# The Reluctant Dragon

Bismillah,

English

As you might have guessed from the title of this post, we have read a passage from the story “The Reluctant Dragon” by Kenneth Grahame. I explained to kids that the story was written long time ago and some of the vocabulary are difficult to understand. But, they should be reading more stories like this as it trains their brain to automatically pick up the language, style, vocabulary and everything.

They read passages from the story, we worked on Nouns and Pronouns. They answered the questions and wrote their answers in full sentences. Alhamdulillah, everyone’s writing has improved (though I believe there is still lots of work to be done, it feels great to notice these little changes in handwriting, spelling and punctuation)

Maths

We did work on the concept of time and how we measure time: seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, year. And 60 seconds=1minute;  60 minutes=1 hour 24 hours=1 day; 30/31 days= 1 month; 12 months=1 year.

We did word problems like this to understand how it is an important life skill to have to be able to work out the solutions.

I also introduced fractions to the younger group and they grasped the concept easily. They did this easy worksheet to practice

Science

We learned about Rocks and Minerals

• The earth is made of 3 parts: Core, Mantle, Crust
• Earth is made of rocks and minerals
• There are 3 main types of rocks
• Igneous rocks are born of fire (melted rock hardens)
• Metamorphic rocks are made of due to heat and pressure
• Sedimentary rocks are layers of rocks and formed due to rain, wind, water etc
• Melted rock is called Lava

We watched a few power point presentations on the topic. I found this unit study made by homeschool den is so useful, mashaAllah. It is full of practical activities and free worksheets. We did some of the activities here and found out how human beings use mineral for almost everything.

We will be exploring Minerals in more detail next term inshaAllah.

Fun Friday Activity

We had Junk Modelling session this Friday. I asked them to watch a couple of videos on youtube to get an idea and decide as a team what to make. That didn’t go very well. Everybody seems to have an opinion and they couldn’t agree on what to make. Alhamdulillah, I had to intervene and get them all work together. InshaAllah, more team-building activities coming up!!!

Alhamdulillah, we are nearly halfway through the programme now as we finished 5th week. We have 1 more week of studies and preparing for SATs exams in the following weeks. We just go through the SATS papers here inshaAllah.

Homework:

• Maths- two pages from MEPs and go through the time/calendar word problems
• Science- do this unit study inshaAllah, go over the activities and worksheets and watch a nice documentary about rocks and minerals if you can find one on youtube

# Aesop’s Fables

Bismillah,

We started with Math on Friday. We are still doing activities on the following with the younger group:

• Numbers up to 100
• Number sequences
• Place value in 3 digit numbers

Alhamdulillah, they are so much better and quicker in mental calculations. Though they still need a lot of practice, we will be moving on to more life skills next week (Money value, time, calendar, measuring quantity, weight and length etc)

Older group did shapes, fractions and addition and subtraction word problems. They wouldn’t get the word problems straight away, I always have to explain a bit further. So, inshaAllah, more practice in that next week as well.

English

We read short stories from Aesop’s Fables. I told them about Aesop, a slave who lived in Greece a long time ago. He wrote stories known as fables. He used animals to describe people in his stories and all the stories have a “morale” or a lesson to teach. Some of the girls already knew about him as they studied his fables at school.

So, they first read the stories and identified proper and common nouns in a story. Then we looked at pronouns and how they are used to replace nouns (so we don’t keep repeating nouns throughout the story). Then they did copywork for handwriting and answered the questions for reading comprehension. I explained to them to answer in full sentences and reviewed that a sentence starts with a capital letter, ends with full stop and has one complete idea/event/opinion etc.

Aesop’s Fables is a great book to have at home. All the stories are short, easy to read and easy to understand. It is especially great for young readers, kids between the ages of 6-8. All the stories are easy to narrate back and you can have a wonderful follow-up discussion.

So, we read the story called “The Dog and His Reflection” and discussed how greed is not a good thing to have in you. But rather, if we are content and grateful for what we have, Allah increases the barakah and gives us more.

Reported by Miqdad bin Ma`dikarib (RA): I heard Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “No man fills a container worse than his stomach. A few morsels (bites) that keep his back upright are sufficient for him. If he has to, then he should keep one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for his breathing (air).” (Tirmidhi – Riyad us Saliheen, Chapter 56, 516)

Ibn ‘Abbas and Anas bin Malik RA reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “If a son of Adam were to own a valley full of gold, he would desire to have two. Nothing can fill his mouth except the earth (of the grave). Allah forgives those who repent”.
(Bukhari and Muslim).

Science

We learned about Materials and how people use different Materials in their daily lives, alhamdulillah.

• Materials can be natural (wool, stone, rock) or man made (plastic)
• Natural materials can be living (wood) or non living (stone)
• We use metal to make cars and coins
• We use plastic to make carrier bags or plastic toys
• We use wool to make clothes and cotton fabric to make clothes and curtains etc
• We use wood to make toys, tables, chairs etc
• We use rocks and stones to make roads
• We use glass to make glasses and windows
• We use clay to make pots
• Some materials are found in nature (metal, stone) and some materials are made in factories (glass and plastic)

Alhamdulillah, Science is always practical and the girls are so productive. They understand most concepts straight away. The lessons just increases their awareness of the things around them. These lessons are here to encourage them to notice and observe things in nature and in everyday life.

Fun Friday activity

We went to the park. AGAIN!!! They had races, went on the swings, took turns to ride bikes and walked around the park. Alhamdulillah.

# Raising Sahabas in Riyadh: Week three

Bismillah,

This week we started with Math on Friday. We cover Oxford Primary (Countdown Maths series) in class and the girls complete two pages of MEPs at home each week.

Math

The younger group focusing on

• numbers up to 100
• Number sequences/patterns
• Place value
• Addition and subtraction facts (4+8 is the same as 8+4; but 12-8 is not the same as 8-12; a+b=c so a=c-b and b=c-a)

The older group focusing on

• Fractions
• Multiplication facts (5×4 is the same as 4×5)
• Doubling and halving
• Addition and subtraction word problems

As I said before, a lot of their weaknesses are in mental calculations and word problems. We are still practicing skip counting, countdown and “how many more?” type of questions at circle time. (I urge all the parents to do more informal Maths work at home- just give word problems or practice skip counting in 2s, 3s, 5s etc)

English

We did comprehension work first where we read a story and answered the questions in groups. Then I asked them to rewrite the story in their own words.

We also listened to a story called The Lion and the Goat on Oxford Owl and did the activities there.

This week we did Grammar in English. So we covered:

Weaknesses in language:

One of the ESL tendency I noticed in some of the girls is that, when they read they encounter some words they don’t understand. And they can’t go pass beyond the word unless they are absolutely sure to know what it means. So I explained, even adults don’t know or understand all the words in a book when they read it. But the words surrounding the unknown word should help us to understand the meaning of it. I said to them ” When you read a story and there is always going to be a new word you are not so sure about. But it shouldn’t stop you from understanding the story. You can still understand and later work out the meaning of the word you don’t know”. So we did the following Context Clue Writing worksheet.

Some of the girls just couldn’t grasp the concept of a Noun and a Collective Noun. I explained “Noun is a word that is a name of a place, person, thing or idea” and “pronoun is a word that can replace the noun”. And collective noun is a word that refers to a group of something. I gave examples, demonstrated how to spot nouns and pronouns in stories and how they are used. But a couple of them still struggled with the task here where they had to rewrite the sentences by changing the nouns to pronouns.

Science

We learned the following two topics this week.

Food we eat:

• Vitamins and minerals that come from fruits and vegetables
• Protein and Carbohydrate
• Calcium makes our bones strong and comes from dairy products
• Healthy food VS Junk food

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Housing and Clothing around the world

• Houses and clothes can be different depending on the weather and climate of a specific region
• Some types of houses are: Stilt (in rainy regions), igloo (in cold regions), tents (in hot regions), sloped roof houses, caravans etc
• Materials used to make a house: bricks, cement, steel, glass, wood
• Clothes vary depending on region, season and culture of people
• Materials used to make clothes: cotton, wool and plastic

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Alhamdulillah, they all enjoy Science and do all the activities with so much pleasure and passion. This week they designed their own Healthy Plate by choosing variety of food groups from Food Pyramid. They also discussed the types of houses, which kind of a house they wanted to own and wrote answers to some questions.

Fun Friday Activity

We had another picnic in the park and everyone loved it. It was only a short visit as we finished classes at 12:20pm and they all asked to stay a bit longer. Good thing about going to park at this time on Friday is that it is empty. There is rarely anyone around so they had races and went on the swings (usually my kids never get a turn when we go in the evenings, nobody has a concept of queue or freeing up public space for others to use). Some girls go to gymnastics straight after the class, so they were practicing cartwheels and star jumps etc

Homework:

• Minimum two pages from MEPs
• Go over the worksheets and further explain what a noun, collective noun and a pronoun is.
• Read a story and group a) write one thing you remember from the story; group b) rewrite it in your own words (Focus is on summarize the key ideas/events and sequencing)
• Identify nouns/pronouns in your own writing above. Underline nouns and circle pronouns
• Talk about the type of a house you want to live in the future