I am so excited to share Our Muslim Homeschool Curriculum choices for 2016-2017.
In the U.K. my sons would be in Reception (Kindergarten) and Year 2 (1st Grade), at ages 4 and 6 years old.
We follow an eclectic approach, drawing heavily from the Classical approach and the Charlotte Mason method.
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Please WATCH THIS VIDEO to see what books and resources we are using this year in our homeschool. If you want more information, or would like to buy anything for your family, I have given links in this blog post for almost everything that is mentioned!
I hope you enjoy the video and find benefit in it!
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.
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.
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.
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
This book also comes with a CD, with nasheeds and stories to go along with each chapter. There are also workbooks available at NoorArtthat can be used with this book, although we have not tried these ourselves.
A Look Inside:
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:
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 fromNoorArt.
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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This week in our Muslim homeschool we have been looking at the story ofProphet Ibrahim (AS).
In my humble opinion, I find children retain these Islamic stories better if they are followed up with a hands-on activity. This craft is very quick and easy, and will help your children to remember what they have heard.
The story I related can be found in the Quran [6:75-80]. We began by reading a simplified version of this story from theI Love Islam Series: Book 1.
The story tells us how Ibrahim (AS) asked his people if they believed a star was God, but when the star disappeared in the morning he said, “See! That star is not Allah. Allah would never go away!“
Then he asked his people is the moon was Allah, but when morning came he said, “The moon cannot be Allah, because Allah would never go away.”
Finally he asked them is the sun was God, but inevitably the sun set and so the sun too could not be Allah. Allah always exists. He never sets and never goes away!
Learning to read is one of the most important skills our children will ever learn, yet as parents, most of us have no idea how to begin!
Keep reading and I will walk you through the 3 simple steps and show you how to teach your 4 year old to read!
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This article is written from my own experience. By the age of 4, my son was reading fluently. Now at 5 years-old, he can pick up almost any book, read it and enjoy it. At the moment he’s especially keen on our encyclopedia!
And that’s what it’s all about for me; opening up the world of books to them whenever they’re ready.
Whether you home educate, or your children go to school, these simple steps will help you to teach your 4 year old to read. insha’Allah.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all children are developmentally ready to read at 4 years-old. PLEASE PLEASE don’t force a child who is not ready!!! It will do more harm than good!
However, if you’re child is ready and eager to learn to read, this article will show you how I did it, so you can ‘Teach YOUR Four year old to Read In 3 Easy Steps.’
1. Develop their Love of Books and Stories
If a child love books, the he will love to read. If he loves to read, he will love to learn. Insha’Allah.
This is by far the most important factor in teaching your child to read and if you take nothing else away from this article please take this…
A child who is self-motivated will learn to read, and learn any other skill that they want to learn, much quicker and more easily than a child who is not self-motivated.
If you have to force your child to read, it will be much harder for both of you, take longer, and may even cause your child to dislike reading altogether.
So how can you encourage this self motivation?
There are several ways that you can nurture a passion for reading in your children.
– Read to your 4 year old
Set aside time everyday to regularly read aloud to your children. Make that time special for them. Cuddle up under a blanket by the fire, drink hot chocolate or just let her sit on your lap. She should look forward to that time with you. Make it magical. Give her your undivided attention, full of your love and affection, and read her incredible stories that will feed her imagination.
– Surround them with books
Fill your home with as many books as you can afford. There should be a small collection of books in every room for your children freely to look at.
If you have space, you may even make a little ‘reading nook’ for your home, a specially designated space, used only for reading and enjoying books.
However you decide to implement this principle, it will teach your child to give importance to books, and thereby give importance to learning and seeking knowledge.
– Take a regular field trips
Trips to libraries and other places of knowledge can show your kids that your family’s passion for reading is not in isolation, but there are many like minded people who share your enthusiasm. When they see other children excited by books, they will join in!
STEP 2: Turn Off the TV
If your television is on all day, the books will most likely be left on the shelves. Not only is TV highly addictive for small children, becoming a bad habit that is hard to break, but it will also teach them that the TV is important; and more worryingly, that what the TV says is important!
There are many benefits to turning off the TV, but the most relevant to this article is that it WILL cause your children to read more. I have seen it in my own home. With no other distractions, children will pick up the books you have put in each room and read for fun.
My children do have restricted daily screen-time, but I work hard to make sure that the TV and other devices are off for most of the day.
So, even if you can’t remove the television completely, try to at least restrict how much TV they watch. Limit the hours that the television is put on, and keep it off the rest of the time.
STEP 3: Buy the right books!
If you feel your child is ready to start learning to read (often referred to as Reading Readiness) you will need to invest/borrow some books to help you to begin.
A primer teaches the rules of reading, beginning with the phonetic sounds of each letter. It then progressing to blending, through to difficult multi-syllabic words.
By the time your child finishes one of these primers, you can be completely confident that they can tackle any other book out there. Although the books above are printed in the U.S. they are suitable for children in the U.K.
Once your child has learnt the sounds of the letters, they can also begin reading short books called ‘Easy Readers’, whilst continuing the later lessons in the primer.
Having progressed through one of these box sets you can move onto more challenging readers. There are many sets and curriculum available that you can follow if you wish.
My advice would be to choose books according to your child’s interests rather than following a rigid curriculum.
Whether its fairies, cars, horses or monsters, there are a multitude of easy readers available to buy online and borrow from the library.
Do not worry that you are not completing every book in the series, or reading them in the correct order, because if you are working through a primer, then your child will not miss any of the ‘rules’ they need to know.
What is more important at this stage is that they continue to love reading and books, and the act of reading does not become a chore to them.
After the ‘Easy Reader’ stage they can read anything they want to, with some guidance from Mum!
Lanterns are an festive way to decorate your home during Ramadan and to prepare your home for Eid. They are very easy to make and something that even the youngest children can help with.
A4 foil card
PVA glue (optional)
How to make it
1. Turn the foil card horizontally, and cut a strip 1/2″ from the end.
2. Using a pencil, lightly draw a line 1″ from on the top and another 1″ from the bottom of the card.
3. Take the larger piece of card, turn it vertically, and fold it in half.
4. Then cut into the card, starting at the folded edge, all the way up to the pencil line. You will need to make between 12-14 cuts, each about 1/2″ apart.
5. Now its the fun part! Unfold your card and decorate. We used sequins and glue. If your children are younger you could use stickers.
6. Once the glue has dried, hold the card horizontally in your hands and curve it round. Holding the edges of the card together, use your stapler to secure it. Then take the small strip of card you cut off in step 1, and staple this to the top of the lantern to act as a handle.
7. Push down a little on the top of the lantern to make it ‘fan’ out.
You lantern is now ready to hang and decorate your home for Eid and Ramadan.
I would love to see photos of the lanterns you make with your children. Please share them with me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
This homeschooling activity was inspired by the book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. This preschool activity helps with letter recognition, putting the letters in the correct order, sequencing, as well as letting the lil’ ones be creative and have some fun.
How to Make An Alphabet Caterpillar
Begin by having you child draw around a circular object, like a cup, to create at least 27 circles. We used lots of different coloured paper, to make it more interesting.
Tracing around a cup
Then either cut the circles out yourself, or let him/her have a go. In my case I did most of the cutting myself as Dino-boy is still a little young.
Next ask you child you put glue the circles down in a particular order (Blue, green, red, blue, green, red etc.). I was amazed at how excited Dino-boy got by this exercise. It was wonderful to see.
Gluing the circles in a sequence
Adding the eyes
Then draw on /stick on the eyes. We had some foam eyes left over from another craft pack, so we used them. It gave our caterpillar a rather menacing look!
Then I asked Dino-boy to stick some alphabet stickers onto the caterpillar’s body, in order. In hindsight, it may have worked better if the stickers were stick on first, before each circle was glued down. However, both achieve the same learning outcome. If you child is older, you cold have them write out the letters on each circle.
Sticking on the letters…
Next, we drew on the legs. Technically a caterpillar has only 6 legs, so I guess ours is more like a millipede!
Draw on the legs…
Our Very Hungry MILLIPEDE!
Then we added some grass and a sun, and got a bit creative!
Teaching the Arabic alphabet to kids in the West is often done after the English alphabet, as a second language. Despite this, there are so many way we have found to make learning Arabic fun and enjoyable for your preschool kids.
Below I have listed my favorite resources and activities to help kids learn the Arabic alphabet and have fun doing it.
These recommendations are primarily for young children (under 4s) but could be used for any child new to the language.
This blogpost includes affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.
As I was beginning to discover the Montessori method of education and browsing through the plethora of information online, I stumbled across a great website, ‘Noor Janan Homeschool’. In amongst her free printables, I found these lovely Arabic Letter Cards. After printing and laminating them, we have used them a multitude of ways. I ask Dino boy to name the letter, or to pair with matching letter, put them in order or we play a memory game with them.
Learn Arabic with Playdough
On the same website (Noor Janan Homeschool) there are Arabic playdough cards, where you mould the playdough into the shape of the letter on the card. Dino boy was not interested in these, so after laminating them, we now use them as colouring in sheets, and simply wipe clean after.
As he is colouring in, we talk about the letter, its sound, words that begin with this letter or what its shape reminds us of.
Tell your kids a story
I came across this method on Youtube on thesafida34 channel where you tell a story with the letter. For example with Ba, Ta and Tha: “Ba, Ta and Tha are three boats. One sunny day, they decided to go out on the seas and catch some fish. Ba was not a very good fishing boat, and he left his fish in the water (Where the fish are representing the dots on the letters). Ta did very well mashAllah and caught two fish and Tha, who had the longest fishing rod (sticking your tongue out to make the sound of the letter) caught three fish.”
4. Arabic Alphabet Puzzles for kids
We have been fortunate to receive a few puzzles, wooden and card, of the Arabic letters. These are available from amazon and many Islamic bookstores.
I use these when I want to kids to do some Arabic, but they are not in the mood for anything ‘heavy.’
5. Online Resources for kids
This websiteIslamic Playground is a recent discovery of mine. Although I do try to limit screen time for my kids, there are occasions when they deserve a treat! There are two lovely games on this site – Drag and match game where the player has to match the letters and as they do it the letters sound is played. – A journey through the Arabic alphabet. The player has to walk along the letter and as they reach an obstacle on the path they will be asked an ‘Islamic’ question to get past. Although this one does require mum or dad’s help, it is well worth it.
6. Painting Activities
Sometimes the simplest things work the best! Either write out the letters yourself, or ask you child to, and then paint them . Simple but it holds their concentration!
7. Arabic Alphabet Workbook
The website rahmahmuslimhomeschool has a wonderful FREE workbook for ages 3+ to help your child recognise and begin writing the letters. My son LOVES this. I’ve put it in a ‘grown-up’ folder for him which only adds to his excitement!
8. Learn Arabic with Youtube Videos
There are many songs and videos on Youtube to help you child become more familiar with the sounds and shapes of the letters. These are our favourites: