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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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.

 

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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

Week 3 : Mon-Wed

Monday :-

 

So, I’ve been pushing myself to do the long & short vowels with Z. I tried it last year but he didn’t seem ready so I left it alone. Today, we did U (using the file folder game) and E (spring Peeps) again. I think he’s getting the hang of it inshaaAllah. We also did the Five Senses yesterday using Umm Nu’man’ Five Senses pack. I looked for book on the five senses at the library today. I expected to get better books. The calendar notebook actually provides a good coverage of areas from penmanship to telling time. I can gauge what he needs more work on just from doing the calendar notebook everyday. He needs work on Place Values. He’s good at telling time mashaaAllah and even with coins. Maybe he will be ready to work with dollars and coins soon. I’m thinking that we may continue with the calendar notebook while including harder activities as he progresses into higher grades inshaaAllah. It’s a nice all-in-one ‘documentation’ of his progress in a way. I love the file folder games because we can do it again and again and if he doesn’t know the material, it’s a nice teaching introduction and we can always revisit it. I also started thinking today that we will probably do addition everyday until he gets proficient at mental addition and then move on from there. The file folder games help with this too. I noticed that when he plays addition games online, he is a little slow. So my hope is that if he is proficient at it mentally, it will encourage him to practice it online too and he would then be more willing to play those math games online. Right now, I sense a lot of avoidance on his part on games that he finds hard because his skills are not there yet. He’s unwilling to develop those skills online. So we’ll have to do that offline.

 

Tuesday:-

I had limited time today but I think we did quality stuff inshaaAllah. He did his calendar and everytime he does the place value, he always puts the amount of the number in the ones place, so I continue to ask him to represent that number with the ten rods and ones cubes, and point out that the ones cubes are only (however many they are for that number). We also did the prepositions in Arabic today, managed to squeeze that in before I had to get ready to go to my Dr appointment.

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After I came back, he came to the door with ‘The Little Red Hen’ that we had checked out from the library. When I was leaving the house, he was sitting on the couch poring over the library books we had checked out and I’m guessing that by the time I came home, he was dying to have me read them.

“Read this, this and this!” he said. I hadn’t even gotten my shoes off yet!

So I read The Little Red Hen and remembered to speak out loud my own reactions to the story so that he will learn to do this too (future journaling while reading a piece of literature). He asked me to read Cork and Fuzz (he LOVES these books) and we made a deal that he would read some pages and I would read the rest. He doesn’t like to read aloud, but with that arrangement, he did. I tried to gauge if he understands what he’s reading. Pleasantly surprising, he does! His phonetic skills could use some work in some words (understandably so), but his comprehension seems good. ALhamdulillah! I even asked him some inference question (why was Fuzz sniffling and sad?) and he said,

“Because the chip-mouse was mad.”

Then I asked, “Why did Fuzz kept saying ‘But…but..but’?”

He said, “Because he can’t swim.”

He remembered from the other books of this series the differences between Cork and Fuzz. Alhamdulillah. I’m so happy with this, as I always worried about his comprehension despite him being able to read (decode and decipher). Allahu Akbar! I’ve been making dua that teaching him be made easy and that learning for him is enjoyable and easy and for Allah to put barakah in it, because seriously, my time it quite limited due to the learning and teaching I am doing right now. So, in order that I would be able to serve Allah in these other ways, may Allah put barakah in my time with Z. Ameen! One thing I’ve learned :- nothing is impossible for Allah. Just ask. Even if it sounds impossible and absurd and illogical.

N is supposed to interview an adult for her writing assignment for Home2Teach. I suggested Dy and emailed her and she said yes. This is good in that it will give N experience in interviewing an actual person and give her that much more experience in writing different kinds of writings. I love Home2Teach so far. H is doing great too!

So far, I’m still checking their essays for Literature, and so far they are sticking to the schedule.  Alhamdulillah. One thing they may need tangible daily reminders for is updating their high school documentation forms on Google Docs that I had made for them.

Hubs had told H to create a Linkedin account and today, I suggested he start studying to take AP courses since he’s quite ahead in Math right now on top of skipping a grade. Hubs also suggested he take MOOC classes and add those to his LinkedIn as he foresees MOOC courses being important in college application in the future.

I realized alhamdulillah that Revved for Ramadandid benefit H and N. I was stressed out all Ramadan because I saw them sitting and attending but not paying attention. I know. The class was Mon-Thur, 2+ hours each day, and went through the whole Ramadan. I would have loved it if we have something in the community for the youth, but as it was, there weren’t, so online was our salvation. I’ve heard N and H refer to ‘Wisam said’ more than once now. Apparently, some things did stick and made an imprint in their hearts from what was taught in Revved for Ramadan. Alhamdulillah.

I was talking about the Syrian boy whose hair turned grey from stress, and mentioned about the Prophet saw’s hair turning grey when Surah Hud was revealed. S added that she covered that today in class. Then H and N also added that and what they learned from Revved. H said that it’s surah Hud and Yunus and all the sister surahs because they all contained somewhat the same message.

I guess, I have to settle with the benefit of attending course whether online or onsite being small but impactful and long lasting rather than high in quantity but low in quality. That’s probably how the reality is anyway. Alhamdulillah. I kept asking Allah to make it benefit and for the whole Ramadan I didn’t see any sign of them benefiting from it. Subhanallah…hastiness is one of our weaknesses. it certainly is mine. Being a mother, you want the best for your child, and it’s just hard to not see it. I just have to increase in my tawakul and patience inshaaAllah.

S has taken Abnormal Psychology with Coursera last semester. She claimed it was hard, but I think she is being perfectionist. She is overly anxious about being able to cope with the burden of college work. I truly beliece she can because she has the discipline. But I think the perfectionism may be part of the cause of her anxiety.

Just yesterday, N and I were talking about creating some file folder games for Z. I told her, “I think you’d love to be a preschool or kindergarten teacher! Because you love kids.” She said, “Well, I already want to be a writer.” “You can do both.”

for Arabic with Husna, we’re now in Sarf, specifically Sarf Sagheer and Sarf Kabeer. I’m enjoying it. Since H already learned this with hubs for quite some time, it’s just N and me who need the practice. So far so good. I find memorizing Sarf to be harder than memorizing Quran. Sarf is like a tongue twister to me.

 

Wednesday:-

Today is my busiest day what with a doctor appointment for Z. But alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, we got in some quality work. At least I’d like to think it’s quality work. Z did his calendar notebook as usual. He’s getting  better at place value, but I just noticed that his coin counting is not quite mastered. So far, he’s been doing it on his own based on the previous day’s count, but he can’t count by 10s and then switch to by 5s and then switch to by 1s. So that’s something to work on inshaaAllah.

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We worked on the Arabic prepositions using the file folder game I created from UmmSara’s post. We only started using it yesterday because he wanted to try something new. But today, when I took the file out, he said, “I don’t want to do that.” Again, see how he is avoiding anything that might cause him failure. But we did it anyway. I noticed that he had some trouble picking up the Arabic words and putting them in line with the English meaning. After we did the matching pages, I showed him the prepositions in Arabic and English equivalents. Then, because we ended up on that page that tells me to play a game with it, Ii told Z to look for a toy house and a toy mouse. Because I didn’t want to make and cut and color a mouse. So we found S’ barn and the horses in it. We pretended the barn was a house, because I don’t know what a barn is in Arabic and too lazy to look it up. I never liked teaching Arabic to the kids because of this limitation in my own mastery of it. And no, it hasn’t really motivated me to learn Arabic. The only thing that motivates me to learn Arabic is to understand the Quran and appreciate its beauty and meaning. For conversing, writing, reading…err…not really.

Anyway, we did a few rounds of this, and he loved it. I was thinking I probably need to use these vocab in our daily life and now I remember this is another reason why I stayed away from teaching Arabic to the kids! It’s hard enough remembering to speak Malay (my own native tongue) to the kids, let alone a foreign language that I don’t master! I’m just not a foreign language learner. I consider English like a first language actually, even though my kids would vehemently disagree.

I also told him we will do some addition practice. He didn’t want to do it, so I said,

“If you get really good and fast at this, you can play many games on the computer that has addition!”

He perked up. And cooperated. And so we did 2 ladybug addition placemats, Alhamdulilah!

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I also finished up the Pizza Activity Pack worksheets, and this particular one deals with letter tiles and manipulating the letters. I told him to get Scrabble, and we did the worksheet, but he didn’t use the letter tiles, he just did it mentally and finished the worksheet quickly on his own. I pointed out to him also that the ending sound is what makes words rhyme. Not sure if truly grasped it …yet.

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S’ horse volunteer business is I hope, working out. The lady emailed me saying she wants to meet personally with S to talk and see how mature she is and that volunteering with her for kids under 18 will be on an individual basis. So I hope this works out inshaaAllah.

As for H, he’s been dilligently weeding the backyard mashaaAllah despite allergic reactions. He’s cleared a lot of it. It looks like REALLY hard work. It keeps raining too (ALHAMDULILAH) and he said, “Oh no, the weeds are going to grow again.” Allahumma Sayyibann Naafi3a. Ameen.

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I updated the older kids’ homeschooling individual course documentation forms on Google Doc on Tuesday. I told them to add a reminder to update it every day. I can actually check that they did because I have to initial ‘Work Done’. This time, for N and H, I feel much better about the high school documentation because I learned a lot from mistakes for S.

Categories: Activities - Ages 10 and up, AP Courses, College, Grade 1, High School, MOOC Courses, Ramadan, Thoughts, Z's learning | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What We Have Been Doing

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

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We also did several of the file folder games

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

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Person, Place …

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bear Says Thanks

I was down the other day, and up yesterday alhamdulillah. I think it may be my diet, that my body may not be able to tolerate certain foods anymore and when I do eat them, I get fatigued and lethargic and all I want to do is sleep. When that happens, that’s it…everything goes down the drain. I feel left behind and work piles up and if it happens again and again it feels like a never ending vicious unproductive cycle.

Anyway, yesterday I had Z do his calendar. He can pretty much do it on his own now alhamdulillah, except I feel he is still confused with the place value, which is fine for now. While he filled in his calendar and scanned my students’ test and assignment for me, I cut and made more file folder games for him that I had printed last week. So, after he was done with his calendar and I was done with the file folder games, S had a break from class and the other two kids had also finished their online classes, so I scanned the rest of the tests because Z had started to use the Ipad to take photos instead. Meanwhile, I told S to do some addition problems with Z using the ladybugs placemats.

Then, we played the file folder game. We did Spring Peeps, to which Z said, “That’s hard!”

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I sensed that listening for the long e and short e is not that easy for him. But he did it. I put a mental note to myself that activities like this helps rather than sitting with him with a Phonics book and trying to teach him long and short vowels. I may need to look for more audio or video resources for him in this.

Then we also did the oo, ue, eu endings file folder game. He did pretty good with this because he can read visually very well. But I realized I had to explain to him what ‘due’ means and this is pretty easy because I just said,

“Like the library books are due.”

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Then we played the Punctuation file folder game even though I know some of the stuff in there are above his level. These file folder games are great teaching tools actually. I love them! Never had them with the older kids though. For this one, he had some trouble reading the words such as “exclamation”, “quotation” (he kept confusing it with the word ‘question’), “parentheses” and even “period”. In the middle of playing this, I went and took the book Bear Says Thanks that we had checked out from the library. It was the perfect book to use to apply what was learned, because the words are not that many and there were a lot of commas, quotation marks, exclamation marks and of course periods! I think he recognized the punctuations pretty well and was pretty engaged in the process. It was a good learning process for him.

Later on we read the book and I asked him to listen for words that rhyme. It took him a while to find them and I had to prmpt him by then saying,

“Ok what rhymes with bear?”

and when he still didn’t get it, I had to say,

“Does bear rhyme with share?”

I also pointed out the homonyms bare and bear since he is very visual and can get this easily. I also pointed out the synonyms cave, den, lair. It’s nice that the author uses these words in the book. I”m thinking I should extend this reading with some activities but it will have to be very simple. If I had more time, I would  have made flash cards for the rhyming words and stuff. Ahh…..for now, we’ll go KISS.

It was a good day though alhamdulillah.

These are the online games that I found pertaining to rhyming activities:-

Cookie Preschool Rhyme Time

Digby’s Garden

PBS Rhyming games

We also did some vowels and watched the Vowels Movie on Starfall. When I pointed out to him the vowels, he replied indignantly but smiling, “I knowww!!”

Vowel Movie on Starfall

I also found this : Gus and Inky’s Underwater ADventures

Categories: Books, File Folder Games, Grade 1, Homeschooling, Language Arts, Learning Aids, Learning Games, Phonics, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Copywork & Fractions

Today we continued working on the Pizza Lapbook I had made for him last school year. As usual, he did his Calendar Notebook and the K12 Number copywork. I have to sit with him when he does his copywork to make sure he’s not writing from the bottom up. This might take a bit more patience on my part. For now, I can’t leave him alone when he’s doing copywork since I realize that I have to guide him verbally and sometimes by modelling when he’s doing copywork. What helps him stay engaged in it though is when I describe the motions in terms of physical actions like “Jump down, run, circle!” I have to remind him to write below the dotted line for the lowercase letters. He seems to disregard the lines and I have had to bring his attention to these when guiding him.

Yesterday, at the Dr’s office, I brought some of his file folder games. We did the Fraction Fish, and in between filling out forms and tending to him, I hoped he somehow got the idea. We revisited it again just now, especially because in his Pizza Lapbook (courtesy of Umm Nu’man from A Muslim is Born), there is a worksheet on fractions. I started looking for Youtube videos on fractions because I don’t have any manipulatives to teach him fractions right now, and I’m not using anything in the kitchen…yet. Here are what I found that helped:

This one above is a great intro to fractions

We love this one !

This one is a great real life example. I’m making a mental note to demonstrate the function of fractions to him in daily life inshaaAllah.

This one is great because he can see how the different fractions can be made from one apple ! 😀

 

Categories: Copywork, File Folder Games, Grade 1, Lapbooking, Math, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Our Eid 1434

So, the photos are finally uploaded, and though they’re not that many, we did have a full day on Eid this year alhamdulilah.  This year we made egg rolls to take to the masjid in the morning. I made egg rolls and also Z’s version using the Vietnamese rice paper wraps. This time, I fried them, and alhamdulillah they didn’t spit much at me. They turned out pretty good. So, while I took the egg rolls to the masjid for the potluck, I also brought Z’s rice rolls in a separate container. In fact, I had made treats for him before Ramadan and froze them, specially for Eid. So, the day before, S helped me put them in treat bags, and tied them with ribbons to make them look festive. On Eid day, I put these in a paper bag and brought them to the masjid for Z. So far, every year, while people are eating this and that on Eid day, all Z had to eat were just his cookies and muffins that I had made and frozen before Ramadan and put in treat bags. This year, alhamdulillah for his rice rolls. At least he’s not looking at other people enjoying all different kinds of food and waiting to get back home to eat his food.

I’ve realized that rather than spend time making food for others, my time may be much better spent making his food due to his allergies. What really frustrates me when I make food for others, is that, especially when I make Malay food that are foreign to others, some people would take a lot of them, even if they’re just trying it, and then when they don’t like it, they throw it away. There is so much food wastage happening in our community that it’s really disturbing and disgusting. The masjid has tried to address it and so far what seems to work is serving an equal amount to everyone and if there are leftover, then they can have seconds. Otherwise, it’s really shameful how mothers take a pile of food for their children and their children don’t even eat that much and the food ends up in the trash. That really is against what our religion teaches. With potlucks however, there is no such supervision, so people are taking food as they please. So I have come to a point where I feel it’s better for me to just spend the time and energy to make food for Z, especially seeing that he is always left out anyway when there are potlucks, than make food for other people just to have them waste it, especially since I figure it’s foreign food and they might not like it (which is fine, but at least have the common sense to take just a bit to taste and not take a whole lot and end up throwing them away).

At the masjid, they passed out candies to the kids, and so, what we did was, hubs took Z’s treat bag and gave it to the person giving away the candies to the kids when it came to Z’s turn, so instead of getting the candies, Z got his own treat bag. We did the same when they were giving out gifts to the kids. Hubs took Z’s gift bag and passed it to the person giving out the gifts when it was Z’s turn. Z was elated with his gifts, At the end of that day, he kept saying

“I want to do that again!” (referring to the whole Eid day)

I would say then that our mission is accomplished (in making Eid a special day for the kids even though we are living in an environment where there are so many other festivals and celebrations that we don’t really celebrate). Alhamdulillah!

His Eid treat

His Eid treat

Z's rice rolls

Z’s rice rolls

Egg rolls

Egg rolls

Gift bags and treat and rice roll

Gift bags and treat and rice roll

Categories: Allergies, Community, Eid, Family, Living Islam | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Rainy and Cloudy Day

I woke up to gentle rain and cool breeze this morning, alhamdulillah. I should have eaten oatmeal for breakfast this morning instead of the one slab of pancake S had made. I think there is definitely an issue with my blood sugar, because when I eat the wrong thing, I feel depleted of energy and don’t feel like doing anything, and I have a feeling this is what leads to me not really doing anything with Z, or any of the older kids, but mostly Z. I am literally out of energy when this happens. To make it worse today, we went to the library and all I had eaten this morning was this piece of pancake. i was on ‘work’ mode and I managed to do the Calendar Notebook with Z, with a lot of impatience, because we were trying to leave the house around 8:45 for the library.

We went to Kinko’s and they took an hour, so in the meantime we went to Big Lots and I bought some stuf and then wen to Best Buy. I already felt weak and fatigued when we were out and about, and ate 3 granola bars, but when we got home, I read about 3 books from the library to Z, and then didn’t really feel like doing anything else and just fell asleep on the couch. N and H were attending the Meet & Greet for their Literature class. I only woke up because H screamed crazy when the class just crashed.

I really think I should have eaten oatmeal this morning, like I did yesterday morning. Yesterday, I didn’t feel tired at all, not like today. Subhanallah. If this is part of growing old…wow…

Even then, yesterday I made sure I did my hifdh revision for that day and N’s too, and Z’s too. Today, I recited some to H in the van on the way to the library and I hope that gives me a head start for the rest of the day.

Today, when we did the Calendar Notebook, I remembered to take out the file folder that had the Arabic names of days in the week and weather in Arabic. It occured to me that a bulletin board is a great idea for it, but I didn’t want to make one, so I remembered this piece of metal decorative hanging thing I had bought from Hobby Lobby years ago because they were on sale. I had worked on one for a while, intending to use it as a multicalendar that would accommodate both the Gregorian and Hijri calendars, but it never came to fruition because the magnets didn’t stick well to the glass beads, so I abandoned that project. I took it out and improvised, basicaly just using it as a metal backing where I can use magnets, and what is great is that the whole thing is portable too. So I think I will use that to display the Arabic name of the day, weather in Arabic and put the Hijri Month on. Now my only slight worry is “Will I have the energy, will, remember to change and update it everyday?”

weathermagnetchart

Categories: Arabic, Hijri Calendar, Learning Aids, 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.

photo 1

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.”

photo photo 5-1

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.

photo 4

photo 3

photo 2

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

The Sunday School Teacher

So…..N now volunteers at the Sunday school. It has been like that for a while now. S quit because she couldn’t stand the little rowdy kids who wouldn’t listen (lol). But N seems to love working with the little kiddies. In fact, so much so that she is like the teacher that the kids love!

She plays with them, lets them ride her a horse. Once I came to the masjid and found her being ridden by the little girls. She said she has always wanted a baby sister and that’s why she loves playing with the younger girls. Hmm…how about that?

S has resumed going to volunteer at the girls and boys club with Jn. She doesn’t have patience with young kids. Oh boy. In this case, N is a lot like hubs. Maybe S is kind of like me.

Alhamdulilah…at least they’ve kind of discovered their niches.

 

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