As homeschoolers, we are always on the look out for new products to enhance our children’s learning experience.
I thought it would be fun to share some of our homeschool discoveries; things that we’ve enjoyed using this month in our homeschool.
Please note: You do NOT need to buy any of these products to be a good mum, or give your child a good education!!! The chances are you’re already doing a great job with our without these products! However, if you are looking for something new and want to see what we’ve been using, please read on!
April’s Homeschool Favourites
Watch This Video for an overview of all these products:
I decided to begin with an activity I remember doing at school. We filled jars with kitchen roll, and then carefully pushed twoRunner Bean
seeds in the gap between the glass and the tissue. Then we added enough water the to jars to make the tissue damp, and left them on a sunny window-sill.
Within 5 days this is what we saw:
The children drew what they saw for their Nature Notebooks, and we discussed all the parts of the plant and what plants need to grow. They learnt the words germination, shoot and tap root.
This is something you can do indoors, in a small space, and at very little expense!
Began Planting Our Children’s Garden
This year I am giving a part of our small garden to the children. They will be responsible for growing the plants in that patch, weeding, watering etc. If it works…it’s going to be a fantastic source of learning opportunities.
The boys planted their Sunflower Seeds
, and left them in our cold-frame to grow.
Looking for catkins
Thankfully we have a number on trees on our road that have catkins. We collected what we could find, and brought them home to identify.
Visited our City Parks
At this time of year, there is so much to see in the park. The daffodils are blooming, the birds are back and building nests, and everything is stirring back to life!
We spent several hours looking for the first signs of spring. The boys drew some daffodils for their nature notebooks, and I just allowed them to explore. The only rule we have in the park is ….You Are Not Allowed To Walk On The Path!
Playing hide-and-seek! He’s counting…
They found this muddy pond and were in there wading through the murky water…They loved it!
I hope this will encourage you to get out into nature with your children, wherever you live.
What activities have you done outdoors with your kids? Do any of you have any recommendations for other plants we can put in the children’s garden? Please let me know in the comments below 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Make sure you don’t miss the next in this series!
I’m hoping to get it out the same time next month insha’Allah.
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Of all the Youtube homeschoolers, Erica Arndt is probably the most famous. Her blog is packed full of incredible resources, and is well worth checking out! On Youtube, she talks about homeschool curriculum, organisation, amongst many other things.
From the inspirational Ameera Rahim, the Youtube channel Habeebee Homeschooling talks about home education from an Islamic perspective. There are only a few videos, but they are full of insight mashAllah.
Those were my favourite Youtube homeschool channels.
In this blog post, I will show you what Resources we used to teach our Kindergarten (Year1) and Preschool kids about Vikings, and hopefully give some ideas about how to teach this unit study in your homeschool.
As my eldest is only 5-years-old, I do not include too much written work in our unit studies. Instead the focus is hands-on learning and literature. However, if your children are older, you could certainly add in notebooking, lapbooks or even creating a poster of what they have learnt.
This is how we taught my Year 1 (Kindergarten) student about the Vikings:
1. Library Books
As with all our unit studies, the first thing we did was head to our local library to see what they had on the subject. We found this great book of World History by Dorling Kindersley.
I encouraged the boys to look through the relevant pages, and read aloud anything that intersted them. This is an old edition, but this History Book by the same publishers looks great too!
2. Day at the Museum
Another thing I always try to incorporate into our unit studies, are field trips to museums or historical sites. Our local museum was holding a ‘Viking Day.’ The boys got to try on a replica Viking helmet, look at maps and art work featuring the Vikings, and make these awesome Viking helmets:
3. Map Work
My son has a ‘thing’ for maps! So I used this interest in maps and world geography to help him learn about the Viking conquests. This FREE printable we used can be found HERE
We also try include some children’s literature to go along with our unit study:
My eldest son read the easy reader Viking Adventure from the Oxford Reading tree. I love this series and would recommend it for any children who are learning to read, but are not ready to tackle chapter books yet.
Also, during this week, I read to the children from the bookViking It and Liking It (Time Warp Trio).
It’s incredible how much information children can absorb from stories and books. At this age, there is no real need to TEACH ….only to READ!
5. Online Resources
TheBBC has compiled an excellent collection of video clips and resources that we looked through. The videos of the VIking ships really captured my boys imagination! You can check these out by clicking HERE
If you have any Viking Resources for children that you would like to share with us, please leave a comment below!
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Every child loves play dough! Make learning Arabic fun for
your kids by teaching through play….Teach Arabic with Play Dough!
Teaching Arabic to young children can be done in two ways:
through natural exposure to the language (conversations, story books, songs etc.) and
In my humble opinion, workbooks and written curriculum have limited
value in young children. Instead, for preschool and kindergarten children,
Arabic can be learnt through play.
Here are 5 ways to teach
Arabic with play dough:
An obvious place to start is teaching your child the Arabic letters.
For these activities, it helps if you have a poster or book displaying Arabic letters nearby. We used a wooden puzzle to help the children visualise the letters.
The play dough can be moulded into the shapes of the letters:
Alternatively, you can now get play dough cutters in the shapes of the Arabic letters. This set by Desi Doll company was fantastic!
The letters came out really clearly and my kids found them very easy to use. On top of that, the play dough smells like candy!
We began by doing a ‘Letter Hunt’ where all the cutters were placed in the middle, and I would call out a letter and the kids had to find it!
“Find me the letter Raa!”
“Find me the letter Meem!”
Then we used the cutters themselves to make the individual letters of the Arabic alphabet.
The children were eager to write their names in the play dough… as well as all their friends!
Whilst the children are playing with the play dough it is very easy to casually teach the colours as you go along.
“What colour is this?”
“Shall we make it in Burtaqali (Orange) next time?”
“Where is Azraq (Blue)?”
Play dough makes a great manipulative, and it is easy to mould into counters.
We used simple ball shapes, but you could use any shape/animal that appeals to your child.
We used these counters to count to ten in Arabic and then ask:
“How many balls are there altogether?”
“How many ball are Asfar (Yellow)?” etc.
Using the shape cutters and knives in our play dough kit, we were able to make a variety of shapes to to help the kids learn their names in Arabic.
Spell out Vocabulary
This activity was by far the most successful of all!
We used theletter cutters to spell out new vocabulary words; such as the parts of the face and body, food, animals etc. My five-year old really enjoyed spelling out the names of the Prophets (Peace be upon them).
Combining the sensory experience and manipulation of the play dough, with a purposeful spelling exercise, seemed to massively improve their memorisation of new words. This technique would be particularly effective for children who are tactile learners.
On top of that, it was so much fun! The children get so excited when I bring this play dough set out!
Play dough is also a great way to increase hand strength in preschool children, and improve their fine motor and bilateral coordination skills; so they will be ready to learn to write in the coming school years.
The transition into home education can be a difficult one. Many families struggle when they first start homeschooling, especially with time management.
“How can I get all the cleaning, cooking, and do everything else, as well as teach my children? I just never seem to be able to get on top of things? I just don’t have the time to do it all.”
Home education does not suit every family, but before you give up homeschooling, here are a few tips that I have learnt to help a struggling homeschool mum:
1. Look for the Wisdom
The difficulties you face in your home, with your children, are no less of a trial or test than the difficulties people face at work. Acknowledge that your problems are real problems, worthy of your concern and find comfort in the fact that Allah tests those he loves.
It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said:
“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people, He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His Pleasure; but whoever is discontent with that earns His Wrath.” (al-Tirmidhi – 2396)
If you are finding difficulties in your homeschool, begin by making duaa and praying Istikaraah.
2. Get Organised
Write to-do lists, get a homeschool planner, organise your homeschool material in whatever way works for your family. Not only will these things help you to get more done, but they will also help you to realise how much you are already achieving. This feeling of accomplishment and purpose should not be taken lightly. Everyone needs to feel that they are being productive and achieving something in their day.
Watch this for some Homeschool Organization tips:
If you do not feel organised now, take a week off school. Use the time to get everything ordered and planned out in a way that will make your homeschool run more smoothly. Then you can start again the following week on a more positive note.
3. Lower Your Expectations
What? Did I read that right?
Yes, you did!
I know this may sound harsh, but you have to lower your expectations, especially if you are just starting to homeschool, or if you have small children at home. You cannot expect your house to be as clean or your meals to be a spectacular (mine never were….mediocre at best!) as they were before you began to home educate your children.
Every ‘lesson does not need to be perfectly planned and executed. Many children retain more from self-directed, not teacher led, learning. By adjusting your teaching style, you are allowing your children time to ‘discover’ things themselves and re-igniting the love of learning that they lost in school.
You are only human and you have the same 24 hours that the rest of us have. As soon as you LET GO and stop putting pressure on yourself, the better you will feel and the happier you and your family be insha’Allah.
Just to clarify…I’m not saying you should live in squalor and let your children run wild! However, give yourself a break! Your homemaking and your school days will improve as your time management does.
4. Give Yourself Time
It takes time to adjust, establish new routines and to find your ‘groove.’ It also takes time for children to get used to the new routines.
Try to move gently, with patience, into this new phase in your life. Everything does not need to come together all at once. Give yourself the grace to make mistakes. Just learn from them …and move on.
Thank you so much for visiting us here at Our Muslim Homeschool!
What do you think?
Should we lower our standards and just allow time to fix everything?
How much time should be allow before we give up and send our kids back to school?
How do you organise your homeschool?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below 🙂
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This review will be looking at the work of a British Muslimah
author, Elizabeth Lymer, who has written numerous works of Islamic children’s
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:
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
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!
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 theIHRC Shop
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
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.
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
The word Allah is repeated frequently throughout the book. I hope that my baby will be saying Allah soon …because of this book!
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.
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 HEREto 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.
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Ali and Sumaya: Let’s Readis 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!
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 authenticityof 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 APPto 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.
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In our homeschool, I am always trying to find a way to keep my preschooler entertained while I teach his elder brother. This preschool activity worked amazingly! It entertained my three year-old for almost two hours. He had a lot of fun and we got some homeschooling done!
[I know technically its not popcorn, but that sounds a lot better than ‘un-popped corn construction site’!]
This activity is brilliant for encouraging imaginative play. It also works you child’s fine motor skills and is a fabulous sensory experience!
It’s not hard to set up. Just empty a bag of un-cooked corn (rice or lentils would work well too) into a shallow wide tray and add some construction vehicles!
Please give it try and let me know in the comments how you get on. What other activities do you do with your preschooler whilst your elder children study? I’d love to get some new ideas. 🙂
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