Be a Homeschool Planner! |The Benefits of Planning Annually

homeschool planner

If there’s one thing I have learnt over these past few years of homeschooling my children, it is the benefits of being a homeschool planner!

Planning annually has so many benefits for us especially as we reside in Saudi Arabia and spend our summers in England. Regardless of where you live though, I find having a rough plan for the year can benefit your Homeschool in many ways.

Be a Homeschool Planner!

Looking at your calendar for the upcoming year and being realistic about what is happening, whether it is a holiday booked, a wedding to attend or you’re giving birth, will allow you to focus on balance and ease for your Homeschool life.

Of course not all plans are set in stone, but preparing yourself mentally will ease any stress that comes along with unexpected events.  So here are my top tips on why you should plan your Homeschool for the year if you aren’t already doing so. 

Homeschool Planners are One Step Ahead!

The biggest benefit being a homeschool planner, and preparing at the start of the year, is being one step ahead in acquiring resources, finding books, planning outings or activities.

Of course spontaneous and unplanned events/days can have their own benefits too, but that feeling of seeing the bigger picture when you’re in the midst of homeschooling life or things aren’t going as planned really is a life-saver on your difficult days of homeschooling.

So annual planning helps you keep on ball without worrying about what could have been because you’re one step ahead with your vision for the year.

Homeschool Planner

You know exactly what you want your children to achieve by the end of the year. This should also prevent you from worrying if you fall into the social media comparative trap. 

Related: Preparing your Homeschool for a New Year

Keeping in Budget

Many people ask me about my Homeschool budget and I tell them I spend under £200 or less annually, depending on how many books/resources we may need and I’m sure this varies from Homeschool to Homeschool.

But if you are finding you’re spending way more than you need to or way more than you can afford to, you need to ask yourself why that is. Is it because you found yet another Homeschool bargain buy or that you feel your children really need it because everyone else seems to be buying it too?  We can all fall into that trap!

Homeschool planner

But with an annual plan, where you are focussing on an overview of the year, knowing what your possible learning topics will be, budgeting can prove to be quite useful. Always ask yourself if the resource is re-sellable, can be used by all your children and is it good quality and long lasting before you buy.

Having a plan to fall back on 

Even if you take a more child led approach to your homeschool, and feel that being a homeschool planner may not be worth it, there are some things beyond our control.

Seasons, the weather and nature being some of these. If you enjoy nature studies, then it may help to look ahead at the seasons of the year to jot down a loose plan to focus on seasonal plants, grow a garden, butterflies or visit farms etc. The same can be applied for certain topics linked to festivals and celebrations.

Homeschool planner

Nevertheless, on days when life is chaotic and you feel you may be losing your vision or goal with your homeschool, it may just be handy to have a plan or vision to fall back on. Its reassuring coming back to the goals for the year and knowing you’re actually doing great!

Related: Productivity and Time Management for Homeschool Mums

Acquiring resources ahead of time

As mentioned above, acquiring resources ahead of time (in sales) or at the start of the year allows you to take a more intentional approach to what you need.

Having said that, recently I found my children are immersed in stuff! Much of this is because we haven’t had the opportunity to sell on our used games or books we no longer need at the end of each year, especially as we tend to buy more each summer.

homeschool planner

When you’re a homeschool planner, you can assess what resources you already have, which you could possibly swap or sell on and use that same money or more to purchase whatever it is you need for the year. There may be times you find resources at a great price to use in your Homeschool in a few years, but ask yourself do you actually need it now?

Focus on your annual plan to keep within your budget and allowance. Reserving library books ahead of time and ensuring you have the books you need for your topic is another advantage.

Related: Homeschool Curriculum 1st & 3rd Grade

Homeschool Planners Don’t Panic!

Being mentally ready for your homeschool year could reduce some of the stress and panic that can come with homeschooling especially when things aren’t going to plan!

Homeschool planning at the start of the year means you have sat down and thought out in a realistic way of how much you can actually teach your children in a year.

Sometimes we tend to want to teach everything and so very quickly because of their interests. So, this is a great time to get your children involved, ask them what they want to learn, give them some options and find out their interests.

homeschool planner

Finally, because you will already know your child/children’s ability levels, therefore aim to plan realistically for progress by taking the whole year into account, you won’t have time to panic, hopefully!

Author Bio

Hafsa is a former Primary School Teacher turned Homeschooling mama teaching her two daughters the love for learning through arts, crafts, fun and play. Originally from London, Hafsa now resides in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia where she loves to share her Homeschool journey, tips and planning advice over at http://www.mamateachesme.com

How to Teach Kids to Read with Reading Eggs Books

How to teach kids to read

How do we teach our kids to read? It can be overwhelming to even think about it!

I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to a reading programme that is simple for parents to follow at home. The Reading Eggs book packs are fun, will engage your children’s imagination, and are highly effective!

How to teach kids to read with reading eggs books

This blogpost is a paid collaboration with Reading Eggs.

We all want our children to read more, and enjoy the rich world of reading books brings! The best way to nurture this enthusiasm for reading in your home, is to start their experience with books in a positive way.

If they enjoy the process of learning to read, they will be eager to pick up books themselves to read in their own time.

That is why I believe the Reading Eggs programme is so effective. I have used their online platform for many years with my elder children. Today, I excited to introduce you to their range of books.

Related: Why Online Learning REALLY works: Reading Eggs Review

Reading Eggs Books

Reading Eggs have an extensive range of educational products to compliment their online programme.

These include:

-Mini Book Packs – each contains 10 readers, a poster, reward stickers and a FREE 14-day Subscription to the Reading Eggs online programme.

-Activity Books – teaching phonics, sight-words and handwriting practice

-Flashcards – durable, allows for self-checking, with full instructions for a variety of games.

Their books and flashcards are well made, with high quality printing and binding. Children love meeting the same wacky characters from the online programme inside the books themselves.

How to teach kids to read, a reading eggs books review
how to teach kids to read, reading eggs books review

How to Teach Kids to Read with this Programme

STEP 1

Complete the lesson on the Reading Eggs award-winning online programme.

STEP 2

Read the Co-odinating book from the Minibook Pack

how to teach kids to read, reading eggs review
how to teach kids to read, reading eggs review

STEP 3

Work on the Co-ordinating page in the Activity book

STEP 4

Track your progress by adding reward stickers to the map poster

STEP 5

Reinforce learning with fun phonics games using their Flashcards.

You’ll Love Reading Eggs Books if…

-You want to provide your children with a solid foundation in literacy.

-You’re a really busy mum, and you are looking for something that is easy to implement and that your children can do a large part of independently.

-Your children enjoy colourful and visually stimulating books.

-You have children aged 3-6, who are just beginning to read.

how to teach kids to read, reading eggs books review

“The great benefit of the entire suite of Reading Eggs components is that children can learn much of the material working independently. This reduces the workload for parents significantly while ensuring that children receive solid educational content.”

Cathy Duffy Reviews
how to teach kids to read, reading eggs review
A closer look inside the Reading Eggs Activity Books
how to teach kids to read, reading eggs review

Using the book sets from Reading Eggs, alongside the online platform, provides a complete learning programme to teach your kids to read. Through this programme your children will learn phonics, sight words, and develop a deep love for reading. insha’Allah.

RELATED: Homeschool Curriculum Choices 1st & 3rd Grade

To learn more about the Reading Eggs Books and educational products VISIT THEIR WEBSITE!

Thank you for stopping by. I’m grateful to have you here.

If you have any questions, pop them for me in the comments below.

You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Peace and Love,

how to teach kids to read

No more Kisses for Auntie! | Why Children’s Consent Matters

Teaching children about consent has become more important than ever. Consent is about allowing children to voice their emotions and say “no,” when something feels wrong or uncomfortable. It is a crucial part of their safety, and of our responsibility as parents, and yet within our communities we don’t talk about it enough.

The explosion of the #metoo movement is enough evidence that we need to actively start teaching consent to our children; not when they hit puberty, but as early as two years of age.

Teaching children consent at home. child safety, me too

This blogpost contains affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

It may sound like a complex concept, but some practices if made a part of daily life, can easily instill this value in your child.

Before they even learn to speak, children are learning by observing and copying all that is happening in their environment. It is essential that we ‘model’ consent by practicing it with our spouses, friends, and other children around them, so they begin to understand what ‘consent’ looks like. 

When they are two, start with giving them a choice in expressing consent and then honour it. Please remember, they only get a choice in situations that don’t involve any health or safety hazards. Sitting in a car seat, going for a vaccination, adhering to their bedtime, or wearing a jacket when it’s two degrees outside would be some of the examples. 

Image: http://www.elisegravel.com

Some choices they can make

“Do you want to wear starry PJs tonight or these dino ones?”

“Which book are we reading; Elmer the elephant or The Very Hungry Caterpillar?”

“Can I kiss you goodnight?” Respect their answer.

Model consent by asking permission before you change their clothes or wash their body in the shower. Wait for them to say yes before you proceed. 

“Can I help you wash your back now?”

Allowing Children to say NO!

Children must understand that ‘No’ and ‘Stop’ are important words, to be honoured at all times. 

If you are tickling them and they scream “Stop, stop” even as they’re laughing and having fun, stop tickling them immediately. 

Encourage your children to ask for permission before touching, hugging or showing any kind of physical affection. 

Teaching children consent

For example, if Maha wants to hug her friend goobye, you can say:

“Maha, let’s ask Ali if he wants a hug right now!”

If Ali clearly says ‘No’, or does not say ‘Yes’, you can cheerfully ask your child to wave goodbye instead. 

“That’s okay, let’s wave bye bye to Ali!”

Similarly, do not force them to receive affection either, even from their aunts or uncles. 

“Would you like to kiss Aunty Asiya goodbye?”

If they say no, respect their choice. 

“Its ok, you can wave her goodbye, or blow her a kiss?”

Why Children’s Consent Matters

As we aim for a more inclusive world, we have to remember that there are individuals amongst us with additional needs, who may not be comfortable with any kind of physical contact at all. This is another reason why asking for permission before touching or hugging someone is so important. 

We must teach our children that when somebody says No, or Stop, they must discontinue their behavior. 

“Ali said no, and when we hear No, we must stop what we are doing immediately. No matter what.”

Also tell them that their No and Stop has to be respected and followed through by their friends. 

“If you don’t like something and say No, your friend should stop. If they do not stop, it is okay to not play with them anymore.”

Intervene on their behalf if you have to and politely let the other child know the importance of honouring someone’s No and Stop.

Resources about Children Consent

Reading a book about Consent also helps in making this concept easier and simpler for children to understand. It also gives you a range of characters and situations to talk about as examples. No Means No! by Janeen Sanders is a great book about Consent that can be read with as little as 3 year olds!

Image result for no means no book

Teaching Consent has to be an ongoing dialogue with your child, not just a one time discussion.

I hope this article helps parents and caregivers ease in to this discussion with their little ones. I will highly recommend printing the above poster from http://www.elisegravel.com and pasting it on your child’s bedroom wall or door, so it’s always visible to revise and reinforce.

If you hit any roadblocks, or need answers to any questions or confusions, please feel free to write to me or leave them in the comments below.

Author Bio:

Rafia Amber is an Early Intervention Specialist with seven years of experience working with children with additional challenges. Throughout her career she has supported children in developing their academic, sensory, social and communication skills, and overcoming challenging behaviours.  Her experience ranges from one-on-one sessions in the home environment to classroom settings in inclusive schools and early intervention centers. 

Rafia has recently started blogging onInstagram to share her expertise with parents and caregivers. She aims to raise awareness about unconventional concepts such as Body Privacy, Consent, Safe/Unsafe touch, Abuse Prevention Strategies etc, that are indispensable for a child’s development. You can follow her HERE!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?tap_a=42307-3a677f&tap_s=411756-91095a&v=65k41TkdTAI

LIVE Q&As + Big Announcement!

Raising mums podcast

This week, I was on the Our Muslim Homeschool Facebook and Instagram page answering your questions LIVE!

I answer questions about:

  • Daily Routines
  • Healthy meal ideas
  • After school activities at home
  • Teaching children about the Islamic Heros
  • Coping with mess
  • Feeling overwhelmed

This blogpost contains affiliate links. Please see disclaimer for more information.

Big Announcement

In this LIVE broadcast, I also made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. If you don’t want to spoil the suprise, stop scrolling and watch the video now!

So, here’s the news….

Firstly, these LIVE weekly shows have been given a new name, “Raising Mums”. I chose this name as it reflected my ambition for this show….

A live weekly broadcast that inspires mums to live with purpose and intention, to raise their children mindfully, and empowers mothers everywhere to own their lives and to thrive doing it!

Dr Gemma Elizabeth – Raising Mums

And even BIGGER NEWS!….you can now listen to Raising Mums as a podcast!

Raising Mums Podcast launch
Listen to the New Podcast: Raising Mums!

Podcast Launch

Yes, that’s right! Wherever you listen to your podcasts, you can head over there now, and Subscribe to Raising Mums!

You can listen to these broadcasts whilst you’re commuting to work, cleaning the house, working out, or driving the car! The great thing about podcasts, is that you can “grow on the go”, and learning whilst doing other things! Perfect for busy mums…right?!?!

Please had over to iTunes, Apple podcasts and Spotify, and leave a review for “Raising Mums” so other mums, like you, can find it!

You can also simply play the podcast directly from my website! Try it now…

And as always, you can watch the replay of this LIVE broadcast on Youtube. Just click on the link below!

Watch this Video!

Homeschool Resources Mentioned

Subscribe to “Raising Mums” on iTunes

Read Aloud Family

Ayat Jamilah

Mirage audiobooks

Ghazali Children

Al Ghazali by Demi

How to run your home like a boss Part 1

How to run your home like a boss- Part 2

Meal planning app – 30 Day FREE Trial

Add me as a friend on Plan to Eat using email: Ourmuslimhomeschool@gmail.com

If you missed last week’s video: Run your home like a BOSS! – Part 2 just CLICK HERE!

This episode marks the end of Season 1 of Raising Mums. It’s been an incredible few months, and I’m so grateful for all the lessons I’ve learnt during this time and the people I’ve come to know through it.

I’ll be back Sunday 24th March 2019 at 10am GMT on Facebook and Instagram LIVE for the launch of Season 2. insha’Allah

I’ve got some great content planned for you! I hope I’ll see you then!

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Run your Home like a Boss | Part 2 + FREE Planner

Run your home like a boss + free planner

Running your home like a boss is a way that homeschool mums can free up their time and energy. Whether it’s the desire for more time to read aloud to their children, or the energy to play football in the garden, time management is the way to achieve it.

Home management for homeschool mums

If you are looking to take ownership for your time and energy, and live a life of more meaning and purpose, you’ll want to WATCH THIS VIDEO!

I’ve also made a FREE Home Management Planner for you, which you can find towards the end of this blog-post.

This blog-post contains affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Home Management Resources Mentioned:

Run your Home like a BOSS! PART 1 – Last week’s video

How Super-Mums do it ALL! Time Management Video

Google Calendar

Meal Planning App – 30-day FREE Trial

FREE Boss Mum Planner

As I showed you in the video, you can download and print out your very own Home Management Planner here!

It’s FREE! I don’t even want your email address!

Just click on the link below:

Boss Mum Home management planner

Running your home “like a boss” is really all about owning your time and energy, taking responsibility for it, and using them wisely.

I’ll be LIVE again next week, at 10am GMT, Sunday 3rd February, on Facebook and Instagram for a:

“LIVE Q&A Session!”

If you have a question about homeschooling, motherhood, home-management, blogging or something else, now’s your chance to ask!

The “call for questions” will be published on my Instagram and Facebook pages on Thursday 31st January, where you can leave your questions.

Although it is not always possible to get through all the questions, I will do my best insha’Allah!

If you’d prefer to leave a question anonymously, please submit it in the box below, giving as much detail as possible:

Submit a question

Thank you for tuning in. Please let me know how you are progressing, and what steps you are taking to move forward in this area, in comments below.

I’d love to hear from you.

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

Run your Home like a BOSS!

Run your home like a BOSS!

This week I was LIVE on Facebook and Instagram talking about home management for mums and how they can run your home like a BOSS!

Do you find yourself saying, ” I wish I could, but I don’t have time?” Do you want more time and energy to do what is important to you. Do you want more time to connect with your children? Do you want higher energy levels to play and read to them?

Then you’ll want to Watch this Video! all about home management for Mums!

In this video I talk about:

  • Taking ownership and responsibility for your situation
  • How running your home well can save you time and energy
  • Why busyness is a trap and a distraction
  • Thinking Big
  • Automating household purchases
  • Meal-planning the “right” way!

This blog post contains affiliate links. Please seen Disclaimer for more information.

These are real, tangible steps you can do today, to make a huge impact on the way your home runs.

These simple steps will free up more of your time and energy to invest into what matters to you the most!

WATCH THIS VIDEO!


Home Management Products:

Amazon Prime FREE TRIAL UK USA

Google Calendar 

Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

Ramadan Meal Planning

Plan to Eat – Meal planning app. Get 30-day FREE Trial HERE!

Now you know the steps you can take to go forwards insha’Allah.

Now its up to you. I hope with all my heart that you use this as an opportunity to really take ownership and responsibility for your time, energy and ultimately your life. This is where you can start! Use this as a chance to make those positive changes that you and your family need.

Thank you so much for tuning in.

I’ll be LIVE again next week, at 10am GMT, Sunday 27th January, on Facebook and Instagram where we’ll be continuing this discussion on home management for mums with:

“Run your home like a BOSS Part 2- Taking it to the next level!” 

I’ll see you there!

If you have any further questions, or ideas for future lives broadcasts, please leave them for me in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Run your Home like a Boss!

How to Homeschool with a Baby + GIVEAWAY

Homeschooling with a baby brings with it many challenges. I often hear from women who are struggling to homeschool their children, whilst also caring for a small baby. They are overridden with guilt and with feelings of failure. They want to be a good mum, to all their children, but they just don’t know what the right thing to do is.

If you have a baby or a small child at home, you’ll want to watch this video!

This blogpost includes affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

This is a recording of a LIVE broadcast from Facebook where I spoke about homeschooling with a baby.

We talked about:

  • What are the most important things to focus on during this time
  • Alternatives to what learning can look like for your children
  • Encouraging independence and the value of experience
  • Loads of useful resources for busy mums

WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Homeschool Products Mentioned:

Amazon Prime Video

Fire Stick

Reading Eggs

Math Seeds

CTC Math

Khan Academy

Mystery Science

Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer

Time Magazine Article about audiobooks

Audible – Trial and FREE AUDIOBOOK UK |USA

Seerah Audio Series – 15% OFF Discount Code: OMHomeschool15

Librovox

Lit2GO

Toucan Box – Isa box FREE with code: GEMMA-9E6X

Kiwi Crate – 30% off your 1st order with code: SHARE30

Homeschool GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away 4 activity boxes from Toucan Box to 1 winner!

This giveaway is open worldwide. If you are under the age of 18, please seek parental permission before entering.

If you would like to enter, all you need to do is share this video or blogpost on social media and tag me in the post. Easy as that!

The winner will be chosen at random and announced on next week’s LIVE broadcast. (Sunday 20th January 2019, 10am GMT)

Next week, Sunday 20th January, I’ll be LIVE again at 10am GMT on Facebook and Instagram, where we’ll be talking about how to “Run your home like a boss!”

If you missed last week’s discussion on, “Sustainable Homeschooling | Securing your homeschool for the future,CLICK HERE

All the previous episodes have been uploaded here on my blog. Just CLICK HERE and scroll through them all!

If you never want to miss an episode, you’ll want to subscribe to our mailing list. Then, whenever an episode is published, you’ll get it straight to your inbox!

If you have any further questions around this topic, please leave them for me in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

Sustainable Homeschooling | Secure your Homeschool for the Future

This week I was LIVE on Facebook and Instagram talking about some of the ways you can ensure you’ll be homeschooling for many more years to come insha’Allah.

I’m speaking to the mum who wants to homeschool, and is planning and preparing for this new adventure.

I’m talking to mum who homeschools now, but feels disheartened. Who feels that it’s not going the way she thought it would, and she feels like she’s failing.

I’m talking to everyone who homeschools sharing my nuggets of wisdom as to how you can continue to homeschool for many years. There are things we can do in our lives, to make homeschooling a sustainable, longterm experience for us.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Next week, Sunday 13th January 2019 at 10am, I’ll be back on Instagram and Facebook LIVE discussing, “Homeschool Under Threat| Homeschooling with a baby.”

I hope I’ll see you there!

Previous LIVES Mentioned

“I’m just a mum, is that enough?” – CLICK HERE.

“Preparing your homeschool for the New Year.” CLICK HERE

If you have any more questions, feel free to leave me a comment down below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Preparing your Homeschool for the New Year

Homeschool prep for New Year

As we move into the New Year, I always recommend that during this time of transition, homeschooling families should take some time to reflect on the successes and failures of the previous year, the lessons learnt, and set some new intentions before pushing ahead into the New Year.

During this time, before beginning your next homeschool term, seek clarity and direction for your family by getting quiet, turning inward, making dua, and asking yourself some very important questions.

Homeschool planning new year

WATCH THIS VIDEO

Watch this YouTube video, when I went LIVE on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, and chatted with you about preparing your homeschool for the New Year, and talked you through the questions listed below.

Seek Clarity for your Homeschool

1) What was my favourite homeschool memory of last year?

2) What was my most painful homeschool memory of last year?

3) If you were to summarise the last year homeschooling in one word what would it be?

4) What areas were really successful?

5) What areas/people/topics/activities drained me? What drained the kids?

6) Where can I get help?

7)What can I cut out?

8) Where can we grow, further develop in our homeschool?

9)What areas don’t allign with my homeschool/family vision?

10) What positive change(s) can I implement going forward into the next year?


There are far better things ahead than we ever left behind.

C.S. Lewis

I hope that this video and the questions I’ve posed will help you find the clarity you need moving forward, and help you to live a life with your family that aligns with your values.

If you would like to share the answers to any, or all of the questions above, I would love to hear them! Please leave them for me in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

I’m Just a Mum…Is that Enough?

I'm Just a Mum...Is that Enough?

This week I was LIVE on the Our Muslim Homeschool Instagram and Facebook accounts talking about a topic very common in mothers, low self-esteem. Do you ever refer to yourself as “Just a Mum?” Then this broadcast is for you!

We talked about:

  • Blame
  • My personal experience with self-doubt
  • 5 Steps to Increasing Your Feelings of Self-worth
  • Mothers with low self-esteem raise children with low self-esteem
  • Q&As

In this episode I spoke from the heart about my experience and gave my sincere advice to any mother who suffers with self-esteem issues.

These 5 steps will increase your self-esteem, so that you don’t say anymore, “I’m a just a mum.”

Instead you’ll say, “I’m a stay at home mum and it’s the best thing that could ever have happened to me!”

Here it is! Enjoy!

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Products Mentioned:

Positive Affirmations for Mums

Next Week’s Episode:

You can join me LIVE next Sunday, 6th January 2019, at 10am GMT where we’ll be talking about:

“Built to Last – Securing Your Homeschool for the Future”

Make sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook so you watch LIVE!

Did you miss a previous episode? Don’t worry, you can watch ALL previous here on my blog. Just CLICK HERE for the round-up. Alternatively you can watch them our the YouTube Playlist .

If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments below. See you next Sunday insha’Allah.

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

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