Summer has arrived! What does this mean for homeschooling families? Some families may want to have a long break and other homeschoolers may have different family needs and want to continue a relaxed homeschooling schedule.
This is the beauty of homeschooling, it is so flexible at times like these you can adapt it to you and your family’s needs.
Homeschooling allows you to be flexible. It allows you to bend and alter the way you educate your children according to the seasons and the energy in your home. Make the most of it!
Winter – Largely indoor time having lengthy read alouds and playing board games. The energy is more mellow and, you enjoy more cosy, comforts.
Spring – There is a shift in energy. Excitement is in the air, there is a need to get outside and explore. Lots of nature studies, science, and geography.
Summertime – Energy is lower, feeling carefree & positive. This is a time of restful learning, continuing outdoor exploration, visiting local sites, reading aloud, listen to audiobooks, more independent reading out
Autumn – We’re all ready to get disciplined. So the focus gets directed to Maths, grammar, more structured subjects.
A balanced curriculum is still offered throughout the year and a wide and generous feast of ideas – but the focus alters with the energy of the family.
Summer is the perfect chance to have more time outdoors. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy a good book!
You can help your children stay consistent with their reading habits and fall in love with reading with Our Summer Reading Challenge! It’ll get even the most reluctant readers excited to read and join in the fun!
Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or just upset. We have all been there on our homeschooling journey but how do we overcome these feelings of anxiety and manage these thoughts when we are having a BAD day!
In Episode 51 of the Raising Mums podcast, I share what steps you can take to tackle a Bad Day in Homeschooling.
When considering homeschooling or even whilst homeschooling many parents struggle with low confidence. Despite the fact that most homeschooling parents are going above and beyond what they need to do in teaching their children, there’s still this underlying fear that they aren’t doing enough.
In Episode 48 of the Raising Mums podcast, I share how parents can build their confidence and start enjoying homeschooling.
Launch Your Homeschool is an online course that will hold your hand and walk you through the beginning stages of homeschooling, built upon the framework of the Charlotte Mason philosophy.
I teach you how to choose the right subjects for your homeschool, how to choose the right resources and plan out your year to create a homeschool experience that aligns with the values and beliefs of your family.
I show you the essential teaching techniques that you’ll need to know to get started. There’s even an entire module on how to manage your time so you can still cook, keep the house tidy and take care of yourself, all whilst homeschooling your children!
Summer is the perfect chance to have more time outdoors. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy a good book! You can help your children stay consistent with their reading habits and fall in love with reading with Our Summer Reading Challenge! It’ll get even the most reluctant readers excited to read and join in the fun!
Why is reading important?
Reading has many benefits for children as they grow up, even if they can’t read by themselves. This is because books are a fantastic way to widen your child’s perspectives and help them understand experiences they might not normally be able to. Additionally, reading as a family gives children the opportunity to discuss topics from the book and expand their understanding even further. In this way, reading becomes a valuable bonding experience for the whole family.
How can a reading challenge help reluctant young readers?
A reading challenge is an excellent way to add some game-like fun to your reading time; your children will work together and have a goal in sight when selecting their books. By using a reading challenge, you can add a new element to your reading choices and encourage children to read outside their comfort zones and help them choose books they wouldn’t normally read.
Our Muslim Homeschool Reading Challenge
The Our Muslim Homeschool Reading Challenge is simple – by using the 18 categories in the image below, children can spend their summer selecting new books to read and enjoy together.
The best part is the categories apply to any age group, so all your children can get involved! Have fun going to the library or bookstore and hunting for books to fit each challenge.
By the end of the reading challenge, your children will have widened their reading experience and enjoyed a variety of books from different authors and genres. They may even find a new favourite!
Remember to share the books you will be reading using the hashtag: #OMHSReadingChallenge and enjoy seeing what other families have chosen for their summer reading challenge.
Reading Challenge categories
Here are the 18 reading categories your children will need for the reading challenge. Now, I know some of these categories seem to be more challenging than others, so I have offered two suggestions for each category: one picture book for younger readers and one book for older readers.
Some of these categories will overlap (a folktale may have won an award AND is also set in the Muslim world) but challenge yourself and your children to find one book for each category. Above all, remember that the more books you discover, the more fun the challenge will be!
If you’re struggling to find a book that meets any of the 18 categories, don’t worry! Below you’ll find some book suggestions for each category: one for young children and another for children over 10.
A book set in the Muslim World
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams UK| USA
Oranges in No Man’s Land by Elizabeth Laird UK | USA
Similar to the category challenging you to read the book you have been avoiding, this category will be personal to you. However, here are a couple of Muslim authors you may not have come across before:
Audible UK andAudible USA has a spectacular variety of audiobooks for your whole family to choose from. On the other hand, if you would like to try some Islamic stories, Miraj Stories have a wonderful selection of audio stories and content for Muslim children.
The suggestions above are options for you to choose from if you need some ideas, but to get your family involved in the choosing fun, head down to your local library and find books to fit each category.
In addition to your children enjoying the challenge, why don’t you get involved as well and find some adult books to fit the reading challenge categories?
Also, don’t forget to post your journey through the challenge by using #OMHSReadingChallenge on social media!
Happy Reading Friends!
Sign Up for Hundreds of FREE Homeschool Resources
– Get instant access to our RESOURCES LIBRARY with HUNDREDS of free resources to use with your children
– Receive our weekly Homeschool Community Newsletter, packed with ideas, information and inspiration to help you educate your children at home!
Childhood is sacred. With every year that passes, more and more pressure is put upon the youngest in society. With increasing academic expectations and school hours, and less time to play, many families are turning their backs on mainstream education. Instead, these families are embracing homeschooling in the hope of preserving the childhood of their children; a childhood that is wild and free.
Safia Haque, a student of Launch Your Homeschool, has generously shared her experience of a wild and free childhood. She explains how her formal education was delayed and the ways that has benefitted her as an adult.
In sharing this story, we hope to give you something the reflect on in the way you educate your children, and give reassurance to those of you who are choosing a similar path.
Growing up in Germany in the 1980s meant I was illiterate till the age of seven. I could not read or write. I learnt some mental maths but that is all.
I can imagine that this might come as a shock for a lot of parents in the UK. I remember talking to a teacher when my youngest child was still at school and she was concerned that my 5 year-old was not writing well and that he might have special needs.
I had to swallow deep and said, “Alhamdullilah. He’s completely healthy and I am not worried about his ability to write at the age of five.”
Ok moving on. Back to my illiterate childhood!
When I attended Kindergarten, for just three hours a day, we played, mostly outside in the garden – running around and bumping into each other!
We did plenty of arts and crafts, always clearing up after ourselves. Although we did have seasonal themes, generally, we were allowed to use our imagination. I greatly appreciate this now. Having had this freedom is still benefiting me today.
My Wild and Free Education
I am creating valuable content every day and I am not scared to think and write outside of the box. In just the same way as my kindergarten experience, I do not have the fear of being criticised or that others might not agree with what I am writing.
By exploring nature, and doing experiments in the world around us, we became attached to Allah’s Ayaat. We observed changes, what kind of fruit and vegetable grew at what time of the year and how the rain distributes water for the earth to revive, just as the Quran describes.
I remember going away with my Kindergarten group, when I was nearly seven, for a three-day trip. It was really exciting and a big experience for us at that stage of life. Although I had stayed with my Grandmother for a week before, I had never stayed away anywhere else. But it was the norm. I just took it as normal and got on with things. This experience gave me independence, confidence and the attitude of “I can handle life”.
When I was not at Kindergarten, I was playing outside with our neighbour’s kids. I don’t remember spending much time indoors unless we had to. We would eat vegetables straight from the ground, with dirt and roots probably, but they were the best tasting veggies ever!
We would go on long cycle rides to the forest, and build shelters from wood, and just potter around. These are the most beautiful memories for me. Today, I am really trying hard to provide this for my children as much as possible.
To be a child, without the pressure of learning phonics when I was not ready, or having to sit on desks for hours to memorize maths facts, has been a blessing for me throughout my life.
It gave me a foundation and an experience that developed life long skills and the courage to be free, to step away from societal norms and explore options “outside of the box”.
Safia Haque is a speaker, Inside-Out Parenting Coach and home-educator, as well as an Ambassador for Children’s Mental Health.
Safia Haque is a speaker, Inside-Out Parenting Coach and home-educator, as well as an Ambassador for Children’s Mental Health. She lives in Reading (UK) with her husband and three children, two boys and one girl aged 11, 9 and 7.
Three years ago, she attended a life changing event called The Paradigm Shift, where she discovery the Inside-Out Paradigm which completely transformed her whole life. The transformation gave her the ability to parent effortlessly and many of her burdens vanished. The empowering experience of the Inside-Out Paradigm drove her to share this with Parents all around the world.
She has trained with the highly successful Coach Mamoon Yusaf and is certified by his Inside-Out Coach Academy. She is on a mission to take one Parent/Carer per household on earth through the Inside-Out transformation. She aims to make parenting effortless and stress-free through life-changing insights and realisations.
It’s every homeschooler’s favourite time of the year; the time where we get to share our homeschool curriculum choices for the coming year!
In Our Muslim Homeschool, we are trying to fully embrace the educational teachings of Charlotte Mason this year and have chosen to follow the recommendations of Ambleside online for my seven year-old son. In the U.K. he would be entering Year 3 or 2nd Grade in the USA. From the Ambleside online curriculum, we have chosen to use their Year 2 book list but, as you will see, we have made some adjustments to the curriculum to suit our family’s needs.
Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in posts and sidebar ads. Please refer to my Disclaimer for more information.
Why Ambleside Online?
Ambleside online is a well-respected Charlotte Mason homeschooling curriculum, and is renown as being both rigorous and true to the principles that Charlotte Mason set out. It is a FREE curriculum that consists of a book list and a recommended weekly schedule. However, in order to implement the curriculum into your home, it is vital that you familiarize yourself with the works of Charlotte Mason first.
I have already been receiving comments on Instagram and Facebook questioning my choice of curriculum. Although Ambleside online has been tailored to the American and Christian demographic, I have found it very easy adjust the Year 2 curriculum to my own faith.
For example, instead of Bible we will be reading from the Quran; instead of Pilgrims progress, we will be learning the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad (saw), and instead of hymns we will be singing nasheeds! For more information, WATCH THE VIDEOS BELOW!
Daily Work and Circle Time
This blog post has been divided up into what I refers to are “Daily Work” and “Circle-time“. Daily work is the work that my son will do everyday, and group work is what will be done less frequently with his siblings. All the books and online resources are listed below, so you can print them out and take it to the library if you want to! Alternatively, if you click on the links, they will take you directly to Amazon (UK or USA) or ourOnline Bookshop.
If you are interested in seeing which books and resources we plan to use this coming homeschool year, THESE VIDEOS!
The Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam – Amazon UKUSA
This year is the first time we are fully embracing the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason, and I am excited and aprehensive! I will share with you our highs and lows, and how we find the ambleside online curriculum.
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!
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!!!
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 shopfor 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!!!
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.
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.
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 thesetapered beeswax candles fitted perfectly!
Write from the Start
This handwriting programme is fantastic! I have never seen anything like it!
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!
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!
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:
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
Deep Sea Adventure
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!
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!
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:
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!
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.
These Islamic stickersare 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.
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.
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!
It’s November, and it’s time for another Monthly Homeschool favourites!
In these blog posts, I share with you some of the products and resources we have been enjoying in our homeschool this month.
As some of you may have noticed, we didn’t do an October Favourites video! Whoops! Actually, my family and I went travelling around Kenya and U.A.E that month. So we took a 3 week break from formal homeschooling, and allowed the children to benefit fully from their new experiences abroad. If you’d like to see some of our holiday photos, you can see them on my Instagram account.
This month, I have so many fun and exciting new products I want to share with you! This includes a really cool electronics kit that my kids adore, some great books we’ve been enjoying, and a gratitude journal for Muslims.
As usual, we have a GIVEAWAY running this month, so if you’d like to enter, scroll down to the bottom of this post, and enter with the Rafflecopter widget.
HOMESCHOOL FAVOURITES | November 2016
To take a closer look at all the products mentioned in this blog post, WATCH THIS VIDEO!
I was looking for an electronics kit to supplement our science lessons. This one was significantly cheaper than everything else on the market, and I think it’s great!
It really well-made, and is easy for the kids to use independently.
This kit covers most of Key Stage 1 and 2; working brilliantly as an introduction to electricity for children.
There is an easy-to-follow manual included, that not only explains how to set-up each experiment, but also explains what it shows.
The components are very easy to fit together and your children will have new circuits set up in minutes!
If you don’t believe me…WATCH THIS VIDEO!
If your children are interested in electronics, or you are planning to look at electricity as part of our homeschool curriculum, I would highly recommend this Electronics Kit by Cambrdige BrainBox.
The “Making Science Fun” kit is their most basic package. They also have kits to make boats, cars and all kinds of fun projects for your children!
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi has been an absolute joy to read with my children. This is the original version, that is so different to the Disney movie!
It is full of rich vocabulary, beautiful illustrations and a deep undercurrent of good moral teaching runs throughout the book. It is a feast for the imagination and so much fun!
My eldest always asks me to keep reading from it when I finish a chapter. He has NEVER done that before with any book! mashAllah!
I would recommend Pinocchio for children aged 4-9.
Fitra Homeschool Journal
Finally! A homeschooing journal for the Muslim homeschooling community!
The Fitra Homeschool journal publishes articles written by homeschooling families all around the globe; bringing their perspective and opinions to print. They have articles about homeschooling methodolgies, personal accounts, resource reviews and a plethora of homeschooling information and inspiration.
The Fitra journal is available in both print and digital versions from Amazon.
This issue if no.1, and focuses on “Getting Started”; with articles about organization, budget planning , advice for reluctant parents and self-care tips. It was both informative and really really interesting! I love hearing about how other families approach home-education!
If you are new to home-education, or even if you are very experiences, I think that you will find the Fitra journal a really enjoyable and a useful resource.
365 days with Prophet Muhammad
We LOVE this Seerah Book for Kids!
The 365 Days with Prophet Muhammad has become our new favourite. The book divides the Story of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) into 365 sections; one for each day.
I love the idea of dedicating part of each day to learning the Seerah of the Prophet. We read our copy bed, in the hope that these stories and meanings will fill my children’s dreams, insha’Allah.
This little book is filled with the most incredible water-colour illustrations of examples of things to be grateful for.
There are several lined-pages where you are invited to write down something you want to say “Alhumdulillah for” for each day.
If you are looking for a journal with lots of space to write, this is not the right fit for you. However, I think this journal is perfect for busy people (or for children) who want to develop a habit of gratitude, and would like to simply write down a list of things, or short sentence.
Finding time in our busy lives to reflect on the Blessings in our lives, is a very beneficial practice to teach to your children, and I would urge you find a way to begin this in your home.
Some families simply ask their children to say thank you to Allah before they go to sleep, others make impressive wall-art to display. I recently saw one mother who had made a Gratitude Tree, and on each leaf was written something to be grateful for.
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.
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:
My eldest son has really enjoyed using this interactive toyto 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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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!
It’s Giveaway time!
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 24thAugust 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.