Learning Challenges

Week 2 : Quran and Prayer

On Thursday, I managed to cover the lines Z would read of his ABATA, so he read 6 lines, 2 for each day. I also noticed he had about 2+ pages to finish book 4, and so I told him,

“You’ll finish book 4 soon inshaaAllah!”

I even counted the lines and predicted that he would finish it in two weeks inshaaAllah.

“Then you can go to book 5 and then 6 and then read Quran! S, N and H read Quran when they were your age! You remember the video of N reading Quran?”

His eyes lit up and as the memory of that video clicked in his mind, he nodded enthusiastically. He seemed excited. I even asked him,

“Do you want to read the big Quran or the small one?”

“The small one.”

Hmm…I guess he’s used to using my mushaf when doing his surah. I personally prefer him to use th big ones though, and so I opened the big one and showed it to him, saying,

“See, this is bigger and easier to read!”

“No, I want to read the small one.”

Well, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

As he is turning 7 soon inshaaAllah, I will ask him to choose between Zuhr and Asr, which one he wants to commit to. This was how I introduced salat to the older kids. When S turned 7, I asked her to choose between zuhr and asr, and whatever she chose, she will have comitted to it even if she is sick, which is a good practical lesson in how to make salat when you are sick and best of all, it teaches them commitment. I like this method so far, because it is gradual and they learn to commit to one salat at a time and not all 5, and they learn to hopefully perfect it, learn what to recite in the different positions, know the details of the salat they are committing to, before adding the next one, in about a few months. By the time they turn 10 inshaaAllah, they would then committed to all 5 salawaat. With the older kids, it worked. While we were traveling, they also still had to pray and so they learned how to pray when traveling.

With Z, I’m focusing or have been focusing on him perfecting each position and he has perfected the iftiraash, and tawarru3, and his sujud and ruku and even getting up from ruku and going into sujud. Soon, I plan to introduce him to what to say in ruku and sujud. Short ones and then hopefully, by April, he would have at least know how to pray with the pillars. Tashahud usually comes in a bit later.

We had gone to Dallas, and I had talked with a sister who took Dream and her two teenagers, age 17 and 15 are now TA for the Dream program mashaaAllah! On the drive home, hubs and I talked about the possibility of signing up S for the sisters public speaking workshop with Qalam Institute, and H for the Dream program, whether we move there or not. I really hope we can attend S’ graduation this June …inshaaAllah!

I also have to start calling the local CC asking about what is needed for S to enroll. She will inshaaAllah finish AlHuda this June and then she will plunge full force into finishing her high school. May Allah make it easy ameen! As for N, it seems that I need to work very closely with her all the way and make sure she’s on top of her work. I don’t like doing this, but what can I do? May Allah make it easy ameen!

I also have full hope that inshaaAllah with our regular post fajr session on Ustadh Nouman’s Tafseer and Arabic with Hosna, that we would really benefit from it. There were times when I was about to give up because I felt like despite us doing it every day and regularly, it wasn’t entering our hearts. But as I asked the kids survey questions, I sensed that those tafseer sessions do help. And it made me feel like haa..shaytaan is working to get us off that track maybe, making me feel hopeless. So the thing to do is to just keep doing it and make crazy dua Allah puts barakah in it. For Hosna, I really do hope we get ouf ot it what he Dream students get out of Dream, except I still do want to attend Dream or the part time one, and send H to the full time one. InshaaAllah.

I wish I can do Arabic with Z. I am VERY poor at doing this with the kids when they’re young. Seriously. If I master Arabic myself, maybe, but the reality is, I don’t. Argh. I’m very bad at trying it since even with Malay, we’ve been very bad with speaking it with the kids, even though we have a second chance with Z since he is still young. My God. May Allah make it easy, Ameen.

I have yet to sit down with N and come up with her hifdh revision schedule. May Allah make it easy ameen!

S is back volunteering teaching at Sunday school. Her horse therapy volunteer sessions hasn’t resumed yet so far. And our girls youth halaqa has been going on strong alhamdulillah. I plan to have S fully handle a few sessions on her own with my supervision inshaaAllah.

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Al Huda Institute, Arabic, Bayyinah Institute, Community, High School, Homeschooling, Islamic Studies, Learning Challenges, Living Islam, Prayer/salat, Qalam Institute, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts, Volunteer Masjid, Youth Girls halaqa | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 6 : Mon- Fri

Today is already Friday. A week has passed by and I haven’t really done anything with Z other than tell him to do his Calendar notebook daily. This week has been crazy in doing an ‘Abu Bakr’ for Hajj. We’re still waiting for the visa, but we’re preparing nonetheless, so that if we get it, then we’re all up and ready to go inshaaAllah. So, this week I’ve just been occupied doing some stuff that need to be done before we go and next week is going to be busy too. I feel bad for Z though. He knows he has to do his Calendar Notebook and he does it, and after that he digs in his toybox and looks for things to do.

Amidst my sewing this week, I did notice him playing with the stethoscope and asking where the heart is. He also played with the scrabble by himself and kept asking me,

“Is toon a word?”

“What is a toon?”

“Google it!”

“Is noon a word?”

“Is din a word?”

“What is it ?”

So, subhanallah despite me being busy and not able to physically sit and do stuff with him, he is learning. He basically learned what toon is and what din is and he asked couple more questions out of the blue,

“What is dawn?”

He also spent time watching the story clips and playing word games on Between the Lions on PBS website. he also played games on AbCya and watched Reading Rainbow. He did say he wanted to paint eggs and I wanted to buy those wooden eggs for him but this week, our schedule was a bit crazy so I told him next week. We did read some books though…

We read,

If You Hopped Like  Frog

Wonder of Nature Waterfalls

 

Amelia Bedelia Bookworm

Cute! The Sound of Long U

He also peeled sweet potatoes, went swimming, went walking with me this morning, and learned the difference between city and country. I remembered this particualrly because this morning, as we were walking, he asked me,

“Is this city or country?”

I didn’t know what to answer so I said,

“Well, it’s kind of like the country because it’s quiet and you can see the animals, but we’re still in the city. Do you like country or city?”

“Country!”

He asked again as we approached home, “Is our house in the country?”

I also told him that we’re in the desert because we passed by stretches of land in the neighborhoods. He was also hoping to see cats. We only saw one as we almost reached home, alhamdulilah! As we walked he also asked,

“Why are there so many neighbors? Why are neighbors so close?”

“Why do people live in the desert?”

I think I should take him for a walk more often. The older kids no longer want to walk with me, so maybe after this I’ll take Z with me as long as he can stand the distance. I need the exercise especially for Hajj.

But alhamdulillah he does his calendar by himself now and pores over his books on his own if I can’t read them with him. He still likes being read to of course, but I do think he is able to read it on his own too quietly. He may not understand all of it, but he can read it. I just need to sit with him and still do the reading and engaging. He is particularly intrigued by the book If You Hopped Like A Frog. Much later on, he said, “If yuo’re strong like an ant, you can lift a car!”

He did have some issues understanding that though and said while I was reading the book to him, “People can’t lift cars!” “Why is his head so small?” “I can’t do this!” (trying to stretch his neck upwards like in the book).

N had her therapy yesterday and we spent an extra hour talking about what the therapist wants her to do. Subhanallah..my gut feeling has been right all along. I figured that if I send her to school thinking it would be easier, it’s still going to be the same, because she has a motivation and maybe attitude issue. Her therapist asked me to be the enforcer to make sure she does what she is supposed to do. Sigh. This has been my challenge with her all these years. I particularly hate it when people tell me to do that with her because I already am doing it. Especially last week and this and next week I won’t be able to do that, but I didn’t communicate that to the therapist. I told myself, “Well, I’ll just have to do it.” Sigh.

The therapist gave her writing strategies and one particular one where she has to write down main idea and details for EACH paragraph of the book she is reading and she is reading Call of the Wild right now. It’s a significant jump of reading level from Anne of Green Gables. She didn’t look motivated yesterday and I had a talk with her, and she still didn’t seem like she was motivated. I fear she may follow in the footsteps of some of our relatives who dropped out of high school and college. Hubs has some of the issues she has in learning (not sure if you can call it learning disability) but hubs is competitive and actually likes learning while N is not competitive and doesn’t like learning. She does say she wants to write for a living though. I have to say I’m almost giving up with this child. I don’t know what else to do with her. It’s so frustrating, aggravating and just saddening for me. Loving to study, I can’t fully empathize with her and this makes me very impatient when dealing with her which probably maybe exarcebate the problem. These are one of those times when I feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing and when I feel like just leaving everything and being by myself. The stress of preparation added to this doesn’t help either. My only consolation is dua. I do feel like I do need to get away from the kids though…take a break and leave them for a while. Maybe that’s what I’ve been needing for years.

I reminded her to use the Cornell method to take her notes, but I don’t see her doing it as enthusiastically as she learned it in therapy last semester. I also told her we won’t go see the foot doctor anymore because she doesn’t seem like she is taking responsibility for her own feet and it seems like we’re just paying the Doctor for nothing. May Allah help me and guide me with this child. Ameen.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Homeschooling, Learning Challenges, Teaching Challenges | Tags: , , | 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

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