I ask her to do written narration for composition.

  

 

 

The Best Foundation

Bismillah,

A couple of weeks ago I was reviewing the kids learning progress with each subject and I was thinking of their developing little personalities. It is then I made the decision to focus these early years more on Qur’an and the Islamic Studies. We all want to give our children the best foundation. And I am sure we all agree that best foundation is found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

So, I have kind of made a new very flexible curriculum to follow. I will add it as a new page called Curriculum. And you can see there the main subjects to be covered in our curriculum is Qur’an– hifdh/memorization, reading/tajweed and Tafseer; Arabic– improve all the language skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking; Islamic Studies– Aqeedah, Seerah, Prophet’s Stories and Fiqh.  These will be the main subjects taught and we try to incorporate literacy/numeracy/geography/science into these subjects.

For example, for literacy we read one of the prophet’s story and I ask kids to narrate me the story. Choose up to 5 vocabulary and ask them to give me definition. And for geography we find on the map where that prophet was born, find on the globe where he travelled and in which direction the town is in relation to our current country. (i.e ask questions like Is Iraq east or west of the UK etc?) So, I have dropped using the geography and science workbooks. SubhanAllah, we have been super social since Sumayya stopped attending public school and so had to prioritize the subjects to cover due to time restrictions as well. Anyway, I think all the readers get the hang of our new curriculum as we go along inshaAllah.

So, the past few weeks we have done lots of work in line with our “The Best Foundation” curriculum. We hae completed Surah An Nasr and Surah Al Masad Qur’an centred wordworkbooks and these helped us tremendously to move on with our tajweed.   

We read the story of Nuh a.s and kids can narrate the story in the right sequence/order of events. They coloured a picture based on story, cut out and pasted on to a hard-stock paper. Then each decorated their own papers. Sumayya tried to draw her own ship with animals on board.

  

We have finished the first 10 lessons from Ahsanul Qawaid with Sumayya and Alhamdulillah she is reading well. The lessons are getting more difficult for her now, she found the beginning too easy and could read independently. She has learnt the use of “tanvin” (an, in, un) and the long Aa sound (fatha+alif next to letter as you can see on the following pages). I kept explaining to her how fatha+alif make long “aa” sound and she calls it double A now. In the exercises to read all the words are the high frequency words from the Qur’an and whenever she comes across that she knows from a particular surah, she recites the full ayah and we try to guess which surah the word is taken from. (Usually even I cant remember which ayah the word is from even though we remember the full ayah)

Safiyya is still learning the 3rd lesson, the use of fatha/damma/kasra for a, i, u sounds. And she is learning the letters in different forms too. Alhamdulillah she is very keen since she started Arabic school

  

Aqeeda, we are still learning the names and attributes of Allah swt. I take 10 out each week. Sumayya reads, Safiyya does letter hunting on flashcards and we talk about meaning/discuss.

 

Arabic- they do 1-2 pages from their workbooks as and when they want. They are memorizing new words. Sumayya has picked up lots of words from her Arabic story books. Alhamdulillah my husband reads aloud to them daily. One day I was sat trying to read one of the story books called A Strange Circle and Sumayya kept translating for me all the words I asked for. I genuinely didnt know the meaning and when I checked from the back she was correct, subhanAllah. And another day they were watching one of the Arabic Cartoons and it kept saying “Li Maza” and I asked her and Sumayya said it meant “Why?” . Also when Ibrahim cries she says “La Tabki” “Don’t cry”. So, her spoken Arabic is just coming along. And she is doing copywork for her handwriting.

Safiyya is trying to write the individual letters independently, no tracing. Alhamdulillah, she is trying well lol. And she has memorized all the words for Jism- Human body parts and trying to write them independently as most of them are 3 letter words. She knows a couple of Arabic songs for body parts and another about cat that she absolutely LOVES singing. I forgot to take picture of her independent handwriting. She can count till 10 in Arabic and recognizes the number 0-10. Now she is learning to count till 20. I gave her this basic math sheet just to keep her busy one day when I was trying to explain something to Sumayya. I am trying to find more work for her independent self-study time, I really need this so that I could give some individual time for both.

  

Sumayya has started using Scribe from Learning Roots for her handwriting. I got it last year but thought it was a bit too advanced for her level at the time. And I think I was right. She is really enjoying it at the moment and it is based on copywork. It moves from copying individual letters to letters in different forms to words to sentences and it provides copywork for a few hadith at the right end. I would highly recommend it to any sisters trying to improve their kids Arabic handwriting, age 5 and above would use it more to the purpose.