Curriculum

Homeschool World Geography + GIVEAWAY

Homeschool World Geography with Archibold Clutterbuck

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.

I was recently introduced to an amazing new website called The Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuck & Friends – yes, it’s a fun as it sounds! In this blog post I’m delighted to share my family’s experience with this Free online learning platform and some of their products.

We’re also hosting a GIVEAWAY! Scroll down to the bottom of the blogpost for more details.

Homeschool World Geography Archibold Clutterbuck

This blogpost was written in collaboration with The Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuck & Friends. They kindly gifted me the products in this review, and compensated me for my time. 

Why Teach World Geography?

World geography is one of the most fun subject to teach because there are so many ways to approach it. The world is literally your oyster!

World geography is important because children:

  • Learn to locate places on a map/globe
  • Understand cultural and physical differences in those places
  • Understand how human and physical processes have changed the world
  • Appreciate their place in the world
  • Become a better global citizens

Homeschool World Geography with Archibald Clutterbuck

How does Archibald Clutterbuck work?

The Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuck & Friends is a FREE online learning platform where children can come to learn about world geography and discover more about the world they live in.

The website offers free educational resources that parents can use to facilitate their children’s learning. These include:

  • Worksheets – Crosswords, Word-searches, “Where I’ve been” map, Colouring pages
  • YouTube channel – Numerous animated videos to start your child off on a self-directed learning journey. Videos include, “Top 5 – European Landmarks” and “Top 5 – Waterfalls” and many more.
  • Geographical facts The website offer a plethora of geographical information about the different continents, indigenous people, environments and flags
  • It uses entertaining animated characters and scenes to keep children engaged in their learning.
  • 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.

Homeschool World Geography with Archibald Clutterbuck

How can I use it  in my homeschool?

The Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuck is 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.

Homeschool World Geography with Archibold Clutterbuck

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.

 

Homeschool world geography Archibold Clutterbuck

Homeschool World Geography Archibold Clutterbuck

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 journal has 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!


GIVEAWAY

I  am thrilled to be sharing some beautiful educational resources from The Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuck and friends for one of my lovely followers.
The winner will win ONE  EXPLORERS COLLECTION. This includes:
  • One beautiful A2 World Map
  • One Explorers Journal
  • Five Clutterbuck Stickers
Archiclutterbuck giveaway
The giveaway will run from Monday 3rd December 2018 until Monday 10th December 2018 at 12pm GMT.

This giveaway is OPEN WORLDWIDE!

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

To enter, visit my INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK accounts, and follow the directions.
I’ll announce the winner on social media and contact them directly.
The winner has 24 hours to respond, otherwise I will have to select another winner.

For more information about The Worldly Adventures of Archibold Clutterbuck, visit their WEBSITE. You can also follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Happy adventuring explorers!

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

Muslim Homeschool Curriculum Choices | 1st & 3rd Grade

Muslim homeschool curriculum

As a Muslim homeschooling family, I wanted to create a curriculum that aligns with our values, and helps us to live a life together that we love and that I am passionate about..

Using the Charlotte Mason philosophy to guide my decisions, I have designed a homeschool curriculum that nurtures my children’s love for learning, ignites their innate curiosity, and empowers me as their teacher and mother to teach with confidence and joy.

Inspired by Charlotte Mason, I have tried to bring God to the heart of every subject, and connect everything with our creator.

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

 

I needed a curriculum that made me excited to wake up in the morning! I needed a curriculum that would touch the hearts of my children! I needed a curriculum that I couldn’t wait to learn from myself!

But I couldn’t find one out there! So, with the help and inspiration of many other Charlotte Mason resources, I put a curriculum together myself.

And here it friends, for you all to enjoy and, I hope, benefit from! insha’Allah

My eldest son is 8 years-old, and my youngest son is 6 years-old. Please assume that the resources outlined below are used by both boys, unless indicated by a (8) or (6) in brackets. However, as the boys use most of the materials together, please consider this curriculum  suitable for children in 1st-3rd grade, year 2-4 in the UK.

And I’ve made a little video to go along with this blogpost too. ENJOY!


WATCH THIS VIDEO!

If you’d like to see the curriculum we used last year, when the boys were 7 and 5, CLICK HERE!


Language Arts / English

Our study of English is based around reading, copying and narrating back high-quality literature and poetry. We have chosen, as recommended by Charlotte Mason, to delay the study of grammar and spelling until our children are at least 9 years-old.

Handwriting

We make out own handwriting sheets on  Worksheet Works using excerpts from books we are reading, poetry or ahadith. It’s a wonderful free resource!

Literature

These are books that I plan to read-aloud to the children, in addition to other subjects. We may use Audible to listen to some of them in audiobook form.

Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs by Conover

Aesop’s Fables for Children

Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (8) – Note, there are some unacceptable racial terms used in these books. We use this as an opportunity for conversation and growth insha’Allah.

We use Audible A LOT! If you would like to try it out, they have a FREE TRIAL on at the moment, where you get your First Book Free, you can cancel anytime, and you’ll  still have access to that book!

CLICK HERE for your FREE TRIAL!
Reading

We do not follow a specific reading curriculum. The children are not forced to read any particular book, but rather are given a choice and then are required to read aloud to me 2-3 times a week. They also have 20 minutes free-reading in the afternoon, where they can read whatever they want…even car magazines! I hope that this relaxed approach will encourage them to develop a love of reading, rather than it becoming a chore and only a “school subject”.

The Boxcar Children (#1) by Gertrude C. Warner (8)

The Light of His Beauty by Maryam Qadri (8) – The birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

A Race to Prayer: Sulaiman’s rewarding Day by Aliya Vaughan (8)

The Hardy Boys – Treasure Tower (#1) by Franklin Dixon (8)

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (8)

The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander (8)

I Wonder – About the Prophet (#3) by Ozkan Oze (8)

Frindle by Andrew Clements (8)

 

Billy and Blaze Series by C. W. Anderson (6) – We LOVE this series!

Nate the Great series by Marjorie Sharmat (6)

Brambley Hedge Series by Jill Barklem (6)

Poetry

It is our aim to read poetry aloud everyday , even if only for a few minutes.

 Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Sing Song – A Nursery Rhyme Book by Rossetti – Please note, some of these poems maybe unsuitable for sensitive children.

Now we are Six – A. A. Milne

Montmorency’s Book of Rhymes by T.J. Winter (Islamic Children’s rhymes)

Treasury of Read-Aloud Poems for Young People by G. Hale

Shakespeare

We will be looking at one play each term. I feel more comfortable presenting plays that have less romance in, as so we will be beginning with The Tempest.

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E.Nesbit (easier language)

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

 

Maths

For Maths, we are using the wonderful Life of Fred Math Series. My 8 year-old are currently working on Kidneys and my 6 year-old on Butterflies.

Life of Fred Math bundle

If any concepts requires further reinforcement I will use other online resources. A favourite of mine is Math Mammoth.

Islam

My boys attend Arabic, Quran and Seerah classes outside of the home. However, we also do incorporate many Islamic sciences into out  homeschool schedule, as well as trying to refer back to our creator or deeper lessons whenever they arise in our school day.

Quran (Arabic)

Quran (English)

Qaidah (6) – ‘Uthamani Script or Indo-Pak Script

Islamic Studies – Year 3 (8) and Year 1 (6)

Safar Islamic Studies bundle

Arabic Handwriting (6)

We also look at Seerah, the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which I have included in our History curriculum. For seerah, we use Muhammad by Martin Lings

Nature Study

Nature study forms the foundation of our scientific learning. Through the study of nature I hope the children will learn to observe, records and question what they see around them. More formal science lessons will start when they are older insha’Allah.

Our focus this coming year will be Trees, and Star and Planets, although we will learn about other things things that interest them along the way too!

Nature Lore

Country Tales by Enid Blyton

Hedgerow Tales by Enid Blyton

Woodland Tales by Enid Blyton

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

Star Stories for Little Folks by Gertrude Chandler

Find the Constellations by Rey

Trees and Shrubs by Arabella Buckley

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Nature Journaling

Usbourne Spotter’s guides

Nature Journals

Geography

This year, we are focusing on Physical geography,

Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason

Home Geography for Primary Grades by C.C. Long

In addition to this, the boys often refer back to the atlas when a new place in mentioned in their history or literature books.

History

Our focus for history this coming year wil be the late medieval period, the Tudors and Stewarts. We will also focussing on Seerah, and studying the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

We have a HUGE selection of history books that we use to teach this subject. For more information, to see this extensive book list, please read the blog-post about it or watch this video.

islamic homeschool history

Modern Languages

My children are learning Arabic and French this year.

They attend Arabic classes outside of the home, and so my primary focus during school-hours is to teach them French.

Hachettes Illustrated French Primer

Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes

La Chenille: qui fait des trous

Comptines a chanter

Artist Study

Every term, the children learn about a new artist and become familiar with there artwork.

If you’re not sure what Artist/ Picture study is, you should read this blog-post or watch this video!

FREE Picture Study Guides

Picture study charlotte mason how to guide

Drawing

We are taking a very relaxed stance on artwork this year, allowing the children more freedom to draw and create in ways that excite them. For this, we will use Pinterest or Youtube for ideas or tutorials.

Prang Water colour paints

Sketch pads

Interest-Led

Touch Typing

My eldest son has expressed an interest in learning to type. For that we are using TypeKids.com. You can read my review on this programme HERE.

homeschool touch typing

Lego Club

My younger son expressed an interest in joining a local Lego club this year.

If you’d like to know more about Lego clubs, Click HERE.

Muslim homeschool

I’m so excited for this coming year ahead and to use these fabulous resources with my children; resources that I believe truly reflect our values.

And, I’m looking forward to sharing that journey with you too!

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

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

 

 

 

How to do Picture Study Lessons in your Homeschool

Picture study charlotte mason homeschool how to

Picture study is one of the easiest components of a Charlotte Mason education to incorporate into your homeschool curriculum. You do not need to know anything yourself about art, or art history. I repeat …You do NOT need to know ANYTHING about art or art history to begin. All you need is knowledge of the method and a few worthy resources.

Picture study charlotte mason homeschool how to

Why is Picture Study important?

In today’s society, the importance of the arts has been superseded by STEM and the other sciences. We have lost touch with the great artistic masters of past. Now, the masses only see fragments, distorted reproductions of the original genius of these men and women. For most of us, the only exposure we get to great art might be a coffee shop using the Mona Lisa in it’s logo, or a travel advert for Japan using a work of art by Hokusai.

Many of us will have heard of  Leonardo Da Vinci, or Claude Monet, and will have seen their art used in advertisements on billboards and the TV, but have little to draw upon from our own education.

Just as the great works of literature give us glimpses in the the mighty thoughts of the world’s great authors, so too picture study can give us insight into the ideas and minds of those artists. It puts children in touch with worthy ideas and inspires them with something more than modern life can offer.

” We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at a single picture.” – Charlotte Mason

 

charlotte mason picture study

Picture study offers our children a store of images in their mind, to balance out the media’s influence and attempt to monopolize their senses.

Picture study also:

  • Improves a child’s power of observation
  • Develop a sense of beauty
  • Connects them with an artist of a piece of art
  • Helps them to form opinion about art and their own taste in it
  • Encourages them to draw and be creative themselves

How to do Picture Study

From the ages of 6 to 15 Charlotte Mason recommended that children become acquainted with at least thirty of the world’s most famous artists.

I have filmed a short video, showing glimpses into our own Picture study lesson, in the hope that it will make what is written here clearer.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

First begin by choosing the artist you wish them to study. In our first year, we began with Leonardo Da Vinci as it was easy to find the resources we needed, and I was slightly familiar with his work.

However, please remember, you do not need to know ANYTHING about the artist before you begin. In fact, it will only add to your enjoyment of this subject, as you find yourself learning alongside the children.

Examples of artists to study include:

  • Van Gogh
  • Claude Monet
  • Hokusai
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Cezanne
  • Georgia O’Keeffe

The next step is to find six works of art by that artist for that school term, and studying three different artists per year.

Display one of those pieces in front of your children, and ask them to look at it closely, in silence. Allow them plenty of time to, not only absorb it, but to think and ponder over it. Then, when they are finished, hide the art from them and ask them to describe it.

Try your best not to prompt them with leading questions, like “What colour was her dress?” or “What was the weather like?” Just simply say, ” Tell me about it.” They will almost certainly not remember everything, but they don’t need to. By narrating in this way, they are performing a much higher thought process; of observing, processing, recalling and articulating those thoughts in their own words.

Muslim homeschool circle time
Artwork on display during school day

If you prompt too much, you are in danger of having your children become dependent on your questions, like we often see in school comprehension worksheets and multiple choice questions. Allow your children to think for themselves.

If your child is not used to narration, and is struggling to recall it or articulate his thoughts, then let him see the painting as he narrates. It is difficult skill to develop, so take it slow and try to keep the atmosphere joyful.

For older children, you can allow them to sketch from memory what they saw if they would like to.

Charlotte Mason picture study

 

 

The next step is to display that piece of art somewhere in your home so that the children can see it frequently through out their day.

The following week, repeat the process with the SAME piece of art. You will hopefully find that your children have more to say!

It can be helpful to tell the children a little about the artist or the painting before you begin. If the painting is about a story, it can be helpful to tell your children this story before you begin the picture study. Likewise, knowing a little more about the artist they are studying, will help them to form connections with him/her. Knowing more about the mind behind the art will encourage your children to look more closely at the work itself.

After 2 weeks, switch to another piece art by that same artist. In so doing, your child will some to  know at least 6 of the artist’s works each term. That’s an incredible achievement!

Picture Study Resources

For the art prints themselves, I would always recommend getting the largest prints you can find and display easily.

Postcards and images in art textbooks are often too small for multiple children to see at once, and inevitably loose the finer details.

We personally use wall calendars of a specific artist. These tend to be much cheaper than books, the prints are a good size, and they are easy to display on our kitchen wall. Here are a few examples of some we have used:

Georgia O’Keeffe

Hokusai

Claude Monet

Another option, is to look for larger “coffee-table books” on a specific artist. You can usually find some in your local library or on Amazon.

We have also used “Print Packs” from the Great Artist Collection. These contain a selection of six beautiful colour prints along with extensive information about the artist and his/her work:

Paul Cezanne UK USA

Vincent Van Gogh UK USA

Renoir UK USA

Claude Monet UK USA

 

The organsiation Simply Charlotte Mason also produces lovely Picture Study Portfolios that contains eight prints and a handbook.We have not tried these ourselves, but I have heard they are a excellent.

Children’s artist biographies can also be found at the library, but I would strongly recommend pre-reading these so you can omit the less-wholesome parts of the artist’s lives that young children do not need to know about. However, it may be worthwhile older children knowing the full picture, as these parts of their lives will have inevitably influenced their art, and will make for meaningful discussions with you.

Here are a few artist biographies, in the form of living books, that we have enjoyed with our young children:

  • Linnea in Monet’s Garden  UK USA
  • My name is is Georgia (O’Keeffe)  UK USA
  • Camille and the Sunflowers (Van Gough) UK USA
  • Cezanne and the Apple Boy UK USA
  • Leonardo and the Flying Boy UK USA

During their lesson, we use a wooden cookbook stand to hold the calendar or book.

From the age of fourteen, art history is incorporated into the Charlotte Mason curriculum, where children learn how the artist worldview would have influenced their art.

homeschool how to

The picture study lessons will take no more that 10-15 minutes a week, but the influence that they have will be lifelong. To be able to store “a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of [their] imagination” is a worthy endeavor.

Other useful Picture Study links

It you have any questions about picture study please leave them for me in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog and read my thoughts on this topic.

Peace and Love,

Charlotte Mason Picture study how to

 

Supplemental Homeschool Science Curriculum

homeschool science curriculum

Teaching science in your homeschool can be difficult without the right curriculum. You have to consider your child’s learning style, find ways in incorporate hands-on learning, coding, technology, and all within your budget!

Despite these difficulties, my kids love science and so I have been looking for ways to include more supplemental science into our homeschool curriculum without adding to much to my own workload!

We follow the Charlotte Mason philosophy in our homeschool, and so I was looking for something to supplement our existing curriculum.

I’m excited to share what I found!

homeschool science curriculum supplemental

This post is sponsored by Homeschool Buyers Co-op who compensated me for my time. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own, please see my Disclaimer for details.

Where can I find Science Homeschool Curriculum?

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op has an award-winning selection of science and technology products, including core science curriculum and supplements, coding and programming courses, hands-on experimentation, and more.

They offer Science & Technology curricula with savings up to 95%! Isn’t that incredible?!

homeschool science curriculum

Hands-on Experiments At Home!

Doing hands-on experiments at home can be a challenge for even to most seasoned homeschooler, especially as your children get older.

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op has an impressive range of science curricula specifically for hands-on learning!

I can’t tell you what a relief it was to me as a homeschooling mum to find these resources!

 

What about Technology and Coding?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember much about technology frim school, and I’m still not sure I know what coding is! Thank goodness there are homeschool curricula available to teach this for me.

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op offer a range of technology and coding curricula to chose from, all with significant savings too.

Online Homeschool Curriculum

If you’re like me and live outside the U.S. it can sometimes be frustrating to find homeschool curriculum. The great thing about Homeschool Buyers Co-op is that many of the curricula that they offer are online, so you don’t need to pay for International shipping!

Even if you do live in the U.S., an online Science curriculum is a great way to save money without compromising your child’s education.

homeschool science curriculum

So, if like me, you have been worried about how to teach Science in your homeschool, I would encourage to visit the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and see the choices they have on offer.

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

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

Nature Study Resources | BIRDS

Birds Nature study resources

We have just completed another term of nature study in our homeschool; this time focusing on British birds. Nature study is one of our most-loved subjects and part of our Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool curriculum.

Below, I have listed all the resources we love and have found useful in the study of birds; including living books, beautiful children’s literature for all ages, reference books, preschool picture books, our treasured nature journal supplies and more!

This blog post contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.

Nature study Birds resources

Make sure you WATCH THIS VIDEO to get a closer look at these resources and take a peek inside the books!

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Living Books about British Birds

Here is a selection of wonderful literature about birds; stories that are infused with scientific facts, as well as noble morals, memorable characters and moving storylines.

Tales of Wild Birds Life by Harry M. Batten

A charming collection of 15 short-stories featuring various wild birds from around the U.K.

An Owl in the House: A Naturalist’s Diary

This is the diary of a naturalist who rescued an abandoned owlet from the woods and hand-reared it at home. This true story also features tips on how to keep your own nature journal and original black-and-white photos.

Deep in the Woods – Richard L. Bell

A beautifully illustrated book about all the animals found in the woods. Perfect for children aged 5-8 years old.

Literature about birds

Ali and the Golden Eagle by Wayne Grover

The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

Poetry of Birds compiled by Simon Armitage

This collection has been a great source of poetry for memorisation and for copying into our nature journals.

Picture Books for Early Years

The Eagle and the Wren by Jane Goodall

My children are still talking about this delightful book!

The Little Books of Woodland Bird Song by Caz Buckingham

Press the buttons and hear the bird song of 12 different woodland birds. This board book also has interesting facts about each bird.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Set in New York and utterly charming!

Hedgie’s Surprise by Jan Brett

A sweet story about chickens that children under 5 will enjoy.

Bird picture books

Reference Books about UK Birds

Collins Lifesize Birds – The Only Guide to Show British Birds at their Actual Size

This book has been such an asset to us these past few months. We have used it to sketch the birds from into our nature journals. For each bird you are given a variety of large high-quality photos and plenty of information.

Usborne Spotters Guide: Birds

This lovely little book is our trusty guide to identifying birds when we are on nature walks. It is small enough to carry with us, with just enough information to help us identify any new birds we see.

Looking at Nature by Elsie Proctor

Looking a Nature is a collection of nature-study lessons for children aged 4-11. It is perfect for those people who are unsure how to begin the study of Nature in their homeschool.

The Usborne Complete Book of Nature

This charming book is an lovely introduction to nature study for children under 6 year-old.

The Usbourne Little Book of Birds

This book from Usborne focuses on birds from many different habitats. It discusses many aspects of their behaviour, life cycle, indientifaction and some myths and legnends! The illustrations are beautiful too!

A Nest is Noisy  by Dianna Hutts Aston

OK, confession time…I don’t have this book….But I want it!

Bird reference books

Other Resources

For Mum: Online course: Navigating Nature Study by Modern Miss Mason

Bird Bingo – A delgihtful board game featuring birds from all around the world.

A Guide to British Garden Birds  CD or Audible.

Learning about the Bird Songs has probably been my favourite aspect of the study of British birds, and this CD played a massive part in that! I highly recommend it.

At the moment, you can get it for FREE with the Audible Trial.

 

YouTube video: John Muir Laws: How to Sketch Birds

If you’re not confident at sketching birds, this YouTube video is fantatic. My boys followed along and really enjoyed it.

Nature Notebooks: Wiro Bound Sketchbook

Prang Watercolour Paints

Brush Set

Bird Feeders and Feeding Station

There is nothing quite so heart-warming as seeing tiny birds, of many coours and varieties, flock your garden, to eat the seeds you put out. They even develop a routine so you know what time each bird will arrive at your feeders that day!

Birds feeders, if placed close enough to your windows, can even be a way to do nature study on those days you cannot leave the house.

Local park

Your local park or woodland is a fantastic resource for you and your family. Get outdoors and explore the nature to see these incredible birds first-hand.

Enthusiasm

Your example and enthusiasm for nature study will influence you children far more than any book ever could. If you, as a parent, enjoy learning about birds and take part in nature journalling yourself, you children will be eager to follow your example. And besides, you might actually learn something…right?!!?

Birds Nature study resources

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

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

 

 

Raising Children on Words | Literature-Based Homeschooling

road through the woods rudyard kipling

The power of words, their ability to turn hearts and move men should never be underestimated.

In fact, it has become one of the few truths that I stand by: that words can change the world.

One of the greatest proofs of this are the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions. Muslims, along with Jews and Christians, are called the “people of the book” and it is through the Divine words of revelation that God chose to guide us; words that forever changed the world.

“It is He Who sent down to thee, in truth, the Book (Quran), confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (Quran) (of judgment between right and wrong).” – Holy Quran 3:3

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

Words, in their ever varied and beautiful forms, also make up the backbone of our literature-based homeschool. It is by the craftsmanship of the many great authors we read, that my children gain knowledge and are inspired to learn.

Through the words of others, they are taught what it means to be human; the good, the bad and everything in between.

The beauty of well crafted words sometimes catches me off guard, as if placed in my path for a reason; to remind me, teach me or just to make me smile when I need it the most.

road through the woods rudyard kipling

One such occasion was when we were visiting a local park. Despite having been to the same park for years, it was only on this visit that I noticed a small second-hand bookshop hidden above the ice-cream parlour. After the ice-creams were enjoyed, we all ventured up the narrow wooden staircase in the lofted roof. Tucked up under the eaves were hundreds of second-hand books, neatly arranged on old mismatched bookcases. The delight of finding this “secret” treasure-trove was not lost on my children, who quickly set about scouring the shelves looking for “the” book for them.

Tucked upon the first bookcase were two gems; the first of which was an old copy of Enid Blyton’s “The Enchanted Wood published in the 1960’s. The second was Discovering Poetry: Vol 4 Freshfields,” a collection of nature poetry collected by E. W. Parker.

In addition to these, my youngest son carried home a hardback copy of Stories from Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne as though it was the most precious thing in the world.

Back home, over a cup of tea, I opened the poetry book and the first poem that met my eyes made my heart flutter. I can’t make out if it was a pang of recollection from a distant childhood memory, or simply the power of the poem’s vivid imagery.

Road through the woods

This is the poem I read,

The Way Through the Woods 

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.

By Rudyard Kipling

road through the woods rudyard kipling

I read it over and over again, and it made me smile.

Words can do that; they can bring joy and delight when before there was none.

Then I read it to my kids. With their eyes closed and the room quiet, they felt it too. They told me about, “The lost road,” and “The horses hooves,” and they talked together about how roads were different in the olden days. They got it. They saw it in the minds and they felt the words.

Together we enjoyed those words, written many years ago by a man we never knew. Those words brought us closer. That poem is now something we share, like an inside joke or a happy memory.

By exposing my children to these great authors and poets, who are masters of their craft, I hope that my children will one day be able to yield the power found within words and use it for a noble purpose insha’Allah.

One day, when they are grown, and they hear the words of that poem again, it will trigger something within them and make their hearts flutter as they remember; and then perhaps they will pass these words onto their children.

Words connect us, they move us, and so too can they shape us. That is why I raise my children upon the best of them.

raise children on words dr gemma elizabeth

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

How to “Homeschool” Young Children | Beyond the Academics

how to homeschool young children

Homeschooling young children in the early years is so much more than reading, writing and maths!

When you consider the education of children under six years-old, there are many worthwhile areas to focus on, not just academics.

I am frequently asked the question ,“What should I be doing with my 3/4/5 years old child?”, and this blog-post I will do my best to answer that question for you.

homeschoo young children

This blog post has been written in collaboration with WordUnited who kindly gifted my family their products and compensated me for my time. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

For an introduction from me on this very important topic,

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Before the age of 7, many experts agree that the child’s mind and spirit is not ready for formal education. However, that does not mean we do nothing at all!

The mind, the heart and the soul of the child are still within our stewardship as parents.

In the Islamic tradition, Ali ibn Abi Talib (R.A.) advises us,

“Play with them for the first seven years (of their life); then teach them for the next seven years; then advise them for the next seven years (and after that).”

Through play, and gentle teaching, young children can be taught many important lessons; lessons that will benefit both their intellect and their spiritual essence.

Although academic subjects have their place in a child’s education, the focus with young children should be on the preservation of their faith, and establishing the foundations necessary for them to grow into righteous and highly moral human beings.

Nurture good morals and spiritual growth

Young children are the the greatest of mimics and they will copy your example. Many people talk about how becoming a parent has been the catalyst for a change within themselves; how they became more practicing in their religion because their children are now watching EVERYTHING they do!

Allow your children to witness you praying, reading Quran, attending classes and let them take part. Try to surround your children with good role-models whenever possible; both young and old.

Another powerful method of encouraging good morals in our children is by using stories; particularly about great and noble people from the past. These stories permeate into the child’s consciousness in a more powerful way than at any other time in their live’s, and will become part o their moral compass in the future.  Not only can this include the Stories the Prophets (R.A.), but  good children’s fiction has a lot to offer too.

children reaidng

Follow their interests

When children are young they seem to be interested in everything! They can become fascinated by the shells at the beach, the bugs in the garden, the vehicles they see on the road, the list goes on and on!

Whatever their interest is, grasp hold of it and pursue it! Read more about it together, create activities around that interest and organize field trips. Not only will your children relish the opportunity to learn more about something they love, but it’s a great way to show them that their passions matter to you and boost their self-confidence.

Establish good habits and routines

Establishing good habits and routines within the home is vital to save you much frustration and heart-ache as they grow older.

Whilst they are young, teach your children good manners and establish routines within the house that will benefit you all in later years.

Examples include good personal hygiene, cleaning up after themselves, no whining or bickering; anything that could lead you to frustration in the future is best dealt with whilst they are young, through loving an gentle means.

“A child must not be left to his human nature.” Vol. 1 p. 102 – Charlotte Mason

” …the child who is not being constantly raised to a higher and higher platform will sink to a lower and lower.” Vol. 1 p. 103 – Charlotte Mason

Spend time outdoors

Try to allow your children to spend some time everyday outdoors in natural environments. Allow them to explore and play freely for as long as you can spare.

Not only is being outside good for their physical health, but also for their spiritual and mental well-being. A child who spends his time collecting rocks, building dens, identifying birds, and such like, will have a mind full of wholesome interests; so full that there will be little room for less desirable interests, such as TV and video games.

“…a love of Nature, implanted so early that it will seem to them hereafter to have been born in them, will enrich their lives with pure interests, absorbing pursuits, health, and good humour.” – Charlotte Mason, Vol. 1 p.71

nature study

Make the most of their memory

In these early years, young children have the most incredible capacity to memorize almost anything with seemingly little effort. Use this time to encourage your children to memorize the Quran. There is no need to have any structured lessons, unless they seem to enjoy it. Instead, just allow them to listen to the Quran in the home whilst they are playing or eating their breakfast, whilst travelling in the car or as they fall asleep. This is such a simple and effective way for young children to learn the Quran, and will set them up well for more formal study in years to come.

The early years are also the best time to learn a foreign language. If you would like to learn more about how to do that, CLICK HERE to read how to do it!

Prepare for formal schooling

The age you begin to prepare them for more structured school-work is up to you. In our home it has been different for each child depending on their development.

Before they start formal schooling you may want to teach them the letters of the alphabet, numbers, and how to write and read simple words.

For this we have enjoyed using the Write-and-Wipe flashcards from WordUnited. There are a variety of sets available including the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and actions!

flashcards wordunited flashcards wordunited

Each card shows the word or letter of the alphabet, along with a beautiful high quality photo on one side; whilst on the other side the word or letter is written out, followed by a tracing and hand-writing exercise. I really appreciate how well-made these cards are and I am sure they will last us for many years insha’Allah. All the flash-cards are kept in a magnetically closing box, along with two wipe-able board pens.

These beautiful flashcards introduce children to the alphabet, numbers and simple words, and also give your children the opportunity to learn to write and read in a relaxed and fun manner.

homeschooling young children homeschooling young children

In addition to English, The Word United flashcards are also available in Arabic, French, Spanish and German. To read about how we have used these cards to teach Foreign Language in our homeschool, CLICK HERE.

If you are interested in purchasing the Write-and-Wipe flashcards for your family, visit their website (www.wordunited.com), or visit the Word United Amazon Store .

You also find them on Twitter and Instagram.

how to homeschool young children

Educating young children is so much more than reading, writing and maths; it’s about nurturing their whole beings in alignment with their natural development.

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

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

 

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

Homeschool Curriculum Choices: Kindergarten & 1st Grade

I am so excited to share Our Muslim Homeschool Curriculum choices for 2016-2017.

In the U.K. my sons would be in Reception (Kindergarten) and Year 2 (1st Grade), at ages 4 and 6 years old.

We follow an eclectic approach, drawing heavily from the Classical approach and the Charlotte Mason method.

This blog-post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our Disclaimer.
Please WATCH THIS VIDEO to see what books and resources we are using this year in our homeschool. If you want more information, or would like to buy anything for your family, I have given links in this blog post for almost everything that is mentioned!
I hope you enjoy the video and find benefit in it!

Introduction

Well-Trained Mind:
Home Learning Year by Year:
For the Children’s Sake:
Charlotte Mason Companion:
Pocketful of Pinecones:

KINDERGARTEN

MCP Phonics:
MCP Maths:

FIRST GRADE

MATHS

Saxon Math 3:
Rays Arithmetic:
Problem Solving:
Maths for the Gifted Student:
Kumon Multiplication:

LITERACY

Well-Trained Mind:
First Language Lessons:
Spelling Workout B:
Spelling Workout C:
Spelling Workout Table of Contents and Sample:
Read Me Out Loud:
A Child’s Garden of Verses:
Montmorency’s Book of Rhymes:
Winnie the Pooh:
Carol Vonderman Handwriting:
The Content of Character:
The Black Ships before Troy:
Bambi:
Charlotte’s Web:
A Bear Called Paddington:
Just So Stories:
Hardy Boys:
The Happy Prince:
The Wind in the Willows:
Jungle Book:
Raggedy Anne:
Winnie the Pooh:
Audible FREE TRIAL UK:

Audible FREE TRIAL USA:
http://amzn.to/2bO11Lq (USA)

Magic Treehouse:
Tutankhamun:
Time Warp Trio:
The Odyssey:
Stories from Ancient Egypt:
The Trojan Horse:
The Greek News:
Croco’Nile:
Magic School Bus:
MTH: Leonardo Da Vinci:
Usborne: Leonado Da Vinci:
Laurence Anholt Books:
The World of Peter Rabbit:
My First Story Writing Book:

HISTORY

The Story of the World:
The Story of the World Activity Book:
Usborne Ancient Egypt Sticker Book:
Egyptian Painting Kit:
Egyptian Mummy Kit:
Book of Centuries:
Book of Centuries Cover Page:

SCIENCE

What’s smaller than a pygmy shrew?:
Switch on, Switch off:
What makes a Magnet?:
What is the World Made of?:
Germs make me sick:
Usborne Science Encyclopaedia:
DK Science Encyclopaedia:
Berenstain Bears:
See inside your body:
Everybody has a Body:
Magnetic Science Kit:
Usborne Spotter’s Guide:
Usborne Beginner Series:
Looking at Nature:
Burgess Bird Book:
A Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady:
Handbook of Nature Study:
British Birds Handbook:
Food for Free:
First Book of the Seashore:
Little Book of Outside in all Weather:

ART

Famous Paintings Cards:
Children’s Book of Art:
Lives of the Great Artists:
Start Exploring Masterpieces:
Famous Artists:
Children’s Book of Art:
Heinmann First Library:
Easy Carpentry Projects:
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you found this blog post useful and got some ideas for your family.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.
For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love xx
Living history curriculum islamic
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