muslim homeschool

Muslim Homeschool Curriculum Choices | 1st & 3rd Grade

Muslim homeschool curriculum

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.

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

 

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!


WATCH THIS VIDEO!

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.

Handwriting

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!

Literature

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.

Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs by Conover

Aesop’s Fables for Children

Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (8) – Note, there are some unacceptable racial terms used in these books. We use this as an opportunity for conversation and growth insha’Allah.

We use Audible A LOT! If you would like to try it out, they have a FREE TRIAL on at the moment, where you get your First Book Free, you can cancel anytime, and you’ll  still have access to that book!

CLICK HERE for your FREE TRIAL!
Reading

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”.

The Boxcar Children (#1) by Gertrude C. Warner (8)

The Light of His Beauty by Maryam Qadri (8) – The birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

A Race to Prayer: Sulaiman’s rewarding Day by Aliya Vaughan (8)

The Hardy Boys – Treasure Tower (#1) by Franklin Dixon (8)

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (8)

The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander (8)

I Wonder – About the Prophet (#3) by Ozkan Oze (8)

Frindle by Andrew Clements (8)

 

Billy and Blaze Series by C. W. Anderson (6) – We LOVE this series!

Nate the Great series by Marjorie Sharmat (6)

Brambley Hedge Series by Jill Barklem (6)

Poetry

It is our aim to read poetry aloud everyday , even if only for a few minutes.

 Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Sing Song – A Nursery Rhyme Book by Rossetti – Please note, some of these poems maybe unsuitable for sensitive children.

Now we are Six – A. A. Milne

Montmorency’s Book of Rhymes by T.J. Winter (Islamic Children’s rhymes)

Treasury of Read-Aloud Poems for Young People by G. Hale

Shakespeare

We will be looking at one play each term. I feel more comfortable presenting plays that have less romance in, as so we will be beginning with The Tempest.

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E.Nesbit (easier language)

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

 

Maths

For Maths, we are using the wonderful Life of Fred Math Series. My 8 year-old are currently working on Kidneys and my 6 year-old on Butterflies.

Life of Fred Math bundle

If any concepts requires further reinforcement I will use other online resources. A favourite of mine is Math Mammoth.

Islam

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.

Quran (Arabic)

Quran (English)

Qaidah (6) – ‘Uthamani Script or Indo-Pak Script

Islamic Studies – Year 3 (8) and Year 1 (6)

Safar Islamic Studies bundle

Arabic Handwriting (6)

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

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!

Nature Lore

Country Tales by Enid Blyton

Hedgerow Tales by Enid Blyton

Woodland Tales by Enid Blyton

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

Star Stories for Little Folks by Gertrude Chandler

Find the Constellations by Rey

Trees and Shrubs by Arabella Buckley

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Nature Journaling

Usbourne Spotter’s guides

Nature Journals

Geography

This year, we are focusing on Physical geography,

Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason

Home Geography for Primary Grades by C.C. Long

In addition to this, the boys often refer back to the atlas when a new place in mentioned in their history or literature books.

History

Our focus for history this coming year wil be the late medieval period, the Tudors and Stewarts. We will also focussing on Seerah, and studying the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

We have a HUGE selection of history books that we use to teach this subject. For more information, to see this extensive book list, please read the blog-post about it or watch this video.

islamic homeschool history

Modern Languages

My children are learning Arabic and French this year.

They attend Arabic classes outside of the home, and so my primary focus during school-hours is to teach them French.

Hachettes Illustrated French Primer

Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes

La Chenille: qui fait des trous

Comptines a chanter

Artist Study

Every term, the children learn about a new artist and become familiar with there artwork.

If you’re not sure what Artist/ Picture study is, you should read this blog-post or watch this video!

FREE Picture Study Guides

Picture study charlotte mason how to guide

Drawing

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.

Prang Water colour paints

Sketch pads

Interest-Led

Touch Typing

My eldest son has expressed an interest in learning to type. For that we are using TypeKids.com. You can read my review on this programme HERE.

homeschool touch typing

Lego Club

My younger son expressed an interest in joining a local Lego club this year.

If you’d like to know more about Lego clubs, Click HERE.

Muslim homeschool

I’m so excited for this coming year ahead and to use these fabulous resources with my children; resources that I believe truly reflect our values.

And, I’m looking forward to sharing that journey with you too!

If you have any questions, pop them for me in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

 

 

 

| 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

A Week (or two) in Our Homeschool | 18th-29th September 2017

Blackbird egg nature journal

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 monthly Toucan box. You can read a review I wrote about it HERE.

Dinosaur egg craft

After dosing up on paracetamol and ibuprofen, I felt human again so we read aloud from A Child’s History of the World, learning about King Alfred.

Honestly, I had never heard of Alfred and his treaty with the Vikings before….it was really interesting!

A child's history of the world

Tuesday 19th September

Since we missed circle time yesterday, I made it a priority today. We revisited a painting by Hokusai and the children gave a lovey narration of it. We sang some French nursery rhymes from Comptines a chanter  and finished off the Shakespeare play “Two Gentlemen of Verona” from the book Beautiful stories from Shakespeare for children

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!

Year 2 Ambleside online

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!

Muslim homeschool

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 a 30-Day FREE TRIAL available 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!

Homeschool french songs
Cookies and French songs!

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 spent the morning sketching a blackbird into our Nature notebooks with the help of some fantastic YouTube videos by John Muir Laws

nature journal watercolour blackbird

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.

british garden bird song cd  nature study acorns

Once back home, we painted our blackbirds using water colours, and the children spent the remainder of the day with their grandparents.

(Sketch book: HERE)

nature study blackbird

 

Saturday 23rd

The boys worked on the next chapter in their Islamic Studies books. My 7 year-old read about Life after Death using the Safar Year 3 book, and my 5 year-old learnt about how to use the toilet and keep clean using the Year 1 books.

Safar Islamic Studies Year 1

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 to Alton towers. This kids enjoyed spending time with their grnadparents and they loved going on all the rides!

cbeebies land alton towers homeschol trip

cbeebies land alton towers homeschol trip
Justin’s House was her favourite!

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 started The Bears on Hemlock Mountain which he seems to be enjoying.

During circle time we learnt about Prophet Idris (Enoch)(AS) from the book Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam.

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!

Islamic new year resolutions
Islamic new year resolutions

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.

what homeschooling really looks like!
This is what homeschooling really looks like!

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!

nature walk homeschool

nature walk homeschool
I don’t know what they’re looking at!
nature walk homeschool
Sweet Chestnuts EVERYWHERE!

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!

Blackbird egg nature journal
Adding to their nature notebook later that afternoon

 

 

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?
Or do you just take that time off?
Please let me know in the comment below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

What we’ve been Reading + GIVEAWAY!

June reading wrap up Muslim homeschool

I’ve just discovered the world of BookTube and I’m thrilled to make my first ever Reading wrap up for YouTube!

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!

Books Mentioned:
A Man Called Ove
Gods in Alabama 
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
Martha Inc.
Fitra Journal: Muslim Homeschooling 
Don Quixote 
Station Eleven
Before the Rains
In Order to Live
A House for Happy Mothers
Undivided

Children’s Odyssey

James and the Giant Peach
Bobs Books Set 3

Free and Treadwell Reading Primer
Secret Garden

YouTube Channels Mentioned

Lydia Senn

Arrrgh schooling
Read Create Repeat Homeschool

GIVEAWAY

It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!

fitra journal muslim homeschool giveaway

 

This month, I  am thrilled to be sharing two of my favourite books this month.
The first name selected will win:

Three further runner-ups will be randomly selected. Each will receive a Big Reconnecting Self Love Journal.

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,Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Homeschool Update: June 2017

Watch this short video to find out what we have been doing during Ramadan and our plans for the summer!

I also talk a little about how I feel our homeschooling year is going, as well how we plan to “catch up” with the subjects we have fallen behind in.

CLICK HERE to Watch!

If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments section below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Easy Arabic Alphabet Cupcakes!

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!

Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in posts and sidebar ads. Please refer to my Disclaimer for more information.

 

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.

Arabic alphabet cupcakes - Teach you children the Arabic letters with this fun activity! Arabic alphabet cupcakes - Teach you children the Arabic letters with this fun activity!

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.

 

You will need…

Equipment:

 

Ingredients:

  • 110g/4oz Butter, softened
  • 110g/ 4oz Caster sugar
  • 110g/ 4oz Plain flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla paste (Alcohol-free) – Buy HERE

For Decorating:

  • 140g/5oz Butter, softened
  • 280g/10oz Icing Sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Milk
  • Ready-To-Roll Icing (Several Colours) – Buy Here (Vegetarian)

Cupcake Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F / Gas 4.
  2. Line the muffin tin with paper cases.
  3. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat it using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into another bowl.
  5. Beat the eggs and vanilla separately.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together.
  7. Spoon the mixture carefully into the paper cases.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from tin and allow to cool completely before decorating.

Arabic alphabet cupcakes - Teach you children the Arabic letters with this fun activity!

Icing Recipe

  1. Using a whisk, beat the butter until soft.

  2. Continue to whisk whist slowing adding the icing sugar.

  3. Add the milk and mix well.

Let’s Decorate!

  1. Apply 1-2 tbsp of buttercream icing to the top of each cupcake. You can pipe it on yourself, or let your children do it using two small spoons.
  2. Flour your kitchen surfaces to prevent sticking in the next step.
  3. Roll out the ready-to-roll icing to approximately 5mm (1/2 cm) thick.
  4. Use the Arabic letter cutters from the play dough kit to cut out any letters from Arabic alphabet you wish to learn/revise.
  5. Carefully use a butter knife to lift the letters onto the top of the cakes.
  6. Continue until all the cakes are decorated.
  7. Enjoy!

Arabic alphabet cupcakes - Teach you children the Arabic letters with this fun activity!

Tip: If your ready-to-roll icing gets too warm, it will be difficult to cut out the letters. To prevent this, keep the icing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

I hope your family enjoy making and eating these Arabic alphabet cupcakes! They would be a great addition to any children’s party, iftaar or Eid celebration!

Arabic alphabet cupcakes - Teach you children the Arabic letters with this fun activity!

Arabic alphabet cupcakes - Teach you children the Arabic letters with this fun activity!

Have you ever used cooking to teach your children an Academic subject?
What other creative ways have you used to teach the Arabic Alphabet?
Please tell us about it in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Cooking-Skills-iHomeschool Net


Educational Games for 2-8 Year Olds

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

10 Points of Homeschooling Advice from Veteran Homeschool Mom

Homeschooling advice from veteran homeschool mom

How often do we look back on something and think, “If wish I could have done that differently.”?

Not often are we given the gift of parenting, or homeschooling, with hindsight. But with almost an 11 year gap between my two oldest kids, alhamdulilah, I’m given at least a peek into how my homeschooling decisions have played out over time.

Homeschooling advice from veteran homeschool mom

Advice to noew homeschoolers from veteran homeschool mom

I hope my hindsight can be of use to you as well, as I reflect back over the last 8 years of homeschooling, now that my oldest is, mashaAllah, graduating high school.

Academic rigor is secondary

So often we spend hours upon hours trying to find the perfect book. It’ll have all the right information, with all the best activities, and thorough tests and quizzes to make sure they don’t miss a thing.

But what about the atmosphere in our home? What about nurturing that love of learning that comes naturally to children? How long do we spend thinking about that?

I wish I would have given my daughter more time to be a kid. More time to explore and learn at her leisure, and not during some scheduled hour-long exploratory time. You can’t schedule curiosity.

Don’t let others dictate your homeschool

If you’re just starting with homeschooling and you don’t have much support around you, it’s tempting to fill up your curriculum list with impressive books and resources to try to sway them that you’re not ruining your child.

Let me tell you something – a book list is not going to change many people’s minds.

Pick the resources you feel are best, for your child. How many school teachers do you think are making curriculum decisions based on what their parents or neighbors think? They choose books they think will be the most effective. Period.

Get acquainted with various homeschooling methods

Most of us have gone through the public school system. It’s all we know. Then when we start homeschooling, we dream of bulletin boards, and an in box for assignments.

Sometimes we have to jump into homeschooling because traditional school isn’t working, so we might not have a lot of time to read up on the various methodologies. Even if that’s the case, start reading the core book on each topic and see what speaks to you.

Think of yourself as an educator or mentor, not only an administrator

An administrator simply makes education more accessible. They order books, organize lesson plans, and grade work. An educator or mentor understands how students learn, how their environment affects their learning, and has some basic understanding of psychology.

Be the educator. Treat homeschooling as your career, not a task. That means reading and studying about your chosen career.

Homeschooling advice from veteran homeschool mom

Less semester-long classes

The semester long classes were great, and I love that she made some friends in those arenas, but I think we did too many, which made it hard to take part in anything else. We barely went on field trips that related to her lessons because our schedule was so jam packed with classes.

As I’m faced with the temptation of signing up for all the interesting classes again with my younger kids, I remind myself that childhood is not the only time to learn. We can, and should, learn as adults as well. If they miss out on a class about sewing, or woodworking, or reptiles, there will be opportunities for them to learn about that as an adult as well, if they so choose.

Ask help from the community

In the six years we were exclusively homeschooling my oldest (she spent the last two years at a local college finishing her high school diploma), I had three more children and we moved twice. To say I was a bit distracted would be an understatement.

Alhamdulilah, we made do, but it would have been easier if I reached out to community members to organize study groups while she was reading classic books since I did not have the time to read them along with her. If you find someone who is passionate about a subject, they are usually happy to help the young generation to explore that passion.

Grades and deadlines

We are pretty relaxed in the early years of homeschooling, but I do suggest to start grading and giving deadlines one year before you’ll be keeping specific records. In the US (though each state is different), you don’t have to keep records until the student is in high school.

It is a disservice to your child to first experience real deadlines and grades when it will be on their permanent record.

Less is more

Okay, we don’t want to take this to an extreme and ignore educating our kids, but hear me out, especially in regards to graded assignments.

The fewer number of graded assignments you give, the more weight each one has, which means they learn to give their best time and attention to each assignment. They can’t just slop something together and know that something that was easier for them, and therefore they got a good grade on, will even out the poor assignment they just turned in.

Less formal assignments, more time to sit and think about them independently.

Never, ever stop learning

Show your child what it means to be a lifelong learner. Sign up for classes, read books, watch documentaries. Even if they scoff at your boring choices for how you use your time, they will be noticing that you didn’t stop learning when you graduated. And neither should they.

Veteran homeschool mom advice to new homeschoolers

Make du’a

Last, but not least, don’t forget that striving to provide opportunities for a great education is in your hands, but the end result ultimately is not. Allah has a plan for all of us, and sometimes it may look like it’s not going your way. That’s okay, too. Patience is what we do have control over. In sha Allah be patient.

Shannen is an American Muslim convert, homeschooling mother to 4 daughters and mediocre housewife. She enjoys blogging, knitting, quilting, and avoiding housework. Read more on her blog about their Islamic homeschool, green(ish) living, and the ups and downs of parenting. You can connect with Shannen on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Homeschool Mom Tag on YouTube!

Homeschol mom tag on Youtube

This blog post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclaimer for more information.

Do you want to know about where we buy homeschool supplies from, what homeschooling approach we take, and if I get help to teach the kids? Then you need to WATCH THIS VIDEO!

This tag has been going around the homeschooling YouTube community for the past few weeks. It was started by Rachel from day2dayjoys and I was tagged by The Precious Years and Sarah Javed to answer these questions:

Homeschol mom tag on Youtube

Homeschool Tag Questions

1. Were you homeschooled?
2. Did you know always know you’d homeschool your children?
3. What are your 3 favorite books in your homeschool library?
4. Are you the only “teacher”? Does your spouse help, outsource help, tutors, etc.
5. Where is your favorite place to buy homeschool curriculum?
6. Do you have a set budget for your homeschool?
7. What are 2 must have homeschool supplies?
8. What’s your favorite/least favorite subject to teach?
9. Are you involved in coops or homeschool groups? What has your experience been in these groups?
10. What is your approach? ( Charlotte mason, eclectic, classical, etc)

Watch this video to see how I answered all these great questions!

WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Here are links to the books I mentioned in this video:

My Favourite Homeschooling Books

For Mothers:

Teaching from Rest by Sarah McKenzie – Amazon UKAmazon USA

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer – Amazon UKAmazon USA

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer (New Edition) – Amazon UKAmazon USA

For Kids:

Winnie-the-Pooh: The Complete Collection – Amazon UK – Amazon USA

The World of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – Amazon UK – Amazon USA

Pinocchio by C. Collodi – Amazon UK – Amazon USA

 

If you would like to watch the playlist of all the other mothers taking part, CLICK HERE!

I am tagging anyone who would like to take part.

You can make a YouTube video, write a blog post

or just leave your answers in the comments below!

I’d love to hear how you do things in your family!

 

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Meal Planning for Ramadan + FREE Printable

Meal Planning for Ramadan

We all know that to make the most of Ramadan, we need to prepare ahead of time.

Being organised will help us to use our time more wisely during this Blessed month. This includes spiritual preparation, physical preparation and practical preparation.

As a busy homeschooling mum, cooking and preparing food takes up many hours the day. This Ramadan I have decided to meal plan for Ramadan so that I can spend less time in the kitchen, and have more time doing other acts worship insha’Allah.

Get Ready for Ramadan with this FREE Meal Planner! Meal Planning for Ramadan

 

For more about meal planning in Ramadan:

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

 

 

This blog post was written as part of a Meal Planning Collaboration with loads of other bloggers. You can find links to their articles or videos at the end of this blog post!

Benefits of Meal Planning in Ramadan

 

  1. Grocery Shop before Ramadan

When you are fasting, shopping for groceries can not only be tiring, but make fasting more difficult that in needs to be. By planning what you will be eating for the month, you can purchase many things ahead of time and minimise the hours spent trawling the supermarket shelves.

Meal Planning for Ramadan

 

  1. Eat more Nutritious Food

After a few days of fasting, we often slip into the mistake of just making whatever is easy or satisfies our cravings! If you plan your menu ahead of time, you can consider what foods are more nutritious and beneficial for you to eat before or after you fast. Taking to the time to think about nutrition, and food that will give you long lasting energy and hydration, will help to make your fasts easier on your body insha’Allah.

  1. Less Time in the Kitchen

Meal planning allows you to be efficient with your time. You will know precisely what to cook and prepare, and so you can use your time most effectively. This may mean marinating something the night before, or preparing vegetables earlier in the day when you’re less tired. Whatever works for you! You may even be able to prepare some dishes ahead of time before Ramadan begins, and keep them in the freezer.

Also spend some time thinking about what you are going to give your children to eat. When you are fasting, it can be hard to keep up with the demands of hungry children. Try to plan some nutritious and easy to make lunches and snacks for your kids.

Less time in the kitchen means more time in ibadah! It will also give you time to rest in the afternoon, so you can pray taraweeh insha’Allah.

Praying in Ramadan

 

  1. Less Wastage

Wasting food is a sin. However, sometimes due to our disorganised lives, food does goes to waste. In this blessed month, the last things we want to do is to commit bad deeds. Meal planning will help you to minimise food wastage insha’Allah, because you will only buy what you need. Also, it allows you to plan your meals so nothing is wasted. For example, if your curry only requires half an onion, you can plan to use the other half in the vegetable side dish.

 

  1. Free your Mind

Knowing that the meals for Ramadan as planned, and the shopping has been done, will free your mind!

Instead of spending time wondering what you will cook that afternoon, you can use that time to reflect on more important things!

 

The Ramadan Meal Planner

 

My gift to you this Ramadan, is this Ramadan Meal Planner. I hope that it will help you be prepared for Ramadan, and make the most of this Blessed month insha’Allah.

You may wish to plan out suhoor, iftaar and kids meals; or you may only need to plan iftaar. Please use these FREE PRINTABLE sheets in whichever way suits your family.

You do not need to use all of the pages if you do not need them. Similarly, you can print out multiple copies of each page.

Ramadan Meal Planner

It is my gift to you, to use as you please!

To get your FREE Ramadan Meal Planner, sign up here:

If you are already a member of our online homeschooling community, you can find the planner in the “Featured Freebie” section on the FREE Resources page.

How to Use the Meal Planner

  1. Think about WHAT you want to cook

This first step it to plan the meals that you and your family enjoy eating in Ramadan. Sometimes, your family’s preferences and the type of food you eat in Ramadan is different to other times in the year.

Personally, I know my family prefer to eat lighter foods, and foods with a lot of sauce! This is the stage where you can consider nutritious value of the meal, and if it will sustain your family through the long fast or the long taraweeh prayer.

Use our Meal ideas sheets to plan out what you will be serving your family. I have included a page for suhoor, iftaar and for kids lunch.

 

Now is the time, before Ramadan starts, to get out your cook books. Look through Pinterst or Google now. Looking at all the yummy recipesout there is not easy when youre fasting. Do it now! Try to chose recipes that are simple to make, or that you can prepare now and freez ahead of time.

  1. Fill in the Weekly Chart

The next step is to fill in the weekly chart. Print out 4 copies of this chart and, using the Meal ideas pages, fill it in. You will probably be repeating some recipes throughout the month. That’s ok! My planning out the month, you can make sure those repeated meals are not too close together.

Ramadan Meal Planner Weekly spread

  1. Write your Shopping List

Use our shopping list to write out what you need to buy, and refer back to your weekly plan. You may want to print out several copies of this and use one for the butchers and one for the supermarket.

Also, print one out for this you can buy now ahead of time (like rice, lentils, canned tomotatoes etc.). Then write a shopping list for each week of Ramdan. It will be so nice for you, when Ramadan begins, to have everything already written out!

Ramadan Meal Planner Shopping list

Join discussion on Forum

To support you as you plan your meals for Ramadan, we are adding a thread on our Forum, so that you can share your meal planning journey there! Use the Forum to share which recipes your family loves in Ramadan, what you give the kids to eat, as well as how you are finding the meal planning process.

When you sign up for the meal planner, you will automatically be made a member of our Homeschooling community, and you will receive the password for the forum by email!

For more information about Our Online Homeschooling Community, please CLICK HERE,

Sign Up to Receive your Ramadan Meal Planner!

Having your meals planned out before Ramadan begins is wonderful way to free your mind and free up your time during Ramadan.

I hope you will try it and let me know how you are getting on!

 

More About Meal Planning

This blog post was written as part of a Meal Planning Colloaboration with some other amazing bloggers including work at home mums, homeschoolers and even a certified nutritionist!

Please check out their take on meal planning too:

 

I sincerely hope that this planner helps you to make the most of Ramadan insha’Allah.

Please remember my family in your duaas.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

 

 

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