Reviews

Book Review | Elizabeth Lymer

This review will be looking at the work of a British Muslimah
author, Elizabeth Lymer, who has written numerous works of Islamic children’s
literature
.

Muslim Children Book Review: Elizabeth Lymer
It is so exciting to see more and more Muslim children’s
books
available for the English-speaking market. In my experience, there is a
lot of children’s literature available for Muslim kids, but so much of it is
dry and uninspiring.

Fear not… Elizabeth Lymer has brought a whimsy and charm
back into Muslim Children’s Books!

These books are beautiful! The intention behind them, and sincerity
of the author, shines through. They are a testimony to how talented and creative
our Muslim sisters are…and that makes me so happy!

There is a very whimsical sweetness in the way she writes and in what she chooses to write about which is utterly charming!

The messages and stories these books tell have real worth
and merit, and are far more deserving of a place on your bookcase, than any of
the ‘modern fluff’ that is so readily available today.

I will be reviewing three books written by Elizabeth Lymer:

Hector Hectricity and the Missing Socks,
Muslim Lullabies &
Baby Traveller Bismillah
.


So let’s get started!

Hector Hectricity and the Missing Socks

This sweet story is about a family who find that their socks
keep going missing, and about how they find the monster that is taking them. It
teaches children to first make duaa to Allah (swt) and then ask others for
help.

It is a funny and silly story that kids will love; but underneath the
silliness is a really important lesson about turning to Allah (swt) and
trusting in Him.

It also has a knitting pattern in the back in case anyone
fancies knitting themselves some rainbow socks!

Elizabeth Lymer Review
Enjoying Hector Hectricity!

I would recommend this book for children aged 2-5.

This book has just launched! You can purchase a copy of this book from the IHRC Shop
or Amazon 

Muslim Lullabies

In this collection, Elizabeth has written new
Islamically-themed lyrics
to well-known English lullabies.

 All the lullabies have themes from the Quran within them and teach bedtime practices from the Sunnah.

It is such a wonderful experience to sing beautiful songs of dhikr to send your baby to sleep. It has been so special to sing these lullabies to my children and create those magical memories together.

One of my favourites
is:

 Hush Now Habibty (To the tune of Rock-a-bye, Baby)

“Hush now, Habibty,
Let yourself rest,
Snug in du’as
That you will be blessed,
Guarded from evil
Of the dark hours,
By Allah’s protection
And perfect power.

If you’re not sure how the tune is supposed to sound, Elizabeth Lymer has also produced an accompanying video on Youtube to help!


However, if you are not familiar with English children’s lullabies, then I
think you would struggle to use this book. Although if you live in the U.S. Muslim Lullabies is also available to buy on Audio CD.

The book itself is dedicated to sister Maria Zain, who passed away in 2014, along with a link to help support the six children she left behind.

Elizabeth Lymer Review
They got the giggles!!!
I sincerely recommend this book to anyone with young children (under 3’s); or if you know someone who is pregnant, this would make a fabulous gift for their new baby.

This book would be a great addition to your home library and hopefully a means of creating beautiful memories with your children.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book CLICK HERE

Baby Traveller Bismillah

This simple book is aimed at babies aged newborn-18months.
It introduces children to the five senses, to different modes of transport, and
to dhikr.


The word Allah is repeated frequently throughout the book. I hope that my baby will be saying Allah soon …because of this book!

The words
our children hear, and the stories we read them, do leave a lasting impression.
I am certain that hearing this book, and the dhikr it contains, will impact
positively
on her and leave a lasting imprint on her heart…insha’Allah.

To purchase this book:
UK customers CLICK HERE
US customers CLICK HERE 

Elizabeth Lymer Review
Enjoying his new book!

I’m getting a bit emotional writing this review because I really feel
like Elizabeth Lymer has gifted our children something incredible…Something
that will truly enrich their lives
. It is such a blessing…May Allah reward her!

For more information about Elizabeth Lymer and the numerous books she has written, CLICK HERE to visit her website.


Thank you so much for visiting our blog. 

If anything is unclear, or you need more information, please leave a comment for me down below and I will do my best to answer your questions 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.

Disclaimer: This review was NOT sponsored. Although Elizabeth Lymer sent me  complimentary copies of these books, all opinions expressed are genuine!


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Product Review | Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Read

This DVD is a brilliant educational resource for Muslim children. We have been using it in our Muslim Homeschool as part of the kid’s Islamic Education…and they LOVE IT! 

Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Read aims to teach Muslim children the basic foundations of Tajweed, Recitation of Quran.


Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Read is the second DVD produced by Imanination Studios. It uses the lastest technology  to produce exceptional quality animation. The graphics are SO much better than anything else on the market! It’s very impressive!

CLICK HERE to read the REVIEW for their first DVD Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Pray

The whole concept behind th e DVD is very clever. Sumaya is upset because she doesn’t know how to read the Quran; so her brother, Ali, offers to help. They visit a Tajweed teacher, who takes them on an adventure around his ‘Tajweed Factory.’ Each room features a special invention that teaches a different rule of recitation. It’s SO MUCH FUN!

There’s an ‘Echo Blaster’ to teacher Qalqalah, a ‘Stretching Zone’ to teach vowel elongation, the ‘Ghunna Lift’ and many more!

Watch this clip of the DVD:

There is NO MUSIC in this DVD. Imanination have gone to great lengths to ensure the authenticity of the material they produce. However, as with any Islamic educational product, I would always advise you to check the material with a religious teacher you trust.

All Quran and duaas are written very clearly in Arabic with translation and transliteration.The Arabic pronunciation is excellent, and the way the characters recite is SO BEAUTIFUL. It certainly captured my children’s attention!

I was pleased to see that it also taught some etiquettes of reading Quran and going to the Masjid.
I would recommend this DVD for children aged 6+ who have begun learning Quran. The DVD moves at a fast pace and will work well to reinforce the rules of Tajweed that your child has already learnt, as well as introducing them to new concepts. 
Imanination have also produced an FREE APP to go along with the DVD:

Overall I feel that Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Read is a truly innovative product. It make learning tajweed fun and exciting, whilst maintaining the utmost respect for the Quran itself. 

If you need more information or would like to buy this DVD, just CLICK HERE! 

If anything is unclear, or you need more information, please leave a comment for me down below and I will do my best to answer your questions, or pass you onto someone from the company 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.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Please remember us in your duaas.

Peace and Love.

Disclaimer: This review was NOT sponsored. Although Imanination Studio sent me a complimentary copy of this DVD and the posters, all opinions expressed are genuine!


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 Our Muslim Homeschool: Ali and Sumaya Review

Product Review | Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Pray

This DVD is a fantastic resource
for Muslim children, and a very useful tool for anyone involved in Islamic
education. I’m so grateful to be able to share my thoughts on it with you all…

Ali and Sumaya DVD review

Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Read is produced by Imanination Studios. They have created an exciting range of DVDs and apps that use the latest technology to produce INCREDIBLE quality animation. I mean …it’s AMAZING! There is nothing like it in the market today.

These days, Muslim children’s TV has to compete with the likes of Shrek and Frozen in order to meet our children’s expectations and keep them engaged. Ali and Sumaya are trying to meet this goal and honestly… the graphics are awesome!

This is the trailer for their DVD:

The whole feel of this DVD is really modern, cool, colourful and fun. It teaches the subject of prayer in a very gentle and loving way…which I think is best way!

In addition to the prayer, they also teach all the steps and duaas for wudu, the athaan, duaa Qunoot, other Prophetic duaas and seven surahs. There is also a quiz and a ridiculously catchy nasheed!!!

Ali and Sumaya Lets Pray DVD Review

There is NO MUSIC in the DVD and the producers have gone to great lengths to ensure that all material presented in the DVD is based on the Quran and authentic Hadith. Allah knows best. I approached the company for more information on this and they kindly replied:

“We have illustrated the prayer in a way which we believe to be the most authentic manner based only on authentic aHadeeth.  
We have relied on sources such as Bukhari, Muslim, Nisa’i Abu Dawood, Tirmidi and Ibn Majah.  May Allah SWT be pleased with them all. Ameen 

We have sought guidance from various Scholars and People of knowledge in Alexandria, Egypt and also The Islamic Shariah Council, UK.”

The characters themselves, Ali and Sumaya, are so sweet and their recitation of the Quran is so beautiful and clear. I just had to stop what I was doing and listen….so beautiful mashAllah!

Although there are a lot of details on ‘HOW’ to pray, the producers have also tried to put across the pleasure and joy one gets from the Salaah. I loved how they started the DVD with an explanation on ‘WHY’ we pray and why it’s important. The DVD begins with the story of the ‘Night of Ascension’ and my kids were riveted (you know…where their mouths drop open!!!)

Ali and Sumaya Let's Pray Review
Learning how to make Wudu!

Ali and Sumaya Let's Pray Review
Don’t forget the ears!!!

Each step for Salaah is very clear and easy to understand. They’ve added a fun element by having little icons pop up (like in a video game) that remind you when to recite aloud or tell you how many rakaats left. It’s just very cool without being gimmicky. It is entertaining and fun but still preserves the sanctity of the prayer.

Throughout the DVD, all Quran and duaas are written very clearly at the bottom of the screen, in Arabic with translation and transliteration.
.
My only concern with this DVD is, as we all know, the prayer varies between Muslims depending on which path of Islam you follow. However, fundamentally we all pray the same, it’s just in ‘the finer details’ that we differ (I think…although I’m no expert!!!).

Ali and Sumaya Let's Pray DVD Review

My two boys are only three and five, but I felt they benefited from watching it. After only watching it once, my five year-old was telling me how many rakaats are in each prayer, and when you need to pray that prayer!!! MashAllah…it worked!

For young children, do not try to make them watch the whole thing through, but rather take it in chapters. I plan to teach one aspect of the prayer (wudu, athaan, prayer times etc.) and then use this DVD to reiterate what we have been discussing.

I think children over the age of seven would benefit the most from this DVD because some important points are written on the screen and not narrated by the characters. So if your child does not read well they may miss out on these parts.

Ali and Sumaya Lets Pray Review

Ali and Sumaya Lets Pray Review

If you’re interested in purchasing this DVD, you can buy it on their website Ali and Sumaya.
At this time of writing this, it costs £14.99, or you can rent it from Vimeo for one year for $7.50. All details are on their website.

There is also a FREE app that goes along with the DVD, that features lots of interactive animations and games, to help teach the prayer and reinforce what they have seen in the DVD.

Here is the trailer for the app:

The company also makes these fabulous posters to go along with the DVD. They are big (A2), nice quality and very cleverly designed. They images are faceless if you wanted to hang them up. There is one for boys and one for girls. They are quite complicated, so I would not recommend them for children under 5.

We plan to look the relevant part of the poster after watching that part of the DVD. This is yet another teaching tool to visually prompt and reinforce learning. They are available to purchase on their website.

Ali and Sumaya Let's Pray PosterAli and Sumaya Let's Pray Poster

Overall I feel that Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Pray has filled a void in the market; a void that English-speaking Muslim children desperately needed filling!

If anything is unclear, or you need more information, please leave a comment for me down below and I will do my best to answer your questions, or pass you onto someone from the company 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.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Please remember us in your duaas.

Peace and Love.

Disclaimer: This review was NOT sponsored. Although Imanination Studio sent me a complimentary copy of this DVD and the posters, all opinions expressed are genuine!




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UK Online Maths Programmes

Today on Our Muslim Homeschool, we are going to be talking about MATHS! More specifically, the best maths programmes that are available online for homeschoolers in the UK.

After being asked by several homeschooling
families to recommend an online maths programme, I decided to share my recommendations in a blog post instead!

Online Maths Programmes for UK Homeschool

Whilst
using an online maths platform is not necessary, it can be a fun way to supplement
your existing curriculum, or encourage reluctant learners. They can also be
helpful for parents who are nervous teaching maths to their children themselves.
As with most homeschooling material, there is a lot available
from U.S.A. Whilst these can be used by homeschoolers in the UK with little or no problems, some prefer to use curricula that is tailored to students in the UK.
Below I have listed online maths programmes that
specifically try to align with the UK National curriculum. This list is by no
means exhaustive and is not done in any particular order. The focus of these recommendations is particularly for children of Primary School age. 
It does NOT include the many websites that offer
downloadable worksheets. Instead it lists those that have instructional
videos, animations, games or interactive questions available.

Online Maths Programmes

C indicates this platform can be used alone as a complete curriculum.
S indicates this site could be used as a supplement to another complete curriculum.
P indicates that this site required payment for complete access.
F indicates that this website is free.

Education City S P

Education City uses animations and games to teach Maths, as
well as Literacy, Science, French, German and Spanish. At the time of writing this,
there is a free trial period and then you pay £29.95 per child per year.

Math Seeds S P

Mathseeds aims to teach core maths and
problem solving skills needed to be successful at school. For kids ages 3-6, it uses interactive
animations and games. At time of writing, there is a free trial period and then
it is £29.95 per child per year.

Maths Whizz C P

Maths Whizz is for children ages 5-13. It teaches through
animations and questions. If a concept of not fully understand, the software
will reteach the same topic differently, until the child has understood. At the
time of writing, Maths Whizz is offering a free trial and then is priced at
£149 per annum.

Conquer Maths C P

Conquer maths has a good reputation amongst homeschoolers in
general. It teaches children aged 4-18 through instructional videos and
questions. This is more ‘school-like’ and there are no games or silly songs! At
the time of writing, they offer limited access to their material for free. For
complete access it is £100 per year.

IXL S P

IXL teaches Maths and
English from Reception through to Year 13. It is entirely questions, with no instructional
element at present. This programme offer a limited ‘allowance’ of questions for
free. At the time of writing it costs £59/annum for unlimited access to all
questions. 

Mathletics S P

Mathletics is widely used in schools in the UK, has won awards
and has a good reputation overall (although my son didn’t like it!). It reinforces and improves maths skills using
instructional animations, interactive questions and math drill races with other
students online. It is adaptive, and will adjust the questions asked, according
to your child’s strengths and weaknesses. They offer a free 10-day trial and thereafter
it is £39/child/year.
  

123maths S P

123maths takes a step-by-step approach to teaching maths,
and aims to fill in gaps in the child’s knowledge. It appears to be thorough
and more ‘school-like’ in its approach. At the time of writing, it offers a
10-day free trial and costs £48.99 per child per year.

BBC S F

BBC offers links to free animations, games and videos that
would be a fun supplement to your child’s current curriculum.

Komodomath S P

Komodo Math focuses on what it calls ‘Maths Fluency.’ This
essentially means helping the child become faster and more confident with their maths calculations. The lessons are taught with fun animations, followed by
questions. It is also adaptive, and will adjust the questions asked according to
the child’s understanding of a topic. At the time of writing they offer a free
14-day trial. Thereafter it is priced at £69/year.
   

There are also a few other websites that are worth
mentioning:

MEP Maths

MEP Maths is not an online platform, but rather a complete
downloadable curriculum that is available for FREE! It follows the parameters set
by the UK National Curriculum.

Free Instructional Videos

The following sites offer EXCELLENT instructional videos in Maths that are worth checking out. They are for the U.S. market, but most of them, if not all, can be useful to homeschoolers in the U.K. 
As I mentioned before, you do NOT need to use an online
maths platform, but many families to find it useful. These are the best from
what I have seen online.

It is worth using the free trials they offer to see if they suit
your child’s style of learning.

We have tried many of the one listed above, and
my son’s favourites have been Education City and Maths Seeds. This is not
because they are any ‘better’ than the rest, but they just appealed to his personality
and taste! So definitely give some of these websites a try!

Please leave me a comment below and tell me: 
Which online maths programmes do your children enjoy using? 
Would you say any are better than the others? 
What about for older kids?

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Thank you for visiting our blog! Come again soon!
Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.

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Muslim Homeschool Curriculum Choices

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