Preschool

How to “Homeschool” Young Children | Beyond the Academics

how to homeschool young children

Homeschooling young children in the early years is so much more than reading, writing and maths!

When you consider the education of children under six years-old, there are many worthwhile areas to focus on, not just academics.

I am frequently asked the question ,“What should I be doing with my 3/4/5 years old child?”, and this blog-post I will do my best to answer that question for you.

homeschoo young children

This blog post has been written in collaboration with WordUnited who kindly gifted my family their products and compensated me for my time. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

For an introduction from me on this very important topic,

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Before the age of 7, many experts agree that the child’s mind and spirit is not ready for formal education. However, that does not mean we do nothing at all!

The mind, the heart and the soul of the child are still within our stewardship as parents.

In the Islamic tradition, Ali ibn Abi Talib (R.A.) advises us,

“Play with them for the first seven years (of their life); then teach them for the next seven years; then advise them for the next seven years (and after that).”

Through play, and gentle teaching, young children can be taught many important lessons; lessons that will benefit both their intellect and their spiritual essence.

Although academic subjects have their place in a child’s education, the focus with young children should be on the preservation of their faith, and establishing the foundations necessary for them to grow into righteous and highly moral human beings.

Nurture good morals and spiritual growth

Young children are the the greatest of mimics and they will copy your example. Many people talk about how becoming a parent has been the catalyst for a change within themselves; how they became more practicing in their religion because their children are now watching EVERYTHING they do!

Allow your children to witness you praying, reading Quran, attending classes and let them take part. Try to surround your children with good role-models whenever possible; both young and old.

Another powerful method of encouraging good morals in our children is by using stories; particularly about great and noble people from the past. These stories permeate into the child’s consciousness in a more powerful way than at any other time in their live’s, and will become part o their moral compass in the future.  Not only can this include the Stories the Prophets (R.A.), but  good children’s fiction has a lot to offer too.

children reaidng

Follow their interests

When children are young they seem to be interested in everything! They can become fascinated by the shells at the beach, the bugs in the garden, the vehicles they see on the road, the list goes on and on!

Whatever their interest is, grasp hold of it and pursue it! Read more about it together, create activities around that interest and organize field trips. Not only will your children relish the opportunity to learn more about something they love, but it’s a great way to show them that their passions matter to you and boost their self-confidence.

Establish good habits and routines

Establishing good habits and routines within the home is vital to save you much frustration and heart-ache as they grow older.

Whilst they are young, teach your children good manners and establish routines within the house that will benefit you all in later years.

Examples include good personal hygiene, cleaning up after themselves, no whining or bickering; anything that could lead you to frustration in the future is best dealt with whilst they are young, through loving an gentle means.

“A child must not be left to his human nature.” Vol. 1 p. 102 – Charlotte Mason

” …the child who is not being constantly raised to a higher and higher platform will sink to a lower and lower.” Vol. 1 p. 103 – Charlotte Mason

Spend time outdoors

Try to allow your children to spend some time everyday outdoors in natural environments. Allow them to explore and play freely for as long as you can spare.

Not only is being outside good for their physical health, but also for their spiritual and mental well-being. A child who spends his time collecting rocks, building dens, identifying birds, and such like, will have a mind full of wholesome interests; so full that there will be little room for less desirable interests, such as TV and video games.

“…a love of Nature, implanted so early that it will seem to them hereafter to have been born in them, will enrich their lives with pure interests, absorbing pursuits, health, and good humour.” – Charlotte Mason, Vol. 1 p.71

nature study

Make the most of their memory

In these early years, young children have the most incredible capacity to memorize almost anything with seemingly little effort. Use this time to encourage your children to memorize the Quran. There is no need to have any structured lessons, unless they seem to enjoy it. Instead, just allow them to listen to the Quran in the home whilst they are playing or eating their breakfast, whilst travelling in the car or as they fall asleep. This is such a simple and effective way for young children to learn the Quran, and will set them up well for more formal study in years to come.

The early years are also the best time to learn a foreign language. If you would like to learn more about how to do that, CLICK HERE to read how to do it!

Prepare for formal schooling

The age you begin to prepare them for more structured school-work is up to you. In our home it has been different for each child depending on their development.

Before they start formal schooling you may want to teach them the letters of the alphabet, numbers, and how to write and read simple words.

For this we have enjoyed using the Write-and-Wipe flashcards from WordUnited. There are a variety of sets available including the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and actions!

flashcards wordunited flashcards wordunited

Each card shows the word or letter of the alphabet, along with a beautiful high quality photo on one side; whilst on the other side the word or letter is written out, followed by a tracing and hand-writing exercise. I really appreciate how well-made these cards are and I am sure they will last us for many years insha’Allah. All the flash-cards are kept in a magnetically closing box, along with two wipe-able board pens.

These beautiful flashcards introduce children to the alphabet, numbers and simple words, and also give your children the opportunity to learn to write and read in a relaxed and fun manner.

homeschooling young children homeschooling young children

In addition to English, The Word United flashcards are also available in Arabic, French, Spanish and German. To read about how we have used these cards to teach Foreign Language in our homeschool, CLICK HERE.

If you are interested in purchasing the Write-and-Wipe flashcards for your family, visit their website (www.wordunited.com), or visit the Word United Amazon Store .

You also find them on Twitter and Instagram.

how to homeschool young children

Educating young children is so much more than reading, writing and maths; it’s about nurturing their whole beings in alignment with their natural development.

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

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

 

Toucan Box Review | Arts and Crafts Subscription for Kids!

Toucan box review unboxing

Finding arts and crafts activities for your children to do can be a challenge, especially if you’re not a “crafty” mum!

The Toucan Box is a subscription service that delivers everything you need to your door, to create an fun art project!

The reason I wanted to try our the Toucan box, was for convenience! It can be challenging as a homeschooling mum, to find different art projects for my children to do, and then purchase all the supplies that it needs. The Toucan box promises to deliver everything I need to my door… so I had to try it out!

If you click on the links to Toucan box in this blog post or use my referral code, and then place an order, I will receive 50% off my next purchase. 

Toucan box craft subscription review unboxing

 

Toucan box review unboxing

What is a Toucan Box?

The Toucan box is a subscription service that delivers creative craft boxes to children aged 3-8 years old. The boxes come in 3 different sizes:

  • Petite: Provides everything you need to create an exciting activity. This box fit through the letter box and contains a activity book with puzzles, games, recipes and fun facts. This craft box is delivered fortnightly.
  • Grande: Provides all the materials needed for 2 craft activity, as well as a children book that goes along with the theme of the box. This box also contains a parent card containing further ideas for activities and games. This box is delivered monthly.
  • Super: This box contains everything you child will need to complete 4 craft activities, along with a children’s book and the parent card. This box also comes monthly.

This boxes have been designed by educational experts, and are Montessori-inspired, to help develop a child’s key skills.

What's inside a Toucan box

Toucan Box Unboxing

I decided to purchase the “Petite” box, just to try out the service and see what the craft activities were really like. I also really like the convenience of the petite box fitting through the letter-box, as we are often out during the afternoon when our postman arrives.

I received a FREE BOX along with my first order, and you can too if you CLICK HERE.

Before my children saw the boxes, I quickly filmed this un-boxing video for you!

If you would like to see what is inside a Toucan box, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Toucan Box Review

The petite Toucan box really surprised me! The quality of the material were excellent, and the instructions were very clear. In this case, the Pirate-themed box actually contained 2 craft activities, when the it is only supposed to have 1, which was a lovely surprise!

Furthermore, the activities book also contained another craft activity to make a “pirate’s hook”. Although all the supplies were not included in the box, there were things we already had at home, like foil and glue! My son loved doing this craft, along with all the puzzles the book also contains.

Toucan box review and unboxing video pirate themed craft

What surprised me most about the Toucan box, is that it prompted an entire afternoon of imaginary play! My boys pretended their bunk-beds were a Pirate ship; even the sofa became a Pirate ship later in the day! They went out into the garden on a treasure hunt, they made pirate names for each other ….and the playing went on and on!

In my eyes, as a mother, that is the ultimate sign of success; that my children were so inspired by these craft activities, that they took them and the ideas they had learnt, into their imaginary world with them!

We are all really looking forward to the arrival of the next Toucan box!

If you would like to order a Toucan box for your family, CLICK HERE. By clicking on this link, you will also receive a FREE GIFT BOX along with your order.

Alternatively, type in the following code at the checkout, and you will receive your FREE GIFT BOX too: GEMMA-9E6X

 

Toucan box review and unboxing video pirate themed craft

Have you ever used a children’s subscription service? Would you recommend them?

Keeping up with the demands of creative kids can be difficult…would you agree?!? 

Please let me know in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Getting Started with Charlotte Mason for Young Children

Getting started with Charlotte Mason for Young children

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

The following post is from Shannen at Middle Way Mom

It just me, or do very few homeschooling methods refer to little ones being in the mix of a typical homeschooling day?

One of the things that has drawn me to the Charlotte Mason method, especially in the season of life with three kids 6 and under at home, is how welcoming it is for young children.

Not only is there a focus on letting children have lots of time for free play, exploration, and short lessons, but she even addresses the youngest of children in her book Home Education.

Charlotte Mason for Young children

Using Charlotte Mason as a guide, our homeschool is just in the very beginning stages of formal learning. No formal lessons are to start before age 6, but let’s not confuse this though with the idea that we do not teach a child anything.

Instead, a child learns from their environment. How?

Getting outside

Ms. Mason spent a good deal of time in Home Education explaining what an ideal day looks like, and how one should spend hours out of doors each day, even up to 6 hours a day.

What do you do during that time? She gives a lot of guidance, and adds that we shouldn’t bring a story book to read. Instead, the child should be fully engaged in playing and exploring. It’s not like there isn’t enough for them to do!

Also, the mother should not be giving lots of instructions or information while they are outside, but rather a small nugget of information, or pointing out something interesting in nature from time to time.

Overall, her advice is to let the child’s mind have time to think and process what is around them.

A game she suggests to hone the habit of attention from an early age is this: While the children at a park or nature reserve, ask them to go and look at something, maybe a house or farm, and remember all that they can. The child should come back and retell it to you in the most detail they are able. It’s fun for children if mom takes part in this game from time to time as well!

Honestly, when I first read the advice to get out for 6 hours a day, I thought, “Yeah, maybe if I was the nanny! I have to cook dinner and manage the house!”

6 hours is a lot, and unless I get a meal in the crockpot before I go, that’s not something we can always do. Of course, 3 hours is better than 2 and 2 hours is better than 1.

Do what you can. Especially if you have a small child that needs to nap, don’t beat yourself up over not spending 6 hours a day outside.

 

Charlotte Mason for Young Children

Habits

“The formation of habits is education, and education is the formation of habits.” – Home Education, pg. 97

Ms Mason makes no question about it: habits are the foundation to a strong education and personal life. Without them, we flounder without direction.

I wish I would have been turned on to this idea far sooner in my life, and as such, I have to believe that helping my young children build habits might be one of the best gifts I give them.

Even as young as an infant, she mentions the value of habits. We know that a toddler who is in the habit of using the potty from an early age, whether they successfully use it or not, is more likely to be fully potty trained earlier than a child who is introduced to the potty haphazardly.

For young children in the modern age, it’s not hard to get them started with simple things like emptying a dishwasher, putting their clothes away, and picking up their toys before they go to bed. When it becomes part of the natural rhythm of their days, they don’t fight it as much as a random command when Mom just can’t take the mess anymore.

I could go on an on about habits and young children. If you are wanting to jump right in with working on building strong habits, a good book to start would be one where Deborah Taylor-Hough compiled all that Charlotte Mason said about habits throughout her six volume series into one book: Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success: Volume 1

Reading and number sense

When my oldest daughter was young, in the early 00’s, there was no pressure on parents for kids to learn to read before Kindergarten. It was generally expected that in Kindergarten kids would learn their letters and numbers formally for the first time.

Now, just 10 years later, the conversation is completely different. Now kids are expected to have a foundation of reading before they reach Kindergarten. So often I read moms in groups sharing their worry and stress about their 3 year old not knowing their letters.

Either the tide is turning again, or it’s just the circles that I’m surrounded in, but the philosophy Charlotte Mason has of waiting until the child is 6 before teaching them to read is catching on.

Waiting to teach children formally does not mean that we don’t teach them anything at all. Naturally, numbers and letters come out in day to day life and there’s nothing wrong with pointing out things like what a road sign says or letters in their name.

What is encouraged though, is to leave the worksheets and easy readers until the child can be successful with them right away. Let learning be a joy for them instead of building the idea that learning is a struggle.

With my own 4 year old, she knows some letters and most of her numbers. While my 6 year old is working on her own lessons, I may give my younger kids wipe clean books and white board markers. The wipe clean books have letters and words in them, and we’ll point out sounds that letters make, but she’s never tested on it later. The information is presented, and if it is worthwhile to her, she’ll try to remember it.

As for numbers, my Kindergartener knew her numbers, but didn’t have much number sense before we started Right Start Math. Since my preschooler usually sits with us for math lessons, she has picked up on things a little earlier, but again, she’s not tested on any of this at any time.

Your purpose

First and foremost, building strong habits and morals are the core purpose with young children. Ms. Mason did not direct attention to anything more than she did to habits throughout her book Home Education (which focuses on children under 9 years old).

Your purpose as a parent and educator is not to fill their minds with information, but rather to build character traits as best you can in them so they can be effective students when it is time for them to study in a more serious manner.

In regards to education, the purpose of the young years with the children is not about memorizing letter sounds or math facts. The entire purpose of creating an environment where children are exploring (ideally mostly out of doors) is for children to build a love of learning.

Formal lessons should be enjoyable to them when they get to that stage, and something they look forward to when they are young.

Our Muslim Homeschool blog

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.

Awesome Volcano Experiment for Kids

Kaboom! Bang! Whooooooah!

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to do this experiment with my boys this week in our homeschool. Making a volcano is one of those science projects that I have always wanted to do with the kids and it was so much fun!

This volcano experiment is so simple and you with probably have everything you need already in your home. 

If you are interested in how we made our Erupting Volcano, please keep reading!

Homeschool Volcano Experiment

Since a young age, my boys have been obsessed with dinosaurs. So much so, that it had taken over my house. Dinosaur toys, stickers, books, bed sheets….it was driving me CRAZY

Thankfully, this interest has now evolved into an interest in fossils, geology and volcanoes.

As I try to encourage the kids to explore their interests, we decided to make this a part of our homeschool, doing an experiment/project on this topic, once a week.

We have been using the book Rock & Fossil Hunter for our experiments, It’s full of different activities that kids can do, using materials that you can easily find in the house. 

This blog post will look at the first two experiments: 

– The Erupting Volcano
– On the Lava Trail

Check out this VIDEO we made of our experiments:

As you can tell, they had so much fun doing these activities! I’m sure your kids will too!

Awesome Volcano Experiment

homeschool volcano experiment

Materials Needed:

Small plastic water bottle
Water
Measuring jug
Tray
Sand
Dessertspoon
Bicarbonate of soda
Red Food Colouring
Washing-up liquid
Vinegar

  1. Place the bottle in the middle of the tray, and pile up the sand around it, to look like a volcano. If the sand is not sticking, dampen it a bit to help it hold in place. The decorate the outside of the volcano however you like…obviously in my home that meant with dinosaurs!
    homeschool volcano experiment
  2. Pour enough warm water into the jug to fill the bottle 2/3 full. Then add 2 dessert spoons of bicarb, 1 dessert spoon of food colouring, 1 dessert spoon of washing-up liquid to the jug.
    homeschool volcano experiment
  3. Pour this mixture into the bottle.
  4. Then get ready for the eruption…..it will happen quickly!!!

       Pour 100ml of vinegar into the bottle and jump back!

Don’t worry, it’s not explosive….just very foamy! Perfectly safe for little kids!

Homeschool volcano experiment
homeschool volcano experiment

This could also work for a chemistry experiment if you have older kids. It’s a simple acid-base reaction.

Why are volcanoes different shapes?

This is the second experiment from the book Rock & Fossil Hunter.

It aims to illustrate how the temperature of lava affects its flow and the ultimate shape of the volcano

The cooler the lava, the slower it flows, resulting in conical volcanoes. 

The hotter the lava, the faster it flows, leading to flatter (shield) volcanoes.

Materials Needed:

2 tins of treacle
2 plates
Heat-proof pan
Boiling water

  1. Put once tin of treacle in the fridge overnight.
    Homeschool Lava Experiment
  2. Put the other tin into the heat-proof pan, and surround it in boiling water. Leave it to warm up the treacle for thirty minutes. 
  3. Open both tins, and pour onto separate plates. 
    Homeschool Lava Experiment
    Cold Lava

    Homeschool Lava Experiment
    Hot Lava
You should find the cold treacle piles up on the plate, like viscous cool lava would.
The hotter treacle will spread out to form a wider puddle, like runny lava.
Both of these experiments should be done under the supervision of an adult and are suitable for child aged 4+.

Are your children interested in volcanoes? 
What volcano activities have you done with them?
If you have any great resources on the subject, or if you have written a blog post on the topic, please share it in the comments below.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and reading this blog post.

To make sure you don’t miss the next one, just Subscribe to my mailing list and you’ll be sent an email to let you know it’s out!

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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love.

Nature Study in the City – March 2016

We all want our children to spend more time outdoors. However when you live in a city, connecting our children to nature can be difficult.

In this series of blog posts, I hope to inspire you with some ways you can teach your children about the natural world, and give you some creative activities to do indoors or in a city garden.

Nature Study in the City

Spending time outdoors in a natural environment has been proven scientifically to benefit children.

Since the release of the book Last Child in the Woods, which brought attention to the developmental effects of nature on our children, there have been multiple studies that prove likewise.

Some of the benefits of outdoor play include:

  • Supports development intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and
    physically (Kellert, 2005).
  • Encourages creativity: Studies show that children engage
    in more creative forms of play in the green areas. (Bell and Dyment,
    2006).
  • Improves Concrentration: Exposure to natural settings increases
    children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive
    abilities (Wells, 2000).
  • Improves Academic Performance: Children who partook in outdoor
    science programs had an improvement in their science results by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005).
  • Reduces ADD symptoms (Kuo and Taylor, 2004).
  • Improves eyesight (American
    Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011)
  • Encourages healthy eating  (Bell &
    Dyment, 2008) 
  • Reduces stress  (Wells and
    Evans, 2003)

Book Recommendation

Before we start, I want to let you know that we have been using this vintage nature book, Looking At Nature, by Elsie Proctor, as our primary text.

It is fantastic. Unlike most nature books, it is not just pages of facts, but it also poses lots of questions for the children to answer and gives great ideas for outdoor activities and experiments.

This is what we have been doing this March:

Observing Germination

We began this month with a trip to the supermarket to by some compost and plant seeds. I read in the book Looking at nature
, that Sunflowers
Nasturtiums
and Runner Beans
are easy to grow…we’ll soon see!

Nature Study in the City

I decided to begin with an activity I remember doing at school. We filled jars with kitchen roll, and then carefully pushed two Runner Bean
seeds in the gap between the glass and the tissue. Then we added enough water the to jars to make the tissue damp, and left them on a sunny window-sill. 
Within 5 days this is what we saw:

Nature Study in the City

The children drew what they saw for their Nature Notebooks, and we discussed all the parts of the plant and what plants need to grow. They learnt the words germination, shoot and tap root.

Nature Study in the City

Nature Study in the City

This is something you can do indoors, in a small space, and at very little expense!  

Began Planting Our Children’s Garden

This year I am giving a part of our small garden to the children. They will be responsible for growing the plants in that patch, weeding, watering etc.  If it works…it’s going to be a fantastic source of learning opportunities
The boys planted their Sunflower Seeds
, and left them in our cold-frame to grow.

Nature Study in the City

Nature Study in the City

Looking for catkins

Thankfully we have a number on trees on our road that have catkins. We collected what we could find, and brought them home to identify.
Nature Study in the City

Visited our City Parks

At this time of year, there is so much to see in the park. The daffodils are blooming, the birds are back and building nests, and everything is stirring back to life!
We spent several hours looking for the first signs of spring. The boys drew some daffodils for their nature notebooks, and I just allowed them to explore. The only rule we have in the park is ….You Are Not Allowed To Walk On The Path! 


Nature Study in the City
Drawing daffodils

Nature Study in the City
Playing hide-and-seek! He’s  counting…

Nature Study in the City
He’s hiding!


They found this muddy pond and were in there wading through the murky water…They loved it!

Nature Study in the City

I hope this will encourage you to get out into nature with your children, wherever you live. 
What activities have you done outdoors with your kids? Do any of you have any recommendations for other plants we can put in the children’s garden? Please let me know in the comments below 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Make sure you don’t miss the next in this series!
I’m hoping to get it out the same time next month insha’Allah. 

To make sure to don’t miss it, just Subscribe to my mailing list and you’ll be sent an email to let you know it’s out!

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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love.

Linked up to Homeschool Creations and The Hip Homeschool Hop

Teach ARABIC with PLAY DOUGH!

This post is sponsored by Desi Doll Company Ltd

Every child loves play dough! Make learning Arabic fun for
your kids by teaching through play….Teach Arabic with Play Dough!


Teach Arabic with play dough



Teaching Arabic to young children can be done in two ways:
through natural exposure to the language (conversations, story books, songs etc.) and
through play.

In my humble opinion, workbooks and written curriculum have limited
value in young children. Instead, for preschool and kindergarten children,
Arabic can be learnt through play.

Here are 5 ways to teach
Arabic with play dough
:

Letters

An obvious place to start is teaching your child the Arabic letters.
Teach Arabic with play dough
For these activities, it helps if you have a poster or book displaying Arabic letters nearby. We used a wooden puzzle to help the children visualise the letters.
The play dough can be moulded into the shapes of the letters:
Teach Arabic with play dough
Alternatively, you can now get play dough cutters in the shapes of the Arabic letters. This set by Desi Doll company was fantastic! 
The letters came out really clearly and my kids found them very easy to use. On top of that, the play dough smells like candy!
We began by doing a ‘Letter Hunt’ where all the cutters were placed in the middle, and I would call out a letter and the kids had to find it! 
“Find me the letter Raa!”
“Find me the letter Meem!”

Teach Arabic with play dough

Then we used the cutters themselves to make the individual letters of the Arabic alphabet.

Teach Arabic with play dough

The children were eager to write their names in the play dough… as well as all their friends!

Colours

Whilst the children are playing with the play dough it is very easy to casually teach the colours as you go along. 
What colour is this?” 
“Shall we make it in Burtaqali (Orange) next time?” 
“Where is Azraq (Blue)?”
Teach Arabic with play dough


Numbers

Play dough makes a great manipulative, and it is easy to mould into counters.
We used simple ball shapes, but you could use any shape/animal that appeals to your child.
We used these counters to count to  ten in Arabic and then ask:

“How many balls are there altogether?”
“How many ball are Asfar (Yellow)?” etc.
Teach Arabic with play dough


Shapes

Using the shape cutters and knives in our play dough kit, we were able to make a variety of shapes to to help the kids learn their names in Arabic.
Teach Arabic with play dough

Teach Arabic with play dough


Spell out Vocabulary

This activity was by far the most successful of all! 
We used the letter cutters to spell out new vocabulary words; such as the parts of the face and body, food, animals etc. My five-year old really enjoyed spelling out the names of the Prophets (Peace be upon them).
  
Combining the sensory experience and manipulation of the play dough, with a purposeful spelling exercise, seemed to massively improve their memorisation of new words. This technique would be particularly effective for children who are tactile learners. 
Teach Arabic with play dough
On top of that, it was so much fun! The children get so excited when I bring this play dough set out!

Play dough is also a great way to increase hand strength in preschool children, and improve their fine motor and bilateral coordination skills; so they will be ready to learn to write in the coming school years. 
If you are interested in buying the play dough set we used, visit DESI DOLL COMPANY for more information.

Teach Arabic with play dough


How have you used play to teach the Arabic language?
What games or toys have you found useful?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below 🙂



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In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love.

Preschool Activity: Popcorn Construction Site!

In our homeschool, I am always trying to find a way to keep my preschooler entertained while I teach his elder brother. This preschool activity worked amazingly! It entertained my three year-old for almost two hours. He had a lot of fun and we got some homeschooling done!

Preschool Activity Popcorn Construction Site

[I know technically its not popcorn, but that sounds a lot better than ‘un-popped corn construction site’!]

This activity is brilliant for encouraging imaginative play. It also works you child’s fine motor skills and is a fabulous sensory experience!

It’s not hard to set up. Just empty a bag of un-cooked corn (rice or lentils would work well too) into a shallow wide tray and add some construction vehicles!

Preschool Activity Popcorn Construction Site

Preschool Activity Popcorn Construction Site
Preschool Activity Popcorn Construction Site

Preschool Activity Popcorn Construction Site
Please give it try and let me know in the comments how you get on. What other activities do you do with your preschooler whilst your elder children study? I’d love to get some new ideas. 🙂
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Thank you so much for stopping by!

Please remember us in your duaas.


Peace and Love.

Sewing For 5 year-olds

Bee and Ladybird Sewing Craft

This week in Our Muslim Homeschool the boys have been learning to sew.They sewed these cute bee and ladybird toys. It was really easy and so much fun. Keep reading to see how they did it!

Sewing for kids
Ever since my 5-year-old learnt that Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) used to repair his own clothes, my son has wanted to sew! 
I found these Sewing Craft Kits, made by Baker Ross, and the boys were so excited to get started!
Contents of sewing kit
Image from Amazon.co.uk
It included all the materials you needed to make both the ladybird and the bee including:
– Coloured felt 
– Wool
– Needle
– Felt stickers
– Toy stuffing
– Instructions
Contents of children's sewing kit

The manufacturers recommend this kit for ages 5+, but you know if you child is capable or not. Use your own judgement. My 3-year-old surprised everyone by doing the bee almost entirely by himself….he’s a natural! mashAllah.

Sewing together the felt circles
Sewing together the felt circles
Stuffing his toy ladybird
Stuffing!
Applying felt stickers
Adding the felt stickers

This kit was PERFECT for little ones. The pre-punched holes made it easy to thread the needle through, the large plastic needle was safe, and the final product was SO CUTE!

My natural!
Sewing for 5 year olds
Sewing for 5 year olds

If you wanted to, you could easily recreate this kit yourself, and purchase everything from your local craft shop. 

If you would like to purchase this Children Sewing Kit just click HERE


Have you taught your children to sew? What sewing projects did you do together? Please share with us all in the comments below. 

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Peace and Love.

Kindergarten Islamic Studies Curriculum

In our Muslim homeschool we use many different resources to create our Kindergarten Islamic studies curriculum.

In my humble opinion, Islam should not be taught to young children as an academic subject, with workbooks and heavy texts. Instead it should be learnt naturally and organically by children from watching their parents and peers throughout their daily lives.

Kindergarten Islamic Studies Curriculum

Learning about Islam should lead to it becoming a natural part of your child’s being and a part of who they are. This cannot be achieved from books and academic exercises, but from good company and righteous parents who set a good example.

That being said, I have listed some materials we use to direct our learning and spark conversations.

1. I Love Islam by Noor Art

This curriculum can be purchased from Noorart. We set aside time to read one chapter a week from this book. We are using Book 1 with our Kindergartner, which is aimed at children aged 5-6. There are five more books in this series covering ages 4-9.

Kindergarten Islamic Studies Curriculum

This book is divided into five units introducing the Muslim child to:
– Basic beliefs (Aqeedah)
– The Life of Prophet Muhammad pbuh (Seerah)
– The Five Pillars of Islam
– The Muslim World
– Prophetic Manners

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Contents Pages: 

I Love Islam Contents Page
I Love Islam Contents Page
I Love Islam Contents Page

This book also comes with a CD, with nasheeds and stories to go along with each chapter. There are also workbooks available at NoorArt that can be used with this book, although we have not tried these ourselves.

A Look Inside:

A look inside I Love IslamA look inside I Love Islam
A look inside I Love Islam

I Love Islam also introduces children to the Ninety-Nine names of Allah. We have been supplementing these lessons with lots of Arts and Crafts:
Al-Khaliq
Al-Malik


2. My First Quran Story Book

As part of our morning routine, w read a story from My First Quran Story Book
every day. This book is a collection of Quranic stories and is aimed at children aged 3-9 years-old.

 3. Memorisation of Quran

As our boys are still young, we don’t teach memorisation of Quran yet, but rather focus our efforts on instilling a love for the Quran. However we do expose the children to Quran as much as we can through Audio CD
, listening to us recite, and Youtube videos:

There is also a fantastic series of books, The Mini Tafseer Series from Ad-Duha institute that introduce tafseer (explanation) of Juz ‘Amma to children. They are based on the teaching of Ibn Kathir and are really excellent. I have personally learnt a lot from them myself. They’re written for children to understand and enjoy.These can also be purchased from NoorArt.


4. Homeschool Co-op

We are fortunate in my community to have a number of other Muslim families who home-educate their children. Our children all come together once or twice a week to learn about Islamic topics in a relaxed and fun environment.

So this is how we ‘teach’ Islamic studies in our Muslim homeschool for my Kindergartener.

If you have any resources that you use with your children, please let me know in the comments. It’s always interesting to see what other Muslim families are using to teach Islam in their homes.
Also if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will answer them as best I can insha’Allah

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Peace and Love.

Shark Craft for Kindergarten and Preschool

A quick an easy craft here for your Preschool and Kindergarten kids. My son has been reading about sharks this week in our Muslim Homeschool…So we decided to make our own shark art-work. 
Its easy enough for young children to do, and the results are very cute!

Materials Needed

– Paper Plates (3 per shark)
– White Paper
– Black Poster Paint
– Crayons
– Scissors
– Glue Stick
– Paint brushes

Step-by-step Instructions

1. Paint two plates with the black paint and allow to dry.

2. Cut the remaining white plate in half and glue it to the bottom half of the painted plate.
3. Cut two eyes and a mouth from the white paper, and use your crayons to add details (teeth, pupils etc.)
4. Glue the eyes and mouth into place.
5. From the remaining black plate, cut out three fins and glue them onto your shark as shown in the picture below.

Please give this craft a try and let me know how you get on in the comments below, or post your photos online and tag me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook. I’d love to see how your sharks turn out!
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For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Please remember us in your duaas.


Peace and Love.

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