Animals

Week 2 [Jan 15 & 16]: Wed & Thur

Wednesday :-

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.

Thursday:-

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?”

“The sun!”

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:

Feeding Hummingbirds:

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.

 

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Categories: Animals, Animals, Books, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Log, Reading, Science, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Week 2 [Jan 13 & 14] : Monday & Tuesday

Monday:

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,

“Five stars?!!”

“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,

“Aahhh!”

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.

Tuesday:-

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!

Categories: Animals, Animals, Arabic, Books, Copywork, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Log, Math, Quran, Science, Teaching To Read, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 4: Mon – Fri

Last week, Z had an eye exam. Turns out he has astigmatism. But oh boy, did he NOT cooperate during the exam. He only cooperated well when I promised him ice cream at home if he would do what they’re telling him to do. But we didn’t get glasses though. Doc said even if he wears them, he wouldn’t be wearing them all the time. She dilated his eyes and said that it would be make him a bit sleepy but when he was still playing around with the seat, she said to me, “I thought it would make him calmer.” No it didn’t. He did get a kick out of wearing the temporary shades back home though. I did notice him rubbing his eyes a lot though. She did say he has dry eyes, so Flaxseed for all of us I guess.

Monday:-

Monday was Labor Day but we got some work done. We did the Calendar Notebook and then he chose to do his Math workbook. Then, because we were going to the outlet to buy some shoes, I left him to work on it on his own. When we got back home after the outlet, he resumed his workbook again. He seems to enjoy doing the addition. I keep saying to him,

“MashaaAllah, keep working on it and then you’ll be so fast with it!”

That seems to keep him motivated for now.

Tuesday:-

He did the calendar again and then we read 3 books. He was actually the one who specified to me when I told him to get some books for me to read to him. He folded his thumb and pinky finger and showed the three fingers to me and said emphatically, “3 books!” to make sure I’d say yes and agree to finish reading them all. I nodded.

We read Policeman Lou, It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! and Little Tad Grows Up.

policemanlou

itssnowing

Tad

Then he did his math workbook again while I took a much needed nap. And like on the previous day, he continued working on his workbook on his own even afterwards, alhamdulillah.

Wednesday:-

While doing his calendar notebook, I directed him to write the numeral 9 properly. I guess he’s not really down on the ordinals yet. I’m thinking we might need to work on that separately. He’s also figured out how to write 3-digit numerals correctly now alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah, he also does have enough sense to refer to the K4 writing number booklet I had printed from Confessions of a Homeschooler when he doesn’t know how to spell a number.

We did the Surf’s Up Subtraction file folder game today. He keeps thinking it’s addition, but after I keep pointing out that it’s ‘minus’, not ‘plus’, he got the idea. At first, we subtracted using fingers, but then I took out the Math U See Math Manipulatives and had him just ‘cover’ the subtracted amount and see what’s left showing. He liked using that and quickly got the hang of it even mentally for some of of the equations.

Then we did Umm Numaan’s Away We Go InshaaAllah packet, though because I had printed it a while ago, I didn’t remember how I was supposed to put them together. But we went over the Arabic for the vehicles and he did the puzzle. Again, I’m very bad at doing Arabic vocab for some reason. Even now, I don’t really feel enamored to learn or teach Arabic vocab per se even though I know that’s how you start. With Quran though, I’m all for it. I know. Strange.

We also read 3 books today, The Race, Curious George and the Pizza, and Mary and the Mouse, The Mouse and Mary.

therace marymouse

cgpizza

When I was reading The Race, I asked him to tell me what words rhyme, and he had such a hard time doing it. The only aid he has in spotting them is when he reads the words. So I told him to close his eyes and I read the sentences again and again. He was able to tell me but still took a long time doing it. It sounds like he’s listening to all the words rather than listening for the intonation and rhyme scheme. I also asked him which would he rather be, like Hare, who got to have all those hair-raising (no pun intended) adventures, or like Tortoise, who chilled on the ship all the way. He said ‘Tortoise’. As for Mary Mouse, he asked me, “Why did they drop the spoon?”

“Why do you think?”

He replied, “So they can wave at each other.”

For Curious George, he was a little confused in one part where George was delivering the pizza to the factory. He kept asking why that man was there. I had to explain to him again the concept of ordering pizza by phone. Not sure if he got it.

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This MUS manipulatives are very useful. I love it. The only thing about it is that it is a little inconvenient to take, use, and put back.

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From doing his Calendar Notebook everyday (almost everyday that is), we got on to correlating coin values and tens and ones.

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Doing subtraction using the MUS ones ‘rod’.

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I was looking for Reading Rainbow videos for Z, and remembered that I had just read about Mezba’s Teaching Kids the Holy Quran using Legos website this morning in a Productive Muslim email. So I got that and thought I could use that to go over the meaning of the surah with Z. He LOVES it. He kept on browsing through it, going through surahs that are familiar to him, and asking me to explain it to him while he looked at the lego formations. I had to go to a doctor’s appointment and he was still going through it on his own, reading whatever he could.

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He got hooked on this website alhamdulillah.

When I got back home though, he was watching Reading Rainbow. But I can tell he loves that Lego explanation of the surah. I even ended up telling him the story of Surah Yusuf until I said to him, “Z, that surah is a long one. Mama has to go now okay.”

I found this in the kids’ bathroom yesterday and am quite happy that H ended up making it for Z. I have yet to do this activity with Z however. These activities came from the book that we read, Junior Science Time.

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You’re supposed to fill the top cup with water and time how long it takes for all that water to fill the bottom cup (holes are poked at the bottom of the 2 top cups). Then you and your child can do diffeernt things and see what activities take that amount of time to do. Teaches concept of time.

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H did this one with Z. He timed how long it took for the water to fill the jar up to the first line and the subsequent lines. I have yet to use this contraption with Z though.

The older kids have started their Interior Decorating class and next week their schedule will start being more full when Bio and American History and Ancient Egypt starts inshaaAllah. I’m interested to see how the Bio will work out.

Thursday:-

Calendar went faster today as he cooperated. We ended up cutting and gluing some of his file folder stuff that I had printed two weeks ago and I wasn’t too happy about this because that should be done in the weekend, but well, we did it. So we did some vowel activities, and addition and subtraction. And we also did place value activity using the newly assembled file folder games.

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N started her therapy today, and S met with the horse therapy coordinator Sr on campus. Sr asked to see S first and talk to her to see how mature she is to see if she can volunteer with their program. Well, I think she passed the test though Sr did remark that S seems quiet and asked if she would be able to break out of her shell especially with the nature of the volunteer work. I came back with N after the therapy and left S at hubs’ office so he will drop her off at the club meeting they will have at 5:30 pm. Sr is very accommodating. I hope this works out well for them and for S.

For N, hopefully the therapy will help her in organizing a large amount of information, increasing in comprehension in literature readings, and extracting deeper analyses.

Z is working on his addition workbook as I am typing and seems very excited about it. He still seems to be having problems with discerning the vowel sounds.

Friday:-

I started walking in the mornings with S this morning and throughout our walk, she recited Al Kahf and I listened. We didn’t finish it though, stopped just before story of Zulkarnain. Z wanted to much to do his By Gum file folder game, so I did it with him and mashaaAllah, he actually got the hang of it. Though, in the middle, I did wonder if he’s concluding that as long as it has A in it, it means it has the Long A vowel sound. I made a mental note to do the Long and Short vowels so he is aware that there is a difference between the short and long vowel sounds. I also realized that when I break up the phonetic sounds in a word, he is better able to locate the vowel sound (duh!). He’s working on his Math workbook by himself without any push from me. He does need a lot of pushing with his Calendar Notebook though.

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Today will be a busy day towards the end since I will have class and we have a full back to back schedule after Asr.

S just reminded me yesterday that I need to write down what stuff they need to work with Z on while I’m gone. One more thing on my to do list. I have to maybe print out more stuff for Z and pinpoint what areas he needs more work on that the kids can work with him with. I also need to clean up the plan for the youth girls halaqa that we just started last week (well, kind of) so that Wd can continue it while I’m gone with minimal problems. InshaaAllah.

 

Categories: Activity, Animals, Arabic, Books, Cardboard, File Folder Games, Grade 1, Learning Aids, Log, Math, Math U See, Quran, Reading Rainbow, Volunteer, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Z Books: Way Up In the Arctic

We had done the Arctic unit I got from Royal Baloo a while back and I had gathered books on the Arctic and Antarctic from the library and had recently returned them before I could make a post. Am a bit too busy to update the blog, so I will just type up a brief recap of what we did for documentation.wayuparctic

He loved those word searches, for a while, until I printed more that was a bit too hard for him. Then he moved on to dot-to-dot.

He loved those word searches, for a while, until I printed more that was a bit too hard for him. Then he moved on to dot-to-dot.

I cut out the template of the dice and just shuffled the crds face down for him to pick instead of using it as a dice. We reused the graph too.

I cut out the template of the dice and just shuffled the crds face down for him to pick instead of using it as a dice. We reused the graph too.

I  had issues withe dice, so I decided to cut it up, use it by shuffling the cards face down, and reuse the graph. He loved this because of the story I made up as he picked a card. It became a race of the arctic and antarctic animals.

The sudoku. I decided to use ziplock as the 'pocket'. Simpler and more efficient. Time saving too.

The sudoku. I decided to use ziplock as the ‘pocket’. Simpler and more efficient. Time saving too.

I do still have this book from the library though and we love it, especially because it has those hidden numbers in the illustration! We also watched the Eyewitness DVD and to this day whenever he looks at a world map, he would point to the North pole and say “Husky” and to the south pole and say “Penguins”.

Even when I was teaching him the continents, he was still hung up over where the huskies live and where the penguins live. He loves that Arctic and Antarctic Eyewitness DVD though.

Categories: Animals, Books, Kindergarten Math, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Math, Z's learning | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Z Book: Bugs Are Insects

I love these Let’s Read and Find Out Science books! I’ve been hunting for them at the library and Z loves them too! They’re great for learning science. I wonder if they have Let’s Read And Find Out History books. They should.

Yesterday, Z chose for me to read to him Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell.

He’s really hooked by the ladybug, and so I googled ladybug on Youtube, since he asked for it.

We watched ladybugs laying eggs,

ladybug being eaten by a Venus Fly Trap,

and eating aphids,

and I love this new find- Painting with Mr. Kindergarten!

We watched it and Z painted his own ladybugs; one red, one black with colorful dots. We also did the butterfly paint folding and some playing with paint with toilet paper rolls that I’ve been saving for him.

I printed Umm Nu’man’s Ladybug Math Mat and counting activity, and we spent quite a while doing the addition activity, much to my surprise! Z doesn’t really like to count, read aloud or pretty much anything where he has to use his voice. But he was excited that I had printed some more thing for him and so I quickly cut out the ladybug counting pieces and he patiently waited. Pretty soon we were doing the addition problems, but with a twist. I made up stories when we did each addition problem, and he loves it! That’s what kept him going actually. some of the times, I forgot to make up a story and he would say,

“Ok, where are the ladybugs going now?”

So we had ladybugs getting ready to go swimming, go to the playground, have a party, getting in a van, etc. And I also had been googling activities on ladybugs and saw a math mat activity where a baking pan is used and so the pieces were magnetized. I decided to glue magnet strips on the ladybug counting pieces and we used them on the baking pan. It was MUCH easier and more organized in a way. I love that he loved this activity because I feel like his math is a bit poor compared to his reading.

 

And subhanallah, I found out that this boy can really read mashaaAllah. I knew he can read but since he doesn’t like to read out loud when I ask him to, I never really knew how well he can read. I was spending time with him with the activities and thenI also printed another copy of Umm Nu’man’s winter color cards (though I printed it on portrait format so now I have one set of cards bigger than the other, which I guess is fine. It makes for easier separating if we only want to use 1 set of cards for a game) so that we could play Snap. We played Snap and then he wanted to know how to play go Fish, but I told him to let’s play memory game first so he would know the names of the colors in Arabic. We did this but of course we need to do more so the Arabic colors are consolidated in his vocabulary.

So I decided to take the Bob Books I had since the 3 older kids were younger and I asked him to read it, encouraging him by saying that this book once belonged to S, N, H and that they used to read it. So he did and mashaaAllah he did very well. Before long we were reading more of these books and then I got Wake Me Up In Spring and he read this book all by himself, out loud to me. Turns out, his reading speed is pretty high. I had to help him a bit with the ‘ed’ past tense but he did very well. All this while he’s been able to read but keeping it to himself. Well, hubs said that when hubs would read a book by mistake on purpose, Z would correct him. So we knew he can read, but just not how well. Alhamdulillah, doing the Glenn Doman reading method really works, even if I just did it with him when he was a baby (actually i did it with him when he was about a few months old, I think even soon after birth when I felt ok enough to do it with him). I remember, he was still in the crib when I did it. But because of his allergies, I stopped because I had to focus on dealing with his extensive eczema. I resumed it when he was older, at about 1 yr old, we did also on powerpoint, with sound effects, and by and by I did it but I didn’t really complete the program. But subhanallah just that little exposure helped! When I did it with S, I didn’t realy finish it either because she was already reading before I finished it. With N and H, I didn’t complete it either, as they were learnng to read also from watching Between The Lions along with the program I was doing on them. Alhamdulillah, Allah made it easy in this regard. And he wasn’t just reading it blindly, he understood what he read too, as evident from his smiles and responses as he was reading the words out loud. Allahu Akbar!

So With Z, I think I have to focus on his handwriting and math and especially his Quran. This actually motivates me to work more with him on Quran. InshaaAllah may Allah make that easy too. Ameen!

Yesterday, we were eating chips and all of a sudden as he was about to pick up the bag and put it bag in the kitchen,  he said,

“North, S, East, West!” while pointing in the right direction. He later asked me what S stands for. He read it on the bag of the chips bag.

Today, I went googling for more ladybug activities and ended up joining Learning Page. I had used it way  back when the 3 older kids were younger too so I was somewhat familiar with it. I printed some worksheets and inshaaAllah, I hope he works on them and improve in handwriting and benefit from the other activities.

Last weekend, during our tennis Sunday, Z had been observing a ladybug too, so the reading of this book is quite relevant to his most recent animal-experience. In fact he was telling me as I read him the book about the ladybug’s wings.

As we were reading this book, I reminded myself to always bring Allah into it. It’s so easy to forget an focus a lot more instead on the science. So when he was reading Wake Me Up In Spring, we also talked about how out of Allah’s mercy, He makes the bears sleepy so that they hibernate in winter. In winter there are not food for the bears, so sleeping is easier for them. I also realized how just talking about Allah providing for His creatures actually trigger alot of thought process in a child, subhanallah. When we talked about this, he asked me questions that I never expected. It’s amazing subhanallah. It also benefited me because it made me reflect about Allah in ways I never would have based on my adult thinking. Subhanallah.

Categories: Animals, Arabic, Books, Kindergarten Math, Learning Aids, Learning Games, Learning in Context, Living Islam, Reading, Science, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Garden Discoveries II

We were out of town for about 10 days and we had left our garden under the supervision of Kk Sl. Hubs and H transfered the containers to her house so she wouldn’t have to drop by our house to water it each day. When we picked up the containers on Saturday, we noticed that there were a lot of red Thai chili and several Poblanos, and our lemongrass was thriving, and we had an eggplant, and had two okras.

When we got home, I noticed an inchworm on the carrot plants. And then N found another inchworm and they took them inside the house to put inside the terrarium. However, by the next day, they were gone. Still not found to this day.

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Z Books: If You Were A Parrot

Wednesdays is one of the busiest most hectic days in the week for us. Especially this week because N’s Oil Pastel Class starts, and H’s Magnetism Class starts. This morning we had bit of a to do with logistics. N had signed up to do her live presentation for her project for her Mammals class, but S said she had group at 8:45 and so would need the Mac, and by the time I came downstairs, N was not doing her presentation and H was using the Mac. So N rescheduled her live presentation next week.

Then, H’s Magnetism class starts at 9, so basically today, we had class starting at 6:30 am, then another at 7 am, then another at 9 am, then my class at 10 (had to anxiously wait for H’s class to finish on time so I wouldn’t be late for my class), and N’s Oil Pastel at 11. And now only N is in class, the rest of us had lunch. H made fried rice.

I read If You Were  A Parrot By Katherine Rawson with Z this morning. I also showed him the photos of the author and illustrator at the back, and told him that this lady wrote the story and this other lady drew the pictures. I also told N about the illustrator, and I love that she included some info about how she does her illustrations.

We had actually read it yesterday and today he picked that book again. Yesterday I didn’t have the chance to expound on it while I was reading since we were rushing to go to the library, but today I had time, so each time we read the pages about what features the parrot has, I reminded him of Jce’ parrot that we used to babysit once in a while.

“Do you remember, Jce’ bird would climb up on you, and chew on your ears?”

“Did Jce’s bird play in his water?”

It looks as if a sliver of memory of the bird is passing in his mind and then came his answer, “Yeah.”

“Did he use to look in the mirror too?”

“Yeah.”

“You remember, he eats nuts and seeds?”

“Yeah.”

He wanted to make the fake beak, so I told him to get some construction paper and we made him a beak, a black one. He went around with it, pretending to chew on a pencil. Then he started saying to me,

“I want four toes!”

 

Oh boy.

“But Allah already gave you a nice foot. Four toes is for a parrot.”

What do you expect when you read a book called, If You Were A Parrot.

After my class started, he would come in every now and again in the room and tell me, “I want four toes.”

All this while I was in class. It was getting annoying.

We need to read another book so he would forget about this one.

Four toes….eeshh…

Well, by this time I did read more books to him. We read,

Excuse Me by Lisa Kopelke

I wanted to read this one first because I had checked it out some time ago, but he didn’t want me to. Somehow then I read the one below first and then he took Excuse Me! and wanted me to read it because he liked the Tissue Please story.

Tissue Please by Lisa Kopelke

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

He wasn’t too fascinated by this one. I think he was rushing for something else then.

 

Categories: Activities - Ages 5-8, Animals, Books, Language Arts, Reading, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Caterpillar Farm :- They have gone to their burrows

All the tomato hornworms have now gone to their burrows. H finally made his terrarium for his caterpillar. He didn’t bother giving it a name unlike the girls.

H’s terrarium

One called Squirt. Z’s caterpillar. He wrote this himself.

Once called Nectaris

trying to climb up the wall

You can see the burrow opening to the top right

another burrow opening

the double terrarium

The Teraarium S made, for one caterpillar named Neptune

So now we’re just waiting for them to turn into hawkmoths, and this time, we will inshaAllah release them at the right time. In the meantime, the eggs we supposed are hawkmoth eggs are still attached to the leaf of my chilli plant and not yet hatched.

Categories: Animals, Family, Project, Science | Leave a comment

Z Books: Starfish and Spinning Spiders

Last week, I didn’t read any books to Z. It was hectic as my classes resumed and computer use was limited. I had an article I couldn’t finish and I had my online students to tend to, and I also lost my voice and towards the end of the week I strained my back when playing tennis. I had asked N to massage me but she didn’t do it with ihsan, so it didn’t have any effect. Hubs massaged it and by the will of Allah, I do not have problems making ruku’ now alhamdulillah!

Today, I read to Z while the kids are having their online classes.

We read Spinning Spiders by Melvin Berger.

We also read Starfish by Edith Thacher Hurd.

In the meantime, Z has been watching the Reading Rainbow video clip I had put up in a previous post. So today, after we read this, he expected me to find a Youtube video on them, and I did. We managed to watch a few before we set off for the library.

This was the first one we found:

And this is really cool too. Z said when we were watching this,

“It looks like a caterpillar!”

We also looked for spider web spinning Youtube videos:

With this one below, we talked about how the spider wraps its prey and then injects it with poison. When we read that part in the book, I reminded Z of his immunization shots (which he doesn’t like and so remembers quite well), and he understands and seems to be able to relate to this, so we looked out for this when we were watching the video. He even pointed to one of the legs of the spider and he said,

“Is that his ‘shot’?”

But then, I showed him how he injects the poison with a body part from his mouth and we saw it pretty clearly thanks to the video-person who did a wonderful job with this clip!

After we came back from the library, I went to the garden to check on my plants and saw a tangled spider web in my Thai Chilli plant. I showed it to Z and he told me,

“There is one on the captus!”

It took me a while to figure out what captus was, but as he pointed to our front yard, I understood. Captus = cactus.

“Oh, the cactus?”

“Yes.”

So he went ahead and showed me the spider web on one of the cacti in our front yard. Subhanallah, it was a beautiful web, and the spider was still there too and there was even some leftover of his meal. I wonder how Z even noticed that. I asked the older kids if they showed him the web, but they said no. So Z must have noticed it on his own. Good observation!

And he kept telling me when we were watching the Youtube videos,

“Send it to your blog!”

We also watched the tarantula:

Recently, I’ve been making his breakfast. Usually, I would pre bake his muffins, waffles and freeze them. I kind of feel sorry for him because they don;t look that appetizing and he ends up always skipping breakfast. So I started making him scrambled tofu with cubed frozen sweet potatoes for breakfast. He demanded that I also add carrots and I also put in sliced okra. I sprinkle it with curry powder. I also bake french fries of sweet and russet potatoes. But he really loves the scrambled tofu. When we made the sweet potato fries, he asked to help, so I let him mix in the curry powder over the unbaked fries, and even pour them on the pan before putting them in the oven. I had taken photos but he had deleted them. What  a shame. I make a big deal of him helping out in the kitchen because with his allergies, I usually don’t let him help much whereas the older kids all had their hands in their food since a young age. I find that letting kids work in the kitchen help with their learning overall. So I have been feeling bad for Z. Alhamdulillah, he’s been asking to help more and more now. Maybe after seeing his siblings always pottering about in the kitchen. A good thing, alhamdulillah.

I had checked out Janice Van Cleave’s Play and Find Out About Bugs, but haven’t yet had the chance to do any of the activities with Z.

Last week was hectic for me and we’re about to embark on one of our road trips for ‘ilm/hubs’ conference this month, so I’m thinking it will be hectic in the coming week. Well, at least he’s still learning from the little sessions we are able to have alhamdulillah.

Categories: Allergies, Animals, Books, Homeschooling, Reading, Science, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caterpillar Farm …

I guess that’s what we have now; a caterpillar farm. H and S finished making 2 terrariums for the caterpillar and a few days ago they transferred 3 caterpillars to the terrariums. It’s pretty cool actually. They even ‘decorated’ it with some smooth rocks. I had asked,

“What are those rocks for?”

“Decoration.”

Hmm. Interesting. They treat it like an aquarium. N’s beta fish had died. H’s too, recently. H’s fish has been with us for almost 2 years now. Now, the only fish that is living is S’.

They even named their caterpillars. Well, N and S did. H didn’t even bother to. He didn’t even transfer his caterpillar to a terrarium yet. He plans to make one more. Right now, it’s still in the jar. I was looking at their caterpillar one night as I was locking the doors up, and one was trying to climb up the wall to try and get out probably. The next morning, N’s caterpillar was missing.

She looked for it and tried to gently dig into the soil and eventually found hers already burrowed, ready to pupate. We were surprised though because the last caterpillar they took, was VERY huge when it was about to pupate and these were not that big. Yesterday, Z and S’ caterpillars also burrowed, ready to pupate. Now, only H’s is still on the soil surface. Probably ready to pupate, but H really needs to transfer it to a terrarium soon.

The girls seem to be really interested in this project and are even googling and reading up on caterpillars. I asked N yesterday,

“How would you know if it’s a girl or a boy?”

“If the cocoon is lumpy it’s a boy, if smooth it’s a girl.”

I then told her to really document all this because I feel it would be a good start towards a Zoology course possibly for her high school. She already keeps kind of a chart. S too, but I’m not sure how dilligent they are at updating it. Yesterday they were playing with the caterpillar (before it burrowed of course). They were all in the sunroom, on the floor, and the caterpillar was out and they were playing with it.

It would be an interesting experience especially for Z to witness this transformation and learn about the life cycle of a moth. I checked out some books on it but haven’t had the time to read them to him yet. My busiest days are Wednesdays and Thursdays and today I have a class too and I have to prepare for my students’  session on Sunday, and catch up on my notes from yesterday. I’m feeling a bit stressed out too. I”m asking for a cancellation of my article but the editor hasn’t replied to me yet. This is the first week of class resuming so I can only imagine how tight things would be after this. Hopefully S gets to go to Canada soon inshaAllah. We are submitting her application today. May Allah make it easy Ameen.

So it seems like I won’t be reading to Z on Wednesdays and Thursdays. At least he’s getting some stuff from his therapy sessions too on Thursdays. The only thing about that is I feel that whenever I leave the older kids for 2 hours like that, they waste their time and it really stresses me out because when I come back, I find things that are supposed to be done, not done etc.

Just now, I had to spend time talking to them, more like lecturing because I’m at the point where I”m ready to burst. We’re resuming Seerah and I was explaining to them how this is the time when they should be using their skills and time to be really productive, and my point is not that they are productive, but productive in Allah’s way, in pleasing Him. I feel like my chest is so tight with yearning for them to really understand this. I am vaguely aware that sometimes you have to show them, model it, and in terms of projects I’m not doing that because I’m doing other things. Subhanallah, the wisdom can’t just be imparted like that. What I know now, I wish for them to know it as well or better than I do, for their own good. When you’re an adult, you have to worry about many other things. At their ages now, they don’t have much to worry about except studying. I’m not trying to undermine that, but I also told them that the reason why I give them work is because I see them wasting their time. I have given them chances before in the past to be productive on their own, and I’ve left them with no structure for months but they didn’t really use it and I can’t bring myself to see my kids wasting their time like this. So we went back to structured schooling.

Sometimes I feel like it’s a vicious cycle and right now I feel bad because I should have read that dua before lecturing them. It might have penetrated their hearts better. Sigh.

I told them that this is the time when they should be really using their skills and talent to be productive in pleasing Allah. We were talking about the Seerah project and my long term vision for it. They’re really good at drawing and I feel like we can really produce something that would benefit others and would be a means of sadaqah jariah and beneficial knowledge for long after we’re gone with this. If they spend their time just like other kids, they will just be average. Why would you want to just be average? Subhanallah….oh Allah, please make them understand and internalize this. I didn’t do a good job of relaying the information because I want it so bad for them that I just tend to get angry at them for wasting their time. It’s hard being a parent when you know things your kids don’t know and you know the mistakes that are made and you try to warn them of it but sometimes they have to experience those mistakes first before understanding what it is you’re trying to tell them. It’s like warning a person to take this route and that route so they won’t fall in a ditch or run into a thorny bush, but they don’t take you seriously, and then they do fall into that ditch and they have to backtrack and detour and you feel,

“If only they’d listen to me!!”

but that they had to fall into that ditch in order for them to understand what you’re telling them. Argh!

And since Z deleted all the files in the camera, I am not able to upload them since they’re not there. Argh!

Categories: Animals, Homeschooling, Productivity, Project, Thoughts | 2 Comments

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