This week, I was on the Our Muslim Homeschool Facebook and Instagram page answering your questions LIVE!
I answer questions about:
Healthy meal ideas
After school activities at home
Teaching children about the Islamic Heros
Coping with mess
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In this LIVE broadcast, I also made a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. If you don’t want to spoil the suprise, stop scrolling and watch the video now!
So, here’s the news….
Firstly, these LIVE weekly shows have been given a new name, “Raising Mums”. I chose this name as it reflected my ambition for this show….
A live weekly broadcast that inspires mums to live with purpose and intention, to raise their children mindfully, and empowers mothers everywhere to own their lives and to thrive doing it!
Dr Gemma Elizabeth – Raising Mums
And even BIGGER NEWS!….you can now listen to Raising Mums as a podcast!
Yes, that’s right! Wherever you listen to your podcasts, you can head over there now, and Subscribe to Raising Mums!
You can listen to these broadcasts whilst you’re commuting to work, cleaning the house, working out, or driving the car! The great thing about podcasts, is that you can “grow on the go”, and learning whilst doing other things! Perfect for busy mums…right?!?!
Please had over to iTunes, Apple podcasts and Spotify, and leave a review for “Raising Mums” so other mums, like you, can find it!
You can also simply play the podcast directly from my website! Try it now…
This episode marks the end of Season 1 of Raising Mums. It’s been an incredible few months, and I’m so grateful for all the lessons I’ve learnt during this time and the people I’ve come to know through it.
I’ll be back Sunday 24th March 2019 at 10am GMT on Facebook and Instagram LIVE for the launch of Season 2. insha’Allah
I’ve got some great content planned for you! I hope I’ll see you then!
Peace and Love,
Dr Gemma Elizabeth
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This week I was LIVE on the Our Muslim HomeschoolInstagram and Facebook accounts talking about a topic very common in mothers, low self-esteem. Do you ever refer to yourself as “Just a Mum?” Then this broadcast is for you!
We talked about:
My personal experience with self-doubt
5 Steps to Increasing Your Feelings of Self-worth
Mothers with low self-esteem raise children with low self-esteem
In this episode I spoke from the heart about my experience and gave my sincere advice to any mother who suffers with self-esteem issues.
These 5 steps will increase your self-esteem, so that you don’t say anymore, “I’m a just a mum.”
Instead you’ll say, “I’m a stay at home mum and it’s the best thing that could ever have happened to me!”
As a Muslim homeschooling family, I wanted to create a curriculum that aligns with our values, and helps us to live a life together that we love and that I am passionate about..
Using the Charlotte Mason philosophy to guide my decisions, I have designed a homeschool curriculum that nurtures my children’s love for learning, ignites their innate curiosity, and empowers me as their teacher and mother to teach with confidence and joy.
Inspired by Charlotte Mason, I have tried to bring God to the heart of every subject, and connect everything with our creator.
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I needed a curriculum that made me excited to wake up in the morning! I needed a curriculum that would touch the hearts of my children! I needed a curriculum that I couldn’t wait to learn from myself!
But I couldn’t find one out there! So, with the help and inspiration of many other Charlotte Mason resources, I put a curriculum together myself.
And here it friends, for you all to enjoy and, I hope, benefit from! insha’Allah
My eldest son is 8 years-old, and my youngest son is 6 years-old. Please assume that the resources outlined below are used by both boys, unless indicated by a (8) or (6) in brackets. However, as the boys use most of the materials together, please consider this curriculum suitable for children in 1st-3rd grade, year 2-4 in the UK.
And I’ve made a little video to go along with this blogpost too. ENJOY!
If you’d like to see the curriculum we used last year, when the boys were 7 and 5,CLICK HERE!
Language Arts / English
Our study of English is based around reading, copying and narrating back high-quality literature and poetry. We have chosen, as recommended by Charlotte Mason, to delay the study of grammar and spelling until our children are at least 9 years-old.
We make out own handwriting sheets on Worksheet Works using excerpts from books we are reading, poetry or ahadith. It’s a wonderful free resource!
These are books that I plan to read-aloud to the children, in addition to other subjects. We may use Audible to listen to some of them in audiobook form.
We do not follow a specific reading curriculum. The children are not forced to read any particular book, but rather are given a choice and then are required to read aloud to me 2-3 times a week. They also have 20 minutes free-reading in the afternoon, where they can read whatever they want…even car magazines! I hope that this relaxed approach will encourage them to develop a love of reading, rather than it becoming a chore and only a “school subject”.
If any concepts requires further reinforcement I will use other online resources. A favourite of mine is Math Mammoth.
My boys attend Arabic, Quran and Seerah classes outside of the home. However, we also do incorporate many Islamic sciences into out homeschool schedule, as well as trying to refer back to our creator or deeper lessons whenever they arise in our school day.
We also look at Seerah, the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which I have included in our History curriculum. For seerah, we use Muhammad by Martin Lings
Nature study forms the foundation of our scientific learning. Through the study of nature I hope the children will learn to observe, records and question what they see around them. More formal science lessons will start when they are older insha’Allah.
Our focus this coming year will be Trees, and Star and Planets, although we will learn about other things things that interest them along the way too!
We are taking a very relaxed stance on artwork this year, allowing the children more freedom to draw and create in ways that excite them. For this, we will use Pinterest or Youtube for ideas or tutorials.
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.
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?
In this video I share what books we’ve been reading this month in our homeschool, and what we are planning to read in July. I’m also hosting another GIVEAWAY to win two fabulous books; scroll to the bottom for this post for more details!
This post may contain affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.
To find out what books we’ve been enjoying this month,and what we plan to read next month, WATCH THIS VIDEO!
This Ramadan Basket Giveaway will run from Sunday 9th July 2017 until Monday 17th July 2017 at 12am GMT.
This giveaway is open internationally!
All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.
Please be aware that if you are entering from overseas, you may be liable to pay customs tax (or the equivalent), so please check before entering.
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 hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been reading this June, and our reading plans or July.If you haven’t already, you can SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE and pressing the BIG RED BUTTON. This means you will be notified every time we put out a new video. You can also watch my previous video HERE.If you have any reading recommendations, please leave them for me in the comments section below. I would love to get hear about what books you’ve been reading.Peace and Love,
Children are never too young to start learning Arabic! One of the first steps for children is to master the Arabic alphabet.
In our homeschool we like to find creative and fun ways for children to learn. Recently we decided to make cupcakes an decorate them with the Arabic letters. The kids loved this hands-on approach to learning and I think your family will too!
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Cooking together teaches your children important life skills, as does all the cleaning up afterwards! Younger children love mixing and pouring ingredients together, whilst the older children improve their maths skills by measuring out and weighing out the flour, butter and sugar.
Similarly, this tactile and sensory approach to learning was very successful in helping my younger children learn their Arabic alphabet. Not only does it require them to identify the letter in their mind, but also focus on how the letter is formed when making their own with icing.
Not only is this activity really fun, but it also works really well and is an effective way of teaching children the Arabic alphabet. ….And you get delicious cakes to enjoy afterwards too!
Arabic Alphabet Cupcakes
These cupcakes were very easy to make, and older children may be able to follow the recipe will minimal help from you!
I decided to top each cupcake with butter-cream icing, because it’s just so delicious! Then on top on that we added the Arabic letters, made from Ready-to-roll icing.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.