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.
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.
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,
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This week I was LIVE on the Our Muslim HomeschoolInstagram 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:
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
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!”
Does center parcs serve halal food? Are the swimming pools segregated? Is it worth the money?
There are just a few of the questions I received on my Instagram and Facebook accounts after sharing some photos of our holiday there. In this blog-post, I’ll be sharing my honest review of Center Parcs, based on our stays in the Longleat and Whinfell forests, from a Muslim family perspective.
We spent three-four nights in the Longleat and Whinfell villages and overall we loved our time there. In fact, after only returning from Centre parcs a few days ago, we’re already planning when we can go back!
Center Parcs is a great holiday destination for families who want to “escape” from a city or suburban life, and spend some time in a quiet, green, natural space, without sacrificing any comfort at all!
In Centre Parcs you can take part in a huge range of outdoor and indoor activities, spend time in their indoor pools, go shopping, have a coffee or a meal out, or relax in you own private sauna back at your lodge. The resorts are luxurious, full of fun things do for all ages, and all interests.
I’m not going to go into all the differences between the resorts and accommodation. If you want more information, visit the Centre Parcs Website.
Instead, I want to talk to you about our personal experience there, the positives and the negatives, all from a Muslim family’s perspective.
Is it halal?
First, lets deal with the most commonly asked question from my Muslim followers….is the food at Center Parcs halal? Unfortunately, the restaurants at Whinfell and Longleat did NOT offer halal options.
However it appears that some of the resorts can offer halal meals if you book ahead. A friend of mine visited Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire and was able to pre-order halal food when booking at Cafe Rouge, Las Iguanas, Huck grill and Rajendra Pradeep curry house. MashAllah!
So it’s worth definitely worth checking ahead, before you decide which resort to stay at, to see if they can offer halal meals in their restaurants. You can contact them directly HERE.
However the restaurants do offer vegetarian meals. My favourite restaurant on site is “Las Iguanas”, which serve eclectic South American cuisine. They have loads of vegetarian dishes, so everyone will find something they like insha’Allah.
Since we eat halal, and healthy food, we preferred eat most of our meals in our lodge itself. The kitchen was modern, clean and very well-equipped.
Why we love Center Parcs
There are so many activities to do there, that you will not have time to do everything you want! The choice is incredible! There are indoor and outdoor activities to suit every age, ability and interest. Even if its winter, and raining, and cold, there is still loads to do and enjoy.
The lodges are very comfortable, clean and well equipped. There are a variety of different accommodation to choose from, depending on your budget and the size of your group. Recently, we chose a lodge with its own infra-red sauna and daily house-keeping which was wonderful! In some of the resorts they even have luxury tree-houses!
There is a supermarket onsite, which stocks almost everything you could need if you want to cook at home or have forgotten to pack something. It is slightly more expensive than supermarkets outside the complex.
The swimming pools are warm and clean. The changing rooms provide family cubicles so that all the family can change together. You do not need to pay for the lockers. You can bring your own swimming towels from home, and avoid paying the fee for beach towel hire at the pool. There are loads of slides to enjoy, a wave machine, and lovely areas for toddlers to splash about in.
I wore a burkini with a coverup into the swimming pools, with no issue from lifeguards or other staff. If you choose not to swim, you can sit comfortably next to the pool, or in the poolside cafe, whilst someone else takes the kids into the pools.
There is a large and luxurious spa, with a huge range of treatments available. Before or after your treatment you can enjoy complimentary use of the sauna , steams rooms and swimming pools in the spa complex.
The staff at check in, in the various centres, those leading the activities, and even the cleaners, were courteous and professional throughout.
As we visited Whinfell forest around Christmas time, we were able to enjoy a free fireworks display around the lake (which was amazing!) and visit their winter wonderland for free.
Points to consider before booking
Although access to the indoor swimming pools is free, all other activities come at an extra charge. The prices of the activities are more than you would expect to pay outside the resort.
There is no prayer room anywhere onsite. This means during the winter, you really have to plan your activities carefully around the prayer times.
The restaurants do not serve halal options. They are however very clear about which are vegetarian. I loved the vegetarian options they offered in Las Iguanas! Cafe Rouge does a lovely breakfast too.
There is alcohol served on site. We only came across people drinking when we went to the bowling alley, and had to walk through the bar to get there. Not ideal!
The swimming pools are not segregated.
Some of the accommodation is a long walk from the main activity centres. If you chose a lodge further out, you may need to bring your own bikes or hire them there. Cars are not allowed to drive onsite, except on check-in and check-out days.
There is music playing in the shopping areas, but not in the sports and activities centres.
Center Parcs is a mid-range to luxury family holiday. In my opinion, it is worth the cost! We came back from our most recent holiday at Whinfell Forest saying that, “This was the best holiday we’ve EVER had!”
I hope this brief blog-post has helped you to decide whether you want to visit Center Parcs one day.
If you have anymore questions, please leave them for me in the comments.
Let’s talk about a fun and engaging way to teach your children world geography in your homeschool!
Learning more about world geography encourages children to grow into global citizens. As travel and communication become more advanced, our world seems to be becoming smaller! Understanding and appreciating cultural differences between countries breaks down the barriers of prejudice and racial divide, which is necessary in today’s world.
Shop– The website currently stocks a colourful world map in A1 or A2 size, a continents explorer’s journal, and stickers. Their products are high-quality, and compliment the learning material available on their website.
How can I use it in my homeschool?
The Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuckis an open-ended learning resource that encourages self-directed learning. By utilising children’s innate curiosity about the world around them, these resources help children to develops research skills as they answer their own questions through independent research. Through the website, youtube videos, and worksheets, children are taught to be resourceful, looking for the information they need and deciding in which direction they want to take their learning.
We have used the Archibold Clutterbuck A2 World map and Explorer’s journal to compliment our study of world geography and prompt further exploration!. For example, in our last lesson, the boys began by watching a video about different world festivals on the Archibold Clutterbuck YouTube channel. Then they decided to follow that up, by watching another documentary about the Chinese New Year.
We looked at the A2 World map to identify China, and used the map to discuss its physical characteristics. We also had a look in an old atlas we have at home. Then the boys used the internet to learn how to say “Happy New Year” in Madarin, and wrote it in their Continent Explorer’s journal! It was so much fun, and the boys developed important life skills as they learnt about China and it’s culture.
By researching and directing their own learning, with the gentle prompting from the Archibold Clutterbuck resources, the children are learning the skills they will need to be independent learners for the rest of their lives.
If you prefer screen-free learning, all the resources in the Archibold Clutterbuck Shop can be used with books and other learning resources you already have at home.
The Explorer’s journalhas note-booking pages for the continents, landmarks, flags and much more. It’s a wonderful resource to encourage children to think more deeply about the world around them.
Another lovely idea would be to take the explorer’s journal with you when you travel with the children. They can fill in the sections as they witness the geography firsthand on their family holiday! What a great way to learn!
To keep you motivated, I’ve made you a FREE PRINTABLE! It is the famous quote from C.S.Lewis,
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?” – C. S. Lewis
We spoke about this quote, and it’s relevance to us, in the video above. Now you can download this cute printable, set it as your screen-saver, pin to your fridge or keep in your planner to motivate, inspire and serve you.