The great thing about home-schooling is to cope with life’s every aspect with children running under your feet. Wether you have a hospital appointment or moving a house- this is a real life education and children are part of it. To cut a long story short, we have moved a house. Moving in itself was such a big experience, packing, unpacking and organizing things around the house etc. Add to that tests and trials we faced when moving, alhamdulillah it was all such a humbling experience. And we keep praying and asking Allah swt to bless us in this place and make it fruitful for us.
Thanks to moving I have completely reorganized our books and learning boxes and have been able to sort a lot of homeschool resources. We got rid of the junk papers piled up inside our files. Oh sisters, you all should have seen the amount of paper- honestly it took me good few hours to sort the papers and there was a mountain of paper to recycle. We have got a seperate library/homeschool room in our new house and we are all loving the space in it. InshaAllah when I have more time I will share the pictures on how we organized the room.
Alhamdulillah kids didnt miss much of schooling during moving but I didnt have the will or time to post anything. I took a lot of time to reflect, review and making plans- both for myself and for my kids.
We do Qur’an hifdh and Qur’an reading daily in the mornings. The first thing we do to start the day is listen to Qur’an during or just after the breakfast. When we finish our hifdh session we read a page from Ahsanul Qawaid. Sumayya is on lesson 21 and Safiyya is still learning different shapes of letters on lesson 4/5. Alhamdulillah both doing really well. Sumayya has memorized surah Naba and surah Abasa. She has still got to memorize surah Naziat to finish juzu Amma. Safiyya has memorized surah Takathur and learning surah Qoria at the moment.
Arabic- we read from their Arabic vocab books and short stories. I always review the vocab with them during the day. I keep pointing to fruits/vegetables in the kitchen and asking for their names in Arabic when cooking or cleaning in the kitchen or pointing to objects and ask “Ma Hadha?” around the house all day long. So we get to practise lots of Arabic vocab during the day like this, very casually and informally. Safiyya has learned all the body parts and colours in Arabic recently. She can also read three letter words such as anf-nose, fam-mouth etc.
Arabic writing- Sumayya copywrites from books or Scribe and Safiyya is trying to independently write the letters. She has lost interest in tracing.
Reading- Sumayya is always reading and as usual I get her to narrate to me the stories on the go. She reads between 5-8 books a day on average, some days more or some days less then that. Safiyya can read from Jolly Phonics flashcards and I have not been able to spend much one-on-one time to improve her reading recently. She spends a lot of time on starfalls doing the phonics related activities. Before I used to allow them spend 30 mins daily on online interactive educational web-sites doing some phonics/math related activities. Now since Safiyya has figured out how to open up the web page on her own, I often find her sitting and doing starfalls on her own. I really used to restrict a lot but now I think since I am not doing anything beneficial with them then why not? Especially with moving, having both on the laptop doing some educational activity came in so handy to me that I stretched my daily 30 mins to an hour, some days up to 2 hours but with lots of breaks in between. Whoever is reading this, how much time do you guys allocate for your children to spend on interactive educational web-pages a day and at what age? Anyway, personally I didnt notice her reading improved with more starfalls activities. I think me spending more time with her on literacy would work better inshaAllah and I believe she is ready to read.
Writing- we do copywork for handwriting with both girls. Sumayya does written narration for composition. She also writes like a daily journal on one of her notebooks jotting down things she did during the day with plenty of spelling mistakes. But I can always figure out what she meant to write, alhamdulillah. She is always writing letters to her friends. In fact, she writes at least one letter a day. She was missing her friends Rawda and Kavsar- our old neighbours with whom they spent a lot of time playing together. I said we would invite them over for dinner one day inshaAllah. She wrote an invitation card for both of them and said “Please come to my new house and I want to go to your house” with pictures. She spent a lot of time decorating those cards. One day we were expecting Dawud and Marjaan- their friends. Mum said they couldnt come because they were not feeling well. As soon as I announced this to the girls Sumayya did Get Well Soon card for both D and M, inside she wrote a letter and dua- La Basa Tohur inshaAllah and drew a picture of herself and D and M. In the picture the sick child was lying down on bed and Sumayya was touching his/her forehead. And underneath the dua, mashaAllah. And Safiyya kept asking me to buy flowers and presents for them because they are not feeling well. I dont know if I have mentioned this before but Safiyya has started writing her full name sometime ago and now does so well, mashaAllah.
Math- we are doing 1-2 pages every other day from MEP Year 1 with Sumayya. It is just getting easier for her. I have got an Uzbek math workbook used for Year 2 at schools back home that got sent to us by grandma recently. InshaAllah will try to incorporate that as well. When we dont feel like doing workbook, usually I ask her to write numbers 0-50, and then circle all the odd numbers or even numbers. Then to skip count by 2’s 0-20 or by 3’s 0-30 or I quickly write simple addition problems with numbers 0-20. Sumayya really likes spontaneous tasks like this. She does them quickly and enjoys the variety of tasks. I usually ask Safiyya count 0-20, write numbers 0-20, and do simple addition with numbers 0-10 or more/less activities with numbers 0-20. She counts 0-20, recognize numbers 0-20, is very confident writing numbers 0-10 and trying to write numbers 10-20. She is confident in identifying which number is more and which is less, improving addition and doesnt yet know the concept of odd/even. But inshaAllah, again I will have to spend more one-on-one time with her since she easily gets distracted and has shorter attention span than her sister.
Outdoors- mashaAllah we have got such a lovely and big garden at this place. They spend sometime outside every day even though the weather has not been that great recently. But we do miss going for longer walks in woods and going to playgrounds in parks. We have not been able to get out much recently and still trying to settle, subhanAllah.
Creativity- they have never missed making things. They never let me put yoghurt pots, cereal boxes, milk bottles in the recycling bin now. They have always got some kind of make and do ideas in mind. Especially little Safiyya!!! It takes us forever to clean up their mess but they always participate in the cleaning process so we are not bothered too much. Alhamdulillah, even when I am busy with other things and cant give them my full attention- they can keep themselves busy with one of their arty projects. I just give them a cardboard or cereal box, scissors, glue sticks and anything I can find and leave it up to them. They decide what to make and how to make and just get on with it, mashaAllah.
Aqeedah/Prophets stories- we have not been able to do anything constructive. But we do read lots of books on prophets, do little quiz on the spot, discuss the story, do Q&A on aqeedah on the go all day long. Any experience we come across- be it eating, dressing, talking- I try to remind that the angels are writing down and Allah is watching and will be counting our good/bad deeds on the day of Judgement.
Apart from these, Safiyya has been struggling with her eczema and asthma recently. I think her illness affects her behaviour- she becomes very whingy and keeps arguing with Sumayya or myself. I do believe this child is my test and I do blame myself for not being patient enough to bear some of her actions. She always gets herself into trouble, subhanAllah. I dont know how and why but she keeps falling off things, or does things that would hurt herself. We had so many visitors over the weekend and she somehow managed to hit her head against one little boy’s head and ended up having such a deep cut inside her lips. It was bleeding for ages. Then yesterday she put her finger inside pencil sharpener and pretended to be sharpening a pencil and ended up cutting her nails halfway through, subhanAllah. She does cheeky things not out of not knowing it would harm her but out of curiosity. She is an experimentalist and tries everything to find out what happens next, even after I have clearly explained to her that we should do A because of B etc. I often find myself shouting at her and then feeling guilty and asking to forgive me later on. I really dont know how to come out of this habit, out of this ritual. I seem to keep going round and round, no way out of it. It will surely pass but I dont want to damage anything in her, I dont want to damage her creativity, I dont want to make her even more stubborn with all this shouting and I dont want her to become attention seeker….I pray Allah swt make things easy for me and guides me to the right conclusion, amin.
I will do a separate post on our experience with eczema and asthma. I always find other sisters’ such experience helpful and sisters have asked me in the past what we did for Safiyya, what worked and what didnt etc. InshaAllah I will share the experience in due time but will have to finish my post here for now.