Quran

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 2 [Jan 13 & 14] : Monday & Tuesday

Monday:

Z is still sick today. He did oil pulling and then I told H to heat up his tortilla for him, but then H came up and said Z is pretending to be weak and sleepy, and doesn’t want his tortilla. Then H pulled Z into my room and he did look sleepy, which was weird because he was fine when he did oil pulling. I gathered him up and his forehead was sweating. He was hypoglycemic, so I quickly told H to heat up the rice porridge I had made for him the day before and fed him that and his soymilk. He fell asleep and woke up a bit later and we resumed our school work. He did his calendar, a few worksheets, his Arabic copywork, to which he said,

“I want to get 3 stars.”

“Ok, try your best then,” I said.

I ended up giving him 5 stars and he exclaimed in delight,

“Five stars?!!”

“Yeah, because you did such a good job!”

Then he made iqaamah and prayed zuhr with us and he read his 3 lines of abata, recited Al feel, Al Kauthar, An Nasr, Al Quraysh, and Al kaafiroon to me and then we reviewed al Maun which he had forgotten. I focused on correcting his vowelization and explained to him that when pronouncing dhad, the tongue elongates like one of those long skinny balloons.

We had read Yucky Worms last week and I had wanted him to do this activity but we didn’t get to do it, so I had him do it today. I had him fill out the 3-2-1 worksheet about the book and had him choose 3 things I learned, 2 interesting things and 1 Question I have. He looks more engaged in this activity. I dread asking him to write because as of now, he still has trouble forming sentences and keeps saying “I don’t know,” when I ask him to come up with one even with a lot of prompting. But with this 3-2-1 worksheet, he’s writing out the sentences once we agree on what he’s going to write. He even holds out his palm telling me to stop helping him once he realizes he knows how to write a certain word. If I already spelled out the word that he knows, he will hold out his hand to my face and say,

“Aahhh!”

But it looks like his writing has improved a LOT alhamdulillah! I remember how painstakingly I had to sit there and coach him on making them all the same height and on top or between the lines. Alhamdulilah now he’s doing pretty good.

We watched some youtube videos on earthworms:-

Last week on Friday, or Thursday, we did do significant work too. We went over Ella Takes the Cake and looked for all the contractions in that book. When he found them, I’d write them on a small whiteboard and ask him what that is expanded. That was a pretty good exercise for him.

He has also been doing drilling on subtraction and addition and he loves it when we do this on that small whiteboard. It saves paper too! Just uses ink though.

Tuesday:-

Today felt like a very long day. Z woke up very late because they probably slept very late last night. I spent hours with N, doing her comprehensive assist for Sarah Bishop. I admittedly do not like this session at all, but she needs it and it’s my responsibility. Sigh, things that you still have to do even though you don’t like doing it.

I also had her do her work in my presence since she has an issue of not completing her work, though I did notice sincere and eager effort to rectify that after I gave her my all Sunday night when I realized she didn’t hand in her Home2Teach homework on Friday. That was chest-hurting and head-hurting for me. This must not be good for my health, nor her well being.

Z did his calendar, and gave me troubles with refusing to eat his oatmeal and being picky about food. If it’s one thing I truly abhor in my heart, it’s picky eaters. Especially so if they happen to be MY children.

He did his worksheets in the Calendar Notebook and some of them are the First Grade word sheets where he also has to make up a sentence with the word he’s rewriting again and again. I was still working with N on her Sarah Bishop and Z was asking me to help him form a sentence and I told him he cannot say “I don’t know,” anymore and to just try to come up with a sentence and then I ignored him and just went on working with N. A while later, I noticed on those pages of his, he had written the sentences himself! I made sure I pointed that out to him and commended him for it. Allahu Akbar! Alhamdulillah!

Later on he had a doctor’s appointment at 2 pm, which we didn’t even complete because R said he looked fine and she doesn’t want to have to bill me. While waiting though, we did some math drills on the small white board. He loves this so far. However, I noticed that he is no longer using the addition technique I had taught him; to choose the bigger number and count on from there. So he ends up using his toes to do additions, and uses my hands too. Tonight, I insisted he use my technique again. But, that was a very good idea for waiting in lounges; to do math drills on the whiteboard. So far, he loves math drills, alhamdulillah. I was even thinking,

Ya Aleemul Hakeem, please make him like his namesake, make him of the raasikhoona fil ilm, of the mukhliseen!

Categories: Animals, Animals, Arabic, Books, Copywork, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Log, Math, Quran, Science, Teaching To Read, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Week 4: Mon – Fri

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

Monday:-

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

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

That seems to keep him motivated for now.

Tuesday:-

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

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

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Tad

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

Wednesday:-

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

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

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

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

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

“Why do you think?”

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

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

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

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

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Doing subtraction using the MUS ones ‘rod’.

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

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He got hooked on this website alhamdulillah.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday:-

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

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

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

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

Friday:-

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Book 4

I gave Z a preview of IQRA book 4 the other day as he is finishing up Book s, and since then, he has been super excited to finish book 3 (skip what is remaining even!) and jump to Book 4. Today, as we were about to start reading it, he flipped the page to Book4, and I had to firmly tell him we have to finish book 3 first, We only have 1 more page of book 3 and so hopefully inshaaAllah, on Thursday, he can start Book 4.

I tried doing hifdh with him, but he has this voice issue. His pronunciation of the Arabic letters is becoming much better, I think because we now read it everyday, whereas before, he has no practice with it. He used to be able to pronounce them well but due to lack of practice and usage, he lost the ability but now Alhamdulillah hopefully we’re back on track. His voice though; he can’t yell. Same issue with N. Both of them will not yell to ask for help. They can scream when startled but they can’t shout at will. So, with Z, I have trouble getting him to utter the surah with a strong and clear voice. I honestly don’t know how to help him get his voice out. So help me Allah.

With N and H, we just finished tafseer of Surah Abasa this morning, and I have been rather slacking in the area of making up a test for them for Naaziat and Abasa, and I was just thinking about it today, and I just have to get to it soon inshaaAllah. But we were praying one time and I read Naaziat, and after salah, H said,

“You read Naaziat and I understood!”

Alhamdulillah.

We’ve been contemplating and looking into something for H recently, something major, but just today, I have been feeling somewhat uneasy with the idea. So, we just  have to really buckle down and really work hard on our daily routine of Tafseer and Arabic with Husna in our journey of Quran and Arabic. I’ve never actually felt better about our daily routine. May Allah preserve this good and increase us in it and keep us istiqaamah on it, Ameen!

 

 

Categories: Living Islam, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Z's learning | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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