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Reading Challenge for Muslim Kids

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!

Reading Challenge Our Muslim Homeschool

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! 

WATCH THIS VIDEO

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! 


Book Suggestions for the Reading Challenge

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

A book that makes you laugh 

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers UK | USA

Planet Omar books by Zanib Mian UK | USA

A book with a red cover 

Corduroy by Don Freeman UK | USA

When We Got Lost in Dreamland by Ross Welford UK | USA

A classic children’s book 

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak UK | USA

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle UK | USA

A book about a prophet from the Qur’an 

Migo & Ali: Love for the Prophets by Zanib Mian UK | USA

The Great Miracle: The Story of Prophet Isa by Iqbal Ahmad Azami UK | USA

A book you have avoided reading 

This category will be completely personal to you, but make sure you look through the books you already have in your home – which one hasn’t been read yet?

A legend/folktale 

Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs by Sarah Conover UK | USA

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller UK | USA

An award-winning book 

Look Up! By Nathan Bryon – Winner of Best Illustrated and Overall Waterstones Children’s Book Award UK | USA

Asha & the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan – Winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2019 UK | USA

5+ poems 

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson UK | USA

You Tell Me! By Roger McGough and Michael Rosen UK | USA

A biography 

Traveling Man by James Rumford UK | USA

Malcolm X by Arnold Adoff UK | USA

A book by an author you’ve never read before 

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:

Karafu: A Freed Slave by Nahida Esmail UK

The Great Race to Sycamore Street by J. Samia Mair UK | USA

A mystery/detective book 

Officer Panda: Fingerprint Detective by Ashley Crowley UK | USA

Museum Mysteries: The Case of the Empty Crates by Steve Brezenoff UK | USA

A non-fiction book 

For younger readers, Usborne books are excellent quality with a variety of topics to choose from.

However, if your older readers would like to branch out and try something different, Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courageous Animals by David Long is a wonderful choice UK | USA

Related: FREE Booklist for Muslim Children ages 0-5

A comic book 

My First Qur’an with Pictures by Shereen Sharief UK | USA

Science Comics series published by First Second UK | USA

A book that was published this year 

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho UK | USA

The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant UK | USA

A book with a Muslim protagonist 

The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad UK | USA

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan UK | USA

A book your mum or dad read when they were young 

The Babar Collection by Jean De Brunhoff UK | USA

Thief! By Malorie Blackman UK | USA

An audiobook

Audible UK and Audible 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.

Related: CLICK HERE to get up to 30% OFF Miraj Stories

Get the whole family involved!

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!

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Wild and Free Education | True Story

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.

Wild and Free Muslim Homeschool

Wild and Free Childhood

The following was contributed by Safia Haque.

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!

Wild and free muslim homeschool

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.

wild and free muslim homeschool

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.

wild and free Muslim homeschool

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!

Wild and free Muslim homeschool

Pressure-free Childhood

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”. 


Author Bio

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.

To find out more visit coachsafia.com/gift, follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

.

Charlotte Mason Homeschool Curriculum for Muslims: 2nd Grade

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

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.

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

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!

 

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

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 our Online Bookshop.

If you are interested in seeing which books and resources we plan to use this coming homeschool year, THESE VIDEOS!

DAILY WORK (Part 1)

CIRCLE TIME (Part 2)

Muslim Homeschool 2nd Grade Curriculum:

Books and Online Resources

 

Muslim Homeschool curriculum 2nd grade

The Curriculum that we are following is Ambleside Online Year 2 Curriculum

Daily Work (Part 1)

Below are the resources that we will be using for our Daily Work, and what were shown in the Part 1 Video.

Memorisation, Recitation & Quran

Safar Abridged Qa’idah

Safar Essential Duas and Surahs

Safar Juz Amma

Reading

Mr Poppers Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater – Amazon UK  USA

The Enormous Egg by  Oliver Butterworth – Amazon UK USA

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J Sobol – Amazon UK  USA

Birth of an Island by M. Selsam – Amazan UK  USA

More reading lists are available on the Ambleside online website.

Maths

Math Mammoth

CTC Math: 4 Week Free Trial  and 60% OFF for Homeschoolers

Copywork

Exercise books for handwriting – Amazon UK USA

Foreign Language

Arabic and French will be primarily taught to my son by external tutors. However I will still be required to support his learning at home. These are some of the resources we will be using:

Colours and Shapes in French – Write & Wipe Flashcards from Word United – Amazon UK USA

Comptines a Chanter: Comptines a Chanter 1 – Book + CD-Audio – Amazon UK USA

Usbourne Everyday Words Flashcards: Arabic – Amazon UK  USA

Gateway to Arabic: Level 2 – Amazon UK USA

Charlotte Mason curriculum 2nd grade Muslim Homeschool

Circle Time (Part 2)

Below are the resources that we will be using for our Circle time, and what were shown in the Part 2 Video.

History

Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall – Amazon UK USA

A Child’s History of the World by V. M. Hillyer – Amazon UK  USA

The Little Duke by Charlotte M. Yonge – Amazon UK USA

Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley – Amazon UK USA

Life of Prophet Muhammad by Leila Azzam – Amazon UK  USA

Book of the centuries

Book of the centuries front cover

The Usborne History of Britain – Amazon UK USA

Literature

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E. Nesbit – Amazon UK  USA

Parables from Nature by Mrs Alfred Gatty – Amazon UK USA

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle – Amazon UK  USA

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham – Amazon UK USA

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher – Amazon UK USA

Natural History

The Burgess Animal Book for children by Thornton Burgess – Amazon UK  USA

The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – Amazon UK USA

Poetry

Poetry is provided for free from Ambleside online. This year we will be studying the works of Walter de la Mere, Eugene Field and Christina Rossetti.

Nature Study

Nature Journal – Amazon UK , similar one from Amazon USA

Prang Watercolour paints – Amazon UK  USA

Stabilo Fine Liner pens – Amazon UK  USA  (will need black and grey pens)

Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock – Amazon UK  USA

Usborne Spotter Guides – Amazon UK  USA

The Little Book of Woodland Bird Song – Amazon UK  USA (similar)

Blackbird by Stephen Savage – Amazon UK USA

A Guide to British Birds and their songs (CD) – Amazon UK   USA

Art & Picture Study

This year we plan to study the works of Monet, Hokusai and O’Keefe. Here are some of the resources we will be using.

Artist’s workshop: Landscapes by Penny King– Amazon UK  USA

DK Monet book – Amazon UK USA

Hokusai Calendar – Amazon UK USA

Monet Calendar – Amazon UK  USA

Handicraft

Kids Cook the World by Ferran Adria – Amazon UK USA

Cool stuff to bake – Amazon UK  USA

Cooking skills by Stephanie Turnbull – Amazon UK  USA

Woodworking for Kids by Kevin McGuire – Amazon UK   USA

Nasheeds

This year we plan to learn 1-2 nasheeds every term. This term we are learning Talama Ashku Gharami

Chemistry

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey: Chemistry 1 by Pandia Press

Free Reads

(Editions/publishers of these books may differ from those shown in the video.)

Five children and It by E. Nesbit – Amazon UK  USA

Heidi by J. Spyri – Amazon UK  USA

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers – Amazon UK   USA

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit – Amazon UK  USA

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce – Amazon UK USA

Islamic Studies

Safar Islamic Studies Year 3 Textbook and Workbook

Year 3 Safar Islamic Studies 2nd Grade

Character

The Lives of the Prophets by Leila Azzam – Amazon UK  USA

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.

For (almost) daily insights into our homeschool, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Our Muslim Homeschool curriculum

 

If you have any questions about the curriculum we are using or how we teach these subjects, please feel free to leave me a question in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

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!


To make sure you don’t miss the next blog post or YouTube video:
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See you next month insha’Allah!

In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love xx

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Homeschool Favourites | November 2016

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. 

Muslim Homeschool Monthly Favourites

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!

Cambridge BrainBox Electronics Kit

My children have really enjoyed using this Electronics Kit from Cambridge BrainBox


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.

electronics kit for kids Cambridge brainbox

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.

Muslim Homeschool Cambrdige Brainbox Electronics Kit
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

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!
Muslim Homeschool Pinocchio read aloud
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.
Homeschool Favourites Fitra Muslim Homeschooling Journal

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.

Gratitude Journal

Children growing up in the West often face the risk of becoming “entitled” and forgetting how Blessed they truly are. 
Keeping a gratitude journal is a beautiful way to nurture shukr in your children’s hearts. 
We are ordered by Allah (SWT) to be grateful slaves, and this is something we must teach to our children:
“Then remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject Me” (Al-Baqarah 2:152).
Muslim Homeschool Ayeina Gratitude Journal
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.
Muslim Homeschool Ayeina Gratitude Journal

Muslim Homeschool Ayeina Gratitude Journal

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. 

The Gratitude Journal for Muslims is available in Softcover, Hardcover and as a Download. 
You can purchase it from the Ayeina Website, or find your local distributor.

GIVEAWAY

It’s GIVEAWAY Time!

Muslim Homeschool Giveaway

This November I am thrilled to be able to share TWO of my favourites with one of you!!!

I will be giving away:
– Softcover Gratitude Journal for Muslims – #AlhamdulillahForSeries from Ayeina.com (RRP: £12)
– Fitra Journal: The Muslim Homeschool Quarterly: Issue#1(RRP: £7.56)
The November 2016 Favourites Giveaway will run until Wednesday 7th December 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 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 November 🙂
Please let me and all my lovely readers know in the comments below!

To make sure you don’t miss the next blog post or YouTube video:
Subscribe to Our Muslim Homeschool by Email!


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


Educational Games for 2-6 Year Olds

A Day in the Life | Our Muslim Homeschool (2016)

Hi Everyone! 
  
This is A Day in a Life of Our Muslim Homeschool

Watch what we do on a typical day; from early morning Quran, morning lessons, craft projects and our afternoon nature walk!

Come along and see how we home educate our  children!


WATCH THIS VIDEO:


Products mentioned in this vlog (includes affiliate links):

Holy Quran for Beginners: http://amzn.to/2fLlL6b (UK) 
                                            http://amzn.to/2ga4DUQ (USA)

Qai’dah: https://safarpublications.org/product/abridged-qaidah-a5/

Maths: https://raysarithmetic.wordpress.com/ (free download)
Multplication Book: http://amzn.to/2gCLBLW (UK)
                                    http://amzn.to/2gvFOab (USA)

Spelling: http://amzn.to/2eZDpDW (UK)
                http://amzn.to/2ga56X6 (USA)

First Language Lessons: http://amzn.to/2eZFcce (UK)
                                           http://amzn.to/2ga6LM5 (USA) 

Alphabet Sound Puzzle: http://desidollcompany.com/product-category/sound-puzzles/

Magnetic Calendar: http://amzn.to/2gw7sno (UK)
                                http://amzn.to/2gDlx32 (USA)

Islamic Calendar:  http://ourmuslimhomeschool.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/islamic-calendar-for-children_14.html

ABC Mouse:  30 DAY FREE TRIAL! (Affiliate)
Click the link below:
 http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-8201566-12635175-1467988603000

BFG: http://amzn.to/2fiDiyT (UK) 
         http://amzn.to/2geXsf7 (USA)

Story of the World: http://amzn.to/2fLqMvI (UK)
                                  http://amzn.to/2eZGBzw (USA)

Pinnochio: http://amzn.to/2gvInZy (UK) 
                    http://amzn.to/2gf0Vdx (USA)

If you have any more questions, feel free to leave me 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


Educational Games for 2-6 Year Olds





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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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Looking ahead: Algebra, SAT Prep and University!

 This blog-post was written in partnership with Mr. D Math.
Although I was compensated for my time, and given free access to the online
material, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
Mr. D Math Online Homeschool Curriculum Review

Before I even began
home-schooling my children, I was planning ahead! 

How will I teach Algebra,
Geometry and higher level Math when it’s been almost 15 years since I was at
school? 
How will they get into University, and how do they prepare for
standardized tests like the SATs
I was worried about all this before my son even
knew the alphabet!
Maybe it’s my Type A personality,
but finding out this information gave me the reassurance and confidence I needed to start homeschooling!

Mr. D Math Online Curriculum Homeschool
Although we live in the U.K., we
have always used Math curriculum from U.S.A., as the choices of Homeschool Math curriculum
in the U.K. are limited. 
We have also considered that the children may choose
to apply to Colleges and Universities in the “States”, as home-education is
more widely accepted there.
So now I was on a mission to find
out, how will my homeschooled children get into University in America?  

How will I prepare them for all the SATs, ACTs
or FCATs? 

What resources are there available for a homeschooling mum like me
from England?
I was delighted in my quest for
answers, to come across Mr. D Math.

Mr. D Math


Mr. D Math is the creation of an
ex-secondary teacher Dennis DiNoia. He left the school system ten years ago and
has since created an innovative online curriculum of his own, that teaches Math
as a language, with great success, helping hundreds of students improve their
SAT, ACT and FCAT scores.
His online curriculum is taught
primarily through recorded videos, with the addition of accompanying homework
to reinforce what has been learnt.
Mr. D Math online homeschool curriculum
Exploring Mr. D Math
I really liked his energy in the videos and the dynamic way he presents the
material.
He also hand-writes the questions
and answers, rather than using “computer-text.” Handwritten text has been
proven to be more effective in keeping the student’s attention and helping them
to retain what was taught.   
Students then have to grade their
own work, which again acts to reinforce the lesson. 

The package includes two
exams, online access to Mr D Math teachers (if you have a question), and you can
attend a LIVE online Math class once a week. Here is an example of what the LIVE class would be like:

Mr D. Math offers courses in:

Algebra I 

Geometry

If you want more details about the different courses and packages  available, visit Mr. D. Math

They also have a Facebook, Twitter and Youtube channel you can check out!

Mr. D Math Online Homeschool Curriculum
It didn’t take long to for him to fin the Math Games!

The Benefits of Online Classes


For my family, I think online
classes will probably be the way we go as the children get older. There are so
many benefits to them, including:
– Great for parents who lack confidence
in teaching Math themselves.
– Good for Independent learners
who was more control over when and how they study.
– Great for Gifted Students,
giving them the flexibility to begin the programme at whichever grade level they
are studying.
– Good for large families or
families with small kids, where parents struggle to find quiet time to study
with their children.
– It adds variety into the homeschool
day, when most of the student’s curriculum is paper-based.
– The weekly class teaches kids
to meet deadline and have gives some structure to their week.
– Great alternative to Private Tuition
for families who are on a budget.

I really believe that online Homeschool curriculum have so
much to offer the homeschooling communities. 

I just wish Dennis DiNoia would
make something similar for French…I’m terrible at French!

Are you also from the U.K., looking to apply to American
Universities? 

What resources have you used to prepare for the standardized tests over there? 

Have you ever used any other online Homeschool curriculum? 

How did it compare to other paper-based curriculum?

Please share
with us all and leave me 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.

See you next month insha’Allah!

In need of your duaas.

Peace and Love xx

Homeschool Favourites | July 2016

It’s summer! Although the weather might seem more like October here, our Muslim homeschool is in serious summer holiday mode! School is out for summer

However, just because our formal schooling is taking a break, it does not mean that the learning stops. 

This month, we have been using some fantastic educational toys and picture books during our ‘down-time.’ and I’m so excited to share these with you!

Muslim Homeschool July Favourites

I’m also running another GIVEAWAY this month, so scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to enter 🙂

For an overview of all the products mentioned, please WATCH THIS video:

Homeschool Favourites | July 2016

Drill and Design Activity Centre


We have had toy for years but recently rediscovered it at the back of my boys closet! Don’t you love when that happens?!?! 
The Design and Drill Activity Centre encourages children to make patterns on the design board using screws. It comes with a spanner, screw-driver and working drill!

Homeschool Favourites Design and Drill Game

My boys absolutely love it! It can be used to teach colour recognition, develop fine motor skills, and encourages creativity…all whilst playing with tools! 

It’s such a clever concept! 

Homeschool Favourites Design and Drill Game

Homeschool Favourites Design and Drill Game

Our Design and Drill set has lasted us for years; nothing has broken and it shows no signs of all the hours of play it has received! Recommended for children aged 3+.


Rocket Science Kit

This Rocket Science Kit by Thames and Kosmos was my son’s favourite birthday present! 

It is filled with fun experiments about space and rockets. It comes with an instruction manual that describes the 18 experiments very clearly. 

Homeschool Favourites Rocket Science

This Science Kit kept my son entertained for hours!

There are some really cool experiments involving a “stomp-on rocket” and using balloons to propel various vehicles around. It’s a must-have for any child who is interested in space!

Homeschool Favourites Rocket Science

However, after a few uses, this Science Kit has started to break and come apart. Honestly though, for less than £10, I think it is totally worth it! I am hoping to purchase some of the other Science kits by Thames and Kosmos soon. 

Homeschool Favourites Rocket Science

The Story of the Elephant Pop-Up Book


This month we have been enjoying this Pop-up book about the Story of the Elephant.

It is filled with loads of interactive flaps and tabs, and is beautifully illustrated

In the back there is a pocket with a map, and figurines of the elephant army and Ka’ba to colour in. 

It is not just a book, but a whole educational experience! 

The Story of the Elephant is probably one of my families favourite books ever! And that is saying something because we have A LOT of books!!!

I have written a Book Review on this wonderful book. If you are interested in reading it, and watching the Youtube video, HERE is the link.


The Story of the Elephant is available to purchase from Ibraheem ToyHouse .

Little Muslimah Picture Book

The Little Muslimah is the latest addition to our collection of Islamic picture books. 

Homeschool Favourites Little Muslimah

This book is a ‘true story’ and was written as a surprise gift for the author’s daughter. 

Umm Sumayyah told me, 
“It was priceless seeing the look on my daughter’s face as she read this book about a little Muslim girl and then suddenly realised in the middle of the book that the book was about her and featured all her belongings!  It took 1 year to secretly make the book as I got her to pose for hundreds of photos for the illustrator without letting her know why.  I’m so happy that I can now share the with the rest of the world and InshaAllaah some other families can enjoy it too.”

Homeschool Favourites Little Muslimah

It is a charming story about a little girl who can’t get to sleep unless her mummy tells her why she loves her so much. It is so sweet and the perfect bedtime read
You’ll also notice that they have been very careful to show no faces in the illustrations. 

Homeschool Favourites Little Muslimah
If you are looking for a new picture book for your children, 
I would recommend this one for children under 5.
Homeschool Favourites Little Muslimah

Homeschool Favourites Little Muslimah

Tajweed Nasheeds


This is CD of Nasheeds is such a great discovery! It teaches children the rules of Tajweed through songs.
Homeschool Favourites Tajweed Nasheeds
The songs are easy to memorise and fun, and they are sure to have your children singing along. Honestly, I find myself singing them long after the kids have gone to sleep!
Homeschool Favourites Tajweed Nasheeds
These songs make the rules of Tajweed easy to remember and I hope they will make my children excited to learn the Quran insha’Allah. 
I have written a blog post about this CD. If you like to know more about the Tajweed Nasheed CD then CLICK HERE!
Homeschool Favourites Tajweed Nasheeds
To purchase your own copy, visit Olive Tree Study Support

Mini Muslimah Doll

These dolls are absolutely adorable! They are hand-made in the U.K.They are just so pretty!
Homeschool Favourites Muslimah Dolls
For Eid, we gave the smaller dolls out in gift bags at the end of the party. 
Homeschool Favourites Muslimah Dolls
They are so cute, and I can’t wait to see what other designs she will come up with! 
I hear there will be a boy version and a niqabi version coming soon! 
You can visit the Mini Muslimah shop HERE

GIVEAWAY!

It’s Giveaway time!

Homeschool Favourites Muslimah Giveaway
This July I am thrilled to share FOUR of my favorites with one of you!!!
I will be giving away:
– One copy of The Story of the Elephant Pop-up and Play book 
(RRP: £19.99)
– One copy of Little Muslimah picture book (RRP: £10.99)
– One Large Mini Muslimah Doll (RRP: £20)
– One Tajweed Nasheeds CD (RRP: £14.99)
The July 2016 Favourites Giveaway will run until Friday 22nd July 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 products we’ve been using in our homeschool this month. 
I’d love to hear about the things your family has been loving this July 🙂
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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Homeschool Planning: Part 1

Reflecting and Evaluating Last Year

It is that wonderful time of the year! Surrounded by a mountain of home-education books and homeschool curriculum, I get to plan next year’s homeschool… and I love it! 
I think all homeschool mums out there can understand the excitement of new curriculum and new plans with “This year is going to be different,” ringing in our ears. 
Homeschool planning

However before I jump in and get too excited, I realised it was important to really reflect on last year before I make the same mistakes again. 
To reflect on what went well….and what did not! 
I would advise every homeschool mum to do this. 
Don’t get carried away and start planning next year, no matter how tempting, until you have evaluated last year. 
I would recommend you get the kids involved too. Ask them what did they enjoyed learning about, and what did they dislike. 
I have learnt so much from this little exercise; not just about my homeschool, but also about the way my children learn and about the way I function too. What is important to me and my happiness?
Here is my reflection and evaluation of last year:

Evaluation of our Homeschool 2015/2016

In 2015/2016 I was homeschooling two boys: a 5-6year old (K5 in U.S. or Year 1 in the U.K.) and a 3-4years-old (Preschool). This blog-post will focus on my elder son, as the youngest did very little structured schooling this year.

Child’s Learning Style

Self-Directed Learner


I realised that my eldest son is highly self-motivated and my interference in his learning can actually hinder his progress! He only needs to be given the resources and gentle prompts , and he will learn on his own. He learns and retains the most from his own reading.The best thing about this self-directed approach is that it encourages his love of learning and allows him to take control of his own education. 

However…he is only 6! So I have to find a balance next year, allowing him more time and control in his education, whilst at the same time making sure he has a firm foundation in the basics. 
Facts, facts, facts

He LOVES facts and figures, and has recently developed an interest in science. So this coming year I need to encourage this interest and develop a really engaging sciecne curriculum for him, that will cover things he is interested in, as well as introduce him to new concepts. 
As we are starting history this year, I need to find a way to utilise his love of facts, in our history lessons. 

Need for structure


Although he enjoys learning independantly, he also benefits from having routine and structure in the day. It is important to him to know what to expect that day, and what is coming the next. This coming year, I have bought him his own academic diary, in which I will write out the lesson plans briefly, so he knows what is coming. 
I struggled this year in establishing consistent routines. This is something that I NEED to address this year for his sake. insha’Allah.
Needs fun and silly too!

Because of his personality, it is easy for me to forget that he is only 6 years-old and enjoys doing silly things too! This coming year, I want to incorporate more fun activities and experiments into his curriculum.  

Homeschool planning

It is also important for him to blow off steam! He needs to run, jump, do ‘kung-fu’ moves, just like any little boy! So this year, I have to schedule in outdoor/free time every day….without fail!

Short Lessons


My recent discovery of the Charlotte-Mason approach to homeschooling had me trying shorter lessons with my son. 

These worked very effectively as he knew that he had only a short amount of time to learn/do the material and he really focused during this time. In my head, because of my experience at mainstream schools, I thought that a lesson ‘needed’ to be around 40 minutes long….but why should it be! Who says it has to be! 

When you are working one-on-one, shorter lessons are actually very effective. This coming year, I will be shortening lesson times in all areas. 

My Needs

This last year has been massive for me, in terms of self-knowledge and feelings of self-worth! One of the things that I realised about myself, is the need to be creative!
Homeschool planning

This coming year, I hope to utilise my creativity to create an awesome science curriculum for my son, and well as doing some great crafts to go along with out history and Islamic studies. 
I’ve also realised that I am a control-freak! I need to relinquish this control over my son’s learning, and allow him to dictate the pace and content of at least some areas of study. It’s going to be hard!

Stop Worrying

He’s doing ok! Alhumdulillah! Socially, academically, emotionally…he’s fine! mashAllah.
Part of being a homeschool mum…nay….part of being a mother period, is that we worry and we fill our thoughts with guilt. “What if I hadn’t done that…” or “Maybe I should have done it like so-and-so”. I realised that I shouldn’t compare my child, my home or my homeschooling to anyone else. It does nothing but fill you with guilt or helplessness. 

Allah does not judge you by other people’s standards. He only asks you to do your best with the tools he has given you. 

Alhumdulillah we are doing well, and I pray it continues.

External Teachers

There is often a feeling amongst some home-educators that if you are using a tutor or sending your child to classes, your not really homeschooling “properly”! Of course, this is nonsense. There is no “proper” way to homeschool. 

Homeschooling planning

My son seems to really enjoy the variety that external teachers brings to his education. He attends a number of co-op classes, which he seems to be doing very well in. I have also found private tutors to help with languages (not my strength), and he loves those classes. So my feelings are that perhaps I should continue with these classes, and perhaps even find classes outside the home. 

So you see, this short exercise in reflection, that took only 10 minutes to think through, has brought me so much clarity for next year’s plan, and stopping me from repeating the same mistakes. If you are homeschooling your children, I would highly recommend that you do this too!

Are you starting to plan your next year of home-education? 
How do you start the planning process? 
What worked well for you last year, and what changes will you be making this coming year? 


Id love to hear from you! 
Please share with me in the comments below 🙂

In Part 2 (COMING SOON), I will go into details about how I plan out our school year, and the books and resources I use, as well as my planner and all that ‘good stuff’!!!

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

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