Book Reviews

Homeschool History Curriculum | Islamic & British

islamic homeschool history
  • History is one of my favourite subjects to teach in our homeschool, especially Islamic history! I am very excited to share with you our Living History curriculum choices for the coming homeschool year!

Download our FREE Homeschool History Reading Plan, and you can read these beautiful books along with our family! (More information is at the end of this blog-post.)

Further research of the Charlotte Mason method of education has led me to many delightful discoveries; one of which is her method of teaching history through living books and biographies. This coming school year, I will be using this methodology to teach my two young boys, ages 6 and 8, more about later Medieval times in Britain and the Islamic world. Towards the middle of the year, we hope to start learning about the Tudors.

Islamic homeschool living history curriculum

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

If you’re interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason’s method of teaching History: CLICK HERE

I have collected together an assortment of beautiful books that we will use this year; some we will read together as a family, and others are independent reading for my eight year-old. This curriculum also incorporates Islamic History.

If you would like to use this curriculum in your homeschool as well, please scroll down to the bottom of this blog post, and you can download our Homeschool History Reading Plan  for FREE!

You can also WATCH THIS VIDEO, to get a closer look at all these lovely books!

These are the selection of Living History Books we hope to use this coming year:

Family History Read-alouds

 

The Story of Britain by Patrick Dillon

UK | USA

People in History by R.J. Unstead

UK | USA

This book is harder to source in USA, and may be cheaper to buy from Amazon UK, and ship over.

Muhammad: His life based on the earliest sources by Martin Lings

UK | USA

Columbus by Ingri  & Edgar Parin D’Aulaire

UK | USA

The topic of Columbus, an how to teach it, is a difficult dillema for many parents, as the horrific atrocities committed upon the native people of America are ignored by most historical accounts in children’s books. This is an excellent article to help you navigate this issue with your children.

Independent Reading/ Biographies (Ages 8+)

We hope that my son will read as many of these books as he can over the whole year, reading for only 10 minutes interdependently from them each school day.

Please note: I have not yet pre-read all of these books, but I plan too insha’Allah. I would always advise you to pre-read anything that your child will be reading independently.

 

 

islamic homeschool history

Bard of Avon by Diane Stanley

UK | USA

All About Leonardo da Vinci by Emily Hahn

UK | USA

Al Ghazali by Demi

UK | USA

Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta by James Rumford

UK | USA

 

The Silk Route by John S.Major

UK | USA

Ibn Sina: A Concise History by Edoardo Albert

UK | USA

This book is harder than the others. We may chose to do this one as a family read-aloud if my son struggles with it.

Saladin: The Muslim Warrior who defended his people

UK | USA

The Emperor’s Winding Sheet  by Jill Paton Walsh

UK | USA

Leyla: The Black Tulip by A. Croutier

UK | USA

So this is our plan for the coming year for History, insha’Allah.

History Curriculum: Islamic and European History

If you would like to read along with us, I have planned out the first term (12 weeks) of family reading, which you can DOWNLOAD HERE: Homeschool History Reading Plan.

As I mentioned above, this is a continuation of last year’s study of the medieval times, and so the British history component begins with Henry V (1413).

I do not plan out my son’s independent reading, but instead allow him to select a book from the list above, and read from it for 10 minutes daily. This approach could also work for your family.

To use the reading schedule, simply reading down the list the in order; beginning from the top and working your way down to the bottom. Each square correlates with the number of readings/sittings it will take to complete the chapter; e.g. 2 squares indicates that it will probably take 2 sittings to read through that particular chapter. You can even use this as a checklist if you like, and tick off each reading as you complete it.

The chapter names are written in the left-hand column, and the colour of the box indicates the which book it is from. There is a “key” to help make this clearer. If you need any further help with this reading schedule, please leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to help insha’Allah.

Download your…

FREE History Reading Schedule:

–>Homeschool History Reading Plan <–

 

Islamic homeschool history living curriculum

If you do decide to read along with us, please take a photo and share it with the hashtag #OMHHistory. I would love to see how your family are using this curriculum.

What history books have your family enjoyed reading? Do you have any favourites?

Please share with us in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

 

 

 

Homeschool History | Living Books and Curriculum Options

Homeschool history living curriclum

Are you struggling to choose a Homeschool History curriculum? There are so many different curricula and living books available, that choosing the right “fit” can become quickly overwhelming!

In this blog-post I’ll be reviewing three of the most popular Homeschool History curricula, that we have personal experience with, to help you decide what would be best for your children. I’ll also be discussing why the study of History is so important in a child’s education.

homeschool history living books curriculum

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

Why Study History

In this modern educational culture, we have come to view History as a supplemental subject; a subject that is done merely to enrich the more “important” disciplines. However I would argue, as Charlotte Mason did over a hundred years ago, that history is “vital part of education.” (Vol. 6, p.169).

Understanding the events and people of the past, can help us to understand our own reality, and place in this world. The study of history exposes our children to worthy ideas, foreign worlds, people of noble character, and can act as an antithesis to the misguidance and trappings of modernity. It helps children to see what virtue looks like, through their imagination, and begins to train their powers of reasoning.

“…a subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas, should enrich the chambers of his House Beautiful with a thousand tableaux, pathetic and heroic, and should form in him, insensibly, principles where by he will hereafter judge of the behavior of nations, and will rule his own conduct as one of a nation.”

-Vol. 1 p.279

History, when taught by the principles set out by Charlotte Mason, enocurages children to relate to those unlike them; to humanize people from other nations and distant times.

“If he comes to think…that the people of some other land were, at one tome, at any rate, better than we, why, so much the better for him.”

-Vol.1, p.281

History has far more to offer our children that just the memorization of facts and dates. It can help to shape they character and guide the way they think.

Homeschool history living curriclum

Like many, I was taught history using a dry textbook followed by comprehension questions. These questions tested my ability to pick facts out of the text, but did not develop my person in any way. I consider the many years I spent sitting in those history lessons time wasted; little information was retained, no ideas imbued, and any interest I once had for history quashed. The great thoughts and personalities of history remained hidden from me until I began to learn alongside my children using the Charlotte Mason method.

Charlotte Mason History

Charlotte Mason advised us to take our time with history; to dwell on those time and people who inspire our children, instead of rushing through in the effrot to cover “everything”.

“Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period.” -Vol. 1, p.280

She also recommend the use of living books to teach history, specifically mentioning “Our Island Story” by H. E. Marshall  (Vol. 6, p.169) as the main text in the first two years (Form 1B and 1A), as well as reading well-written biographies of historical figures from Form 1A onwards.

Alternatively, many homeschooling families choose to use The Story of the World, by Susan Wise-Bauer as their main text or sole history curriculum. Another option is A Child’s History of the World by V. M. Hillyer.

Homeschool History Options

The Story of the World, Our Island Story and A Child’s History of the World are the three most popular choices of homeschool history curriculum.

This blog post aims to compare these three popular homeschool history texts, and highlight their strengths, weakness, and differences.

To help you further, I’ve made this Youtube video showing the books themselves, and discussing some of this details further. WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Story of the World

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

The Story of the World, by Susan Wise-Bauer is one of the most popular homeschool history curricula on the market. It was written to follow the classical educational model, however many CM families also use it.

The complete series consists of four volumes, which cover history chronologically from Ancient times through to the Modern age.

Story of the world review

In previous years we have  worked through Volume 1 (Ancient times), which covers world history from 7000B.C. to the Fall of Rome. However, for reasons I will explain later, we chose not to move onto Volume 2 – Medieval Times.

Each chapter is 3-4 pages long (A5), with plentiful black-and-white illusatrations and maps throughout. It is written in a conversational style, which appeals to many children, as it is easy to understand and is generally very entertaining.

The books do include Biblical stories and mythology. There has also been some concern voiced about the portrayal of Prophet Muhammad in Volume 2. I have not read this volume myself, so I cannot comment on the specifics.

Although the author makes a concerted effort to cover the history of many nations, it is still very much euro-centric world view, and so many families may feel the need to supplement this curriculum.

There are also optional Activity books available to go along with the main text. For every chapter in the main text, the activity book contains cross-references in encyclopedias, additional reading, extensive recommendations for audio-books and literature. The activity books also contain reproducible maps and coloring pages, as well as lists of crafts projects.

Our experience of using The Story of the World Vol. 1 was mixed. The children seemed to enjoy it, and found it fun and easy to understand, which was perfect for our first year homeschooling. It also gave me an idea of how to teach history in a home-setting, which was a very valuable lesson.

Unfortunately, the conversational, modern writing style did not encourage those “juicy” conversations that other living books can encourage.

I also found that the children had retained very little from the text a few days after the lesson. I also found the fast-paced nature of the book very frustrating, as the author has tried to cover so much history in just one book. Whilst I understand the thought-process behind that, I found that my children and I were not given the chance to form connections and relations with the material.

In hind-sight I could have slowed our progress down, and taken two years over the book, instead of one, adding in additional reading and other living books. However, as a new homeschool mum, I lacked the confidence to step away from the authors recommendations.

However, having spoken to many other homeschooling families, it seems that this is exactly what others have done; using The Story of the World as their “spine” and supplementing with their own resources and literature.

I feel that The Story of the World is a fantastic resource for teaching homeschool history. It is ideal for those who are uncomfortable teaching the subject and need some guidance, those new to home-education, or families who feel more confident reading modern English.

Personally, I would not class The Story of the World as a living book, as it did not inspire my children to great ideas, or spark interesting conversations. It is also not a book that I would pick up and read for fun, unlike other some other history books, that I will discuss later in this series.

The Story of the World is the perfect “middle-ground” for those interested in stepping away from the “textbook-workbook model” of teaching, but who are not yet comfortable or interested in using living books.

 

Our Island Story

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Our Island Story the primary history text recommended by Charlotte Mason in Volume 1 for forms 1B and 1A (children under 9 years-old).

This beautifully written book tells the story of Britain in chronological order from pre-history through to Queen Victoria. Each chapter is approximately 3-4 pages long and focuses on a historical figure, their story, moral character and contribution to the history of Britain.

Our Island Story review

The book also contains some poetry and Shakespeare quotes which could be used for further study and memorisation. There are also a few beautifully hand-painted illustrations in some chapters for the reader to enjoy. There is also list of Kings ad Queens at the beginning of the book, which could be useful when constructing your timeline or Book of the Centuries.

Unlike The Story of the World, there are no maps, and no accompanying activity books. If your children enjoys crafts and hands-on activities, you may choose to find these activities yourself.

The book is written in an older English, with richer language than most modern history books. It may take some time for children to get used to this language if the are not already accustomed to it.

It is written from an English (not British) Christian world view,  and this should be born in mind when discussing the Crusades and other such conquests within and around the UK.

Due to its world-view, and the fact it only covers the history of Britain, you may wish to supplement this book with additional reading.

We stopped using this book after six months as my son was finding the language difficult to understand and narrate from. However, I feel this book has a lot to offer and I hope to re-introduce it into their homeschool history curriculum sometime in the future.

Overall, I found this book excited the children’s imagination and filled their young minds with worthy ideas and beautiful stories. I would happily read this book myself for enjoyment and my own self-education!

A Child’s History of the World

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

A Child’s History of the World was written by V. M. Hillyer, the late Head Master of the Calvert School, Baltimore. Focusing on the stories of historical figures, it covers World History from pre-history all the way through to the Cold War. Although written in conversational, modern English, the language is rich and engaging.

Homeschool history living curriculum

There are black-and-white illustrations and maps scattered throughout the book. The chapters are approximately 4-5 pages long. There is no accompanying activity book, and so parents may wish to supplement with other material.

We primarily used the Audiobook version from Audible. The narrator was very entertaining and read the book beautifully. I would highly recommend it!

Although the author writes from a Western worldview, I felt that he was respectful to other faiths and people, a fact that may have been noted by the people behind the Ambleside online and Bookshark curriculum who have included it in their elementary years history curricula.

Through his writing, the author also highlights and raising questions about good character and morals throughout.

Please note, this book does contain Biblical stories and mythology. Also, as it is attempting to cover a large period of time in one volume, many important historical events are not included or are skimmed over. As the parent, you may wish to add in additional reading.

The book itself is paperback, self-published and not as attractive as the other homeschool history curricula mentioned. Despite this, A Child’s History of the World is an engaging introduction to world history for children aged 5-9 years old and well worth your consideration.

homeschool history living curriculum

These are the main three homeschool history curricula that you will see mentioned in literature-based, Classical and Charlotte Mason homeschools.

However, as I have hinted towards, there are many more options! In the next blog post and Youtube video, I will be discussing some alternative books and methods that we use to teach history in our homeschool.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you found these reviews helpful.

Don’t forget to WATCH THE VIDEO, and if you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Charlotte Mason Picture study how to

 

 

Understood Betsy | Book Review

Understood Betsy Book Review

This book had me crying at almost every chapter!

We have just finished listening to “Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield through our Audible subscription; and it is undoubtedly one of my favorite children’s books EVER! It makes a wonderful family read-aloud and is a part of our Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum.

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

Understood Betsy Book Review

Understood Betsy Review

“Understood Betsy” is the story of a nervous orphaned girl who is forced to move from her comfortable life in the city, to live on a farm with relatives she has never met.
It deals with some difficult topics, like death, illness, abuse, poverty, in a gentle and sensitive way that will not upset young children. This book has sparked so many worthwhile conversations with my kids as we listened to it in the car.

As we went on this journey with Betsy, I was taught so much about what being a good parent means, and how to let go of control and trust in your children. It taught us the different ways to show love within a family and how to have integrity and good character in tough times…and so much more!

I don’t usually cry in movies or from books, but I cried almost every time we listened to this one..much to the amusement of my boys!

Truly a sign of great children’s book is that it can be enjoyed by adults, as well you children.

Use Audible in your Homeschool

We listened to this amazing work of Children’s literature as an Audiobook on Audible. If you sign up to their 30 day Free-Trial, you can get your first book for FREE; and you can even cancel the trial anytime!

We love using Audiobooks  in our homeschool, especially when we are driving the kids around to all their activities. It’s a fantastic way to make the most of our time in the car and learn on the go!

However, for those of your who would prefer the actual book, this is it!

“Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield is suitable:
As a read-aloud – for children aged 6-12
For independent readers – for ages 9-12.

Seriously, I love this book.  I will be listening to it, and re-reading it in my own time insha’Allah. It is a classic that I hope you will consider for your family.

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

 

 

| Day in the Life | + Arabic Flashcards GIVEAWAY

Muslim homeschool UK DITL Arabic

Since we began using the Ambleside online homeschool curriculum, our daily routine has changed. We are spending more time reading living books, less time doing worksheets and even more time outdoors!

WATCH THE VIDEO below to see a typical day in our Muslim homeschool.

Also, make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to enter this month’s GIVEAWAY!

Muslim homeschool UK DITL Arabic

This blog post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Word United, who generously sent me their products to review. Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in posts and the sidebar. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

 

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Word United Write and Wipe Flashcards

We are using the write and wipe flashcards from Word United to enriched our homeschool English and foreign language curriculum.

These cards provide a hands-on approach to learning a language that has kept my children engaged and enthusiastic to learn more!

Word United Enlgish flashcards

The Word United flashcards are available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and German; teaching the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and actions in each of these languages.

Each card showcases the word or letter with a beautiful high quality photo on one side; whilst the other side has the word written out, and then space for tracing and hand-writing practice. These high quality cards are kept in a magnetically closing box, along with two wipe-able board pens.

Word United English flashcard

If you would like to learn more about these flashcards, WATCH THE VIDEO above, visit their website (www.wordunited.com), or find them on Twitter and Instagram.

Word United Arabic flashcard

Other Products Featured

Arabic Flashcards
English Flahscards
Abacus
Scythe
How to Read a Book
Home Education: Volume 1
Charlotte Mason Summaries
Primer Free and Treadwell
Matilda
Harry Potter

Wizards of Once
Mr Poppers Penguins
Beatrix Potter Collection
Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

 

GIVEAWAY

This month, I  am thrilled to be sharing the beautiful Word United Write and Wipe Flashcards with THREE WINNERS!
Each winner can select ONE SET of the Write and Wipe flashcards from WordUnited.com.
The giveaway will run from Saturday 28th November  2017 until Saturday 4th November 2017 at 12am GMT.

This giveaway is OPEN TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY.

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

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know it can be fun to see how other families home-educate their children; but more than that, I hope you found something useful in our YouTube video. Whether its a new book to read, or a new idea, I sincerely hope that by sharing these moments of our lives with you, I am helping you and your families in someway.

If you would like to see more of us, and an almost daily look into our homeschooling day, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love,
Our Muslim Homeschool Dr Gemma Elizabeth

7 Delightful Children’s Books about Eid

Eid Books for Children

Eid is a time for celebration! Muslims across the world come together with friends and family to pray, share food, give gifts and be thankful for the Blessings in their lives. Reading children beautiful stories about Ramadan and Eid is one way we can encourage our children to be excited about Eid, as well as teaching them that Eid is about more than just presents!

Eid Books for Children

However, let’s be honest, celebrating Eid in non-Muslim countries can sometimes be a bit of a let down!

Although Muslims may be celebrating, the majority of the country is not! Children still have to go to school and parents head off to work! Depending where you live, there are no festivities in the streets, no fireworks, and no community meals. If you do have these things where you live, you are fortunate. The truth is, many families experience Eid in isolation.

We want out children to experience the excitement of Eid morning and to feel the anticipation leading up to the day.

Many of these books touch on the idea of giving; giving to friends, neighbours and those less fortunate.

One of the most significant ideas that runs throughout these books is the concept of Muslim identity. By emphasising the importance of Eid, particularly over other national holidays, you are reinforcing the child’s sense of Muslim identity. We want our children to be confident and proud of their Muslim identity, and I believe that reading Muslim children’s literature is one way of achieving this.

This is my list of 7 delightful Children’s Books about Eid! Some of them are about Eid al-Adha, some abot Eid Al-Fitr but most could be used for either holiday.

Take a look through my list. Perhaps you will find something your family will enjoy!

Children's Eid Books

Sweet dates to Eat

This delightful picture book by Jonny Zucker is a simple introduction to Ramadan and Eid for young children. As you follow this family through each day, you see how they fast, visit the masjid and celebrate Eid.
The sweet hand-drawn illustrations add to this book’s heart-warming nature.

Children's books about Eid: sweet dates
Sweet Dates to Eat is suitable for children aged 2+

 

Hassan and Aneesa Celebrate Eid

The Hassan and Aneesa series by Kube Publishing follows the life a young Muslim family in the West. In this particular book, the family prepare the night before for the Eid festivities, get ready for and attend the Eid prayer, and celebrate with their family at home. The scenes in this book as so familiar to many of us, that children will instantly relate to what is happening in the story.

This book is the perfect way to get younger children ready for Eid, and prepare them for what will happen on the day.

Hassan and Aneesa Celebrate Eid is suitable for children aged 2+.

 

Eid by Maria Migo

This book is set to become a classic for every Muslim household! Eid is the story of two siblings, as the watch with anticipation for the moon of Eid.

It follows their story through an exciting Eid day. The illustrations in this book are utterly charming and I’m sure your younger children will love it!

Children's Books for Eid

Eid by Maria Migo is suitable for children aged 2+

 

An Eid for Everyone

This is my daughter’s favourite Eid book! She adores the vibrant colour illustrations and seems particularly fond of the character Yasmin!

An Eid for Everyone is the story of a group of children and their different experiences of Eid. Whilst some help their mother’s in the kitchen, others are wrapping presents, and others getting ready in pretty clothes! The group of children meet at the mosque and later go to distribute gifts to the poorer families in their community.

Muslim childrens books about Eid: An Eid for Everyone

An Eid for Everyone is suitable for children aged 2+.

 

Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr

Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr is a 4 chapter picture book that follows Rashad and his experiences in Ramadan. What is really special about this book is that it emphasises some of the deeper meaning of Ramadan, with chapter entitled “Thinking about Allah” and “Thinking about People”.

This charming book is available in paperback, on Kindle and even as an Audiobook through Audible.

If you haven’t tried Audible, you can sign up for a FREE 30-Day Trial HERE, and listen to Rashan’s Ramadan for FREE!

 

The Best Eid Ever

This is the story of  Aneesa, a young girl who is staying with her Grandmother while her parents perform the Hajj. On Eid day she meet two refugee girls in the mosque and learns more about their war-torn country. Aneesa can’t stop thinking about them and want to make it their Eid the best Eid ever!

The Best Eid Ever is suitable for children aged 5-8 years old.

Ilyas and Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid al-Fitr

You can always rely on Ilyas and Duck to bring action and laughs in every book! This action packed adventure follows Ilyas and his crazy, but lovable, duck on Eid day. They learn about the importance of the day, and why Muslims celebrate it.

Books about Eid for children Ilyas and duck

Ilyas and Duck and the Fantastic Festival is sure to have your children giggling, and is suitable for children aged 4+.

Eid Childrens Books

Eid books for kids

 

Those were our 7 delightful children’s books about Eid!

All these were many in this list, there are many more! Perhaps you have some other books about Eid on your shelves at home!

What is your family’s favourite children’s book about Eid?
Please let us know in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

January Homeschool Favourites

It’s time to find out what we’ve been enjoying in Our Muslim Homeschool this month!

Welcome back friends! This month I’m excited to share a lot a wonderful books and educational resources that we’ve discovered!

 

January Our Muslim Homeschool favourites

There is also a GIVEAWAY this month. If you’d like to enter ,scroll down to the bottom of this post and enter via the Rafflecopter widget.

Dont forget to watch the accompanying YouTube video, to get a closer look at all the products mentioned in this blogpost.


WATCH THIS VIDEO:


January Homeschool Favourites

Life of Fred Math

I know what you’re thinking …”Not another Maths curriculum Gemma?!?!”
LOL!….I can’t help myself!

In the homeschooling circles, I have been hearing about Life of Fred Math for a long time. It is well known within homeschooling circles as an unconventional method of approaching maths. Life of Fred Math teaches maths in a narrative form, with humorous story line and a distinct lack of practice questions!

It is unlike any other maths book you’ve ever seen!

I’m not sure what it was that finally prompted me to order it, but I’m so glad that I did!

My son absolutely loves. When ask him, “What maths book shall we do today?” he always says, “Life of Fred!”

 

Life of fred homeschool math review

Despite a minimal amount of practice questions and worksheets, the mathematical principles we are covering seem to be sticking in my son’s mind. He loves how each chapter incorporates lots of other interesting facts and information (not always Maths related) and how the maths is put into real-life context.

We have the levels “Apples”, “Jelly-Beans” and “Icecream.” To decide which book is best for your child, visit the Life of Fred website.


If you would like to see inside the books, please
WATCH THIS VIDEO!

For more information about Life of Fred Math, you can visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

Life of Fred can be difficult to find in the UK. I purchased mine from Conquest Books. They are the largest supplier of Homeschool curriculum in the UK, and have loads of other useful curriculum for homeschoolers. To visit there website CLICK HERE.

If you are based in USA, Life of Fred is widely available from most homeschool stores including:
– Life of Fred Website
– Educents
– Amazon

Islamic Behaviour Chart

We have been using this sticker chart from MuslimStickers.com to establish a good morning routine with the children. My family have been using the Islamic Behaviour Chart for 4 weeks now, and the change in my kid’s behaviour in the morning has been phenomenal! No more sluggish and sleepy boys!

No, they’re ready long before I am!
Muslim Islamic behaviour chart homeschool

Having a good morning routine is so important, even as adults, to having a productive day. I have seen that when we are slow to start school in the morning, we never get as much done and the children are less enthusiastic.This reward system has helped us all get ready for the day and begin school by 9am insha’Allah.

Muslim Islamic behaviour chart homeschool
You could use this sticker chart in so many ways! When you recieve it, it is almost completely blank and you can customise it as you wish.
For MORE INFORMATION about the Islamic Behaviour Chart, and see what is included in the pack,
watch the accompanying Youtube video,

Young Explorers Adventures in Mecca

Receiving this book was such a blessing to our home and to our family.
Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah is the story of a family’s trip to Mecca for Ummrah. In addition to talking about Hajj and Ummrah, the book also relates their travels around many of the historic sites in the area.
Young explorers adventures in Mecca
Many of you are aware, that the authorities in Saudi are slowly demolishing and covering up sites of Islamic historical significance. Whatever their reasons, there is a risk that knowledge of these places with be lost from the general public.
This wonderful book, shows you where many of these sites can be found. It locates the house of Khadijah (ra) and what it looked like inside. It tells you about the birth place of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and where it can be found. More than half of the book is dedicated to sites around Mecca that hold an importance with the Seerah and our Islamic heritage.
Young explorers adventures in Mecca
Often, when you come across a book about Hajj and Ummrah it will fall into one of two categories. Either it will be very factual, listing what is fard and sunnah etc., but may be a little “dry”. Alternatively, you may find a story book which, although it is very pleasant to read, it provides little information to teach the children from.
This book falls somewhere between the two. Children are captivated by the emotive story-line that runs thoroughout, whilst also learning from the wealth of information it offers about the pilgrimages and the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (saw).

 

If you are interested in purchasing this book for your family, it is available from Amazon (USA) Amazon (UK) and Wordery.com

For more information, visit their website: Islamopedia.co.uk

I’m so Angry

This is the story of a young boy named Huthayfah, who gets angry with his mother. This touching story draws on the Prophetic advice for the best way to deal with anger.

It is well written and the illustrations are colourful with faceless characters.

 

I'm so angry Sarah Javed Homeschool

If you have a child who struggles to control his or her anger, this book may help you and you child to find ways to cope.

The author, Sarah Javed, is a fellow homeschooler from the U.K. She shares her snippets of her homeschooling life on her Instagram account.

I’m so angry is available from Amazon (USA) and Amazon (UK).

 

Tiny Twinkle Products

Now for something a little different!

I have been aware for sometime that mainstream bath products contain potentially harmful ingredients. Using natural and/or organic products on my children puts my mind at ease.

What a delight it was to be introduced to Tiny Twinkle Products on Instagram who produce Organic, Natural and HALAL bath products for children.

 

Tiny twinkle organic natural halal bath products kids

The products contain only natural ingredients, and  gentle on my children’s skin. They are all labelled with the “halal” sign, and (very importantly…) they smell incredible!!!

The products in their range retail between £7.50-£18.

The business is run by a Ruhana, a primary school teacher and new mum. When I asked her to tell me a little about herself and why she started her business, she said:

“About a year ago I found out I was pregnant. This was a happy and overwhelming experience as I would become a mother for the first time. 
During my pregnancy I started making a list of what I’d need to get for my new arrival. I asked other mothers about their recommendations. I then heard about Johnsons baby products having cancer related chemicals and thought I don’t want to put chemical based products on my baby. So I started researching. 
I first made my own nappy balm with all natural organic ingredients. After my daughter was born I started using this on her, and noticed that she got no nappy rash at all. 
My husband was also impressed and told me to start a business selling organic baby products. Some friends and family had asked about these products as there was a gap in the market for purely organic halal baby products, so I started creating my own brand called ‘Tiny Twinkle’. 
Alhamdulillah, since starting, the response has been amazing.

If you are looking a range of halal, natural bath products for kids, I would recommend Tiny Twinkle.

For more information about their range, and to place an order, visit them on Instagram and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY

It’s Giveway time!!!

 

Muslim Homeschool Giveaway

 

This January I am so happy to be able to share SIX of my favourites with one of you! It’s MASSIVE!!!
I will be giving away:
– I’m So Angry by Sarah Javed – (RRP: £5.99)
– Young Adventure in Makkah – (RRP: £10.05)
1 Islamic Behaviour Chart – (RRP: 4.99)
3 Products from Tiny Twinkle (including the Nappy Balm, Mild Shampoo and Whipped Lotion) – (RRP: £29.50)
The January 2017 Favourites Giveaway will run from Friday 27th January at 12AM, until Friday 3rd February 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 from 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.

I hope you found it useful to see what we’ve been enjoying in our homeschool this month.I’d love to know what your family has been using this January 🙂

Please share in the comments section below insha’Allah.

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

You might also like:

Muslim homeschool favourites

 

How we Teach the 99 Names of Allah

This blog-post was written in partnership with Al Maurid Books. Although I was compensated for my time, and given a review copy of the book, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Teaching the 99 Names of Allah can be challenging for any Muslim parent. In our Muslim homeschool, we use a variety of creative and hands-on activities to help our children remember the names of Allah.

 

How to Teach the 99 names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

 

Teach the 99 Names of Allah

I believe that learning the names of Allah does not need to be rushed. By taking our time, we allow the names of Allah to impact on their hearts, thereby helping to nurture a deeper and stronger connection to the Divine insha’Allah.

Each activity below is designed to help children understand the 99 names of Allah. The names themselves can seem complicated and somewhat abstract to young children. By associating the Divine name with an activity or craft, we show the children a more concrete representation of that name, creating a connection that will help with memorisation, as well as their understanding.

And besides….it’s so much more fun this way!!!

To watch a Youtube Video about all the activities we have been doing,
CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW!

 

Why Learn the 99 Names of Allah?

Learning the names of Allah (swt) is a great way to help children to understand the nature of Allah and create a love for the divine in their hearts insha’Allah.It has been narrated Abu Huraira that the Prophet (SAW) said,

“Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.”

Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 50 Hadith 894

 

How We Teach the 99 Names of Allah

Allah

The first place we began is with the name “Allah.”Using a FREE TEMPLATE of the name, we filled in the letters with sequins and buttons to make a beautiful calligraphy to hang-up on our wall. For more information on this craft CLICK HERE

Alternatively, you could use glitter, tissue paper or even make a collage from old magazines or newspapers.

Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool
Teach the 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

Al-Khaliq

Al-Khaliq can be translated as “The Creator”.
For this name, I felt the best way to teach the children about how Allah creates, is to witness His creation.
So we went outdoors; to the park, to the woods, and just around our own garden, and spent some time talking together about what Allah had created. We talked about how He created everything from nothing, with no help.
This concept is something that even the youngest of children can understand. Allah made the clouds, Allah made the sun, Allah made the birds etc.
I asked the children to collect things from our nature walk. We came home with so many twigs, leaves and flowers!
Once we got home, we made a poster using a FREE Colouring Page of the name Al-Khaliq.
Around the name we stuck all the beautiful things that the chlidren had collected. It looked lovely up on the kitchen wall!
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

For more details about this craft, you can read my previous blogpost HERE.

Al-Malik

Al-Malik translates as “The King.”
As a visual representation of this name, the children made a crown!
Whilst they were making it, we talked about how Allah doesn’t wear a crown, and how Allah does not look like any king that they can imagine. We spoke a little about the role of a king and I asked them,“Who is the King of the Kings? ….. Allah!”
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

If you would like to make this crown with your children,  CLICK HERE.

Ar- Razzaq

Recently, we have been learning the name Ar-Razzaq which translates as “The Provider.”

To help the children understand this name better, we have been using the book “Aishah Learns to Bake” by Latifah Peerbux.

 

Teach the 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake

 

This is the story of a young girl called Aishah who wants to bake. Her mum agrees to teach her how, but she asks her to guess all the ingredients they need. What is wonderful is how her mum uses clues with an Islamic or Prophetic twist!!!

For example, as a clue for dates, her mum says,

 

“Allah even says we find this fruit up in heaven! 
It’s the same fruit we eat in Ramadan to break our fast!”
Teach 99 Names of Allah Aishah Learns to bake

Aishah continues to guess all the ingredients for her cakes, learning more and more as she does so.

The book ends with her father explaining to her how Allah is Ar-Razzaq, the Provider.

It’s a sweet and heart-warming story that helps children to understand what a blessing it is to have food, as well as the Blessings that different foods contain; and ultimately to be more grateful to Allah for providing us with them.

As the hands-on activity, we made the Honey and Date cupcakes that Aishah and her mum baked. They were delicious! Alhumdulillah!

 

Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Ingredients
Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Whisking is so much fun when you’re 4 years-old!
Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
My toddler wanted to join in!
Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Decorating the Cupcakes

 

Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Honey and Date Cupcakes! Yum!

 

Al- Wadood

Al-Wadood can be translated as “The Most Loving.”
The idea that Allah loves us, even more than mummy and daddy, is something that even very young children will understand. This art activity is a great one for small kids too!
We drew the outline of a heart onto a piece of paper. The children then scrunched up lots of small piece of tissue paper and glued them all over the heart!
They looked so pretty, and were a wonderful visual reminder that Allah loves them!
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

Ar-Rahman

Most recently, we have been looking at the name Ar-Rahman, which can be translated as “The Most Compassionate.”I’m still thinking about what hands-on activity we can use to help the children to better understand this concept.

My initial idea was to ask the children to take care of our cats for a week. I hope that this will teach them that just as they are taking care of their cats, Allah is taking care of them, and their family, and all the people in the whole world, and all of creation!

What do you think? If you have a better idea I’d really appreciate it if you would share it with us all in the comments section below!!!

Have you been teaching the 99 Names of Allah to your children? 


How did you approach it?


If you have any useful resources, I’d love to hear about them.

Please let us all know by leaving a comment down 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

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Homeschool Favourites | August 2016

We have officially started school again and we’re having a great time! 

Although having a break is so important, we really missed the routine and structure that our homeschooling brings to our day!

I’m so happy to be sharing some exciting new books and educational resources that we’ve been enjoying this month in Our Muslim Homeschool. 

Muslim Homeschool August Favourites

Homeschool Favourites | August 2016

For an overview of all the products mentioned, and to see them in more detail

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Eastcolight Human Torso Set

This model of the human body has been such a hit with the children! 

They love seeing where all the organs and bones go… taking it apart, and putting it back together again. 

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Human Model

It’s a fantastic hands-on way of teaching anatomy, and it has really got them excited to learn more about the human body.

Muslim Homeschool August favourites Eastcolight human torso

It also comes with fact cards, a poster, a manual and a calorie-counting wheel. To be honest, the kids haven’t used any of these extra bits yet. They’re too interested in the model itself! 

Pocketful of Pinecones

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. 

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Pocketful of Pinecones

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:

iPray Salah Pad

My eldest son has really enjoyed using this interactive toy to 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. 
Muslim Homeschool Favourites iPray Salah Pad
You can buy it in PINK or BLUE and is available to purchase from Ibraheem Toyhouse

Aishah Learns To Bake

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).
Muslim Homeschool Favourites Aisha Learns to Bake
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!


Nature Study

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.

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Nature Walks

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

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Nature Walks

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!

GIVEAWAY!

It’s Giveaway time!

Muslim HOmeschool Favourites Giveaway
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 24th August 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.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been enjoying in our homeschool this month. 

I’d love to hear about what your family has been using this August 🙂
Please let us all know in the comments 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.

See you next month insha’Allah!

In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love xx

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Ramadan Children’s Books

It is Ramadan! This month in Our Muslim Homeschool we have been enjoying a wide variety of Muslim children’s books, to teach the children about Ramadan and Eid.

Muslim children’s literature is an easy and fun way to introduce important concepts in Islam; such as fasting, tawheed, sincerity, amongst others, to children from a young age.

I strongly believe that the stories we tell our children leave an imprint on their hearts and memories, impacting them in later years. What can be better than to read books to them with beautiful meanings and strong morals.

Here are some of the Ramadan books for children that we have been reading aloud in our homeschool!

For a quick look at which books we have been reading in Ramadan, WATCH THIS Video:

Five Prayers Each Day by Elizabeth Lymer

This charming rhyming story teaches toddlers to count up to five using the Five Daily Prayers (Salaah). It’s short but very sweet!
” One, two, three, four, five prayers each day that we’re alive…”
Suitable for ages 1-3

Angels and Rainbows by Elizabeth Lymer and Brooke Alam

This is a touching story about a girl who loves to pray Fajr with her father, but is scared of the dark. Her dad teaches her some words (dhikr) that she can say to invite the Angels and their light (Noor) into her home.
The illustrations in this book are stunning. It is also worth noting that the depictions of people do not have facial features.
I would recommend this book for children ages 4-9.

Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman

This lyrical story introduces children to the excitment of Ramadan by focusing on the family rituals and events that take place. 
This book is suitable for children aged 3-5.

The Amazing Calendar Quilt by Sheikh Zubia Imami

This book teaches children about months of the Islamic calendar, teaching the names and of their significance Islamically. 
Unfortunately this book is out of print, but you can find it second-hand if you’re willing to hunt around!
I would recommend it for children aged 5+.

Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B. Robert

By far, this is the most well-known of all the books I have mentioned. It introduces Ramadan beautifully, in all its wonder and awe, to children. The story follows a family through Ramadan, from one moon to the next, capturing their excitement and feelings. 
The illustrations in this book are stunning.
This book is suitable for children aged 4-9.

Night of the Moon by Hena Khan

Night of the Moon is the story of a Pakistani-American girl who watches the moon’s phases, and talks about all her different experiences during Ramadan.
The illustrations are spectacular and remind me of traditional Islamic art, with lots of geometric patterns and vibrant colours.
I would recommend this book for children aged 3-9.

Sweet Dates to Eat by Jonny Zucker

This short and simple story introduces young children to Ramadan and Eid. It shows the family in the mosque, eating iftar, and celebrating Eid.
The illustrations are very cute and colourful! 
Suitable for children aged 2-4 years-old.

An Eid for Everyone by Hina Islam

This is a story about several children from different families, and their experiences on Eid day. The book focuses on remembering the poor on that day, and shows the children giving out Eid gifts to poorer families in their community. 
This book is suitable for children aged 3-5.

I hope you got some new ideas and inspiration from this blog post. Perhaps you found some new books for your children here.
What books do your children enjoy reading in Ramadan? 
Do they have a favourite? 
Please share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear about other Ramadan books!
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For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.


Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.

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