Productivity

What We Have Been Doing

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

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We also did several of the file folder games

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

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Person, Place …

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tucson, AZ & Productivity

008 We went to Tucson last week, tagging along with hubs for his conference. This time, for Z’s food, I asked hubs to just ask for a fridge in the room and so I just cooked food as I would if we were eating at home, froze them in small ziplocs and we brought our cooler and I put them in insulated lunch bags. By the time we reached the hotel room, they were still frozen so I just transferred them to the fridge. The ones in the insulated lunch bag stayed frozen the longest (since the fridge doesn’t have a freezer section). Hubs even asked for a microwave, which we used to heat up leftovers of Chef Alisah’s delicious food!172

We drove there Monday after S is done with her TQ class, and dropped by Whole Food for greens before going to the hotel. On Tuesday, all of us except the girls went to the pool, and they slid on the 180 feet water slide. S had her TQ and N didn’t want to come. That evening, we all went to this Bosnian restaurant, and it was our first time (not hubs) eating Bosnian food. It was a LOT of meat for us. It was supposed to be for 4, but for us carb-eating Malays, that was too much meat, so we took them home and put them in the fridge and they lasted us for the rest of our meals till we left on Thursday! Alhamdulillah. It was delicious though, the chicken was moist and flavorful and the meat, delish! For Z, we heated up his pasta and brought it with us and he ate it before our food reached the table.

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S in her TQ class. It was nice to hear her class even while we’re traveling. And mine too! And this time, Nouman too!

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I had brought along Z’s calendar notebook but only did it with him on one of the days, because by sticking to our regular schedule and taking them swimming and I had to make up my missed class on Thursday, it left little time for me to work with him. But at least we got something done, alhamdulillah. I foresaw January as being very tight for me, so whatever I am able to get done, I am grateful for, alhamdulillah.

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Z loved getting on this golf cart. We were transported by it the night we arrived and the day we were checking out(since it was raining then).

On Wednesday, because I had class, hubs took the kids hiking in the late afternoon. I was left alone in the room attending my class. That morning, all the kids had classes, for N, throughout the morning, from 7 – 11 am. We still stuck with our Tafseer and Arabic With Husna routine throughout the stay in Tucson alhamdulillah. Though on Wednesday we weren’t able to finish watching CNNStudentNews.

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We don’t have any saguaros in New Mexico, so you will only see these in Arizona.

On Wednesday and Thursdays, I took H and Z swimming and alhamdulillah, using the noodles, 3 of them wrapped around him front and back, Z used his feet and arms and swam a lot with H. H is able to swim pretty well from what I am able to assess, alhamdulillah. Z is still a little scared, though he could stand in the pool with his head above water, he refused and relied completely on the noodles keeping him afloat. But at least he swam a lot, and I hope it helps in making his upper body stronger as that is the focus in his occupational therapy.

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On Thursday, before we left, we dropped by the Asian grocery store to shop and of course, where there are Asian grocery stores, there are Bubble Tea! I’ve been looking for tapioca balls and we finally found them at the Asian grocery store. So hopefully we can make our own bubble tea soon. When we arrived home Thursday night, Z kept saying he wanted to go back to Tucson and he kept asking for it the next day too and the next day. He loved watching the video clips I took of them swimming. We all enjoyed our time there alhamdulillah.

Now it’s back to work. Last night, the girls were asked to fill in for a sick teacher for Sunday school and today, both S and N went to the masjid to fill in as Islamic studies teachers. While S was preparing for it last night, she showed be the book they are using, and in it, it says that the fruits that Zakariya a.s. found with Maryam a.s. were brought in by the people and that when she said, “This is from Allah,” she meant that it was a blessing of Allah that those people brought her those fruits. This is the first time we heard of this interpretation, so it became a bit of an issue, and eventually we decided that it is best that when she does this passage with the students, that she inform them that based on what she is aware of, this is not the case. So on Saturday, all 3 kids went to volunteer at the soup kitchen, and today, the girls went to teach at Sunday school. They said the students were pretty well behaved alhamdulillah and listened to them! One of our concerns of having S teach was that they might not listen to her because some of the older ones would be close to her in age, but alhamdulillah they listened. And in Tajweed class, where an older Saudi sister is teaching, S was suddenly asked to translate ayatul kursi in English to the students, and alhamdulillah, as S had already done it in TQ, she was able to do that. Subhanallah, a blessing from Allah. To be able to read from the mushaf and translate it. Alhamdulilah, Allahu Akbar! It’s an indescribable feeling! Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah!

So alhamdulillah, it’s a productive weekend for the kids. H spent time playing basketball tonight with a boy, which is part of an effort to have my friend’s kids to like coming to the masjid inshaaAllah. May Allah bless the effort and give the taufeeq for our youth to be attached to the masjid. Ameen.

 

 

 

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Allergies, Community, Family, Homeschooling, HotelSchooling, Living Islam, Outdoor, Productivity, Soup Kitchen, Travel, Volunteer Masjid | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OKC Day 3

Wednesdays is one of our busiest days in terms of computer use. Juggling this at home is hard enough. In a hotel room, with 2 laptops and 1 Ipad, it was harder still. But alhamdulillah, it went okay, except N did miss a video showed in her mammals class. But at least she can watch the recording for that one. I was worried about my tajweed class, but alhamdulillah it went much better than I expected. H’s Magnetism class was okay too. All problems was on the teacher’s side.

I also managed to get in some Quran Center activities for Z this morning. He finished gluing the missing words for Al Ikhlaass, with a lot of prodding and coaxing. His therapists also face resistance from him, and what they do is just be firm and tell him he can do what he wants after he does what they want him to do. So that’s what I do too. He wanted to do the memory game, so I had leverage. After he finished gluing, we played the memory game. While playing, I read out the words and asked him what he got. It went something like this,

“Oooh! Mama got Ahad! What did you get, Z?”

Seems like he recognized As Samad, lam, qul, and surprisingly, even yoolad. Then we played the board game, and I did the same thing, just to try to get him to recognize the words and ‘read’ them by sight. I also had him do the matching activity for surah An Naas, but when he saw those words, he began to say he couldn’t match them. I prodded him and he managed to do it, but it was clear that those words are new to him. We have been working on Al Ikhlaas only all these days, so he was quite familiar with those, but not An Naas. He loved the games the most, and I can’t help but thank Allah for giving Umm Nu’man the taufeeq to come up with these various activities mashaAllah!

Amidst all the productivity, I realized that I had forgotten to tell the kids to do their math. So this morning, I told N and H to do their math but they weren’t able to watch their DVDs because the mac doesn’t work for those DVDs for some reason. I also didn’t do their Wordly Wise that I had painstakingly scanned and printed during the chaos of planning and packing for this trip! And I’m about to have class in about an hour, so there is no way I can do it with them now. starting tomorrow, I will be busy with the public speaking workshop, so, looks like they’re going to have some kind of ‘vacation’.

All I can do now is rely on hubs to be productive with them. Travel – Dua. My most reliable hope.

We didn’t go out today though I did think of letting them walk to the Downtown library by themselves, but I also keep thinking of child abductions and missing children incidence in this country and so I think I’ll keep them in the room even if they are a bit noisy. They’re playing games on IPad. Sigh. Oh well. They did read up Oklahoma a bit on Monday, but that was it. Whenever we travel, I am always interested in reading up on the place we are traveling too, and I have always tried to share this passion with them, but they don’t seem very interested and it frustrates me. All I can hope on is that these experiences do have an imprint in their memory and will one day make meaningful connections in their brains that are of some benefit.

Allahuman fa’na bi maa ‘allamtanaa wa ‘aalimnaa maa yanfa’una.

Oh Allah benefit us with what You have taught us and teachh us with that which would benefit us.

For there are a lot of things out there that one can cram into one’s memory that are of no benefit whatsoever. May Allah make us of ulul albaaab and fill our minds and heart with only beneficial things. Ameen!

When I was in class this evening, hubs went out with the kids. They walked to the Botanical Garden, and took some photos. Then they went to Bricktown to get some photos for me since Z had deleted the photos I had taken when we went on the water taxi ride on Monday.

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They came back with Briyani for dinner. They had also gone to pray at the masjid we saw by the OK Halal Meat & Grocery, and said that it was huge, had a water fountain and that there are 4 masaajid here in town! Wow. I don’t know much about the Muslim community in OKC, but I am of the impression that it’s not that big. but 4 masaajid! Wow. They even have a school. How come I don’t hear much about the Muslim community in OKC though?

Poor Z. We were eating Briyani for dinner and he just had his white rice with serunding. As a mother, I was torn between feeling sorry for him, heartbroken, and wanting him to learn to live with his food limitations. The kids keep saying I am spoiling him when I dote over him but how can you not dote over him when he is so patient over this? He usually looks at us eating and he knows he can’t eat, and there is this forlorn look on his face. He doesn’t usually say anything though. He looks at his own food, doesn’t say anything, and eventually, when he realized it’s eat that or nothing, he eats it. When we do get food for him in restaurants, which is a very rare occurrence, I LOVE seeing the joy on his face. He doesn’t complain, he displays no tantrums. The most he does is turn away from the sight of us eating what he can’t eat, and eats his snacks. He would now even say he doesn’t want to eat something that I’ve prepared. Sometimes, he would state that he wants it this way and not that way. I can’t stand fussy eaters. I really can’t, and I don’t want to raise sons who are fussy eaters, who might burden their future wives, so when Z does this, I put my foot down, even when I feel sorry for him. He can’t afford to be fussy. He had low iron during his infancy, and I think he’s short on a lot of other nutrients too because of his allergies. But Allah is Ar Razzaaq, He will nourish and nurture him as long as I put in the effort to do what I can. So I’m worried but not that worried. His rizq has already been decreed. What he will get, he will get and what he is not meant to get, he will never get. Alhamdulillah.

Anyway, hubs bought him a bag of halal marshmallows that is exclusively only for him. That is supposed to make up for not being able to share our dinner. While we were eating and I was looking at him being left out, I asked Allah to make him patient and strong from this, and so, May Allah strengthen him through this and form his character into one of perseverance and utmost patience. Ameen. And yes, of course, may Allah also cure him and make him outgrow all of these allergies completely! Ameen.

Categories: Activity, Family, HotelSchooling, Productivity, Quran, Teaching Challenges, Travel, Z's learning | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Caterpillar Farm …

I guess that’s what we have now; a caterpillar farm. H and S finished making 2 terrariums for the caterpillar and a few days ago they transferred 3 caterpillars to the terrariums. It’s pretty cool actually. They even ‘decorated’ it with some smooth rocks. I had asked,

“What are those rocks for?”

“Decoration.”

Hmm. Interesting. They treat it like an aquarium. N’s beta fish had died. H’s too, recently. H’s fish has been with us for almost 2 years now. Now, the only fish that is living is S’.

They even named their caterpillars. Well, N and S did. H didn’t even bother to. He didn’t even transfer his caterpillar to a terrarium yet. He plans to make one more. Right now, it’s still in the jar. I was looking at their caterpillar one night as I was locking the doors up, and one was trying to climb up the wall to try and get out probably. The next morning, N’s caterpillar was missing.

She looked for it and tried to gently dig into the soil and eventually found hers already burrowed, ready to pupate. We were surprised though because the last caterpillar they took, was VERY huge when it was about to pupate and these were not that big. Yesterday, Z and S’ caterpillars also burrowed, ready to pupate. Now, only H’s is still on the soil surface. Probably ready to pupate, but H really needs to transfer it to a terrarium soon.

The girls seem to be really interested in this project and are even googling and reading up on caterpillars. I asked N yesterday,

“How would you know if it’s a girl or a boy?”

“If the cocoon is lumpy it’s a boy, if smooth it’s a girl.”

I then told her to really document all this because I feel it would be a good start towards a Zoology course possibly for her high school. She already keeps kind of a chart. S too, but I’m not sure how dilligent they are at updating it. Yesterday they were playing with the caterpillar (before it burrowed of course). They were all in the sunroom, on the floor, and the caterpillar was out and they were playing with it.

It would be an interesting experience especially for Z to witness this transformation and learn about the life cycle of a moth. I checked out some books on it but haven’t had the time to read them to him yet. My busiest days are Wednesdays and Thursdays and today I have a class too and I have to prepare for my students’  session on Sunday, and catch up on my notes from yesterday. I’m feeling a bit stressed out too. I”m asking for a cancellation of my article but the editor hasn’t replied to me yet. This is the first week of class resuming so I can only imagine how tight things would be after this. Hopefully S gets to go to Canada soon inshaAllah. We are submitting her application today. May Allah make it easy Ameen.

So it seems like I won’t be reading to Z on Wednesdays and Thursdays. At least he’s getting some stuff from his therapy sessions too on Thursdays. The only thing about that is I feel that whenever I leave the older kids for 2 hours like that, they waste their time and it really stresses me out because when I come back, I find things that are supposed to be done, not done etc.

Just now, I had to spend time talking to them, more like lecturing because I’m at the point where I”m ready to burst. We’re resuming Seerah and I was explaining to them how this is the time when they should be using their skills and time to be really productive, and my point is not that they are productive, but productive in Allah’s way, in pleasing Him. I feel like my chest is so tight with yearning for them to really understand this. I am vaguely aware that sometimes you have to show them, model it, and in terms of projects I’m not doing that because I’m doing other things. Subhanallah, the wisdom can’t just be imparted like that. What I know now, I wish for them to know it as well or better than I do, for their own good. When you’re an adult, you have to worry about many other things. At their ages now, they don’t have much to worry about except studying. I’m not trying to undermine that, but I also told them that the reason why I give them work is because I see them wasting their time. I have given them chances before in the past to be productive on their own, and I’ve left them with no structure for months but they didn’t really use it and I can’t bring myself to see my kids wasting their time like this. So we went back to structured schooling.

Sometimes I feel like it’s a vicious cycle and right now I feel bad because I should have read that dua before lecturing them. It might have penetrated their hearts better. Sigh.

I told them that this is the time when they should be really using their skills and talent to be productive in pleasing Allah. We were talking about the Seerah project and my long term vision for it. They’re really good at drawing and I feel like we can really produce something that would benefit others and would be a means of sadaqah jariah and beneficial knowledge for long after we’re gone with this. If they spend their time just like other kids, they will just be average. Why would you want to just be average? Subhanallah….oh Allah, please make them understand and internalize this. I didn’t do a good job of relaying the information because I want it so bad for them that I just tend to get angry at them for wasting their time. It’s hard being a parent when you know things your kids don’t know and you know the mistakes that are made and you try to warn them of it but sometimes they have to experience those mistakes first before understanding what it is you’re trying to tell them. It’s like warning a person to take this route and that route so they won’t fall in a ditch or run into a thorny bush, but they don’t take you seriously, and then they do fall into that ditch and they have to backtrack and detour and you feel,

“If only they’d listen to me!!”

but that they had to fall into that ditch in order for them to understand what you’re telling them. Argh!

And since Z deleted all the files in the camera, I am not able to upload them since they’re not there. Argh!

Categories: Animals, Homeschooling, Productivity, Project, Thoughts | 2 Comments

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