So how are Bricks really made

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After making our very own Mohenja daro bricks,we got an opportunity to see how bricks are really made.Thanks to my dad….he really gets the jest of Homeschooling.I was totally not expecting this,but he said he knew few people who make these on their farms.

So they collect mud add water.

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Put the clay in these molds.And then leave them to dry in the sun.

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After that these are arrange over a pit,to be baked.

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Some fall apart.

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It was a realization that,the way we made our bricks was more cumbersome.

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But Alhumdulillah for the timely trip.

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How we use our Morning Basket

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Alhumdulillah!We start our days with a little routine and everyone comes together on the rug(its a story time feeling).We hang around our little morning basket more than we should.

It’s a bouquet of  books I read aloud and something I feel, is the soul of our home school.This gives us a positive start and sets the mood for the entire day.It keeps me soo grounded.

Sometimes the only way to get things done… seems to be using the most of your vocals.

And how much we desier Allah subhanahuwata’la to forgive us and be kind to us.

So we start with the Book of Tauhid,it has been  recorded that:

Jundub Ibn Abdullah al-Bajaly said, “We learned iman (faith) and then we learned the Quran and it increased our iman.”

Imam Abu Hanifa said:

Understand the religion first(i.e Tauhid) and then understand the science(i.e shariah).

After reading an ayaah or hadith….we just talk and question every detail.Then I read from Tafseer and then we move to a hadith from Al Lu’lu’- Wal-Marjan.

Usually it takes us about an hour to wrap this up….there is more talking and less reading.Sometimes I just read a hadith and it takes us deep into the valley of discussions.And I have to set a timer for myself…after an hour,I just close the books,or else we’ll keep talking.

No worksheets or quizzes for this.As the day unfolds you get to see the effects of this time.

So while I am doing all the reading, kids are either fiddling with their toys on the rug.Or maybe munching on some snack.

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Some thing really neat about CM is she advocates to hold the big leather covered classic books and let the child see you reading from that.I was honestly a little  nervous when I first read from the Tafseer Quran, almost three years back(i thought my kids need color and more graphic stuff),but Alhumdulillah kids really just rolled in with me.Then after a while I moved to the book of Tauhid …just read an ayah which spoke about the purpose of creation and we just got into discussions….and then one fine day I read to them from Al Lu’lu’ Wal-Marjan….and they were amazed to know how everything that our beloved  Prophet Sallahualyhiwasalm said, has been recorded and well preserved Alhumdulillah.

Please note,not all days are same, but we try our best to put this as a priority.You might want to start really slow.

May Allah protect us from any riya’ (ostentation).

Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq

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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.

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Our winter reading companion

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With running nose and coughs and colds,our days are a bit lazy but Alhumdulillah ala kulli haal, this is part of being human.It took me a while to understand the fact that my kids will get sick.My older version thought kids should never get sick,NEVER.

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So school started with measuring the ingredients, fun with hand mixer and pre heating the oven.

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Lets see how long it takes for these yummies to get ready.

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And Alhumdulillah ready for read alouds.Every time we will sit down with a book,someone will run to grab a cupcake.Happy reading!

Play is work of childhood

 

This is not for the weak at heart .It requires a great amount of trust and faith.It took us a while to understand how our kids learn.The whole process of building and brainstorming is soo crucial for them…they spend hours planning and executing.And once they have that perfect tent or house…its time to read a favorite book.The ones who still cant read,choose to read through pictures.

We see play as relief from serious learning,but for children play is serious learning.

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But is this idea real.Who is going to fix this mess again.Well when you give importance to your child’s interest, they give importance to your interest. I let them pull thing and sometimes even help those tiny hands.And before maghrib we all run around the house to make it look as good as new.Its a team effort.All in the day’s work.

Our beloved Prophet Peace be upon him used to let his grandsons( Radiallahuanhum )ride on his back.A famous quote by Ali Radiallahuanh reads”We play with them for the first seven years,teach them the next seven years and become their friends for next seven years”

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Spending time alone…thinking!

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MashaAllah there is so much out there to learn and explore, so many curriculum, toys ,approaches ,methodologies ,different styles of assessments and much more than I know.

In my dire attempt to stay focused on not leaving out something… I sometimes loose track of why was I here at the first place.

We live in an age of explosion of knowledge .but is this true knowledge or facts and figures sold at an exaggerated price? Is this Ilm un Nafi -beneficial knowledge.

Even religious knowledge remains mere information if not acted upon. To quote someone who remains anonymous “If I have all the information about what is to happen in the grave ,what questions will be asked and the relevant references from the Quran and the Hadith…what use is it all when it does not come to my aid when I am finally laid in the grave?”. It would only benefit me if i prepared accordingly.Information becomes knowledge when it benefits.

Knowledge needs to be acted upon.

An evening at an Art gallery

As a homeschooling mom I get excited every time I see an opportunity where kids will get to experience something new and interesting. Experience and exposure to new things, fuels the idea of endless possibilities.

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I came across a rock art event that was scheduled in our city…my imagination started running wild,I could see a huge rock in the middle  of the room and tools with which kids will get to carve,or maybe they will show how to use limestone and coal as a chalk,or maybe how different pigments from nature can be used for drawing.

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So finally we entered this art gallery and all I could see were petroglyphs depiction of pre historic women.

Now for the  interactive kids area…they had a station for kids to draw on brown paper,play dough and some juices. Hmmm …img_2811

It was nothing as I had expected it to be, cant blame them….its something about my homeschool mom brain.

All this made me realize two things- firstly that sometimes we underestimate ourselves as home educators and secondly every experience teaches us something,there must have been a reason that we ended up in that art gallery.

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We had done most of  our study on stone age by reading stories of ancient world, watching documentaries ,grinding our own wheat and drawing loads of those cave man hunting scenes and on one of our visits to Al Ain we wrote our names with limestone on Jabel Hafidh . Sigh no pics 😦

That evening  we tried to make most of it.Alhumdulillah it was a good opportunity to meet a professional photographer.My 10 yr old mostly shy …there is this beautiful smile he gives me whenever I ask him to talk to people(which basically means..naa not interested) and my 6 yrs old asked the photographer if he can take the play dough home :/

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So that day the most motivated person was my husband…after all,his drawings were much better than those on the rocks!

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Routine for a little sanity

Mornings are the most crucial part of our day….If we manage to give it a good kick,our day pretty much falls in place.By falling in place all I mean is ,that slight breath that I take and think we did it!Though humans are always learning ,but a homeschooling mom’s brain is wired in a bit weird way.She’s always thinking she could have done more.I call it (homeschool mom disorder)

CM talks about habit formation and I am a huge believer good habits are building blocks of good character .To cultivate good habits one needs to visit them often.

I have one child who starts his day with no fuel and keeps dragging himself for as long as possible.Another hates to take shower.We earlier had issues of constipation and dehydration and I realized keeping a routine simplifies a lot of those issues,at least for our family.

Who wants to be a mom who nags and bickers all the time.I honestly hate it and the days I do that I am least productive. So before the start of this school year we sat and talked it out …all we needed was a little reminder and loads of motivation.So I made this really simple morning routine charts.They check the things they are done with.img_2831

So every picture is pretty self explanatory ,while they have breakfast I read a story and then we do our morning basket.After this they help me with chores and then we start with our school work.So far its working.

Our very own Lego Cake!

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I guess this was the most challenging cake to work on.Every one wanted to eat it right from the start,that is pretty much the case with all our  kitchen projects but in this case I think food colors were sooo tempting.

The biggest motivator for my boys is always food.And you always one with a sweet tooth.

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This is the most difficult part of any baking session…waiting with patience.When your entire house is smelling delicious.

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Children around the Prophet

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Having a child with good Akhlaaq and manners is the top notch priority of every muslim parent.But things around are moving at such a fast pace,keeping up seems impossible.We as parents have to grab every opportunity to sit and talk to our kids and be able to connect with what’s cooking up in their heads.Never before was the need soo dire.May ALLAH make it easy for every parent. Br. Hesham Alawadi has a talk on Children around the Prophet,its pretty long,he talks about how to raise children using  Prophet’s May Peace Be Upon Him example.Link to the audio is HERE