College

Belated Post Hajj

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.

Categories: Arabic, College, Copywork, Family, Grade 1, High School, Homeschooling, Learning Aids, Learning Games, MOOC Courses, Volunteer, Z's learning | Leave a comment

Week 3 : Mon-Wed

Monday :-

 

So, I’ve been pushing myself to do the long & short vowels with Z. I tried it last year but he didn’t seem ready so I left it alone. Today, we did U (using the file folder game) and E (spring Peeps) again. I think he’s getting the hang of it inshaaAllah. We also did the Five Senses yesterday using Umm Nu’man’ Five Senses pack. I looked for book on the five senses at the library today. I expected to get better books. The calendar notebook actually provides a good coverage of areas from penmanship to telling time. I can gauge what he needs more work on just from doing the calendar notebook everyday. He needs work on Place Values. He’s good at telling time mashaaAllah and even with coins. Maybe he will be ready to work with dollars and coins soon. I’m thinking that we may continue with the calendar notebook while including harder activities as he progresses into higher grades inshaaAllah. It’s a nice all-in-one ‘documentation’ of his progress in a way. I love the file folder games because we can do it again and again and if he doesn’t know the material, it’s a nice teaching introduction and we can always revisit it. I also started thinking today that we will probably do addition everyday until he gets proficient at mental addition and then move on from there. The file folder games help with this too. I noticed that when he plays addition games online, he is a little slow. So my hope is that if he is proficient at it mentally, it will encourage him to practice it online too and he would then be more willing to play those math games online. Right now, I sense a lot of avoidance on his part on games that he finds hard because his skills are not there yet. He’s unwilling to develop those skills online. So we’ll have to do that offline.

 

Tuesday:-

I had limited time today but I think we did quality stuff inshaaAllah. He did his calendar and everytime he does the place value, he always puts the amount of the number in the ones place, so I continue to ask him to represent that number with the ten rods and ones cubes, and point out that the ones cubes are only (however many they are for that number). We also did the prepositions in Arabic today, managed to squeeze that in before I had to get ready to go to my Dr appointment.

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After I came back, he came to the door with ‘The Little Red Hen’ that we had checked out from the library. When I was leaving the house, he was sitting on the couch poring over the library books we had checked out and I’m guessing that by the time I came home, he was dying to have me read them.

“Read this, this and this!” he said. I hadn’t even gotten my shoes off yet!

So I read The Little Red Hen and remembered to speak out loud my own reactions to the story so that he will learn to do this too (future journaling while reading a piece of literature). He asked me to read Cork and Fuzz (he LOVES these books) and we made a deal that he would read some pages and I would read the rest. He doesn’t like to read aloud, but with that arrangement, he did. I tried to gauge if he understands what he’s reading. Pleasantly surprising, he does! His phonetic skills could use some work in some words (understandably so), but his comprehension seems good. ALhamdulillah! I even asked him some inference question (why was Fuzz sniffling and sad?) and he said,

“Because the chip-mouse was mad.”

Then I asked, “Why did Fuzz kept saying ‘But…but..but’?”

He said, “Because he can’t swim.”

He remembered from the other books of this series the differences between Cork and Fuzz. Alhamdulillah. I’m so happy with this, as I always worried about his comprehension despite him being able to read (decode and decipher). Allahu Akbar! I’ve been making dua that teaching him be made easy and that learning for him is enjoyable and easy and for Allah to put barakah in it, because seriously, my time it quite limited due to the learning and teaching I am doing right now. So, in order that I would be able to serve Allah in these other ways, may Allah put barakah in my time with Z. Ameen! One thing I’ve learned :- nothing is impossible for Allah. Just ask. Even if it sounds impossible and absurd and illogical.

N is supposed to interview an adult for her writing assignment for Home2Teach. I suggested Dy and emailed her and she said yes. This is good in that it will give N experience in interviewing an actual person and give her that much more experience in writing different kinds of writings. I love Home2Teach so far. H is doing great too!

So far, I’m still checking their essays for Literature, and so far they are sticking to the schedule.  Alhamdulillah. One thing they may need tangible daily reminders for is updating their high school documentation forms on Google Docs that I had made for them.

Hubs had told H to create a Linkedin account and today, I suggested he start studying to take AP courses since he’s quite ahead in Math right now on top of skipping a grade. Hubs also suggested he take MOOC classes and add those to his LinkedIn as he foresees MOOC courses being important in college application in the future.

I realized alhamdulillah that Revved for Ramadandid benefit H and N. I was stressed out all Ramadan because I saw them sitting and attending but not paying attention. I know. The class was Mon-Thur, 2+ hours each day, and went through the whole Ramadan. I would have loved it if we have something in the community for the youth, but as it was, there weren’t, so online was our salvation. I’ve heard N and H refer to ‘Wisam said’ more than once now. Apparently, some things did stick and made an imprint in their hearts from what was taught in Revved for Ramadan. Alhamdulillah.

I was talking about the Syrian boy whose hair turned grey from stress, and mentioned about the Prophet saw’s hair turning grey when Surah Hud was revealed. S added that she covered that today in class. Then H and N also added that and what they learned from Revved. H said that it’s surah Hud and Yunus and all the sister surahs because they all contained somewhat the same message.

I guess, I have to settle with the benefit of attending course whether online or onsite being small but impactful and long lasting rather than high in quantity but low in quality. That’s probably how the reality is anyway. Alhamdulillah. I kept asking Allah to make it benefit and for the whole Ramadan I didn’t see any sign of them benefiting from it. Subhanallah…hastiness is one of our weaknesses. it certainly is mine. Being a mother, you want the best for your child, and it’s just hard to not see it. I just have to increase in my tawakul and patience inshaaAllah.

S has taken Abnormal Psychology with Coursera last semester. She claimed it was hard, but I think she is being perfectionist. She is overly anxious about being able to cope with the burden of college work. I truly beliece she can because she has the discipline. But I think the perfectionism may be part of the cause of her anxiety.

Just yesterday, N and I were talking about creating some file folder games for Z. I told her, “I think you’d love to be a preschool or kindergarten teacher! Because you love kids.” She said, “Well, I already want to be a writer.” “You can do both.”

for Arabic with Husna, we’re now in Sarf, specifically Sarf Sagheer and Sarf Kabeer. I’m enjoying it. Since H already learned this with hubs for quite some time, it’s just N and me who need the practice. So far so good. I find memorizing Sarf to be harder than memorizing Quran. Sarf is like a tongue twister to me.

 

Wednesday:-

Today is my busiest day what with a doctor appointment for Z. But alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, we got in some quality work. At least I’d like to think it’s quality work. Z did his calendar notebook as usual. He’s getting  better at place value, but I just noticed that his coin counting is not quite mastered. So far, he’s been doing it on his own based on the previous day’s count, but he can’t count by 10s and then switch to by 5s and then switch to by 1s. So that’s something to work on inshaaAllah.

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We worked on the Arabic prepositions using the file folder game I created from UmmSara’s post. We only started using it yesterday because he wanted to try something new. But today, when I took the file out, he said, “I don’t want to do that.” Again, see how he is avoiding anything that might cause him failure. But we did it anyway. I noticed that he had some trouble picking up the Arabic words and putting them in line with the English meaning. After we did the matching pages, I showed him the prepositions in Arabic and English equivalents. Then, because we ended up on that page that tells me to play a game with it, Ii told Z to look for a toy house and a toy mouse. Because I didn’t want to make and cut and color a mouse. So we found S’ barn and the horses in it. We pretended the barn was a house, because I don’t know what a barn is in Arabic and too lazy to look it up. I never liked teaching Arabic to the kids because of this limitation in my own mastery of it. And no, it hasn’t really motivated me to learn Arabic. The only thing that motivates me to learn Arabic is to understand the Quran and appreciate its beauty and meaning. For conversing, writing, reading…err…not really.

Anyway, we did a few rounds of this, and he loved it. I was thinking I probably need to use these vocab in our daily life and now I remember this is another reason why I stayed away from teaching Arabic to the kids! It’s hard enough remembering to speak Malay (my own native tongue) to the kids, let alone a foreign language that I don’t master! I’m just not a foreign language learner. I consider English like a first language actually, even though my kids would vehemently disagree.

I also told him we will do some addition practice. He didn’t want to do it, so I said,

“If you get really good and fast at this, you can play many games on the computer that has addition!”

He perked up. And cooperated. And so we did 2 ladybug addition placemats, Alhamdulilah!

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I also finished up the Pizza Activity Pack worksheets, and this particular one deals with letter tiles and manipulating the letters. I told him to get Scrabble, and we did the worksheet, but he didn’t use the letter tiles, he just did it mentally and finished the worksheet quickly on his own. I pointed out to him also that the ending sound is what makes words rhyme. Not sure if truly grasped it …yet.

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S’ horse volunteer business is I hope, working out. The lady emailed me saying she wants to meet personally with S to talk and see how mature she is and that volunteering with her for kids under 18 will be on an individual basis. So I hope this works out inshaaAllah.

As for H, he’s been dilligently weeding the backyard mashaaAllah despite allergic reactions. He’s cleared a lot of it. It looks like REALLY hard work. It keeps raining too (ALHAMDULILAH) and he said, “Oh no, the weeds are going to grow again.” Allahumma Sayyibann Naafi3a. Ameen.

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I updated the older kids’ homeschooling individual course documentation forms on Google Doc on Tuesday. I told them to add a reminder to update it every day. I can actually check that they did because I have to initial ‘Work Done’. This time, for N and H, I feel much better about the high school documentation because I learned a lot from mistakes for S.

Categories: Activities - Ages 10 and up, AP Courses, College, Grade 1, High School, MOOC Courses, Ramadan, Thoughts, Z's learning | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What We Have Been Doing

We almost finished the Pizza activity pack I had gotten from Umm Nu’maan’s blog.

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We also did several of the file folder games

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I did the word families file folder game with Z, and it has some extra empty cards, so I had him write words that fit in some word families.

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Person, Place …

 

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Where I keep his daily ‘Do’s’ (calendar Notebook, certain file folder games (rotated depending on what I feel he needs to work on), worksheets. So everyday we just take this and start his ‘school;.

His math manipulatives. We alternate (depending on his preferences) between this (easier to take down and put back) and the MATH U SEE math manipulatives (harder to take down, and put back). There is also another magazine folder thingy containing other file folder games and past lapbooks that he can take on his own.

His math manipulatives. We alternate (depending on his preferences) between this (easier to take down and put back) and the MATH U SEE math manipulatives (harder to take down, and put back). There is also another magazine folder thingy containing other file folder games and past lapbooks that he can take on his own.

 

N’s study desk. I’ve been nagging her about the tidiness of her study desk and alhamdulillah it’s finally looking productive! She is also using her mini whiteboard for her daily to do lists and I see that it has helped her complete her work on time.

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And her stack of library books. She has started to read these books which when I asked S, she said, “I guess it’s slightly of a higher level than what she usually reads,” which is good news alhamdulillah!

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However, I have been noticing that she has been obsessed with these books and some of her school work is not done. I just asked her if she’s finished her work for today. I heard something that I don’t like to hear. Sigh…

We have been having abundant rain alhamdulilah. With that came weed. A lot of them in our backyard especially. I told H we’ll pay him if he gets rid of them. So he’s been working on them, but I think we may have underestimated the amount of work it requires.

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H and N seem to be doing very well with Home2Teach alhamdulillah, so I may just continue signing them up for Home2Teach classes. Compared to Write Guide, Home2Teach seems to give them more structure and direction. S is supposed to and still doing her English 11 using the Bedford Reader. We recently visited the horse lady which I had contacted last year but never followed up with. She gave us some resources for S to volunteer with horses. One of them was on campus, and today, I just got her email saying that even though S is underage for their volunteer program, if it’s to do with volunteer hours for school/homeschool, maybe something can be worked out. So I replied to her and am waiting to see what she will say.

I’ve been discussing with S the possibility of her majoring in Psychology (since she still wants to) and also Animal Science but maybe specified to horse therapy since she loves horses. The emergence of horse therapy in the past 10 years (according to the horse lady) also brings more possibility to combine Psychology and Horse Therapy. She seems to like this idea. I told her to research and look into it on her own. I don’t feel like she is though. Subhanallah…it’s so hard being a parent of teens. You don’t want them to waste their youth, and even though I lived it, I really don’t like this culture of teens wasting their time entertaining themselves when teens before there was even a term ‘teen’ used to be considered as adults and worked to earn a living and actually made good use of their times. I don’t like that the kids have these electronics even though I agreed to getting them when hubs asked me (S has an Iphone and H has an Ipod). It’s hard balancing things for me. Subhanallah. I hate to see the older kids wasting their time because they have so much potential. Alhamdulillah they like to go volunteer at the soup kitchen and are not really wasting their time in ways that would turn parents hair grey. Alhamdulillah. But I (like any other parents I’m sure) have high aspirations for my children and I’m trying very hard not be a Tiger Mom. On one hand I understand the drive to be a Tiger Mom, but I also understand the wisdom in not being one. Sigh. If I’m having middle age crisis, this might be why.

Categories: College, Homeschooling, Organization, Productivity, Soup Kitchen, Time Management | Tags: | Leave a comment

Homeschool Transcript Seminar

HECOA hosted a free seminar on homeschool transcript and I attended this last Friday. It’s quite informative though I didn’t stay till the end. I had another appointment for my hifdh online at a time that I set because I thought the seminar was going to run for about 60-75 minutes but apparently, it ran for almost 2 hours. Alhamdulilah I did get a recording though.

Several things that caught my attention in this seminar:

  • many community colleges offer dual credit to everyone for free or they may have financial aid
  • since they open it for the public schools from the No Child Left Behind Act, they this have to also open it for the homeschoolers
  • but if they have no funding, they might not open it for free (which may be our case locally)
  • to attend a college level class, age is not a requirement
  • as long as you can do the work, it doesn’t matter how old you are
  • there are 12 year old homeschoolers who are taking college level classes
  • to start high school, age is also not a requirement
  • as long as the student can do the work, s/he can start doing high school
  • Diane recommends imagine the end and working backwards, meaning you look at what your child wants to do in college or in life, and work backwards from there
  • for e.g. if your child wants to do engineering, go backwards and find out the pre req he will need to complete his high school transcript in order to go to college to major in engineering
  • she got on the phone with 3 different universities that were in her son’s list that he wanted to attend and spoke to the enrollment counselors
  • her son was only 13 when she did that
  • each counselor had different piece of advice but putting it all together, she managed to figure out a plan for his high school courses
  • important to involve your children in the planning as much as possible
  • if they don’t understand the why of what they’re doing it’s harder for them to be motivated to do it
  • if child doesn’t know what to do in life, Dianne’s personal philosophy is to shoot for the highest
  • prep them for college anyway, if they don’t want to go, ok, but if they do, at least you have prepared
  • depending on the child, middle school can be eliminated, college entrance doesn’t look at middle school, nor do employers, it’s only high school that really matters
  • even the most stringent homeschooling law of a state can’t dictate your entrance to a college, because you are applying to enter that particular university, so look at what that particular university requires, unless of course you want to work with the government
  • so, if for example, the state says universities don’t accept homeschoolers, it’s really not up to them, it’s up to the universities
  • unless your state requires a certain number of hours, what matters in a course is just content, so if the child fulfills the requirement of the course content, then he can get the credit for that course
  • if you want to enroll in community college after you’re done with high school, you will have to go through the normal route and it may be more difficult, so if you want to get your foot in community college for easy transfer to a 4 year university, enroll while you are still doing high school
  • any college course is a high school Honors course because they are doing above and beyond a high school course requirement

After this seminar, I am thinking of skipping 8th grade for H. I’ve been thinking that for a while but this just sort of confirms it for me. He’s already doing Algebra I at 7th grade, though he complains it’s hard. For his science, I’m actually thinking if I can make it as a high school level Physics course. I have to do some googling and research inshaAllah. I want him to finish high school ASAP since I feel he can do the work, so he can focus on his hifdh before going to college.

With N, I sat down with her and asked her what she wants to do. She said writing. I did with her what I did with S. I explored her interests in terms of college level categorization. What we got was, Fashion Design, Creative Writing, Culinary School, Interior Design and Graphic Design. I told her to put these on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the least liked and 10 being the most liked. Her resulting interest scale was (from 1-10 left to right)

Graphic Design -3 Interior Design – 5 Culinary School – 8 Fashion Design – 9 Creative Writing -10

For Creative Writing, I told her about the requirements :-literature, literary analysis, Classics, Shakespeare and she still wants to do it.

I worry a bit, because even though her creative writing is pretty good, she does have a good voice and her writing is quite engaging, she needs more work on vocabulary, critical thinking, analysis. I asked her if she likes the Homeschool Book Study class, with the literary terms and discussion. She said she does.

I’m a bit skeptical, but if she is really interested, and motivated, she can inshaAllah do it. At least I know now what to focus on more with her. Well, I’ve known this too since way back, but I’ve never told her the requirements before. I also asked if she is ok with maybe doing college online. She seems to work better online. She tends to get lost in real life discussion even among her siblings. Online, she’s able to keep pace somewhat. So that is also an option. I also told her to read SISTERS magazine since there are a lot of sisters in there who have the same kind of interests she has ; writing and creative arts. So that maybe she can kind of get an idea of what she wants to do and how she wants to do it. When we talked about Creative writing, I told her that writing doesn’t really make a lot of money. She then said she wants to do art to. Hence my suggestion for her to read SISTERS. There are so many creative sisters in there who have started their own business in creative arts, and most of them are even self taught. If college is not N’s path, I think I’m accepting of that, though I admit that it was kind of hard for me to take in the beginning. I had to retrain my mindset.

 

 

Categories: College, High School, Homeschooling, Transcripts, Webinar | Leave a comment

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