This week I was LIVE on Facebook and Instagram talking about home management for mums and how they can run your home like a BOSS!
Do you find yourself saying, ” I wish I could, but I don’t have time?” Do you want more time and energy to do what is important to you. Do you want more time to connect with your children? Do you want higher energy levels to play and read to them?
Now you know the steps you can take to go forwards insha’Allah.
Now its up to you. I hope with all my heart that you use this as an opportunity to really take ownership and responsibility for your time, energy and ultimately your life. This is where you can start! Use this as a chance to make those positive changes that you and your family need.
Thank you so much for tuning in.
I’ll be LIVE again next week, at 10am GMT, Sunday 27th January, on Facebook and Instagram where we’ll be continuing this discussion on home management for mums with:
“Run your home like a BOSS Part 2- Taking it to the next level!”
I’ll see you there!
If you have any further questions, or ideas for future lives broadcasts, please leave them for me in the comments below.
Peace and Love,
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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.
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!
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 ourOnline Bookshop.
If you are interested in seeing which books and resources we plan to use this coming homeschool year, THESE VIDEOS!
The Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam – Amazon UKUSA
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.
December was so much fun! We’ve had a blast in out homeschool using these books and educational products. I am so excited to share them with you.
There are a few more than usual, but I didn’t want to miss anything out!
We are taking a short break for the next few weeks, to give ourselves time to “refuel” and get ready for the term to come.
I am really happy with the way our homeschooling has been going. Alhumdullilah!
With the exception of Maths (I’ll talk about that later), we are loving all of our curriculum. The kids really enjoy “school time” and we are excited to start homeschooling again soon!
Homeschool Favourites | December 2016
To take a closer look at the products, and see inside the books I mention in this blog post,
WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!
I am in love with this online store!!!
Myriad sell natural toys and crafts, as well as home decor and more! They stock lots of beautiful wooden toys and toys made from natural materials. If you follow the Waldof method of home education, this would be a great shopfor you.
We do not follow the Waldorf methodology, but I still adore their toys and craft!
We bought lots of things this time round, and I’ve already got my eyes on a few others bits!!!
These beautiful pencils are highly pigmented and draw beautifully! They are triangular in shape so they are easy for my child to grasp. The only thing is, they don’t fit into out existing pencil sharpener, so I’ve had to purchase one separately (around £4) from Amazon.
These were a bit of a splurge, but I needed to get two new combs for the kids. These combs are beautifully made from beech wood, and look and work wonderfully.
I’ve never had beeswax candles and I was curious. I needed some to fit into some of my mother’s old candle sticks, and thesetapered beeswax candles fitted perfectly!
Write from the Start
This handwriting programme is fantastic! I have never seen anything like it!
Instead of pages and pages of copying out letters, this book contains a huge variety of exercises that improve you child’s fine motor and perceptual skills.
My 4 year-old son loves this book, and will often pull it out and start working on it independently!
The Boys Choice: Independent Reading
This month I decided to ask the boys directly, “What was your favourite thing we did in our homeschool this month?”
I thought they might suggest a field trip we went on, or maybe a craft activity…but they surprised me! They chose their independent readers!
My youngest son (4) is reading through the “Biff, Chip and Kipper” books Level 1 from Oxford University Press.
These are great for children who are just beginning to read. There a short stories filled with sight words and CVC (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant) words. He obviously is enjoying them!
My elder son (6) chose his collection of Roald Dahl books.
These books are fun and silly, and he loves them! I must warn you, they do not teach good character traits, and some may consider them bit rude; but they have given my son so much confidence in reading. He now goes off by himself to read for fun!
A Maths Journey
As I mentioned above, we have had some issues with Maths!
Previously, we had been using Saxon Math 3. I really appreciate this programme’s thorough and systematic approach to Maths. However, for my son, the slow pace and the repetition became very frustrating for him. So we decided to make a change!
Instead of using a complete curriculum, I have been piecing together my own Maths curriculum from various resources. These include:
A Maths Journey if a collection of 4 books that uses real-life exampls to teach kids to understand topics such as geometry, statistics and algebra. They use a variety of pictograms, infographics, fun illustration and photographs to explain these core concepts.
Titles in this collection include:
Wonders of the World
Deep Sea Adventure
These books are fantastic if you’re looking for something to stretch you child in their Maths ability, or if your child does not enjoy the usual math book format. These books are so different and I love them!
At this time of year, Christmas is all over the T.V.! As a family who have chosen not to celebrate Christmas, it can be a very confusing time of the year for the kids. So the T.V. has been andoff, we have been enjoying these two Ali and Sumaya DVDs: Let’s Pray & Let’s Read!
The chidren love the nasheeds and the incredible animations. The children have learnt so much from these DVDs, even my little 2 year-old has started reciting parts of Surah Fatihah after watching these DVD mashAllah!
I have previously written two reviews about these DVDs if you want to know more about them, click on the links below:
We were struggling to get the boys up and going in the mornings. Getting dressed, brushing teeth etc. was taking forever. This meant we were not starting school until after 10am.
This Islamic Behaviour chart has been a great way to motivate the children to get ready and reinforce a good morning routine. It’s working so well…too well! The kids are up and ready to start school before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee!
It is highly customisable and can be used to motivate kids in lots of different ways; such as encouragement to do their homework, chores or improve behaviour.
The stickers are adorable with phrases like:
“Super star MashAllah”, “I Love Allah” and “Splendid Subhanullah!“
They’re so cute.
These Islamic stickersare great because, not only to they make the child proud of their achievement, but also help to make them proud to be a Muslim! Encouraging a positive self image and Muslim identity is becoming increasingly hard for children growing up in the West, and products like this make it a little easier.
As I was reading it aloud to the children, the stories it told reminded me of the stories m teacher used to teach us. It is by far the most accurate Seerah book I have come across for children, as well as the most in depth. The illustrations are beautiful, although they are not faceless, and there is a beautiful family tree in the front of the Prophet’s family.
As I read this aloud, it moved the children and evoked feelings in them, like not other children’s Seerah book has.
Since it goes into quite a lot of detail, I anticipate that this book will be enjoyed for many years to come. If you are reading aloud, this book is suitable for children aged 5-11, or 8+ for independent readers.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been enjoying in our homeschool this month.
Do you have any new discovers? What have you been loving in your home this month? What is your favourite online store for children’s toys? What is your favourite Seerah book for kids?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!
It’s November, and it’s time for another Monthly Homeschool favourites!
In these blog posts, I share with you some of the products and resources we have been enjoying in our homeschool this month.
As some of you may have noticed, we didn’t do an October Favourites video! Whoops! Actually, my family and I went travelling around Kenya and U.A.E that month. So we took a 3 week break from formal homeschooling, and allowed the children to benefit fully from their new experiences abroad. If you’d like to see some of our holiday photos, you can see them on my Instagram account.
This month, I have so many fun and exciting new products I want to share with you! This includes a really cool electronics kit that my kids adore, some great books we’ve been enjoying, and a gratitude journal for Muslims.
As usual, we have a GIVEAWAY running this month, so if you’d like to enter, scroll down to the bottom of this post, and enter with the Rafflecopter widget.
HOMESCHOOL FAVOURITES | November 2016
To take a closer look at all the products mentioned in this blog post, WATCH THIS VIDEO!
I was looking for an electronics kit to supplement our science lessons. This one was significantly cheaper than everything else on the market, and I think it’s great!
It really well-made, and is easy for the kids to use independently.
This kit covers most of Key Stage 1 and 2; working brilliantly as an introduction to electricity for children.
There is an easy-to-follow manual included, that not only explains how to set-up each experiment, but also explains what it shows.
The components are very easy to fit together and your children will have new circuits set up in minutes!
If you don’t believe me…WATCH THIS VIDEO!
If your children are interested in electronics, or you are planning to look at electricity as part of our homeschool curriculum, I would highly recommend this Electronics Kit by Cambrdige BrainBox.
The “Making Science Fun” kit is their most basic package. They also have kits to make boats, cars and all kinds of fun projects for your children!
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi has been an absolute joy to read with my children. This is the original version, that is so different to the Disney movie!
It is full of rich vocabulary, beautiful illustrations and a deep undercurrent of good moral teaching runs throughout the book. It is a feast for the imagination and so much fun!
My eldest always asks me to keep reading from it when I finish a chapter. He has NEVER done that before with any book! mashAllah!
I would recommend Pinocchio for children aged 4-9.
Fitra Homeschool Journal
Finally! A homeschooing journal for the Muslim homeschooling community!
The Fitra Homeschool journal publishes articles written by homeschooling families all around the globe; bringing their perspective and opinions to print. They have articles about homeschooling methodolgies, personal accounts, resource reviews and a plethora of homeschooling information and inspiration.
The Fitra journal is available in both print and digital versions from Amazon.
This issue if no.1, and focuses on “Getting Started”; with articles about organization, budget planning , advice for reluctant parents and self-care tips. It was both informative and really really interesting! I love hearing about how other families approach home-education!
If you are new to home-education, or even if you are very experiences, I think that you will find the Fitra journal a really enjoyable and a useful resource.
365 days with Prophet Muhammad
We LOVE this Seerah Book for Kids!
The 365 Days with Prophet Muhammad has become our new favourite. The book divides the Story of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) into 365 sections; one for each day.
I love the idea of dedicating part of each day to learning the Seerah of the Prophet. We read our copy bed, in the hope that these stories and meanings will fill my children’s dreams, insha’Allah.
This little book is filled with the most incredible water-colour illustrations of examples of things to be grateful for.
There are several lined-pages where you are invited to write down something you want to say “Alhumdulillah for” for each day.
If you are looking for a journal with lots of space to write, this is not the right fit for you. However, I think this journal is perfect for busy people (or for children) who want to develop a habit of gratitude, and would like to simply write down a list of things, or short sentence.
Finding time in our busy lives to reflect on the Blessings in our lives, is a very beneficial practice to teach to your children, and I would urge you find a way to begin this in your home.
Some families simply ask their children to say thank you to Allah before they go to sleep, others make impressive wall-art to display. I recently saw one mother who had made a Gratitude Tree, and on each leaf was written something to be grateful for.
This book continues to inspire me every time I read from it!
This is a book for homeschool mums, or anyone who is interested in knowing more about the Charlotte Mason method of home-education.
It is a fictitious journal of a homeschooling mother based in the U.S.A. around 100 years ago. She decides to take her children out of school and, with the help of only one of Charlotte Mason’s books, she begin homeschooling her children.
There is a lot of focus on nature study and on “mother culture” in this book.
For more information on “Mother Culture” CLICK HERE.
The chapters are short and perfect for busy mums who don’t have time to read as much as they would like.
This has to be one of the most inspiring books I have ever read, and I can see myself re-reading over and over again!
I enjoyed it so much, I have already purchased two more from the same author:
My eldest son has really enjoyed using this interactive toyto learn how to pray. Although he used to enjoy praying with me, he seems to have entered in new “phase” where he wants to learn independently…and this even includes the Salah (prayer)!
He has benefited immensely from this toy. The illustrations show him what to do, and when you press on them, he hears what he is supposed to say. He loves it!
In addition to the prayer, it also teaches the wudu, the athaan, and many more duaas.
This is an endearing story about a little girl called Aishah who wants to bake! Her mother uses this opportunity to teach Aishah about where all the ingredients come from.
It’s a lovely way to show children how blessed they are to have food, and to be grateful for it. It also introduces children to the foods mentioned in the Quran and the name of Allah “ar-Razzaq,” (the Provider).
The illustrations are clever and cute (much like Aishah), and my boys were laughing the whole way through the story!
We enjoyed the story so much, we decided to make the same honey and date cupcakes that Aishah and her mum made. There is a recipe in the back of the book. They turned really good mash’Allah!
Finally, although it’s not a “tangible” thing, I really wanted to share how much we’ve been enjoying our nature walks this month.
The weather has been a little unpredictable, but it hasn’t stopped us! We’ve really been making the most the woodlands and parks around us.
Not only do my children benefit from our time outdoors, but I find that I personally need that time away from the home to unwind and reflect.
If you don’t already, I would highly recommend that you schedule some outdoor time into your homeschool routine. It has brought so much balance and peace to our family. Subhanullah!
It’s Giveaway time!
This August I am excited to share TWO of my favorites with one of you!!!
I will be giving away: – One copy of Aishah Learns To Bake (RRP: £5.57)- One iPray Salah Pad in Pink (RRP: £17.00) The August 2016 Favourites Giveaway will run until Wednesday 24thAugust 2016 at 12AM GMT.
The giveaway is open Internationally.
All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.
Please aware that if entering overseas, you may be liable to pay customs tax (or the equivalent), so please check beforehand.
You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (click HERE is you would like to know more about Rafflecopter).
I’ll announce the winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email.
The winner has 24 hours to respond, otherwise I will have to select another winner.
This blog-post was written in partnership with Mr. D Math.
Although I was compensated for my time, and given free access to the online
material, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Before I even began
home-schooling my children, I was planning ahead!
How will I teach Algebra, Geometry and higher level Math when it’s been almost 15 years since I was at
How will they get into University, and how do they prepare for
standardized tests like the SATs?
I was worried about all this before my son even
knew the alphabet!
Maybe it’s my Type A personality,
but finding out this information gave me the reassurance and confidence I needed to start homeschooling!
Although we live in the U.K., we
have always used Math curriculum from U.S.A., as the choices of Homeschool Math curriculum
in the U.K. are limited.
We have also considered that the children may choose
to apply to Colleges and Universities in the “States”, as home-education is
more widely accepted there.
So now I was on a mission to find
out, how will my homeschooled children get into University in America?
How will I prepare them for all the SATs, ACTs
What resources are there available for a homeschooling mum like me
I was delighted in my quest for
answers, to come across Mr. D Math.
Mr. D Math
Mr. D Math is the creation of an
ex-secondary teacher Dennis DiNoia. He left the school system ten years ago and
has since created an innovative online curriculum of his own, that teaches Math
as a language, with great success, helping hundreds of students improve their SAT, ACT and FCAT scores.
His online curriculum is taught
primarily through recorded videos, with the addition of accompanying homework
to reinforce what has been learnt.
Exploring Mr. D Math
I really liked his energy in the videos and the dynamic way he presents the
He also hand-writes the questions
and answers, rather than using “computer-text.” Handwritten text has been
proven to be more effective in keeping the student’s attention and helping them
to retain what was taught.
Students then have to grade their
own work, which again acts to reinforce the lesson.
The package includes two
exams, online access to Mr D Math teachers (if you have a question), and you can
attend a LIVE online Math class once a week. Here is an example of what the LIVE class would be like:
The Little Muslimah is the latest addition to our collection of Islamic picture books.
This book is a ‘true story’ and was written as a surprise gift for the author’s daughter.
Umm Sumayyah told me, “It was priceless seeing the look on my daughter’s face as she read this book about a little Muslim girl and then suddenly realised in the middle of the book that the book was about her and featured all her belongings! It took 1 year to secretly make the book as I got her to pose for hundreds of photos for the illustrator without letting her know why. I’m so happy that I can now share the with the rest of the world and InshaAllaah some other families can enjoy it too.”
It is a charming story about a little girl who can’t get to sleep unless her mummy tells her why she loves her so much. It is so sweet and the perfect bedtime read.
You’ll also notice that they have been very careful to show no faces in the illustrations.
If you are looking for a new picture book for your children,
It is that wonderful time of the year! Surrounded by a mountain of home-education books and homeschool curriculum, I get to plan next year’s homeschool… and I love it!
I think all homeschool mums out there can understand the excitement of new curriculum and new plans with “This year is going to be different,” ringing in our ears.
However before I jump in and get too excited, I realised it was important to really reflect on last year before I make the same mistakes again.
To reflect on what went well….and what did not!
I would advise every homeschool mum to do this.
Don’t get carried away and start planning next year, no matter how tempting, until you have evaluated last year.
I would recommend you get the kids involved too. Ask them what did they enjoyed learning about, and what did they dislike.
I have learnt so much from this little exercise; not just about my homeschool, but also about the way my children learn and about the way I function too. What is important to me and my happiness?
Here is my reflection and evaluation of last year:
Evaluation of our Homeschool 2015/2016
In 2015/2016 I was homeschooling two boys: a 5-6year old (K5 in U.S. or Year 1 in the U.K.) and a 3-4years-old (Preschool). This blog-post will focus on my elder son, as the youngest did very little structured schooling this year.
Child’s Learning Style
I realised that my eldest son is highly self-motivated and my interference in his learning can actually hinder his progress! He only needs to be given the resources and gentle prompts , and he will learn on his own. He learns and retains the most from his own reading.The best thing about this self-directed approach is that it encourages his love of learning and allows him to take control of his own education.
However…he is only 6! So I have to find a balance next year, allowing him more time and control in his education, whilst at the same time making sure he has a firm foundation in the basics.
Facts, facts, facts
He LOVES facts and figures, and has recently developed an interest in science. So this coming year I need to encourage this interest and develop a really engaging sciecne curriculum for him, that will cover things he is interested in, as well as introduce him to new concepts.
As we are starting history this year, I need to find a way to utilise his love of facts, in our history lessons.
Need for structure
Although he enjoys learning independantly, he also benefits from having routine and structure in the day. It is important to him to know what to expect that day, and what is coming the next. This coming year, I have bought him his own academic diary, in which I will write out the lesson plans briefly, so he knows what is coming.
I struggled this year in establishing consistent routines. This is something that I NEED to address this year for his sake. insha’Allah.
Needs fun and silly too!
Because of his personality, it is easy for me to forget that he is only 6 years-old and enjoys doing silly things too! This coming year, I want to incorporate more fun activities and experiments into his curriculum.
It is also important for him to blow off steam! He needs to run, jump, do ‘kung-fu’ moves, just like any little boy! So this year, I have to schedule in outdoor/free time every day….without fail!
My recent discovery of the Charlotte-Mason approach to homeschooling had me trying shorter lessons with my son.
These worked very effectively as he knew that he had only a short amount of time to learn/do the material and he really focused during this time. In my head, because of my experience at mainstream schools, I thought that a lesson ‘needed’ to be around 40 minutes long….but why should it be! Who says it has to be!
When you are working one-on-one, shorter lessons are actually very effective. This coming year, I will be shortening lesson times in all areas.
This last year has been massive for me, in terms of self-knowledge and feelings of self-worth! One of the things that I realised about myself, is the need to be creative!
This coming year, I hope to utilise my creativity to create an awesome science curriculum for my son, and well as doing some great crafts to go along with out history and Islamic studies.
I’ve also realised that I am a control-freak! I need to relinquish this control over my son’s learning, and allow him to dictate the pace and content of at least some areas of study. It’s going to be hard!
Part of being a homeschool mum…nay….part of being a mother period, is that we worry and we fill our thoughts with guilt. “What if I hadn’t done that…” or “Maybe I should have done it like so-and-so”. I realised that I shouldn’t compare my child, my home or my homeschooling to anyone else. It does nothing but fill you with guilt or helplessness.
Allah does not judge you by other people’s standards. He only asks you to do your best with the tools he has given you.
Alhumdulillah we are doing well, and I pray it continues.
There is often a feeling amongst some home-educators that if you are using a tutor or sending your child to classes, your not really homeschooling “properly”! Of course, this is nonsense. There is no “proper” way to homeschool.
My son seems to really enjoy the variety that external teachers brings to his education. He attends a number of co-op classes, which he seems to be doing very well in. I have also found private tutors to help with languages (not my strength), and he loves those classes. So my feelings are that perhaps I should continue with these classes, and perhaps even find classes outside the home.
So you see, this short exercise in reflection, that took only 10 minutes to think through, has brought me so much clarity for next year’s plan, and stopping me from repeating the same mistakes. If you are homeschooling your children, I would highly recommend that you do this too!
Are you starting to plan your next year of home-education? How do you start the planning process? What worked well for you last year, and what changes will you be making this coming year?
Id love to hear from you! Please share with me in the comments below 🙂 In Part 2 (COMING SOON), I will go into details about how I plan out our school year, and the books and resources I use, as well as my planner and all that ‘good stuff’!!!
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Teaching our children to recite the Quran correctly is so
important as Muslim parents. Tajweed, the rules of Quranic recitation, should
be done in young children, so that mistakes do not need to be corrected in
However, we all know that trying to teach Tajweed to young children
can be challenging. Young children do not want to sit in formal lessons for too
long. The rules can seem complicated and the terminology over-whelming.
can we teach young Muslim children the rules of Quranic recitation? Through
Nursery Rhymes or Nasheeds!!!
We all recognise how quickly our children retain the songs
they hear. Whether it’s from school, or from the TV, songs have a way of
sticking in the memory of children. Even now, I can remember the words to songs
I sang as a child.
Tahera Akther, the founder of Olive Tree Study Support, has
created a collection of rhyming songs to help teach your children the rules of
They are so much fun! Honestly, your kids are going to love
The tracks are named Mysterious Makharij, Stretchy Madd
Tabeei, Best friend meem & noon (my personal favourite!), Jumpy Qalqalah and
Friendly Meem Saakina!
Despite having no music, only drums with child vocals, the
songs are ridiculously catchy! They are so easy to repeat and easy for children
to memorise. In fact, they’re a little difficult to get out of your head!
I love the idea of using rhyme to help young kids remember
their Tajweed rules. They introduce your children to some of the basic rules of
Tajweed and, insha’Allah, spark a passion for the study of Quran in later
We’ve been listening to these songs whenever there’s a quiet
moment in our homeschool day; whilst the kids are colouring or playing, or
whilst they’re having a snack. It’s a great way for parents to teach their
children the rules of Quranic recitation, without them realising its happening!
They can listen and learn whilst….
And eating lunch!
After listening to these songs, I would recommend them to children aged 4- 9. To get the most from the CD, they should have had
some exposure to the rules of tajweed previously, so they can understand some
of the terminology used.
They were perfect for my 4 and 6 year-old boys, and my
little baby girl seemed to enjoy dancing around to them too! …We all did!
This collection of Tajweed Nursery Rhyme songs is available to buy as a CD or MP3download. If you’d like to listen to the songs, you can hear
a sampleof the nasheeds on their website. Click HEREto listen!
It is such an honour to share these Tajweed nursery rhymes with you. I genuinely love them! They’re fun, upbeat and so catchy! I often find myself singing them when the kids are asleep!
These great quality children’s songs are a fantastic way to
introduce Tajweed to, and inculcate a love of the Quran in, young Muslim
I would recommend this CD to all madrasas, as well as any parent
eager to encourage their children to recite correctly from an early age.