Posts Tagged With: Al Huda Institute

Week 2 : Quran and Prayer

On Thursday, I managed to cover the lines Z would read of his ABATA, so he read 6 lines, 2 for each day. I also noticed he had about 2+ pages to finish book 4, and so I told him,

“You’ll finish book 4 soon inshaaAllah!”

I even counted the lines and predicted that he would finish it in two weeks inshaaAllah.

“Then you can go to book 5 and then 6 and then read Quran! S, N and H read Quran when they were your age! You remember the video of N reading Quran?”

His eyes lit up and as the memory of that video clicked in his mind, he nodded enthusiastically. He seemed excited. I even asked him,

“Do you want to read the big Quran or the small one?”

“The small one.”

Hmm…I guess he’s used to using my mushaf when doing his surah. I personally prefer him to use th big ones though, and so I opened the big one and showed it to him, saying,

“See, this is bigger and easier to read!”

“No, I want to read the small one.”

Well, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

As he is turning 7 soon inshaaAllah, I will ask him to choose between Zuhr and Asr, which one he wants to commit to. This was how I introduced salat to the older kids. When S turned 7, I asked her to choose between zuhr and asr, and whatever she chose, she will have comitted to it even if she is sick, which is a good practical lesson in how to make salat when you are sick and best of all, it teaches them commitment. I like this method so far, because it is gradual and they learn to commit to one salat at a time and not all 5, and they learn to hopefully perfect it, learn what to recite in the different positions, know the details of the salat they are committing to, before adding the next one, in about a few months. By the time they turn 10 inshaaAllah, they would then committed to all 5 salawaat. With the older kids, it worked. While we were traveling, they also still had to pray and so they learned how to pray when traveling.

With Z, I’m focusing or have been focusing on him perfecting each position and he has perfected the iftiraash, and tawarru3, and his sujud and ruku and even getting up from ruku and going into sujud. Soon, I plan to introduce him to what to say in ruku and sujud. Short ones and then hopefully, by April, he would have at least know how to pray with the pillars. Tashahud usually comes in a bit later.

We had gone to Dallas, and I had talked with a sister who took Dream and her two teenagers, age 17 and 15 are now TA for the Dream program mashaaAllah! On the drive home, hubs and I talked about the possibility of signing up S for the sisters public speaking workshop with Qalam Institute, and H for the Dream program, whether we move there or not. I really hope we can attend S’ graduation this June …inshaaAllah!

I also have to start calling the local CC asking about what is needed for S to enroll. She will inshaaAllah finish AlHuda this June and then she will plunge full force into finishing her high school. May Allah make it easy ameen! As for N, it seems that I need to work very closely with her all the way and make sure she’s on top of her work. I don’t like doing this, but what can I do? May Allah make it easy ameen!

I also have full hope that inshaaAllah with our regular post fajr session on Ustadh Nouman’s Tafseer and Arabic with Hosna, that we would really benefit from it. There were times when I was about to give up because I felt like despite us doing it every day and regularly, it wasn’t entering our hearts. But as I asked the kids survey questions, I sensed that those tafseer sessions do help. And it made me feel like haa..shaytaan is working to get us off that track maybe, making me feel hopeless. So the thing to do is to just keep doing it and make crazy dua Allah puts barakah in it. For Hosna, I really do hope we get ouf ot it what he Dream students get out of Dream, except I still do want to attend Dream or the part time one, and send H to the full time one. InshaaAllah.

I wish I can do Arabic with Z. I am VERY poor at doing this with the kids when they’re young. Seriously. If I master Arabic myself, maybe, but the reality is, I don’t. Argh. I’m very bad at trying it since even with Malay, we’ve been very bad with speaking it with the kids, even though we have a second chance with Z since he is still young. My God. May Allah make it easy, Ameen.

I have yet to sit down with N and come up with her hifdh revision schedule. May Allah make it easy ameen!

S is back volunteering teaching at Sunday school. Her horse therapy volunteer sessions hasn’t resumed yet so far. And our girls youth halaqa has been going on strong alhamdulillah. I plan to have S fully handle a few sessions on her own with my supervision inshaaAllah.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Arabic, Bayyinah Institute, Community, High School, Homeschooling, Islamic Studies, Learning Challenges, Living Islam, Prayer/salat, Qalam Institute, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Thoughts, Volunteer Masjid, Youth Girls halaqa | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Kid Updates

I know….long time no post. Have been overwhelmed and swamped with a multitude of things. I wanted to make posts of our trip, but that has been going slow too.

I thought I should post this before I forget though, because I remember what is precious about this blog; it captures in words the kids’ antics and cute sayings that I will most probably forget years later. So, before I forget, I thought I’d do this really quick.

I told Z recently,

“Z, when you turn 7 inshaaAllah, you get to pick one prayer to do. When S, N, and H were 7, they got to pick 1 prayer too.”

Then I asked N and S who were there which prayer they picked at that age.

This was how I trained the kids to pray. At age 7, I gave them the options of zuhr and asr to pick from. However, once they pick a prayer, they have to completely commit to it, no matter what. Then, I usually observe them for a few months and if I feel they are ready (in terms of commitment and mastering the details), I let them choose another prayer, and so on. By age 10, they would have committed to all 5 prayers. So far, alhamdulilah, I found that this technique works with the older kids. Once they commit, they had to the prayers even while we were traveling or when they were sick, as Allah has made the prayer such an important thing that even when you can’t move your limbs, you can still move your eyes.

I find that it teaches them the responsibility of commitment. Rather than have them do all 5 prayers at once (which can be overwhelming), I thought, why not introduce this gradually, and train them the art of commitment? Ease them into it and let them learn to love it (by making it a choice that they get to make and withholding the rest of the prayers from them and giving a period of time before they get to choose another one). I remember when I was figuring out this method, I was mulling over how to make it their choice, and not something forced upon them. I love that it becomes something where they are making the choice.

And alhamdulillah, Z recently told me,

“I want to be 7.”

“Why?”

“Because of Zuhr.”

Alhamdulillah he’s already anticipating this ‘stage’! I had asked him what prayer he would choose when he turns 7. He said maghrib. Usually, I am the one who lays out the options, because obviously, I don’t want them to start with fajr (summer – long daylights, early fajr etc) or isha (late isha in summer). The two first options have always been zuhr and asr. When he said maghrib, I thought to myself,

Hmm..how about that? That is usually hectic time, and if we’re travelling, that can be a bit tricky.

But I guess I’ll wait till he’s 7 and then decide  or let him make a pick again, inshaaAllah.

Another incident that happened, he came to me and suddenly said,

“Al Mala2; the chiefs the elite, wa laa, do not..”

He was parroting the word to word translation from S’s Taleem course. I was SO surprised!

Yesterday, he said,

“I want to take class.”

“What class? Sunday school?’

Because last week, both N and H had SEMAA for the whole week, so I was dropping and picking them up throughout the week. Z asked me where they were and when he found out they had ‘class’, he wanted to go to ‘class’ too. So I offered him to go to Sunday school. He did. Due to his allergies, S followed along just to watch and make sure he doesn’t get cross contamination from the other kids eating Doritos etc. They told me that during the class where the teacher asked each child to recite surah Al falaq, Z looked down, canopied his face with his hands and wept silently, tears rolling down his cheeks, probably out of fear and shyness to recite while the other kids were listening. LOL. When he came home though, he showed me his worksheets, and I asked him if he liked Sunday school. He smiled and nodded. LOL.

That was the last Sunday school for this school year though. So, I guess I’ll have to figure out in fall if I will send him to Sunday school again. It’s up to him, but it will also depend on how I feel about it, based on the other kids, and time, and influence.

So when I asked him the question above, he replied,

“Like S’ class.”

“Well, how about when S has class, you just sit with her and listen?”

“No, I want my own class.”

LOL.

He’s been doing great with his IQRA and hifdh alhamdulillah, though it has been less consistent since I started going to the masjid 3 times a week for the Quran summer intensive. My schedule has been hectic, but may Allah accept it ameen!

H slept over at Fr and Fh’ house last weekend. I felt uneasy about it, but at the time that their mother asked me, I didn’t know how to refuse the invitation. Plus, Fh looked so excited that I felt bad saying no. I didn’t have truthful legit excuses either. That night, I felt really bad. Made dua. Alhamdulillah, I think it was okay. InshaaAllah. May H be a stronger influence on others and not be influenced by less than good company. May he also be surrounded with good company. Ameen.

H and N are now attending therapy (speech for stuttering) and learning techniques) at the university, twice a week. I was introduced to the Cornell Note taking method for N. I find it interesting and it looks efficient. Nice. I hope it helps N gain more comprehension and help her stay on top of her school work.

Recently, Al Huda had the Graduation convocation for all the courses graduating in 2012 and also including TQEE. S made a surprise chocolate cake for me. No wonder…days before, she had asked me randomly,

“What’s your favorite dessert?”

Absent-mindedly, I answered, “Chocolate cake, with chocolate fudge, yum!”

When we went grocery shopping, on the list was brown sugar, butter, etc and I was remarking,

“What do you need these for? What are you guys making?”

She didn’t answer.

That Saturday morning, as I sat listening to the convo in my room, she made the cake downstairs. So, in spite of my high cholesterol, I am eating meat and cake…oh boy.

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It was really good mashaaAllah! This time, the cake rose higher than the first time she made it before. S has always been hesitant about baking cakes before, so alhamdulillah now I think she gets the hang of it. Part of the homeschooling for me is also developing life skills. I do want them to know how to navigate the kitchen and make food and desserts. Chores is also part of it too, though we’re faring a bit worse there in terms of upkeep of their bathroom cleanliness. It has robbed me of some sleep just thinking about it.

I’m already planning next year’s school plan. N and H are starting 9th grade together inshaaAllah. I’m enrolling them in online classes on Currclick. This summer so far, they have been attending a class on Home2Teach and they like it. I like it too, so I might continue that for fall too. Homeschool Book Study is GREAT too for English. I think I may just stick with that for all 4 years! Both N and H are taking Biology this coming school year with Currclick. I hope the experience is a good one, because that would solve the problem I have in figuring out how to do high school science for them. We’ve tried other ways, but I’m not satisfied.

So InshaaAllah, Ramadan is coming soon. I’m in the midts of hecticness…and I have written out what my plans are for the kids this Ramadan. The older kids will do Quran journaling where they will pore over 1 juz per day, read the translations and journal what struck them, their reflections on certain passages etc. I figured these kids are too old now for me to be doing those fancy activities I used to do with them all these past years. I have been asking them to help me plan for Z though. So far it looks like the work is falling upon me. Sigh.

However, I have a rough plan for Z. We will hang 30 balloons, one for each day, filled with scrolls of paper containing the name of Allah for the day, and other stuff (haven’t figured that out yet). I’m suposed to prepare worksheets for him too for this. I think I may delegate this to the kids since I’m so short of time nowadays. Subhanallah.We’re not even going to the library regularly anymore because going out 3 times a week seems to sap my energy in this desert heat.

 

 

 

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Hifdh-ing

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. H pointed that out to me yesterday. What I can say is that alhamdulillah, we’re all now doing hifdh, including Z. S is starting with Al kahf, and for her, I want her to focus on her Taleem Quran more, so hifdh is somewhat secondary for her right now.

N is taking tajweed class  online with Sis N from Canada, a 20 min class, once a week on Fridays. When I saw sis N offering her class through email, I thought of enrolling N, but I asked N how interested she is in learning tajweed. At first she said not interested. But she also expressed slight interest. I’ve been encouraging her to pursue tajweed because her recitation and articulation is naturally good already, and I want  her to find her own niche in the field of Quran. S is already taking Taleem Quran, and H is doing hifdh and is pretty good in Arabic grammar (better than me, even though I studied it for years in high school and even now), and I want something for N. One of my homeschooling goals is for the kids to develop a solid foundation in their deen and develop a Quranic perspective, which means, they need to be able to recite with tajweed, understand what they’re reciting, implement and internalize what they are reciting, and develop the wisdom that comes from the Quran and sunnah. The world out there is full of propagandas subtle and obnoxious, and I want them armed with iman and understanding of the deen before they go out there.

I’ve been making dua for the kids and subhanallah so I am overjoyed when N expressed that yes actually, she would be interested in learning tajweed. Sis N also advised me that I should encourage N to memorize. So I talked about this with N and she said yes she would  like to memorize. Initially, I was concerned about her intention, but sis N told me that even for us adults, our intentions will fluctuate and so it’s a lifelong process. So, in February N began her Quran journey, with learning  tajweed and doing hifdh. Alhamdulillah. I had already taught all the kids to read with tajweed through the Malaysian IQRA book series, and I have also taught them the tajweed rules, but I want them to actually learn further with someone who is qualified to teach them. So, I’ve done what I can from my end, and this is the time to outsource now. So, she started from Al Mursalat and is now at Muzammil. We also discussed about their Quran time. We agreed that after fajr, instead of starting right away with Nouman’s tafseer and Arabic with Husna, we would spend 30 min on our own doing our new memorization or revision, and then have breakfast and then do tafseer and Arabic. Thanks to a suggestion by a friend 🙂 May Allah reward her immensely for she is the one who has triggered this move towards hifdh for me and the kids. The girls will have their Quran time twice a day, one after fajr and another one either after asr or before bedtime.

 

For H, he has already been doing this for years, so I  leave him pretty much alone for he has gotten into his own routine. I do still worry about his tajweed though and asks that Allah opens up opportunity for him to learn with someone qualified who can enhance his tajweed. Right now, the brother who is helping him is too busy, so H is working just with hubs for now. He is re memorizing surah As Shuura. This surah has a special story. When H was memorizing this surah, we were in Malaysia, and we enrolled him in darul Huffaz. The ustaadh there told him to memorize the surah backwards and this confused H so much that to this day, his grasp on that surah is almost nil. So he’s rememorizing it now. I still can’t fathom why that ustaadh told him to memorize it backwards.

H is currently taking Sh. Omar Suleiman’s tafseer of Surah Al Ahqaf class every Tuesday for 4 weeks. He doesn’t seem too captivated by it except when it involves stories, but at least I hope it provides him with deeper understanding and internalization of this surah that he has memorized.

Even Z has taken an interest in doing hifdh. Maybe it’s because all of us are doing it now. So, he would come to me and take the Quran, put it on the rihl and open it up to the last page and point to the surah he is working on and signal for me to recite it to him. So far, he just finished An nasr. I started doing this with him before he showed any interest. We listened to Minshaawi for An Naas and I had him recite again and again. I had to resort to recording his voice and letting him listen to it, because he couldn’t sit still for the lesson. Eventually he didn’t want to do it, so I left him alone. Made dua.

Then, all of a sudden, he knew those 3 quls. Apparently H had been practicing it with him at bedtime. So I expressed pleasant surprise that he knew those 3 surah by heart and told him,

‘Z, you memorize 1 whole page!!!!”

You could see he was overjoyed as well, and that motivated him. So we worked on Al Masad. He kept asking for the ‘stowee’ of Al masad. So hubs put on Nouman’s tafseer of the surah and we told him the story of Abu lahab and the surah. One thing about Z is that he is impatient. He kept asking to move forward before memorizing the current ayah properly. So I would tell him,

“Let’s say it 7 times, you can count it on your fingers.”

So he obediently puts out his index finger and starts to keep track of how many times we have to repeat the current ayah together; I would say it first and he would say it after me. I would break up the ayah so he could repeat it in manageable portions. Then, we’d be done for the session. I tell him to listen to his MP3 too and he does mashaaAllah. It is a little hard working with him because he is still young and has his own issues sometimes, but alhamdulillah I also feel like Allah has made it somewhat easy. The fact that he comes on his own and takes the Quran and sits waiting for me to start working with him, and listens to his MP3 on his own, and is willing to recite his surah properly, makes it a lot easier on me. I worried that he wouldn’t enunciate the words properly, and I would disapprove it when he rushes through it, I would emphasize that he needs to really enunciate it and not just say the surah. Alhamdulillah he does and he does try hard mashaaAllah. He is also doing great with his IQRA.

At one point, he was watching Arabic with Husna with us and we were covering the sarf table. At this time, Z was a bit obsessed with ana anta and started to write it in Arabic and in English, and kept asking us,

“Are you anta?” “Are you anti?”

And now he keeps asking, “What is …. in Arabic?”

I wish my grasp of Arabic is stronger to be able to feed his thirst for it. It’s a bit difficult having to juggle the older kids and Z and my own learning.

Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah.

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Living Islam, Memorizing, Outsourcing, Quran, Tafseer, Teaching Challenges, Time Management, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tucson, AZ & Productivity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

More Need to Outsource

I began to stress out over S’ high school plan because of the recent setback concerning her going to attend TQE. At the therapy lounge yesterday, while Z was in therapy, I sat with my planner and started to map out the 3 older kids’ high school plan. For S, especially.

We agreed that she will start on Algebra II right away, but I was contemplating her doing World History along with Algebra II due to the the load of the TQE course. I don’t want her to do too many subjects such that it would detract her from truly focusing on TQE. So, we agreed that she would do World History along with Algebra II but that she would take it easy. We would have to sit down and plan out this course with its resources and assignments.

I guess I won’t worry about the other subjects yet for now. Nevertheless, I did start looking for online classes. I found these:

Write Guide

Home2Teach

Red Wagon Tutorials

Virtual Homeschool Group – free

The other ones that I found are ridiculously expensive! I don’t know how the homeschooling families afford to pay up to $700 per course per student! We can’t afford it. We love Currclick so far, but I’m also looking for other options just to broaden our choices.

Right now, I’m contemplating using Write Guide for S, and Home2Teach for N and H. I’ll have to explore VHSG more. As for Red Wagon Tutorials, I can’t seem to find the tuition information.

 

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Course Planning, High School, Outsourcing, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

S, N, H classes

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

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

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

 

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

Road Trip Coming Up!

Z’ book bag

Z’s been asking, “Are we going on a trip?” ever since I packed these things for him. I told him that we will be going on a trip and that we would do these activities during that trip. Last night, we went out to Kohl’s and he was napping, so hubs just picked him and placed him in his seat, and he asked,

“Is this the trip?”

It was dark because it was past maghrib, so he probably thought it was fajr time because that is when we usually depart for our road trips.

Today, as we walked home from his therapy, somehow we got to talking about the trip. He was probably asking about it again and I told him it was on FRiday. So automatically we stated the order of the days together. Impromptu lesson right there! That’s what I like!

Anyway, I’m excited too. I finally decided which activities I want to start doing with Z from Umm Nu’man’s wonderful amazing resources, and I look forward to doing them with Z.  I realize that with 3 older kids and 1 kid in kindy, it’s hard for me to juggle everything on top of also being in a course myself. No wonder homeschooling moms of multiple kids take homeschooling as a full time job.

I am going to have to do that too if I don’t want to retire prematurely. I mean, I can still do other stuff but they have to be manageable. Right now, alhamdulillah, Allah has enabled me to keep up, though there are times when I feel like just dropping everything and crying. Especially when the kids misbehave, show bad manners, don’t listen to me, don’t do their work…which is…hmm…I guess, almost every day sometimes. Subhanallah…these are times when I feel like I have failed in my responsibilities. But I also realize that my responsibilities are not over. My mother says,

“Better late than never!”

My mother still reprimands me to this day, like any mother would. So I guess, my work is for a lifetime, though it’s hard not to feel like a failure when your kids show less than desirable behavior. This is when I feel very humbled. Parenting is humbling, not only because you learn that you are the role model, but mostly because you come to realize that it’s all in His hands. Guidance and success is in His hands.

In homeschooling, there are times when you feel exhilirated (like when H’s fan worked) and you feel,

“Yay! This is why we homeschool!”

But subhanallah, Allah reminds us, and we had just covered this ayah recently in my class (I LOVE juz 27 28!)

57:22
Sahih International

No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being – indeed that, for Allah , is easy – Al Hadeed 57:22

57:23
Sahih International

In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful – Al Hadeed 57:23

Subhanallah when something bad happens, you remember that Allah has already decreed it, so don’t dwell too much over its loss, but even when something great happens, here we are reminded not to exult over it and attribute it all to ourselves! Balance!

I printed out all the materials I wanted and put them all in this folder. And this folder goes in his book bag.

some cut out pieces

I had cut out some activity sheets ahead of time, though I later realized that he should be the one doing the cutting. But I later left some parts for him to cut on his own.

My Body activity sheet set

He’s been asking a lot about where his stomach is and where his food is right now, so I thought it’s high time we do human body. We’ve been doing animals and plants, and I had wanted to do human body but I couldn’t find the proper materials for his age so this was a blessing that Allah directed me to the blog of Umm Nu’man, whom I also realized is the author of books I had bought for Z! MashaAllah! She has come up with a Human body activity sheet set separate for boys and girls.

Surah An Naas Activity Sheet set

I love these Quran activity sets! I am excited to try this because from looking at how it’s supposed to be carried out, I”m thinking that this is the reading by sight version in Arabic. We did both reading by sight and phonics for English but I haven’t found any technique, at least any organized technique for reading Arabic so this is really a wonderful find! Alhamdulillah!

Surah Al Ikhlas Activity Sheet set

For some of the activities, I’ll have to coax the older kids to join us.

Quran Mazes activity sheet booklets

I had painfully scanned these, gathered them all in a Word document and printed them so he can do it again and again, now and even later when his comprehension takes on a different level.

I told him to gather some crayons and put them in this pouch we had gotten when we boarded Korean Airlines on our visit back to Malaysia in 2010. Reuse, recycle.

His crayons

His glue and scissors

His Abata. He was the one who reminded me to include this, so alhamdulillah!

I didn’t forget about the older kids. I used to do this when we travelled before too. I went to elaborate length to prepare for our road trips. I remember one when we went to Houston from Columbus, OH. Don’t know how much the kids benefited though, but I do remember doing a lot of brainstorming, designing, cutting, pasting, when the kids were younger. I realize that now, with Z, that’s what I have to do a lot of too it seems like. While at the same time I also have to do a lot of mental work in checking and critiquing the older kids’ essays, researching topics, teaching it learning it together with them, keeping ahead of them, keeping up to date with college applications, SAT, ACT, etc, high school requirements, high school course planning…you get the drift.

I had put my writing on hiatus several times now because I can’t cope with everything, but I do look forward to being able to fully pay attention to homeschooling these kids almost full time inshaAllah.

Hubby told me to rest and not take the AlMaghrib class we’re going to. So, after deliberating and feeling wistful about it, I agreed. So, right now, only hubs and N and H are taking the class inshaAllah. S, Z and I will be hanging out. S has to study, and we have to watch her British history DVDs I had checked out from the library for her World History course, and I have to study and review, and I have to do these activities with Z too. So much for rest ! But I look forward to it.

Then, S will be attending her TQ as usual during the week, and on Wed I will be attending my class, and miss Thursday because my public speaking workshop begins that day. So I will have to do some catching up in my class work and notes because the week after, the translation test is due. Again, so much for rest. 🙂 Never mind, our rest is inshaAllah in Jannah!

Older kids’ book bag

May Allah bless this trip. Ameen.

As usual, with road trips or any traveling, I go into obsessive packing and organizing mode. I’d make a list of all that we need to pack, and I’d start packing days before, and check off my list as I go and it takes a lot of planning and work, but it makes for an easier execution so far alhamdulillah. I find that I always need to write things down so my mind is not cluttered with to do lists. It helps me a lot. Ustaadh  Muhammad AlShareef calls it a brain dump. That’s exactly what I feel it is too.

My obsessive packing organization

Categories: Al Huda Institute, AlMaghrib Institute, Books, Family, History DVD, Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Teaching To Read, Thoughts, Travel, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding the Quran

I asked S how she likes Taleem Quran course so far and she said,

“It’s fine.”

These older kids always give me these dull toned-down, unenthusiastic answers, so I asked her,

“Are you liking it more and more or how, how do you feel about it, or the Quran?”

“When I listen to the Quran now, I understand it.”

“Yeah, there is something about the way they teach,” I agreed.

“Yeah, and you’ve taught me all that before, but…”

“How offensive,”I replied jokingly.

But it’s true. These kids need to hear what I’ve been telling them from someone else. They’re just reached that age where what their parents know don’t faze them anymore. We’re not considered the only authority in matters now. They realize that we’re infallible and that we don’t really know everything. Not that we give them that impression, for I’ve always told the kids to ask us the source of something if we say anything.

But, even so, it makes me feel quite …ancient. Not necessarily a bad thing however. I’m very ready to hand them over to some other authorities, especially in furthering their Quranic and Islamic studies because I’ve reached my capacity. I myself am still learning and will always be learning hopefully inshaAllah till the day I die. We are now peer-learners. I’m finishing up my TQEE inshaAllah next Feb, and S just started her journey.

Since H is having trouble with his Juz 28 review and also Hadeed, I told him to listen in to my class this week because we will be covering Surah Al Hadeed. I notice that his mistakes in revision is because he hadn’t memorized the pages and is just relying on the sound. It’s about time he listens to tafseer. But at the same time, he would still be working on his hifdh, but he just needs to increase his understanding of what is being recited. The latter is more complex than the former. Memorizing the Quran is (I can’t believe I’m saying this) easy. Allah has said that it has been made easy and now, after trying it myself, I can see why it’s easy, subhanallah. It’s retaining it and understanding it that is quite challenging. But alhamdulillah, at least H is interested in learning and understanding it and he seems to have quite a fair grasp of Arabic too. I review with him everyday after Zuhr, and because of that I think I’ve been abandoning N. At least with Z, I’ve switched from having him read a page of his IQRA to half a page and then to one line before letting him watch a video of his own choosing. When I cut down the amount to one line, he actually comes to me with his IQRA and reads the line willingly. I just have to keep it consistent. That’s the real challenge.

They’ve stopped listening to Arabic with Husna because they’ve finished listening to all the videos. So now it’s hubs’ task to continue working with them in Arabic as that is right now, still my weak area. Hubs is the one who masters it more. Right now, N is not that interested in Arabic. S, I think , as she progresses more in her Taleem Quran, may find Arabic as rich and interesting as I do. H, I think can at least appreciate how rich the language is and through Arabic sessions with several brothers at the masjid, knows it somewhat. N is still in her own world. I hope she ventures out soon, because even though I feel it’s a wonderful safe world for her, I have trouble dealing with it. I ask that Allah gives her maturity, comprehension and wisdom, and me, patience. Ameen.

Alhamdulillah for the many and increasing resources towards understanding the Quran for non Arabic speakers. Alhamdulillah. It seriously, I feel, makes the world a better place for all, for when you truly understand what the Quran teaches, it beautifies your character with knowledge and wisdom.

 

 

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Juggling Multiple Kids, Living Islam, Memorizing, Quran, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quran Party

Well, I don’t know what else to call it. And come to think of it, it is centered around the Quran in terms of what we’re celebrating. S is starting Taleem Quran, and because I didn’t want Z feeling left out, I made him a cake and so I had to come up with an occasion for his cake and I thought I’d make it Quran-ish too. So, I made it a celebration of his Quranic Arabic reading. I piped a few words from his IQRA book too.

We made the Laksa Penang, quite easily, except S overcooked the Laksa so we had a pretty mushy laksa. Z had Nasi Goreng for lunch while we ate the Laksa but we gave him a little bit just to see if he could take sardine. So far, no reactions, so I’m hoping he’s ok with fish! inshaAllah! He didn’t really like it though.

Lai fen – the noodles for Laksa Penang

The sardine from the Asian grocery store. The ones in the western supermarket are horribly bland.

 

Not too great a shot, but we were hungry and I was tired from finishing up decorating Z’s cake, and the Laksa noodles were overcooked so it wouldn’t have made a great food photo anyway. Laksa Penang is I think my best noodle dish, since I always manage to make the other soupy noodle dish too bland. But with Laksa Penang, it’s hard for me to make it bland unless I put too much water when making the soup/broth.

 

 

It was quite a moment when we cut him his cake. He was so shy that it was difficult to take his picture. But we got it eventually. He initially went for the frosting but after a while claimed,

“I don’t like the white stuff.”

He ate his cake but didn’t finish it, and finished it much much later. I did cut him quite a big piece, so…

 

Today, he had cake too and I cut him a thin piece ane he ate it all minus the ‘white stuff’. I don’t blame him for not liking the frosting.

As for the rest of us, we ended up sitting back in our chair and laughing at how fatty the frosting truly is. I don’t need to reiterate what I said about frosting in the previous post. We can’t take too much frosting. Period.

We had Z read the words I had piped on his cake, though with a lot of help. He initially didn’t want to read them. But I said I won’t cut the cake until he did, so we helped him read them.

So, S started her Taleem Quran course today. The party yesterday was just perfect because now it’s back to work and fasting our make ups and Shawwal 6. May Allah bless this journey for all involved for our dunya and akhirah. Ameen!

Categories: Al Huda Institute, Allergies, Baking, Family, Quran | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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