Summary week ending 22nd April 2012

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah we have settled in the new house well although at times I find the  size of it a bit overwhelming. Alhamdulillah though…

The girls have been learning fine , alhamdulillah. Sumayya is really thriving. She has finished her Ahsanul Qawaid book to help her how to read the Qur’an and every day she chooses one page to revise. We have to keep revising how to read, a page a day, otherwise children will forget the rules very quickly. She has been reading longer phrases from Qur’an such as below fluently. Sometimes she gets stuck with certain rules and I help her out. Usually she listens to a new surah a few times and she can read it from mushaf very fluently. We have also done the surah Falaq workbook from um an Numan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aqeeda. We have been reading books and discussing things in general. This week on Saturday’s class we did Allah Gave me a Healthy Body book from um An Numan and mashaAllah it was good to go over it with my girls again and other children embraced it enthusiastically.

Tafseer. We did tafseer of surah Ikhlas and children learnt that Allah has no family; He has no children and will never have; Allah is Self-Sufficient which I explained that we all need Allah but Allah doesnt need anyone’s help; children interpreted it “Allah is so brave, the most brave and therefore can live by Himself. Allah doesnt need help but He looks after us”

Arabic. We read from their books, revise the vocab they have been learning at school, practise handwriting and they get to watch the stories of the prophets in Arabic language which I think really helps with their listening comprehension. Safiyya has learned a lot of new vocab the past 2 weeks, she has learned the body parts, names of animals, colours and shapes etc. And she has been practising to write the Arabic letters  and some short words independently. Her writing mama- mom and baba- dad in Arabic. And the letters Jim, Wow, Taa (on the right) and in the middle Sumayya’s copywork from Scribe which she has nearly finished mashaAllah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Math. Sumayya has finished MEP Year 1 math exercise book mashaAllah. She is getting really better at equations. She solves addition problems really quick and easily. She sometimes gets stuck with some substractions. But alhamdulillah finally got the concept of “how many” more lol. i.e you have 7 pencils and how many more you need to make it 10. There were lots of fill in the missing numbers i.e 2+x=5 or 2-x=2 kind of addition and substraction problems towards the end which she could solve on her own, alhamdulillah.

Safiyya uses a lot of math manipulatives. It is hard to get her sit still and do a math workbook, she finished one easily and used to love it as it had lots of stickers inside. But since we moved it is getting for me even harder to get Safiyya on her co-operative mood. She does learn but she is very active child. She develops a sense of herself from her actions and from results of her actions. I am trying to figure out to invite her to do something with action every time- she seems to participate  and learn better that way. She likes threading, playing with coloured sticks, flashcards, legos and blocks etc. So, I guess any learning has to involve her to be doing something fidgety with her hands. She might be doing Qur’an revision in the mornings but unlike Sumayya (who prefers to sit still and get it over and done nicely and quickly) she will be playing with pom-poms or cutting a piece of paper or looking through flashcards and making some comments every now and then. Anyway, she is always counting with stones, marbles, sticks, doing repeating patterns, making shapes, drawing and cutting out pictures etc. She like doing practical things mashaAllah and I will have to adjust to her learning style.

When we moved we rearranged lots of our homeschool materials and we got to revise most of our Islamic bulletin boards, alhamdulillah.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been reading a lot of books as usual. This is their cosy reading corner and couple of examples of living books. I have been meaning to upgrade the living books section but I think it will have to be a little at a time. So, these two are really good example of living books and I would highly recommend to beginner readers. The Mole and The Baby Bird by Marjorie Newman and Carrot Soup by John Segal.

Advertisements

Sumayya’s letters

Bismillah,

I have mentioned before that my 5 year old is always writing letters to her aunties and friends. The only problem is the pen pals at the receiving end dont always post a reply to her- poor thing keeps asking me when she is getting reply letters back. SubhanAllah, everyone is so busy and so entangled in their own lives and one can hardly make time to go out to post office to post a letter. I have a bunch to post and I have not been able to post to people.

Anyway, before I finally send them off I decided to post a few here.

Last Friday we have invited all the sisters and family friends we know over to our new place. Alhamdulillah there were so many people of all nationalities and backgrounds gathered for dinner at our house. Obviously a lot of them have children around Sumayya and Safiyya’s age, a bit older and a bit younger etc. So most of their friends were here. Sumayya noticed the next day that her friend Sarah didnt turn up.

-But you said you had invited them as well, mommy
-I did but they were on holiday in Europe so couldnt come
-But I miss Sarah all the time
-I know we will invite them again when they are back from holiday

She then sat down and wrote a letter to Sarah and asked me to post it the very same day. I havent been able to do so. So, Amina, if you are reading this please know that we miss Sarah and would be very happy if you could pop over sometime inshaAllah. It says “Sarah please come to my house. I have been looking for you. Love from Sumayya”

One day she was talking about visiting aunty Nargiza in London.
-Mommy, remember we stayed over at aunty Nargiza’s house in London
-Which aunty Nargiza? Omar and Yusuf’s mom?
-No we went there but we never slept in their house. It was a different Nargiza. She didnt have boys, she only had girls
-Oh you mean aunty Nargiza who came to sumalak party. She has no children she is not married. You saw here when we went to Eid party to Hafiza’s house as well, right?
-No, different Nargiza. She has children, she has two girls, Maryam and Aliya
-Ah, I remember now. How could you remember you were so small then
-I know but I still remember we all slept in their house
So, she sat down and wrote a letter to aunty Nargiza whom she had only seen when she was about 2-3 years old. It says in Uzbek “Aunty Nargiza, I have been to your house once. Let me go to your house again. (then in the box in the right hand side) Please come to my house” . She then decorated her letter.

Another one to myself which says “I love mummy”

Another one to myself. I was trying to have a Quran revision session with her and she kept refusing. After a couple of days of missed sessions she was not as fluent as she was before in her reading. MashaAllah she can now read the Qur’an and almost finished memorizing Juzu Amma. Anyway, I was upset that she had forgot how to read some surahs that she was easily reading before. She was upset too. She went to her room and came back with the following letter which says “Mummy I am sad I was crayying in my room I forgot the Quran. Please teach me the Qur’an”. She was crying so badly but even then she decided to decorate her letter for me lol.

This letter to her friend Rowda, our 6 year old Arab next door neighbour at the old house. The girls both are missing their friends and our neighbours but still dont want to move back. The letter says “I love you Rowda. I am kind to you. Please come to my house”

This one was to aunty Guzal. They were expecting her the other weekend when we had lots of Uzbek families over and when I told them aunty Guzal is not coming they were a bit sad. Anyway, every time Sumayya writes to Guzal she decides to make a purse for her. I cant remember the full story but when we went to visit them last summer I might have said something along the lines “Khala Guzal is rich and has more money” I cant remember why I said it but I might have been trying to explain something. Guzal do you remember anything and why she keeps making purse for you one after another? And always from a tissue paper and the incorrect spelling of “kashlug”, Russian word for a purse lol

 

Sumayya really misses her friend Hafiza. Even though she has plenty of English speaking friends, when Uzbek families get together and Hafiza is not there she keeps asking me if they will be coming or not. I say no because they live too far now. The other day we were looking at some old pictures and we were talking about place we went etc. She kept asking me and her daddy to print some old pictures of her and Hafiza for nearly half a day. Then when I did so she quickly wrote a letter with cutting and pasting the picture to the top of her letter.

Then she was in the process of writing a letter to Hanifa. Below is Safiyya’s not finished letter to Hamza and Sumayya’s not finished letter to Hanifa. Safiyya can write names of people mashaAllah. She can write anything when I spell them out but she is a bit lazy and leaves things half way through. (Sumayya was writing another letter to Hamza as well, all morning she kept busy with paints- she had decided to paint some pictures for Hamza.)


These are some of the letters they have been writing. They keep writing daily. Now I have a new idea in mind to practise their handwriting and spelling inshaAllah and will share it in due time.

We have moved- alhamdulillah!!!

Bismillah,

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.