| Day in the Life | + Arabic Flashcards GIVEAWAY

Muslim homeschool UK DITL Arabic

Since we began using the Ambleside online homeschool curriculum, our daily routine has changed. We are spending more time reading living books, less time doing worksheets and even more time outdoors!

WATCH THE VIDEO below to see a typical day in our Muslim homeschool.

Also, make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to enter this month’s GIVEAWAY!

Muslim homeschool UK DITL Arabic

This blog post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Word United, who generously sent me their products to review. Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in posts and the sidebar. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

 

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Word United Write and Wipe Flashcards

We are using the write and wipe flashcards from Word United to enriched our homeschool English and foreign language curriculum.

These cards provide a hands-on approach to learning a language that has kept my children engaged and enthusiastic to learn more!

Word United Enlgish flashcards

The Word United flashcards are available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and German; teaching the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and actions in each of these languages.

Each card showcases the word or letter with a beautiful high quality photo on one side; whilst the other side has the word written out, and then space for tracing and hand-writing practice. These high quality cards are kept in a magnetically closing box, along with two wipe-able board pens.

Word United English flashcard

If you would like to learn more about these flashcards, WATCH THE VIDEO above, visit their website (www.wordunited.com), or find them on Twitter and Instagram.

Word United Arabic flashcard

Other Products Featured

Arabic Flashcards
English Flahscards
Abacus
Scythe
How to Read a Book
Home Education: Volume 1
Charlotte Mason Summaries
Primer Free and Treadwell
Matilda
Harry Potter

Wizards of Once
Mr Poppers Penguins
Beatrix Potter Collection
Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

 

GIVEAWAY

This month, I  am thrilled to be sharing the beautiful Word United Write and Wipe Flashcards with THREE WINNERS!
Each winner can select ONE SET of the Write and Wipe flashcards from WordUnited.com.
The giveaway will run from Saturday 28th November  2017 until Saturday 4th November 2017 at 12am GMT.

This giveaway is OPEN TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY.

All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.

You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (click HERE is you would like to know more about Rafflecopter).
I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email.
The winner has 24 hours to respond, otherwise I will have to select another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know it can be fun to see how other families home-educate their children; but more than that, I hope you found something useful in our YouTube video. Whether its a new book to read, or a new idea, I sincerely hope that by sharing these moments of our lives with you, I am helping you and your families in someway.

If you would like to see more of us, and an almost daily look into our homeschooling day, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love,
Our Muslim Homeschool Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Eagles, Apples and Bears! Our Homeschool Week | 2nd – 6th October 2017

Homeschool UK Charlotte Mason

It’s been wonderful to get back into our homeschool curriculum this week, after the disruption of last week! We’ve been learning more about the Vikings, have enjoyed some great works of literature and made loads of art projects from our Toucan box.

Read on to take a look into a typical homeschool week with us, using the Charlotte Mason approach to education and the Ambleside Online homeschool curriculum.

charlotte mason homeschool uk hawthorn

Monday 2nd October

This morning the kids worked through a few lesson of CTC Math, on the computer. They are enjoying the programme and benefiting from the way it approaches maths. My eldest learnt about map co-ordinates and different types of graphs; whilst my younger son learnt about the concept of symmetry. It was a fun morning!

Today in circle time, we learnt about famous viking explorer, Leif Erikson and looked at another famous painting by Hokusai, “Mishima Pass in Kai Province.”

We have been using a wall calendar for picture study, as they are very inexpensive compared to art books, and can hang easily on our wall; allowing the kids to look at it and learn from it throughout our school week.

Muslim homeschool circle time

Tuesday 3rd October

The highlight of the day was the Toucan box came in the post! Thankfully the boys had already done most of their school work before it came, otherwise nothing would have been done! It was all very exciting!

We have recently upgraded to the largest of their boxes, the “Super box”, which contains 4 different craft activities and a picture book. To read a review of the Toucan box and see an un-boxing video we made, CLICK HERE.

For more information about Toucan Box, visit their website HERE and use the referral code GEMMA-9E6X to get your first box free!

Out of the four, the boys decided to do the underwater scene first. It turned out lovely, and we read the picture book that came at bed-time.

Toucan box

Underwater sea craft from toucan box

The postman also brought a new new book to go along with our study of Medieval Britain, A Knight’s city by Philip SteeleThis book is AMAZING!

It is filled with the most incredible pop-ups that are so intricately designed. The book takes you on a tour of life in a medieval city, and it is full of great information along with pop-ups of a cathedral, castle and bridge. It really sparked my boy’s imagination and has helped them to visualise the scenes in the living books we are reading from.

Medieval history pop up book for kids

Sight word game for kindergarten

After all the excitement, we spent a little time in the afternoon reviewing sight-words with the game POP from learning resources.

Wednesday 4th October

Today we learnt about Hereward and his battles with William the conquerer. Never heard of Hereward….me neither! But if you are covering medieval history this year you should look him up!

We also raed about Prophet Nuh (Noah) from the book Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam. We discussed how Nuh’s wife and son were not from the believers, and how faith is a gift from God and should be cherished.

The afternoon was filled with activities outside the home; like Quran class and a Muslim beaver scouts meeting.He came back with even more badges for me to sew on! MashAllah.

Thursday 5th October

Along with the usual school work, the boys had a swimming class this morning. The long drive there gave us an opportunity to listen to the literature component of our curriculum Understood Betsy.

We have really been enjoying listening to the audiobook version on Audible. In fact, I have personally enjoyed it so much, I have been tempted this week to put it on for myself to listen to whilst I was getting on with housework! It’s really good!

After swimming, and a Seerah class with their other home-ed friends, we went into our garden to enjoy the autumn sunshine.

We have been using these flashcards from word united to teach handwriting and reading to my 5-year old, as well as using their French and Arabic range for foreign language study.

Handwriting flashcards

Toddler fun!
Keeping herself busy…You have to pick your battles with 2 year-olds!

Friday 6th October

It’s Friday! Hurray!

Friday for us means nature walk! This week we went out to a patch of scrub-land near the river and explored. It was beautiful!

Homeschool UK Charlotte Mason
RUN! Woohoo!

Charlotte Mason homeschool

Along the walk, I noticed some beautiful cowslip flowers by the pavement. I stopped, without saying anything, took a photo of them and walked on. A few minutes later I turned around and found my sons sat down by the same flowers having their own discussion and conversation about them.

There was no need for me to say anything, and “force” a learning opportunity. Instead of saying, “Look at these boys,” or “Do you know what these flowers are called?”, they were able to make the discovery themselves! These are the moments that will stay with them and that they will retain, not incessant lecturing from me!

I have to remind myself often, to follow the advice of Charlotte Mason, and stay quiet! I find it so tempting, in my enthusiasm, to give constant prompting to the boys. This was a beautiful reminder to myself, that they don’t need me to do that! They have each other! mashAllah.

Nature study

Amongst some other discoveries, we found a few apples trees growing along the route, and a muddy puddle full of different foot prints; different kinds of birds and dogs (although my boys were convinced they were bear foot prints!)

My 5 year-old also found the biggest feather he’s ever seen! He was so excited and, as we had seen birds-of-prey in the area last week, and decided it was an eagle feather!

Bear footprints nature study
Bear footprints?

After a stopping off for hot-chocolate at a cafe, we started walking back to the car. It was a long walk, so I decided to distract them with Quran!

Each of the boys had to recite all the Quran that they could remember. We talked about how the Quran is the word of Allah, and everything in creation wants to hear it. So as they recited, we talked about how the clouds in the sky, the grass under their feet and birds in the trees were listening to them. Subhanullah! Before we knew it, we were back at the car!

We made it to Jummah prayer at the mosque. Although we went to a mosque I don’t usually visit, there is something very powerful about standing shoulder to shoulder with women, whom I didn’t know, praying together. Unity.

We didn’t have time to sketch and paint in our nature journal’s today, but the boys did make a lovely chicken a mushroom pie! It was a great end to the week.

How was your homeschool week?
Please do let me know and tell us all about it in the comments!

Peace and Love,

Our Muslim Homeschool Dr Gemma Elizabeth

A Week (or two) in Our Homeschool | 18th-29th September 2017

Blackbird egg nature journal

I think the theme of the last few weeks should be how to homeschool when nothing goes to plan!

We were just starting to get into a rhythm and a good homeschool routine, when flu hit and then an un-planned road trip really challenged our schedule.

Monday 18th September

I was sick today! With a terrible fever and flu, we kept it really simple today with maths on the computer, reading practice and some Quran.

The kids were still unwell too, so they finished off an activity from their Toucan Box and made this awesome Dinosaur egg with plaster of Paris. We love our monthly Toucan box. You can read a review I wrote about it HERE.

Dinosaur egg craft

After dosing up on paracetamol and ibuprofen, I felt human again so we read aloud from A Child’s History of the World, learning about King Alfred.

Honestly, I had never heard of Alfred and his treaty with the Vikings before….it was really interesting!

A child's history of the world

Tuesday 19th September

Since we missed circle time yesterday, I made it a priority today. We revisited a painting by Hokusai and the children gave a lovey narration of it. We sang some French nursery rhymes from Comptines a chanter  and finished off the Shakespeare play “Two Gentlemen of Verona” from the book Beautiful stories from Shakespeare for children

The boys struggled a little ( a lot) following the plot of the play. I am thinking of encorporating peg dolls or some props to help them to narrate the plays. It is not the language that they find hard, but the complex story lines! We’ll find a way insha’Allah.

After reading about the Battle of Hastings from Our Island Story we stopped school for the day and tried to get better!

Year 2 Ambleside online

Wednesday 20th September

After two days being stuck indoors, I was itching to get out!

After a little morning school, we went to a nearby park and get some fresh air. I had been reading in Home Education Volume 1 by Charlotte Mason about the importance she placed on breathing in “outdoor” air compared to “indoor” air, and so I felt inspired to follow her advice!

Muslim homeschool

Thursday 21st September

By now the kids were well enough to go to their home-ed classes and were able to go swimming and to their Seerah class.

Those long drives to classes were my saving grace! We look our iPad and listened Understood Betsy on Audible on the way there and back. If you remember in my last blog post, I said the boys were not enjoying that book AT ALL! Well they seem to really like the Audiobook. Alhumdulillah!

I was so impressed with how responsive they were to the audiobook, that I used up all my free credits with Audible to get almost all the books we will be using this year with the Ambleside online curriculum.

If you haven’t tried Audible before, they are a publisher and distributor of the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. There is a 30-Day FREE TRIAL available at the moment if you’d like to try it with your family.

 

In the evening, we sang French songs with our cookies and milk!

Homeschool french songs
Cookies and French songs!

Friday 22nd September

Although I was still not feeling well, there was no way we were missing out on nature study! I love it too much!

We spent the morning sketching a blackbird into our Nature notebooks with the help of some fantastic YouTube videos by John Muir Laws

nature journal watercolour blackbird

We headed off the our nearby park for our usual nature walk, but within minutes of reaching there, the heavens opened! It was raining so hard we had to run back to the car and eat our picnic there! Whilst we were eating we listened to an excellent CD, A Guide to British Garden Birds., until the rain stopped.

british garden bird song cd  nature study acorns

Once back home, we painted our blackbirds using water colours, and the children spent the remainder of the day with their grandparents.

(Sketch book: HERE)

nature study blackbird

 

Saturday 23rd

The boys worked on the next chapter in their Islamic Studies books. My 7 year-old read about Life after Death using the Safar Year 3 book, and my 5 year-old learnt about how to use the toilet and keep clean using the Year 1 books.

Safar Islamic Studies Year 1

Sunday 24th – Tuesday 26th

My in-laws are visiting at the moment, so we decided to make the most of our flexible schedule and take them to Alton towers. This kids enjoyed spending time with their grnadparents and they loved going on all the rides!

cbeebies land alton towers homeschol trip

cbeebies land alton towers homeschol trip
Justin’s House was her favourite!

With it being a weekday, there were no queues! I have never been to a theme park where you didn’t have to queue up for anything! It was brilliant for the young kids.

My daughter got to meet Postman Mat (which she is still talking about), and the boys got to go on some faster roller-coasters. They’re now planning how they can build their own roller coaster at home out of Lego! Whilst there,we stayed in a hotel within the resort for a few days and came back Tuesday afternoon.

It is worth noting that Alton Towers, and all Merlin attractions, do offer a home-educator discount, but you will have to prove you home school with a letter from the LEA.

Wednesday 27th September

After getting back from out trip, I decided to spend the remainder to the week catching up on what we missed last week. Initally the morning was spent doing the usual daily workl; Quran, Maths and Reading. My 7 year-old son started The Bears on Hemlock Mountain which he seems to be enjoying.

During circle time we learnt about Prophet Idris (Enoch)(AS) from the book Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam.

Then the boys remembered that their Seerah teacher had asked them to make a list of 5 good things they wanted to do/acheive this new Islamic year. Their lists included things like learn to swim, read more Quran, be better to my mum! My 5 year-old son wanted to type his list up on the computer and here he is mashAllah!

Islamic new year resolutions
Islamic new year resolutions

Thursday 28th September

Today we went seemed to spend most of the day in the car! After a little “morning school”, travelling to the boys’ swimming class and Seerah class took up a large part of the day.

We used this time once again to listen to audiobooks, listening to Parables from Nature using Audible

It was lovely to have some sunny weather today though. However, as all you mums know, sunny weather means catching up on laundry! After being sick, and going away for the weekend, and the endless rain we’ve been having, there was a lot of washing to do! By the end of the day I had 4 or 5 loads of clean laundry to fold/iron and put away(…eugh), but seeing that empty laundry basket was satisfying.

what homeschooling really looks like!
This is what homeschooling really looks like!

Friday 29th September

Fridays are our favourite day! We spent the morning walking in nearby woodland. We spotted a squirrel with a sweet chesnut in his mouth. When we followed him we found the tree and hundreds of sweet shestnuts on the floor! The boys decided to collect as many as they could carry to take home for the squirrels in our garden!

nature walk homeschool

nature walk homeschool
I don’t know what they’re looking at!
nature walk homeschool
Sweet Chestnuts EVERYWHERE!

In the afternoon, the boys planted some of the sweet chestnuts in the garden and left loads out for the squirrels.

They added a green/blue blackbird egg to their nature notebooks and had a class at home with their French tutor. The rest of the day was spent helping to cook dinner. They made chicken curry and rice mashAllah!

Blackbird egg nature journal
Adding to their nature notebook later that afternoon

 

 

So it has been a “higgledy-piggledy” week. We are one week behind in schedule set out by  Ambleside online, so instead of beginning week 5 we will beginning week 4.

I’m not really concerned at all if I’m honest! Instead of taking 36 weeks to compete the year, we will take 37.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our week.

What do you do when your children get sick?
Do you prioritise any subjects and try to get something done?
Or do you just take that time off?
Please let me know in the comment below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

A Week in our Homeschool | 11-15th September 2017

Muslim homeschool week

Take a peek into our homeschool week! In this blog post, I am excited to share snippets of our week!

This week was officially our 2nd week of using the homeschool curriculum Ambleside online. So far, I have found using a set curriculum strangely liberating!

Up until this point, I have always enjoyed piecing together my out curriculum. However, with my work online and my homeschool shop growing, I wanted to find something that took the pressure of me a little. So far, Ambleside online’s curriculum is doing just that!

Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in blog posts and sidebar ads. See Disclaimer for more information. 

Monday 11th September

Monday usually means recovering from a busy weekend! This Monday we kept things simple with morning school, Quran class and then a trip to the park. Today was also the first time we read from A Child’s History of the World and we loved it!

Muslim homeschool week
Pizza and Shakespeare!
Muslim homeschool week
Baby doll goes first!

Muslim homeschool week

Tuesday 12th September

Tuesdays are usually busy day for us, and this Tuesday was no exception!

With swimming, French AND wrestling classes all on one day, we struggled to do all the subjects that I had planned.

We managed most things, but we didn’t have time to read from Our Island story or Understood Betsy. Don’t worry.. we made up for it later in the week!

Muslim homeschool week Muslim homeschool week

Wednesday 13th September

The boys had fun today adding to their Book of the Centuries. We added in the historical figures Harun al-Rashid, Charlemagne and King Harold II . We also managed to start reading Understood Betsy, but my boys were not impressed! I will keep persevering!

In the afternoon, the boys went for Quran classes and Muslim scouts. Muslim homeschool weekMuslim homeschool week

Thursday 14th September

Today we read from the Burgess Animal Book and my children really love it.

They have learn so much about Rabbits and the rest of the rabbit family from the two chapters we have read. The stories are rally engaging and are a wonderful way to introduce children to biology and natural history.

We are currently in the middle of landscaping the garden, but with the torrential rains and storms we’ve had all week, nothing has been done for awhile! But the kids are enjoying the mud!

Muslim homeschool week
Happy toddler!

Muslim homeschool week

Friday 15th September

On Fridays the books are put away and we go outdoors!

This morning was spent exploring nearby woodland.

Muslim homeschool week nature walk

Muslim homeschool week nature walk
He spotted a hare! Run!
Muslim homeschool week nature walk
If you were a hare which way would you go?
Muslim homeschool week nature walk
Are you in there?

We didn’t have any kind of agenda today except that I asked them to find a leaf to take home to paint into their nature journals.

It’s been a long time since we used watercolours and I wanted them reintroduce watercolours by painting something simple.

I had a go too and it was so relaxing! I’m very keen to add to my nature journal again!

Muslim homeschool week Muslim homeschool week

Unfortunately, because we were having too much fun in the woods, and because I forgot to bring my watch, we got home too late to go to Friday prayers at the mosque. Astaghfirullah. Next week I will be better prepared insha’Allah.

In the afternoon, after their French class, the children spent time with their grandparents!

Muslim homeschool nature walk
That light….

Today, whilst out for our walk, I was struck with gratitude; how fortunate I am to be spending my days with my children and walking outdoors in the beautiful British countryside today.

In the thick of it, sometimes forget how blessed I am but being outside reminded me of how lucky I truly am. It forces me to slow down and reflect. There is something about the light in a forest, the way is peeks through the canopy and illuminates pockets of the woodland floor, that always strikes me. There so much to learn from being still and observing creation.

This week with Ambleside online has gone very well. Although we have fallen slightly behind in our reading of Understood Betsy and Poetry, I am confident we can easily catch up insha’Allah. The only thing left to do this weekend is work through the next chapter in our Islamic studies books.

I have really enjoyed sharing our week with you, and I hope you enjoying reading about it!

If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments below and I will try to answer them as best I can.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

 

Why Online Learning Really Works | Reading Eggs Review

Reading eggs homeschool review

Online learning games are an effective method of improving children’s literacy skills and increasing their confidence in reading.

For years I have been using Reading Eggs in our home to teach the children to read. You can imagine my delight when Reading Eggs reached out to me and asked me to review their online reading programme! My children have enjoyed and learnt so much from Reading Eggs and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share that with you here!

Reading eggs homeschool review

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

This blog post has been written in collaboration with Reading Eggs, who gave my family free access to their online Reading programme and compensated me for my time.

Why I love Reading Eggs

Why do I love Reading Eggs? The answer is simple…it works!

I have used reading eggs with both my sons from the age of 4. After beginning the programme, I witnessed their literacy skills improve tremendously in a short space of time and, most importantly, their enthusiasm for reading grew!

Reading eggs is so much fun and it works!

 

What is Reading Eggs?

Reading Eggs is an Award-winning online reading programme for children aged 3-13. It is a safe online learning environment that gives children access to hundreds of reading lessons, thousands of interactive activities and over 2500 e-books!

Reading Eggs have also recently launched a Reading Eggs Junior, which is a new online learning programme for toddlers (ages 2-4) to introduce younger children to letters and pre-reading skills through songs, picture books, interactive activities and videos. It’s a lot of fun!

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme
Checking with their big brother!

Benefits of Online Learning

Here a some of the benefits of incorporating online learning in our homeschool:

  • Encourages Independence

Reading Eggs has been cleverly created to allow children to maneuver their site with little need for grown-up assistance.

My children were easily able to progress through their lessons without my help, and soon worked out how to access all the other features of the programme.

  • Boosts Confidence

Nothing hinders learning more than a lack of confidence. I have seen this in my own home. However as our children became more fluent in reading and progressed through the various levels of Reading Eggs, their confidence grew!

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

  • Builds Positive Associations with Reading

Reading Eggs is so effective at teaching reading because its is fun. From my experience, I found my kids wanted to do their reading lessons and were disappointed if, for some reason, they couldn’t do it one day!

My eldest son really enjoyed the phonics songs and the interactive nature of the lessons.

My youngest son loves the reward system they have in place! After completing the lessons, the children are rewarded golden eggs that can be exchanged for virtual prizes. This was a great incentive for him to work through the various levels. He loved completing his lessons so he could fill his virtual house with all the prizes he had won!

It’s wonderful to know that whilst they are playing and having fun, they are learning to read!

  • Mummy can rest!

Let’s be real for a moment! Online learning is not only an effective method of teaching children, it also has real benefits for homeschooling parents.

It gives me time to do other much needed things; like putting on the laundry, preparing lunch, teaching my other children, or just unwinding for a moment with a cup of tea!

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

Free 4-Week Trial

Reading Eggs are currently offering a 4-Week Free trial  in USA and a 5-Week FREE Trial in U.K.!

The  FREE TRIALS will give you access to all of their online learning programmes! This includes:

  • Reading Egg Junior – ages 2-4
  • Reading Eggs (ages 3-7)
  • Reading Express (ages 7-13)
  • Mathseeds – Online Maths Programe (ages 3-9)

 

US Customers: CLICK HERE for 4 Weeks FREE (Offer ends 6th October 2017)

U.K. Customers: CLICK HERE for 5 Weeks FREE (Offer ends 30th September 2017)

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

Online learning is a fantastic means for parents to educate their children at home. Reading Eggs is an incredible programme and resource, and I would genuinely encourage you all to visit their website to see if their programme would work for your family.

If you have any questions about how we incorporate Reading Eggs into our homeschool curriculum, or if you have any queries about the programme itself, please leave me a question in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

 

 

Charlotte Mason Homeschool Curriculum for Muslims: 2nd Grade

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

It’s every homeschooler’s favourite time of the year; the time where we get to share our homeschool curriculum choices for the coming year!

In Our Muslim Homeschool, we are trying to fully embrace the educational teachings of Charlotte Mason this year and have chosen to follow the recommendations of Ambleside online for my seven year-old son. In the U.K. he would be entering Year 3 or 2nd Grade in the USA. From the Ambleside online curriculum, we have chosen to use their Year 2 book list but, as you will see, we have made some adjustments to the curriculum to suit our family’s needs.

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in posts and sidebar ads. Please refer to my Disclaimer for more information.

Why Ambleside Online?

Ambleside online is a well-respected  Charlotte Mason homeschooling curriculum, and is renown as being both rigorous and true to the principles that Charlotte Mason set out. It is a FREE curriculum that consists of a book list and a recommended weekly schedule. However, in order to implement the curriculum into your home, it is vital that you familiarize yourself with the works of Charlotte Mason first.

I have already been receiving comments on Instagram and Facebook questioning my choice of curriculum. Although Ambleside online has been tailored to the American and Christian demographic, I have found it very easy adjust the Year 2 curriculum to my own faith.

For example, instead of Bible we will be reading from the Quran; instead of Pilgrims progress, we will be learning the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (saw), and instead of hymns we will be singing nasheeds! For more information, WATCH THE VIDEOS BELOW!

 

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

Daily Work and Circle Time

This blog post has been divided up into what I refers to are “Daily Work” and “Circle-time“. Daily work is the work that my son will do everyday, and group work is what will be done less frequently with his siblings. All the books and online resources are listed below, so you can print them out and take it to the library if you want to! Alternatively, if you click on the links, they will take you directly to Amazon (UK or USA) or our Online Bookshop.

If you are interested in seeing which books and resources we plan to use this coming homeschool year, THESE VIDEOS!

DAILY WORK (Part 1)

CIRCLE TIME (Part 2)

Muslim Homeschool 2nd Grade Curriculum:

Books and Online Resources

 

Muslim Homeschool curriculum 2nd grade

The Curriculum that we are following is Ambleside Online Year 2 Curriculum

Daily Work (Part 1)

Below are the resources that we will be using for our Daily Work, and what were shown in the Part 1 Video.

Memorisation, Recitation & Quran

Safar Abridged Qa’idah

Safar Essential Duas and Surahs

Safar Juz Amma

Reading

Mr Poppers Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater – Amazon UK  USA

The Enormous Egg by  Oliver Butterworth – Amazon UK USA

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J Sobol – Amazon UK  USA

Birth of an Island by M. Selsam – Amazan UK  USA

More reading lists are available on the Ambleside online website.

Maths

Math Mammoth

CTC Math: 4 Week Free Trial  and 60% OFF for Homeschoolers

Copywork

Exercise books for handwriting – Amazon UK USA

Foreign Language

Arabic and French will be primarily taught to my son by external tutors. However I will still be required to support his learning at home. These are some of the resources we will be using:

Colours and Shapes in French – Write & Wipe Flashcards from Word United – Amazon UK USA

Comptines a Chanter: Comptines a Chanter 1 – Book + CD-Audio – Amazon UK USA

Usbourne Everyday Words Flashcards: Arabic – Amazon UK  USA

Gateway to Arabic: Level 2 – Amazon UK USA

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

Circle Time (Part 2)

Below are the resources that we will be using for our Circle time, and what were shown in the Part 2 Video.

History

Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall – Amazon UK USA

A Child’s History of the World by V. M. Hillyer – Amazon UK  USA

The Little Duke by Charlotte M. Yonge – Amazon UK USA

Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley – Amazon UK USA

Life of Prophet Muhammad by Leila Azzam – Amazon UK  USA

Book of the centuries

Book of the centuries front cover

The Usborne History of Britain – Amazon UK USA

Literature

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E. Nesbit – Amazon UK  USA

Parables from Nature by Mrs Alfred Gatty – Amazon UK USA

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle – Amazon UK  USA

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham – Amazon UK USA

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher – Amazon UK USA

Natural History

The Burgess Animal Book for children by Thornton Burgess – Amazon UK  USA

The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – Amazon UK USA

Poetry

Poetry is provided for free from Ambleside online. This year we will be studying the works of Walter de la Mere, Eugene Field and Christina Rossetti.

Nature Study

Nature Journal – Amazon UK , similar one from Amazon USA

Prang Watercolour paints – Amazon UK  USA

Stabilo Fine Liner pens – Amazon UK  USA  (will need black and grey pens)

Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock – Amazon UK  USA

Usborne Spotter Guides – Amazon UK  USA

The Little Book of Woodland Bird Song – Amazon UK  USA (similar)

Blackbird by Stephen Savage – Amazon UK USA

A Guide to British Birds and their songs (CD) – Amazon UK   USA

Art & Picture Study

This year we plan to study the works of Monet, Hokusai and O’Keefe. Here are some of the resources we will be using.

Artist’s workshop: Landscapes by Penny King– Amazon UK  USA

DK Monet book – Amazon UK USA

Hokusai Calendar – Amazon UK USA

Monet Calendar – Amazon UK  USA

Handicraft

Kids Cook the World by Ferran Adria – Amazon UK USA

Cool stuff to bake – Amazon UK  USA

Cooking skills by Stephanie Turnbull – Amazon UK  USA

Woodworking for Kids by Kevin McGuire – Amazon UK   USA

Nasheeds

This year we plan to learn 1-2 nasheeds every term. This term we are learning Talama Ashku Gharami

Chemistry

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey: Chemistry 1 by Pandia Press

Free Reads

(Editions/publishers of these books may differ from those shown in the video.)

Five children and It by E. Nesbit – Amazon UK  USA

Heidi by J. Spyri – Amazon UK  USA

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers – Amazon UK   USA

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit – Amazon UK  USA

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce – Amazon UK USA

Islamic Studies

Safar Islamic Studies Year 3 Textbook and Workbook

Year 3 Safar Islamic Studies 2nd Grade

Character

The Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam – Amazon UK  USA

This year is the first time we are fully embracing the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason, and I am excited and aprehensive! I will share with you our highs and lows, and how we find the ambleside online curriculum.

For (almost) daily insights into our homeschool, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Our Muslim Homeschool curriculum

 

If you have any questions about the curriculum we are using or how we teach these subjects, please feel free to leave me a question in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Toucan Box Review | Arts and Crafts Subscription for Kids!

Toucan box review unboxing

Finding arts and crafts activities for your children to do can be a challenge, especially if you’re not a “crafty” mum!

The Toucan Box is a subscription service that delivers everything you need to your door, to create an fun art project!

The reason I wanted to try our the Toucan box, was for convenience! It can be challenging as a homeschooling mum, to find different art projects for my children to do, and then purchase all the supplies that it needs. The Toucan box promises to deliver everything I need to my door… so I had to try it out!

If you click on the links to Toucan box in this blog post or use my referral code, and then place an order, I will receive 50% off my next purchase. 

Toucan box craft subscription review unboxing

 

Toucan box review unboxing

What is a Toucan Box?

The Toucan box is a subscription service that delivers creative craft boxes to children aged 3-8 years old. The boxes come in 3 different sizes:

  • Petite: Provides everything you need to create an exciting activity. This box fit through the letter box and contains a activity book with puzzles, games, recipes and fun facts. This craft box is delivered fortnightly.
  • Grande: Provides all the materials needed for 2 craft activity, as well as a children book that goes along with the theme of the box. This box also contains a parent card containing further ideas for activities and games. This box is delivered monthly.
  • Super: This box contains everything you child will need to complete 4 craft activities, along with a children’s book and the parent card. This box also comes monthly.

This boxes have been designed by educational experts, and are Montessori-inspired, to help develop a child’s key skills.

What's inside a Toucan box

Toucan Box Unboxing

I decided to purchase the “Petite” box, just to try out the service and see what the craft activities were really like. I also really like the convenience of the petite box fitting through the letter-box, as we are often out during the afternoon when our postman arrives.

I received a FREE BOX along with my first order, and you can too if you CLICK HERE.

Before my children saw the boxes, I quickly filmed this un-boxing video for you!

If you would like to see what is inside a Toucan box, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Toucan Box Review

The petite Toucan box really surprised me! The quality of the material were excellent, and the instructions were very clear. In this case, the Pirate-themed box actually contained 2 craft activities, when the it is only supposed to have 1, which was a lovely surprise!

Furthermore, the activities book also contained another craft activity to make a “pirate’s hook”. Although all the supplies were not included in the box, there were things we already had at home, like foil and glue! My son loved doing this craft, along with all the puzzles the book also contains.

Toucan box review and unboxing video pirate themed craft

What surprised me most about the Toucan box, is that it prompted an entire afternoon of imaginary play! My boys pretended their bunk-beds were a Pirate ship; even the sofa became a Pirate ship later in the day! They went out into the garden on a treasure hunt, they made pirate names for each other ….and the playing went on and on!

In my eyes, as a mother, that is the ultimate sign of success; that my children were so inspired by these craft activities, that they took them and the ideas they had learnt, into their imaginary world with them!

We are all really looking forward to the arrival of the next Toucan box!

If you would like to order a Toucan box for your family, CLICK HERE. By clicking on this link, you will also receive a FREE GIFT BOX along with your order.

Alternatively, type in the following code at the checkout, and you will receive your FREE GIFT BOX too: GEMMA-9E6X

 

Toucan box review and unboxing video pirate themed craft

Have you ever used a children’s subscription service? Would you recommend them?

Keeping up with the demands of creative kids can be difficult…would you agree?!? 

Please let me know in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

What we’ve been Reading + GIVEAWAY!

June reading wrap up Muslim homeschool

I’ve just discovered the world of BookTube and I’m thrilled to make my first ever Reading wrap up for YouTube!

In this video I share what books we’ve been reading this month in our homeschool, and what we are planning to read in July. I’m also hosting another GIVEAWAY to win two fabulous books; scroll to the bottom for this post for more details!

This post may contain affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.

To find out what books we’ve been enjoying this month,and what we plan to read next month, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Books Mentioned:
A Man Called Ove
Gods in Alabama 
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
Martha Inc.
Fitra Journal: Muslim Homeschooling 
Don Quixote 
Station Eleven
Before the Rains
In Order to Live
A House for Happy Mothers
Undivided

Children’s Odyssey

James and the Giant Peach
Bobs Books Set 3

Free and Treadwell Reading Primer
Secret Garden

YouTube Channels Mentioned

Lydia Senn

Arrrgh schooling
Read Create Repeat Homeschool

GIVEAWAY

It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!

fitra journal muslim homeschool giveaway

 

This month, I  am thrilled to be sharing two of my favourite books this month.
The first name selected will win:

Three further runner-ups will be randomly selected. Each will receive a Big Reconnecting Self Love Journal.

This Ramadan Basket Giveaway will run from Sunday 9th July  2017 until Monday 17th July 2017 at 12am GMT.

This giveaway is open internationally!

All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.

Please be aware that if you are entering from overseas, you may be liable to pay customs tax (or the equivalent), so please check before entering.

You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (click HERE is you would like to know more about Rafflecopter).
I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email.
The winner has 24 hours to respond, otherwise I will have to select another winner.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been reading this June, and our reading plans or July.If you haven’t already, you can SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE and pressing the BIG RED BUTTON. This means you will be notified every time we put out a new video. You can also watch my previous video HERE.If you have any reading recommendations, please leave them for me in the comments section below. I would love to get hear about what books you’ve been reading.Peace and Love,Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Homeschool Update: June 2017

Watch this short video to find out what we have been doing during Ramadan and our plans for the summer!

I also talk a little about how I feel our homeschooling year is going, as well how we plan to “catch up” with the subjects we have fallen behind in.

CLICK HERE to Watch!

If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments section below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

How to Teach Maths to Gifted and High-Achieving Children

Homeschool Maths curriculum for gifted children

This blog post has been written in collaboration with CTC Math, who gave my family free access to their online Maths programme and compensated me for my time. The following may also contain affiliate links (see “Disclaimer”)

Tears. Tantrums. Frustration. For many of our children, Maths can be a struggle; a struggle for chldren to learn and a struggle for homeschooling parents to teach.

When you are homeschooling a gifted child, teaching Maths can be be just as challenging. Gifted children can also end up crying over their Maths, but the reason for their tears is not a lack of ability or understanding, but instead due to frustration, boredom or trying to simply dealing with the intense emotions that  gifted children notoriously experience.

Teaching maths to the high-achieving and gifted student can be both immensely rewarding and incredibly frustrating for homeschooling families! Although gifted children are usually quick to understand an apply mathematical concepts, they also bring with them a unique set of challenges that other homeschooling parents may not have to face.

How to teach Maths to gifted and high achieving children

Homeschool Maths curriculum for gifted children

It is worth noting, that there is a difference between “giftedness” and being a high achiever. For more information about the difference, read this simple introduction from Psychology Today.

It’s also important to remember that not all gifted students are “gifted” in Maths. Being intellectually gifted can mean an increased aptitude or talent in any number of academic subjects or creative pursuits. However, for simplicity’s sake, when I talk about “gifted” children in this blog post, please assume I am referring to those who are mathematically gifted.

From my own personal experience, I have compiled my top tips on “How to teach Maths to gifted and high-achieving children”, to help you teach Maths to your own children. This advice is what has worked in my home, and I hope that is will give you some ideas for your children too.

1. Forget the Way You Learnt Maths!

Unless you were fortunate to be homescholed, the likelihood is that the way you learnt maths is not going to work for your gifted children. Conventional all-in-one math curricula do not work well for gifted students.

Many of us are used to the idea that a math concept is taught, examples are given, and then the student practices this principle by completing many practice questions. Gifted students often no not need as much practice as conventional workbooks offer. They are able to fully grasp the concept and move onto its application much quicker than conventional curricula allows for.

This means that if you ask you gifted child to work through a conventional math programme, they will become increasingly bored and frustrated with its slow pace and repetition.

Instead, you need to get creative in the way you teach maths to gifted students! One way of doing this is by providing them with a variety of materials.

Teaching maths to gifted children

2. Use a Variety of Maths Resources

It may surprise you to know, that maths does not need to be taught with a textbook and workbook! In fact, there are many other ways that mathematical principles can be taught. In my experience, these are often more effective and memorable than the traditional maths textbook.

Examples include:

  • Living Books – Children can learn maths through stories! Find well-written mathematical stories that ignite your child’s imagination and teach maths at the same time. My children have recently been enjoying The Adventures of Sir Cumference and What’s your angle Pythagoras?
  •  Problem solving/Critical Thinking – Develop you child’s analytical and problem solving skills with critical thinking books and exercises.
  • Computer Programmes – Incorporating computer programmes into your curriculum can be a fantastic motivator for children. Our favourite online Math curriculum is CTC Math (see below)
  • Variety of different workbooks – Mix and match different teaching styles and approaches to keep your gifted child interested and engaged in their learning.

Teaching maths to gifted children living books

 

3. Chose a Curriculum that allows for Flexibility

The introduction of CTC Math into our homeschool has provided us with both the structure and the flexibility that my children need. Using this online Math curriculum 3-4 times a week, has helped to ensure that my children are not missing any important concepts as they “jump about ” within their other varied maths resources.

It is also gives the student and parents the flexibility that is needed for so many gifted students. You no not “need” to complete previous lessons in order to move onto the next level. You do what YOUR CHILD NEEDS to do…and I love that about CTC Math!

CTC Math Gifted Homeschool curriculum
5-digit Addition with CTC Math

 

In previous curricula we have tried, my son became infuriated with the unnecessary repetition and practice questions. With CTC Math, if your child understands the concept, you can move on!

It also allows you to enter your child into any grade that you, as the parent, feel is suitable. CTC Math has allowed my 6 year-old son to start 4th Grade maths, and it is wonderful to finally see him challenged by an online Maths programme.

CTC Math Gifted Homeschool curriculum
CTC Math allows parents to easily monitor progress

The lesson begins by watching a short 4-9 minute video where a concept is taught by audio and animation. Then the student takes what they have learnt, and applies it to a series of practice questions. Parents are kept informed of their child’s progress with a weekly email showing their marks throughout the week.

The people behind CTC Math are very supportive of homeschooling families and offer 60% OFF the cost of the curriculum + 6 MONTHS FREE to homeschoolers! This massive discount is only available to homeschooling families. If you are interested in finding out more, CLICK HERE.

CTC Math Gifted Homeschool curriculum

CTC Math works fantastically for gifted students because of the flexibility it offers. You can go back and repeat lesson, and you can jump as many lessons ahead as your gifted student wants to. In addition to this flexibility, it also gives parents the security of knowing that everything is being covered and there will be no gaps in their child’s knowledge.

CTC are offering a 2 WEEK FREE TRIAL at the moment. If you are interested in trying it out with you children for free, CLICK HERE to sign up for your FREE TRIAL

 

3. Make Maths Cross-Curricular

If your child has a natural talent for maths, they will enjoy bringing it into their other school subjects.

For example, we have studied maths whilst learning about Leonardo da Vinci and his incredible inventions. My son also learnt the “Pythagoras theorem” during our study of Ancient Greece. Together, we discovered the Fibonnacci sequence when learning about snails and their shells, in nature-study.

If your child is interested, maths can be brought into almost every subject as it is an integral part of our real-lives.

Maths book for snails homeschool unit study

4. Apply Maths to Real-life situations

Life is full of learning opportunities, and maths is no different. In your day-to-day life, you can engage your gifted children with mathematical problems and meaningful learning. Here are just a few examples of how:

  • Calculate distances trigonometry or estimate using the time it took to travel
  • Help with finances and accounts – if like me, you run a business from home, having a child that loves maths can be very useful at times!
  • Calculate probabilities
  • Working out quantities needed for cooking or home-improvements
  • Converting units
Teaching maths to gifted children real life math
Real life Maths!

Teaching gifted children maths is challenging, and is certainly not simple! However, with a little creativity, it is very possible and very rewarding. 

Gifted children need our attention and guidance, as much as other children do. Without it, they are at risk of become disengaged, uninterested and underachieving.

I hope this blog post has given you some inspiration and ideas of how to teach your gifted or high-achieving children Maths at home.

For further reading on home-educating gifted children, I would recommend “Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners” by Cindy West and “Creative Homeschooling : A Resource Guide for Smart Families” by Lisa Rivero

What have you found to be the most effective way of teaching maths to gifted children?

How do you balance the freedom and flexibility that they crave, with the need to “cover all bases”?

Please share your experiences with us all, in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

 

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