Around the house…

Bismillah,

Did you grow up helping your parents to run the house? We did and though we might not have liked it at the time, I can see why it was so important to get us-the children involved in simple tasks of keeping the house together a nice place to live in. We did so much as a child simply because we had to. We had no washing-machine, no dish-washer, no hot water running straight from the tap…On top of these, we had massive courtyard where my dad grew plenty of vegetables and fruit trees that we had to attend to after school. How I hated to plant and dig potatoes then, how I hated to pick tomatoes or to wrap a paper around grapes to protect it from birds…SubhanAllah, there was always so much to do and we used to complain that “the work will never finish in Uzbek households” . Silly me, and how I long for all of those now, growing my own fruit and vegetables is something like a dream. We do plant odd things every now and then, only to show kids how things grow.

Anyway, I said it before somewhere that the more I homeschool the more I love it. I feel it provides my children a well-rounded education and gives them a chance to be involved with everything I do in and around the house. For example, the past week we did so much gardening together. Everyday, we did pruning, digging, weeding, watering the plants and just cleaning and tidying the garden. They help me so much around the house too. Even though Safiyya tires me so much with her endless questions and stubbornness, I actually enjoy getting them involved in cleaning, cooking, baking etc. I set them tasks which they love to finish. If I am about to hoover, they have to tidy up and polish. If I am about to cook, I ask Safiyya to fetch me things, i.e 2 potatoes, 3 carrots, rice, pasta etc. She is so good at these, honestly with her pre-school coming up on Friday, I wonder what I will do without her in the kitchen. She is the queen of kitchen and know exactly where I keep vegetables or certain dishes/plates in the kitchen.

I gave them a pack of green peas the other day and set a competition on who can clean it first. They love doing these for me

 

We bake 2-3 times a week. Each time they get to make their own little naan-breads and somsas ot biscuits whatever we are baking that day.

 

 

It is true that we have to provide them with responsibilities from young age. Let them see that everyone’s contribution is needed and appreciated around the house. All members of the family should value each other’s help. I feel they would have missed out on these little things had they been placed in school….wallahu A’alam

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Summery week

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah, with all the back-to-school mood out in streets and shops, we also have started our official Year 1 with Sumayya and Reception year with Safiyya. Thanks to nice weather, the 1st week of home-schooling was really successful for us. We did all our studying out in the garden all week. Alhamdulillah, what a difference the sunshine makes to our lives, truly a blessing from God.

 

The subjects we are covering this year are: Qur’an reading, Qur’an hifdh, Tafseer, Prophets’ Stories/Islamic Studies, Arabic language, Maths, Geography, Science and Literacy (reading with Safiyya and mainly composing +writing for Sumayya)

We have so many books and resources at home that we have not been able to use or finish. I have bought some lovely resources over the years that we didn’t have a chance to use or finish. InshaAllah we will be using them and plus lots of other supplementary resources from various websites.

Sumayya can read the Qur’an and we continue using Ahsanul Qawaid with both the girls. We listen to Qur’an and the surahs we are trying to memorize daily, read from mus’haf and listen+repeat after sheikh for 30 mins each day. Our hifdh is very slow these days and I have let them skip some days the past 2 weeks. They have been out all day playing in the garden and I have been reluctant to call them as we don’t always get such sunny weather. When they finally come in, they are just so tired and unwilling to sit and do hifdh. But, we were able to resume our hifdh session today, alhamdulillah.

I was planning to buy Ad-duha mini tafseer books for them but then changed my mind. I read them from the translation of the Qur’an in Uzbek on Friday mornings. So, Friday morning I asked Safiyya to read me all the surahs she has memorized. After each surah, I read to her the meaning in Uzbek and explained what Allah azza wa jaal told us in that surah. She was so interested and asked so many questions, mashaAllah. And Sumayya demanded that I read to her the Uzbek translation of some of the longer surahs she has memorized. I read and explained the meaning of surah Tariq, Ghashiya, Fajr, A’laa to her and she loved it too. So, I thought, since I have the tafseer of Qur’an in Uzbek, I continue reading from the book I have at hand. Although it is not children’s tafseer, we can sit down and I can explain and answer their questions in as much detail as I can. We continue in this manner on Friday mornings until a change is required (they may get bored by monotonous/repetitive way of learning or they may not, Allah knows best and time shows)

Arabic- we have been reviewing and revising a lot of the vocab we have learned in the past. Safiyya is revising numbers, shapes and colours. Sumayya is trying to finish off her book my 100 words from the Qur’an. She does copywork for Arabic handwriting nearly daily. And dad reads to them lots of stories in Arabic. They haven’t watched anything lately in Arabic for listening comprehension.

 

Maths. In line with MEP Year 1, we are still learning equations re pure maths and doing lots of real-life problem-solving re use of money, calendar, clock etc. We make things together and use it in our problem-solving sessions. Last week we made a clock and I just ask questions from top of my head, questions like “I had to be at the bank at 10 am. The bus got late and it was 11.30 am when I got to the bank. How late was I?” and ask them use the hands of the clock and their brain to find out the answer. Or I tell them Sumayya was born in 2007 and Safiyya in 2008, so how older Sumayya is than Safiyya? Last week we played lots of shopping game to get their grips on money and calculations of coins. I bought ELC shopping game from a local charity shop a long time ago. MashaAllah, it has come in so handy now. So, usually someone is a shop keeper and they fought so much over being shop keeper. And shop keeper chooses a spot for her shop and arranges all the products and items in the shop. I and Safiyya come in to buy and we buy a pencil and a notebook. Shopkeeper values her own products. So, she says “9p for a pencil and 15p for a notebook please” I say, “how much altogether?” She says “24pence please” and I give her 25 pence so she has to return me 1pence. This shopping game has been really popular in our household lately, we played it with real fruits, vegs and other real items instead of cards.

Geography. Trying to finish off Evan-Moor Geography workbook. Last week learned about compass, 4 main directions, mapping (map symbols, map key). I find the book so engaging mashaAllah. For example, it asks kids to draw map symbols for certain things (library, lake, school etc) and make their own map using sample above etc. I feel I have learnt a lot about mapping too and Sumayya has been so busy mapping our house, garden, her bedroom etc. They also made their own compass, very basic one.

 

 

Science. Again, trying to finish off our Evan-Moor Science workbook. We covered shadows and dissolving last week. They learnt that when an object blocks the light- it makes a shadow. Shadows have been used to tell the time in the past because people used the sun and their shadows to find out salah times. We tested the shadows of different objects in the sun- a teddy, a spoon by holding them against the sunlight and did the activities in the book.

 

They did the experiment on dissolving one morning using water, salt, red paint and oil. They had to make a guess what dissolves and what doesnt, do the experiment and write a follow-up report. Alhamdulillah, it was a huge hit and they wanted to do it again and again.

 

 

 

 

So, at the end they wrote salt dissolved, paint dissolved but the oil did not get dissolved in water. It formed bubbles and stood on top.

This week they are learning about growth and change. More on this later inshaAllah.

Finally, they did All about Me book by Umm an Numan.  We only printed this off and they were able to finish it off all by themselves in a day. They were so eager to finish it and they keep asking me to print some more. Here are few sample pages from Safiyya’s book.

 

Safiyya’s reading and writing have really improved the past 2 weeks. She is now reading well mashaAllah and shows a lot more interest when we do things together. She will be 4 this October and I remember Sumayya too started reading just before she turned 4.

We were so happy to read Sumayya’s All About Me book when she finished. On the page where she was supposed to write her birthday, she did put the date and year, but also wrote “I dont have my birthday because Muslims dont celebrate their birthdays”. On another page there was a question on what is your most favourite book after Qur’an? She wrote real-life Islamic stories. She wrote “I want to be an author and illustrator, but I dont write pretend stories I write real-life Islamic stories”. We were so proud to read her statements, mashaAllah. May Allah keep all our children on the straight path till the end.