Reviews

Understood Betsy | Book Review

Understood Betsy Book Review

This book had me crying at almost every chapter!

We have just finished listening to “Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield through our Audible subscription; and it is undoubtedly one of my favorite children’s books EVER! It makes a wonderful family read-aloud and is a part of our Charlotte Mason homeschool curriculum.

This blog post contains affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

Understood Betsy Book Review

Understood Betsy Review

“Understood Betsy” is the story of a nervous orphaned girl who is forced to move from her comfortable life in the city, to live on a farm with relatives she has never met.
It deals with some difficult topics, like death, illness, abuse, poverty, in a gentle and sensitive way that will not upset young children. This book has sparked so many worthwhile conversations with my kids as we listened to it in the car.

As we went on this journey with Betsy, I was taught so much about what being a good parent means, and how to let go of control and trust in your children. It taught us the different ways to show love within a family and how to have integrity and good character in tough times…and so much more!

I don’t usually cry in movies or from books, but I cried almost every time we listened to this one..much to the amusement of my boys!

Truly a sign of great children’s book is that it can be enjoyed by adults, as well you children.

Use Audible in your Homeschool

We listened to this amazing work of Children’s literature as an Audiobook on Audible. If you sign up to their 30 day Free-Trial, you can get your first book for FREE; and you can even cancel the trial anytime!

We love using Audiobooks  in our homeschool, especially when we are driving the kids around to all their activities. It’s a fantastic way to make the most of our time in the car and learn on the go!

However, for those of your who would prefer the actual book, this is it!

“Understood Betsy” by Dorothy Canfield is suitable:
As a read-aloud – for children aged 6-12
For independent readers – for ages 9-12.

Seriously, I love this book.  I will be listening to it, and re-reading it in my own time insha’Allah. It is a classic that I hope you will consider for your family.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

Supplemental Homeschool Science Curriculum

homeschool science curriculum

Teaching science in your homeschool can be difficult without the right curriculum. You have to consider your child’s learning style, find ways in incorporate hands-on learning, coding, technology, and all within your budget!

Despite these difficulties, my kids love science and so I have been looking for ways to include more supplemental science into our homeschool curriculum without adding to much to my own workload!

We follow the Charlotte Mason philosophy in our homeschool, and so I was looking for something to supplement our existing curriculum.

I’m excited to share what I found!

homeschool science curriculum supplemental

This post is sponsored by Homeschool Buyers Co-op who compensated me for my time. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own, please see my Disclaimer for details.

Where can I find Science Homeschool Curriculum?

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op has an award-winning selection of science and technology products, including core science curriculum and supplements, coding and programming courses, hands-on experimentation, and more.

They offer Science & Technology curricula with savings up to 95%! Isn’t that incredible?!

homeschool science curriculum

Hands-on Experiments At Home!

Doing hands-on experiments at home can be a challenge for even to most seasoned homeschooler, especially as your children get older.

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op has an impressive range of science curricula specifically for hands-on learning!

I can’t tell you what a relief it was to me as a homeschooling mum to find these resources!

 

What about Technology and Coding?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember much about technology frim school, and I’m still not sure I know what coding is! Thank goodness there are homeschool curricula available to teach this for me.

The Homeschool Buyers Co-op offer a range of technology and coding curricula to chose from, all with significant savings too.

Online Homeschool Curriculum

If you’re like me and live outside the U.S. it can sometimes be frustrating to find homeschool curriculum. The great thing about Homeschool Buyers Co-op is that many of the curricula that they offer are online, so you don’t need to pay for International shipping!

Even if you do live in the U.S., an online Science curriculum is a great way to save money without compromising your child’s education.

homeschool science curriculum

So, if like me, you have been worried about how to teach Science in your homeschool, I would encourage to visit the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and see the choices they have on offer.

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

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

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

 

| 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

January Homeschool Favourites

It’s time to find out what we’ve been enjoying in Our Muslim Homeschool this month!

Welcome back friends! This month I’m excited to share a lot a wonderful books and educational resources that we’ve discovered!

 

January Our Muslim Homeschool favourites

There is also a GIVEAWAY this month. If you’d like to enter ,scroll down to the bottom of this post and enter via the Rafflecopter widget.

Dont forget to watch the accompanying YouTube video, to get a closer look at all the products mentioned in this blogpost.


WATCH THIS VIDEO:


January Homeschool Favourites

Life of Fred Math

I know what you’re thinking …”Not another Maths curriculum Gemma?!?!”
LOL!….I can’t help myself!

In the homeschooling circles, I have been hearing about Life of Fred Math for a long time. It is well known within homeschooling circles as an unconventional method of approaching maths. Life of Fred Math teaches maths in a narrative form, with humorous story line and a distinct lack of practice questions!

It is unlike any other maths book you’ve ever seen!

I’m not sure what it was that finally prompted me to order it, but I’m so glad that I did!

My son absolutely loves. When ask him, “What maths book shall we do today?” he always says, “Life of Fred!”

 

Life of fred homeschool math review

Despite a minimal amount of practice questions and worksheets, the mathematical principles we are covering seem to be sticking in my son’s mind. He loves how each chapter incorporates lots of other interesting facts and information (not always Maths related) and how the maths is put into real-life context.

We have the levels “Apples”, “Jelly-Beans” and “Icecream.” To decide which book is best for your child, visit the Life of Fred website.


If you would like to see inside the books, please
WATCH THIS VIDEO!

For more information about Life of Fred Math, you can visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

Life of Fred can be difficult to find in the UK. I purchased mine from Conquest Books. They are the largest supplier of Homeschool curriculum in the UK, and have loads of other useful curriculum for homeschoolers. To visit there website CLICK HERE.

If you are based in USA, Life of Fred is widely available from most homeschool stores including:
– Life of Fred Website
– Educents
– Amazon

Islamic Behaviour Chart

We have been using this sticker chart from MuslimStickers.com to establish a good morning routine with the children. My family have been using the Islamic Behaviour Chart for 4 weeks now, and the change in my kid’s behaviour in the morning has been phenomenal! No more sluggish and sleepy boys!

No, they’re ready long before I am!
Muslim Islamic behaviour chart homeschool

Having a good morning routine is so important, even as adults, to having a productive day. I have seen that when we are slow to start school in the morning, we never get as much done and the children are less enthusiastic.This reward system has helped us all get ready for the day and begin school by 9am insha’Allah.

Muslim Islamic behaviour chart homeschool
You could use this sticker chart in so many ways! When you recieve it, it is almost completely blank and you can customise it as you wish.
For MORE INFORMATION about the Islamic Behaviour Chart, and see what is included in the pack,
watch the accompanying Youtube video,

Young Explorers Adventures in Mecca

Receiving this book was such a blessing to our home and to our family.
Young Explorers’ Adventures in Makkah is the story of a family’s trip to Mecca for Ummrah. In addition to talking about Hajj and Ummrah, the book also relates their travels around many of the historic sites in the area.
Young explorers adventures in Mecca
Many of you are aware, that the authorities in Saudi are slowly demolishing and covering up sites of Islamic historical significance. Whatever their reasons, there is a risk that knowledge of these places with be lost from the general public.
This wonderful book, shows you where many of these sites can be found. It locates the house of Khadijah (ra) and what it looked like inside. It tells you about the birth place of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and where it can be found. More than half of the book is dedicated to sites around Mecca that hold an importance with the Seerah and our Islamic heritage.
Young explorers adventures in Mecca
Often, when you come across a book about Hajj and Ummrah it will fall into one of two categories. Either it will be very factual, listing what is fard and sunnah etc., but may be a little “dry”. Alternatively, you may find a story book which, although it is very pleasant to read, it provides little information to teach the children from.
This book falls somewhere between the two. Children are captivated by the emotive story-line that runs thoroughout, whilst also learning from the wealth of information it offers about the pilgrimages and the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (saw).

 

If you are interested in purchasing this book for your family, it is available from Amazon (USA) Amazon (UK) and Wordery.com

For more information, visit their website: Islamopedia.co.uk

I’m so Angry

This is the story of a young boy named Huthayfah, who gets angry with his mother. This touching story draws on the Prophetic advice for the best way to deal with anger.

It is well written and the illustrations are colourful with faceless characters.

 

I'm so angry Sarah Javed Homeschool

If you have a child who struggles to control his or her anger, this book may help you and you child to find ways to cope.

The author, Sarah Javed, is a fellow homeschooler from the U.K. She shares her snippets of her homeschooling life on her Instagram account.

I’m so angry is available from Amazon (USA) and Amazon (UK).

 

Tiny Twinkle Products

Now for something a little different!

I have been aware for sometime that mainstream bath products contain potentially harmful ingredients. Using natural and/or organic products on my children puts my mind at ease.

What a delight it was to be introduced to Tiny Twinkle Products on Instagram who produce Organic, Natural and HALAL bath products for children.

 

Tiny twinkle organic natural halal bath products kids

The products contain only natural ingredients, and  gentle on my children’s skin. They are all labelled with the “halal” sign, and (very importantly…) they smell incredible!!!

The products in their range retail between £7.50-£18.

The business is run by a Ruhana, a primary school teacher and new mum. When I asked her to tell me a little about herself and why she started her business, she said:

“About a year ago I found out I was pregnant. This was a happy and overwhelming experience as I would become a mother for the first time. 
During my pregnancy I started making a list of what I’d need to get for my new arrival. I asked other mothers about their recommendations. I then heard about Johnsons baby products having cancer related chemicals and thought I don’t want to put chemical based products on my baby. So I started researching. 
I first made my own nappy balm with all natural organic ingredients. After my daughter was born I started using this on her, and noticed that she got no nappy rash at all. 
My husband was also impressed and told me to start a business selling organic baby products. Some friends and family had asked about these products as there was a gap in the market for purely organic halal baby products, so I started creating my own brand called ‘Tiny Twinkle’. 
Alhamdulillah, since starting, the response has been amazing.

If you are looking a range of halal, natural bath products for kids, I would recommend Tiny Twinkle.

For more information about their range, and to place an order, visit them on Instagram and Facebook.

GIVEAWAY

It’s Giveway time!!!

 

Muslim Homeschool Giveaway

 

This January I am so happy to be able to share SIX of my favourites with one of you! It’s MASSIVE!!!
I will be giving away:
– I’m So Angry by Sarah Javed – (RRP: £5.99)
– Young Adventure in Makkah – (RRP: £10.05)
1 Islamic Behaviour Chart – (RRP: 4.99)
3 Products from Tiny Twinkle (including the Nappy Balm, Mild Shampoo and Whipped Lotion) – (RRP: £29.50)
The January 2017 Favourites Giveaway will run from Friday 27th January at 12AM, until Friday 3rd February at 12AM GMT.
The giveaway is open Internationally.
All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.
Please aware that if entering from overseas, you may be liable to pay customs tax (or the equivalent), so please check beforehand.
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.

I hope you found it useful to see what we’ve been enjoying in our homeschool this month.I’d love to know what your family has been using this January 🙂

Please share in the comments section below insha’Allah.

Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.

For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love xx

You might also like:

Muslim homeschool favourites

 

Homeschool Favourites | December 2016

Ok, I know it’s January…I’m a little late!

December was so much fun! We’ve had a blast in out homeschool using these books and educational products. I am so excited to share them with you.

There are a few more than usual, but I didn’t want to miss anything out!

Muslim Homeschool Monthly favourites

We are taking a short break for the next few weeks, to give ourselves time to “refuel” and get ready for the term to come.

I am really happy with the way our homeschooling has been going. Alhumdullilah!

With the exception of Maths (I’ll talk about that later), we are loving all of our curriculum. The kids really enjoy “school time” and we are excited to start homeschooling again soon!

Homeschool Favourites | December 2016

To take a closer look at the products, and see inside the books  I mention in this blog post, 

WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!

Myriad Toys

I am in love with this online store!!!
Myriad sell natural toys and crafts, as well as home decor and more! They stock lots of beautiful wooden toys and toys made from natural materials. If you follow the Waldof method of home education, this would be a great shop for you. 
We do not follow the Waldorf methodology, but I still adore their toys and craft! 
We bought lots of things this time round, and I’ve already got my eyes on a few others bits!!!
myriad natural toys homeschool favourites
In our haul we purchased:
My sons were obsessed with these star weavers! For about two days all they wanted to do was make braids with these wooden stars!

Myriad toys homeschool favourites

These sweet wax crayons are lovely for my toddler’s little hands. She can easily grasp these to colour and draw, and we are also using them to teach her the colour names. 

myriad toys homeschool favourites

These beautiful pencils are highly pigmented and draw beautifully! They are triangular in shape so they are easy for my child to grasp. The only thing is, they don’t fit into out existing pencil sharpener, so I’ve had to purchase one separately (around £4) from Amazon.


Myriad toys homeschool favourites






These were a bit of a splurge, but I needed to get two new combs for the kids. These combs are beautifully made from beech wood, and look and work wonderfully.
Beeswax candles

I’ve never had beeswax candles and I was curious. I needed some to fit into some of my mother’s old candle sticks, and these tapered beeswax candles fitted perfectly! 

Write from the Start

This handwriting programme is fantastic! I have never seen anything like it!

write from the start homeschool favourites

Instead of pages and pages of copying out letters, this book contains a huge variety of exercises that improve you child’s fine motor and perceptual skills.

My 4 year-old son loves this book, and will often pull it out and start working on it independently!

The Boys Choice: Independent Reading

This month I decided to ask the boys directly, “What was your favourite thing we did in our homeschool this month?”

I thought they might suggest a field trip we went on, or maybe a craft activity…but they surprised me! They chose their independent readers! 
My youngest son (4) is reading through the “Biff, Chip and Kipper” books Level 1 from Oxford University Press. 

These are great for children who are just beginning to read. There a short stories filled with sight words and CVC (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant) words. He obviously is enjoying them!

biff chip and kipper review homeschool favourites


My elder son (6) chose his collection of Roald Dahl books

These books are fun and silly, and he loves them! I must warn you, they do not teach good character traits, and some may consider them bit rude; but they have given my son so much confidence in reading. He now goes off by himself to read for fun!

roald dahl review homeschool favourites


A Maths Journey

As I mentioned above, we have had some issues with Maths!
Previously, we had been using Saxon Math 3. I really appreciate this programme’s thorough and systematic approach to Maths. However, for my son, the slow pace and the repetition became very frustrating for him. So we decided to make a change!
Instead of using a complete curriculum, I have been piecing together my own Maths curriculum from various resources. These include:
and 

A Maths Journey


a maths journey review homeschool favourites


A Maths Journey if a collection of 4 books that uses real-life exampls to teach kids to understand topics such as geometry, statistics and algebra. They use a variety of pictograms, infographics, fun illustration and photographs to explain these core concepts. 
Titles in this collection include:

  • Wonders of the World
  • Extreme Sports
  • Deep Sea Adventure
  • Computer Games
These books are fantastic if you’re looking for something to stretch you child in their Maths ability, or if your child does not enjoy the usual math book format. These books are so different and I love them!

If you are in the U.K. this collection can be purchased at The Book People. 

Ali and Sumaya DVDs

At this time of year, Christmas is all over the T.V.! As a family who have chosen not to celebrate Christmas, it can be a very confusing time of the year for the kids. So the T.V. has been  andoff, we have been enjoying these two Ali and Sumaya DVDs: Let’s Pray & Let’s Read! 
Ali and Sumaya review homeschool favourites

The chidren love the nasheeds and the incredible animations. The children have learnt so much from these DVDs, even my little 2 year-old has started reciting parts of Surah Fatihah after watching these DVD mashAllah! 
I have previously written two reviews about these DVDs if you want to know more about them, click on the links below:

Ali and sumaya review homeschool favourites

If you are interested in purchasing your own DVDs, visit http://aliandsumaya.com/

Islamic Behaviour Chart


This Reward Chart from The Muslim Stickers Company has transformed our mornings! 
We were struggling to get the boys up and going in the mornings. Getting dressed, brushing teeth etc. was taking  forever. This meant we were not starting school until after 10am. 

This Islamic Behaviour chart has been a great way to motivate the children to get ready and reinforce a good morning routine. It’s working so well…too well! The kids are up and ready to start school before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee! 

Islamic behaviour chart homeschool favourites

It is highly customisable and can be used to motivate kids in lots of different ways; such as encouragement to do their homework, chores or improve behaviour.

The stickers are adorable with phrases like:
Super star MashAllah”, “I Love Allah” and “Splendid Subhanullah!
They’re so cute.

Islamic behaviour chart homeschool favourites

These Islamic stickers are great because, not only to they make the child proud of their achievement, but also help to make them proud to be a Muslim! Encouraging a positive self image and Muslim identity is becoming increasingly hard for children growing up in the West, and products like this make it a little easier.
This sticker chart, along with a wide variety of Islamic sticker products, stamps, sweets and toys, can be purchased from MuslimStickers.com

Life of Prophet Muhammad

If you are looking for a new children’s book about the Seerah of Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W.), get this one! 
Unfortunately, I have found some Islamic children’s books to lack depth and “heart”. This book,
“The Life of Prophet Muhammed” by Leila Azzam and Aisha Gouverneur, is the best Seerah book we have in our collection.

Seerah Leila Azzam review homeschool favourites

As I was reading it aloud to the children, the stories it told reminded me of the stories m teacher used to teach us. It is by far the most accurate Seerah book I have come across for children, as well as the most in depth. The illustrations are beautiful, although they are not faceless, and there is a beautiful family tree in the front of the Prophet’s family.
As I read this aloud, it moved the children and evoked feelings in them, like not other children’s Seerah book has. 

Seerah Leila Azzam review homeschool favourites

Seerah Leila Azzam review homeschool favourites

Since it goes into quite a lot of detail, I anticipate that this book will be enjoyed for many years to come. If you are reading aloud, this book is suitable for children aged 5-11, or 8+ for independent readers.


I hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been enjoying in our homeschool this month. 

Do you have any new discovers? What have you been loving in your home this month?
What is your favourite online store for children’s toys?
What is your favourite Seerah book for kids?


Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!


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See you next month insha’Allah!

In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love xx

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Advice to Ambitious Mothers: Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016

Can we have it all? 
Can we be devoted mothers, beloved wives
and have a career of our own? 
How do Muslim businesswomen manage to
juggle all their responsibilities?
It was an honour, to be invited to the Muslim Lifestyle Expo
2016
as an on of their Official Bloggers. I had planned to scour the MLE arena,
looking for innovative new toys or books that my readers would be interested
in. 

Advice to Ambitious Muslim Women: Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016

 

However, in addition to the incredible products I saw there, what moved me
the most, was speaking to the Muslim businesswomen. I was intrigued how they
managed to run a business, take care of their home, the needs of their husband
and children and themselves. I wanted to know, what motivated them when they
started the business and what keeps them going?
I met so many incredibly strong and ambitious Muslim women at the MLE, and
I want to share their story and the advice they gave me here.
To see my vlog of the Muslim Lifestyle Expo, and hear from these women yourselves,WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Advice to Ambitious Mothers: Muslim Lifestyle Expo

The organisers of the MLE announced that more than 60% of
exhibitors were women
. Many of these women had children and were running their
business from home.

 

 

Here are just a few of the inspiring women I met there:

Nazia Nasreen: Ibraheem Toy House

When I arrived, I knew exactly who I wanted to meet first;
Nazia Nasreen, the Founder and CEO of Ibraheem Toy House!
Ibraheem Toy House is
the U.K.’s first and largest online Islamic Toy Store.
Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016 : Ibraheem Toy House

 

Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016 : Ibraheem Toy House
Nazia began her business at home when her children were very
young. Having begun with only 4 products and a Facebook page, she now, only 2
years later, sells more than 200 products from her website, has international clientele,
and was recently featured in the Times, Business Quarterly, and the Guardian.
When I spoke to Nazia about what advice she would give
mothers, who want to start a business she said,
“Go for it! Don’t think that starting your own business
means that you wont be a good mum….You’re actually setting a really good
example for your children because you are showing them that you can get good
things in life by working hard.”
 
Muslim Lifestyle Expo: Ibraheem Toy House
 
 
Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016 : Ibraheem Toy House

 

Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016 : Ibraheem Toy House
 
To hear the rest of this interview, WATCH THE VIDEO!

Sabah Nazir: Islamic Moments

Sabah Nazir, the founder of Islamic Moments, began her business in 2004 selling mainstream greeting
cards; and then later venturing into Islamic products.

Her company, sells a range of
Islamic greeting cards, Eid and Ramadan décor, and stationary. They recently
launched a line of beautiful mugs for Muslim homes, and an Arab-inspired
fragrance collection.

 

Muslim Lifestyle Expo: Islamic Moments

 

Muslim Lifestyle Expo: Islamic Moments

 

Sabah’s advice to mums who want to start a business from
home was,
“Time-management is the key to everything! Be super, super organised…Believe
in Allah and insha’Allah things will be right.”
To hear more from Sabah, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

The Sweet Board

The wonderful thing about the MLE, is that you get
introduced to amazing products and services that you never knew existed!
Sister Saadia, managing director of The Sweet Board, runs her confectionery business from home.
She said,
“It has always been a hobby of mine to do party favours…and
now its expanded!
Her stand was so beautifuly presented mashAllah! To see it yourselfe and hear more from Saadia, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Zukreat Nazar – AOM Cosmetics

If you don’t know who Zukreat is…where have you been?!?!?
Zukreat Nazar, is the Founder and CEO of Artist of Makeup Cosmetics, and has a
Youtube following of more than 300K and Instagram following of more than 570K!
Muslim Lifestyle Expo: Zukreat Artist of Makeup

 

She was part of a panel of Muslim business women, talking about how they started their businesses, what their motivation was, and how they juggle their many responsibilities.
Zukreat said,
“ If you’re planning to have a business, have
good people around you to give you confidence….If you have a passion for
something, and you feel you’re good at it, just pursue it!”
For more advice from Zukreat, WATCH THIS VIDEO

Zanib Mian

– Author and Founding Director of Muslim Children’s
Books and Sweet Apple Publishers

I met Zanib Mian on the Ibraheem Toy House stand, where she came to do a book signing and read from her book “Migo and Ali”.
What
struck me most about Zanib, were her manners mashAllah. She is so polite and
humble, despite her many achievements, and is very approachable and easy to talk to.
Muslim Lifestyle Expo Zanib Mian
Sweet Apple Publishers was set up in 2004 to truly represent
the world we live in with diverse characters taking the main roles in their books.
Her second publishing house, Muslim Children’s Books, publishes books with the
aim to inspire a love of Allah in young children’s hearts, through vibrant
illustrations, quirky wording and a sprinkling of humour!
Zanib Mian - Muslim Lifestyle Expo
Coming away from the event, I felt almost euphoric! It was
as if my eyes had been opened to so many possibilities!
Perhaps it is possible
for a mother to pursue her dreams and ambitions, and still manage all her other
responsibilities. Perhaps it’s not just those untouchable “superwomen” who can
do it…maybe I could do it…maybe you could too!
I have heard many people speak about business in a negative
light; it is just chasing the dunya (the temporal world), and it is for people who are only
interested in money.
However what motivated the inspiring women I met couldn’t
have been further from that! Their motivation was not amassing money (although that
was a perk!), but rather it was to make a positive impact on the world, and help
people in someway.
Ultimately, these lofty intentions have turned running their businesses
into a form of worship. May Allah accept their efforts and reward their
intentions.
Our Muslim Homeschool - Muslim Lifestyle Expo
I cannot wait for the next Muslim Lifestyle Show! The atmosphere was amazing, and we all left the event feeling positive and proud to be Muslim! I hope I’ll see you all at the next event 🙂
What do you think about mother’s running a business? 
Do you think women can
juggle it all, or is it an unnecessary pressure that modern women put upon
themselves? 
Are you a stay-at-home mum who works from home? How to manage
everything?
Or are you choosing to wait until your children are older before you begin?
Lets have a discussion in the comments below! (Keep it
polite please! )
Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.
For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love xx

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Homeschool Curriculum Choices: Kindergarten & 1st Grade

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).
We follow an eclectic approach, drawing heavily from the Classical approach and the Charlotte Mason method.
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!

Introduction

Well-Trained Mind:
Home Learning Year by Year:
For the Children’s Sake:
Charlotte Mason Companion:
Pocketful of Pinecones:

KINDERGARTEN

MCP Phonics:
MCP Maths:

FIRST GRADE

MATHS

Saxon Math 3:
Rays Arithmetic:
Problem Solving:
Maths for the Gifted Student:
Kumon Multiplication:

LITERACY

Well-Trained Mind:
First Language Lessons:
Spelling Workout B:
Spelling Workout C:
Read Me Out Loud:
A Child’s Garden of Verses:
Montmorency’s Book of Rhymes:
Winnie the Pooh:
Carol Vonderman Handwriting:
The Content of Character:
The Black Ships before Troy:
Bambi:
Charlotte’s Web:
A Bear Called Paddington:
Just So Stories:
Hardy Boys:
The Happy Prince:
The Wind in the Willows:
Jungle Book:
Raggedy Anne:
Winnie the Pooh:
Audible FREE TRIAL:
http://amzn.to/2bO0BVz
(UK) 

Audible FREE TRIAL:
http://amzn.to/2bO11Lq (USA)

Magic Treehouse:
Tutankhamun:
Time Warp Trio:
The Odyssey:
Stories from Ancient Eygpt:
The Trojan Horse:
The Greek News:
Croco’Nile:
Magic School Bus:
MTH: Leonardo Da Vinci:
Usborne: Leonado Da Vinci:
Laurence Anholt Books:
The World of Peter Rabbit:
My First Story Writing Book:

HISTORY

The Story of the World:
The Story of the World Activity Book:
Usborne Ancient Egypt Sticker Book:
Egyptian Painting Kit:
Egyptian Mummy Kit:
Book of Centuries:
Book of Centuries Cover Page:

SCIENCE

What’s smaller than a pygmy shrew?:
Switch on, Switch off:
What makes a Magnet?:
What is the World Made of?:
Germs make me sick:
Usborne Science Encyclopaedia:
DK Science Encyclopaedia:
Berenstain Bears:
See inside your body:
Everybody has a Body:
Magnetic Science Kit:
Usborne Spotter’s Guide:
Usborne Beginner Series:
Looking at Nature:
Burgess Bird Book:
A Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady:
Handbook of Nature Study:
British Birds Handbook:
Food for Free:
First Book of the Seashore:
Little Book of Outside in all Weather:

ART

Famous Paintings Cards:
Children’s Book of Art:
Lives of the Great Artists:
Start Exploring Masterpieces:
Famous Artists:
Children’s Book of Art:
Heinmann First Library:
Easy Carpentry Projects:
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you found this blog post useful and got some ideas for your family.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment below.
Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.
For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love xx
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How we Teach the 99 Names of Allah

This blog-post was written in partnership with Al Maurid Books. Although I was compensated for my time, and given a review copy of the book, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Teaching the 99 Names of Allah can be challenging for any Muslim parent. In our Muslim homeschool, we use a variety of creative and hands-on activities to help our children remember the names of Allah.

 

How to Teach the 99 names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

 

Teach the 99 Names of Allah

I believe that learning the names of Allah does not need to be rushed. By taking our time, we allow the names of Allah to impact on their hearts, thereby helping to nurture a deeper and stronger connection to the Divine insha’Allah.

Each activity below is designed to help children understand the 99 names of Allah. The names themselves can seem complicated and somewhat abstract to young children. By associating the Divine name with an activity or craft, we show the children a more concrete representation of that name, creating a connection that will help with memorisation, as well as their understanding.

And besides….it’s so much more fun this way!!!

To watch a Youtube Video about all the activities we have been doing,
CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW!

 

Why Learn the 99 Names of Allah?

Learning the names of Allah (swt) is a great way to help children to understand the nature of Allah and create a love for the divine in their hearts insha’Allah.It has been narrated Abu Huraira that the Prophet (SAW) said,

“Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.”

Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 50 Hadith 894

 

How We Teach the 99 Names of Allah

Allah

The first place we began is with the name “Allah.”Using a FREE TEMPLATE of the name, we filled in the letters with sequins and buttons to make a beautiful calligraphy to hang-up on our wall. For more information on this craft CLICK HERE

Alternatively, you could use glitter, tissue paper or even make a collage from old magazines or newspapers.

Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool
Teach the 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

Al-Khaliq

Al-Khaliq can be translated as “The Creator”.
For this name, I felt the best way to teach the children about how Allah creates, is to witness His creation.
So we went outdoors; to the park, to the woods, and just around our own garden, and spent some time talking together about what Allah had created. We talked about how He created everything from nothing, with no help.
This concept is something that even the youngest of children can understand. Allah made the clouds, Allah made the sun, Allah made the birds etc.
I asked the children to collect things from our nature walk. We came home with so many twigs, leaves and flowers!
Once we got home, we made a poster using a FREE Colouring Page of the name Al-Khaliq.
Around the name we stuck all the beautiful things that the chlidren had collected. It looked lovely up on the kitchen wall!
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

For more details about this craft, you can read my previous blogpost HERE.

Al-Malik

Al-Malik translates as “The King.”
As a visual representation of this name, the children made a crown!
Whilst they were making it, we talked about how Allah doesn’t wear a crown, and how Allah does not look like any king that they can imagine. We spoke a little about the role of a king and I asked them,“Who is the King of the Kings? ….. Allah!”
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

If you would like to make this crown with your children,  CLICK HERE.

Ar- Razzaq

Recently, we have been learning the name Ar-Razzaq which translates as “The Provider.”

To help the children understand this name better, we have been using the book “Aishah Learns to Bake” by Latifah Peerbux.

 

Teach the 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake

 

This is the story of a young girl called Aishah who wants to bake. Her mum agrees to teach her how, but she asks her to guess all the ingredients they need. What is wonderful is how her mum uses clues with an Islamic or Prophetic twist!!!

For example, as a clue for dates, her mum says,

 

“Allah even says we find this fruit up in heaven! 
It’s the same fruit we eat in Ramadan to break our fast!”
Teach 99 Names of Allah Aishah Learns to bake

Aishah continues to guess all the ingredients for her cakes, learning more and more as she does so.

The book ends with her father explaining to her how Allah is Ar-Razzaq, the Provider.

It’s a sweet and heart-warming story that helps children to understand what a blessing it is to have food, as well as the Blessings that different foods contain; and ultimately to be more grateful to Allah for providing us with them.

As the hands-on activity, we made the Honey and Date cupcakes that Aishah and her mum baked. They were delicious! Alhumdulillah!

 

Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Ingredients
Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Whisking is so much fun when you’re 4 years-old!
Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
My toddler wanted to join in!
Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Decorating the Cupcakes

 

Teach 99 names of Allah Aishah learns to bake
Honey and Date Cupcakes! Yum!

 

Al- Wadood

Al-Wadood can be translated as “The Most Loving.”
The idea that Allah loves us, even more than mummy and daddy, is something that even very young children will understand. This art activity is a great one for small kids too!
We drew the outline of a heart onto a piece of paper. The children then scrunched up lots of small piece of tissue paper and glued them all over the heart!
They looked so pretty, and were a wonderful visual reminder that Allah loves them!
Teach 99 Names of Allah Muslim Homeschool

Ar-Rahman

Most recently, we have been looking at the name Ar-Rahman, which can be translated as “The Most Compassionate.”I’m still thinking about what hands-on activity we can use to help the children to better understand this concept.

My initial idea was to ask the children to take care of our cats for a week. I hope that this will teach them that just as they are taking care of their cats, Allah is taking care of them, and their family, and all the people in the whole world, and all of creation!

What do you think? If you have a better idea I’d really appreciate it if you would share it with us all in the comments section below!!!

Have you been teaching the 99 Names of Allah to your children? 


How did you approach it?


If you have any useful resources, I’d love to hear about them.

Please let us all know by leaving a comment down below!



Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.
For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love xx

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Homeschool Favourites | August 2016

We have officially started school again and we’re having a great time! 

Although having a break is so important, we really missed the routine and structure that our homeschooling brings to our day!

I’m so happy to be sharing some exciting new books and educational resources that we’ve been enjoying this month in Our Muslim Homeschool. 

Muslim Homeschool August Favourites

Homeschool Favourites | August 2016

For an overview of all the products mentioned, and to see them in more detail

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Eastcolight Human Torso Set

This model of the human body has been such a hit with the children! 

They love seeing where all the organs and bones go… taking it apart, and putting it back together again. 

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Human Model

It’s a fantastic hands-on way of teaching anatomy, and it has really got them excited to learn more about the human body.

Muslim Homeschool August favourites Eastcolight human torso

It also comes with fact cards, a poster, a manual and a calorie-counting wheel. To be honest, the kids haven’t used any of these extra bits yet. They’re too interested in the model itself! 

Pocketful of Pinecones

This book continues to inspire me every time I read from it! 

This is  a book for homeschool mums, or anyone who is interested in knowing more about the Charlotte Mason method of home-education. 

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Pocketful of Pinecones

It is a fictitious journal of a homeschooling mother based in the U.S.A. around 100 years ago. She decides to take her children out of school and, with the help of only one of Charlotte Mason’s books, she begin homeschooling her children.

There is a lot of focus on nature study and on “mother culture” in this book. 
For more information on “Mother Culture” CLICK HERE.

The chapters are short and perfect for busy mums who don’t have time to read as much as they would like. 

This has to be one of the most inspiring books I have ever read, and I can see myself re-reading over and over again! 

I enjoyed it so much, I have already purchased two more from the same author:

iPray Salah Pad

My eldest son has really enjoyed using this interactive toy to learn how to pray. Although he used to enjoy praying with me, he seems to have entered in new “phase” where he wants to learn independently…and this even includes the Salah (prayer)!
He has benefited immensely from this toy. The illustrations show him what to do, and when you press on them, he hears what he is supposed to say. He loves it!
In addition to the prayer, it also teaches the wudu, the athaan, and many more duaas. 
Muslim Homeschool Favourites iPray Salah Pad
You can buy it in PINK or BLUE and is available to purchase from Ibraheem Toyhouse

Aishah Learns To Bake

This is an endearing story about a little girl called Aishah who wants to bake! Her mother uses this opportunity to teach Aishah about where all the ingredients come from

It’s a lovely way to show children how blessed they are to have food, and to be grateful for it. It also introduces children to the foods mentioned in the Quran and the name of Allah “ar-Razzaq,” (the Provider).
Muslim Homeschool Favourites Aisha Learns to Bake
The illustrations are clever and cute (much like Aishah), and my boys were laughing the whole way through the story!
We enjoyed the story so much, we decided to make the same honey and date cupcakes that Aishah and her mum made. There is a recipe in the back of the book. They turned really good mash’Allah!


Nature Study

Finally, although it’s not a “tangible” thing, I really wanted to share how much we’ve been enjoying our nature walks this month. 

The weather has been a little unpredictable, but it hasn’t stopped us! We’ve really been making the most the woodlands and parks around us.

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Nature Walks

Not only do my children benefit from our time outdoors, but I find that I personally need that time away from the home to unwind and reflect

Muslim Homeschool Favourites Nature Walks

If you don’t already, I would highly recommend that you schedule some outdoor time into your homeschool routine. It has brought so much balance and peace to our family. Subhanullah!

GIVEAWAY!

It’s Giveaway time!

Muslim HOmeschool Favourites Giveaway
This August I am excited to share TWO of my favorites with one of you!!!

I will be giving away:
– One copy of Aishah Learns To Bake (RRP: £5.57)- One iPray Salah Pad in Pink (RRP: £17.00)
The August 2016 Favourites Giveaway will run until Wednesday 24th August 2016 at 12AM GMT

The giveaway is open Internationally

All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.

Please aware that if entering overseas, you may be liable to pay customs tax (or the equivalent), so please check beforehand.
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.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been enjoying in our homeschool this month. 

I’d love to hear about what your family has been using this August 🙂
Please let us all know in the comments below.

Make sure you don’t miss the next blog post by Subscribing to my mailing list.


For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

See you next month insha’Allah!

In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love xx

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