Alhumdulillah Islam is all about good character and beautiful mannerisms…if one only reads the Quran and Hadith it suffices but its always good to have gentle reminders. SubhanAllah found this amazing book at a Book Fair,couple of years ago.Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq by B.Aisha Lemu.The book is divided into two parts.The first part is Theory based on islamic teachings of tahdhib(character) and akhlaq (manners)consisting of 39 lessons and part two is The Practice providing practical models from the lives of Prophets,Sahabas and other pious muslims in 7 lessons.Lessons are to the point and brief.
Just love having such a book around,I usually pull it out for copy work.We do talk about things like what is alcohol and smoking etc,but always fail to show them the ayaah relevant to it…but ones we came across this topic in the book, I was relieved to see the ruling mentioned in Surah Maaidah 5:90-91.I like how its all in one place.The exercises at the end of each lesson has good points to start a discussion.Inserting Tables of content page.
Very recently I came across these sets of books called Stories of the World by Safia Iqbal, well as for the title our spine for history is Story of the world but by totally different author ,who lives in a totally different time zone.We have been using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer.and we LOVE it…the best part is – the activities and we all look forward to those.But right now i am talking about a very different set of books,these are called Stories of the world by Safia Iqbal.
I had never heard of her until I came across a shelf in a bookstore where just the title made me open the book.The content of the book is phenomenal,except that they still call Pluto a planet,other than that,it is really rich and polished with evidences for the Quran.The author says she does not want history facts to be merely for memorization,she wants students to connect to their past and environment …and she very much succeeded in doing so.
The author Safia Iqbaal passed away in 2010,she was a Principal of Scholars School in New Delhi ,India.The book’s Civic or Government part deals with Indian constitution,but that only comes up in book 5,and its only one lesson of two pages.This is a text book with Q&A and fill in the blanks at the end of every lesson.
Overall the content is very much backed up with scientific and Quranic facts.Its heavily Islamic.
I have started with book 3 ,for both my 10 and 6 years old boys.We did Astronomy and it was really informative.Though the pictures are all back and white and very old school,but we love it for the content.The books is divided into Astronomy,Geography,History,Civics and Economics.Below I’ll insert the table of contents page from books 3,4,5 and6 .Amazon does not have them except Book 5 and 6.But check them out at albatra.com.
So we decided to make our own pots,pans and jugs.We used air dry brown color clay,and watched a documentary about early nomadic life.Understanding how difficult life was,made us all very grateful for everything we are blessed with.
These pots and jugs were later used in an archeological dig project which I just created in a tub filled with sand.But these were soo fragile that the handles kept coming out and then we had to glue them.
Since we are studying about pyramids which are basically graves or as I like to call them the resting places.My almost 10 years old son is ready for me to discuss this issue with him.He has attended a couple of funerals in the family,and is very well aware of Salatul Janazah.
Infact I remember once both brothers were playing while praying,they like to perform salah like its done in Haram.(like how they say the takbeer two times)….so after they said tasleem.Older bro asked little bro to lie to down in front, and he read Salatul Janazah.(yeah…he did that)!
I was totally like OMG….No way….they cant do that….I haven’t taught them this.
But within few second I got myself together and realized,I was the one to teach them to observe everything consciously going on around them and with kids its monkey see monkey do.
So moving on… initially Egyptians used to bury their dead in the same way as we Muslims do today,with slight differences.
Gradually they started to put a concrete or mud wall more like a mud cake type structure around the grave,which was called Mastaba.
And finally…they thought of putting up some steps to Mastaba,and there you have a step pyramid.Of course there are more details which my son went through but I am just giving a basic idea of what we were covering.
Since our spine is Islam, and this topic is ever so close to every Muslim…I brought in the Islamic way of burial.
We read very briefly,http://www.mfs.asn.au/ghusl–burial-steps.html
These are the examples of lahd or L shaped graves in Jannat ul Baqi (Madina).
If you are blessed to visit Madinah, do visit the museum, we were allowed to take the pictures which came in very handy while studying this topic.
Our step pyramid is missing two steps which we will inshallah install sometime later.I was thinking…in my math brain… starting with seven cubes will give us a six steps pyramid…but of course it dint….so you see this architect needs to do her homework.
But all in all we understood the what they meant by a step pyramid and did lots of math…like multiplying cubes…adding and estimations etc etc.
Like with most of our projects these days. I like to take a back seat and let the boys figure out things,but I remember my son did tell me our pyramid will be short!
So if you would like to do this project start with ten cubes at the base.As my kids were placing them right on top of the cube below…you may not do that and just place new cube between the two bottom ones….I think thats a better way to make a study pyramid.
The boys were completely on their own for this project.By now they know how to handle acrylics. I wanted them to control glue and sand too. These triangles were left from our shape sorting basket,and they decided to make pyramids.
After reading about fertile crescent we thought of making one of our own civilization.The idea was to make a river and gradually bring in the inhabitants…then focusing on farming…by now kids knew how important and convenient it was to live near a river.
It also gave them a good idea of why people lived near Nile or Tigris and Euphrates.
So we have two civilizations along the river bank….at one side the inhabitants have made roof with straws and on the other side the inhabitants decided to make huts…which are here looking like mushrooms.
Our love for history keeps growing with every new page.This time we were amazed at the craftsmanship behind these beautiful monuments.This week our study is based on town planning…but our primary focus is arches.
A lot of reading with some painting was a good start.These are Horseshoe arch,so in Islam horseshoe is a symbol of holiness and not luck as in other cultures.It was basically used to give more height than what classical semicircular arch did.In Britain it is called Moorish arch.
My kids are visual and kinesthetic learners.So to ease things for them I looked for images of the books of hadith,the ones I couldn’t find ….took prints of these stack of books and scrolls.Ofcourse Quran is the first source of seerah of Prophet Muhammad Sallahua’yhiwasaalm followed by Al-Sihah-al-Sittah(The Authentic Six) and then other books of hadith and the works of poets.
It was easy to make them understand by laying down everything on a single sheet of paper and numbering them.
We have been reading this book since they were toddlers,over and over and over again….that thing with kids where they pick the same book from shelf ,for like a month or so…..and are always excited….in fact this is our second copy.We LOVE this book.Alhumdulillah.
The living books approach is soo amazing and children retain so much if they like the content(or may be its about the attitude a parent/teacher shows that makes all the difference). While dealing with living books the parent lets the child connect to the author with out much interference.These may not exactly qualify for living books …but its somewhere there…. I think we need more authors and books which dont just provide information but help in creating that love with the subject.
For seerah we do very informal style narrations ,some days we just talk and some days we do scrapbook style cut and paste activities.