Posts Tagged With: Reading

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

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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

OKC Day 2

We decided to go out in the morning today, just the 4 of us excluding S, who has class all the way till 2:30. I had a little trouble getting to my group this morning and S missed a bit of her class because we switched laptops due to technical difficulties.

For a downtown library, it looks pretty new, which is nice but surprising. Then again, this is not the east coast. I remember when we went to Philadelphia and went to the downtown library. You could tell the building was very old.

Around 11 am, we went out and decided to take the trolley or walk to the Downtown Library. We ended up waking because the trolley comes every 30 minutes. It was surprisingly cool. I was expecting it to be hot. That’s what happens when you live in New Mexico and it’s always hot. So we had quite a nice walk through part of downtown. H led the way.

The library is very nice. I spent quite some time looking for books to read to Z. I was looking for non fiction science books but I ended up spending a long time in the picture books section before I realized that the books I was looking for was in the tween section.

I had a stack of books and called him and we sat in one area, and I asked him to choose which books he wanted me to read to him. He really loved Hey Diddle Diddle A Food Chain Tale.

I had to read it twice.

We also read Stanley Goes Fishing

and A Kite Day

and In the Garden: Who’s Been Here?

We read some other ones too, but these are the ones we remember. We didn’t read all the books in the stack, and I didn’t have the energy to anyway because after reading Hey Diddle Diddle twice, I didn’t have the energy to read anything else anymore. He also said he was done.

N and H were in the youth area, reading books. I think they finished 1 book during the time we were there. We left around 12:30 thinking we might get on the trolley but we ended up walking back to the hotel and as we reached it, we saw the trolley pass by us. We missed it!

On the way back, they left me way behind.

They had their HSI at 3:30 pm and discussed the Boston Massacre. I was too tired I just fell asleep in between. But the day felt somewhat productive alhamdulillah because in the morning, Z did some of Umm Nu’man’s Quran Center activity sheet set. He glued all the words for surah Al Ikhlass. He also asked to play the memory game with the Quran word cards, and he played it with N and H while I listened to the review of Juz 2. Alhamdulillah! At least he’s not completely aversive to it.

I hope Z is getting better because he is having runny nose sometimes and is still having coughing fits. We’re still giving him honey lemon, thanks to N and H making it for him.

I’m also getting increasingly worried about his food. I had made chicken nuggets for him but he doesn’t seem to like it. I had brought his serunding too, but I want him to eat his chicken. We bought Briyani tonight but of course, he can’t eat it. So he ate white rice with his chicken nuggets. Poor boy. This is the challenge of traveling with a multiple allergic kid. May eh outgrow these allergies completely soon. Ameen!

Categories: Activity, Allergies, Books, Family, HotelSchooling, Quran, Reading, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Road Trip Coming Up!

Z’ book bag

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

“Is this the trip?”

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

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

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

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

“Better late than never!”

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

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

“Yay! This is why we homeschool!”

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

57:22
Sahih International

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

57:23
Sahih International

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

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

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

some cut out pieces

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

My Body activity sheet set

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

Surah An Naas Activity Sheet set

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

Surah Al Ikhlas Activity Sheet set

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

Quran Mazes activity sheet booklets

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

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

His crayons

His glue and scissors

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

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

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

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

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

Older kids’ book bag

May Allah bless this trip. Ameen.

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

My obsessive packing organization

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

“I Want to Read Only One.”

I’ve been bloghopping recently, in an effort to look for ready-to-go Islamic Studies/Quran lesson plans/activities for Z. I’m at a point where I no longer have the time nor energy to brainstorm creative ideas for activities with him like I did with the older kids when they were this age. So I succumbed and have to admit defeat. Usually, I prefer to brainstorm my own activities, but I can’t afford to do that anymore, so I seek to be inspired and benefit from other Muslim homeschooling moms with young children.

When I first bloghopped, it made me feel bad. I mean really bad. Here are these wonderful mothers, doing wonderful things with their children and it makes me feel guilty for not doing much with Z. Subhanallah. I remember that way back, this was the very reason I avoided reading other homeschooling blogs. It stressed me out as I would compare myself to these amazing mothers.

But as I grew up and older, I realize that every family is different and that every family has different strengths just like individuals have different unique strengths. I also remind myself that I am not a big fan of worksheets and following curiculums, because I have done that with the older kids and I feel that is not the best way to learn and apply what is learned. It gives ‘ilm, but not necessarily the spiritual wisdom. That was why I looked into unschooling and am now an eclectic homeschooler.

So, after spending quite some time drooling over other moms’ beautiful activities with their kids, I began to get inspired to take a little bit of this and that and come up with my own, individualized activity plan for Z. I have unique struggles with teaching Z, so I looked at all the different things out there and these moms really have amazing activities! May Allah reward and accept it from them. Ameen!

Sumayyah’s post [Make Your Own Arabic Alphabet Letter Form Blocks] in particular inspired me to come up with a (hopefully) solution in teaching Z his Quranic Arabic reading. With S, I remember writing down the letter she had trouble with on the whiteboard in our living room. And everyday I would point it out to her until she finally gets that letter. With Z, our whiteboard is now full with stuff for the older kids. Subhanallah, I feel so bad for Z. I might start doing that for him, but after reading Sumayyah’s post I decided to do a similar thing, but with index cards. I went ahead and took a bunch of index cards I had sitting around for a while and cut them in half.

While I was doing this, I put on Shaikh Abdulbary Yahya’s lecture Love for the Sake of Allah.

AFter I was done cutting, I wrote the beginning, middle, and ending form of each letter, making sure to align the cut cards so they would join perfectly when put together. Then, I cut the top part of the cards and made these into the tashkeel cards, fatha, kasrah, dhammah, sukoon, dagger alif. Then I tied it altogether with a rubber band.

I tried it Z, but when he saw what it was, he immediately said,

“I don’t want to read it.”

Aargh!

I coaxed him, and he said,

“I want to read only one.”

Good enough. That’s what we did.

Today, he came to me with the card bundle and said,

“I want to do this.”

(!) Allahu Akbar!

So we did, but he put a condition on it,

“I want to read only one.”

As I was finishing up praying Isha just now, he came to me and said,

“I want to do this.”

So, we did.

Of course, he said, “I want to read only one.”

Well, as long as he keeps coming to me asking to read it, I guess I”m fine with him saying,

“I want to read only one.”

Last night, he did the activity with S, and surprisingly, they went beyond reading Only One. She even had him make up words.

And this morning, I picked out some of the old Arabic writing workbooks we had bought from Malaysia years ago for the older kids and I gave some to him for writing in. It took some reverse psychology to get him to write as per instructions but he did do some. With Z, it’s more of a battle of wills. It’s not that he can’t do it, but he won’t, and he will do reverse psychology back on us.

Categories: Activities - Ages 5-8, Quran, Teaching Challenges, Teaching To Read, Z's learning | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Z Books: If You Were A Parrot

Wednesdays is one of the busiest most hectic days in the week for us. Especially this week because N’s Oil Pastel Class starts, and H’s Magnetism Class starts. This morning we had bit of a to do with logistics. N had signed up to do her live presentation for her project for her Mammals class, but S said she had group at 8:45 and so would need the Mac, and by the time I came downstairs, N was not doing her presentation and H was using the Mac. So N rescheduled her live presentation next week.

Then, H’s Magnetism class starts at 9, so basically today, we had class starting at 6:30 am, then another at 7 am, then another at 9 am, then my class at 10 (had to anxiously wait for H’s class to finish on time so I wouldn’t be late for my class), and N’s Oil Pastel at 11. And now only N is in class, the rest of us had lunch. H made fried rice.

I read If You Were  A Parrot By Katherine Rawson with Z this morning. I also showed him the photos of the author and illustrator at the back, and told him that this lady wrote the story and this other lady drew the pictures. I also told N about the illustrator, and I love that she included some info about how she does her illustrations.

We had actually read it yesterday and today he picked that book again. Yesterday I didn’t have the chance to expound on it while I was reading since we were rushing to go to the library, but today I had time, so each time we read the pages about what features the parrot has, I reminded him of Jce’ parrot that we used to babysit once in a while.

“Do you remember, Jce’ bird would climb up on you, and chew on your ears?”

“Did Jce’s bird play in his water?”

It looks as if a sliver of memory of the bird is passing in his mind and then came his answer, “Yeah.”

“Did he use to look in the mirror too?”

“Yeah.”

“You remember, he eats nuts and seeds?”

“Yeah.”

He wanted to make the fake beak, so I told him to get some construction paper and we made him a beak, a black one. He went around with it, pretending to chew on a pencil. Then he started saying to me,

“I want four toes!”

 

Oh boy.

“But Allah already gave you a nice foot. Four toes is for a parrot.”

What do you expect when you read a book called, If You Were A Parrot.

After my class started, he would come in every now and again in the room and tell me, “I want four toes.”

All this while I was in class. It was getting annoying.

We need to read another book so he would forget about this one.

Four toes….eeshh…

Well, by this time I did read more books to him. We read,

Excuse Me by Lisa Kopelke

I wanted to read this one first because I had checked it out some time ago, but he didn’t want me to. Somehow then I read the one below first and then he took Excuse Me! and wanted me to read it because he liked the Tissue Please story.

Tissue Please by Lisa Kopelke

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

He wasn’t too fascinated by this one. I think he was rushing for something else then.

 

Categories: Activities - Ages 5-8, Animals, Books, Language Arts, Reading, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Z Books: Starfish and Spinning Spiders

Last week, I didn’t read any books to Z. It was hectic as my classes resumed and computer use was limited. I had an article I couldn’t finish and I had my online students to tend to, and I also lost my voice and towards the end of the week I strained my back when playing tennis. I had asked N to massage me but she didn’t do it with ihsan, so it didn’t have any effect. Hubs massaged it and by the will of Allah, I do not have problems making ruku’ now alhamdulillah!

Today, I read to Z while the kids are having their online classes.

We read Spinning Spiders by Melvin Berger.

We also read Starfish by Edith Thacher Hurd.

In the meantime, Z has been watching the Reading Rainbow video clip I had put up in a previous post. So today, after we read this, he expected me to find a Youtube video on them, and I did. We managed to watch a few before we set off for the library.

This was the first one we found:

And this is really cool too. Z said when we were watching this,

“It looks like a caterpillar!”

We also looked for spider web spinning Youtube videos:

With this one below, we talked about how the spider wraps its prey and then injects it with poison. When we read that part in the book, I reminded Z of his immunization shots (which he doesn’t like and so remembers quite well), and he understands and seems to be able to relate to this, so we looked out for this when we were watching the video. He even pointed to one of the legs of the spider and he said,

“Is that his ‘shot’?”

But then, I showed him how he injects the poison with a body part from his mouth and we saw it pretty clearly thanks to the video-person who did a wonderful job with this clip!

After we came back from the library, I went to the garden to check on my plants and saw a tangled spider web in my Thai Chilli plant. I showed it to Z and he told me,

“There is one on the captus!”

It took me a while to figure out what captus was, but as he pointed to our front yard, I understood. Captus = cactus.

“Oh, the cactus?”

“Yes.”

So he went ahead and showed me the spider web on one of the cacti in our front yard. Subhanallah, it was a beautiful web, and the spider was still there too and there was even some leftover of his meal. I wonder how Z even noticed that. I asked the older kids if they showed him the web, but they said no. So Z must have noticed it on his own. Good observation!

And he kept telling me when we were watching the Youtube videos,

“Send it to your blog!”

We also watched the tarantula:

Recently, I’ve been making his breakfast. Usually, I would pre bake his muffins, waffles and freeze them. I kind of feel sorry for him because they don;t look that appetizing and he ends up always skipping breakfast. So I started making him scrambled tofu with cubed frozen sweet potatoes for breakfast. He demanded that I also add carrots and I also put in sliced okra. I sprinkle it with curry powder. I also bake french fries of sweet and russet potatoes. But he really loves the scrambled tofu. When we made the sweet potato fries, he asked to help, so I let him mix in the curry powder over the unbaked fries, and even pour them on the pan before putting them in the oven. I had taken photos but he had deleted them. What  a shame. I make a big deal of him helping out in the kitchen because with his allergies, I usually don’t let him help much whereas the older kids all had their hands in their food since a young age. I find that letting kids work in the kitchen help with their learning overall. So I have been feeling bad for Z. Alhamdulillah, he’s been asking to help more and more now. Maybe after seeing his siblings always pottering about in the kitchen. A good thing, alhamdulillah.

I had checked out Janice Van Cleave’s Play and Find Out About Bugs, but haven’t yet had the chance to do any of the activities with Z.

Last week was hectic for me and we’re about to embark on one of our road trips for ‘ilm/hubs’ conference this month, so I’m thinking it will be hectic in the coming week. Well, at least he’s still learning from the little sessions we are able to have alhamdulillah.

Categories: Allergies, Animals, Books, Homeschooling, Reading, Science, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Z Books: Is This A House For Hermit Crab?

Today is library day, and I had prepped to go to the library while the kids are having their homeschool book study class. So it was Z and I who put the books in the bag. I usually ask him which books he wants to return so while he was choosing, he came upon the book Is This a House For Hermit Crab? By Megan McDonald. He asked me to read it.

I have been having a sore and hoarse throat these few days and I am losing my voice especially today, but I read it to him. It was a very brief read and I felt tired and exhausted for some reason. But he loved it and he even said,

“This is like the other hermit crab book.”

“Yeah, you mean the one by Eric Carle?”

“Yeah.”

He remembered the A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle we had read months ago. In fact, that book went missing for such a long time that I had accrued fines for it. I had wanted to actually pay for the book because we couldn’t find it but the librarian told us to just keep on renewing it because it will eventually turn up and paying for the book is more expensive than accruing fines, which is only up to $20 max anyway. So recently, Z found the book…in his backpack! All the while we’ve been looking for it almost everywhere BUT in his backpack! Oyy…..

After I was done reading, I briefly googled hermit crab on Youtube and found this,

but he didn’t have time to watch it because we had to go to the library. But I also found this Reading Rainbow episode on Vimeo, which reminds me of when the older kids used to watch it and even entered the annual story writing competition when they were younger.

I also found a nice unit study package for the book, and I looked through it. I guess it’s about time I do some hands-on activities with Z. I had just checked out Janice Van Cleave’s book from the library and hoping to do some activities with Z. My classes resume tomorrow, and I have one article due end of this week, so my schedule is a little tight, but hopefully it peters out soon inshaAllah.

At the library, Z is a seasoned automatic book check-outER now. I was about to check out the books and I told him to get in line to have the librarian unlock the DVDs, but he chose to check out the books instead. To my surprise, he took the DVDs and gave them to me, saying,

“You go over there…” pointing for me to get in line to unlock the DVDs.

Like father like son. I say that, because hubs is a man of efficiency and is always looking for opportunities to minimize waiting time and be efficient. It has rubbed off on me too and now apparently on Z.

 

Categories: Animals, Books, Reading, Youtube, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Z Books: Babies on The Go, Flip, Float, Fly

Our morning schedule is beginning to somewhat take a pattern now. After Fajr, H and N will do Arabic With Husna, and then we do Tafseer from Bayyinah Podcast. Meanwhile, S does her Taleem Quran online, from 6:30 am till 1:30 pm. Then, N and H starts schoolwork, and while they do their work, I read to Z. I’m happy it’s turning out like this because before, I couldn’t for the life of me have this schedule. Now that the older kids are working on their own, and having them attend online classes really really really help! Alhamdulillah. Before, I would be the one doing the lessons with them and it really takes up a lot of energy and time on my part. Now, this way, I have the time and energy to read with Z and do things with him, so Alhamdulillah! I hope this keep up and becomes easier inshaAllah.

So today, I read these books to Z. Even Z has begun to notice this pattern in our schedule, I think. Before, when I would tell him to pick a book for me to read to him, he would resist, because I would do it so randomly. But now, when I do that, he would happily pick a book from the library stack we have. Tuesday is our library day and so we usually get new books on that day.

Babies on the Go by Linda Ashman

I made sure to emphasize that it is Allah who makes these animals love their babies so much so that they would care for and carry their babies in their own respective ways.

At the end of this I asked him which animal was his favorite, and he picked the polar bear and Kangaroo.

Alhamdulillah, the older kids, I feel, and hope, have this connection with Allah somewhat at least. I always tell them to ask Allah if they want anything, and I even tell them that when they feel like they don’t want to do something, do it for His sake and that even if they feel under appreciated by us, remember that Allah appreciates them and will reward them. This is so that they hopefully won’t just do the ritual worship externally but not feel it internally. This is really a challenge for a parent (at least for me) to train their children in, but from experience and observation, I feel the key to this is to instill that connection with Allah early on. Their fitrah is strongest when they’re young, and when I started homeschooling the kids, this is one of the reasons why I decided to do it.

I thought I would send them to school when they’re older, but as I began to see what seems to happen in schools, I decided to keep them with me all the way till college. Hopefully, by then, they will be strong and wise enough to deal with the real wold completely on their own, and for that to happen, I have to make strong their foundation. May Allah help me, because there are times when I don’t think I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s not like I have had experience before in doing this, so…

We also read Flip, Float, Fly! but he didn’t seem to be too beholden to this one and while I was reading this, he took the book that we read last week; Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg. I flipped through some pages in the Flip, Float, Fly book and pointed out some pages to get his attention back. But he quickly want to move on to the egg book, so we read it again.

This time, I asked him to guess what animal it was and he responded. We also focused on what baby ducks are called and what baby spiders are called. He loved the page with the actual eggs sizes and kept laughing at the minuteness of the spider eggs. I made sure to emphasize that he octopus egg is as big as a grain of rice. It’s nice that the book has this page with the actual size of the egg.

Categories: Books, Homeschooling, Juggling Multiple Kids, Living Islam, Reading, Science, Time Management, Z's learning | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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