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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An uninvited guest

In the perfect world I would love to have a vegetable garden in front of my house and a backyard with chickens,a white goat, some cats in the background.but I can only vision this life for a day or two.Unfortunately I have always lived in a concrete jungle.I see claustrophobic tall buildings…I feel home.That’s ridiculous but its true.

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As much as I love the whole nature study idea…little crawling things freak me out….but my boys love being around insects and animals.We found this little guy inside a cauliflower.

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Boys wanted to keep this caterpillar as a pet but just when we were not paying attention…it disappeared somewhere… in the kitchen.And for me that meant  every corner of the kitchen needs to checked and cleaned,but Alhumdulillaah we found him dangling on the edge of kitchen table.After spending good 4 to 5 hours with us and letting us study all its moves and scales…our guest was escorted out to the garden across the street.img_2347

It was not as beautiful as the ones we saw in our books,but it was such an amazing sight SubhanAllah.

 

 

Playing and learning

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A topic learned with loads of fun…Alhumdulillah. And it all happens at bedtime…just when you want to wrap up the day!

How shadows are formed mama

Well…lets look it up…. Basically an object that does not allows any light to pass through will form a shadow. Shadows are formed by light, because if light shines onto an object, and the object blocks the light, the light will go sideways of the object, and therefore, a shadow is formed. Light can only travel in straight lines.Me reading from here.

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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Review on Stories of the World books by Safia Iqbal

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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.

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Book 3

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Book 4

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Book 5

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Book 6

Islamic Studies Books by Susan Douglass

Islamic school books are written by Susan Douglass,and the best part about these is…every year or grade level has a different title,they are written for specific grade levels.But we just pick a subject of interest.These books are divided into four parts.Part One is Teacher’s Notes,Part Two is Student Text,Part Three is Teaching Suggestions and Enrichment Activities and Part Four is Unit Activities.We have been enjoying reading stories from here.I also use them for copy work.She has amazing book recommendations, inshaAllah will share those once I get them.The  pictures are black and white but children will really enjoy the stories and activities.

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Islamic Living books

Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy on child education has really hit home with me.When ever I am reading her work….I keep nodding to my self in affirmation to most of the ideas she offers. Living books are great to nurture the enthusiasm of learning and it fans curiosity which most of the time leads to another living book.I was able to find some books which did just that.They have an islamic theme or the story is set in a muslim background.Most of the books I am sharing here are written by Luqman Nagy.Most books are available on Dar-us-Salam Publication website,they are too pricey on Amazon.

  1. Abdul Hay’s Tomato Red Tiles

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2.Ahmet’s Secret

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3.Green Muslims

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4.Furqan Visits Fez

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5.The Well-Travelled Quran

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6.Abdul Haq’s Diploma Day

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7.Uncle Rifat’s Garden

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8.The Book of Ibns

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9. Scientific Miracles in the Oceans and AnimalsIMG_2345IMG_2347

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.The Silver Dirham

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11.The Most Beautiful MihrabIMG_2349

12.Ibn Khaldun

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13.Surat Al-‘ArdhIMG_2351

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14.1001 InventionsIMG_2354