Posts Tagged With: Family

Week 6 : Mon- Fri

Today is already Friday. A week has passed by and I haven’t really done anything with Z other than tell him to do his Calendar notebook daily. This week has been crazy in doing an ‘Abu Bakr’ for Hajj. We’re still waiting for the visa, but we’re preparing nonetheless, so that if we get it, then we’re all up and ready to go inshaaAllah. So, this week I’ve just been occupied doing some stuff that need to be done before we go and next week is going to be busy too. I feel bad for Z though. He knows he has to do his Calendar Notebook and he does it, and after that he digs in his toybox and looks for things to do.

Amidst my sewing this week, I did notice him playing with the stethoscope and asking where the heart is. He also played with the scrabble by himself and kept asking me,

“Is toon a word?”

“What is a toon?”

“Google it!”

“Is noon a word?”

“Is din a word?”

“What is it ?”

So, subhanallah despite me being busy and not able to physically sit and do stuff with him, he is learning. He basically learned what toon is and what din is and he asked couple more questions out of the blue,

“What is dawn?”

He also spent time watching the story clips and playing word games on Between the Lions on PBS website. he also played games on AbCya and watched Reading Rainbow. He did say he wanted to paint eggs and I wanted to buy those wooden eggs for him but this week, our schedule was a bit crazy so I told him next week. We did read some books though…

We read,

If You Hopped Like  Frog

Wonder of Nature Waterfalls

 

Amelia Bedelia Bookworm

Cute! The Sound of Long U

He also peeled sweet potatoes, went swimming, went walking with me this morning, and learned the difference between city and country. I remembered this particualrly because this morning, as we were walking, he asked me,

“Is this city or country?”

I didn’t know what to answer so I said,

“Well, it’s kind of like the country because it’s quiet and you can see the animals, but we’re still in the city. Do you like country or city?”

“Country!”

He asked again as we approached home, “Is our house in the country?”

I also told him that we’re in the desert because we passed by stretches of land in the neighborhoods. He was also hoping to see cats. We only saw one as we almost reached home, alhamdulilah! As we walked he also asked,

“Why are there so many neighbors? Why are neighbors so close?”

“Why do people live in the desert?”

I think I should take him for a walk more often. The older kids no longer want to walk with me, so maybe after this I’ll take Z with me as long as he can stand the distance. I need the exercise especially for Hajj.

But alhamdulillah he does his calendar by himself now and pores over his books on his own if I can’t read them with him. He still likes being read to of course, but I do think he is able to read it on his own too quietly. He may not understand all of it, but he can read it. I just need to sit with him and still do the reading and engaging. He is particularly intrigued by the book If You Hopped Like A Frog. Much later on, he said, “If yuo’re strong like an ant, you can lift a car!”

He did have some issues understanding that though and said while I was reading the book to him, “People can’t lift cars!” “Why is his head so small?” “I can’t do this!” (trying to stretch his neck upwards like in the book).

N had her therapy yesterday and we spent an extra hour talking about what the therapist wants her to do. Subhanallah..my gut feeling has been right all along. I figured that if I send her to school thinking it would be easier, it’s still going to be the same, because she has a motivation and maybe attitude issue. Her therapist asked me to be the enforcer to make sure she does what she is supposed to do. Sigh. This has been my challenge with her all these years. I particularly hate it when people tell me to do that with her because I already am doing it. Especially last week and this and next week I won’t be able to do that, but I didn’t communicate that to the therapist. I told myself, “Well, I’ll just have to do it.” Sigh.

The therapist gave her writing strategies and one particular one where she has to write down main idea and details for EACH paragraph of the book she is reading and she is reading Call of the Wild right now. It’s a significant jump of reading level from Anne of Green Gables. She didn’t look motivated yesterday and I had a talk with her, and she still didn’t seem like she was motivated. I fear she may follow in the footsteps of some of our relatives who dropped out of high school and college. Hubs has some of the issues she has in learning (not sure if you can call it learning disability) but hubs is competitive and actually likes learning while N is not competitive and doesn’t like learning. She does say she wants to write for a living though. I have to say I’m almost giving up with this child. I don’t know what else to do with her. It’s so frustrating, aggravating and just saddening for me. Loving to study, I can’t fully empathize with her and this makes me very impatient when dealing with her which probably maybe exarcebate the problem. These are one of those times when I feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing and when I feel like just leaving everything and being by myself. The stress of preparation added to this doesn’t help either. My only consolation is dua. I do feel like I do need to get away from the kids though…take a break and leave them for a while. Maybe that’s what I’ve been needing for years.

I reminded her to use the Cornell method to take her notes, but I don’t see her doing it as enthusiastically as she learned it in therapy last semester. I also told her we won’t go see the foot doctor anymore because she doesn’t seem like she is taking responsibility for her own feet and it seems like we’re just paying the Doctor for nothing. May Allah help me and guide me with this child. Ameen.

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Is This A Trip?

So……we are back alhamdulilah! [THis post was started and then I got interrupted and it never was finished :P]

So here we go…in continuation.

Z LOVED the road trip..so much so that he kept asking us whenever we got in the van to go grocery shopping, or play tennis or go to the masjid,

“Is this a trip?”

He kept doing that for a while, but now he has stopped asking that.

We had gone to White Sands on Memorial Day though, and we told him that this was a short trip.

He enjoyed that too, but was scared to slide down by himself. Seems like the older he gets, the more fearful he becomes of height.

We have been going swimming since an organization reserved the university pool for sisters twice a week. So Z has been coming with us and he LOVES being in the pool. Now that we go out of the house a lot (almost everyday, it’s killing me), at times he would whisper to me,

“We are going to 2 places today; masjid and swimming.”

It also seems to make him pay attention the days of the week, since he knows we usually go to the library on Tuesdays, swimming on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Tennis on Sundays. So in a way, it’s part of his schooling! 🙂

He started out with just using the noodles, and then the life jacket, and for a while he refused not to put it on, until hubs got mad and said

“He’s not going to learn to swim with that thing on!”

So I talked to him and all of a sudden he didn’t want to put the life jacket on and went in with the board. Alhamdulillah now he just uses the board. Phew…let me just say, hubs blowing up was not fun, and I was in the center of it all, advocating for easing Z into it instead of forcing him, and also talking to Z so that he would give up the life jacket on his own. Alhamdulilah…Allah made it easy!

 

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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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photo 3

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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Upcoming Road Trip

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

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

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

“Is this a true story?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Tubing in Ruidoso

We had guests recently, our long time college friends and their 6 kids and we had a good time alhamdulillah.

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Hubs pulling Z in the double tube after coming down the slope

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Hubs and Z going back up the slopes on the elevator. Z LOVES tubing. He kept on going and by the time he was done, his eyes looked so tired.

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Altitude puffed up the bag o’ chips.

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Lanes 5,6,7 – 3 of the highest and fastest lanes to tube down in. Whee!!

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Then we went Go-Kart-ing with our friends. I sat out on this one and worked on my hifdh page (much needed).

Z kept asking on the way back home that evening,

“Is this a trip? Why are we not staying in a hotel?”

On the way to Ruidoso, he kept asking,

“Is this a trip?”

Well, so far it looks like he is the only one who enjoys road trips! No wonder! He gets his own home made allergy free baked products, and he particularly loves staying at hotels! The older kids complain about the long hours of the road trip, and the hassle of packing, feeding Z in the van, getting stuff from the trunk, etc.

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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

Soup Kitchen on Yaum at-Tashreek

We had people over for Eid on Eid day, went to Chuck E. Cheeses on Saturday, because Z has been promised it, and on Sunday, I figured we could do some sadaqah by volunteering at the soup kitchen. We would just be home otherwise anyway. We played tennis for maybe like half an hour and then hubs dropped us off at the soup kitchen and picked us up after about 1.5 hours.

Of course, I always get looks because of my niqab. People don’t necessarily ask me about it, though I did get some. But most of the time people are just curious, a little taken aback maybe, but overall, quite respectful, polite, and nice. The kids haven’t screamed yet when they see me. In fact, I’ve helped a few of their moms with their trays and the kids have been fine with me even actually spoon-feeding them (like today).

But something amusing happened today. N and S were serving, and there was a man who was holding a red carnation, an old man. He suddenly gave it to N, saying N’s face is as pretty as the flower. We had a good laugh about it later on, and after we left, I asked her where the flower was. S said she had hid it somewhere at the soup kitchen and left it there, out of embarrassment. *Chuckle*

We still have the ram’s head in our front yard right now. Hubs had brought it home after the slaughtering. I think it can scare potential burglars. But we need to get rid of it soon.

Z suddenly told me yesterday,

“I want hajj.”

I do too. InshaaAllah, we will go to hajj when He decrees it is best.

Tomorrow is still the day of tashreek, but we inshaaAllah start school tomorrow. I have to get started planning out activities for Z. Next week, my  break is over, and my schedule is probably going to resume its hecticness.

Categories: Amusing, Community, Eid, Family, Soup Kitchen | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Impromptu Mock Hajj

I don’t have class today and tomorrow, so it’s a little light alhamdulillah, though I’m still weighed by the grammar lessons I have to make up, and the LI review recordings I have to listen to. But, in light of a relatively light day compared to my usual weeks, I decided to spend time with the kids, especially Z.

I didn’t have anything planned for him, so we simply did the addition chart on his Hajj theme pack, using counting chips and his ‘acorns’,

After setting up Z’s Cool Corner/Space, we finally had a stable resource center to dig from. Alhamdulillah.

 

I bought this dry erase writing kit from Wal mart and as I suspected, Z was obsessed with it. After he was done obsessing with it though, we still use it as reference on how to write the numbers and letters. He also now understand the idea of writing his letters within the lines. Alhamdulillah!!!

 

and completed one chart. I put it away and asked him what else he wanted to do. He took out his lapbook. The idea of doing this was apparently still lingering in my head, and before long, I found myself all hyped up. This state is familiar to the older kids. Whenever I get an idea for something, I get over excited and I start talking and asking their opinions and well, this is when I start to come up with something completely impromptu. That seems to be the theme in my life (not always a good thing).

We were taking out the hujjaaj, and I was thinking to just maybe have the paper hujjaaj make hajj around a cube. When my idea hit, I took a roll of butcher paper, unrolled part of it, laid it out, looked for stuff to use to make this, and before long, we had this going on:

I gave him the snap-on cubes (from the kindergarten days of the 3 older kids) and told him to make a cube for the Kaabah. He was able to figure it out by himself. Then he made the pillars for the Jamaraat. He even said,

“It’s tall, taller, tallest.”

He made them different heights on purpose.

We made the tents by fold index cards in half.  I wrote the names of the places on the paper with pencil and had him trace them with marker.

We followed the steps of Hajj from this Hajj Theme pack and had our two hand0picked hujjaaj do the hajj.

 

When picking which hujjaaj for each of us, I asked him,

“I’m picking ti’sa. Which Hujjaaj are you going to pick?”

“Khamsa.”

He can count from 1 -10 in Arabic now but he still is confused between 7 and 8. To this day, I’m still confused between 2 and 6. So…

I played the mock hajj with him once or twice and then he wanted to play with N. N wasn’t available and so H played with him. I left them on their own to figure out the steps of Hajj. So I suggested they refer to the lapbook step by step for hajj rites.

 

They started making tawaaf at the Kaabah.

 

Going 7 times between Safa and Marwa

 

At Arafah, making dua.

 

Staying at Muzdalifah, and picking pebbles to throw at the Jamaraat.

 

Throwing the pebbles at the Jamaraat. We always managed to knock over those pillars, much to Z’s amusement.

 

Slaughtering. I couldn’t find anything else to represent a goat/ram. 😛

 

This was fun and the best thing was, is that it was impromptu and it worked out with Allah’s help! Allahu Akbar! This was waaaaaay easier than sitting down and breaking my brain to come up with a nice activity idea. Over the years, I’ve had to reprimand my perfectionist tendencies. Having kids taught me to curb it, and subhanallah, I think I’m down to being almost perfectly normal inshaAllah. A lot of stress forced me to come to this level. Wisdom behind tests 😀

 

I also retold the stories of Ibrahim and Ismail and Ismail and Hajr and Ibrahim and Ismail building the Kaaba. For the story of Ibrahim and Ismail, I actually took his hand and we somewhat ‘acted’ it out. With the story of Hajr and Ismail, I used props to show how she scooped the sand to form a wall around the gushing spring of zam zam and replaced slaughtering Ismail with the polar bear (supposedly the ram). Since it was impromptu, it turned out to be an amusing story that I can only tell to my kids and no one else, lest I die of embarrassment.

 

The zamzam spring contained, and the ‘ram’ to be slaughtered. We actually also had the hujjaaj drive from Makkah to Madinah after they finished hajj, to visit Masjid an-Nabawi.

 

Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah. May Allah continue to inspire me and make it easy. Ameen! And may I never be ungrateful! Ameen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Activities - Ages 5-8, Family, hajj, Islamic Studies, Kindergarten Math, Learning Games, Living Islam, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Z’s Cool Space/Corner & Homeschooling Challenges

Most of the time, I’m overwhelmed with my list of commitments. The condition of the house is bad. I’ve been stressed out over this for a long time, but it’s like racing against clutter. I’m losing. The kids seem to be leaving a trail of mess, some of them more than others, and with my load of commitments, at times or most of the time, I’m too tired to do anything about it. This is bothering me a lot.

It’s always the same story. I round them up and we clean up, and I tell them to always put things back when they’re done and I’ve even taught the 3 older kids this since they were young but for some reason, I’m tested in this area. I’m afraid I’m raising messy kids though I do see some growth of tidyness in some of them. But this problem with plague me so much so that there were nights when I would walk through the house, look at the mess they didn’t clean up because I wasn’t there to nag at them because I was either in class or too busy doing stuff, and feel really exhausted. I would feel like a complete failure as a mother. I do not want to raise messy kids.

The thing that would always induce my anger with them is untidyness and a lack of ability on their part to stick to the schedules and charts I’ve painstakingly made so I wouldn’t have to nag at them. This morning, I wanted to do my work, but I had to make sure they were doing their work while I was doing my work, so I ended up spending quite some time helping them make their weekly schedule, explaining to them how to follow it, and what to write. Then I went back to my room to do my work. As always, I felt like they were taking advantage of me not hoverig over them, so I would ask them if they’re doing their work. Then Z came upstairs and asked me something. I felt bad, and ended up going downstairs to do some activities with him. But the sunroom was not only messy, but dangerous to walk in barefeet. That was how bad it got. It’s H’s project room and there were sharp stuff all over (well almost) the rugged floor. I felt my anger rising. I am on break this week, so I thought it was about time I clean this room up.

I’ve been wanting to clean it up and organize Z’s school space for the longest time, but my schedule always gets crazy by mid week. But this morning, I just went ahead and did it. Alhamdulillah, with the help of H and N, and S when she was in her class break, we got it done. Oh and also Z’s help. I showed him how the organization would work and emphasized that he is supposed to put things back where they belong after he is done with them. I wasn’t able to do anything else with him after the cleaning and organizing though, because I felt faintish. I fell asleep on the couch for about 2 hours. After that I felt better.

But, throughout the day, while I was doing my work, I noticed Z sitting in his Cool Corner/Space (which is what we called it and both Corner and Space sounded nice so we couldn’t pick just one) and doing something with the things I organized for him. he was using the scissors, playing with the seashell collections, counting chips and whatever else that I didn’t see. Poor boy. I didn’t get to really do anything with him today.

I went idea hunting again tonight, hoping to print more activities from Umm Nu’man’s blog but she had reached her bandwith limit, so I ended up hunting in other places. I found this and Z watched a few of it with me and by himself.

I also explored Umm Sara’s blog and settled on wanting to try making a Stepbook. Hopefully, tomorrow, I’ll remember to get that book and do this activity with Z either this week or next week. On second thought, I may delay this until we are completely done with the Hajj activity.

I looked at this (I love it, mashaaAllah) and figured I’d try to do it, but now that I think of it, it takes too much time that I don’t really have right now, so maybe I’ll just finish the Hajj activity I printed from Umm Nu’man’s blog and be content with it. Maybe we can do that next year inshaaAllah.

I also ADORE this and hope I can do it in the future inshaAllah. There are a lot of other wonderful ideas and resources on this site too mashaaAllah.

I also decided I would give N and H quizzes and tests on the Tafseer we have been listening to inshaaAllah. I really want to make sure they really gain a deeper understanding on the surah they recite. Right now, they seem to be sliding on our routine. I need to perk them up a bit.

I signed N and H up on Write Guide and they should be starting tomorrow inshaaAllah. S has started on ALgebra II and World History and has a goal and schedule done alhamdulillah. Now, all I have to do is beg Allah to give them taufeeq to have strong self discipline and make it easier on me to handle them and my other commitments without going crazy and feeling overwhelmed.

 

Categories: Family, Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Lapbooking, Outsourcing, Quran, Tafseer, Time Management | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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