Learning Aids

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.

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

Week 5: Mon – Fri

Monday :-

We did the Long and Short vowels file folder games, and he actually did pretty good. Actually we did a lot of long and short vowel activities this day.

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I also started going for morning walks with H today. Last week, it was with S. The only reason I’m doing this is for Hajj, which is still not 100% confirmed, but I learned that that’s how it goes for the haji-to-be in the US.

I dropped S at the equine center and then we all went to the library while waiting for her to be done. She has started to volunteer there, and last week on Friday, she had her safety training. At least, I hope she is doing something she loves and craves doing while racking up volunteer hours for her high school documentation.

Later in the day, or was it last week, Z had asked me about a handwriting book  I had bought for him a while back at Walmart but haven’t started using. I told him that that’s for when he can writing his letters all nicely and neatly and that he can write sentences and then draw a picture. Lo and behold, he brought me the book, and started showing me a page that he had furnished. He had written a few ‘sentences’ and drew a picture of it. His handwriting was pretty good that I asked him,

“Who helped you do this?”

“No one! I did it myself!”

MashaaAllah! Alhamdulillah. May this be made easier and easier. Allahu Akbar!

Tuesday:-

Since we had gotten a lot of library books yesterday, we read some of the book. Today we read,

He really enjoyed these books and seem inclined to work on skip counting. We did the Skipping to Oregon file folder game too, and I helped reinforce the concept of skip counting using MUS math manipulatives (wow, these have lots of barakah it seems like). He’s been asking,

“I want to do multiplication!”

So I told him, “We have to learn skip counting first then.”

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Filling in the empty cards

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Using the MUS manipulatives to aid in skip counting

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Showing him the pattern

He was a bit hesitant at first, but eventually seems to enjoy it. He got significantly better at counting by 2s today. I taught him to count 1 number with a whisper and the second one out loud. He seems thrilled by that technique, but I could see him counting mentally when he was skip counting by 2s, 3s, and 4s. With 5s, he’s pretty good already because of the minutes on the clock that he does everyday with the Calendar Notebook.

He seems to have somewhat gotten the hang of Long and short vowels too. I found a couple of books at the library and read these today, and he seems to have gotten a better grasp at Long O and short O.

We also did the McDonald’s Farm file folder game and he told me he didn’t want to do the Long vowels part but only waned to do the syllables part. So we did, and he seems to get it right away. But I did manage to get him to do the long vowels part anyway and he did very very well alhamdulillah.

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We also read Penny and Her Marble

I noticed that he’s getting better at reacting and engaging with anything we read. I was asking him why Penny didn’t feel good, and he kept saying,

“Because someone is coming..” (he meant that someone would come to claim the marble)

I also asked him, “So is it right for her to take that marble? Can we just take something that we find like that?”

He looked grim and shook his head. And he added, “It’s like Finders keepers!” like what we had read when we read the story of Cork and Fuzz (which he loves!). So apparently, he understood this concept alhamdulillah. But alhamdulilah I’m happy that he seems to answer questions better during reading time. I was worried before about his hesitance in answering questions, but alhamdulilah now it seems like he’s ‘gettin’ with the program’.

I feel like we actually did a lot today. We also did the Past, Present, and Future Tenses file folder game though by that time I was tired and we didn’t really do it all the way. He seems to still be new at the concept so that one can use more revisiting inshaaAllah. He did do a lot of worksheets today though that dealt with graph reading, measuring, addition, subtraction, grammar (singular plural verb), handwriting. I took the worksheets that I had printed last year from Learning Pages. I find it a good way to cover areas that I might not think of. At first, before, I was hesitant in giving these to him because he didn’t seem like he wanted to do worksheets, and I didn’t want to struggle with him but he seems more inclined to them now alhamdulillah. So he actually spent a lot of time on that.

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I haven’t been doing hifdh with him that regularly though. I realize that I tend to put off or aside things that require me to cajole and coax him to do, and hifdh is one of them. Subhanallah. On top of that, IQRA reading too. Sigh. Suffice it to say, I feel bad about this. Need to pick up with this.

The 3 older kids started Biology today. Today N and H’s load significantly became heavier, because they have Biology at 8- 9am, then American History at 10:30 – 11:30 am, then Literature at 12-12:45. Starting this week, they will be very busy. I looked over N’s planner too and hope that she abides by it and disciplines herself. This is such a struggle for me and her subhanallah. It wears out my patience and I’m sure it wears out hers too.

I also just realized that PSAT is coming up in October and was suddenly in a frenzy about this. S is not too happy about having to take it again. I asked hubs and he said yes, she should. So, he will register her tomorrow and so she will have to study for it again and take it while we’re at hajj (if we go inshaaAllah). I also told her to look over her high school plan for the rest of the years that she still has remaining. I worry a bit about that, but keep telling myself that Allah will take care of it because she is doing something now that is to seek His pleasure. I also realized that with S’ high school planning, I wasn’t that experienced, so a lot of her courses are poorly planned. It’s much better for N and H though. I just ask that Allah makes it easy for S’ entrance to college. I have to look into enrolling her at the local community college.

I also realized that N is pretty good at vocabulary and I realized that one of the reasons why is because she really wants to learn it and as she says, “So that I’m not dumb.” I hope the therapy this semester helps her a lot biizhnillah. H is not too keen on his Worldly Wise assignments though. N is promoted by the Home2Teach instructor, so right now, I’m just waiting for H’s instructor to email me his promotion (or not), and then will register both for the next writing classes. N will be taking Writing the Hero’s Journey inshaaAllah. I’m looking forward to checking much improved essays from all of them.

In preparation for Hajj, I’ve also asked around and arranged for friends to check the kids’ essay while I’m gone.  I also just realized that for their American history, Biology, and Ancient Egypt assignments, I am the one in charge. Great.

Subhanallah, after all these years, I also feel like I’ve never really learned to be patient in juggling multiple children while homeschooling. I can multitask but I’m not patient while doing it. Snapping is a very common occurrence when I’m juggling teaching and tending to more than 1 child at one time. If anyone wants to ask me how I homeschool multiple children, I have to say,

“I’m not the best person to ask.”

Somehow, Allah nurtures them and they learn anyway. All credits to Him. Alhamdulillah.

Wednesday:-

It was rainy almost all day today. Z did his calendar by himself and he did a lot of worksheets after that. I grew impatient because I had so much to do today, another Dr.’s appointment and classes, and cooking. Yes, after all these years, I still get agitated having to cook while teaching the kids. We didn’t read any books today because he was dawdling with his worksheets, so ‘school’ with me ended just like that, with me leaving him because he was dawdling too much.

He did good on his worksheets though. There are questions on how many more is 10 than 5. That is a new concept for him, but he kind of got it, but didn’t really like to do it. He dealt a lot with subtraction and I noticed that it’s harder for him to do subtraction and for a while he got confused while using the ones and ten rods. I really had to sit there and supervise him on it. We did Skipping to Oregon too today, and I showed him the pattern with the skip counting by 4s, but I don’t think he really got it. He quickly wanted to be done with it, so I didn’t really push it either.

He did show comprehension of using exclamation mark though when he answered No on a question on the worksheet. He said, “Exclamation mark point.”

Lately he has been ‘scared’ of the bathroom, especially of bathing and using the toilet. I don’t know why.

Anyway…

The older kids started their Ancient Egypt Currclick class today. S is taking it also for 1/2 credit and it is during her AlHuda break. I reminded N to use the Cornell method of note-taking in these classes. She hasn’t been using it. in the therapy, they worked on reading strategies for novels. I figured that in summer, they helped her with understanding non fiction, so this is good that they’re not working on helping her with understanding pieces of literature. May Allah put barakah in this. Ameen. She is supposed to use the neon pink notebook her therapist lovingly cycled her bike to get, and fill it with reading strategies homework that she had given N.

Thursday:-

I want to maintain a walking routine in the early morning everyday. We started Last Friday and so far we have been doing it everyday. The only thing is, I don’t like walking too late when all the kids and parents are out for school, so it’s a bit tricky now that fajr is later. By the time we’re done with our post-fajr Quran/Arabic, it can get too late to walk outside. It has been balmy lately so it’s really nice weather for walking. Like today, we took an hour to just do the exercises for the Allama family for Arabic. I already hear a lot of cars out, and I have to take H for his shot and bloodwork, whcih has been put off so much so that today is the last day to take him for it. I’m feeling grumpy and agitated with all these doctor office visits which has been going on for 2 weeks now and will still be going on next week too. I hate having to leave the house for stuff like that. So that’s been contributing to me being snappy and yelly too nowadays. Sigh…I just hope things taper down a bit before we have to go.

We read All About Eggs and What am I?

He had already read these books on his own though, so the guessing was not so much guessing on his part. I did try to have him pick out rhyming words in the What Am I ? book, but he soon grew tired of it when I also asked him what vowel sounds he hears from the words. He really doesn’t like the Phonics stuff. I am contemplating whether I should continue, but I have a very strong feeling that I should because it will be needed later on, even if he already knows how to read. I did it with the older kids too and my own personal philosophy of this matter is that we should teach both. It’s just a matter of which one first to teach. Since he already knows how to read, obviously, Phonics come second, but it gets a bit strange at times because it’s like going backwards. However, it doesn’t mean it’s any easier though..not for him at least.

He did a lot of addition on his own, and seems to really enjoy it too. I had him do the First Grade Sight words too, which initially he didn’t want to do. I coaxed him to do 2 pages and he seems to better grasp creating a sentence now. Alhamdulillah.

So basically it seems like our ‘school’ schedule goes like this: He starts with the Calendar Notebook, and then we do various things of random choice on my part and his. There will be some days where we will read books, and there will be some days where we won’t. It all kind of depends on how I’m feeling and my work schedule. Most of our activities utilize the file folder games, and worksheets, and when I feel like it, online games. At times I will also let him watch Reading Rainbow. I have to admit that with all of this supervising, I have little energy and patience left for his IQRA and hifdh, though I tried doing it at night. With Hifdh, I need a lot of patience, as does he, but I also don’t want it to become something where I’m always angry at him for, so when I don’t feel like it, I leave it. Which in turn also makes me feel bad. As for the IQRA same thing. It makes me wistful when I think to the times when he would just come and understand that it’s part of his daily routine and bring the book to me and read it, even if he negotiates 1 line per day. Same thing with hifdh, though he’s a bit more reluctant with this one. He’s having a hard time now with Humazah ayat 4. So maybe, I should just muster up the energy and discipline to resume the IQRA with him on a daily basis. But realistically, with this hajj business coming up, I am already stressed out. So I don’t know. It makes me feel very bad that this is not a regular routine right now especially seeing that we may go for hajj inshaaAllah. Astaghfirullah…These are one of those days.

Friday:-

I didn’t really do much with Z today though he did work on his Calendar on his own alhamdulillah. Took H for his bloodwork in the morning. I had classes back to back and by close to noon time, I don’t feel like doing much anymore. I still need to check the older kids’ work though.

S and N baked stuff and brought them to the girls halaqa last weekend:-

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Rolling up the Pandan Roll

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All wrapped up. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to take photos of when it was done. We were rushing to the halaqa.

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N made cupcakes

N is at surah hashr now and mashaaAllah doing good on her own accountability alhamdulillah.

 

Categories: Biology, Books, Community, Copywork, File Folder Games, Grade 1, High School, Horse Therapy, Learning Aids, Learning Challenges, Log, Math U See, Phonics, PSAT, Science, Volunteer, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Week 4: Mon – Fri

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

Monday:-

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

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

That seems to keep him motivated for now.

Tuesday:-

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

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

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

Wednesday:-

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

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

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

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

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

“Why do you think?”

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

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

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

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

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Doing subtraction using the MUS ones ‘rod’.

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

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He got hooked on this website alhamdulillah.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday:-

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

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

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

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

Friday:-

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

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

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

 

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

Bear Says Thanks

I was down the other day, and up yesterday alhamdulillah. I think it may be my diet, that my body may not be able to tolerate certain foods anymore and when I do eat them, I get fatigued and lethargic and all I want to do is sleep. When that happens, that’s it…everything goes down the drain. I feel left behind and work piles up and if it happens again and again it feels like a never ending vicious unproductive cycle.

Anyway, yesterday I had Z do his calendar. He can pretty much do it on his own now alhamdulillah, except I feel he is still confused with the place value, which is fine for now. While he filled in his calendar and scanned my students’ test and assignment for me, I cut and made more file folder games for him that I had printed last week. So, after he was done with his calendar and I was done with the file folder games, S had a break from class and the other two kids had also finished their online classes, so I scanned the rest of the tests because Z had started to use the Ipad to take photos instead. Meanwhile, I told S to do some addition problems with Z using the ladybugs placemats.

Then, we played the file folder game. We did Spring Peeps, to which Z said, “That’s hard!”

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I sensed that listening for the long e and short e is not that easy for him. But he did it. I put a mental note to myself that activities like this helps rather than sitting with him with a Phonics book and trying to teach him long and short vowels. I may need to look for more audio or video resources for him in this.

Then we also did the oo, ue, eu endings file folder game. He did pretty good with this because he can read visually very well. But I realized I had to explain to him what ‘due’ means and this is pretty easy because I just said,

“Like the library books are due.”

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Then we played the Punctuation file folder game even though I know some of the stuff in there are above his level. These file folder games are great teaching tools actually. I love them! Never had them with the older kids though. For this one, he had some trouble reading the words such as “exclamation”, “quotation” (he kept confusing it with the word ‘question’), “parentheses” and even “period”. In the middle of playing this, I went and took the book Bear Says Thanks that we had checked out from the library. It was the perfect book to use to apply what was learned, because the words are not that many and there were a lot of commas, quotation marks, exclamation marks and of course periods! I think he recognized the punctuations pretty well and was pretty engaged in the process. It was a good learning process for him.

Later on we read the book and I asked him to listen for words that rhyme. It took him a while to find them and I had to prmpt him by then saying,

“Ok what rhymes with bear?”

and when he still didn’t get it, I had to say,

“Does bear rhyme with share?”

I also pointed out the homonyms bare and bear since he is very visual and can get this easily. I also pointed out the synonyms cave, den, lair. It’s nice that the author uses these words in the book. I”m thinking I should extend this reading with some activities but it will have to be very simple. If I had more time, I would  have made flash cards for the rhyming words and stuff. Ahh…..for now, we’ll go KISS.

It was a good day though alhamdulillah.

These are the online games that I found pertaining to rhyming activities:-

Cookie Preschool Rhyme Time

Digby’s Garden

PBS Rhyming games

We also did some vowels and watched the Vowels Movie on Starfall. When I pointed out to him the vowels, he replied indignantly but smiling, “I knowww!!”

Vowel Movie on Starfall

I also found this : Gus and Inky’s Underwater ADventures

Categories: Books, File Folder Games, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Language Arts, Learning Aids, Learning Games, Phonics, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Rainy and Cloudy Day

I woke up to gentle rain and cool breeze this morning, alhamdulillah. I should have eaten oatmeal for breakfast this morning instead of the one slab of pancake S had made. I think there is definitely an issue with my blood sugar, because when I eat the wrong thing, I feel depleted of energy and don’t feel like doing anything, and I have a feeling this is what leads to me not really doing anything with Z, or any of the older kids, but mostly Z. I am literally out of energy when this happens. To make it worse today, we went to the library and all I had eaten this morning was this piece of pancake. i was on ‘work’ mode and I managed to do the Calendar Notebook with Z, with a lot of impatience, because we were trying to leave the house around 8:45 for the library.

We went to Kinko’s and they took an hour, so in the meantime we went to Big Lots and I bought some stuf and then wen to Best Buy. I already felt weak and fatigued when we were out and about, and ate 3 granola bars, but when we got home, I read about 3 books from the library to Z, and then didn’t really feel like doing anything else and just fell asleep on the couch. N and H were attending the Meet & Greet for their Literature class. I only woke up because H screamed crazy when the class just crashed.

I really think I should have eaten oatmeal this morning, like I did yesterday morning. Yesterday, I didn’t feel tired at all, not like today. Subhanallah. If this is part of growing old…wow…

Even then, yesterday I made sure I did my hifdh revision for that day and N’s too, and Z’s too. Today, I recited some to H in the van on the way to the library and I hope that gives me a head start for the rest of the day.

Today, when we did the Calendar Notebook, I remembered to take out the file folder that had the Arabic names of days in the week and weather in Arabic. It occured to me that a bulletin board is a great idea for it, but I didn’t want to make one, so I remembered this piece of metal decorative hanging thing I had bought from Hobby Lobby years ago because they were on sale. I had worked on one for a while, intending to use it as a multicalendar that would accommodate both the Gregorian and Hijri calendars, but it never came to fruition because the magnets didn’t stick well to the glass beads, so I abandoned that project. I took it out and improvised, basicaly just using it as a metal backing where I can use magnets, and what is great is that the whole thing is portable too. So I think I will use that to display the Arabic name of the day, weather in Arabic and put the Hijri Month on. Now my only slight worry is “Will I have the energy, will, remember to change and update it everyday?”

weathermagnetchart

Categories: Arabic, Hijri Calendar, Learning Aids, Z's learning | Tags: | Leave a comment

First Day of School Year 2013-2014

I had spent most of the day yesterday prepping Z’s stuff, mostly file folder games and worksheets. Alhamdulillah N and S helped me with the cutting. Even then, I finished everything including cleaning and organizing and then printing Arabic With Husna stuff by 10:30 pm. I was dead tired. But I needed to get all that done. Otherwise, today would have started the wrong way if things are messy and not ready.

Alhamdulillah this morning, N and H had their first day of Home2Teach writing classes and they started their math. H was supposed to start Algebra 2 but because he insisted on using Math U See instead of Teaching Textbook, I had to look for ALgebra 2 since we only have the TT one for that and not MUS. I still haven’t found it, so I told him to start with Geometry instead. A friend had borrowed it so she returned it this morning. I also printed Quran review and tracker schedule last night from TJ Homeschool, mashaaAllah, Alhamdulillah!

I still have to print more of Z’s stuff but for now, I think he has a solid stack of things to work on inshaaAllah. Today, we started with his Calendar Notebook. He can pretty much do this on his own, but does need help on some stuff. What makes me somewhat elated is that he can somewhat tell time. We had bought this wipe-off telling time chart from the Dollar store before Ramadan, and he had been playing with that by himself. On this chart, it lists the minutes and since he can already count by 5s (the tally marks in his Calendar Notebook helped a lot with this), he can tell the time to the minutes now. The only issue now is with the hour hand, especially when it’s in between 2 hours or close to one but not that hour yet. I remember having a HORRIBLE time teaching N to tell time, and I have a feeling that even to this day she still can’t tell time using the analog clock what with all the digital clocks available. H still looks at the time on the computer when we ask him what time it is , despite the clock hanging on the wall in the living room. SIGH.

I managed (for today) to supervise and coach Z on his handwriting. This is one subject I hate to supervise to be honest. It’d be nice if they are born being able to write properly. But today, alhamdulillah I had the patience and so did he. I hope this lasts. InshaaAllah.

We did some of the file folder games I had printed in the weekend. I had a hard time figuring out how to arrange the mailboxes in this particular game called Snail Mail so that the grid would make sense with the post office being in the middle. I had to ask S and N to help me figure it out yesterday. N figured it out, alhamdulillah. Z had a good time with this one and is pretty good actually at figuring out the directions, better than I expected him to. Alhamdulillah.

photo 1

We also did the Continent one, though one of the whale sign thingy threw me off. It said Southern (for ocean) and I was like, ‘That’s pretty vague.”

photo photo 5-1

I intended to use this Arabic days of the week and Weather as we’re doing the Calendar Notebook everyday, but I forgot this morning. But we still did it , just not together with the calendar. I showed him the months of the hijri calendar and he rearranged it after shuffling it. He kept calling Shawaal Eid though. I’ve always disliked teaching the kids Arabic myself because my grasp of it is very poor. All these years, I’ve tried to teach it but it has always turned out poor as well. My make up now is Arabic With Husna, but even then, to be honest, I really feel this is one thing I need a lot of outside help with. H is learning with hubs and probably has a better hold on it than I do. S is learning it with Al Huda, and N, well she ‘s counting on me, so …hmmm. As for Z, he seems to have the interest because we’re watching the IQRA nasheed and we found the translation and lyrics in Arabic and English. I noticed that he would watch it, read it and figure out what means what. So alhamdulillah for that, I hope that teaching him ARabic vocab (whatever I am able to do) will be easy because he’s interested. I did that with the older kids when they were younger too but it didn’t progress much because I was limited in what I could teach.

photo 4

photo 3

photo 2

We also did some addition problem using the ladybug magnets and placemats I had printed from Umm An-Nu’man’s blog last year.

We also read and looked through  A City Through Time.

 

 

Categories: Copywork, File Folder Games, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Learning Aids, Learning Games, Math, Math U See, Teaching Textbook, Tracker, Z's learning | Leave a comment

Calendar Notebook & Math

Alhamdulilah, I printed the calendar notebook, courtesy of Our Aussie Homeschooler, during the winter break and got it all bound, and now everyday, (or at least, almost everyday), Z and I work on it. He’s enthusiastic about it too, reminding me to do it everyday. So, we go through it, and it seems to be a good gradual daily exercise to  learning concepts in math, many concepts at that, telling time, coin values, addition, skip counting, etc.

These days, this is the only thing I do with him, and of course, his IQRA. In fact, he’s moved up from reading just 2 lines to a whole page now, though it really tests my patience. With all the fidgeting and questions, reading a whole page really tests my patience, which I don’t really have a lot of. But alhamdulilah, at least, he’s not zipping his mouth shut and driving me crazy.

We use the file folder game Cowboy Cash on coin value and type and now he knows how many cents a nickel, quarter, dime and penny is. Amazing subhanallah. I never really used file folder games before, but subhanallah, I find it to be a very beneficial learning aid. I even made some from Umm Nu’man’s activities that were not supposed to be file folder games, but it’s pretty easy to convert an activity into a folder game. I have even converted worksheets into file folder games. We also use our Math U See math manipulatives and this really has helped a lot too alhamdulillah!

What I have done less with him is read books and especially with flu season, I’m avoiding going to the library for a while. H has set up a ‘home audio stereo system’ in  his room with computer speakers and his ipod. He puts on the Quran to help him revise and memorize and Z stays in there because H’s room is the warmest place in the house. Our house is not really energy efficient, so most of the time we’re ‘freezing’, especially since hubs tells us to lower the thermostat so he doesn’t have to pay crazy heating bills.

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A worksheet maze converted into a file folder game. I told Z to trace it with his finger instead of writing in it so that he can play it again and again. He is used to doing this with the Quran Story mazes series, so this is nothing new.

025

How we learned odd and even. We were working on the firefighter unit, and I decided to use the counting blocks to demonstrate odd and even. He understood even as the blocks not having any friend, and he seems to have grasped the concept quite well, that when you just say the number, without using the counting blocks, he can say whether it’s odd or even. Allahu Akbar!

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This is one of the file folder games from the file folder farm. We used the Math U See manipulatives with this and I taught how to add by not counting both counters, but counting from the rod that is more, and continue on counting the second one. He seems to have grasped this technique really well too alhamdulillah!

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H’s ‘home audio stereo system’

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Working on his calendar notebook and using the file folder game on Money to aid in filling in the math sheet in the calendar notebook.

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Initially I was hesitant to have him write the dates, and I had skipped it when we started the calendar notebook, but he asked to do it, so I showed him how to do it, and now, he would tell me, “I know how to do it,” and wouldn’t let me instruct him how to write the dates in 2 different ways. He does ask me “Why are there so many slashes? Why do we write so many Januarys?” I am not sure he understands the concept of month, day and year yet, but since he is doing this on his own, I’m not too worried about explaining the concept to him right now. He’s doing better than I expected. Alhamdulillah

071

working on the math sheets in the calendar notebook. These are what makes the notebook SO thick, but I decided to include it all together for ease and efficiency.

 

 

 

Categories: Homeschooling, Kindergarten Math, Learning Aids, Math, Math U See, Quran, Teaching To Read, Z's learning | Leave a comment

Carrot Sticks

Somehow, Z is into math. I’ve been anxious about teaching him math because I fear my inability to explain it with patience in case he doesn’t get it but so far, he’s been getting things pretty quickly Alhamdulillah. I was on Richard Byrne’s website and saw Carrot Sticks, and one night, afeter trying it myself, I called Z to play  it. We used the Math U See manipulatives and subhanallah, he was so into it and kept on doing it until the question got to 363+3. By then, I was too tired and I told him we would continue tomorrow.

Once, we were adding 10s and a question of 50+30 = ___ had come up and then it came up again and I asked him what that would get and he answered

“A lot of tens.” LOL

I haven’t really done subtraction with him yet though, and on his own, he has played Carrot Sticks too while patiently using the manipulatives to figure out the answer. Then one day, we did mental math and I’d ask him an addition question and he would think it in his head and give me the answer and then he would make up addition questions for me. MashaaAllah alhamdulillah!

The only thing I don’t really like about this game is the challenge feature of it. Despite it saying it’s safe, you still worry  that some 50 year old perverted man would disguise himself as a kid.

 

 

Categories: Kindergarten Math, Learning Aids, Math, Math U See, Z's learning | Leave a comment

Z Book: Bugs Are Insects

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

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

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

We watched ladybugs laying eggs,

ladybug being eaten by a Venus Fly Trap,

and eating aphids,

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

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

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

“Ok, where are the ladybugs going now?”

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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