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.”
“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.”
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.
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.