Outsourcing

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

Updates

We stopped using Write Guide for financial reasons, and so now I’m back to checking their essays. After using Write Guide for about 3+ months, I’ve realized that I didn’t do too bad a job of checking their essays all this time. The driving factor that pushed me to use Write Guide was lack of time for myself and because I want to see how others would critique their writing. I’ve learned and picked up a few things regarding checking their essays throughout the years and that has helped alhamdulillah. I still do intend to enroll them in Home2Teach classes maybe in summer inshaaAllah. For now it’ll just be me.

In terms of hifdh, Z just finished Al Kaafiroon. I’m finding it a real test if patience doing hifdh with him subhanallah, so I don’t how much longer I can keep this up, but may Allah make it easy ameen! For N, I told her to make a daily schedule for revision. So far, I believe she is sticking to that schedule.

H has been busy movie-video-making and blogging his ‘adventures’. I have been perusing through allergy free cookbooks, looking for ideas of travel food to make for Z for our upcoming trip through California, Oregon and Washington inshaaAllah. I had made a marble pound cake and the day after, he had a bad attack of hives. I am skeptical that it was the cake that caused it, but I don’t know that it didn’t either, so I’m thinking of trying to let him eat a bit of it again and see. We had frozen it. I have yet to make his travel food and really need to get to it soon.

S was diagnosed with Raunaud’s syndrome, and her blood test came up with a positive and so she is referred to a rheumatologist. We’ll see about that.

May Allah her shifaa and grant us all good health. Ameen.

Now, S has stopped teaching at Sunday school, and only N goes. With her fingers, S is a bit limited in what she is able to do. So even for the soup kitchen, I’m a bit hesitant to let her go.

Categories: Allergies, Community, Memorizing, Outsourcing | Leave a comment

Hifdh-ing

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. H pointed that out to me yesterday. What I can say is that alhamdulillah, we’re all now doing hifdh, including Z. S is starting with Al kahf, and for her, I want her to focus on her Taleem Quran more, so hifdh is somewhat secondary for her right now.

N is taking tajweed class  online with Sis N from Canada, a 20 min class, once a week on Fridays. When I saw sis N offering her class through email, I thought of enrolling N, but I asked N how interested she is in learning tajweed. At first she said not interested. But she also expressed slight interest. I’ve been encouraging her to pursue tajweed because her recitation and articulation is naturally good already, and I want  her to find her own niche in the field of Quran. S is already taking Taleem Quran, and H is doing hifdh and is pretty good in Arabic grammar (better than me, even though I studied it for years in high school and even now), and I want something for N. One of my homeschooling goals is for the kids to develop a solid foundation in their deen and develop a Quranic perspective, which means, they need to be able to recite with tajweed, understand what they’re reciting, implement and internalize what they are reciting, and develop the wisdom that comes from the Quran and sunnah. The world out there is full of propagandas subtle and obnoxious, and I want them armed with iman and understanding of the deen before they go out there.

I’ve been making dua for the kids and subhanallah so I am overjoyed when N expressed that yes actually, she would be interested in learning tajweed. Sis N also advised me that I should encourage N to memorize. So I talked about this with N and she said yes she would  like to memorize. Initially, I was concerned about her intention, but sis N told me that even for us adults, our intentions will fluctuate and so it’s a lifelong process. So, in February N began her Quran journey, with learning  tajweed and doing hifdh. Alhamdulillah. I had already taught all the kids to read with tajweed through the Malaysian IQRA book series, and I have also taught them the tajweed rules, but I want them to actually learn further with someone who is qualified to teach them. So, I’ve done what I can from my end, and this is the time to outsource now. So, she started from Al Mursalat and is now at Muzammil. We also discussed about their Quran time. We agreed that after fajr, instead of starting right away with Nouman’s tafseer and Arabic with Husna, we would spend 30 min on our own doing our new memorization or revision, and then have breakfast and then do tafseer and Arabic. Thanks to a suggestion by a friend 🙂 May Allah reward her immensely for she is the one who has triggered this move towards hifdh for me and the kids. The girls will have their Quran time twice a day, one after fajr and another one either after asr or before bedtime.

 

For H, he has already been doing this for years, so I  leave him pretty much alone for he has gotten into his own routine. I do still worry about his tajweed though and asks that Allah opens up opportunity for him to learn with someone qualified who can enhance his tajweed. Right now, the brother who is helping him is too busy, so H is working just with hubs for now. He is re memorizing surah As Shuura. This surah has a special story. When H was memorizing this surah, we were in Malaysia, and we enrolled him in darul Huffaz. The ustaadh there told him to memorize the surah backwards and this confused H so much that to this day, his grasp on that surah is almost nil. So he’s rememorizing it now. I still can’t fathom why that ustaadh told him to memorize it backwards.

H is currently taking Sh. Omar Suleiman’s tafseer of Surah Al Ahqaf class every Tuesday for 4 weeks. He doesn’t seem too captivated by it except when it involves stories, but at least I hope it provides him with deeper understanding and internalization of this surah that he has memorized.

Even Z has taken an interest in doing hifdh. Maybe it’s because all of us are doing it now. So, he would come to me and take the Quran, put it on the rihl and open it up to the last page and point to the surah he is working on and signal for me to recite it to him. So far, he just finished An nasr. I started doing this with him before he showed any interest. We listened to Minshaawi for An Naas and I had him recite again and again. I had to resort to recording his voice and letting him listen to it, because he couldn’t sit still for the lesson. Eventually he didn’t want to do it, so I left him alone. Made dua.

Then, all of a sudden, he knew those 3 quls. Apparently H had been practicing it with him at bedtime. So I expressed pleasant surprise that he knew those 3 surah by heart and told him,

‘Z, you memorize 1 whole page!!!!”

You could see he was overjoyed as well, and that motivated him. So we worked on Al Masad. He kept asking for the ‘stowee’ of Al masad. So hubs put on Nouman’s tafseer of the surah and we told him the story of Abu lahab and the surah. One thing about Z is that he is impatient. He kept asking to move forward before memorizing the current ayah properly. So I would tell him,

“Let’s say it 7 times, you can count it on your fingers.”

So he obediently puts out his index finger and starts to keep track of how many times we have to repeat the current ayah together; I would say it first and he would say it after me. I would break up the ayah so he could repeat it in manageable portions. Then, we’d be done for the session. I tell him to listen to his MP3 too and he does mashaaAllah. It is a little hard working with him because he is still young and has his own issues sometimes, but alhamdulillah I also feel like Allah has made it somewhat easy. The fact that he comes on his own and takes the Quran and sits waiting for me to start working with him, and listens to his MP3 on his own, and is willing to recite his surah properly, makes it a lot easier on me. I worried that he wouldn’t enunciate the words properly, and I would disapprove it when he rushes through it, I would emphasize that he needs to really enunciate it and not just say the surah. Alhamdulillah he does and he does try hard mashaaAllah. He is also doing great with his IQRA.

At one point, he was watching Arabic with Husna with us and we were covering the sarf table. At this time, Z was a bit obsessed with ana anta and started to write it in Arabic and in English, and kept asking us,

“Are you anta?” “Are you anti?”

And now he keeps asking, “What is …. in Arabic?”

I wish my grasp of Arabic is stronger to be able to feed his thirst for it. It’s a bit difficult having to juggle the older kids and Z and my own learning.

Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah.

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Living Islam, Memorizing, Outsourcing, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Time Management, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catching Up On Break

I’m on winter break and even though it’s a break, it’s realistically a time for me to do all those things I don’t get to do during non-break time. My January schedule is going to be really tight, so I’m just trying to get everything done during this break to maintain my sanity and health in January. InshaaAllah.

I printed  out Z’s lessons, and have yet to go through them and cut and organize them into his lapbooks. I decided to look for workbooks at Wal mart for him for times when I can’t sit and work with him throughout the week. Especially in January.

Yesterday, I finished figuring out S’ high school plan considering some changes we are making to it. She is designing her own Crochet I course and I worked on finding resources and planning out the rest of the courses she still has to take. I decided to use the Bedford Reader as the source for her composition section of her English 11 and 12, and use Mrs. Tetsch’s Homeschool Book Study for the literature component. I may check her writing myself or use WriteGuide, esp for January. In fact I emailed the admin to ask if I could add her on to N and H’s current course. I was also looking for a Probability & Statistics high school DVD course for her since she is about to finish her Algebra 2 in a few days inshaaAllah, and only found MathTutorDVD. I emailed them asking if they are also equipped with student workbook and answers and they said they are not, but that they always encourage people to look for cheap workbooks or use the high school Statistics textbooks for problems. So we might just do that for her 4th math course. I figured Statistics would be the next logical math course because she wants to major in Psychology, so it doesn’t make sense for her to take Pre-Calculus. I was googling at what is required to pursue Psychology in college, and it basically emphasizes on good strong writing skills, Statistics, Psychology/Sociology, and Biology. The only problem right now is that she hasn’t done any lab for the sciences that she has done ;Biology and Chemistry. So we’re either going to test out with CLEP or have her take an online course with CurrClick. I hope Kim will still be teaching then, when she is ready to take those courses. So last night and this morning, I sped read through the Bedford Reader and picked essay assignments for her. Once she is done with her Algebra 2 inshaaAllah, she should start on her English 3 composition part. I found Education Portal which I find to be quite a wonderful resource. It offers free courses in video format (which is the wonderful part) and it can be used to prepare for the CLEP tests.

So basically for S:

  • English 3 & English 4 : Composition and Critical thinking from Bedford Reader & Homeschool Book Study
  • Probability & Statistics – MathTutorDVD with separate test/workbook OR test out with prep on Homeschool College USA.
  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics – either with Currclick, or test out, or in community college.
  • World History – we already have the textbooks. I initially wanted it to be non textbook based but to make it simple we reverted to textbook.
  • Social Science elective – I found 2 on Coursera that I figured she’d be interested in and I was right at least on 1 of them. They are:
  • Why We Need Psychology
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior
  • Social Psychology

 

Today, I started planning out N and H’s high school plans, which I have done on paper months ago, but it needed resource searching. I ended up on a lot of websites, and one wonderful one I found was Stossel In The Classroom. I registered and ordered the free DVDs. So far we’ve been watching CNNStudentNews everyday, and so this would be a great addition to our current events and critical thinking discussions inshaaAllah. Can’t wait to use those DVDs!

One thing that I still find challenging to put together is English for all 4 years. For N and H, I figured I would use Homeschool Book Study, both semesters, and use Home2Teach as the composition component, and I found English Grammar 101 which I think I will definitely use for them for their 9th grade English. For 11 and 12th grade English, I might use the free online courses from Homeschool College USA. In fact I even found a possible Statistics course for S. I  may even utilize the recommended course of study for their English. For Science, this is where it troubles me. N loves taking NatureGlo’s science classes on Currclick, and I had emailed Gloria asking if her classes would count as a high school biology class and she said for me to check with my state requirement. I have yet to do so, but what troubles me is the lab component. I don’t know how to go about that. And I’m not really keen on doing their science with them. On the other hand, I think, learning Science hands on, nature notebooking etc is wonderful as opposed to doing it the traditional way. So I guess we’ll see on what my schedule allows then, when the time comes inshaaAllah. I’m trying to balance between doing too much unnecessarily or doing it the smart way. Because I  have to spend time with Z too, so it’s probably highly unlikely I would have time to devote to overseeing their science done in an innovative way.

For N & H:

  • English 1  & 2- Homeschool Book Study, English Grammar 101, Home2Teach or I may just use the resources under Homeschool College USA. I will also resort to using WriteGuide for their writing component. I don’t really look forward to doing the discussion for the literature section but I guess if I have to, I will. Maybe along the way I  might find an online Lit course with interactive discussion. Mrs. Tetsch’s classes are wonderful.
  • Math – we’re using Math U See and Teaching Textbook, though I like TT better because it’s hands off for me.
  • Sciences – I may  use the classes on Currclick or whatever I may find along the way. There is also Friendly Chemistry for consideration. And QSL Study Labs for H.
  • US Government – PASS is a great resource that S also used in 9th grade
  • US History – PASS also has US History and a lot of resources also on Homeschool College USA

For Z right now, I’m using an amalgamation of various resources, including Umm Nu’man’s A Muslim Child Is Born, Homeschool Creations, Confessions of A Homeschooler, File Folder Farm, Royal Baloo, Learning Page, Education.com, though this one has a limit of how many worksheets you can download per month. I printed a wonderful Calendar Notebook from Our Aussie Homeschool too.

Today, I found Head of the Class, which actually fulfills my inner inclination and preference for working with Z (as opposed to worksheet-based). I also came across Lesson Pathways again. I tried to register and realized I had already registered but forgot my password, so I hope to maybe look this over and hopefully cut out a lot of time looking for things for Z, and just use what has already been compiled.

As I was hunting on cyberspace, I also came across this interesting resource called Math Apprentice.

I realize I am far from done in this, but at least  Alhamdulillah, I got this much done. I’ll have to revisit N and H’s high school plan this summer inshaaAllah because we still have other plans that are still up in the air which may affect the normal course of their high school, especially H’s.

So far, Alhamdulillah Z has made significant improvement in his math. We did odd and even numbers, skip counting by 2, 10, counting to 100, adding by 1 pattern, and the concept of zero. I was anxious about teaching him these because I thought he might not grasp the concept immediately and I’m not that good of a math teacher, but alhamdulillah Allah made it easy and he got it from the start.

I also told him the story of Adam a.s. upon his insistence, and this occurred by accident, but I’m glad it happened. Recently as I was reading through Bedford Reader, I came across an essay that talks about Lilith who supposedly came before Eve, but whom the Christians hid. Quite interesting how the Biblical version of the story of Adam tends to want to put the blame on women whereas the Quranic version puts the blame on both Adam a.s. and Eve equally. Ironically, they are the ones now who accuse Muslims of oppressing women. It just goes to show that when you have a perception of something in a certain way, you may tend to find that fault in others even though it’s not the reality for that ‘others’. There is so  much emphasis on the idea that Muslim women are oppressed, which reminds me also of an essay in Bedford Reader written by a Muslim that depicts how the modern Western Society also oppresses their women in another more subtle yet torturous form. In reality, yes, it may be true that some Muslim women are oppressed due to lack of knowledge in Islam by the Muslim men and women and thus abusing what is not really in the religion, but the hijab and modesty itself, is not oppression. It’s starting to irk me how the history of oppression of women in other religions has set forth the movement of them going to the other end of liberating their women and then pinpointing these ‘oppressions’ in Islam. And even when we say we are not oppressed and we choose to dress this way ourselves, we are accused of being  brainwashed by the mullah. Oh come on! I guess that is not our problem, if people still persist to think about it that way. But it is a problem when they meddle and try to ‘liberate’ Muslim women who don’t know any better about the true teachings of religion. In their liberation, they’re only subjecting another kind of oppression on our Muslim women – the modern western society’s oppression mentioned in Fatema Mernissi in The Western Women’s Harem. I cringe at her usage of mullah and harem though, but I agree with her assessment of the suppression of women in the western society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Course Planning, High School, Homeschooling, Literature, Organization, Outsourcing, Z's learning | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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’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

More Need to Outsource

I began to stress out over S’ high school plan because of the recent setback concerning her going to attend TQE. At the therapy lounge yesterday, while Z was in therapy, I sat with my planner and started to map out the 3 older kids’ high school plan. For S, especially.

We agreed that she will start on Algebra II right away, but I was contemplating her doing World History along with Algebra II due to the the load of the TQE course. I don’t want her to do too many subjects such that it would detract her from truly focusing on TQE. So, we agreed that she would do World History along with Algebra II but that she would take it easy. We would have to sit down and plan out this course with its resources and assignments.

I guess I won’t worry about the other subjects yet for now. Nevertheless, I did start looking for online classes. I found these:

Write Guide

Home2Teach

Red Wagon Tutorials

Virtual Homeschool Group – free

The other ones that I found are ridiculously expensive! I don’t know how the homeschooling families afford to pay up to $700 per course per student! We can’t afford it. We love Currclick so far, but I’m also looking for other options just to broaden our choices.

Right now, I’m contemplating using Write Guide for S, and Home2Teach for N and H. I’ll have to explore VHSG more. As for Red Wagon Tutorials, I can’t seem to find the tuition information.

 

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Course Planning, High School, Outsourcing, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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