Watch this video and spend the day with us! See what home education in the UK really looks like for Our Muslim homeschool!
Home education simply means to educate your children outside of the mainstream school system. What that looks like for each family is different but for us, as it does for many others, it involves plenty of time outside, sports and activities with friends and formal studies at home.
Watch how we teach Quran, our swimming classes, outdoor time and a heart-to-heart chat about “What homeschooling is REALLY like!”
This video and blog-post was sponsored by WordUnited, who kindly sent me their Arabic and Phonics programs, and compensated me for my time. This blog-post also contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.
WordUnited is an incredible website that stocks hundreds of high-quality educational resources for children aged 0-13. They have everything you can imagine on that site, from beautiful baby toys, resources for literacy, numeracy, science, special needs and even multicultural toys section! With hundreds of new products being added every week, WordUnited is set to become the next big thing!
WordUnitedkindly sent me two sets of books to review; the “Let’s Read” program, which teaching children the foundations of phonics, and the “Let’s Read Arabic” program which teaches children how to read Arabic words.
Each set consists of eight books. As your child progresses through the program, they gradually increase in complexity and build upon lessons learnt in previous books.
The books are small and easy for young hands to hold, as well as colourful and engaging to to children. They illustrations feature realistic high-quality images of objects that children will be familiar with in their lives. I really appreciate how the creators of these books have used visual cues to highlight the individual sounds that make up each word.
These books are ideal for home educators are they include parent guidance at the beginning of each book. This is really important to read as it clearly explains what is being covered and how to use that particular book effectively. I love it when a curriculum make it simple for parents!
The books can be purchased individually, or as a complete set.
Also, make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to enter this month’s GIVEAWAY!
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!
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.
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.
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 lookinto our homeschooling day, you can follow me on Instagramor Facebook.
It’s been wonderful to get back into our homeschool curriculum this week, after the disruption of last week! We’ve been learning more about the Vikings, have enjoyed some great works of literature and made loads of art projects from our Toucan box.
Read on to take a look into a typical homeschool week with us, using the Charlotte Mason approach to education and the Ambleside Online homeschool curriculum.
Monday 2nd October
This morning the kids worked through a few lesson of CTC Math, on the computer. They are enjoying the programme and benefiting from the way it approaches maths. My eldest learnt about map co-ordinates and different types of graphs; whilst my younger son learnt about the concept of symmetry. It was a fun morning!
Today in circle time, we learnt about famous viking explorer, Leif Erikson and looked at another famous painting by Hokusai, “Mishima Pass in Kai Province.”
We have been using a wall calendar for picture study, as they are very inexpensive compared to art books, and can hang easily on our wall; allowing the kids to look at it and learn from it throughout our school week.
Tuesday 3rd October
The highlight of the day was the Toucan box came in the post! Thankfully the boys had already done most of their school work before it came, otherwise nothing would have been done! It was all very exciting!
We have recently upgraded to the largest of their boxes, the “Super box”, which contains 4 different craft activities and a picture book. To read a review of the Toucan box and see an un-boxing video we made, CLICK HERE.
For more information about Toucan Box, visit their website HERE and use the referral code GEMMA-9E6X to get your first box free!
Out of the four, the boys decided to do the underwater scene first. It turned out lovely, and we read the picture book that came at bed-time.
It is filled with the most incredible pop-ups that are so intricately designed. The book takes you on a tour of life in a medieval city, and it is full of great information along with pop-ups of a cathedral, castle and bridge. It really sparked my boy’s imagination and has helped them to visualise the scenes in the living books we are reading from.
We also raed about Prophet Nuh (Noah) from the book Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam.We discussed how Nuh’s wife and son were not from the believers, and how faith is a gift from God and should be cherished.
The afternoon was filled with activities outside the home; like Quran class and a Muslim beaver scouts meeting.He came back with even more badges for me to sew on! MashAllah.
Thursday 5th October
Along with the usual school work, the boys had a swimming class this morning. The long drive there gave us an opportunity to listen to the literature component of our curriculum Understood Betsy.
We have really been enjoying listening to the audiobook version on Audible. In fact, I have personally enjoyed it so much, I have been tempted this week to put it on for myself to listen to whilst I was getting on with housework! It’s really good!
After swimming, and a Seerah class with their other home-ed friends, we went into our garden to enjoy the autumn sunshine.
Friday for us means nature walk! This week we went out to a patch of scrub-land near the river and explored. It was beautiful!
Along the walk, I noticed some beautiful cowslip flowers by the pavement. I stopped, without saying anything, took a photo of them and walked on. A few minutes later I turned around and found my sons sat down by the same flowers having their own discussion and conversation about them.
There was no need for me to say anything, and “force” a learning opportunity. Instead of saying, “Look at these boys,” or “Do you know what these flowers are called?”, they were able to make the discovery themselves! These are the moments that will stay with them and that they will retain, not incessant lecturing from me!
I have to remind myself often, to follow the advice of Charlotte Mason, and stay quiet! I find it so tempting, in my enthusiasm, to give constant prompting to the boys. This was a beautiful reminder to myself, that they don’t need me to do that! They have each other! mashAllah.
Amongst some other discoveries, we found a few apples trees growing along the route, and a muddy puddle full of different foot prints; different kinds of birds and dogs (although my boys were convinced they were bear foot prints!)
My 5 year-old also found the biggest feather he’s ever seen! He was so excited and, as we had seen birds-of-prey in the area last week, and decided it was an eagle feather!
After a stopping off for hot-chocolate at a cafe, we started walking back to the car. It was a long walk, so I decided to distract them with Quran!
Each of the boys had to recite all the Quran that they could remember. We talked about how the Quran is the word of Allah, and everything in creation wants to hear it. So as they recited, we talked about how the clouds in the sky, the grass under their feet and birds in the trees were listening to them. Subhanullah! Before we knew it, we were back at the car!
We made it to Jummah prayer at the mosque. Although we went to a mosque I don’t usually visit, there is something very powerful about standing shoulder to shoulder with women, whom I didn’t know, praying together. Unity.
We didn’t have time to sketch and paint in our nature journal’s today, but the boys did make a lovely chicken a mushroom pie! It was a great end to the week.
How was your homeschool week?
Please do let me know and tell us all about it in the comments!
I think the theme of the last few weeks should be how to homeschool when nothing goes to plan!
We were just starting to get into a rhythm and a good homeschool routine, when flu hit and then an un-planned road trip really challenged our schedule.
Monday 18th September
I was sick today! With a terrible fever and flu, we kept it really simple today with maths on the computer, reading practice and some Quran.
The kids were still unwell too, so they finished off an activity from their Toucan Box and made this awesome Dinosaur egg with plaster of Paris. We love our monthlyToucan box. You can read a review I wrote about it HERE.
The boys struggled a little ( a lot) following the plot of the play. I am thinking of encorporating peg dolls or some props to help them to narrate the plays. It is not the language that they find hard, but the complex story lines! We’ll find a way insha’Allah.
After reading about the Battle of Hastings from Our Island Story we stopped school for the day and tried to get better!
Wednesday 20th September
After two days being stuck indoors, I was itching to get out!
After a little morning school, we went to a nearby park and get some fresh air. I had been reading in Home Education Volume 1 by Charlotte Mason about the importance she placed on breathing in “outdoor” air compared to “indoor” air, and so I felt inspired to follow her advice!
Thursday 21st September
By now the kids were well enough to go to their home-ed classes and were able to go swimming and to their Seerah class.
Those long drives to classes were my saving grace! We look our iPad and listened Understood Betsy on Audible on the way there and back. If you remember in my last blog post, I said the boys were not enjoying that book AT ALL! Well they seem to really like the Audiobook. Alhumdulillah!
I was so impressed with how responsive they were to the audiobook, that I used up all my free credits with Audible to get almost all the books we will be using this year with the Ambleside online curriculum.
If you haven’t tried Audible before, they are a publisher and distributor of the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. There is a30-Day FREE TRIALavailable at the moment if you’d like to try it with your family.
In the evening, we sang French songs with our cookies and milk!
Friday 22nd September
Although I was still not feeling well, there was no way we were missing out on nature study! I love it too much!
We headed off the our nearby park for our usual nature walk, but within minutes of reaching there, the heavens opened! It was raining so hard we had to run back to the car and eat our picnic there! Whilst we were eating we listened to an excellent CD,A Guide to British Garden Birds., until the rain stopped.
Once back home, we painted our blackbirds using water colours, and the children spent the remainder of the day with their grandparents.
The boys worked on the next chapter in their Islamic Studies books. My 7 year-old read about Life after Death using theSafar Year 3 book, and my 5 year-old learnt about how to use the toilet and keep clean using the Year 1 books.
Sunday 24th – Tuesday 26th
My in-laws are visiting at the moment, so we decided to make the most of our flexible schedule and take them toAlton towers. This kids enjoyed spending time with their grnadparents and they loved going on all the rides!
With it being a weekday, there were no queues! I have never been to a theme park where you didn’t have to queue up for anything! It was brilliant for the young kids.
My daughter got to meet Postman Mat (which she is still talking about), and the boys got to go on some faster roller-coasters. They’re now planning how they can build their own roller coaster at home out of Lego! Whilst there,we stayed in a hotel within the resort for a few days and came back Tuesday afternoon.
It is worth noting that Alton Towers, and all Merlin attractions, do offer a home-educator discount, but you will have to prove you home school with a letter from the LEA.
Wednesday 27th September
After getting back from out trip, I decided to spend the remainder to the week catching up on what we missed last week. Initally the morning was spent doing the usual daily workl; Quran, Maths and Reading. My 7 year-old son startedThe Bears on Hemlock Mountainwhich he seems to be enjoying.
Then the boys remembered that their Seerah teacher had asked them to make a list of 5 good things they wanted to do/acheive this new Islamic year. Their lists included things like learn to swim, read more Quran, be better to my mum! My 5 year-old son wanted to type his list up on the computer and here he is mashAllah!
Thursday 28th September
Today we went seemed to spend most of the day in the car! After a little “morning school”, travelling to the boys’ swimming class and Seerah class took up a large part of the day.
We used this time once again to listen to audiobooks, listening to Parables from Nature using Audible.
It was lovely to have some sunny weather today though. However, as all you mums know, sunny weather means catching up on laundry! After being sick, and going away for the weekend, and the endless rain we’ve been having, there was a lot of washing to do! By the end of the day I had 4 or 5 loads of clean laundry to fold/iron and put away(…eugh), but seeing that empty laundry basket was satisfying.
Friday 29th September
Fridays are our favourite day! We spent the morning walking in nearby woodland. We spotted a squirrel with a sweet chesnut in his mouth. When we followed him we found the tree and hundreds of sweet shestnuts on the floor! The boys decided to collect as many as they could carry to take home for the squirrels in our garden!
In the afternoon, the boys planted some of the sweet chestnuts in the garden and left loads out for the squirrels.
They added a green/blue blackbird egg to their nature notebooks and had a class at home with their French tutor. The rest of the day was spent helping to cook dinner. They made chicken curry and rice mashAllah!
So it has been a “higgledy-piggledy” week. We are one week behind in schedule set out by Ambleside online, so instead of beginning week 5 we will beginning week 4.
I’m not really concerned at all if I’m honest! Instead of taking 36 weeks to compete the year, we will take 37.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our week.
What do you do when your children get sick?
Do you prioritise any subjects and try to get something done?
Last weekend we traveled down to London with the children to visit the historical sites and museums.
For almost 6 months, we have been meaning to take the kids to London for a field trip, and last weekend we finally did it!!!
I remember visiting the amazing museums and historical sites as a child with my mum. Maybe it’s jut nostalgia, but I wanted my children to have the same feelings of awe and also feel inspired as I was when I was young.
It took about 4 hours to drive down from the North-West and reach our hotel near Kew Gardens.
Before we tackled the museums, there was something much more important that we needed to address….our stomachs!!!
The first place we visited was Southall for some GOOD CURRY! We went to Mirch Masala and the food was delicious! After dinner, I visited a lovely Islamic book shop called Al-Jannahbookstore, and purchased a few goodies…but you’ll have to wait for my next favourites Youtube video to see them!
After a good night’s sleep, we set out to central London by car. I have always been intimidated by driving in central London, however my husband makes it look easy! mashAllah. Thank goodness he was with me!
The Natural History Museum
This was the one place that my children insisted we visit because of their extensive collection of dinosaur fossils. Even as a “grown-up”, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the size of their collection.
The kids particularly enjoyed the robotic T-Rex!
We even found the place where Andy’s famous time-travelling clock should have been!
(You know, from CBeebies TV show “Andy’s Dinosaur adventure”!)
It’s time to go an a Dinosaur Adventure!
In addition to the dinosaurs, we visited the section about Marine
life. The room with the life-size blue whale was incredible!
Then we went to the Volcanoes & Earthquake section. This was my eldest son’s favourite part. It is lay out really well, with loads of hands-on learning experiences. There is even one room that you can stand in and experience a simulated earthquake!
My boys were so inspired by this part of the museum, that we are going to incorporate earthquakes and volcanoes into our science this term insha’Allah.
On the drive back to the hotel, we drove through Westminster and saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. However, as the kids were tired, instead of stopping to look around, we decided it was best to head back to the hotel.
After another trip to Southall for dinner, we went back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
The next day we visited the British museum.
The British Museum
Honestly, I could spend a week in this museum!
I go nuts for Ancient history, and this museum is full of exhibits and artifacts from every ancient civilisation you can imagine!
It is my happy place!
However this time we only had a morning to spend here so we went straight for the ancient Egypt section.
In our history curriculum, we have spent the last 3 months focusing on Ancient Egypt. It was so nice for the children to see the historical artifacts in real life. The section was very crowded, and seemed really popular with tourists, but we managed to see a lot of fascinating things.
I love the British museum, and I’m already planning our next visit!
Before leaving, we sat and enjoyed some hot chips, whilst admiring the incredible architecture outside.
Travelling around central London with kids can be difficult. One of the best things I can advise is plan ahead; plan your nappy bag, plan your route, plan where you will have lunch, pack snacks…plan plan plan! Also, try not to be over ambitious with what you hope to achieve in the day. Personally, I do not expect to visit more than one place a day, and anything extra is a nice bonus!
He looks like I feel after a day out in London with the kids! 😉
(Mauritian Dodo from the Natural History Museum)
Have you ever taken your children on an educational trip around London?
We are planning to visit London again in the next few months. Where would you recommend we go next time we visit?
I would love to hear your ideas and advice for travelling with kids.