History

Eagles, Apples and Bears! Our Homeschool Week | 2nd – 6th October 2017

Homeschool UK Charlotte Mason

It’s been wonderful to get back into our homeschool curriculum this week, after the disruption of last week! We’ve been learning more about the Vikings, have enjoyed some great works of literature and made loads of art projects from our Toucan box.

Read on to take a look into a typical homeschool week with us, using the Charlotte Mason approach to education and the Ambleside Online homeschool curriculum.

charlotte mason homeschool uk hawthorn

Monday 2nd October

This morning the kids worked through a few lesson of CTC Math, on the computer. They are enjoying the programme and benefiting from the way it approaches maths. My eldest learnt about map co-ordinates and different types of graphs; whilst my younger son learnt about the concept of symmetry. It was a fun morning!

Today in circle time, we learnt about famous viking explorer, Leif Erikson and looked at another famous painting by Hokusai, “Mishima Pass in Kai Province.”

We have been using a wall calendar for picture study, as they are very inexpensive compared to art books, and can hang easily on our wall; allowing the kids to look at it and learn from it throughout our school week.

Muslim homeschool circle time

Tuesday 3rd October

The highlight of the day was the Toucan box came in the post! Thankfully the boys had already done most of their school work before it came, otherwise nothing would have been done! It was all very exciting!

We have recently upgraded to the largest of their boxes, the “Super box”, which contains 4 different craft activities and a picture book. To read a review of the Toucan box and see an un-boxing video we made, CLICK HERE.

For more information about Toucan Box, visit their website HERE and use the referral code GEMMA-9E6X to get your first box free!

Out of the four, the boys decided to do the underwater scene first. It turned out lovely, and we read the picture book that came at bed-time.

Toucan box

Underwater sea craft from toucan box

The postman also brought a new new book to go along with our study of Medieval Britain, A Knight’s city by Philip SteeleThis book is AMAZING!

It is filled with the most incredible pop-ups that are so intricately designed. The book takes you on a tour of life in a medieval city, and it is full of great information along with pop-ups of a cathedral, castle and bridge. It really sparked my boy’s imagination and has helped them to visualise the scenes in the living books we are reading from.

Medieval history pop up book for kids

Sight word game for kindergarten

After all the excitement, we spent a little time in the afternoon reviewing sight-words with the game POP from learning resources.

Wednesday 4th October

Today we learnt about Hereward and his battles with William the conquerer. Never heard of Hereward….me neither! But if you are covering medieval history this year you should look him up!

We also raed about Prophet Nuh (Noah) from the book Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam. We discussed how Nuh’s wife and son were not from the believers, and how faith is a gift from God and should be cherished.

The afternoon was filled with activities outside the home; like Quran class and a Muslim beaver scouts meeting.He came back with even more badges for me to sew on! MashAllah.

Thursday 5th October

Along with the usual school work, the boys had a swimming class this morning. The long drive there gave us an opportunity to listen to the literature component of our curriculum Understood Betsy.

We have really been enjoying listening to the audiobook version on Audible. In fact, I have personally enjoyed it so much, I have been tempted this week to put it on for myself to listen to whilst I was getting on with housework! It’s really good!

After swimming, and a Seerah class with their other home-ed friends, we went into our garden to enjoy the autumn sunshine.

We have been using these flashcards from word united to teach handwriting and reading to my 5-year old, as well as using their French and Arabic range for foreign language study.

Handwriting flashcards

Toddler fun!
Keeping herself busy…You have to pick your battles with 2 year-olds!

Friday 6th October

It’s Friday! Hurray!

Friday for us means nature walk! This week we went out to a patch of scrub-land near the river and explored. It was beautiful!

Homeschool UK Charlotte Mason
RUN! Woohoo!

Charlotte Mason homeschool

Along the walk, I noticed some beautiful cowslip flowers by the pavement. I stopped, without saying anything, took a photo of them and walked on. A few minutes later I turned around and found my sons sat down by the same flowers having their own discussion and conversation about them.

There was no need for me to say anything, and “force” a learning opportunity. Instead of saying, “Look at these boys,” or “Do you know what these flowers are called?”, they were able to make the discovery themselves! These are the moments that will stay with them and that they will retain, not incessant lecturing from me!

I have to remind myself often, to follow the advice of Charlotte Mason, and stay quiet! I find it so tempting, in my enthusiasm, to give constant prompting to the boys. This was a beautiful reminder to myself, that they don’t need me to do that! They have each other! mashAllah.

Nature study

Amongst some other discoveries, we found a few apples trees growing along the route, and a muddy puddle full of different foot prints; different kinds of birds and dogs (although my boys were convinced they were bear foot prints!)

My 5 year-old also found the biggest feather he’s ever seen! He was so excited and, as we had seen birds-of-prey in the area last week, and decided it was an eagle feather!

Bear footprints nature study
Bear footprints?

After a stopping off for hot-chocolate at a cafe, we started walking back to the car. It was a long walk, so I decided to distract them with Quran!

Each of the boys had to recite all the Quran that they could remember. We talked about how the Quran is the word of Allah, and everything in creation wants to hear it. So as they recited, we talked about how the clouds in the sky, the grass under their feet and birds in the trees were listening to them. Subhanullah! Before we knew it, we were back at the car!

We made it to Jummah prayer at the mosque. Although we went to a mosque I don’t usually visit, there is something very powerful about standing shoulder to shoulder with women, whom I didn’t know, praying together. Unity.

We didn’t have time to sketch and paint in our nature journal’s today, but the boys did make a lovely chicken a mushroom pie! It was a great end to the week.

How was your homeschool week?
Please do let me know and tell us all about it in the comments!

Peace and Love,

Our Muslim Homeschool Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Our Homeschool Field Trip to London

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.

Homeschool field trip london uk

 

Homeschool Field trip London UK

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-Jannah bookstore, 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!

First stop….

The Natural History Museum

Homeschool trip natural history museum london

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.

Homeschool trip natural history museum london

 

Homeschool trip natural history museum london

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”!)
Homeschool Natural history museum london
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!

Homeschool Natural history museum london

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!

Homeschool trip British Museum London

 

Homeschool trip British Museum London

However this time we only had a morning to spend here so we went straight for the ancient Egypt section.

Homeschool trip British Museum London

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.

Homeschool trip British Museum London

 

Homeschool trip British Museum London

 

Homeschool trip British Museum London

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.

Homeschool trip British Museum London

 

Homeschool trip British Museum London

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!

Homeschool trip natural history Museum London
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.


Please leave your comments down below!

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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love xx

 

Ancient China: Ming Bowl Craft

We have been learning about Ancient China in our homeschool. The history of China is so interesting, and the children have really enjoyed learning more about the Chinese culture.

In addition to the history of China, we have learnt more about the physical Geography of China, including map work and read some Ancient Chinese legends.

 

Homeschool Ancient China craft activity

The idea for this craft came from Story of the World: Activity Book 1.


Both my 6 year-old and 4 year-old boys enjoyed doing this activity, and our Ancient Ming bowls look beautiful displayed in our dining area.

 

Ancient Chinese Bowl Craft

Craft Supplies:

 

Air Drying Clay
Cling-film (Plastic wrap)
Small plastic bowl
Rolling Pin
Blunt knife
Blue paint
White glue (optional)
Paint Brush 

How to Make your Ming Bowl:

  1. Roll out clay to about 1 cm thick, so that it will cover the entire plastic bowl.
  2. Wrap the plastic bowl in cling-filmand turn upside down. Make sure your surfaces are covered in newspaper or an old table cloth.
  3. Lay the clay over the upturned bowl.
  4. Use your knife to trim away the excess clay and make the edges smooth.
  5. Leave clay to dry over-night.
  6. Once completely dry, use your blu paint to decorate the outside of the bowl. Chinese pottery was typically painted with flowers, birds and outdoor scenery. Leave to dry.
  7. If you would like to give your bowl a gloss finish, mix 2 parts glue with 1 part water to make a glaze. Paint this mixture over the entire bowl, and leave to dry.
Here are my son’s beautiful Ancient Chinese Ming Bowls:
Ancient China Homeschool Craft Art Project

My 6 year-old painted waves onto his bowl, and my younger son (4 years-old) chose to paint trees on his. They were really pleased with the results and have been showing these bowls to anyone who comes to visit!

 

More Resources for Ancient China Unit Study:

Other Resources we have used for our Ancient China Unit Study include:

 

  •   
 

We have really enjoyed learning about Ancient China. The only thing left to do now s get some Chinese take-away and watch Kung-fu Panda!


Have you been looking at Ancient China in your homeschool? Have you done any interest Chinese crafts?
I would really love to hear what resources you have been using. Please share with us in the comments below! 

 

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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love xx
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Vikings Homeschool Unit Study

What is it about Vikings?!?… Kids love them!
In this blog post, I will show you what Resources we used to teach our Kindergarten (Year1) and Preschool kids about Vikings, and hopefully give some ideas about how to teach this unit study in your homeschool.
Vikings Homeschool Unit Study
As my eldest is only 5-years-old, I do not include too much written work in our unit studies. Instead the focus is hands-on learning and literature. However, if your children are older, you could certainly add in notebooking, lapbooks or even creating a poster of what they have learnt.
This is how we taught my Year 1 (Kindergarten) student about the Vikings:

1. Library Books

As with all our unit studies, the first thing we did was head to our local library to see what they had on the subject. We found this great book of World History by Dorling Kindersley. 
Vikings Homeschool Unit Study
I  encouraged the boys to look through the relevant pages, and read aloud anything that intersted them. This is an old edition, but this History Book by the same publishers looks great too!

2. Day at the Museum

Another thing I always try to incorporate into our unit studies, are field trips to museums or historical sites. Our local museum was holding a ‘Viking Day.’ The boys got to try on a replica Viking helmet, look at maps and art work featuring the Vikings, and make these awesome Viking helmets: 
Vikings Homeschool Unit Study
Vikings Homeschool Unit Study

3. Map Work

My son has a ‘thing’ for maps! So I used this interest in maps and world geography to help him learn about the Viking conquests. This FREE printable we used can be found HERE

Vikings Homeschool Unit Study

4. Literature

We also try include some children’s literature to go along with our unit study:
Vikings Homeschool Unit Study

My eldest son read the easy reader Viking Adventure from the Oxford Reading tree. I love this series and would recommend it for any children who are learning to read, but are not ready to tackle chapter books yet.
Also, during this week, I read to the children from the book Viking It and Liking It (Time Warp Trio)
It’s incredible how much information children can absorb from stories and books. At this age, there is no real need to TEACH ….only to READ!

5. Online Resources

The BBC has compiled an excellent collection of video clips and resources that we looked through. The videos of the VIking ships really captured my boys imagination! You can check these out by clicking HERE

If you have any Viking Resources for children that you would like to share with us, please leave a comment below! 

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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love.

HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM CHOICES 2015-2016

Year 1 and Preschool

It’s that time of year again…and I love it! Time to plan
next year’s Curriculum for Our Muslim Homeschool!
Like most homeschooling families, I started planning for the next year of home
education at least 6 months ago, and have been slowly collecting different
resources as I find them. 

Below I have listed the curriculum we will be using for M as
he starts Year 1 (Kindergarten) from September. For A, my pre-schooler, we will
not be following a set curriculum, but will draw ideas from few different
books, which I have listed below.
The books listed below are the ‘main’ texts we will be
using, but we will also take from many other resources we have at home, online
and from our library, as well as frequent field trips we take. If you are interested in any of these books, just click on the title for a link to Amazon  or the relevant website (includes some affiliate links).

Please note: This does not include our reading list, i.e books (fiction) that M will read or will have read to him.

I hope this curriculum helps to inspire other Muslim
Homeschooling Families, as so many others have inspired me!

YEAR 1 / Kindergarten

Islamic Studies

It is my opinion that religion should not be taught as an
academic subject, but rather it should be something that children witness as
part of normal life, learning from your example and other good company. However
there are some books that we will use for activities and to stimulate
discussions:  
My First Quran Story Book

by Saniyasnain Khan & Maria S Puri 

I Love Islam Textbook: Level 1 (With CD)


Available to purchase from the HOMESCHOOL SHOP

QURANIC MEMORISATION                         At
Home

ARABIC
                                                 
Dino Lingo 

First Thousand Words in Arabic


Language Arts

READING

PHONICS:

Modern Curriculum Press Phonics, Level A

SPELLING:

Spelling Workout, Level B by Modern Curriculum Press


HANDWRITING:

Copy-work from some books of Hadith into these Handwriting school exercise books



Math:

History/Geography/Social Studies

For this year we will follow an interest-led approach for
the humanities. By this I mean that we will have a relaxed approach to these topics, studying what-ever M wants to learn
about using books from our local library.

Science:

We will be primarily doing the study of nature this year. However when the weather doesn’t allow us to go outdoors, we will use the latter two book for fun science experiments:
Looking at Nature: Bks. 1-4

 by Elsie Proctor

Usborne Spotter’s Guides: 

Trees

Woodland Life

Bugs and Insects

Birds



Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum



Everybody Has a Body: Science from Head to Toe


Sport:

Football 
Trampolining with home-ed group 
Bike rides / country walks / trips to the park 
PRESCHOOL:

Where Is Thumbkin?: 500 Activities to Use with Songs You Already Know


Slow and Steady Get Me Ready

 

If you would like more ideas for Curriculum choices,
particularly for older children, I would recommend visiting Noor Janan Homeschool and Iman’s Home-school; both great resources for Muslim Homeschoolers.
To make sure you don’t miss the next in the series, please Subscribe to my blog, or follow me on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

If you have any questions, or any ideas for future posts, please leave them for me in the comments below. If you have a blog post about you homeschool curriculum. please feel free to link it below. I’d love to know what your using! 
Thanks for stopping by! 

Peace and Love.


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