Teaching Textbook

2014 Week 1

I know. It’s been more than a while since I posted on Z’s weekly progress. MIL’s been here for almost a month now and the kids are enjoying her and we’ve been having halaqa for the girls at the masjid twice a week since the break in December, so I’ve been really busy, alhamdulillah. N’s been making sweet treats at every halaqa with her cookies and cupcakes. Z’s been my recording manager at the halaqa, ready with the IPad to start the recording once I start the halaqa. Once, I didn’t bring it and he whispered to me,

“Where’s the Ipad?”

Last night, as we were about to leave, he asked me, “Did you end the recording?”

Well, I tend to be more tech illiterate at these public speaking moments so I said,

“Oh no! I didn’t! Can you end it for me?” And he tech-savvily did!

MIL told me that when she was putting on her telekung to join the jamaah last night, Z went and told her,

“In the masjid, you don’t need to put that on. At home yes.”

LOL. Apparently, the boy has been observing and making his own conclusions!

Well, N is doing Algebra 1. H has started with Algebra 2, using Teaching Textbook, grudgingly since I told him to look out for MUS ALgebra 2 on vegsource everyday and he couldn’t find it before Jan2014. Our agreement was that if he couldn’t find it by Jan 2014, he will be using TT, because I cannot be bothered to peruse vegsource everyday and look for it when he can. S should be done with her TQ this June inshaaAllah.

All the older kids finished their Biology lab report during the break  and N has been reciting to me after Zuhr and Z also has been picking up again on his daily IQRA reading and surah, though for his surah, it’s been going slow. It’s ok. Better slow and steady than fast and furious. Literally.

With Z, I’ve been working with him on reading terms like author, problem, resolution, beginning, middle, end and have been using some simple book report forms from TPT. For math, I’m focusing on drilling him now and he’s improved a lot on doing subtraction. I also introduced Place Value to him using the TPT activity which I made into a file folder game. For 2014 calendar notebook, he didn’t want it to be the same as last year’s, so what I did was to put one worksheet per day instead of the typical daily work like in last year’s calendar. I also added a reading list for each month and so far, he’s been filling it up every time we read a book. I plan to up his math drill before we go into regrouping inshaaAllah.

Today, we read Ella Takes the Cake, which he read all by himself, somewhat reluctantly, but he got through it alhamdulillah! We also read Yucky Worms, and now, I stop and ask him to see how much he comprehends. He seems to have pretty good emotional intelligence, like N, but in terms of retainment of information, it’s pretty weak. He’d always say “I don’t know.” Then I’d have to ask again and sometimes show the answer in the passage and then he’d get it.

I plan to extend those readings into finding contractions in Ella Takes the Cake and in filling out a book report form that asks 3 interesting facts and 3 new things learned for Yuck y Worms. I also showed him a youtube video of a drawbridge after he finished reading Ella takes the Cake.

Today is my busiest day but alhamdulillah I feel like we accomplished quality this morning. I had him do his work in my room while I was in class. He’s also doing Arabic vocab copywork everyday now and I’d give him a star on the neatest written word.

I do worry about his information retainment and have a feeling like he might have the same issues as N. I hope not. InshaaAllah I hope those issues are addressed now so he doesn’t face as much difficulties as N is facing right now.

By end of this semester, I hope to significantly increase him in his narrative comprehension and retainment of exposition, have him learn addition and subtracting with regrouping, money with dollars, getting used to doing simple book reports, more fluent in his IQRA and better and more consistent with his surah, and I want him to know the meanings too. With the older kids, I hope to do more of Stossel’s video streaming, especially good for critical thinking and for N’s exposition comprehension. May Allah put barakah in all of this ameen!

And we have been watchng Salahuddin in Arabic, with the hopes that it would expose us to the Arabic more and be forced to learn and pick it up at least, especially for Zeyd. This happened after I came back home gushing with how Ust Nouman uses Salahuddin in his Bayyinah class to show sarf with some words.

Before this we were watching Umar series, and after it was done, we were missing watching something together. Salahuddin, we already watched it too, but Z is the one who keeps insisting on it now. Alhamdulillah. At least for the Arabic.


We had gone to Houston to attend Fiqh of Chilling and studied together for the exam. Of all the kids, S got the highest score. They enjoyed the class.





Categories: Al Huda Institute, AlMaghrib Institute, Arabic, Bayyinah Institute, Biology, Community, Copywork, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Log, Math U See, Quran, Reading, Teaching Textbook, Teaching To Read, Travel, Youth Girls halaqa, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

First Day of School Year 2013-2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We also read and looked through  A City Through Time.



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

Upcoming Road Trip

I have been really bad at updating this blog and don’t even know what to title it anymore other than ‘updates’. Anyway, we’re getting ready for an upcoming road trip to Oregon through California. We plan to drive on the Pacific Coast Highway, and Z is excited about the possibility of seeing orcas ever since he found a snapshot of a whale’s flukes on google map when he placed the man on the coast  of the Pacific Ocean by California. I’ve also been busy making his food for the trip and researching where we should stop on the PCH. We are somewhat limited in our time on the PCH, so I chose to stop at McWay Falls because it’s the shortest hike I can find and even though it’s a bummer than you can’t access the beach, the sight is supposedly breath taking, that it should be worth it. And if we’re lucky, we might see some migrating whales too! I hope! From a safe distance though. H is taunting me with “sharks”. The reason those whales will be swimming close to the shore (from what I googled) is to protect their babies from predators such as sharks in the deeper waters.

I also told the kids to research The Golden gate Bridge, the PCH, Seattle, but they’re not really taking me that seriously. I was too busy preparing Z’s food that I forgot all about making them research the stuff well before hand. I wanted to have Z have something like a map or a binder where he can mark our locations during the trip too but that would take time for me to make or search, so I don’t know. I don’t want to make things complicated and stress myself out, so maybe we can just do it the simpler way – Vlog, Photos, Atlas, and talking it through.

I did recheck out the book Humphrey The Lost Whale by Wendy Tokuda and Richard Hall for the purpose of this trip. We had read the book before (Z and I) and he liked the story. He now would ask me whenever he or I read a story,

“Is this a true story?”

Humphrey The Lost Whale is a true story about a whale who ventured into the Sacramento River and got stuck in shallow waters. The people had to take him back out to sea, so this story in itself is a fascinating one to read. I am thinking that this story is a great jumping board for our trip since we are also planning to go on the Golden Gate Bridge inshaaAllah. It should also spark a discussion on whales migrating.

H gave up on his QSL project and I emailed Mr. Phillips and he generously allowed H to join the next class. H wasn’t too keen on it however, and this made me mad, so I took away his Ipod and told him to work on it and not waste that money we had paid for the material and the course. I am still holding his Ipod until he catches up with where he is supposed to be in hie Algebra 2. He keeps making excuses in his Algebra 2, though the solution CD is already there. He keeps saying it’s hard. He keeps on wanting to go back to Math U see too even if there is no solution CD. We agreed that for Geometry, he can ask Vc if he has any questions about it since I am already saying I might not be able to help him with it. That was the reason I wanted him on Teaching Textbook in the first place.

S has started her Coursera course the beginning of last week. She is taking Irrational Behavior and seems to be enjoying it. Her writing is getting so much better too mashaaAllah. I was just checking her essay response to Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and it was really good in terms of vocabulary and fleshed out analysis. I may start her on Statistics soon and then she can start focusing on doing those Bio and Chem labs.

I’ve already started to plan out N and H’s high school study plan. InshaaAllah in fall, they will both take Biology with Kim on Currclick. That way, S can maybe join in the lab too and have the labs done this way rather than on her own. N and H will also then take Mrs. Tetsch’s Homeschool Book Study for their high school Literature. I want to enroll them all in summer with a writing course on Home2teach, but I have yet to decide which course to enroll them all in. N is to finish her Pre-Algebra hopefully by May, and start on Algebra 1 soon after. She is doing pretty well on her hifdh alhamdulillah, and I told her we might have a party after she finished Juz 29. That will give me a reason to bake a cake! Not that I need a reason…but it’s also something to celebrate and encourage inshaaAllah (the hifdh, not the baking)

Z is done with the last two pages and is now on Al feel. It’s challenging working with him when we start a new surah as he resists and starts to jump about wanting to do this surah instead or that one instead. He seems ok once we start on a surah, but doesn’t seem to like starting a new one. However, he has accidentally memorized surah Al fatihah, so I wonder if I should try a different approach for his hifdh.

Z has also been working on his workbooks on his own, to my surprise and pleasure. Makes it that much easier on me and it surprised me that he actually understands what I thought he didn’t. It’s been a while since I’ve actually done anything with him in terms of activities. Subhanallah…when my schedule gets disrupted, it’s so hard to get back on track. May Allah help me. Ameen.




Categories: Books, Course Planning, Family, High School, Math U See, Memorizing, Quick Study Labs, Quran, Science, Science labs, Teaching Textbook, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Classes for the Older Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

S, N, H classes

H seems to be enjoying his Magnestism class and last week, he made an electro magnet which works and a motor that didn’t. N also concluded her 1st quarter of Mammals class and asked to be enrolled in the 2nd quarter. She also expressed interest in the invertebrate class. It’s good that she enjoys these classes, alhamdulillah.

Hopefully inshaAllah, we’ll enroll him in the Static Electricity class. S finished her Algebra I and she said Teaching Textbook style of teaching makes more sense to her than Math U See, so I told her to start on Algebra II right away, as her high school schedule is a little ‘messed up’ right now due to circumstances not under our control. We need to figure out a plan B for her and her TQ course. In the meantime though, once she is done with PSAT, I want her to start her other high school subjects on top of doing her TQ course. Might as well. Which means, more work for me.

Right now, I have a kindergartener to homeschool, which requires a different kind of work than the older kids, 2 in middle school and 1 in high school. With Z, I do a lot of cutting and pasting and reading aloud and real life learning in context. With the older 3, it’s a lot of juggling online and discussions and scheduling and keeping track and yes, unfortunately, nagging. I tried leaving them on their own, but it didn’t work. I wish it did.


Categories: Al Huda Institute, High School, Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Math U See, Teaching Textbook | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Math U See VS. Teaching Textbook

We used Math U See for years. Then, S said that she didn’t really get Algebra I with Math U See. She told me this after she had done Geometry with Math U See. So I went to Vegsource and bought Teaching Textbook. Before that, I had bought Teaching Textbook Pre-Algebra for H. H did it, but he complained that it was too easy and slow. He went back to Math U See.

But it made me think that maybe Teaching Textbook is better for the girls. H is generally impatient. With his Math, he doesn’t like to show his work, everything is done mentally, and we keep telling him to show his work, whether they are right or wrong. I also like Teaching Textbook because it gives all the solutions. I don’t have to do anything. It’s hands-off for me. With Math U See, not so much.

So, S started doing Teaching Textbook Algebra I and because she is registered for PSAT in October, she’s moving faster. I ask her almost everyday where she is at her math. Today she told me,

“I love math now, so don’t keep asking me about it. I might hate it.”


“I don’t like learning things in a different fun way. I learn things better the other way.”

She means traditionally. Or with regards to math, she means she prefers Teaching Textbook.

“I actually understand it now.”

Nice. Hands-Off. Understanding. Love. I Like!

But for H, I’ll probably let him stay with Math U See, because he doesn’t like Teaching Textbook. N is still doing Math U See, but I intended to switch her to Teaching Textbook for Pre Algebra inshaAllah. I had tried with S, to use a method of math very much like Life of Fred, but she didn’t get it either. So subhanallah, it actually makes it easier for me if she learns things better the traditional way!

Categories: High School, Math, Math U See, Teaching Textbook | Tags: | Leave a comment

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