Science

Week 2 [Jan 15 & 16]: Wed & Thur

Wednesday :-

We all woke up around 3 am and sent Jdd off at the airport, and when we got back home, Z went back to sleep, not believing it was morning. He kept insisting it was night time because the sky was still dark. Hubs went to Fajr and straight to work, while the rest of us started our school day. We read Tthe Little Mouse, The Red-Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. I had been doing work and when he woke up, he did his calendar notebook and then I had promised to read a few books to him, so I read this quickly and then napped, because I had 3 classes almost back to back on Wednesdays.

He mostly did his worksheets on his own, mashaaAllah. He also added this book to his Reading List in the Calendar Notebook. I’m planning on doing some adjective-finding activity with him on this book, so we need to revisit it later inshaaAllah.

Thursday:-

He did his Calendar Notebook, and then I read There Was A Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea. This book is good for sequencing.

“What is a coyote?”

So I had to explain to him what it is and find something on youtube to show him. Then,

“What is a flea?”

And this is what I found, which is pretty nice except for the ending part, but at least now he knows what a flea is!

At the end of the book, I asked him,

“What do you think he’s going to eat when it’s morning?”

“The sun!”

And he added, “It’ll be night then.”

Then we read, Hatch.

This was a good jumping board for learning about the different birds, and so we went Youtubing again :-

Ostrich versus monkey, man, and hyena:

Ostrich Vs. Cheetah

Emperor Penguins Mommy, Daddy, and Baby :

Emperor Penguins Speed Launch:

Feeding Hummingbirds:

Great Horned Owl Eating:

Bald Eagle VS Coyote

Bald Eagle hunting

Oh yes, Z claimed that Hubs taught him how to make dollars with quarters using his file folder game. He wanted to do it with me but I was about to have class at that time, so I told him to do it with hubs. I don’t know if hubs actually taught him, but that’s my next plan to work with Z inshaaAllah.

 

Categories: Animals, Animals, Books, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Log, Reading, Science, Youtube, Z's learning | 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 5: Mon – Fri

Monday :-

We did the Long and Short vowels file folder games, and he actually did pretty good. Actually we did a lot of long and short vowel activities this day.

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I also started going for morning walks with H today. Last week, it was with S. The only reason I’m doing this is for Hajj, which is still not 100% confirmed, but I learned that that’s how it goes for the haji-to-be in the US.

I dropped S at the equine center and then we all went to the library while waiting for her to be done. She has started to volunteer there, and last week on Friday, she had her safety training. At least, I hope she is doing something she loves and craves doing while racking up volunteer hours for her high school documentation.

Later in the day, or was it last week, Z had asked me about a handwriting book  I had bought for him a while back at Walmart but haven’t started using. I told him that that’s for when he can writing his letters all nicely and neatly and that he can write sentences and then draw a picture. Lo and behold, he brought me the book, and started showing me a page that he had furnished. He had written a few ‘sentences’ and drew a picture of it. His handwriting was pretty good that I asked him,

“Who helped you do this?”

“No one! I did it myself!”

MashaaAllah! Alhamdulillah. May this be made easier and easier. Allahu Akbar!

Tuesday:-

Since we had gotten a lot of library books yesterday, we read some of the book. Today we read,

He really enjoyed these books and seem inclined to work on skip counting. We did the Skipping to Oregon file folder game too, and I helped reinforce the concept of skip counting using MUS math manipulatives (wow, these have lots of barakah it seems like). He’s been asking,

“I want to do multiplication!”

So I told him, “We have to learn skip counting first then.”

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Filling in the empty cards

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Using the MUS manipulatives to aid in skip counting

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Showing him the pattern

He was a bit hesitant at first, but eventually seems to enjoy it. He got significantly better at counting by 2s today. I taught him to count 1 number with a whisper and the second one out loud. He seems thrilled by that technique, but I could see him counting mentally when he was skip counting by 2s, 3s, and 4s. With 5s, he’s pretty good already because of the minutes on the clock that he does everyday with the Calendar Notebook.

He seems to have somewhat gotten the hang of Long and short vowels too. I found a couple of books at the library and read these today, and he seems to have gotten a better grasp at Long O and short O.

We also did the McDonald’s Farm file folder game and he told me he didn’t want to do the Long vowels part but only waned to do the syllables part. So we did, and he seems to get it right away. But I did manage to get him to do the long vowels part anyway and he did very very well alhamdulillah.

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We also read Penny and Her Marble

I noticed that he’s getting better at reacting and engaging with anything we read. I was asking him why Penny didn’t feel good, and he kept saying,

“Because someone is coming..” (he meant that someone would come to claim the marble)

I also asked him, “So is it right for her to take that marble? Can we just take something that we find like that?”

He looked grim and shook his head. And he added, “It’s like Finders keepers!” like what we had read when we read the story of Cork and Fuzz (which he loves!). So apparently, he understood this concept alhamdulillah. But alhamdulilah I’m happy that he seems to answer questions better during reading time. I was worried before about his hesitance in answering questions, but alhamdulilah now it seems like he’s ‘gettin’ with the program’.

I feel like we actually did a lot today. We also did the Past, Present, and Future Tenses file folder game though by that time I was tired and we didn’t really do it all the way. He seems to still be new at the concept so that one can use more revisiting inshaaAllah. He did do a lot of worksheets today though that dealt with graph reading, measuring, addition, subtraction, grammar (singular plural verb), handwriting. I took the worksheets that I had printed last year from Learning Pages. I find it a good way to cover areas that I might not think of. At first, before, I was hesitant in giving these to him because he didn’t seem like he wanted to do worksheets, and I didn’t want to struggle with him but he seems more inclined to them now alhamdulillah. So he actually spent a lot of time on that.

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I haven’t been doing hifdh with him that regularly though. I realize that I tend to put off or aside things that require me to cajole and coax him to do, and hifdh is one of them. Subhanallah. On top of that, IQRA reading too. Sigh. Suffice it to say, I feel bad about this. Need to pick up with this.

The 3 older kids started Biology today. Today N and H’s load significantly became heavier, because they have Biology at 8- 9am, then American History at 10:30 – 11:30 am, then Literature at 12-12:45. Starting this week, they will be very busy. I looked over N’s planner too and hope that she abides by it and disciplines herself. This is such a struggle for me and her subhanallah. It wears out my patience and I’m sure it wears out hers too.

I also just realized that PSAT is coming up in October and was suddenly in a frenzy about this. S is not too happy about having to take it again. I asked hubs and he said yes, she should. So, he will register her tomorrow and so she will have to study for it again and take it while we’re at hajj (if we go inshaaAllah). I also told her to look over her high school plan for the rest of the years that she still has remaining. I worry a bit about that, but keep telling myself that Allah will take care of it because she is doing something now that is to seek His pleasure. I also realized that with S’ high school planning, I wasn’t that experienced, so a lot of her courses are poorly planned. It’s much better for N and H though. I just ask that Allah makes it easy for S’ entrance to college. I have to look into enrolling her at the local community college.

I also realized that N is pretty good at vocabulary and I realized that one of the reasons why is because she really wants to learn it and as she says, “So that I’m not dumb.” I hope the therapy this semester helps her a lot biizhnillah. H is not too keen on his Worldly Wise assignments though. N is promoted by the Home2Teach instructor, so right now, I’m just waiting for H’s instructor to email me his promotion (or not), and then will register both for the next writing classes. N will be taking Writing the Hero’s Journey inshaaAllah. I’m looking forward to checking much improved essays from all of them.

In preparation for Hajj, I’ve also asked around and arranged for friends to check the kids’ essay while I’m gone.  I also just realized that for their American history, Biology, and Ancient Egypt assignments, I am the one in charge. Great.

Subhanallah, after all these years, I also feel like I’ve never really learned to be patient in juggling multiple children while homeschooling. I can multitask but I’m not patient while doing it. Snapping is a very common occurrence when I’m juggling teaching and tending to more than 1 child at one time. If anyone wants to ask me how I homeschool multiple children, I have to say,

“I’m not the best person to ask.”

Somehow, Allah nurtures them and they learn anyway. All credits to Him. Alhamdulillah.

Wednesday:-

It was rainy almost all day today. Z did his calendar by himself and he did a lot of worksheets after that. I grew impatient because I had so much to do today, another Dr.’s appointment and classes, and cooking. Yes, after all these years, I still get agitated having to cook while teaching the kids. We didn’t read any books today because he was dawdling with his worksheets, so ‘school’ with me ended just like that, with me leaving him because he was dawdling too much.

He did good on his worksheets though. There are questions on how many more is 10 than 5. That is a new concept for him, but he kind of got it, but didn’t really like to do it. He dealt a lot with subtraction and I noticed that it’s harder for him to do subtraction and for a while he got confused while using the ones and ten rods. I really had to sit there and supervise him on it. We did Skipping to Oregon too today, and I showed him the pattern with the skip counting by 4s, but I don’t think he really got it. He quickly wanted to be done with it, so I didn’t really push it either.

He did show comprehension of using exclamation mark though when he answered No on a question on the worksheet. He said, “Exclamation mark point.”

Lately he has been ‘scared’ of the bathroom, especially of bathing and using the toilet. I don’t know why.

Anyway…

The older kids started their Ancient Egypt Currclick class today. S is taking it also for 1/2 credit and it is during her AlHuda break. I reminded N to use the Cornell method of note-taking in these classes. She hasn’t been using it. in the therapy, they worked on reading strategies for novels. I figured that in summer, they helped her with understanding non fiction, so this is good that they’re not working on helping her with understanding pieces of literature. May Allah put barakah in this. Ameen. She is supposed to use the neon pink notebook her therapist lovingly cycled her bike to get, and fill it with reading strategies homework that she had given N.

Thursday:-

I want to maintain a walking routine in the early morning everyday. We started Last Friday and so far we have been doing it everyday. The only thing is, I don’t like walking too late when all the kids and parents are out for school, so it’s a bit tricky now that fajr is later. By the time we’re done with our post-fajr Quran/Arabic, it can get too late to walk outside. It has been balmy lately so it’s really nice weather for walking. Like today, we took an hour to just do the exercises for the Allama family for Arabic. I already hear a lot of cars out, and I have to take H for his shot and bloodwork, whcih has been put off so much so that today is the last day to take him for it. I’m feeling grumpy and agitated with all these doctor office visits which has been going on for 2 weeks now and will still be going on next week too. I hate having to leave the house for stuff like that. So that’s been contributing to me being snappy and yelly too nowadays. Sigh…I just hope things taper down a bit before we have to go.

We read All About Eggs and What am I?

He had already read these books on his own though, so the guessing was not so much guessing on his part. I did try to have him pick out rhyming words in the What Am I ? book, but he soon grew tired of it when I also asked him what vowel sounds he hears from the words. He really doesn’t like the Phonics stuff. I am contemplating whether I should continue, but I have a very strong feeling that I should because it will be needed later on, even if he already knows how to read. I did it with the older kids too and my own personal philosophy of this matter is that we should teach both. It’s just a matter of which one first to teach. Since he already knows how to read, obviously, Phonics come second, but it gets a bit strange at times because it’s like going backwards. However, it doesn’t mean it’s any easier though..not for him at least.

He did a lot of addition on his own, and seems to really enjoy it too. I had him do the First Grade Sight words too, which initially he didn’t want to do. I coaxed him to do 2 pages and he seems to better grasp creating a sentence now. Alhamdulillah.

So basically it seems like our ‘school’ schedule goes like this: He starts with the Calendar Notebook, and then we do various things of random choice on my part and his. There will be some days where we will read books, and there will be some days where we won’t. It all kind of depends on how I’m feeling and my work schedule. Most of our activities utilize the file folder games, and worksheets, and when I feel like it, online games. At times I will also let him watch Reading Rainbow. I have to admit that with all of this supervising, I have little energy and patience left for his IQRA and hifdh, though I tried doing it at night. With Hifdh, I need a lot of patience, as does he, but I also don’t want it to become something where I’m always angry at him for, so when I don’t feel like it, I leave it. Which in turn also makes me feel bad. As for the IQRA same thing. It makes me wistful when I think to the times when he would just come and understand that it’s part of his daily routine and bring the book to me and read it, even if he negotiates 1 line per day. Same thing with hifdh, though he’s a bit more reluctant with this one. He’s having a hard time now with Humazah ayat 4. So maybe, I should just muster up the energy and discipline to resume the IQRA with him on a daily basis. But realistically, with this hajj business coming up, I am already stressed out. So I don’t know. It makes me feel very bad that this is not a regular routine right now especially seeing that we may go for hajj inshaaAllah. Astaghfirullah…These are one of those days.

Friday:-

I didn’t really do much with Z today though he did work on his Calendar on his own alhamdulillah. Took H for his bloodwork in the morning. I had classes back to back and by close to noon time, I don’t feel like doing much anymore. I still need to check the older kids’ work though.

S and N baked stuff and brought them to the girls halaqa last weekend:-

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Rolling up the Pandan Roll

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All wrapped up. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to take photos of when it was done. We were rushing to the halaqa.

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N made cupcakes

N is at surah hashr now and mashaaAllah doing good on her own accountability alhamdulillah.

 

Categories: Biology, Books, Community, Copywork, File Folder Games, Grade 1, High School, Horse Therapy, Learning Aids, Learning Challenges, Log, Math U See, Phonics, PSAT, Science, Volunteer, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Obsessed with Physics

H loves his Science Jim class. Alhamdulillah. These videos are from the Newton class he is currently taking this semester. InshaaAllah this boy should be ready to take high school Physics.

He made this F=Ma experiment and filmed it. Pretty impressive I should say.

He also did an Inertia experiment and filmed it.

He also did an acceleration experiment.

This is when he was taking Science Jim’s Static class.

Categories: High School, Physics, Physics, Science, Youtube | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Lab Sciences

While planning S’ remaining high school years, I was having trouble fitting in her biology and chemistry labs, which she didn’t do even though she finished doing the two courses. I was going for her taking both the classes again with lab, but it might take too long and be too heavy of an academic load then. As I was planning out N & H’s high school plans last night (it was a long winter night last night), I suddenly came across websites that triggered a chain of actions and further triggered an alternative way to solving this problem we have.

I knew about this before, but having Barbara Shelton’s Lab Science gave me a lot of hope and a solution. I browsed through the sites first and browsed through Lab Science afterwards. The solution : S is to do some of the experiments at home and watch the virtual ones to complete her Biology lab component. For Chemistry, we might end up using Joy of Chemistry after all. With this, she won’t be bogged with all 3 lab sciences to do at the same time when she is done with the Taleem course. InshaaAllah.

It even led me to think that maybe we can do N’s Biology course the way she is doing science now but still include a lab component without doing it the traditional classroom way. Now, that’s a very joyful thought.

Of the websites that S can use to do her lab component for biology:

Oklahome Homeschool Online Resources for Biology Lab

Lab Bench

Biology Weblabs

Serendip

Ehow 1

Ehow 2

 

 

Categories: Course Planning, High School, Science, Science labs | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Classes for the Older Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Z Book: Bugs Are Insects

I love these Let’s Read and Find Out Science books! I’ve been hunting for them at the library and Z loves them too! They’re great for learning science. I wonder if they have Let’s Read And Find Out History books. They should.

Yesterday, Z chose for me to read to him Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell.

He’s really hooked by the ladybug, and so I googled ladybug on Youtube, since he asked for it.

We watched ladybugs laying eggs,

ladybug being eaten by a Venus Fly Trap,

and eating aphids,

and I love this new find- Painting with Mr. Kindergarten!

We watched it and Z painted his own ladybugs; one red, one black with colorful dots. We also did the butterfly paint folding and some playing with paint with toilet paper rolls that I’ve been saving for him.

I printed Umm Nu’man’s Ladybug Math Mat and counting activity, and we spent quite a while doing the addition activity, much to my surprise! Z doesn’t really like to count, read aloud or pretty much anything where he has to use his voice. But he was excited that I had printed some more thing for him and so I quickly cut out the ladybug counting pieces and he patiently waited. Pretty soon we were doing the addition problems, but with a twist. I made up stories when we did each addition problem, and he loves it! That’s what kept him going actually. some of the times, I forgot to make up a story and he would say,

“Ok, where are the ladybugs going now?”

So we had ladybugs getting ready to go swimming, go to the playground, have a party, getting in a van, etc. And I also had been googling activities on ladybugs and saw a math mat activity where a baking pan is used and so the pieces were magnetized. I decided to glue magnet strips on the ladybug counting pieces and we used them on the baking pan. It was MUCH easier and more organized in a way. I love that he loved this activity because I feel like his math is a bit poor compared to his reading.

 

And subhanallah, I found out that this boy can really read mashaaAllah. I knew he can read but since he doesn’t like to read out loud when I ask him to, I never really knew how well he can read. I was spending time with him with the activities and thenI also printed another copy of Umm Nu’man’s winter color cards (though I printed it on portrait format so now I have one set of cards bigger than the other, which I guess is fine. It makes for easier separating if we only want to use 1 set of cards for a game) so that we could play Snap. We played Snap and then he wanted to know how to play go Fish, but I told him to let’s play memory game first so he would know the names of the colors in Arabic. We did this but of course we need to do more so the Arabic colors are consolidated in his vocabulary.

So I decided to take the Bob Books I had since the 3 older kids were younger and I asked him to read it, encouraging him by saying that this book once belonged to S, N, H and that they used to read it. So he did and mashaaAllah he did very well. Before long we were reading more of these books and then I got Wake Me Up In Spring and he read this book all by himself, out loud to me. Turns out, his reading speed is pretty high. I had to help him a bit with the ‘ed’ past tense but he did very well. All this while he’s been able to read but keeping it to himself. Well, hubs said that when hubs would read a book by mistake on purpose, Z would correct him. So we knew he can read, but just not how well. Alhamdulillah, doing the Glenn Doman reading method really works, even if I just did it with him when he was a baby (actually i did it with him when he was about a few months old, I think even soon after birth when I felt ok enough to do it with him). I remember, he was still in the crib when I did it. But because of his allergies, I stopped because I had to focus on dealing with his extensive eczema. I resumed it when he was older, at about 1 yr old, we did also on powerpoint, with sound effects, and by and by I did it but I didn’t really complete the program. But subhanallah just that little exposure helped! When I did it with S, I didn’t realy finish it either because she was already reading before I finished it. With N and H, I didn’t complete it either, as they were learnng to read also from watching Between The Lions along with the program I was doing on them. Alhamdulillah, Allah made it easy in this regard. And he wasn’t just reading it blindly, he understood what he read too, as evident from his smiles and responses as he was reading the words out loud. Allahu Akbar!

So With Z, I think I have to focus on his handwriting and math and especially his Quran. This actually motivates me to work more with him on Quran. InshaaAllah may Allah make that easy too. Ameen!

Yesterday, we were eating chips and all of a sudden as he was about to pick up the bag and put it bag in the kitchen,  he said,

“North, S, East, West!” while pointing in the right direction. He later asked me what S stands for. He read it on the bag of the chips bag.

Today, I went googling for more ladybug activities and ended up joining Learning Page. I had used it way  back when the 3 older kids were younger too so I was somewhat familiar with it. I printed some worksheets and inshaaAllah, I hope he works on them and improve in handwriting and benefit from the other activities.

Last weekend, during our tennis Sunday, Z had been observing a ladybug too, so the reading of this book is quite relevant to his most recent animal-experience. In fact he was telling me as I read him the book about the ladybug’s wings.

As we were reading this book, I reminded myself to always bring Allah into it. It’s so easy to forget an focus a lot more instead on the science. So when he was reading Wake Me Up In Spring, we also talked about how out of Allah’s mercy, He makes the bears sleepy so that they hibernate in winter. In winter there are not food for the bears, so sleeping is easier for them. I also realized how just talking about Allah providing for His creatures actually trigger alot of thought process in a child, subhanallah. When we talked about this, he asked me questions that I never expected. It’s amazing subhanallah. It also benefited me because it made me reflect about Allah in ways I never would have based on my adult thinking. Subhanallah.

Categories: Animals, Arabic, Books, Kindergarten Math, Learning Aids, Learning Games, Learning in Context, Living Islam, Reading, Science, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capping it All

So, we’ve been sick, somewhat minimally following the election (mostly through CNN Student News), and waiting for the color cartridges to arrive. I went through a determined phase of martyrdom of trying to make my own activities for Z, because this is my natural inclination that has been strictly curbed by other commitments as of now. But, through eye pain, headaches, I did it and made some activities for Z which we’re finally able to try out this morning after installing the new color cartridges last night and printing them and cutting them last night. I still have some activities on prophet stories to complete (yes, apparently,  I’m too stubborn to leave it at that and decided to make more). I remember when I started homeschooling S after I pulled her out of preschool, I went to bed at 1 am preparing a handmade food pyramid lesson plan. That is how obsessed I can get. Back then, I probably had more flexibility and time to indulge in that, but now, I have other commitments that seriously strictly curbs that kind of indulgence. However, there are times when my creative side just fights its way through. I have left creative activities for so long that my kids balk at the thought of them inheriting their artistic skills from me.

“You can’t draw, Ummi.”

So when I drew the images for Z’s activities, they came and said,

“Ooh, that looks professional.’

“You drew that?!”

When I admired my masterpieces a bit too much, Hubs said,

“Stick to real niche; writing.”

But that’s a whole other story. Drawing right now is more immediate and gratifying than writing. I’m on hiatus with writing right now.

It’s interesting how creativity has its own branches. N can draw from imagination, well H can too, but I can’t. I can copy drawings, but I have trouble drawing from imagination. S I think is good at copying drawings too. When she makes hands-on projects, I always look forward to seeing the end result. Right now, she is working on a diorama for World History. Years back, she had made a project on cave formation and it was awesome.

For H, when he works on a project, he focuses more on the engineering aspects of it. Aesthetics is one of the least of his worries. He would do his designs and work on them, and his projects are not less awesome. Rather, I would say that his projects reveal his strength.

N is the interior designer type. While S is good at coming up with ideas for her projects and actually carrying them out, N is good at the finishing touches. somehow though, I feel like she feels she is bound by some limitations, that seems to curb her potential. I know she has a lot of potential, but somehow, she probably feels she can’t do as well as H and S, and this limits her. She does her own thing, but I notice that she always limits herself and this is a shame, because there is a reservoir of talent in her that can be polished to produce greatness. I hope she realizes this for herself, because I’ve been telling her this, but she needs to realize this on her own for it to take effect.

All this creativity is a blessing from Allah. I try to remind them to use these blessings for His sake. It’s so easy to get carried away with using these blessings in ways that can earn His anger, and then what do you end up with for yourself? It has been a struggle in this area, so may Allah guide us. Ameen.

After we finished Tafseer An Nabaa, I gave them the test, and they’re supposed to come up with a project. Right now, N and H are working on their project which is due this Friday. H already produced two 3-D representation of two scene-sections in the surah, and N is working on a PPT presentation for hers. I’m excited to see their end results.

One thing that has been lacking a lot in my working with Z, is arts and crafts. Subhanallah, I really can’t wait to finish this course inshaaAllah and hopefully have more time to spend with him. I have an inkling of worry that my schedule might be tighter, but may Allah give me barakah in my time so I can do all that I need to do. Ameen.

Quran and Arabic

Bayyinah Podcast has been down since hurricane Sandy, and so our daily tafseer sessinos have been kind of hanging. We started listening to Quran Cover to Cover on Bayyinah TV on surah Al fatihah, and last night, I printed out the handouts for the Arabic With Hosna also from Bayyinah TV and sent them with Hubs for Kinko-ing today.  I plan to inshaaAllah alternate tafseer/Quran with Arabic grammar throughout the week, with Friday of course being special for kahf Quran Cover to Cover. I feel somewhat lost without Bayyinah tafseer Podcast. Subhanallah, I realize how much we do rely on it for tafseer. May Allah reward all those involved in that project and others that enable easy access to understanding and learning Quran for the masses. Ameen.

With my own hifdh, checking H’s review, checking N’s tajweed and fluency, I haven’t really been consistent with Z’s Quran reading sessions. I feel scattered with regards to his ‘schooling’ but I’m holding out till Feb inshaaAllah when I will be done with this course. Though I have a feeling like I’m so addicted to taking classes that I might still have the same problem. Right now, I’m all hyped up about the Bukhari class, and am already thinking I really need to study grammar well because that may aid my hifdh. It’s a process. Baby Steps, and consistent dua. InshaaAllah. InshaaAllah.

Literature and Writing

H and N’s literature teacher, whom they love because she is so nice, got sick and went to the hospital, so they’ve been missing 2 lit classes. I enrolled them in the Write Guide class, and so far, it’s been good alhamdulillah. Their writing instructor is helpful and she helped them with their essay prompts, but then, because they didn’t have lit classes for 2 weeks, they got to work on personal essays with her. It’s perfect timing subhanallah. Allah’s planning and decree. I am able to see their exchanges and last night, I was looking at their drafts and revised drafts, and I thought to myself,

“I wonder if this is helping them.”

I noticed that what the instructor points out to them, are some of the same things I’ve been pointing out to them too all these years. I wonder if they should also attend writing classes that are more instructional than a personalized one. So far, with this one, everytime they send her their essays, she would respond with suggestions and corrections. I haven’t yet seen any instructions or tips in writing that I kind of expect to see. But maybe there is no need for it because the kids are used to beginning with outlines and that she is maybe focusing on their writing skills more. Then I think to the course I took in 2004. It does actually help your writing when you have someone giving you feedback. it is personalized and even though it is not the classroom type of teaching, it does help. So I hope it helps them and affects their other writing inshaaAllah, and not just these essays.

I may also enroll them in Home2teacher classes starting in January, just to I cover all bases (that I can think of anyway).

Math

I can’t check H’s math. I just can’t, so hubs does it but sometimes he is tired and can’t do it. I can check N’s math though, it’s more straightforward.  We sat down and made a schedule for her to finish this Zeta by end of November so she can start on Pre Algebra. Seriously, I can’t take Math U See with higher math. I’m going to have to figure something out with H if he still insists on doing MUS instead of Teaching Textbook when he gets to Algebra II.

With Z, I’m trying to work on things like skip counting, recognizing Arabic numerals and addition and subtraction, ordinal, telling time, etc. We just read the book, One Watermelon Seed, and I had him count the fruits and vegetables with me. He resisted at first, but I made it a condition for me to continue reading the book to him. I was actually surprised that he can count to 20. Though, when we tried counting to 30, after 29, he said, twenty-ten. Since he laughed, I don’t know if he was joking or he really didn’t know. But at least we did the skip counting by 10. I don’t like teaching skip counting, because I feel like if it is confusing to the child, I don’t have the skill to explain properly. I just hate explaining math, period. I feel like I don’t do it well.

We played the number domino this morning, with the cards I had made, and Z is able to recognize those numbers, even the Arabic. But he did have trouble recognizing how much items there were on the domino cards. He doesn’t seem to like counting because apparently it ‘takes time’.  I had made a spinner-addition and graph activity for him too, but haven’t tried it yet today. I never got to actually do a full blown Glenn Doman Math on him and now he is already 5 and I still have those cards that I made from when the older kids were younger. What a waste, subhanallah.

History

H and N are taking the History Crime Scene Investigation class and I haven’t been keeping up with it. But I have been telling them to send me their weekly homework nonetheless.

I hope they benefit somewhat from that class, though I feel it may be a little difficult for N to understand. I decided to continue with History Through Literature with them on the side. I told them to read Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf, but seriously, my schedule and their schedule..we haven’t been able to pursue that seriously so far.

S is doing it off her textbook, as much as I hate using textbooks. Oh well. If it means less stress right now, I’ll take it. Oh, but she does look for other resources too, so I guess it’s ok. Not just textbook-based at least.

Science

H is busy with his soldering kit. I even have to nag him off of it to do his other school work. I’m contemplating having him take Science Jim’s Winter Newton’s Laws class. I’m not worried about his science. N is busy with her Mammals class. I did ask her to have an assignment for me every week though, because I don’t see her exploring more after the class. I worry that she might not be utilizing what she learned. Considering her interest in writing fiction (and oh, the kids are all doing NanoWrimo this year), I suggested her assignment be to make a character sketch of one animal of her choice each week. She now owes me 3 character sketches. In the beginning, she misunderstood me and actually gave me a sketch of a wombat. I explained to her that I want her to develop a character of one animal and how when you write fiction, usually, the first thing you start with is developing your character. She loves biology, particularly animals, and I’m thinking that a way that she might enjoy learning about them would be to incorporate them into another area of her interest – writing. S is busy with her Algebra 2 and World History, so she’s not doing anything else because I want her to focus on her Taleem Quran and not rob her of that experience.

 

InshaaAllah it’s all good.

 

Categories: Activity, Al Huda Institute, Bayyinah Institute, Creative Arts, Electronics, Juggling Multiple Kids, Learning Games, Living Islam, Memorizing, Project, Quick Study Labs, Quran, Science, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts, Writing, Z's learning | Leave a comment

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