Fresh beginnings

Bismillah,

I said I have been reviewing lots of methods and materials re our home education. Alhamdulillah, we are having much more productive days, with the blessing of Allah swt.

Aqeedah. The past weeks we have been learning more about Tawheed– tawheed rooboobiyyah, tawheed uloohiyya and tawheed of names and attributes of Allah swt. We did the following workbooks and we also did Outside My World workbook from um an Numan.

We did this workbook about planets last year with Sumayya but I dont think she appreciated it much or understood it better. So we did it again mashaAllah. Though this time Safiyya didnt show much interest.

Arabic.Alhamdulillah, we get to do little bit of Arabic language daily. We read short stories, revise the vocab, practise the handwriting and watch the stories of prophets’ in Arabic language.

Safiyya’s writing worksheets includes tracing and copywork. Sumayya’s writing- She gets to do some matching and joining the letters type of activity worksheets. These were her homeworks from Arabic School. Alhamdulillah she can read words without fatha, damma, kasra and she can make out a word from individual letters.

Literacy. Alhamdulillah we managed to go to the library last Thursday after a long break. They got to choose lots of books from new arrivals. Our local library won some kind of big funding and keeps receiving lots of new books. They are all so lovely- I found many great examples of Aesop’s Fables. Each story was made an individual short story book with reading comprehension worksheets inside. We loved it. Sumayya has been reading her new books. We have also got 2 chapter books- one is Dora- which I didn’t really like but she insisted. It was actually nice set of 6 stories inside. The other one is about a girl who thought her parents were always nagging her. She went to a parent swap shop and tried all sorts of other parents but in the end thought her parents were the best, even if they nagged them all the time. Sumayya didn’t finish this one yet but I read it whilst still in the library and really liked the content, storyline and everything and suggested that she should choose it. She looked through and happily agreed. So we are doing lots of reading with both Sumayya and Safiyya. Sometimes Sumayya gets to do some reading comprehension worksheets but mainly oral narration of the story followed by discussion is very fruitful, mashaAllah. And Safiyya is trying to read and decided to do this spare workbook I got in sale sometime ago. MashAllah she can read the standalone words inside and fill in the missing phonics.

Creativity. We have been doing a lot more painting than before. Following our bug-hunting fun, we decided to make ladybirds one day. I think it is ladybirds breeding season as we found so many of them each time we went to the park.

We get to do baking at least a couple of times a week. Girls both love playdough and always make their own bread if I am making bread or whatever I am making. And they get to eat their own as well.

They play different kinds of pretend games and role-plays in the garden. Sometimes Safiyya plays the mommy, sometimes Sumayya plays the mommy. Or they both become aunty X and become friends and invite each other over for a meal etc. They have each got a designated area for a house lol.

Qur’an-hifdh. Sumayya mainly revising Juzu Amma. Safiyya is still memorizing Qoria. And we have been planning the Qur’an party for sometime in the end of May inshaAllah.

Qur’an reading. We practise from Ahsanul Qawaid daily. We also did Surah Maun wordbook from um an Numan. MashaAllah Sumayya reading well now. And Safiyya still hard to cooperate when it comes reading in Arabic.

When they dont know what to do they always come and ask me for a coloring page. I have big pile of Islamic coloring pages printed for use on days when we feel bored etc. Kids love coloring any time though, alhamdulillah. I will give link to some really nice Islamic coloring workbooks inshaAllah.

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Outdoors and feeding birds

Bismillah,

Staying true to my plans, I took them to Lister Park 3 times last week. Each time we spent around 2 hours walking, bug-hunting, climbing trees, observing flowers, collecting acorns and leaves for Sumayya’s nature projects and finally, of course, playing in the playground. Alhamdulillah we live so close to this awesome park. One day I even took them to the Cartwright Hall Gallery- there was a gallery about 19th century English countryside with collection of people’s clothes, household items such as washboard, iron, rocking chair etc, and the exhibition of countryside pictures by some artists. It was really good and so interesting. I always loved history and especially like and try to learn more about the Victorian England. So, it was really interesting. They even made little displays of little towns such as Idle (not far from us) which used to be proper countryside back then.

Anyway, kids all love being outdoors, regardless of the weather. Sumayya can easily walk for a few hours without ever complaining. She likes climbing and is so confident in all her physical activities. She even jumped from the top of the tree once- which nearly gave me a heart attack lol. MashaAllah, she is so good. Safiyya, on the other hand, not very creative outside. She doesn’t have ideas about what to do and what to collect and what to make in nature. She is very creative inside, always cutting and glueing or even socially she is not reserved like her elder sister. She likes making conversations with people. But, I think we havent tried enough to develop her physically. She doesnt like climbing because she is always scared. She walks long hours with breaks in between. She often likes holding my hand and walk together instead of going off to explore things independently. I have to push her to get to the top of swing etc. Anyway, a friend offered to have Sumayya on Thursdays to teach her Maths and I think we are going to spend more one-one time with Safiyya to get on with her reading and gymnastics inshaAllah.

Apart from that, we have been exploring things in our garden. I mentioned before that Sumayya is so crazy about birds. She loves them so much, she always watches them from the kitchen window. As we have lots of different kinds of trees in the garden and the kitchen being high, we can easily see their nests and when we sit down for breakfast we all watch birds flying in and out of their nests. And Sumayya keeps making assumptions and stories about bird families. “I think this one is a mommy bird”, “She has just gone out for water”, “I think they are looking for a worm but cant find one and that’s why twittering very loud” etc.

So, today we went out to feed the birds in our garden. There were 4 bird feeding stations in our garden. I thought there were only two initially and I led kids to the 1st I knew. But then Sumayya found two other feeder stations- obviously kids have been spending a lot more time in the garden lol. Anyway, we didn’t have proper bird food but we had old breads. Kids made bread crumbs from old bread and we filled up the bird feeders. Alhamdulillah, they really enjoyed it. Sumayya kept saying “We are being kind to our birds and they will say JazakAllah khayr to us. But we dont understand their language. Only Allah and Sulayman alayhissalam know what they are saying”. She really wanted to hold a bird in her hand- this is her one time dream. Even when she was a lot younger she wanted to hold birds, feed them by hands etc. So, she was waiting for ages to see if birds will come down and land on her hand. But they don’t obviously, subhanAllah she was a little sad about it.

And we have a dish where our birds drink water from.

 

New classroom

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah we have been having very productive days with kiddies. Our cellar has been converted into a granny flat with seperate bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. It has been empty ever since we moved, well it has only been a month and a half. I have decided to turn it into a school- the bathroom is right next door to living room (which I am using as a classroom). And I can line up the kids to walk into the kitchen and give their snack there inshaAllah. I had this idea but I was thinking it might be a bit cold. But alhamdulillah, it is not that cold and it actually gets warmer quicker due to rooms being smaller in size (comparing to upstairs rooms).

So, I said to kids that they have got a new classroom now. And when we go down to our school I am not their mommy but the teacher. So, they have to listen to me better and work harder. They were both so excited about the new school within our house and they have been following all the school rules, alhamdulillah.

We have made a good deeds tree and hang it on the wall. They collect flowers with their names on it for reciting a surah nicely, neat writing and doing their literacy/numeracy work without being lazy. Alhamdulillah, we have been having more productive days as we get in a proper learning mood as soon as we go down (both myself and children).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have put some of our old posters on the walls; numbers 0-20, ABC phonics, The Solar Planet, Map of EU, shapes- these are mainly for Safiyya to keep revising inshaAllah. And we have a separate reading corder with shelf which we have been using to put up our Islamic Bulletin Boards. I gave most of ours away to Islamic nursery that a sister opened last year. So, we will be making more IBB and then display 2 different ones each week to review inshaAllah.

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am using the drawers and worktops of the kitchen as my resource centre lol. Alhamdulillah though, it worked out nicely. I can put my things in the drawers and because it is in a seperate room kids dont get distracted. I only take whatever we need during our sessions into the classroom and if need be for some more paints, crayons, cards etc- I quickly get it as it is only next door to our classroom.

And I keep most of our materials in boxes- easy for me to take out when I need. There are 2 big red boxes. One is called literacy box and in there we can find all our literacy/reading related materials- flashcards, phonics matching puzzles, lots of reading related jigsaw puzzles, rhyme games, 3 part MTS cards, lots of phonics related wooden knob puzzles, learning box, Jolly Phonics books etc. The second one is called numeracy box- again full with numeracy/math/numbers related materials, matching cards, sorting cards, flashcards for shapes/numbers, marbles and beads for threading and other small objects/math manipulative, numbers related jigsaw and wooden puzzles etc. These are great for circle time activities, for quick revision and review to refresh kids minds inshaAllah.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have smalled pink drawer style boxes. One keeps arts/crafts related things. The other one is for Academic workbooks- I dont heavily rely on workbooks but use them as a last resort when I haven’t planned something for the day. So, I would rather keep them in a seperate box and pull out one when we need inshaAllah. And the third is our Arabic/Islamic box. We use this box to keep our Islamic Studies and Arabic language related activities- Box of Manners, Dua Cards and Qur’anic Opposites jigsaw puzzles from Learning Roots, Arabic alphabet wooden puzzle and jigsaw floor-puzzle from Emaan Productions and lots of other homemade matching/sorting card games.