Charlotte Mason

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 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

 

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

Getting Started with Charlotte Mason for Young Children

Getting started with Charlotte Mason for Young children

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The following post is from Shannen at Middle Way Mom

It just me, or do very few homeschooling methods refer to little ones being in the mix of a typical homeschooling day?

One of the things that has drawn me to the Charlotte Mason method, especially in the season of life with three kids 6 and under at home, is how welcoming it is for young children.

Not only is there a focus on letting children have lots of time for free play, exploration, and short lessons, but she even addresses the youngest of children in her book Home Education.

Charlotte Mason for Young children

Using Charlotte Mason as a guide, our homeschool is just in the very beginning stages of formal learning. No formal lessons are to start before age 6, but let’s not confuse this though with the idea that we do not teach a child anything.

Instead, a child learns from their environment. How?

Getting outside

Ms. Mason spent a good deal of time in Home Education explaining what an ideal day looks like, and how one should spend hours out of doors each day, even up to 6 hours a day.

What do you do during that time? She gives a lot of guidance, and adds that we shouldn’t bring a story book to read. Instead, the child should be fully engaged in playing and exploring. It’s not like there isn’t enough for them to do!

Also, the mother should not be giving lots of instructions or information while they are outside, but rather a small nugget of information, or pointing out something interesting in nature from time to time.

Overall, her advice is to let the child’s mind have time to think and process what is around them.

A game she suggests to hone the habit of attention from an early age is this: While the children at a park or nature reserve, ask them to go and look at something, maybe a house or farm, and remember all that they can. The child should come back and retell it to you in the most detail they are able. It’s fun for children if mom takes part in this game from time to time as well!

Honestly, when I first read the advice to get out for 6 hours a day, I thought, “Yeah, maybe if I was the nanny! I have to cook dinner and manage the house!”

6 hours is a lot, and unless I get a meal in the crockpot before I go, that’s not something we can always do. Of course, 3 hours is better than 2 and 2 hours is better than 1.

Do what you can. Especially if you have a small child that needs to nap, don’t beat yourself up over not spending 6 hours a day outside.

 

Charlotte Mason for Young Children

Habits

“The formation of habits is education, and education is the formation of habits.” – Home Education, pg. 97

Ms Mason makes no question about it: habits are the foundation to a strong education and personal life. Without them, we flounder without direction.

I wish I would have been turned on to this idea far sooner in my life, and as such, I have to believe that helping my young children build habits might be one of the best gifts I give them.

Even as young as an infant, she mentions the value of habits. We know that a toddler who is in the habit of using the potty from an early age, whether they successfully use it or not, is more likely to be fully potty trained earlier than a child who is introduced to the potty haphazardly.

For young children in the modern age, it’s not hard to get them started with simple things like emptying a dishwasher, putting their clothes away, and picking up their toys before they go to bed. When it becomes part of the natural rhythm of their days, they don’t fight it as much as a random command when Mom just can’t take the mess anymore.

I could go on an on about habits and young children. If you are wanting to jump right in with working on building strong habits, a good book to start would be one where Deborah Taylor-Hough compiled all that Charlotte Mason said about habits throughout her six volume series into one book: Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success: Volume 1

Reading and number sense

When my oldest daughter was young, in the early 00’s, there was no pressure on parents for kids to learn to read before Kindergarten. It was generally expected that in Kindergarten kids would learn their letters and numbers formally for the first time.

Now, just 10 years later, the conversation is completely different. Now kids are expected to have a foundation of reading before they reach Kindergarten. So often I read moms in groups sharing their worry and stress about their 3 year old not knowing their letters.

Either the tide is turning again, or it’s just the circles that I’m surrounded in, but the philosophy Charlotte Mason has of waiting until the child is 6 before teaching them to read is catching on.

Waiting to teach children formally does not mean that we don’t teach them anything at all. Naturally, numbers and letters come out in day to day life and there’s nothing wrong with pointing out things like what a road sign says or letters in their name.

What is encouraged though, is to leave the worksheets and easy readers until the child can be successful with them right away. Let learning be a joy for them instead of building the idea that learning is a struggle.

With my own 4 year old, she knows some letters and most of her numbers. While my 6 year old is working on her own lessons, I may give my younger kids wipe clean books and white board markers. The wipe clean books have letters and words in them, and we’ll point out sounds that letters make, but she’s never tested on it later. The information is presented, and if it is worthwhile to her, she’ll try to remember it.

As for numbers, my Kindergartener knew her numbers, but didn’t have much number sense before we started Right Start Math. Since my preschooler usually sits with us for math lessons, she has picked up on things a little earlier, but again, she’s not tested on any of this at any time.

Your purpose

First and foremost, building strong habits and morals are the core purpose with young children. Ms. Mason did not direct attention to anything more than she did to habits throughout her book Home Education (which focuses on children under 9 years old).

Your purpose as a parent and educator is not to fill their minds with information, but rather to build character traits as best you can in them so they can be effective students when it is time for them to study in a more serious manner.

In regards to education, the purpose of the young years with the children is not about memorizing letter sounds or math facts. The entire purpose of creating an environment where children are exploring (ideally mostly out of doors) is for children to build a love of learning.

Formal lessons should be enjoyable to them when they get to that stage, and something they look forward to when they are young.

Our Muslim Homeschool blog

Shannen is an American Muslim convert, homeschooling mother to 4 daughters and mediocre housewife. She enjoys blogging, knitting, quilting, and avoiding housework. Read more on her blog about their Islamic homeschool, green(ish) living, and the ups and downs of parenting. You can connect with Shannen on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.