Posts Tagged With: Kindergarten

Catching Up On Break

I’m on winter break and even though it’s a break, it’s realistically a time for me to do all those things I don’t get to do during non-break time. My January schedule is going to be really tight, so I’m just trying to get everything done during this break to maintain my sanity and health in January. InshaaAllah.

I printed  out Z’s lessons, and have yet to go through them and cut and organize them into his lapbooks. I decided to look for workbooks at Wal mart for him for times when I can’t sit and work with him throughout the week. Especially in January.

Yesterday, I finished figuring out S’ high school plan considering some changes we are making to it. She is designing her own Crochet I course and I worked on finding resources and planning out the rest of the courses she still has to take. I decided to use the Bedford Reader as the source for her composition section of her English 11 and 12, and use Mrs. Tetsch’s Homeschool Book Study for the literature component. I may check her writing myself or use WriteGuide, esp for January. In fact I emailed the admin to ask if I could add her on to N and H’s current course. I was also looking for a Probability & Statistics high school DVD course for her since she is about to finish her Algebra 2 in a few days inshaaAllah, and only found MathTutorDVD. I emailed them asking if they are also equipped with student workbook and answers and they said they are not, but that they always encourage people to look for cheap workbooks or use the high school Statistics textbooks for problems. So we might just do that for her 4th math course. I figured Statistics would be the next logical math course because she wants to major in Psychology, so it doesn’t make sense for her to take Pre-Calculus. I was googling at what is required to pursue Psychology in college, and it basically emphasizes on good strong writing skills, Statistics, Psychology/Sociology, and Biology. The only problem right now is that she hasn’t done any lab for the sciences that she has done ;Biology and Chemistry. So we’re either going to test out with CLEP or have her take an online course with CurrClick. I hope Kim will still be teaching then, when she is ready to take those courses. So last night and this morning, I sped read through the Bedford Reader and picked essay assignments for her. Once she is done with her Algebra 2 inshaaAllah, she should start on her English 3 composition part. I found Education Portal which I find to be quite a wonderful resource. It offers free courses in video format (which is the wonderful part) and it can be used to prepare for the CLEP tests.

So basically for S:

  • English 3 & English 4 : Composition and Critical thinking from Bedford Reader & Homeschool Book Study
  • Probability & Statistics – MathTutorDVD with separate test/workbook OR test out with prep on Homeschool College USA.
  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics – either with Currclick, or test out, or in community college.
  • World History – we already have the textbooks. I initially wanted it to be non textbook based but to make it simple we reverted to textbook.
  • Social Science elective – I found 2 on Coursera that I figured she’d be interested in and I was right at least on 1 of them. They are:
  • Why We Need Psychology
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior
  • Social Psychology

 

Today, I started planning out N and H’s high school plans, which I have done on paper months ago, but it needed resource searching. I ended up on a lot of websites, and one wonderful one I found was Stossel In The Classroom. I registered and ordered the free DVDs. So far we’ve been watching CNNStudentNews everyday, and so this would be a great addition to our current events and critical thinking discussions inshaaAllah. Can’t wait to use those DVDs!

One thing that I still find challenging to put together is English for all 4 years. For N and H, I figured I would use Homeschool Book Study, both semesters, and use Home2Teach as the composition component, and I found English Grammar 101 which I think I will definitely use for them for their 9th grade English. For 11 and 12th grade English, I might use the free online courses from Homeschool College USA. In fact I even found a possible Statistics course for S. I  may even utilize the recommended course of study for their English. For Science, this is where it troubles me. N loves taking NatureGlo’s science classes on Currclick, and I had emailed Gloria asking if her classes would count as a high school biology class and she said for me to check with my state requirement. I have yet to do so, but what troubles me is the lab component. I don’t know how to go about that. And I’m not really keen on doing their science with them. On the other hand, I think, learning Science hands on, nature notebooking etc is wonderful as opposed to doing it the traditional way. So I guess we’ll see on what my schedule allows then, when the time comes inshaaAllah. I’m trying to balance between doing too much unnecessarily or doing it the smart way. Because I  have to spend time with Z too, so it’s probably highly unlikely I would have time to devote to overseeing their science done in an innovative way.

For N & H:

  • English 1  & 2- Homeschool Book Study, English Grammar 101, Home2Teach or I may just use the resources under Homeschool College USA. I will also resort to using WriteGuide for their writing component. I don’t really look forward to doing the discussion for the literature section but I guess if I have to, I will. Maybe along the way I  might find an online Lit course with interactive discussion. Mrs. Tetsch’s classes are wonderful.
  • Math – we’re using Math U See and Teaching Textbook, though I like TT better because it’s hands off for me.
  • Sciences – I may  use the classes on Currclick or whatever I may find along the way. There is also Friendly Chemistry for consideration. And QSL Study Labs for H.
  • US Government – PASS is a great resource that S also used in 9th grade
  • US History – PASS also has US History and a lot of resources also on Homeschool College USA

For Z right now, I’m using an amalgamation of various resources, including Umm Nu’man’s A Muslim Child Is Born, Homeschool Creations, Confessions of A Homeschooler, File Folder Farm, Royal Baloo, Learning Page, Education.com, though this one has a limit of how many worksheets you can download per month. I printed a wonderful Calendar Notebook from Our Aussie Homeschool too.

Today, I found Head of the Class, which actually fulfills my inner inclination and preference for working with Z (as opposed to worksheet-based). I also came across Lesson Pathways again. I tried to register and realized I had already registered but forgot my password, so I hope to maybe look this over and hopefully cut out a lot of time looking for things for Z, and just use what has already been compiled.

As I was hunting on cyberspace, I also came across this interesting resource called Math Apprentice.

I realize I am far from done in this, but at least  Alhamdulillah, I got this much done. I’ll have to revisit N and H’s high school plan this summer inshaaAllah because we still have other plans that are still up in the air which may affect the normal course of their high school, especially H’s.

So far, Alhamdulillah Z has made significant improvement in his math. We did odd and even numbers, skip counting by 2, 10, counting to 100, adding by 1 pattern, and the concept of zero. I was anxious about teaching him these because I thought he might not grasp the concept immediately and I’m not that good of a math teacher, but alhamdulillah Allah made it easy and he got it from the start.

I also told him the story of Adam a.s. upon his insistence, and this occurred by accident, but I’m glad it happened. Recently as I was reading through Bedford Reader, I came across an essay that talks about Lilith who supposedly came before Eve, but whom the Christians hid. Quite interesting how the Biblical version of the story of Adam tends to want to put the blame on women whereas the Quranic version puts the blame on both Adam a.s. and Eve equally. Ironically, they are the ones now who accuse Muslims of oppressing women. It just goes to show that when you have a perception of something in a certain way, you may tend to find that fault in others even though it’s not the reality for that ‘others’. There is so  much emphasis on the idea that Muslim women are oppressed, which reminds me also of an essay in Bedford Reader written by a Muslim that depicts how the modern Western Society also oppresses their women in another more subtle yet torturous form. In reality, yes, it may be true that some Muslim women are oppressed due to lack of knowledge in Islam by the Muslim men and women and thus abusing what is not really in the religion, but the hijab and modesty itself, is not oppression. It’s starting to irk me how the history of oppression of women in other religions has set forth the movement of them going to the other end of liberating their women and then pinpointing these ‘oppressions’ in Islam. And even when we say we are not oppressed and we choose to dress this way ourselves, we are accused of being  brainwashed by the mullah. Oh come on! I guess that is not our problem, if people still persist to think about it that way. But it is a problem when they meddle and try to ‘liberate’ Muslim women who don’t know any better about the true teachings of religion. In their liberation, they’re only subjecting another kind of oppression on our Muslim women – the modern western society’s oppression mentioned in Fatema Mernissi in The Western Women’s Harem. I cringe at her usage of mullah and harem though, but I agree with her assessment of the suppression of women in the western society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Course Planning, High School, Homeschooling, Literature, Organization, Outsourcing, Z's learning | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Z Books: Way Up In the Arctic

We had done the Arctic unit I got from Royal Baloo a while back and I had gathered books on the Arctic and Antarctic from the library and had recently returned them before I could make a post. Am a bit too busy to update the blog, so I will just type up a brief recap of what we did for documentation.wayuparctic

He loved those word searches, for a while, until I printed more that was a bit too hard for him. Then he moved on to dot-to-dot.

He loved those word searches, for a while, until I printed more that was a bit too hard for him. Then he moved on to dot-to-dot.

I cut out the template of the dice and just shuffled the crds face down for him to pick instead of using it as a dice. We reused the graph too.

I cut out the template of the dice and just shuffled the crds face down for him to pick instead of using it as a dice. We reused the graph too.

I  had issues withe dice, so I decided to cut it up, use it by shuffling the cards face down, and reuse the graph. He loved this because of the story I made up as he picked a card. It became a race of the arctic and antarctic animals.

The sudoku. I decided to use ziplock as the 'pocket'. Simpler and more efficient. Time saving too.

The sudoku. I decided to use ziplock as the ‘pocket’. Simpler and more efficient. Time saving too.

I do still have this book from the library though and we love it, especially because it has those hidden numbers in the illustration! We also watched the Eyewitness DVD and to this day whenever he looks at a world map, he would point to the North pole and say “Husky” and to the south pole and say “Penguins”.

Even when I was teaching him the continents, he was still hung up over where the huskies live and where the penguins live. He loves that Arctic and Antarctic Eyewitness DVD though.

Categories: Animals, Books, Kindergarten Math, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Math, Z's learning | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Z Books: Me on the Map & Others

meonmap

Finally, we worked on our Step book inspired by this, and read Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney. I also looked for the Reading Rainbow Episode when I saw on the cover of the book that it is a Reading Rainbow book, but it turned out that it was only mentioned as a recommended book, but we watched it anyway.

Someplace Else from WVPT on Vimeo.

We made the step book and while S was on break during her class, I searched for the printouts for earth, continents, country, and state to make my life easier in making the step book. It was a harrowing last minute task but it’s done now alhamdulillah. I even took out our Traveling Atlas and together, Z and I looked for our city on the New Mexico map. He was able to pinpoint it on the empty printout.055

 

He is fascinated by the map of the house and the street. We did this activity yesterday, and today, we did the mail carrier unit by Confessions of a Homeschooler, which I had printed way back. Since today is library day, I took the opportunity to look for books on Mail carriers, police, firefighters and checked out DVDs on them too. While Z finished writing out his letter to H in the mail carrier unit activity, and practiced writing our address, I cut and put together his lapbook for the firefighter unit so we can work on it tomorrow inshaaAllah.061

On his own, Z has been looking at his step book. At first, when we made it, he didn’t seem to interested, but last night, as we were watching the Omar series, he kept on shoving it in my face. So Alhamdulilah, he is fascinated by it and alhamdulillah. While I was putting together his fire fighter lapbook, I was making dua Allah puts barakah in all of this because of the time I was spending and because of my exhaustion. It’s not really about how fun the activities are, but it’s about the effort we put in and about Allah’s taufeeq and barakah. I can spend an awful lot of time in preparing materials and activities but if it has no barakah, the kids won’t even remember what was taught. And I feel like this has been the case for some or most things with the older kids.057

I even showed him our house number when we got back from the library and on the way to the library I pointed out the post office to him. When we got back home, I read books to him related to mail carrier.

The books:postalworkers

Postal Workers by Shannon Knudsen

howithappensinPO

How it happens in the Post Office by Dawn Frederick

owney

Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch by Mona Kerby

muletrainmail

Mule Train Mail by Craig Brown

whatdoesmailcarrierdo

What Does a Mail Carrier Do? by Lisa Trumbauer

Altogether, these books give a good picture about mail carriers, and Mule Train Mail especially gives an interesting look into mail-carrying in the Grand Canyons. Owney is also a very interesting story, true at that too.

We also watched All About the Post Office from the 8 Film Collection All About DVD.

allaboutDVD

Categories: Books, Lapbooking, Reading Rainbow, Writing, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Z Book: Bugs Are Insects

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

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

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

We watched ladybugs laying eggs,

ladybug being eaten by a Venus Fly Trap,

and eating aphids,

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

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

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

“Ok, where are the ladybugs going now?”

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ouch!

In 2001, I remember I had checked out a book, that is maybe titled Ouch!. My oldest was 3 at the time, but this book that I read to them, resulted in an activity that we still have to this day. After reading this book, because the kids loved it so much, I made these, to reinforce what was talked about in the book. It might have a been a bit too advanced for them, but subhanallah, we still have these today, and now Z is fascinated by scabs. So, just before Eid, I showed him these learning aids. Of course, impromptu-ly, I thought of making a set with his hands, so we did it right then and there, on the eve of Eid or was it eid of Arafah.

I looked for this book but there are quite a number of books titled Ouch, and so I can’t find the exact book that I checked out 11 years ago. I wonder which one it is.

My hand tracing done in 2001, 4 of them but 1 is missing. The top one is a fresh cut (with drops of blood), the second one is the blood drying before becoming a scab. Next is supposed to be one with a brown scab and the last one is a scab-free hand, as good as new. I made these by tracing my hand on construction paper and then drawing the scab and cut on construction paper and then laminating them between contact paper. Made in 2001, these lasted quite a while!

 

My hand with the brown scab on it. I found it on the floor on another side of the room. The wound-free hand is still missing. Ooh wait! it’s on me haha 😛

 

Tracing os Z’s hands. S helped him cut it and I drew the cut and scabs and cut them out and soon we had this on the wall.

 

I made these also in 2001 – showing the sequence of how the white blood cells would attack foreign matters in the bloodstream. This fascinated Z too. These ones, I dumbly sandwiched them in contact paper but without the contact paper actually touching each other, so the contact paper peeled off. I have to laminate them properly if I want these to last another 11 years.

 

I also made these : showing the progression of blood clotting aided by the platelets. When I was explaining this to Z, I reminded him of the mention of platelets in the book A Drop of Blood. We’re going to have to check out that book again from the library. Same thing with these, I dumbly “laminated” them.

 

 

I gave him these cutting practice templates to cut.

 

I got these from here. As I’m typing this, Z came to  me with my scab-free missing hand! Yay! So now we have all 4 hands made in 2001 ! Subhanallah.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Books, Learning Aids, Science, Z's learning | 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

Arabic Numerals

When the 3 older kids were younger, I had made these Arabic numerals with construction paper, and then placed the corresponding number of stickers and sandwiched these between contact paper. I think we’ve lost them. I had also made a sequence of scabbing using the same technique and we still have these, or at least some of them. I haven’t really focused on Arabic numerals with Z as I did with the older kids, so today, we continued doing the Hujjaaj Addition activity with the spinner. He is able to help himself write the numbers with my directional instructions (for numeral 4 ; Slide, run, jump). He is even making up his own directional instructions when writing the numbers.

We finished the addition sheet and I put it away, and moved on to the hujjaj game. We did the five little hujjaj game and I took the opportunity to focus on Arabic numerals with him. What I did:

  • Instead of singing five little hujaaj down by the haram, I said khamsah little hujjaj down by the haram
  • I asked him to count how many hujjaj are left first in English
  • then as we lined up all the hujjaj, we counted together in Arabic, him saying it after me
  • then we started all over again with the song, and everytime we took one hujjaj out (I took the highest numbered hujjaj out) I asked him to count the remaining hujjaj with me in Arabic
  • as we did this again and again (since he likes the song), by the end of the hour, he was saying the order of the numerals in Arabic by himself though he still hasn’t mastered all of them

I dropped N for her appointment and then drove S to the local high school for her PSAT. She is more anxious about being around the other high schoolers than taking the test. I have to admit, I was too. So I waited with her till they went in the classroom. I drove home, attended my class, and even though I’ve done this for years now, it never is easy when you are home, attending an online class, and you have your kids come to you asking for this, that, and don’t seem to understand that you can’t be bothered because you are in class.

After my class ended, I worked with Z because as I was doing my class, he had taken out his lapbook and started to try doing the hajj sequencing activity by himself. I was actually surprised by how much he remembers because we actually only did it once. He also played the memory game with H. He also played with the numbered hujjaj by himself. So alhamdulillah, he really seems attached to the Hajj lapbook and is able to play with it by himself. So far so good alhamdulillah.

But then came time for me to wrap it up because I had to go pick up the girls. So it has been a busy day so far and it’s only noon now. I have to nap before my class today, and hope the kids spend their time productively because I don’t think I have the energy to nag at them.

Categories: Islamic Studies, Kindergarten Math, PSAT, Time Management, Z's learning, Zulhijjah | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Zulhijjah Activity Continued

We continued where we left off, and I still haven’t gotten my bearings, but at least Z cooperated more and didn’t really make those breathing objections. I did the hujjaaj addition  activity with him but only up to 3 equations because he soon tired of it.

He would spin the spinner (which H had mounted on cardboard), put the number of hujjaaj on the Kaabah, spin again, add that number of hujaaj and count the total hujaaj and then write it in the worksheet.

He couldn’t write 4, so I showed him how to write it. Slide, run, jump. He was able to do it with that visualization. For number 5, it’s drive, jump, circle and for 8, it’s S and then join. He actually loved writing the numbers with that kind of instruction/tip.

the spinners that H worked on the night before. He glued the pushpin in, glued the spinner on cardboard and then made a mount for it. It was fancier than I imagined but it was pretty easy to use. The only drawback is storing it with the lapbook since it has the protruding pushpin in the way.

We quickly then moved on to the memory game. He is pretty good at memory games mashaAllah. We did a couple rounds of memory game and I worked on his lapbook while he shuffled and rearranged them for a new round. It took me quite some mapping, visualizing and planning while working on his lapbook and juggling that with answering his questions and playing the memory game with him was not easy.

I folded a posterboard in half and again in half. I used all 4 quarters of the inside part, added some appendages to the inside page so it would fit some of the pieces and then used 2 quarters on the other side for this shown in the photo.

the appendage that I added to fit in the pages of the Hajj Step by Step activity set. I didn’t want to use the other available pages because it would take up too much space, so I just added this cardstock.

appendage closed

I had some mishaps with making the pockets for the pieces too, had to use the glue gun but in the end Alhamdulilah, it worked out. I also told him the story of Ismail and Hajr, using the prop I had made for the older kids years back in 2003. I had to look for it for I had forgotten where I had stored it. It was all dusty, but still pretty vibrant in its colors and still useable alhamdulillah. He was excited when I opened it, and I had to restrain him when he started to put up the pop ups.

Z telling me he wants to go see the footprint.

Basically a huge pop up card I made with posterboard. I had the older kids color it and I colored some too. This is pretty durable considering we made it in 2004. Alhamdulillah. I hope there is barakah in this.

a pop up card inside a pop card. Zam zam water gushing out.

I made the safa and marwa stand out too against the background.

The kaabah. I lifted this up when I told the story of Ibrahim and Ismail building the Kaabah.

I had fun making this sun.

After all 3 stories are told and the Kaabah is built and Ibrahim a.s. proclamation for Hajj is responded to every year with huge masses of hujaaj heading for Hajj.

Good thing I did this. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even remembered when we made this. When I made this it was for Eid Al Adha. I had the 3 kids do a show and tell on the story of Hajr and Ismail a.s. to the Malaysian uncles and aunties. H was 4 then, and the girls were 5 and 6.

Then I told him the story of Ibrahim a.s. and the slaughtering of Ismail a.s. and used Z himself as a prop when talking about the slaughter. I could tell he had this grim expression as he was listening to that story, which shows understanding, and I wonder if he understood the concept of Allah testing Ibrahim’s obedience. Then I told him the story of Ibrahim and Ismail a.s. building the kaabah. After I was done I asked him which story he liked best. He said the building the Kaabah one. He keeps asking to go to Makkah and see Ibrahim a.s.’ footprint at maqam Ibrahim. He also said he doesn’t like the dream story (the slaughtering story).

After the stories, I told him I couldn’t do anything much with him anymore because we had to get ready to go to the library, and so he wanted to help me work on his lapbook. He helped for a bit and then got distracted and went to N. He also complied when I told him to do some coloring and worksheet activities, which is surprising, so Alhamdulilah!

I was hoping it would take him some time to work on this so I could work on the lapbook without being interrupted but…

I am not done with his lapbook yet, but hopefully will have it done when he has finished all the worksheets in the pack. It’s coming along pretty well so far alhamdulillah.

With the older kids, what I did was assign them Zulhijjah assignments. N is to research the virtue of the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. H is to research the Hajj rituals. S is to look for ayaat in the Quran that pertain to Hajj. Our Zulhijah starts tonight alhamdulillah, so I decided to have them all watch this clip so they can implement it as soon as Zulhijjah kicks in.

Before we watched it, I asked them what they already know about the first 10 days of Zulhijjah. After we watched it, I asked them what they now know of the 1st ten days of Zulhijjah. Then I asked them which new information surprised or struck them the most.

N : If you’re doing hajj, you don’t fast during Day of Arafah

S and H : that it’s obligatory for everyone to pray the Eid prayer

Then we talked about action items that we can incorporate during these 10 days. And I asked them to choose action items for themselves and to really narrow it down so there is more possibility of them doing it.

We talked about increasing in seeking forgiveness and how our sins can really be a huge barrier between us and Allah’s obedience, and even our du’a. So, we talked about ways to make istighfaar.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi,’ one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea. (Book #75, Hadith #414)

And we talked about starting a new naafil prayer to add to the existing regular ones. Fasting (the kids love fasting and have always loved to fast from a young age. They would eat suhoor and refuse to go back to sleep, and played in their ‘tree house’)

May Allah increase us all in taufeeq to utilize these 10 days and make any good changes we incorporate, permanent. Ameen.

Tomorrow is S’ PSAT at the local high school. I just called them today and am to drop her off at around 8:45 am. So, tomorrow will be a little hectic. Wednesday is already hectic enough with our online classes. S is to shower right after fajr and attend her class already dressed and ready to go, because her appointment is at 8:15 am. So as soon as her class finishes at 8, we’ll go and I will drop her off. S also will be getting ready during tajweed time in her class, and we will all three leave at 8. After I drop N, hubs will stay with her and I will drop S off at the high school. Then I will go home, attend class, and after class ends, will pick up N, and then S. Then I have class in the afternoon. I’d better not have to take Zyrtec tomorrow. I can’t afford to be drowsy throughout the day.

Categories: Discussion, Family, High School, Islamic Studies, Juggling Multiple Kids, Kindergarten Math, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Living Islam, PSAT, Z's learning, Zulhijjah | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zulhijjah and Hajj and Eid Al Adha

Pre-Activity:

I’m rushing, trying to find something for Zulhijjah, and Hajj in terms of discussion, activities for the kids, all of them. I started with Z because I know Umm Nu’man has stuff on Hajj mashaAllah. I printed the Hajj theme pack, Hajj Story Board/Game, Hajj Game, and Hajj Addition and Subtraction Activity. While I was printing it, Z saw me and immediately had this excited look on his face and said,

“I want to do that!”

He helped me take the printed sheets out, and wanted to start right away but as I’m typing, I am still organizing and printing and cutting. He’ll just have to wait till next week inshaAllah.

I still have to figure out what to do with the older kids.

As of now what is coming to mind is:

  • look up ayaat in Quran pertaining to hajj
  • read translation, word analysis, listen to tafseer on them
  • find out the virtue of 10 days of zulhijjah
  • listen to lectures related to hajj/zulhijjah together and then discuss

Right now I can’t really brainstorm much activities so these will have to do for this year.

Post Activity:

I started the session by going over the book that we have Tell Me About Hajj. Impromtu, as usual (and no, I’m not proud of this, just stating it because that’s how things always end up because of tight schedules and stress), I just started explaining to him about the Kaaba and related rituals of Hajj based on the photos in the book. I didn’t expect him to be that captivated, but subhanallah, he was. There is just something about the kaaba that pulls you. I pointed out that the Masjidil Haram is the name of the masjid where the kaabah is in, and that its middle part doesn’t have a roof, but the sides does, and people go up on the roof to pray and it also overflows onto the streets. I know he is fascinated by this because he used to watch this

and would repeatedly ask me,

“Why are they praying on the road?”

once I pointed that out to him. I guess it baffles him that people would spill over onto the road and not fit inside a masjid.

As we went through the book, I told him that there is a story about the zamzam but that I’ll tell him that later, and that there are stories around the Kaaba but that I would tell him later. We went through the Hajj theme pack, and I had trouble organizing myself even though I organized it last night. We started with the Hajj Step by Step, and I focused on having him recognize the main locations of the Hajj manaasik. We also did the Last Minute Hajj game with the 10 hujjaj, though I was a bit thrown off by the rhyme Umm Nu’man provided in the activity. I fumbled through it and then decided to modify the game.

What I did(based on the 5 little monkeys):

10 little hujjaj down by the haram

Making tawaaf around the kaabah

The guide soon called them all to come back

But only one hujjaj came walking back

And we worked down till there only 1 hujjaj left. He loved this and we did it again and again,  didn’t object much when I asked him to do these activities:

1. I would tell him to get me hujjaj #___, and then get hujjaj #___ and put it above/below/next to hujjaj #___ (it helped with letter recognition)

2. we ordered the Arabic numerals in the correct order

3. I counted the numbers in Arabic, but we didn’t do this much because he didn’t seem to be cooperating much (but when we took the number 10, he did say “Ashara!”)

4. We’d have the hujjaj scattered around the Kaabah and I would tell him, “Get me hujjaj #__”

We also did the memory game, and we did the steps of Hajj game,

The Hajj Steps game after I put it in the lapbook. Made it more stable and easier to manipulate.

and then while I started to make his lapbook,

It’s still halfway done. Reminds me of our lapbooking days when the older kids were younger. We still have the stack of the lapbooks they made. N still loves looking through them. I do too. I can’t bring myself to throw them away even though I had taken pictures of them with the intention of keeping them as digital copies and throwing away the hardcopy.

he played the memory game with N and then S joined. We also did the hajj graphing activity and he had fun spinning it and marking the boxes. I made sure to ask him which one he got the most of and how much did he get for __.

H refined the spinners for the Addition and Subtraction activity which we have yet to do. I asked H to help me last night and he went all out and set up the spinners on a cardboard mount and everything.

We also did the picture-word matching activity,

Picture-word matching activity. I had written the answer on the backs of the picture cards and this was how he matched them.

and the Hajj sequencing cards.

By now, he is quite familiar with the terms, and even steps of the hajj manaasik mashaAllah. We also did the map activity though he hesitated and objected at having to write the words. I had to spell it out for him, and in one instance I put the word before him so he could copy it. He insisted that I spell it out for him but I insisted he copy it and he did it pretty quickly. Again, not that he can’t do it, but it’s a matter of not wanting to do it.

Hajj Map Skills

He also did some coloring while I attempted to help H with his Algebra. This reminds me so much of when I juggled the 3 older kids when they were younger. It was nerve-wrecking. I still haven’t mastered it.

We did quite a number of the activities alhamdulillah and his interest level was still high, but I had to cut it short because I had to go visit on of the girls from the girls’ club. But I’m so thankful that Z loves the activities. He kept asking me to read the book again. I have to tell him the stories of Ismail and hajr (and I will use the pop up that I had made for the 3 older kids years ago inshaAllah) and Ibrahim a.s. and the slaughtering of Ismail a.s.. I wish I had a felt board ready. Oh well, we’ll just have to improvise impromptu since my days will start getting crazy tomorrow. Monday is really my only free day to work exclusively with Z. Subhanallah.

May Allah make it easy. Ameen.

While Z was writing, I noticed that he needs handwriting practice soon. I was at Staples yesterday and saw the first grade writing book but didn’t buy it. I guess I’ll have to buy that soon but I can already imagine Z making faces at me if I tell him to do it. He doesn’t like worksheets. Oh boy, I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Categories: Activities - Ages 5-8, Islamic Studies, Juggling Multiple Kids, Kindergarten Math, Lapbooking, Learning Games, Z's learning, Zulhijjah | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Behind The Scenes in Dallas

Our 10 hour drive to Dallas was a very rainy one. It rained the whole way that I was left wondering if it was raining all over Texas. And the next day, it’s still raining. There were a lot of accidents on the way, that traffic was held up a couple of times. They were reminders subhanallah of Allah’s decree and Allah’s power and blessings.

For us, it was raining, and we were traveling, so our dua were high priority, alhamdulillah. Everytime we travel I would recite out loud the dua of traveling and then the meaning. It’s really deep and profound when you reflect over the dua of a traveler subhanallah. For me, it’s also profound that there is a part that asks for the distance to be covered quickly, especially as it pertained to us. We were trying to get there in time for class. Despite the rain, we covered the distance in good time, alhamdulillah, but the few traffic that we had held us up, and everytime, I’d make dua, and when I thought we would definitely make it, we encountered traffic again. Subhanallah. We had entered Dallas but there were more traffic at the flyover which Z was very fascinated with. He kept pointing out the train tracks,

“Why are there many tracks?”

“Are we up?”

“Why are we up?”

“Are we going down?”

“I don’t want to go down.”

“Are we up Ummi?”

“Are we up a little bit, Ummi?”

“I want to go on a train.”

“Are we almost there?”

The first time he asked about the flyover, I realized that he had just realized about the differences between a smaller city and a bigger city. We have been traveling a lot before, but he had never noticed these things or at least had never asked about them. So I explained that this is a big city and there are so many more cars and people and they had to have trains, and they had to build the roads in such a way that we have flyovers. He seemed entranced by the whole experience.

He kept asking where we were too.

Oh and he did ask,

“Why is that moving?” (the windshield wiper)

“To wipe the water away.”

“Why do you need that to wipe the water?”

“So we can see.”

“Why is it raining?”

“Because Allah told the ngels to let the rain cloud let down water so the animals can drink, the grass can drink, the trees can drink. They need water too. Otherwise, who will give them water?”

“The people.”

“No, the people don’t give them water. They need water too.”

“Does the water fall on the trees?”

“Yes, but they suck it in through their roots.”

Subhanallah, we did make it to class on time though, miraculously, with Allah’s power of course. It was amazing. I brought Z in with me, and I gve him his Quran Maze sheet, and his crayon pouch, and told him to whisper and color. It was hard for me to fully take notes because of this, but I wanted so much for him to be in that environment, like the 3 older kids were when they were that age. At the registration table, the sister did mention that there was Mommy and Me room for mothers with young children. I didn’t want to take Z there. I want him to be trained to sit quietly in such an environment, even if he does his own things. That’s how it ws with the 3 older kids. I had taken them to Al Maghrib classes at that age and trained them to sit quietly and ‘take notes’. I would accommodate some fidgetyness, but no ruckus.

With Z, it ws okay Alhamdulillah. He did run to the front for  bit but didn’t make any noise. He did move between me, S and N, but was quiet most of the time. He was doing his Quran mazes and came to a part where he had to write down words. He encountered the word worship and when I told him to copy it out, he made a face and said,

“I don’t want to.”

I told him then that ok, he can just put it away and I turned back to my notes. When I looked back at his paper, he had written the word out. That was quick! I realized that he has the ability to write quickly but it’s just a matter of whether he wants to or not, which makes it both easier and harder for me.

We survived 3 hours of free Friday alhamdulillah! I didn’t have much notes but at least I had Z in the room for 3 hours without much trouble.

Today, I spent the morning doing the Human Body activity sheet with him. I truly enjoyed it!

I had to spell the words for him. I just realized that we probably need to start work on uppercase and lowercase soon.

It didn’t take that long for him to write, so he can write pretty fast but it’s just training him to write on the lines, lowercase, uppercase, basically penmanship. I hate training kids with penmanship. I hated doing it in school too.

 

S doing her Algebra and Z working on his maze when I was done working with him.

He seemed to enjoy it too and actually cooperated though with reading and writing, he did make faces and refused but I insisted. I realized that this is what his therapists had to do too. We actually finished working on the whole activity set by lunch time. S did her Al Huda studying while I was working with him.

I also let him do another Quran Maze set.

We also read Hey, Little Ant. As we read this book, I asked him,

“Is the boy nice or mean?”

“Mean.”

Is he being nice or mean now?”

“Mean.”

“Do you think he should squish the ant?”

“No.”

“Do you remember when H squished your ant?”

“Yeah.”

“Were you sad ?”

“Yeah.”

“Your ant was bringing back  leaf, so maybe it was trying to build a nest or eat.”

When we reached the end of the book, he seemed pretty distraught because there was no given definite ending. For quite some time he looked very disappointed.

I then asked him which was his favorite page. I chose the giant ant. He did too. I love that page.

As for the older kids, we are kind of worried about N and how good she can retain or grasp the material taught in class. I looked through her notes last night. Pretty quirky and funny. I also noticed that she missed the important points and wrote down the jokes and elaborative points. I asked her if she likes the class. She said,

“Yeah, he makes lots of jokes.”

H said today at lunch break,

“It’s kind of hard.”

I hope to learn what they learned when they study for the exam inshaa Allah.

As for S, she studied her Al Huda, did her Math, we watched King Arthur’s Britain, and she did some PSAT questions. I finished memorizing my dua ready to be tested soon inshaAllah, listened to part of Juz 2 lesson for LI review purposes, and kicked myself for not bringing my Sahih Bukhari notes. I had the forward vision to ask my classmates to record the class for me because I will be missing two consecutive weeks of it, but I didn’t pack my notes with me! I didn’t think of listening to the recorded class and catching up during the week! Oh well, just more work for me when we get back home inshaAllah.

In all, alhamdulillah I feel it’s a pretty productive day.

Categories: AlMaghrib Institute, Books, Family, Homeschooling, HotelSchooling, Learning in Context, Note-taking, Reading, Teaching Challenges, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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