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Author Archives: nadiaschooldays
We all woke up around 3 am and sent Jdd off at the airport, and when we got back home, Z went back to sleep, not believing it was morning. He kept insisting it was night time because the sky was still dark. Hubs went to Fajr and straight to work, while the rest of us started our school day. We read Tthe Little Mouse, The Red-Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. I had been doing work and when he woke up, he did his calendar notebook and then I had promised to read a few books to him, so I read this quickly and then napped, because I had 3 classes almost back to back on Wednesdays.
He mostly did his worksheets on his own, mashaaAllah. He also added this book to his Reading List in the Calendar Notebook. I’m planning on doing some adjective-finding activity with him on this book, so we need to revisit it later inshaaAllah.
He did his Calendar Notebook, and then I read There Was A Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea. This book is good for sequencing.
“What is a coyote?”
So I had to explain to him what it is and find something on youtube to show him. Then,
“What is a flea?”
And this is what I found, which is pretty nice except for the ending part, but at least now he knows what a flea is!
At the end of the book, I asked him,
“What do you think he’s going to eat when it’s morning?”
And he added, “It’ll be night then.”
Then we read, Hatch.
This was a good jumping board for learning about the different birds, and so we went Youtubing again :-
Ostrich versus monkey, man, and hyena:
Ostrich Vs. Cheetah
Emperor Penguins Mommy, Daddy, and Baby :
Emperor Penguins Speed Launch:
Great Horned Owl Eating:
Bald Eagle VS Coyote
Bald Eagle hunting
Oh yes, Z claimed that Hubs taught him how to make dollars with quarters using his file folder game. He wanted to do it with me but I was about to have class at that time, so I told him to do it with hubs. I don’t know if hubs actually taught him, but that’s my next plan to work with Z inshaaAllah.
Z is still sick today. He did oil pulling and then I told H to heat up his tortilla for him, but then H came up and said Z is pretending to be weak and sleepy, and doesn’t want his tortilla. Then H pulled Z into my room and he did look sleepy, which was weird because he was fine when he did oil pulling. I gathered him up and his forehead was sweating. He was hypoglycemic, so I quickly told H to heat up the rice porridge I had made for him the day before and fed him that and his soymilk. He fell asleep and woke up a bit later and we resumed our school work. He did his calendar, a few worksheets, his Arabic copywork, to which he said,
“I want to get 3 stars.”
“Ok, try your best then,” I said.
I ended up giving him 5 stars and he exclaimed in delight,
“Yeah, because you did such a good job!”
Then he made iqaamah and prayed zuhr with us and he read his 3 lines of abata, recited Al feel, Al Kauthar, An Nasr, Al Quraysh, and Al kaafiroon to me and then we reviewed al Maun which he had forgotten. I focused on correcting his vowelization and explained to him that when pronouncing dhad, the tongue elongates like one of those long skinny balloons.
We had read Yucky Worms last week and I had wanted him to do this activity but we didn’t get to do it, so I had him do it today. I had him fill out the 3-2-1 worksheet about the book and had him choose 3 things I learned, 2 interesting things and 1 Question I have. He looks more engaged in this activity. I dread asking him to write because as of now, he still has trouble forming sentences and keeps saying “I don’t know,” when I ask him to come up with one even with a lot of prompting. But with this 3-2-1 worksheet, he’s writing out the sentences once we agree on what he’s going to write. He even holds out his palm telling me to stop helping him once he realizes he knows how to write a certain word. If I already spelled out the word that he knows, he will hold out his hand to my face and say,
But it looks like his writing has improved a LOT alhamdulillah! I remember how painstakingly I had to sit there and coach him on making them all the same height and on top or between the lines. Alhamdulilah now he’s doing pretty good.
We watched some youtube videos on earthworms:-
Last week on Friday, or Thursday, we did do significant work too. We went over Ella Takes the Cake and looked for all the contractions in that book. When he found them, I’d write them on a small whiteboard and ask him what that is expanded. That was a pretty good exercise for him.
He has also been doing drilling on subtraction and addition and he loves it when we do this on that small whiteboard. It saves paper too! Just uses ink though.
Today felt like a very long day. Z woke up very late because they probably slept very late last night. I spent hours with N, doing her comprehensive assist for Sarah Bishop. I admittedly do not like this session at all, but she needs it and it’s my responsibility. Sigh, things that you still have to do even though you don’t like doing it.
I also had her do her work in my presence since she has an issue of not completing her work, though I did notice sincere and eager effort to rectify that after I gave her my all Sunday night when I realized she didn’t hand in her Home2Teach homework on Friday. That was chest-hurting and head-hurting for me. This must not be good for my health, nor her well being.
Z did his calendar, and gave me troubles with refusing to eat his oatmeal and being picky about food. If it’s one thing I truly abhor in my heart, it’s picky eaters. Especially so if they happen to be MY children.
He did his worksheets in the Calendar Notebook and some of them are the First Grade word sheets where he also has to make up a sentence with the word he’s rewriting again and again. I was still working with N on her Sarah Bishop and Z was asking me to help him form a sentence and I told him he cannot say “I don’t know,” anymore and to just try to come up with a sentence and then I ignored him and just went on working with N. A while later, I noticed on those pages of his, he had written the sentences himself! I made sure I pointed that out to him and commended him for it. Allahu Akbar! Alhamdulillah!
Later on he had a doctor’s appointment at 2 pm, which we didn’t even complete because R said he looked fine and she doesn’t want to have to bill me. While waiting though, we did some math drills on the small white board. He loves this so far. However, I noticed that he is no longer using the addition technique I had taught him; to choose the bigger number and count on from there. So he ends up using his toes to do additions, and uses my hands too. Tonight, I insisted he use my technique again. But, that was a very good idea for waiting in lounges; to do math drills on the whiteboard. So far, he loves math drills, alhamdulillah. I was even thinking,
Ya Aleemul Hakeem, please make him like his namesake, make him of the raasikhoona fil ilm, of the mukhliseen!
I have run out of space on this blog, probably due to the high resolution photos I’ve been uploading. So I will have to make a DOOL 3 now. In terms of what Ive been doing with Z, it has mostly been recovering his long period of not reading his IQRA and surah. I had to get him back in the routine and now alhamdulillah, at least he’s not resisting it. One technique did work though, in getting him not to dawdle, though doing this on a daily basis proves to be quite challenging. I was so frustrated because he was taking so long to read just 1 line when reading his IQRA that I decided to use a timer and see if having him beat the timer would make him go faster. Yes it did!
In fact, I timed him and gave him worksheets to do which had addition problems and even some spelling and short vowels exercises, and he did them quite quickly! But, this wore off after about a week. Now, I have trouble getting him to do work again. I have to be honest and say that this is the thing I hate about homeschooling, that you have a lot of other things to do too, and you have to deal with individual personality issues such as these. If I sit with him and coax him to write his copywork nicely, it works, but after a while, I lose the patience to do this subhanallah. There are just some days where I really do not want to do this anymore. Really. Sigh.
With him, we’ve done Verb, Adjective, and Nouns and I had a hard time teaching him this because he resisted. He seems to resist when things get hard. S was like this too, and oh my god, it’s so frustrating and aggravating! So I had to devise other ways of doing it so that he would participate and this basically involved a lot of sense of humor. I read him a book, A Big Boy Now by Megan Spinelli, and I asked him to pick verbs and nouns from it. Initially, of course he didn’t want to do it, but I coaxed him again and we went page by page. What I did was I wrote the words on a small whiteboard on my lap as he said them in two separate columns. Then, I asked him to pick 3 favorite verbs and 3 favorite nouns. Then we practiced making sentences with them. We took turns and I modeled for him how to make sentences. He doesn’t like to do this and I feel it’s because he doesn’t know how to. So this technique worked alhamdulillah. We even had a lot of fun with it.
By this time, he is almost an expert on verbs and nouns and I found that even on his own, he would pick out verbs and nouns and would come to me,
“okay…____ is it a verb or a noun?”
I’d ask him back “What do you think?”
and he would answer. Like this, it went back and forth, but alhamdulillah, I’m happy he has taken to verb, noun and adjectives. This propelled me to look for other activities on TPT and I printed some on narrative comprehension. I started him doing some very simple book reports too from the TPT, and this has practice in making sentences, noting Beginning, Middle and End, knowing simple terms such as author, illustrator, character, problem, resolution. In fact, this morning, I did the Problem and Solution activity with him, which he did pretty well in. We also talked about the story of the Three Little Pigs (he loves this story) and we tried to figure out the problems and solutions in this story. He needed some prompting and so I think this was a good introduction to the Problem-Solution lesson.
We read Franklin is Bossy and as we read, I asked him comprehension questions. I find that I had to reread the page again in order for him to get the answer because it seems that he wasn’t paying attention to those details as I was reading, but once I repeated it, or pointed out the parts in that page and asked him to read it, he knew the answer. I realized then that I needed to model it a lot before expecting him to answer. I also sensed that asking him comprehensive questions too much like that was hindering enjoyment of the reading itself, so I reverted back to the style where I would pause every now and then and just relate the text to his experience or my own. For example, I asked him,
“So, did you ever feel lonely playing by yourself?”
“Did you ever fight with H?”
“Wow, that’s like you! He played with his sword and cape! Wow! He draws pictures! That’s like you too!”
“Would you rather play baseball or play in the river like they are?”
“If you get to choose, what would you be, the catcher, pitcher, batter?”
And it seemed to engage him in a way that is not too intrusive to the enjoyment of the reading. So I think this is what I have to keep doing whenever I read to him.
For math, we have gone into fact families. I introduced it by using this Fact Family Puzzle from TPT. Initially he resisted but as soon as he saw the pattern, he was on a roll alhamdulillah. I also did this activity with him for reinforcement and had to point out that for the minus sentence, the biggest number has to be at the very front. And showing him how it switches also helps a lot for the addends. Since he loves playing with the Monster Making 10 game, I also used it to show fact families by selecting 3 number and making a family of it. He loved it when I personalized the monsters especially as ‘Poop’. I think he’s ok with that now, though he did get a bit lost when I gave him a worksheet on fact family.
We also played his file folder game on Contractions, and just now, as he is filling in his simple book report form, I reminded him,
“Remember that hot air balloon folder game, ‘he is’ becomes…?”
and a look of recognition flashed on his face and he wrote ‘he’s’ all by himself. I had pointed out the differences between apostrophes and commas when we were doing the contraction activities.
We also did Place Value by using this activity from TPT.
He’s also been doing Arabic writing now on a daily basis. We use the cards that I received for free, it’s vocab cards. And so we choose one word per day and I demonstrate how to write the word and he completes the page in his writing book. For copywork, I have him do sentences from Talibideen Jr’s website (can’t find the exact link).
For tajweed, I’ve been a bit harder on him and my Quran teacher also advised me to keep correcting him and to constantly do this, even if I think he can’t do it. So, this has been something I’ve been doing too and alhamdulillah it works!
As for the older kids, I’m having a lot of trouble with N. Her therapist said that she has to go for therapy for narrative again and exposition. When I was talking to her supervisor, she told me,
“This is really hard on you. You’re the mother, teacher, special ed educator…”
I am feeling the burden too…subhanallah..and with N, since I’ve been dealing with her all these years, I have a really short fuse when she comes with attitude problems. And this is a problem for me and for her. Sigh. May Allah help us. Ameen.
S received her PSAT scores. She did better than last time but not enough to get the merit scholarship. Alhamdulillah ala kulli 7aal.
H is doing a MOOC class on computer science now. He insists on wanting to use MUS for Algebra 2 and I really want them all to use Teaching Textbook because in the case that they don’t know how to do something, TT comes with solution CDs; something that makes my job so much easier. So I told him to look on vegsource everyday and by January 2014, if he can’t find it, he will use TT. I am tired of having to do so many things. I’m putting the responsibility on him.
I’m feeling really overwhelmed, really overwhelmed subhanallah. The thing is, I don’t feel like I want to do this anymore, this homeschooling business even though I believe in it….especially seeing as how taxing it is to work with Z and N, and thinking that I have to do this for how many more years….I don’t know if I can do it.
So it has probably been about a month or more since I abandoned this blog. I went to hajj, and alhamdulillah we came back about 3+ weeks ago. The kids took pretty good care of themselves. The older ones did their chores and cooked and cleaned by themselves, took care of Z and did a really good job mashaaAllah.
I am resuming homeschooling and mostly I’ve been working with Z and N. I’ve been visiting Teacher Pay Teachers and getting free downloads and using them as teaching materials for Z.
Z loves the Monster Making 10 game and in one day, I introduced it to him, and he continued playing it with H and me throughout the day until nighttime, and by then I think he’s gotten pretty quick at doing mental addition that makes 10.
I’ve also started to introduce the concept of verbs and adjective to him today using this, and this, and we started working on recognizing fractions in visual form, numerical form and word form, using this. He has been working on his calendar daily alhamdulillah and has gotten really good at telling time, coin values, but is still struggling with place values especially when it comes to hundreds. His handwriting has gotten much better too. I’ve had to motivate him using his namesake, saying,
“Did you know, Z ibn Thabit wrote the Quran and he’s very smart. You should be too!”
He doesn’t really like to do copywork so far, so this has been testing my patience with him. Getting him to do it is a struggle. Some days are better where he’s cooperative but some are not. He l ikes doing math worksheets though, so that’s easy so far alhamdulillah.
I am working to get him to do more intensive copywork so he can get really comfortable with writing inshaaAllah. We also did some measuring, and compound words, and forming sentences. Just today, we also learned about Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers, which happened quite accidentally really.
But we went on this website and I just started teaching him those concepts on the spot. He did pretty good. Actually, it all started weeks back when he was working on the Learning Page worksheets had printed ages ago, and it was asking abotu omnivore and herbivores, carnivores. So I took out the old animal printouts I had done for the older kids when they were younger, and we just went over each animal and looked at whether it was classified as herbivore, omnivore, carnivore. He began to understand what each meant.
I also looked for activities/worksheets on this on TeachersPayTeachers. And today, we had done a Verb-Adjective activity that I also got from TPT, and it featurd spiders, so then we started talking about it being a carnivore, and so while he was writing down the words on his sheet, I looked for an online game on this and found this.
We staretd playing and so we even learned about food chain, producers, consumers, and decomposers. Good productive morning alhamdulillah! Mostly I explained to him a little bit, and I could see that his attention span was not that long, so we moved on to the game and I think he learned more as he was doing the games.
We read some books too from the library, but I was sick for two weeks after coming back from hajj, so I didn’t really have the energy to read much to him let alone document the books or make a blog post about them, so…I don’t remember the books.
As for the older kids, H just started a MOOC course on Making your own search Engine, and N is on a new routine that is more supervised by moi. Everytime we make a deal on her being more organized and disciplined, it fails. So, I decided to just check in with her everyday and make sure she is doing what she is supposed to do because the technique of leaving her to her own devises doesn’t work.
We recently watched John Stossel’s clip on Is College Worth It? And I assigned an essay assignment for S based on that discussion. I intend on using Stossel In The Classroom for the older kids. As for Arabic With Husna, we’re still moving on alhamdulillah, almost finishing Unit 3, but going slow is good for this one, because Bayyinah TV uploads of Arabic With Husna can be slow for us if we move at a faster pace. So we’re taking our time with this inshaaAllah.
I recently asked N to make flash cards for the sarf families too, because to be honest, I don’t really memorize them strongly by heart.
N, surprisingly was pretty accountable for her therapy sessions, according to her therapist, while I was gone. However, she abandoned her math, and Biology homeworks, so she has been making up for her math and starting today she is supposed to be making up her Bio homework too. She also pretty much abandoned her hifdh and so we revamped her schedule for that one. Her issue is really discipline and willpower and perseverance.
S took her PSAT just before we came back from Hajj. A friend helped dropped and picked her up from the high school. The girls were continuously volunteering at the masjid for Sunday school, at the soup kitchen, and for S, at the horse therapy, and last Sunday, S went to volunteer with Jn, for the Boys and Girls Club.
My daily schedule now differs from my daily schedule years back. Now, most of homeschooling for me is basically working with Z and N and H in the morning after Fajr. I have online classes that I take and teach scattered throughout the weekdays, so I organize my homeschooling schedule based on that.
Usually, after fajr, on Mondays and Wednesdays, we listen to Nouman’s Tafseer of Juz Amma for about half an hour. Then we watch CNNStudentnews and then have breakfast. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we watch Arabic with Husna from Bayyinah TV after Fajr and then CnnStudentNews. On Fridays after Fajr, we listen to Quran Cover to Cover on whatever surah we are in (I base this on Surah that H has memorized. It’s more for him).
After breakfast, the older kids do their work, and I work with Z till about lunch time. This will differ based on if I have classes in the morning, which I do on Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays. So on these days, I would work with Z after I finish my classes. On Friday though, my class in the morning is from 9-11am, so I usually end up not doing anything with him. If I don’t really do anything with him, I at least try to read with him. If not, I let him play games on the computer that would help him with language, math, or watch Reading Rainbow.
Ideally, after Zuhr, I would listen to N recite a page of Quran, and Z read his IQRA and do his hifdh. But I haven’t had the patience to do this with him lately as things have gotten rather chaotic. But usually, I don’t like to do school after lunch. I work better in the morning and I like doing things in the morning. I have always urged the kids to finish their work by noon, so it really drives me nuts when some of them choose to dilly dally and take a lot of breaks in between and end up still doing their school work in the evening close to bedtime. Now that they’re older I find that personal choices of their like these drive me crazy, especially when being late like that affects my schedule (as in having to mark their essays/work in the weekends). Sure, I give them deadlines, I give them consequences but subhanallah….they still do it.
I am getting tired of asking them if they have finished their work yet or not and I’m getting tired of remembering things for them. If I leave them alone, they get left behind. I don’t see a way out subhanallah. I know some have advised to let them suffer the consequences. Thing is, when they do, the work is back on me. I’m the one who has to pick up the pieces anyway. Subhanallah…
But anyway…I did enjoy homeschooling them when they were younger. Now that they’re older, things get more serious and I end up being more strict because of their future, and it can be a bit stressful even though I do get excited when I see their prospects and potential. Ya Allah, please don’t let me fail these years!
Back to scheduling, my Quran teacher gave me an advice which makes a LOT of sense to me. She said that schedules are made as a rough guideline but it’s almost impossible to follow a schedule to the dot, without getting stressed out. So take it easy. A schedule is to guide you so you know what you need to get done in a day, but if life happens, it’s ok. Just pick up where you left off. With homeschooling, sometimes, and many times in fact, life happens. Take it easy. Like in my previous post, I didn’t really do much with Z, but he still learned mashaaAllah. Sometimes, just reading to him helps a LOT.
So our rough schedule looks like this:
- Post fajr – Tafseer/Arabic (30-45 min)
- Homeschool work
- Free time/work time (if they are not done yet by this time)
- Cook dinner & tomorrow’s lunch
- Dinner (we like to have dinner early and not wait till after isha. When time changes, we would eat after maghrib at the latest bec by then Maghrib would be around 5 pm)
- Clean up
- Quran (depends if I listen to N or not)
Since the kids can cook, I don’t necessarily cook much anymore, especially when I have a lot of work to do. The classes that I take and teach do sometimes overwhelm me, so after spending the morning with Z, and sometimes checking on the older kids, I have to get back to my own work and many times cooking is delegated to the kids. My schedule when they were younger is different. There were three phases; when they were all 3 and younger, and when they’re 5 and older, and when they were 5 and older and Z was a baby. Each time, I had to find out what worked for me and deal with it. And each time, I learned not take the schedule too seriously to the point of stressing myself out. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t try my best to follow it. This ‘take it easy’ means that I do try my best to follow it, and that I have allotted a certain time frame to do a certain thing during the day, I strive to do that. If life happens, especially when you have young kids or older kids and sickness and errands, then don’t stress out over it. With me, it’s my own hifdh and Z’s schooling. Lesson => just pick up from where you left off.
I have to say though that I have had to use my weekends to do work too, especially when the kids finish their work late, or when I have to prepare some things for their school work the next week or something like that. So my weekends can get pretty crazy too. My weekend has a schedule too basically:-
- Class that I teach (once every 5-6 weeks or 3-4)
- Farmer’s market produce grocery shopping
- Free time (usually nap time for me or work if there is work to be done)
- Masjid for maghrib and Isha Youth halaqa
- Free (Sunday school for N if she teaches, work for rest of us depending, laundry)
Today is already Friday. A week has passed by and I haven’t really done anything with Z other than tell him to do his Calendar notebook daily. This week has been crazy in doing an ‘Abu Bakr’ for Hajj. We’re still waiting for the visa, but we’re preparing nonetheless, so that if we get it, then we’re all up and ready to go inshaaAllah. So, this week I’ve just been occupied doing some stuff that need to be done before we go and next week is going to be busy too. I feel bad for Z though. He knows he has to do his Calendar Notebook and he does it, and after that he digs in his toybox and looks for things to do.
Amidst my sewing this week, I did notice him playing with the stethoscope and asking where the heart is. He also played with the scrabble by himself and kept asking me,
“Is toon a word?”
“What is a toon?”
“Is noon a word?”
“Is din a word?”
“What is it ?”
So, subhanallah despite me being busy and not able to physically sit and do stuff with him, he is learning. He basically learned what toon is and what din is and he asked couple more questions out of the blue,
“What is dawn?”
He also spent time watching the story clips and playing word games on Between the Lions on PBS website. he also played games on AbCya and watched Reading Rainbow. He did say he wanted to paint eggs and I wanted to buy those wooden eggs for him but this week, our schedule was a bit crazy so I told him next week. We did read some books though…
If You Hopped Like Frog
Wonder of Nature Waterfalls
Amelia Bedelia Bookworm
Cute! The Sound of Long U
He also peeled sweet potatoes, went swimming, went walking with me this morning, and learned the difference between city and country. I remembered this particualrly because this morning, as we were walking, he asked me,
“Is this city or country?”
I didn’t know what to answer so I said,
“Well, it’s kind of like the country because it’s quiet and you can see the animals, but we’re still in the city. Do you like country or city?”
He asked again as we approached home, “Is our house in the country?”
I also told him that we’re in the desert because we passed by stretches of land in the neighborhoods. He was also hoping to see cats. We only saw one as we almost reached home, alhamdulilah! As we walked he also asked,
“Why are there so many neighbors? Why are neighbors so close?”
“Why do people live in the desert?”
I think I should take him for a walk more often. The older kids no longer want to walk with me, so maybe after this I’ll take Z with me as long as he can stand the distance. I need the exercise especially for Hajj.
But alhamdulillah he does his calendar by himself now and pores over his books on his own if I can’t read them with him. He still likes being read to of course, but I do think he is able to read it on his own too quietly. He may not understand all of it, but he can read it. I just need to sit with him and still do the reading and engaging. He is particularly intrigued by the book If You Hopped Like A Frog. Much later on, he said, “If yuo’re strong like an ant, you can lift a car!”
He did have some issues understanding that though and said while I was reading the book to him, “People can’t lift cars!” “Why is his head so small?” “I can’t do this!” (trying to stretch his neck upwards like in the book).
N had her therapy yesterday and we spent an extra hour talking about what the therapist wants her to do. Subhanallah..my gut feeling has been right all along. I figured that if I send her to school thinking it would be easier, it’s still going to be the same, because she has a motivation and maybe attitude issue. Her therapist asked me to be the enforcer to make sure she does what she is supposed to do. Sigh. This has been my challenge with her all these years. I particularly hate it when people tell me to do that with her because I already am doing it. Especially last week and this and next week I won’t be able to do that, but I didn’t communicate that to the therapist. I told myself, “Well, I’ll just have to do it.” Sigh.
The therapist gave her writing strategies and one particular one where she has to write down main idea and details for EACH paragraph of the book she is reading and she is reading Call of the Wild right now. It’s a significant jump of reading level from Anne of Green Gables. She didn’t look motivated yesterday and I had a talk with her, and she still didn’t seem like she was motivated. I fear she may follow in the footsteps of some of our relatives who dropped out of high school and college. Hubs has some of the issues she has in learning (not sure if you can call it learning disability) but hubs is competitive and actually likes learning while N is not competitive and doesn’t like learning. She does say she wants to write for a living though. I have to say I’m almost giving up with this child. I don’t know what else to do with her. It’s so frustrating, aggravating and just saddening for me. Loving to study, I can’t fully empathize with her and this makes me very impatient when dealing with her which probably maybe exarcebate the problem. These are one of those times when I feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing and when I feel like just leaving everything and being by myself. The stress of preparation added to this doesn’t help either. My only consolation is dua. I do feel like I do need to get away from the kids though…take a break and leave them for a while. Maybe that’s what I’ve been needing for years.
I reminded her to use the Cornell method to take her notes, but I don’t see her doing it as enthusiastically as she learned it in therapy last semester. I also told her we won’t go see the foot doctor anymore because she doesn’t seem like she is taking responsibility for her own feet and it seems like we’re just paying the Doctor for nothing. May Allah help me and guide me with this child. Ameen.
We did the Long and Short vowels file folder games, and he actually did pretty good. Actually we did a lot of long and short vowel activities this day.
I also started going for morning walks with H today. Last week, it was with S. The only reason I’m doing this is for Hajj, which is still not 100% confirmed, but I learned that that’s how it goes for the haji-to-be in the US.
I dropped S at the equine center and then we all went to the library while waiting for her to be done. She has started to volunteer there, and last week on Friday, she had her safety training. At least, I hope she is doing something she loves and craves doing while racking up volunteer hours for her high school documentation.
Later in the day, or was it last week, Z had asked me about a handwriting book I had bought for him a while back at Walmart but haven’t started using. I told him that that’s for when he can writing his letters all nicely and neatly and that he can write sentences and then draw a picture. Lo and behold, he brought me the book, and started showing me a page that he had furnished. He had written a few ‘sentences’ and drew a picture of it. His handwriting was pretty good that I asked him,
“Who helped you do this?”
“No one! I did it myself!”
MashaaAllah! Alhamdulillah. May this be made easier and easier. Allahu Akbar!
Since we had gotten a lot of library books yesterday, we read some of the book. Today we read,
He really enjoyed these books and seem inclined to work on skip counting. We did the Skipping to Oregon file folder game too, and I helped reinforce the concept of skip counting using MUS math manipulatives (wow, these have lots of barakah it seems like). He’s been asking,
“I want to do multiplication!”
So I told him, “We have to learn skip counting first then.”
He was a bit hesitant at first, but eventually seems to enjoy it. He got significantly better at counting by 2s today. I taught him to count 1 number with a whisper and the second one out loud. He seems thrilled by that technique, but I could see him counting mentally when he was skip counting by 2s, 3s, and 4s. With 5s, he’s pretty good already because of the minutes on the clock that he does everyday with the Calendar Notebook.
He seems to have somewhat gotten the hang of Long and short vowels too. I found a couple of books at the library and read these today, and he seems to have gotten a better grasp at Long O and short O.
We also did the McDonald’s Farm file folder game and he told me he didn’t want to do the Long vowels part but only waned to do the syllables part. So we did, and he seems to get it right away. But I did manage to get him to do the long vowels part anyway and he did very very well alhamdulillah.
We also read Penny and Her Marble
I noticed that he’s getting better at reacting and engaging with anything we read. I was asking him why Penny didn’t feel good, and he kept saying,
“Because someone is coming..” (he meant that someone would come to claim the marble)
I also asked him, “So is it right for her to take that marble? Can we just take something that we find like that?”
He looked grim and shook his head. And he added, “It’s like Finders keepers!” like what we had read when we read the story of Cork and Fuzz (which he loves!). So apparently, he understood this concept alhamdulillah. But alhamdulilah I’m happy that he seems to answer questions better during reading time. I was worried before about his hesitance in answering questions, but alhamdulilah now it seems like he’s ‘gettin’ with the program’.
I feel like we actually did a lot today. We also did the Past, Present, and Future Tenses file folder game though by that time I was tired and we didn’t really do it all the way. He seems to still be new at the concept so that one can use more revisiting inshaaAllah. He did do a lot of worksheets today though that dealt with graph reading, measuring, addition, subtraction, grammar (singular plural verb), handwriting. I took the worksheets that I had printed last year from Learning Pages. I find it a good way to cover areas that I might not think of. At first, before, I was hesitant in giving these to him because he didn’t seem like he wanted to do worksheets, and I didn’t want to struggle with him but he seems more inclined to them now alhamdulillah. So he actually spent a lot of time on that.
I haven’t been doing hifdh with him that regularly though. I realize that I tend to put off or aside things that require me to cajole and coax him to do, and hifdh is one of them. Subhanallah. On top of that, IQRA reading too. Sigh. Suffice it to say, I feel bad about this. Need to pick up with this.
The 3 older kids started Biology today. Today N and H’s load significantly became heavier, because they have Biology at 8- 9am, then American History at 10:30 – 11:30 am, then Literature at 12-12:45. Starting this week, they will be very busy. I looked over N’s planner too and hope that she abides by it and disciplines herself. This is such a struggle for me and her subhanallah. It wears out my patience and I’m sure it wears out hers too.
I also just realized that PSAT is coming up in October and was suddenly in a frenzy about this. S is not too happy about having to take it again. I asked hubs and he said yes, she should. So, he will register her tomorrow and so she will have to study for it again and take it while we’re at hajj (if we go inshaaAllah). I also told her to look over her high school plan for the rest of the years that she still has remaining. I worry a bit about that, but keep telling myself that Allah will take care of it because she is doing something now that is to seek His pleasure. I also realized that with S’ high school planning, I wasn’t that experienced, so a lot of her courses are poorly planned. It’s much better for N and H though. I just ask that Allah makes it easy for S’ entrance to college. I have to look into enrolling her at the local community college.
I also realized that N is pretty good at vocabulary and I realized that one of the reasons why is because she really wants to learn it and as she says, “So that I’m not dumb.” I hope the therapy this semester helps her a lot biizhnillah. H is not too keen on his Worldly Wise assignments though. N is promoted by the Home2Teach instructor, so right now, I’m just waiting for H’s instructor to email me his promotion (or not), and then will register both for the next writing classes. N will be taking Writing the Hero’s Journey inshaaAllah. I’m looking forward to checking much improved essays from all of them.
In preparation for Hajj, I’ve also asked around and arranged for friends to check the kids’ essay while I’m gone. I also just realized that for their American history, Biology, and Ancient Egypt assignments, I am the one in charge. Great.
Subhanallah, after all these years, I also feel like I’ve never really learned to be patient in juggling multiple children while homeschooling. I can multitask but I’m not patient while doing it. Snapping is a very common occurrence when I’m juggling teaching and tending to more than 1 child at one time. If anyone wants to ask me how I homeschool multiple children, I have to say,
“I’m not the best person to ask.”
Somehow, Allah nurtures them and they learn anyway. All credits to Him. Alhamdulillah.
It was rainy almost all day today. Z did his calendar by himself and he did a lot of worksheets after that. I grew impatient because I had so much to do today, another Dr.’s appointment and classes, and cooking. Yes, after all these years, I still get agitated having to cook while teaching the kids. We didn’t read any books today because he was dawdling with his worksheets, so ‘school’ with me ended just like that, with me leaving him because he was dawdling too much.
He did good on his worksheets though. There are questions on how many more is 10 than 5. That is a new concept for him, but he kind of got it, but didn’t really like to do it. He dealt a lot with subtraction and I noticed that it’s harder for him to do subtraction and for a while he got confused while using the ones and ten rods. I really had to sit there and supervise him on it. We did Skipping to Oregon too today, and I showed him the pattern with the skip counting by 4s, but I don’t think he really got it. He quickly wanted to be done with it, so I didn’t really push it either.
He did show comprehension of using exclamation mark though when he answered No on a question on the worksheet. He said, “Exclamation mark point.”
Lately he has been ‘scared’ of the bathroom, especially of bathing and using the toilet. I don’t know why.
The older kids started their Ancient Egypt Currclick class today. S is taking it also for 1/2 credit and it is during her AlHuda break. I reminded N to use the Cornell method of note-taking in these classes. She hasn’t been using it. in the therapy, they worked on reading strategies for novels. I figured that in summer, they helped her with understanding non fiction, so this is good that they’re not working on helping her with understanding pieces of literature. May Allah put barakah in this. Ameen. She is supposed to use the neon pink notebook her therapist lovingly cycled her bike to get, and fill it with reading strategies homework that she had given N.
I want to maintain a walking routine in the early morning everyday. We started Last Friday and so far we have been doing it everyday. The only thing is, I don’t like walking too late when all the kids and parents are out for school, so it’s a bit tricky now that fajr is later. By the time we’re done with our post-fajr Quran/Arabic, it can get too late to walk outside. It has been balmy lately so it’s really nice weather for walking. Like today, we took an hour to just do the exercises for the Allama family for Arabic. I already hear a lot of cars out, and I have to take H for his shot and bloodwork, whcih has been put off so much so that today is the last day to take him for it. I’m feeling grumpy and agitated with all these doctor office visits which has been going on for 2 weeks now and will still be going on next week too. I hate having to leave the house for stuff like that. So that’s been contributing to me being snappy and yelly too nowadays. Sigh…I just hope things taper down a bit before we have to go.
We read All About Eggs and What am I?
He had already read these books on his own though, so the guessing was not so much guessing on his part. I did try to have him pick out rhyming words in the What Am I ? book, but he soon grew tired of it when I also asked him what vowel sounds he hears from the words. He really doesn’t like the Phonics stuff. I am contemplating whether I should continue, but I have a very strong feeling that I should because it will be needed later on, even if he already knows how to read. I did it with the older kids too and my own personal philosophy of this matter is that we should teach both. It’s just a matter of which one first to teach. Since he already knows how to read, obviously, Phonics come second, but it gets a bit strange at times because it’s like going backwards. However, it doesn’t mean it’s any easier though..not for him at least.
He did a lot of addition on his own, and seems to really enjoy it too. I had him do the First Grade Sight words too, which initially he didn’t want to do. I coaxed him to do 2 pages and he seems to better grasp creating a sentence now. Alhamdulillah.
So basically it seems like our ‘school’ schedule goes like this: He starts with the Calendar Notebook, and then we do various things of random choice on my part and his. There will be some days where we will read books, and there will be some days where we won’t. It all kind of depends on how I’m feeling and my work schedule. Most of our activities utilize the file folder games, and worksheets, and when I feel like it, online games. At times I will also let him watch Reading Rainbow. I have to admit that with all of this supervising, I have little energy and patience left for his IQRA and hifdh, though I tried doing it at night. With Hifdh, I need a lot of patience, as does he, but I also don’t want it to become something where I’m always angry at him for, so when I don’t feel like it, I leave it. Which in turn also makes me feel bad. As for the IQRA same thing. It makes me wistful when I think to the times when he would just come and understand that it’s part of his daily routine and bring the book to me and read it, even if he negotiates 1 line per day. Same thing with hifdh, though he’s a bit more reluctant with this one. He’s having a hard time now with Humazah ayat 4. So maybe, I should just muster up the energy and discipline to resume the IQRA with him on a daily basis. But realistically, with this hajj business coming up, I am already stressed out. So I don’t know. It makes me feel very bad that this is not a regular routine right now especially seeing that we may go for hajj inshaaAllah. Astaghfirullah…These are one of those days.
I didn’t really do much with Z today though he did work on his Calendar on his own alhamdulillah. Took H for his bloodwork in the morning. I had classes back to back and by close to noon time, I don’t feel like doing much anymore. I still need to check the older kids’ work though.
S and N baked stuff and brought them to the girls halaqa last weekend:-
N is at surah hashr now and mashaaAllah doing good on her own accountability alhamdulillah.