Ramadan activities…

Bismillah,

This is my belated post on how we did the Ramadan activity packs from wonderful sister Umm Maimoonah and Smart Ark. MashaAllah, there was such nice variety of activities, fiqh, maths, reading and writing- all nicely integrated into this workbooks. May Allah accept these as sadaqa jaariya from sisters amin.

In general terms, we talked a lot about increasing our good deeds in Ramadan. We have discussed what small children can do to earn rewards in this blessed month with this small book and used the Good Deeds Tree from the pack.

 

 

 

 

We did the maths activity and answered all the questions inside.

 

 

 

We learned about why we fast -the ayah from the Qur’an- and talked about who are the Muttaqun. We learned the fiqh of fasting- what is allowed and what is not allowed whilst fasting etc…

 

We learned the hadith on breaking the fast, learned so many things about dates and did the colouring pages inside activity packs. We have also made the cute gift boxes, put odd number of dates inside and gave out to neighbours. (no picture of boxes unfortunately). MashaAllah, Safiyya’s colouring is getting so neat…

 

 

 

 

 

Sumayya described the pictures and wrote a sentence about each completely on her own. She did her journal 100% on her own too- didn’t ask me any spelling questions mashaAllah. Sometimes I just can’t believe how good she is at spelling and constructing sentences etc without me teaching anything about grammar or spelling. One thing is sure- She absolutely LOVES books mashaAllah. So, this is what she wrote …

 

He is reading the Qur’an. She is having suhoor. He is praying salah. She is giving zakat. He is having an Eid party.

 

 

I said to her write the things you liked doing in Ramadan in your journal and she wrote “I like being kind to Ibrohim. Playing with Safiyya. Being kind to guests. Helping mummy for food. Fasting with daddy. Making dady a present. Playing nicely with Inaya. Going to iftaar when someone invites me. Giving a Eid present for friends. Feeding Ibrohim with some food. Sharing toys”

I took them to the library on Thursday and checked out 27 books. We came home around 7 pm and straight after she started reading and read till bedtime, which is around 9pm. The next morning she woke up and came straight downstairs and started reading without breakfast. She doesnt like to be disturbed when reading. Me and grandma were asking questions to test and see if we could distract her, asked her to have some breakfast first. She refused and read all 27 books till 11 am and then came up to me and said “I was not really reading. I was only looking at letters and watching the letters making words together. But those were so interesting stories, mommy. Have you read them all?” lol. MashaAllah, we continue focusing on Islamic studies and Qur’an for next year and inshaAllah hope she can do self-teaching all the other subjects with the love of reading.

I took out some Dr. Seuss books for Safiyya and mashaAllah she could almost finish reading one whole book by herself. She could read the entire book if she focuses but she is often distracted and seems to me not as much interested. She keeps looking at pictures and assumes the entire plot and tells me the story- her own version of story. I say to her, “why dont you read, Safiyya, you can read now. You are a big girl” and she reads one page and says to me “Now give me a sweet mommy I read a book to you” lol. InshaAllah, going to preschool 3 hours a day will help her to make some friends and gain some interest in academic skills…

Ibrahim is so much into books. He reads day and night, like his older sister. He always brings books to me, to grandma, to dad and looks through the pages pointing at pictures very clearly and talking away in his language. He gets all his messages across with hand motions- he is so good at explaining things with gesture and all sorts of sounds he makes. Generally speaking we find him very communicative and social. When we have big gatherings in our house, he goes and sits in someone lap and starts talking to them, always with a smile. MashaAllah. I just have to make a little bit of effort to do more with him inshaAllah.

 

Eid Mubarak!!!

Bismillah,

 

Eid Mubarak my dear sisters. Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum- May Allah accept our humble efforts of worshipping Him, our siyaam and qiyaam and all the other good deeds we may have done for His pleasure only. SubhanAllah, one can feel how time if flying by especially in Ramadan. It only feels like yesterday, the day we started fasting and today we are already celebrating Eid ul Fitr of 2012. Another Ramadan is gone, another Eid is gone- may we become someone who is better in spirit and soul until the next one inshaAllah.

We have been so busy this Ramadan subhanAllah. We have hosted few iftaari gatherings in our house, attended as much as ten family iftaar dinners elsewhere. I think it was the 1st year for our girls to experience Ramadan practically- their efforts to fast, attending taraweeh prayers at the mosque and of course Ramadan camp where we learnt much about Ramadan, Fasting and Eid ul Fitr through practical workshops and hands on activities.

I have been much too busy to blog.  Re Ramadan camp, in Week 3 we learnt about Laylatul Qadr and and in Week 4 we learnt about Zakat al Fitr and Eid al Fitr in detail. We made lapbooks and bulletin boards (of which I still havent taken any pictures).

The girls have also finished Ramadan activity pack 1 from Smart Ark– mashAllah it was such a nice set of activities that kept them busy every day. We have continued our homeschooling in the mornings with variety of activities re numeracy and literacy.

Sumayya is always reading and writing, as usual. MashaAllah, I can see her character emerging and sometimes I can see bits of me in her subhanAllah. She is writing stories and illustrating them, training to be an author inshaAllah. We still use narration for reading comprehension but she is doing more written narration of most of the stories she reads by herself. I can’t believe how good her spelling is- she hardly ever makes a spelling mistakes. Some days we read a story at circle time- all children read a page each. Then we discuss the story and I do spelling test or dictation based on the story and mashaAllah she does really well. And when she decides to narrate the story in writing- she uses the correct grammar. It is almost like someone has taught her lots of grammar and spelling, mashaAllah. She still has some punctuation mistakes like full stops, commas etc. She also did lots of handwriting using Ramadan Copywork from TJ. MashaAllah, we both learnt so much from these 30 ayah/ahadith about Ramadan and fasting. She would read, copywrite the work and we would discuss the meaning daily.

Safiyya is trying to improve her handwriting too, she did some copywork with her sister but usually I have to push her a lot. I am taking things very easy and slow with her as she is very creative and imaginative but not so eager to do “academic work” lol. InshaAllah I am trying to say “yes” to her as often as I can. My problem with her is she is always cutting and sticking…. and collecting yoghurt pots, milk bottles and all sorts of other things in the house- Allah knows how much mess she makes a day and she does things that could drive any mother nearly mental lol. But, I know it is me, not her and this is what upsets me. The fact that I can not be patient enough, tolerant enough, and understanding enough with my growing young child….this is what upsets me. She is only turning 4 and yet I expect her to behave the same as her older sister….So, it is me, not SHE, who needs to change approaches and styles inshaAllah. I have been thinking a lot about her recently and I think 3 hour preschool thing in the afternoons would do her some good inshaAllah….

We finally finished MEPs Year 1 Practise Book b, so Year 1 is officially done. The past few weeks we learnt about calendar and money. They loved learning how to use a calendar. I ask them questions such as which month comes after which month, shortest month, longest months, winter/summer months. Also I ask them to circle a certain date on various different calendars (i. e find 10 January 2007) and find out which day of the week it was (i.e Mon, Tues, Wed). They have learnt shortened version of all months and weekdays. We also revised our knowledge of seasons and how times change in winter/summer (it gets dark quicker in winter etc). They had so much fun learning about how to use calendar- something practical and also a life skill…well kind of *smile*

Another skill they learnt is how to calculate the value of coins and how to use money in general. Again, I would give them a set of coins and ask them to find out who has got the most amount in value. They practised subtractions and additions using real pennies and 5 pence, 10 pence,20 pence coins. We played various different shopping games and there were some problem-solving activities provided in the book. Alhamdulillah, I am really happy for Sumayya’s mental math and problem-solving skills. MashaAllah, may Allah make it better and put into good use inshaAllah. She is quick at grasping the concept and thinking/analysing the problem.

With Safiyya, we still do counting 0-20 and basic addition with numbers 0-10. She is reading baby board books independently and joins in to read some words at circle time stories. I just let her lead when I sit with her and whatever she does I try to suggest few things and do lots of play-based activities. I hope someone of her age will soon join our homeschool and inshaAllah she can actually play with someone of her age without complaining…..

Re Qur’an hifdh Sumayya is learning surah Qiyamah and Safiyya is memorizing surah Zalzala. We talked a lot more about meanings/tafseer of ayah/surahs during Ramadan. I am hoping to buy ad Duha tafseer books for them inshaAllah. They are so interested to learn more about Allah swt and Jannah. InshaAllah, we will restart learning the 99 names of Allah and tafseer of smaller surahs more seriously now. They always keep asking me questions about Allah azza wa jal and Jannah, I figured out whatever we do during the day the subject of our conversations always lead to these two topics.

One day I said to Safiyya “You are always hungry” which is true lol. Every 30 minutes she keeps asking for food. She eats very little and very often. And she said

-“Allah is never hungry”
-I said “Yes true”.
-Allah never eats
-That’s right. Allah is free from all needs
-So, Allah is always fasting mommy?
-No, Allah doesnt fast because He does not need to fast….and here she was arguing with me
-But if He is never hungry and never eats then it must be He is fasting, mommy, yeah?

One day I read them the story of Sulayman a.s and Bilqis. How a queen had a beautiful throne but Sulayman alayhissalam’s jinn brought it to the prophet within blink of an eye. It was so beautiful etc then whilst discussing we were talking about Allah swt’s throne. And she asked me if Allah was sitting on his throne at that very moment. I said I don’t know. And she was asking me lots of other questions like whether Allah lives in Jannah or whether He swt moves etc. I genuinely can not answer some of their questions and really feel the need to study more about Aqidah and all the knowledge regarding HerAfter myself….inshaAllah. And Sumayya always rewrites some of the stories she has read with an Islamic twist, like she names the girl Aminah etc

They both are so creative, always making things and always coming up with really interesting ideas. Usually I don’t teach on Fridays. So, they take a notepad and pens/pencils and go out to *explore* the garden in which they spent at least 2-3 hours a day playing lol. They collect twigs, leaves, flowers, pull out the weeds, write some interesting notes in their notepad. They day before Eid I was busy in the kitchen and I send them out. Sumayya did maths work on her own, she wrote counting by 3s and by 5s. Then she wrote odd/even numbers 0-20, wrote some random addition and subtraction sums to herself to solve etc. Then she explored the weather- she said. She listed all sorts of weather conditions: windy, cloudy, sunny, rainy, snowy and ticked cloudy (it was like a chart). Then she wrote the ground was wet and therefore they would have to wear something long sleeved for Eid lol. It was nice cute chart with her writing and ticks. And she has made so many presents for her dad for when he returned from i’tikaaf. Every day she would spent good couple of hours writing letters to her father and making various different gifts/presents (again I never took pictures of these but inshaAllah intend to as we have still got the collection lol)

All-in-all, busy Ramadan for us. May the Controller of the Hearts make our souls firm and obedient in our deen amin.