Several reasons exist for parents to not send their child to public schools, such as dissatisfaction with the curriculum, teaching methods, and religious concerns, but is homeschooling really better? Khadijah Stott-Andrew addresses this concern and her realisation that teachers don’t have all the answers either.
Khadijah is a mother of three and a self-proclaimed bookaholic! She talks about homeschooling while moving house and also how she has combined the national curriculum with the Charlotte Mason philosophy.
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. Whether you are homeschooling in the UK, or elsewhere in the world, this programme will help you give your children an incredible education at home.
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!
As homeschooling mamas, we often have a love-hate relationship with art and crafts. But understanding the value of the activity can help motivate us to not only find more crafts for our children, but to even enjoy them ourselves. When teaching history the Charlotte Mason way, craft activities can be a wonderfully creative way to change up your homeschool history lessons.
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Scroll down for 10 crafts for you to usewith your children.
Homeschool history and Charlotte Mason
One of the main aims of the Charlotte Mason philosophy is to help children develop relationships – both with the topic they are studying and those around them. Craft activities are an incredible way to achieve this.
By enjoying a hands-on activity in your homeschool history lessons, your children will have something tangible to experiment with and explore. They have a chance to put their own slant on a history project and express their understanding in a fun and practical way. Additionally, children will build their own memories and visualise historical events and figures as they work their way through each project.
Another key aspect of Charlotte Mason philosophy is nurturing children’s ability to express their learning. Whether this is through an oral narration where they repeat back what they have learnt or through a written narration where they summarise the points they felt were important from their reading. But a history craft, and the discussion it inspires, is also a perfect way to have your child narrate what they understand in a natural, organic way.
10 Homeschool History Crafts
Having a history timeline is an ideal way to visualise the order of historical events. Children can be their own historian as they record the dates and events of different periods.
A fun way to do this is to create a history timeline on the wall or large poster board, like this one. Children add their own items or images to each historical period. They can add whatever they like: paintings, collages, photos, or little facts.
For the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, you can use some free Seerah timeline images by signing up here.
Masjid al-Aqsa is a place so rich in history that people dedicate their lives to it without ever knowing everything. As Muslims we have a special connection to this place and it makes a valuable addition to any homeschool history curriculum.
Help your children bring the site of al-Aqsa alive by building their own 3D model. Using cereal boxes, plastic bottles and any other junk materials from around the house, children can get hands on with this activity. Use this diagram to get an accurate idea of the layout of the building and its surroundings.
This is a chance to talk about some fantastic moments in Islamic history such as Isra and Miraj, the Crusades and Salahuddin Ayoubi.
As mentioned, Charlotte Mason stresses the importance of children building relationships with the information they are learning. What better topic to relate to than that of your own family history. Life has changed so significantly over the past few decades that you wouldn’t have to research that far back to find interesting things for your children.
Use the instructions hereto make your very own family history journal. It’s important to allow children the freedom to express what they have learnt in their own way. Over time, let them draw, write, paint, or stick in photos and collages.
5. Shoebox Time Periods
This craft is extremely versatile and can be applied to whichever time period you’re studying. Use materials and items from around your house and grab a shoebox. Inside the shoebox, build a scene that represents a scene or location from your history lesson.
Here are some examples:
If studying Ancient Egypt, you can build a pyramid, add the river Nile, and draw hieroglyphs around the side.
For the Victorians, you could fashion a traditional Victorian street in London, complete with small toy models that children used to play with.
If studying the American Civil War, you can build a depiction of the Battle of Gettysburg from 1863.
Using model clay or playdough, you and your children can help each other to recreate famous historical buildings. Look at photos or documentaries, and discuss the history of the buildings as you work. You could build:
The Great Wall of China
The Colosseum in Rome
The Lincoln Memorial, etc.
7. Time Travelling Homeschool History Passport
As you go through your various history projects, help children feel connected to and excited by the many different cultures and ways of life you are discovering. A great way to do this is to encourage children to keep their own record.
Using the notebook tutorial for the Family History Journal,create a Time Travelling Passport. Children can draw things they discover about different time periods, stick in images they find during research, or note down their narrations. This craft can go alongside your Book of Centuries [insert purchase link here] and together they will make a wonderful record of your child’s historical discoveries and learning journey.
Another great addition to this activity would be the Magic Treehouse books [insert Amazon link here]. This series features two children who travel back to different time periods in a magical treehouse. Your children can use their passport to document their own time-travelling adventures!
If there is one thing the internet has an abundance of, it’s recipes! What’s more, some recipes are child-friendly and will make a lovely addition to your homeschool history curriculum. Using different time periods and cultures, you can have themed cooking sessions. Try some of these to start off with:
The next time you venture to the park or a local nature walk set your children a DIY tools challenge. During the Stone Age prehistoric people utilised stone, trees and leaves to craft basic tools. See what your children can create and bring home as a prehistoric souvenir. They could even draw their creations in their Time Travelling Passport!
Artistic expression has changed significantly. From cave paintings of mammoths to Michelangelo’s depictions of the Book of Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. A great way for children to connect and relate to these works of art is to try and replicate them for themselves.
Because of the wide range of art projects to choose from, this project is perfect for children of different ages. They can pick any image they feel comfortable with, whether it’s a cave sketching, Egyptian drawings from tombs or complete Tudor paintings.
As you can see, homeschool history lessons don’t have to mean reading long biographies and composing written narrations. Craft activities are a creative form of narration and an opportunity for your child to spend time with the information they have encountered. Therein lies the beauty of the Charlotte Mason philosophy – you can mould the lessons to suit you and your children!
To start homeschooling, you need homeschool curriculum. But how do you choose?
In this part of the world we are blessed with an abundance of homeschooling resources. There is a wealth of free information online and with the click of a button you can have homeschool curriculum shipped to your door the next day. But with so much available, many mothers feel overwhelmed.
When you’re learning how to start homeschooling, it is difficult to decide which one to go for. How do you choose between them all? They all look so good! Right?
In episode 26 of the Raising Mums podcast, I talk LIVE on Facebook and Instagram about what you need to think about when you start homeschool curriculum shopping. I also teach you the three things you need to think about before you buy anything!
If you want to know which homeschool curriculum to chose for your children,
Launch your Homeschoolis an online course designed to help Muslim families who want to start homeschooling. It will guide you as you navigate and design your own path home-education. Built upon a foundation of Islamic values, and the framework of the Charlotte Mason Philosophy, I’ll be there supporting you step-by-step!
I strongly believe that there is no one-size-fits-all curriculum for homeschooling. So in this program, I give you the tools you need to find your own way, based upon your values, your unique children, and your family dynamics.
A large part of learning how to start homeschooling is the planning. That’s why I’ve dedicated several modules in the course to Homeschool planning and time management; so that you can begin your homeschooling journey positively and with confidence.
I also go into detail about common mistakes homeschoolers make in their first year so you can avoid them!
The aim is for everyone who enrols in the Launch Your Homeschool course to go from feeling overwhelmed, unsure and confused; to confident, excited and well prepared for coming homeschool year.
Sign up for our FREE Resources Library!
You’ll get access to HUNDREDS of FREE Educational Resources to use with your family!
I know first hand how little time mothers have to study when their children are young. For this reason I have kept the lessons short, around 20 minutes, but packed with value, so that you can watch them during nap-time or while you have your morning coffee. Everything is pre-recorded, and you have lifetime access, so you can go back and rewatch any of the lessons whenever you want.
In addition to video lessons, you’ll get access to a buzzing private student community on Facebook, all the homeschool planning material you’ll need to plan out your year AND 4 LIVE Q&A sessions with me!
Enrolment closes TODAY! Sunday 19th July 2020, at 11.59pm GMT.
Edited 2023: Since this was originally published in 2017, Reading Eggs has begun to include topics such as abortion, gun violence, and LGBTQ issues within its online library.
Online learning games are an effective method of improving children’s literacy skills and increasing their confidence in reading.
For years I have been using Reading Eggs in our home to teach the children to read. You can imagine my delight when Reading Eggs reached out to me and asked me to review their online reading programme! My children have enjoyed and learnt so much from Reading Eggs and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share that with you here!
This blog post has been written in collaboration with Reading Eggs, who gave my family free access to their online Reading programme and compensated me for my time.
I have used reading eggs with both my sons from the age of 4. After beginning the programme, I witnessed their literacy skills improve tremendously in a short space of time and, most importantly, their enthusiasm for reading grew!
Reading eggs is so much fun and it works!
What is Reading Eggs?
Reading Eggs is an Award-winning online reading programme for children aged 3-13. It is a safe online learning environment that gives children access to hundreds of reading lessons, thousands of interactive activities and over 2500 e-books!
Reading Eggs have also recently launched a Reading Eggs Junior, which is a new online learning programme for toddlers (ages 2-4) to introduce younger children to letters and pre-reading skills through songs, picture books, interactive activities and videos. It’s a lot of fun!
Benefits of Online Learning
Here a some of the benefits of incorporating online learning in our homeschool:
Reading Eggs has been cleverly created to allow children to maneuver their site with little need for grown-up assistance.
My children were easily able to progress through their lessons without my help, and soon worked out how to access all the other features of the programme.
Nothing hinders learning more than a lack of confidence. I have seen this in my own home. However as our children became more fluent in reading and progressed through the various levels of Reading Eggs, their confidence grew!
Builds Positive Associations with Reading
Reading Eggs is so effective at teaching reading because its is fun. From my experience, I found my kids wanted to do their reading lessons and were disappointed if, for some reason, they couldn’t do it one day!
My eldest son really enjoyed the phonics songs and the interactive nature of the lessons.
My youngest son loves the reward system they have in place! After completing the lessons, the children are rewarded golden eggs that can be exchanged for virtual prizes. This was a great incentive for him to work through the various levels. He loved completing his lessons so he could fill his virtual house with all the prizes he had won!
It’s wonderful to know that whilst they are playing and having fun, they are learning to read!
Mummy can rest!
Let’s be real for a moment! Online learning is not only an effective method of teaching children, it also has real benefits for homeschooling parents.
It gives me time to do other much needed things; like putting on the laundry, preparing lunch, teaching my other children, or just unwinding for a moment with a cup of tea!
Online learning is a fantastic means for parents to educate their children at home. Reading Eggs is an incredible programme and resource, and I would genuinely encourage you all to visit their website to see if their programme would work for your family.
If you have any questions about how we incorporate Reading Eggs into our homeschool curriculum, or if you have any queries about the programme itself, please leave me a question in the comments below.