Ibrahim took his 1st steps


This post is about our boy. Alhamdulillah, Ibrahim started walking at just 10 months. He took his 1st steps a couple of weeks ago and now is officially walking. We are yet to buy a proper pair of shoes for him. Poor boy is borrowing Safiyya’s first pair of shoes (they dont get worn much right he-he ). He seems to borrow most things of his sisters, well we just say it doesnt really matter at this age lol. But, to tell the truth, we often don’t have time to take him to shops. Anyway, a visit to Clarks is long overdue inshaAllah.

He is so active physically, always on the move, mashaAllah. If he is not crawling, then walking, if not walking then ,climbing up and down the stairs. He does have very unique tricks that he loves to perform for us, mashaAllah. I need to record them sometime, inshaAllah.

Although everyone keeps saying he is big and healthy, he often has cold, subhanAllah. Coughs, runny nose and the past few days odd temperatures through the night etc, may Allah give him shifaa’ and make his illness the means of purification for us.

He went to his check up this week. He has 8 teeth, eats well, plays well, physically very active and weighed 13,5 kgs. Big boy, mashaAllah. He likes listening to some nursery rhymes on youtube, listening to surahs on our digital Qur’an, reading all sorts of books. He can use his index finger so well, he uses it for anything and everything. He makes a hook with his index finger and tries to grab things from under the table or sofa. He tries to open the door with that one finger. He turns the pages over with that hook style index finger.

He does say few words in our language, namely dad, grandma and grandad- maybe because these are easy to pronounce. He is learning the animal sounds and names of animals. He is also learning how to name his body parts. We ask him typical questions like “What does cow say?” or “Where is your ear? Show me your mouse?”. MashaAllah, he is doing so well on these.

We sing plenty of nursery rhymes with him. He likes Wind the Bobbin up best, also Apple Apple a a a and Once I caught the fish Alive. We watch both those on youtube, the ones by Barbara Milne. He gets real excited and copies the actions and tries to join in when it is playing. He seems to differentiate really well between sounds. He likes repeating after me too, he doesnt get the words right but he mimics my facial expression and says something in baby language in the same manner and tone. It is actually quite funny, Alhamdulillah.

We will continue in the same manner with him, listening to Qur’an daily, singing nursery rhymes, watching educational clips on youtube (the ones that help to learn phonics, numbers, shapes and colours for now), reading books and playing games. He is physically very very active anyway, so apart from taking him outdoors, parks, playgrounds as and when we can- I dont have to push him that much.

Oh, he started going to local playgroup on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also plan to take him to the library on Thursdays with his sisters. Sisters are often kind to her but sometimes can be a bit mean. That often happens when I am cuddling him or playing with him, they will be like “Oh you dont cuddle us that way” or “Mommy why dont you ever play that game with us?” etc. SubhanAllah, they can be a bit jealous even if the gap between them and Ibrahim is so wide.

InshaAllah when he is a little older he can join his sisters. I am planning to do some painting and arts/crafts with him as well. InshaAllah, may Allah make him healthy and among the pious of this ummah, amin.


Summary week ending 29 April 2012


I have been thinking a lot about how to get children in their cooperative mood be it cleaning or tidying the rooms or do our homeschool session. I have been reflecting and reviewing  and inshaAllah want to restart the things that we missed the past few weeks- I will add them to our plans for next week.

First, we have not been going for swimming for almost 2 months now and the girls keep asking me all the time. InshaAllah I am planning to take them again from next week.

Second, we have not been to library for more than a month. Again we used to go on Saturdays but ever since we moved we have been having visitors over at our new place every single weekend. Our local library is open till 7pm on Thursdays too and now I am planning to take them to the library every Thursday afternoon where they can do some arts+crafts and we can read books as well as taking new books for them to read at home.

Third, due to move and due to weather they have not been able to spend that much time outside. I really miss going for longer nature walks myself and I think the girls are getting bored too. I am planning to take them to playground at local park at least once a week and go for local walks. MashaAllah we have little woods nearby where we can walk.

Apart from these, I have been thinking of doing more practical things to instil the love of learning more in children. Teaching or improving life skills such as swimming, jogging, cooking, tidying etc as well as doing more arts+crafts for numeracy and literacy inshaAllah.

We do Qur’an hifdh, Qur’an reading and Arabic almost daily. I have been doing more numeracy with Sumayya. I have started using Math textbook used for Grade 2 at schools back home. Some bits she finds easy and some bits she finds it very challenging (book is aimed at 8 year old children). All in all, I think it is really good and a lot more challenging than any math workbook or textbook I have seen aimed at 8 year olds in the UK. But I think we will stop it for awhile now and do a lot more math manipulative activities to revise the math concepts presented in MEP Year 1.

Sumayya finished Juzu Amma and improving her reading. What I like best about her is that she is so well trained and understands things when explained. If she is feeling lazy I can explain to her that reading Qur’an would help us to get to Jannah easily. And she co-operates well and does what she is told to do easily and quickly. Alhamdulillah.

Safiyya is learning surah Qariah and we are still struggling to get her on co-operative mood. I had been using my phone the past week- I record her reading the surahs she revises daily and play it back to her. When she sees I am recording she sits still and reads them nicely and as soon as she finishes one surah she keeps asking me “Can I watch it mommy please?” I say “No, few more surahs and I will let you watch it at the end”. She keeps asking me and she keeps getting distracted and doesnt seem to sit and repeat after me without getting herself into trouble every time. May Allah give me patience with this one…. : P

We have done the tafseer of surah Falaq this week. We talked that we all get scared of dark sometimes and if we recite surah Falaq then we will be under Allah’s protection. Alhamdulillah they regularly read surah Falaq, Ikhlas, Naas before bed time and they finish off by making a long dua. I love listening to their duas every day mashaAllah.

Following 3 weeks non-stop rain we had really nice weather yesterday. But back to rain today subhanAllah. Anyway, yesterday they had a nice time painting in the garden. Our garden is levelled- it has 3 levels and they were sponge painting initially but got their paintbrushes out after little while and spent nearly an hour painting.

Alhamdulillah another week is gone. My plan now is to do lots of practical, hands-on activities that allow Ibrahim to join in as well as making it more fun and engaging for Safiyya. Do Qur’an hifdh, Qur’an reading and Arabic language minimum a day and literacy+numeracy constructively every other day. Otherwise they are always doing informal literacy and numeracy learning on the go. Sumayya did lots of math the past few weeks but we need to do something to improve her handwriting skills and spelling.

Safiyya has learnt all the phonics and numbers up to 20. She can easily identify beginning/ending sound in any given word. She can read short words if she concentrates well but she is just too lazy to focus and quick to read by pictures only. The same with additions- when she decides to focus she does them really well but she just shouts out any random number without even thinking most of the time. But, alhamdulillah, she is only 3.5 years old and I think she has picked up a lot. She needs more one-one time which I havent been able to give her subhanAllah. She has been enjoying doing the phonics related puzzles lately

Next Steps in terms of extra-curricular activities :

Wednesdays: Nature walks alternate between Chellow Dene, Lister Park and Heaton woods inshaAllah.

Thursdays: Go to playgroup in the mornings and visit library late afternoons.

Fridays: Gardening (we have so much gardening to do but done nothing due to bad weather)

Saturdays: Swimming

May Allah give us patience and tawfeeq to do things just for His sake.

What to do with 6-12 months olds


I have been wanting to write more about Ibrahim. My mom-in-law always asks me to write more about Ibrahim so that we know what activities he started doing at which month etc

I cant believe he is almost 8 months. It seems like yesterday, my days of being overdue with him and impatiently waiting for his birth, subhanAllah. And here he is, wearing 12-18 months clothes at just 8 months. All my kids grow very fast, mashAllah, so I have always had chunky fat babies lol.

He started growing teeth at 6 months and now at 8 months has 4 teeth- 2 at the bottom and 2 at the top. I have been reluctant to start brushing his teeth but we should start soon inshaAllah.

We have started weaning him around 5 months- nothing official but we would let him try tiny bits of food from our plate to get him used to different texture and flavour. Alhamdulillah, he showed much interest in joining in mealtimes and started eating very well right from the start. He now sits in high chair and happily tries to feed himself. I leave a little bit of food there so that when he tries to feed himself I quickly put my spoonful of food into his mouth. Team work, alhamdulillah.

We have started weaning him on fruits, mashed banana, pear, apple. I would squeeze pear, orange, and apple for him. Then we introduced cooked vegetables like mashed potato, carrots, broccoli etc. We make lots of soups so I would just take out the vegetables from the pot and mash them alltogether for him. He loves yogurt, peach and pear. He recently started eating rice and pasta. He has not tried meat yet but that is fine. He will have plenty of chance lol, inshaAllah.

Yesterday 15th February we made him bald a second time. He has a bath every other day and we have moved him to big bath sometime ago. He loves water and playing in the water. He loves playing with foams stuck to bathroom tiles. He tries to reach them and peel them off. It is like removing a sticker from paper and good exercise for his fingers.

He can sit independently, roll over to reach things and crawls backwards.

He likes holding objects, small toys, teethers and chewing on them. He loves ripping paper. Once he ate some bits of paper, usually he grabs any chance to quickly reach for papers lying around, rip small tiny bits and put them in his mouth.

He is read aloud 1-2 times a day and he loves books, Alhamdulillah. He has started playing very early. He would have reactions to facial expressions and games like peekaboo etc when he was few weeks old.

And last but not least, it has been 2-3 weeks since grandma started potty-training him. MashAllah I cant believe how well trained he is. He does most of his toiletry needs in the potty and we are saving on nappies. Alhamdulillah, usually we put him in potty after we feed him and most of the time the result is there lol.

So, my plans for him are:

  • BATH- keep bathing him every other day. Introduce other games during bath time, counting objects, talking about colour etc.
  • SWIMMING- I am planning to start swimming sessions with him on Sundays when his sisters are at Arabic school. Alhamdulillah the university pool does ladies only sessions where I can take him.
  • READ ALOUD- at least 2 books a day with Ibrahim. Make sure it is one-on-one inshaAllah. Alhamdulillah we have plenty of board books, with interactive bits so he cant rip the pages
  • QURAN- he listens to Qur’an in the mornings with his sisters. But we should do more focused, more organized Qur’an sessions with him. I remember Sumayya would listen to the whole of juzu amma daily at his age where I would do some baby gym with her on the gym ball with Qur’an reciting at the background.
  • DO PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES- such as babygym, baby yoga etc. Try to help him crawl better. He can now stand holding on to things but trying to improve his positioning. So, will keep on working on making him more mobile inshaAllah
  • PAINTING/COLOURING- InshaAllah he is old enough to be introduced to colors.
  • WALKS/PARKS/OUTDOORS- usually I take his sisters out between 30 mins-1 hour daily. We have not been able to take Ibrahim out much due to weather and it interrupts with his nap times etc. InshaAllah trying to get him out to fresh air as much as possible.
  • PLAY TIME- keep playing lots of baby games, nursery rhymes etc.
  • TALKING- he does get plenty of talking about things that surrounds him. I try to explain things to him (saying eyes pointing to his eyes, ears pointing to his ears etc)

Alhamdulillah these are the things we have been doing with him but want to do more constructively. I am especially trying to focus on 3 out of my list: 1- aid the physical development, do lots of baby gym, start swimming. 2- lots of together listening to Qur’an time and 3- lots of reading aloud time. And these 3 I would recommend to any moms who have 6-12 months olds inshaAllah.