Juggling Multiple Kids

Rough Daily Schedule

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:

  • Fajr
  • Post fajr – Tafseer/Arabic (30-45 min)
  • Breakfast
  • Homeschool work
  • Lunch
  • Zuhr
  • Quran
  • Free time/work time (if they are not done yet by this time)
  • Cook dinner & tomorrow’s lunch
  • Asr
  • 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
  • Maghrib
  • Quran (depends if I listen to N or not)
  • Isha
  • bedtime

 

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:-

 

Saturday

  • Fajr
  • Class that I teach (once every 5-6 weeks or 3-4)
  • Farmer’s market produce grocery shopping
  • Lunch
  • Zuhr
  • Free time (usually nap time for me or work if there is work to be done)
  • Asr
  • Dinner
  • Swimming
  • Masjid for maghrib and Isha Youth halaqa

Sunday

  • Fajr
  • Breakfast
  • Tennis
  • Lunch
  • Zuhr
  • Free (Sunday school for N if she teaches, work for rest of us depending, laundry)
  • ASr
  • Dinner
  • Maghrib
  • Isha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Juggling Multiple Kids, Organization, Time Management | Tags: | 1 Comment

Ramadan 1434

Subhanallah…my last post was in June and now it’s already August. I have been abandoning this blog. Am just struggling with responsibilities and commitments on my plate.  This Ramadan is different. To start with, in the month approaching it, I wasn’t really prepared for it in the sense that I had plunged into a project that took me out of the house 3 days a week, lugging the kids with me some of the times and rushing too. It was hectic.

However alhamdulillah, I did get a repriece about a week or so before Ramadan to do my usual pre-Ramadan planning. But I think maybe that my frame of mind wasn’t prepped up and so when Ramadan did roll around, I was out of sort. Really out of sort.

S continued with her Taleem all the way till the last 10 days. So she basically still had class in the mornings till 1:30 pm Mon-Thur. I pleaded with hubs ti enroll N and H in Wisam’s Revved for Ramadan, because I was really overwhelmed and didn’t think I could do anything with them this Ramadan like I have been doing for the past 13+ years. I’m getting old. Even for Z, it was a last minute set up Ramadan activity prep. I decided to do the names of Allah with him and the Quran Prophet stories mazes. But even then, I didn’t really manage to do it consistently with him. Subhanallah…I think….having kids that far apart, is challenging for me. The 3 older kids have different needs and Z has different needs. I’m finding myself really exhausted having to repeat what I did with the older kids when they’re at Z’s age right now. I know that sounds like a cop out, but to be honest, I’m also ready to move on subhanallah. So I think you can kind of guess what my Ramadan dua is centered around based on that.

The girls helped make the set up for Z’s Ramadan prep. S wrote the names of Allah in Arabic, 30 of them, 1 for each day, and N wrote it in English, then they rolled up the papers tightly into tiny scrolls and inserted them into a balloon and blew them up. Hubs insisted on buying balloons at the Dollar store, so as the girls blew up the balloons and hung them at our staircase, we heard them popping one by one. If they didn’t pop, they would shrink. Hmpph..cheap balloons! What a waste of $1!

So we went and bought balloons at Wal Mart, supposedly better quality. I don’t know, and it’s saddening (for Z’s sake) but they all shrunk. Some popped (not as much as the Dollar store balloons) but all of them shrunk. So they all look like colorful hanging cow udders in our living room. Sigh. Poor Z. Last year, I did the Ramadan chain for him in Ramadan. This year, it’s the balloons, but it turned out this way. I think maybe it’s the New Mexico dry desert heat or something? It’s just weird. We did this in Ohio and none of the balloons shrunk or even popped !

So I have been doing the names of Allah with Z, everyday till recently when he got sick and N also got sick and we forgot to take down the balloons. As for the maze, oh forget it, I keep forgetting to do it with him too.  I think maybe I have trouble managing my personal schedule and the kids’. Subhanallah….maybe I set too high of goals for myself this Ramadan that I actually grew depressed when I couldn’t meet them in the middle. Alhamdulillah Allah granted me the tawfeeq for hope and bounced back towards the end alhamdulillah. All those lectures helped alhamdulillah.

Z did finish memorizing surah al Maun though, and we also resumed his Calendar notebook. I just feel lousy with his schedule really. I feel like such a bad homeschooling mom. The older kids will all be doing high school work this fall inshaaAllah. Just yesterday, we were going over their weekly schedule next semester. i really pray they all are trustworthy and responsible enough to stick to their schedule without needing me to hover over their shoulders and nag them. I am really really tired of doing that subhanallah. It’s my highest source of stress on a daily basis. There were days when I feel like just leaving them on their own and letting them suffer the consequences, but then I think,

“Oh great, if they suffer, what’s going to also suffer is our finances since we paid for those classes, and it doesn’t just involve them, but also the teachers they are working with!”

This is why I feel that if I send them to school, it will be even MORE stressful! I can just imagine the teacher calling me for one of them in particular,

“Mrs. H, we need to talk. __ hasn’t been sending in his/her assignments on time. …”

and I’m pretty sure I’ll still need to either do the assignment with that child or make sure the child does it and I’m just going to be even more irritated because it’s under the jurisdiction of another authority figure. So, never mind. You’d think that sending them to school would make it easier for me. No. It won’t. On the contrary.

N and H went for therapy throughout the summer and alhamdulillah both have made good progress with their individual problems. N is to continue in fall inshaaAllah. I’m amending our weekly schedule. Library day will no longer be Tuesdays but will change to either Friday or Thursday. N and H’s Tuesdays will be tight tight tight.

This fall, this is their schedule: All classes are online.

S :

  • Mon- Thur : 6:30 am – 1:30 pm – Live class Taleem Quran
  • Wed : 11 am – Live class Ancient Egypt
  • Will continue English 11 using the Bedford Reader

N & H

Mon : Home2Teach class –

  • Descriptive Writing (H) 10 am,
  • Narrative Writing (N) 9 am

Tue :

  • 8-9:30 am Live class Biology
  • 10:30-11:30 am Live class 20th Century History
  • 12-12:45 pm Live class HomeBookStudy Literature

Wed:

  • 9:15 -10:15 am Live class Interior Design
  • 11 am -12 pm Live class Ancient Egypt

Thur:

  • 3-4 pm: N’s Therapy on campus

Fri:

  • 8:50 – 9:10 am N’s Hifdh on Skype

 

I have yet to schedule in our post fajr tafseer and Arabic with Husna sessions.

For Z, my rough plan is to focus on handwriting Roman letters, Arabic, Math, Reading comprehension, hifdh, IQRA Quranic reading. He’s no longer going for speech therapy because hubs doesn’t want to pay the co pay after we no longer have one of his insurances. I also would like for him to be a part of a soccer team just so he gets that kind of social interaction, but hubs is not willing to spend the week taking him to practice and games. I told him we’re too old for this. Sigh. Subhanallah. If hubs doesn’t want to do that, I’m going to have to enroll Z in the Gym magic Gym program then. He needs something like that. It’s his rights on us parents.

We will continue using the calendar notebook since I feel that doing it daily helps reinforce some concepts in math for him, like telling time (to the minute), skip counting by 5s, number equations, odd, even, place values, greater than, lesser than, money. So it’s pretty good and comprehensive alhamdulillah. In fact, I feel he’s pretty good at math so far. I’m worried about his reading comprehension, even though he can read, I don’t think his comprehension is that high. The therapists keep telling me that he’s advanced for his age, but I don’t really buy it because New Mexico has literacy problems, so I’m not going to base my standard on that. He’s also been taking the older kids’ poster boards that they made in the past years and he’s been asking me,

“I want to do this too!”

I just feel somewhat depressed that I no longer have the energy nor will to do these kind of things with him like I did with the older kids subhanallah. May Allah give me the tawfeeq. Ameen.

I used to do things from scratch with the older kids, but with Z now, I’m looking for pre-made templates that others have prepared. What a change subhanallah. The good thing is though….there are a LOT of resources out there made by wonderful amazing energetic homeschooling moms! I do feel ancient subhanallah! My prime years have gone by.  I keep asking Allah to make it easy for me with all other things I’m doing, that Z becomes quick learner. So far, so good alhamdulillah. I also remember Sr Taimiyyah Zubayr saying that at times, we mothers are haunted by the thought that if we don’t stay with our child all day every day, tending to him dilligently, the child won’t learn. But in truth, it’s Allah who nurtures this child, Allah is the rabb, and He is the One who gives this child the knowledge, and the means for that knowledge etc. We mothers should do what we can do, and if we are also serving the community, we shouldn’t let this thought stop us from contributing to the community. So there are times when I’m stuck in a rut, in a dilemma and turning to Allah for guidance. At the end of it, it really is a matter of better time management on my part and sacrificing some things. For sure, some things that have been sacrificed is food. I haven’t been enthusiastic in cooking and I haven’t baked for ages. The older kids are doing most of cooking and even chicken cleaning and cutting. Alhamdulillah. They do somewhat complain that I haven’t been providing elaborate meals. Some of the things they mention, they don’t even remember that I have made them before when they were younger. They do blame it on Z though. it is part of the reason, due to his allergies, I figure it’s too stressful to cook/bake some things that has stuff he can’t eat because then I’d be cooking/baking 2 separate things. It has really taken a toll on me so I now cook anything that is edible. What can I do? I’m only one person.  The thing that does hurt me a bit is that there is a kind of ingratitude in the older kids in this. They forgot what I have done in the past, and they focus on what I don’t do. Then they take on the task themselves, and deem me as not doing anything. May Allah guide them to gratitude. May Allah guide ME to gratitude! Ameen.

May Allah help me achieve a good and proper balance in fulfilling others’ rights upon me. Ameen. There are days when I feel so depressed and stressed out, and the only thing that consoles me is the Quran and Allah. Parenthood…is really…something. Different when the kids are young and equally different and unique when the kids are teens. Indeed. I’ve even relegated each set of 2 taraweeh rakaat for each child in an 8 rakaat taraweeh.

H has been leading the tahajud qiyaam during these last 10 nights, and we realize that subhaanallah…he really needs a good stable teacher…and appropriate supportive company. No one else here is doing what he is doing and so he’s been doing this for years on his own. I’m guessing it takes a toll somewhat one way or another. Even though in the home, we also do it, there needs to be outside support from the community too.

May Allah forgive us. Ameen.

Alhamdulillah the girls went to the soup kitchen during Ramadan and S said lady remarked to her,

“Oh you don’t have to come all the way from another country to serve us here!”

S replied, “I was born here.”

The lady then said, “In my religion, we don’t cover our hair unless we’re really good.”

LOL

These last few nights of Ramadan, the girls have been sleeping at the masjid for semi-i’tikaaf, and they have been going to the masjid for the qiyaam at the masjid too. In the beginning of Ramadan, my schedule with the older kids are as such:

Post Fajr :- S recites her memorization of kahf to H while I listen to N’s tajweed as she recites for 10 min to me. Then, once H is done listening and checking S, he recites to me and N goes to recite on her own.

Post Zuhr :- I recite to H my revised portion for that day

Post Asr :-

  • H recites his revised portions to me for that day
  • N recites her revised portions to S for that day

But there were days when we fell short of sticking to this schedule and since the kids go to the masjid for qiyaam in the last 10nights, we have dropped the post fajr routine. It’s hard (in some ways) when the kids are older and more independent (can’t believe I’m saying this) because it’s harder for me to keep them together and stick to a schedule and herd them as one flock. Subhanallah….and that throws me off. it really does. I just need to learn how to manage this reality.  It reminds me of the word zhurriyah which can be translated as progeny. It comes from a root that has the meaning of ‘to scatter’ and true indeed, our children scatter. They scatter when they’re young and when they’re grown. In different ways. But yes, they scatter. This is just another stage of parenthood I’m entering and I guess it feels like being hit by a high-speed train sometimes. I’m left reeling and dazed, and I lose my bearings, and walk trying to find my way back like a blind person. When I finally find my way, I get hit again. At the same time, I’m barely holding on to this tiny lone hand by my side who still needs me to lead him step by step, but as the train hits me again and again in intervals, I lose his grip. That’s what it feels like. May Allah make it easy. Ameen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Activities - Ages 10 and up, Activities - Ages 5-8, Community, Cooking, Course Planning, Family, High School, Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Memorizing, Outsourcing, Quran, Ramadan, Soup Kitchen, Teaching Challenges, Thoughts, Time Management, Z's learning | 4 Comments

Classes for the Older Kids

I have signed the older kids up for their classes on Currclick. N is taking Marine Zoology, Invertebrates, and Mammals 3rd quarter. H is signed up for Science Jim’s Newton Laws, and both are signed up for HSI second semester. Instead of signing them for writing classes on Home2Teach, I decided to extend Write Guide till February. Once I’m inshaaAllah done with TQEE, I will sign them up with Home2Teach so I can sit in with them while they attend class. Right now, especially Jan and Feb, my schedule will be packed.

S is almost done and should be done soon with her Algebra 2, and her TQ is also getting more intense, so I’m debating whether to add more high school courses for her right now. Z has started Teaching Textbook Pre-Algebra today. She met her goal of finishing up Math U See Zeta, well missed it by a bit, but I thought she wouldn’t meet the deadline horribly, so this is quite an accomplishment for her.

H is also signed up for QSL’s Introduction to Sensors 1. I signed both H and N up for Mrs Tetsch’s second semester of Book Study too so that takes care of Literature inshaaAllah. I’m mostly busy with Z these days in terms of homeschooling. Right now, we’re busy watching the Omar Series, which is quite captivating though they do show the ‘sahabah’.

I’m planning to plan their high school courses after February inshaaAllah, and have been talking to N to figure out how she is going to learn and understand Quran. That, I will have to get back to pretty soon inshaaAllah. Z so far is doing pretty good with his IQRA though when I’m on vacation, he’s on vacation too. I need to reassess my vacation time and see what I’m doing wrong because right now, my time feels so tight subhanallah.

I recently made a daily schedule for myself and realized that I have very little time slots for myself subhanallah. So now I’m trying to stick to it as religiously as I can. Not easy. But all I can do is try and make dua. So, bismillah.

H will definiltely have to do TT for Algebra 2 after he is done with Algebra 1 MUS because I can’t take it anymore. I need a hands-off high school math!

For IQRA, Z has been coming by himself and taking the book to me to read it to me after we finish salah. So I haven’t had to call him to read it to me, But after this vacation, we’ll see what happens. Sigh.

Categories: Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Living Islam, Math U See, Outsourcing, Quick Study Labs, Quran, Science, Teaching Textbook, Teaching To Read, Time Management | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Z’s Kindy

I decided to get all the materials for Z’s kindy, print them all, at least for now till Feb/Mar after which I will hopefully be free-er, so I’ve been on overdrive this past week and still on going.

I decided to use Learning Page, and I printed things from various websites including Umm Nu’man’s A Muslim Child Is Born, Mama Jen, and File Folder Farm. The only other thing that takes time for me now is cutting and pasting them and organizing them into lapbooks. My lapbooks this time around are much simpler than they were with the older kids when I had more time.

Z seems to like doing worksheets so I found myself spending time looking for them and then printing them. So while I thought I had everything ‘done’, I’m in reality not done. This week and maybe the past few weeks, he’s been entertaining himself, poring over books on his own after I have read them to him, and he even took out his hajj lapbook and the map of hajj and set it up himself. He’s been really preoccupied with worksheets though, particularly dot to dot, and word searches. It was hard looking for word searches that is for him. He likes using the highlighter for the word searches.031

Instead of using it as a worksheet, I decided to make it such that it can be reused again and again like a file folder game.

Instead of using it as a worksheet, I decided to make it such that it can be reused again and again like a file folder game.

He loved Amelia Bedelia!

He loved Amelia Bedelia!

His camping lapbook.

His camping lapbook.

We recently did the camping unit pack I had printed from homeschoolcreations, and we read Amelie Bedelia Goes Camping to go along with that. One part of the pack was on things you eat and don’t eat. There was a picture of egg and bacon strips on it and I took the opportunity to explain to him that we don’t eat anything to do with pigs. So we crossed out the bacon strips and then he was able to put that picture in things we eat column, because we can eat the egg.

The bacon had to be crossed out, man.

The bacon had to be crossed out, man.

Though I asked him,

“Can you eat eggs?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Allergic.”

I found so many wonderful units and lesson plans but I don’t quite have the time to work with him. So, for the older kids, I’m outsourcing all their secular studies, mostly with Currclick. With them, I’m doing Arabic and Tafseer, and Quran recitation, and CNN Student News. This is to give me more time with Z. My schedule in Jan and Feb seem to be packed and tight, so I’m planning the kids’ classes from now on. I’m debating whether to enroll N and H in the HSI second semester because she did say it’s going to be taught from a Christian worldview. My concern about that is what content of the Bible are they using in class. If it’s on aqeedah (God having a son and God being partly human or however they choose to explain it) then that is a problem. If it’s values, I’m perfectly okay with it because we have the same values because the message is from the same God. If it’s on stories, then there is also a concern of confusion, so I told them that I will enroll them but that I will sit in class too and address any confusion or contradicting content and I will discuss it with them. I thought about doing history myself but in Jan and Feb, I really can’t. So bismillah. Right now, I seem to have no other choice.

I had written out my daily schedule and subhanallah, it’s tight. I barely have enough time to do my work in the weekdays. I have to do them in the weekends. May Alllah put barakah in my time. Ameen.

Categories: Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Living Islam, Organization, Outsourcing, Quran, Tafseer, Time Management, Z's learning | 2 Comments

Z Books: One Watermelon Seed

We read this book, One WaterMelon Seed by Celia Lottridge and I thought it would be a great lesson in skip counting by 10s. On top of that I thought it would be a great lesson in reinforcing the Arabic numerals too. I had the girls help me draw the fruits and produce and N was the one who helped a lot in making these cards mashaaAllah. She drew most of the fruits on paper and we scanned them and I colored them using gimp and then put them together on Paint. I left N to help me do most of it and pretty soon we had these cards ready for printing. It was pretty quick alhamdulillah.

We had gone to Albuquerque on Friday and came back Saturday, so I packed these cards, the book and also the mountain game cards and the book. He kept asking to play with them and alhamdulilah we had a chance to use these cards before we checked out amidst packing up and cooking his food. The only caveat I didn’t foresee was; how to say those numbers 20,30,40,—100 in Arabic. I had to get ready in the middle of this activity, so I told S to continue playing with him and just focus on skip counting by 10s. While I was playing this with him though, we had fun, alhamdulillah.

in the hotel room, before checking out

First we did the numbers, and since I had the idea for this in my head and this was the first time trying it out, I had to figure out how to do this on the spot. At first I went through the ‘how many seeds of each plant was planted’, but then as we got to ‘how many of these plants were produced’ I figured we should have put the numbers next to each seed packet first. I had him count the fruits on each of the ’10’ cards, and with the skip counting, we took turns and after a while he got the hang of it. It was the first time to skip count by 10 for him.

Then, we got rid of the numbers and we did the Arabic numerals. This was his first time recognizing the Arabic numerals for 20-100. But I think he did pretty well mashaaAllah.

We had to use the book because we had to keep referring to it to see how many of what seed was planted and how many of those grow. At least I told him to refer to the book to reinforce his reading and number recognition and then he had to count the fruits/veg on the card. This was a great activity alhamdulillah.

Initially, I wasn’t too enthused to read this book with him because I personally don’t really like counting books, but as I was looking through kindergarten activities on others’ blogs and websites, I figured this book has great math activity potential. Alhamdulilah it was quick too because N helped me with the pictures. I started working on it and delegating it on one of my busiest days in the week too!

I feel somewhat addicted to this now. Next book up is Badger’s Fancy Meal. But as of now, it’s still not done. I’ll see how addicted I am to actually go through with it.

Categories: Arabic, Books, Creative Arts, Digital Art, Drawing, Juggling Multiple Kids, Kindergarten Math, Learning Aids, Learning Games, Reading, Z's learning | Leave a comment

Capping it All

So, we’ve been sick, somewhat minimally following the election (mostly through CNN Student News), and waiting for the color cartridges to arrive. I went through a determined phase of martyrdom of trying to make my own activities for Z, because this is my natural inclination that has been strictly curbed by other commitments as of now. But, through eye pain, headaches, I did it and made some activities for Z which we’re finally able to try out this morning after installing the new color cartridges last night and printing them and cutting them last night. I still have some activities on prophet stories to complete (yes, apparently,  I’m too stubborn to leave it at that and decided to make more). I remember when I started homeschooling S after I pulled her out of preschool, I went to bed at 1 am preparing a handmade food pyramid lesson plan. That is how obsessed I can get. Back then, I probably had more flexibility and time to indulge in that, but now, I have other commitments that seriously strictly curbs that kind of indulgence. However, there are times when my creative side just fights its way through. I have left creative activities for so long that my kids balk at the thought of them inheriting their artistic skills from me.

“You can’t draw, Ummi.”

So when I drew the images for Z’s activities, they came and said,

“Ooh, that looks professional.’

“You drew that?!”

When I admired my masterpieces a bit too much, Hubs said,

“Stick to real niche; writing.”

But that’s a whole other story. Drawing right now is more immediate and gratifying than writing. I’m on hiatus with writing right now.

It’s interesting how creativity has its own branches. N can draw from imagination, well H can too, but I can’t. I can copy drawings, but I have trouble drawing from imagination. S I think is good at copying drawings too. When she makes hands-on projects, I always look forward to seeing the end result. Right now, she is working on a diorama for World History. Years back, she had made a project on cave formation and it was awesome.

For H, when he works on a project, he focuses more on the engineering aspects of it. Aesthetics is one of the least of his worries. He would do his designs and work on them, and his projects are not less awesome. Rather, I would say that his projects reveal his strength.

N is the interior designer type. While S is good at coming up with ideas for her projects and actually carrying them out, N is good at the finishing touches. somehow though, I feel like she feels she is bound by some limitations, that seems to curb her potential. I know she has a lot of potential, but somehow, she probably feels she can’t do as well as H and S, and this limits her. She does her own thing, but I notice that she always limits herself and this is a shame, because there is a reservoir of talent in her that can be polished to produce greatness. I hope she realizes this for herself, because I’ve been telling her this, but she needs to realize this on her own for it to take effect.

All this creativity is a blessing from Allah. I try to remind them to use these blessings for His sake. It’s so easy to get carried away with using these blessings in ways that can earn His anger, and then what do you end up with for yourself? It has been a struggle in this area, so may Allah guide us. Ameen.

After we finished Tafseer An Nabaa, I gave them the test, and they’re supposed to come up with a project. Right now, N and H are working on their project which is due this Friday. H already produced two 3-D representation of two scene-sections in the surah, and N is working on a PPT presentation for hers. I’m excited to see their end results.

One thing that has been lacking a lot in my working with Z, is arts and crafts. Subhanallah, I really can’t wait to finish this course inshaaAllah and hopefully have more time to spend with him. I have an inkling of worry that my schedule might be tighter, but may Allah give me barakah in my time so I can do all that I need to do. Ameen.

Quran and Arabic

Bayyinah Podcast has been down since hurricane Sandy, and so our daily tafseer sessinos have been kind of hanging. We started listening to Quran Cover to Cover on Bayyinah TV on surah Al fatihah, and last night, I printed out the handouts for the Arabic With Hosna also from Bayyinah TV and sent them with Hubs for Kinko-ing today.  I plan to inshaaAllah alternate tafseer/Quran with Arabic grammar throughout the week, with Friday of course being special for kahf Quran Cover to Cover. I feel somewhat lost without Bayyinah tafseer Podcast. Subhanallah, I realize how much we do rely on it for tafseer. May Allah reward all those involved in that project and others that enable easy access to understanding and learning Quran for the masses. Ameen.

With my own hifdh, checking H’s review, checking N’s tajweed and fluency, I haven’t really been consistent with Z’s Quran reading sessions. I feel scattered with regards to his ‘schooling’ but I’m holding out till Feb inshaaAllah when I will be done with this course. Though I have a feeling like I’m so addicted to taking classes that I might still have the same problem. Right now, I’m all hyped up about the Bukhari class, and am already thinking I really need to study grammar well because that may aid my hifdh. It’s a process. Baby Steps, and consistent dua. InshaaAllah. InshaaAllah.

Literature and Writing

H and N’s literature teacher, whom they love because she is so nice, got sick and went to the hospital, so they’ve been missing 2 lit classes. I enrolled them in the Write Guide class, and so far, it’s been good alhamdulillah. Their writing instructor is helpful and she helped them with their essay prompts, but then, because they didn’t have lit classes for 2 weeks, they got to work on personal essays with her. It’s perfect timing subhanallah. Allah’s planning and decree. I am able to see their exchanges and last night, I was looking at their drafts and revised drafts, and I thought to myself,

“I wonder if this is helping them.”

I noticed that what the instructor points out to them, are some of the same things I’ve been pointing out to them too all these years. I wonder if they should also attend writing classes that are more instructional than a personalized one. So far, with this one, everytime they send her their essays, she would respond with suggestions and corrections. I haven’t yet seen any instructions or tips in writing that I kind of expect to see. But maybe there is no need for it because the kids are used to beginning with outlines and that she is maybe focusing on their writing skills more. Then I think to the course I took in 2004. It does actually help your writing when you have someone giving you feedback. it is personalized and even though it is not the classroom type of teaching, it does help. So I hope it helps them and affects their other writing inshaaAllah, and not just these essays.

I may also enroll them in Home2teacher classes starting in January, just to I cover all bases (that I can think of anyway).

Math

I can’t check H’s math. I just can’t, so hubs does it but sometimes he is tired and can’t do it. I can check N’s math though, it’s more straightforward.  We sat down and made a schedule for her to finish this Zeta by end of November so she can start on Pre Algebra. Seriously, I can’t take Math U See with higher math. I’m going to have to figure something out with H if he still insists on doing MUS instead of Teaching Textbook when he gets to Algebra II.

With Z, I’m trying to work on things like skip counting, recognizing Arabic numerals and addition and subtraction, ordinal, telling time, etc. We just read the book, One Watermelon Seed, and I had him count the fruits and vegetables with me. He resisted at first, but I made it a condition for me to continue reading the book to him. I was actually surprised that he can count to 20. Though, when we tried counting to 30, after 29, he said, twenty-ten. Since he laughed, I don’t know if he was joking or he really didn’t know. But at least we did the skip counting by 10. I don’t like teaching skip counting, because I feel like if it is confusing to the child, I don’t have the skill to explain properly. I just hate explaining math, period. I feel like I don’t do it well.

We played the number domino this morning, with the cards I had made, and Z is able to recognize those numbers, even the Arabic. But he did have trouble recognizing how much items there were on the domino cards. He doesn’t seem to like counting because apparently it ‘takes time’.  I had made a spinner-addition and graph activity for him too, but haven’t tried it yet today. I never got to actually do a full blown Glenn Doman Math on him and now he is already 5 and I still have those cards that I made from when the older kids were younger. What a waste, subhanallah.

History

H and N are taking the History Crime Scene Investigation class and I haven’t been keeping up with it. But I have been telling them to send me their weekly homework nonetheless.

I hope they benefit somewhat from that class, though I feel it may be a little difficult for N to understand. I decided to continue with History Through Literature with them on the side. I told them to read Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf, but seriously, my schedule and their schedule..we haven’t been able to pursue that seriously so far.

S is doing it off her textbook, as much as I hate using textbooks. Oh well. If it means less stress right now, I’ll take it. Oh, but she does look for other resources too, so I guess it’s ok. Not just textbook-based at least.

Science

H is busy with his soldering kit. I even have to nag him off of it to do his other school work. I’m contemplating having him take Science Jim’s Winter Newton’s Laws class. I’m not worried about his science. N is busy with her Mammals class. I did ask her to have an assignment for me every week though, because I don’t see her exploring more after the class. I worry that she might not be utilizing what she learned. Considering her interest in writing fiction (and oh, the kids are all doing NanoWrimo this year), I suggested her assignment be to make a character sketch of one animal of her choice each week. She now owes me 3 character sketches. In the beginning, she misunderstood me and actually gave me a sketch of a wombat. I explained to her that I want her to develop a character of one animal and how when you write fiction, usually, the first thing you start with is developing your character. She loves biology, particularly animals, and I’m thinking that a way that she might enjoy learning about them would be to incorporate them into another area of her interest – writing. S is busy with her Algebra 2 and World History, so she’s not doing anything else because I want her to focus on her Taleem Quran and not rob her of that experience.

 

InshaaAllah it’s all good.

 

Categories: Activity, Al Huda Institute, Bayyinah Institute, Creative Arts, Electronics, Juggling Multiple Kids, Learning Games, Living Islam, Memorizing, Project, Quick Study Labs, Quran, Science, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts, Writing, Z's learning | Leave a comment

The Quran Journey

As non-Arabs, our Quran journey begins with learning to read the Arabic. This is the very first thing I taught my kids to do with regards to Quran. With reading Quran, comes Tajweed, the rules of recitation. ‘Reading’ Quranic Arabic is not like what we think of as reading, but it’s more like reciting. Since Arabic is not our native tongue (though I also have come to know that even for Arabs, classical Arabic is not necessarily completely comprehensible since their version of Arabic has evolved since then), we may be able to recite with perfect tajweed, but we may not necessarily understand it.

But, because the Quran, when recited with proper tajweed, has an effect on people, one who can recite it will good tajweed is marveled at by the average Muslim. He doesn’t necessarily have to understand it, but if he can recite well, wow.

We are striving to move beyond that. Because the Quran is not a piece of entertainment, but it is the last scripture sent in a series of scriptures sent through human messengers throughout history. All those scriptures came from the same god, and these are what actually unifies Muslims, Christians, and Jews, whether we realize it or not.

As non Arabs, we have to embark on a journey to truly understand it. Before that though, there is another aspect in the journey of Quran; memorization. Many Muslims, Arabic speaking or not, memorize the Quran. One of the most obvious ways the Quran is preserved is through oral memorization. If anyone tries to change anything in the Quran, these memorizers (huffaadh) would catch it right away. No doubt about it. The Quran is memorized in its original actual form, in Arabic, whether the memorizer understands it or not. The vowelization, lengthening, meanings are generally consistent, albeit with differences in different schools of recitation.

So, as non Arabic-speaking Muslims, we have also embarked on that journey of memorizing. H, at age 7, after listening to a lecture by Safi Khan on Imam Ahmad Hambal, and how Imam Ahmad finished memorizing Quran at age 10, declared that he wants to memorize Quran by age 10 too. That was how it started with H. To this day, he is still doing his hifdh.

There was a time, when he was younger, he fell asleep on the couch after working on his memorization. He talked in his sleep, and his ‘talk’ was a recitation of a portion of the surah he was working on. Amazing. It has been about 5 years since he started this journey, and he is progressing alhamdulillah. He has changed teachers, and I fear that this may pose as a drawback. In our locality, he is the only one of two who is working on hifdh. For a child, competition in this arena may be a good thing. So, him doing it alone all these years, most of the years, may have been a damper. We are restricted by our situation thus far. I ask that Allah make this easier, but so far, we’re still in the same situation. His decision is based on His wisdom, so I’m sure there is good in this. I know it’s a test, and I fear that we may not pass this test.

I am worried about his review process. He is memorizing new portions with the brother who is working with him right now. Since this brother is also a students, there are limitations. We the parents, are the ones revising with him. This is getting harder. H doesn’t work well with me. Ever since he was young, he hasn’t listened to me well enough. Not enough to take me that seriously. I remember teaching him tajweed. Because I’m his mother, he didn’t take me seriously. Once he started going to AM at the masjid, his tajweed improved a lot. I taught him the same things, but he obviously learns better with a stranger. My girls aren’t like that. They take me seriously. This is a huge challenge for me. Especially since I am the only one who is inclined to working regularly with him. Hubs is too busy to be able to do this with him regularly. He said he can only do it on the weekends. Actually he can do it, between maghrib Isha, because they’re usually at the masjid anyway at that time, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. I can’t control that, so I strive to work on things that I can control, which basically translates to “I’m doing this even if it’s very very hard to do because the boy doesn’t listen to me and my time is limited too”. Subhaanallah. May Allah make it easy. Ameen.

What I find challenging is not only his attitude towards me, but also my own temper and level of patience. Only Allah knows how much I do slips up everyday.

At the same time, I’m also working on the understanding Quran journey with them. We listen to Nouman’s Tafseer podcast everyday after fajr for about 20 minutes and then we discuss it. We just decided to start at An Nabaa instead of from the back and after a while, I noticed them sliding down, not paying attention. I decided to test them on the material. After our session this morning, I came up with the test. I am excited over it, but I worry. Only Allah can guide the hearts. Only with Allah’s blessings will anything be effective. No matter how great my questions are for them, it won’t lay any imprint in their hearts without Allah’s blessings. This makes me scared. It makes me hopeful, and it makes me even more dependent on Allah.

Oh, I’ve realized how dependent I’ve become on Allah all these years, especially as my kids grew older and I realize there is only so much I can do. But, seriously, being a parent is a huge lesson in developing tawakkul (utter and complete reliance on Allah while putting in one’s effort to the max). My goal in us listening to this tafseer is for us to really understand the Quran, internalize it and embrace it, truly embrace it as we should. When we listen to it, when we recite it, it should touch our hearts because we understand it, because Allah has made our hearts open to receive it. That’s how we should interact with the Quran.

In the Quran, Allah mentions that He sends messengers to

  1. recite
  2. purify
  3. teach them the book
  4. teach them the wisdom/sunnah

upon the people.

The first step is reciting. The heart has to be pure in order to receive teachings of the book. This is why we start young. This doesn’t mean an older person doesn’t have a chance, for guidance after all, is in the hands of Allah regardless of age. This purification is very important. Very important. Can’t be emphasized enough. Teaching them the book and the wisdom (application/sunnah) will round them up into hopefully good and contributing Muslims.

S is on her own Quran journey right now. Alhamdulillah, she is on her own, with Al Huda. N and H, I’m handling. Z, is at the recitation stage, and this is hard too. Subhanallah, everytime I have to work with Z, I’m reminded of how old I really am.

I’m on my own Quran journey too. Better late than never, right?

Subhanallah…there are just days where you feel really depleted, really wrung out with no ounce of energy left. It’s only the belief and certainty in Allah that pulls you back up. He’s there, watching you. He knows what you’re going through. He knows whether you’re trying your best or not. He knows what you’re thinking even before you think it. He knows what you really want. And He’s there to help you out, on His own time, in His own way. You just have to believe, ask, wait. Continue loop (hey, I was a computer science major after all, even though I loathe the subject). So…continue loop, till death do us part.

 

Categories: Juggling Multiple Kids, Living Islam, Memorizing, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Z’s Cool Space/Corner & Homeschooling Challenges

Most of the time, I’m overwhelmed with my list of commitments. The condition of the house is bad. I’ve been stressed out over this for a long time, but it’s like racing against clutter. I’m losing. The kids seem to be leaving a trail of mess, some of them more than others, and with my load of commitments, at times or most of the time, I’m too tired to do anything about it. This is bothering me a lot.

It’s always the same story. I round them up and we clean up, and I tell them to always put things back when they’re done and I’ve even taught the 3 older kids this since they were young but for some reason, I’m tested in this area. I’m afraid I’m raising messy kids though I do see some growth of tidyness in some of them. But this problem with plague me so much so that there were nights when I would walk through the house, look at the mess they didn’t clean up because I wasn’t there to nag at them because I was either in class or too busy doing stuff, and feel really exhausted. I would feel like a complete failure as a mother. I do not want to raise messy kids.

The thing that would always induce my anger with them is untidyness and a lack of ability on their part to stick to the schedules and charts I’ve painstakingly made so I wouldn’t have to nag at them. This morning, I wanted to do my work, but I had to make sure they were doing their work while I was doing my work, so I ended up spending quite some time helping them make their weekly schedule, explaining to them how to follow it, and what to write. Then I went back to my room to do my work. As always, I felt like they were taking advantage of me not hoverig over them, so I would ask them if they’re doing their work. Then Z came upstairs and asked me something. I felt bad, and ended up going downstairs to do some activities with him. But the sunroom was not only messy, but dangerous to walk in barefeet. That was how bad it got. It’s H’s project room and there were sharp stuff all over (well almost) the rugged floor. I felt my anger rising. I am on break this week, so I thought it was about time I clean this room up.

I’ve been wanting to clean it up and organize Z’s school space for the longest time, but my schedule always gets crazy by mid week. But this morning, I just went ahead and did it. Alhamdulillah, with the help of H and N, and S when she was in her class break, we got it done. Oh and also Z’s help. I showed him how the organization would work and emphasized that he is supposed to put things back where they belong after he is done with them. I wasn’t able to do anything else with him after the cleaning and organizing though, because I felt faintish. I fell asleep on the couch for about 2 hours. After that I felt better.

But, throughout the day, while I was doing my work, I noticed Z sitting in his Cool Corner/Space (which is what we called it and both Corner and Space sounded nice so we couldn’t pick just one) and doing something with the things I organized for him. he was using the scissors, playing with the seashell collections, counting chips and whatever else that I didn’t see. Poor boy. I didn’t get to really do anything with him today.

I went idea hunting again tonight, hoping to print more activities from Umm Nu’man’s blog but she had reached her bandwith limit, so I ended up hunting in other places. I found this and Z watched a few of it with me and by himself.

I also explored Umm Sara’s blog and settled on wanting to try making a Stepbook. Hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll remember to get that book and do this activity with Z either this week or next week. On second thought, I may delay this until we are completely done with the Hajj activity.

I looked at this (I love it, mashaaAllah) and figured I’d try to do it, but now that I think of it, it takes too much time that I don’t really have right now, so maybe I’ll just finish the Hajj activity I printed from Umm Nu’man’s blog and be content with it. Maybe we can do that next year inshaaAllah.

I also ADORE this and hope I can do it in the future inshaAllah. There are a lot of other wonderful ideas and resources on this site too mashaaAllah.

I also decided I would give N and H quizzes and tests on the Tafseer we have been listening to inshaaAllah. I really want to make sure they really gain a deeper understanding on the surah they recite. Right now, they seem to be sliding on our routine. I need to perk them up a bit.

I signed N and H up on Write Guide and they should be starting tomorrow inshaaAllah. S has started on ALgebra II and World History and has a goal and schedule done alhamdulillah. Now, all I have to do is beg Allah to give them taufeeq to have strong self discipline and make it easier on me to handle them and my other commitments without going crazy and feeling overwhelmed.

 

Categories: Family, Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Lapbooking, Outsourcing, Quran, Tafseer, Time Management | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Zulhijjah Activity Continued

We continued where we left off, and I still haven’t gotten my bearings, but at least Z cooperated more and didn’t really make those breathing objections. I did the hujjaaj addition  activity with him but only up to 3 equations because he soon tired of it.

He would spin the spinner (which H had mounted on cardboard), put the number of hujjaaj on the Kaabah, spin again, add that number of hujaaj and count the total hujaaj and then write it in the worksheet.

He couldn’t write 4, so I showed him how to write it. Slide, run, jump. He was able to do it with that visualization. For number 5, it’s drive, jump, circle and for 8, it’s S and then join. He actually loved writing the numbers with that kind of instruction/tip.

the spinners that H worked on the night before. He glued the pushpin in, glued the spinner on cardboard and then made a mount for it. It was fancier than I imagined but it was pretty easy to use. The only drawback is storing it with the lapbook since it has the protruding pushpin in the way.

We quickly then moved on to the memory game. He is pretty good at memory games mashaAllah. We did a couple rounds of memory game and I worked on his lapbook while he shuffled and rearranged them for a new round. It took me quite some mapping, visualizing and planning while working on his lapbook and juggling that with answering his questions and playing the memory game with him was not easy.

I folded a posterboard in half and again in half. I used all 4 quarters of the inside part, added some appendages to the inside page so it would fit some of the pieces and then used 2 quarters on the other side for this shown in the photo.

the appendage that I added to fit in the pages of the Hajj Step by Step activity set. I didn’t want to use the other available pages because it would take up too much space, so I just added this cardstock.

appendage closed

I had some mishaps with making the pockets for the pieces too, had to use the glue gun but in the end Alhamdulilah, it worked out. I also told him the story of Ismail and Hajr, using the prop I had made for the older kids years back in 2003. I had to look for it for I had forgotten where I had stored it. It was all dusty, but still pretty vibrant in its colors and still useable alhamdulillah. He was excited when I opened it, and I had to restrain him when he started to put up the pop ups.

Z telling me he wants to go see the footprint.

Basically a huge pop up card I made with posterboard. I had the older kids color it and I colored some too. This is pretty durable considering we made it in 2004. Alhamdulillah. I hope there is barakah in this.

a pop up card inside a pop card. Zam zam water gushing out.

I made the safa and marwa stand out too against the background.

The kaabah. I lifted this up when I told the story of Ibrahim and Ismail building the Kaabah.

I had fun making this sun.

After all 3 stories are told and the Kaabah is built and Ibrahim a.s. proclamation for Hajj is responded to every year with huge masses of hujaaj heading for Hajj.

Good thing I did this. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even remembered when we made this. When I made this it was for Eid Al Adha. I had the 3 kids do a show and tell on the story of Hajr and Ismail a.s. to the Malaysian uncles and aunties. H was 4 then, and the girls were 5 and 6.

Then I told him the story of Ibrahim a.s. and the slaughtering of Ismail a.s. and used Z himself as a prop when talking about the slaughter. I could tell he had this grim expression as he was listening to that story, which shows understanding, and I wonder if he understood the concept of Allah testing Ibrahim’s obedience. Then I told him the story of Ibrahim and Ismail a.s. building the kaabah. After I was done I asked him which story he liked best. He said the building the Kaabah one. He keeps asking to go to Makkah and see Ibrahim a.s.’ footprint at maqam Ibrahim. He also said he doesn’t like the dream story (the slaughtering story).

After the stories, I told him I couldn’t do anything much with him anymore because we had to get ready to go to the library, and so he wanted to help me work on his lapbook. He helped for a bit and then got distracted and went to N. He also complied when I told him to do some coloring and worksheet activities, which is surprising, so Alhamdulilah!

I was hoping it would take him some time to work on this so I could work on the lapbook without being interrupted but…

I am not done with his lapbook yet, but hopefully will have it done when he has finished all the worksheets in the pack. It’s coming along pretty well so far alhamdulillah.

With the older kids, what I did was assign them Zulhijjah assignments. N is to research the virtue of the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. H is to research the Hajj rituals. S is to look for ayaat in the Quran that pertain to Hajj. Our Zulhijah starts tonight alhamdulillah, so I decided to have them all watch this clip so they can implement it as soon as Zulhijjah kicks in.

Before we watched it, I asked them what they already know about the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. After we watched it, I asked them what they now know of the 1st ten days of Zulhijjah. Then I asked them which new information surprised or struck them the most.

N : If you’re doing hajj, you don’t fast during Day of Arafah

S and H : that it’s obligatory for everyone to pray the Eid prayer

Then we talked about action items that we can incorporate during these 10 days. And I asked them to choose action items for themselves and to really narrow it down so there is more possibility of them doing it.

We talked about increasing in seeking forgiveness and how our sins can really be a huge barrier between us and Allah’s obedience, and even our du’a. So, we talked about ways to make istighfaar.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi,’ one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea. (Book #75, Hadith #414)

And we talked about starting a new naafil prayer to add to the existing regular ones. Fasting (the kids love fasting and have always loved to fast from a young age. They would eat suhoor and refuse to go back to sleep, and played in their ‘tree house’)

May Allah increase us all in taufeeq to utilize these 10 days and make any good changes we incorporate, permanent. Ameen.

Tomorrow is S’ PSAT at the local high school. I just called them today and am to drop her off at around 8:45 am. So, tomorrow will be a little hectic. Wednesday is already hectic enough with our online classes. S is to shower right after fajr and attend her class already dressed and ready to go, because her appointment is at 8:15 am. So as soon as her class finishes at 8, we’ll go and I will drop her off. S also will be getting ready during tajweed time in her class, and we will all three leave at 8. After I drop N, hubs will stay with her and I will drop S off at the high school. Then I will go home, attend class, and after class ends, will pick up N, and then S. Then I have class in the afternoon. I’d better not have to take Zyrtec tomorrow. I can’t afford to be drowsy throughout the day.

Categories: Discussion, Family, High School, Islamic Studies, Juggling Multiple Kids, Kindergarten Math, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Living Islam, PSAT, Z's learning, Zulhijjah | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zulhijjah and Hajj and Eid Al Adha

Pre-Activity:

I’m rushing, trying to find something for Zulhijjah, and Hajj in terms of discussion, activities for the kids, all of them. I started with Z because I know Umm Nu’man has stuff on Hajj mashaAllah. I printed the Hajj theme pack, Hajj Story Board/Game, Hajj Game, and Hajj Addition and Subtraction Activity. While I was printing it, Z saw me and immediately had this excited look on his face and said,

“I want to do that!”

He helped me take the printed sheets out, and wanted to start right away but as I’m typing, I am still organizing and printing and cutting. He’ll just have to wait till next week inshaAllah.

I still have to figure out what to do with the older kids.

As of now what is coming to mind is:

  • look up ayaat in Quran pertaining to hajj
  • read translation, word analysis, listen to tafseer on them
  • find out the virtue of 10 days of zulhijjah
  • listen to lectures related to hajj/zulhijjah together and then discuss

Right now I can’t really brainstorm much activities so these will have to do for this year.

Post Activity:

I started the session by going over the book that we have Tell Me About Hajj. Impromtu, as usual (and no, I’m not proud of this, just stating it because that’s how things always end up because of tight schedules and stress), I just started explaining to him about the Kaaba and related rituals of Hajj based on the photos in the book. I didn’t expect him to be that captivated, but subhanallah, he was. There is just something about the kaaba that pulls you. I pointed out that the Masjidil Haram is the name of the masjid where the kaabah is in, and that its middle part doesn’t have a roof, but the sides does, and people go up on the roof to pray and it also overflows onto the streets. I know he is fascinated by this because he used to watch this

and would repeatedly ask me,

“Why are they praying on the road?”

once I pointed that out to him. I guess it baffles him that people would spill over onto the road and not fit inside a masjid.

As we went through the book, I told him that there is a story about the zamzam but that I’ll tell him that later, and that there are stories around the Kaaba but that I would tell him later. We went through the Hajj theme pack, and I had trouble organizing myself even though I organized it last night. We started with the Hajj Step by Step, and I focused on having him recognize the main locations of the Hajj manaasik. We also did the Last Minute Hajj game with the 10 hujjaj, though I was a bit thrown off by the rhyme Umm Nu’man provided in the activity. I fumbled through it and then decided to modify the game.

What I did(based on the 5 little monkeys):

10 little hujjaj down by the haram

Making tawaaf around the kaabah

The guide soon called them all to come back

But only one hujjaj came walking back

And we worked down till there only 1 hujjaj left. He loved this and we did it again and again,  didn’t object much when I asked him to do these activities:

1. I would tell him to get me hujjaj #___, and then get hujjaj #___ and put it above/below/next to hujjaj #___ (it helped with letter recognition)

2. we ordered the Arabic numerals in the correct order

3. I counted the numbers in Arabic, but we didn’t do this much because he didn’t seem to be cooperating much (but when we took the number 10, he did say “Ashara!”)

4. We’d have the hujjaj scattered around the Kaabah and I would tell him, “Get me hujjaj #__”

We also did the memory game, and we did the steps of Hajj game,

The Hajj Steps game after I put it in the lapbook. Made it more stable and easier to manipulate.

and then while I started to make his lapbook,

It’s still halfway done. Reminds me of our lapbooking days when the older kids were younger. We still have the stack of the lapbooks they made. N still loves looking through them. I do too. I can’t bring myself to throw them away even though I had taken pictures of them with the intention of keeping them as digital copies and throwing away the hardcopy.

he played the memory game with N and then S joined. We also did the hajj graphing activity and he had fun spinning it and marking the boxes. I made sure to ask him which one he got the most of and how much did he get for __.

H refined the spinners for the Addition and Subtraction activity which we have yet to do. I asked H to help me last night and he went all out and set up the spinners on a cardboard mount and everything.

We also did the picture-word matching activity,

Picture-word matching activity. I had written the answer on the backs of the picture cards and this was how he matched them.

and the Hajj sequencing cards.

By now, he is quite familiar with the terms, and even steps of the hajj manaasik mashaAllah. We also did the map activity though he hesitated and objected at having to write the words. I had to spell it out for him, and in one instance I put the word before him so he could copy it. He insisted that I spell it out for him but I insisted he copy it and he did it pretty quickly. Again, not that he can’t do it, but it’s a matter of not wanting to do it.

Hajj Map Skills

He also did some coloring while I attempted to help H with his Algebra. This reminds me so much of when I juggled the 3 older kids when they were younger. It was nerve-wrecking. I still haven’t mastered it.

We did quite a number of the activities alhamdulillah and his interest level was still high, but I had to cut it short because I had to go visit on of the girls from the girls’ club. But I’m so thankful that Z loves the activities. He kept asking me to read the book again. I have to tell him the stories of Ismail and hajr (and I will use the pop up that I had made for the 3 older kids years ago inshaAllah) and Ibrahim a.s. and the slaughtering of Ismail a.s.. I wish I had a felt board ready. Oh well, we’ll just have to improvise impromptu since my days will start getting crazy tomorrow. Monday is really my only free day to work exclusively with Z. Subhanallah.

May Allah make it easy. Ameen.

While Z was writing, I noticed that he needs handwriting practice soon. I was at Staples yesterday and saw the first grade writing book but didn’t buy it. I guess I’ll have to buy that soon but I can already imagine Z making faces at me if I tell him to do it. He doesn’t like worksheets. Oh boy, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Categories: Activities - Ages 5-8, Islamic Studies, Juggling Multiple Kids, Kindergarten Math, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Z's learning, Zulhijjah | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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