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Muslim Homeschool Curriculum Choices | 1st & 3rd Grade

Muslim homeschool curriculum

As a Muslim homeschooling family, I wanted to create a curriculum that aligns with our values, and helps us to live a life together that we love and that I am passionate about..

Using the Charlotte Mason philosophy to guide my decisions, I have designed a homeschool curriculum that nurtures my children’s love for learning, ignites their innate curiosity, and empowers me as their teacher and mother to teach with confidence and joy.

Inspired by Charlotte Mason, I have tried to bring God to the heart of every subject, and connect everything with our creator.

This blog-post contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.

 

I needed a curriculum that made me excited to wake up in the morning! I needed a curriculum that would touch the hearts of my children! I needed a curriculum that I couldn’t wait to learn from myself!

But I couldn’t find one out there! So, with the help and inspiration of many other Charlotte Mason resources, I put a curriculum together myself.

And here it friends, for you all to enjoy and, I hope, benefit from! insha’Allah

My eldest son is 8 years-old, and my youngest son is 6 years-old. Please assume that the resources outlined below are used by both boys, unless indicated by a (8) or (6) in brackets. However, as the boys use most of the materials together, please consider this curriculum  suitable for children in 1st-3rd grade, year 2-4 in the UK.

And I’ve made a little video to go along with this blogpost too. ENJOY!


WATCH THIS VIDEO!

If you’d like to see the curriculum we used last year, when the boys were 7 and 5, CLICK HERE!


Language Arts / English

Our study of English is based around reading, copying and narrating back high-quality literature and poetry. We have chosen, as recommended by Charlotte Mason, to delay the study of grammar and spelling until our children are at least 9 years-old.

Handwriting

We make out own handwriting sheets on  Worksheet Works using excerpts from books we are reading, poetry or ahadith. It’s a wonderful free resource!

Literature

These are books that I plan to read-aloud to the children, in addition to other subjects. We may use Audible to listen to some of them in audiobook form.

Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs by Conover

Aesop’s Fables for Children

Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (8) – Note, there are some unacceptable racial terms used in these books. We use this as an opportunity for conversation and growth insha’Allah.

We use Audible A LOT! If you would like to try it out, they have a FREE TRIAL on at the moment, where you get your First Book Free, you can cancel anytime, and you’ll  still have access to that book!

CLICK HERE for your FREE TRIAL!
Reading

We do not follow a specific reading curriculum. The children are not forced to read any particular book, but rather are given a choice and then are required to read aloud to me 2-3 times a week. They also have 20 minutes free-reading in the afternoon, where they can read whatever they want…even car magazines! I hope that this relaxed approach will encourage them to develop a love of reading, rather than it becoming a chore and only a “school subject”.

The Boxcar Children (#1) by Gertrude C. Warner (8)

The Light of His Beauty by Maryam Qadri (8) – The birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

A Race to Prayer: Sulaiman’s rewarding Day by Aliya Vaughan (8)

The Hardy Boys – Treasure Tower (#1) by Franklin Dixon (8)

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (8)

The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander (8)

I Wonder – About the Prophet (#3) by Ozkan Oze (8)

Frindle by Andrew Clements (8)

 

Billy and Blaze Series by C. W. Anderson (6) – We LOVE this series!

Nate the Great series by Marjorie Sharmat (6)

Brambley Hedge Series by Jill Barklem (6)

Poetry

It is our aim to read poetry aloud everyday , even if only for a few minutes.

 Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

Sing Song – A Nursery Rhyme Book by Rossetti – Please note, some of these poems maybe unsuitable for sensitive children.

Now we are Six – A. A. Milne

Montmorency’s Book of Rhymes by T.J. Winter (Islamic Children’s rhymes)

Treasury of Read-Aloud Poems for Young People by G. Hale

Shakespeare

We will be looking at one play each term. I feel more comfortable presenting plays that have less romance in, as so we will be beginning with The Tempest.

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E.Nesbit (easier language)

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

 

Maths

For Maths, we are using the wonderful Life of Fred Math Series. My 8 year-old are currently working on Kidneys and my 6 year-old on Butterflies.

Life of Fred Math bundle

If any concepts requires further reinforcement I will use other online resources. A favourite of mine is Math Mammoth.

Islam

My boys attend Arabic, Quran and Seerah classes outside of the home. However, we also do incorporate many Islamic sciences into out  homeschool schedule, as well as trying to refer back to our creator or deeper lessons whenever they arise in our school day.

Quran (Arabic)

Quran (English)

Qaidah (6) – ‘Uthamani Script or Indo-Pak Script

Islamic Studies – Year 3 (8) and Year 1 (6)

Safar Islamic Studies bundle

Arabic Handwriting (6)

We also look at Seerah, the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which I have included in our History curriculum. For seerah, we use Muhammad by Martin Lings

Nature Study

Nature study forms the foundation of our scientific learning. Through the study of nature I hope the children will learn to observe, records and question what they see around them. More formal science lessons will start when they are older insha’Allah.

Our focus this coming year will be Trees, and Star and Planets, although we will learn about other things things that interest them along the way too!

Nature Lore

Country Tales by Enid Blyton

Hedgerow Tales by Enid Blyton

Woodland Tales by Enid Blyton

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children

Star Stories for Little Folks by Gertrude Chandler

Find the Constellations by Rey

Trees and Shrubs by Arabella Buckley

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Nature Journaling

Usbourne Spotter’s guides

Nature Journals

Geography

This year, we are focusing on Physical geography,

Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason

Home Geography for Primary Grades by C.C. Long

In addition to this, the boys often refer back to the atlas when a new place in mentioned in their history or literature books.

History

Our focus for history this coming year wil be the late medieval period, the Tudors and Stewarts. We will also focussing on Seerah, and studying the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

We have a HUGE selection of history books that we use to teach this subject. For more information, to see this extensive book list, please read the blog-post about it or watch this video.

islamic homeschool history

Modern Languages

My children are learning Arabic and French this year.

They attend Arabic classes outside of the home, and so my primary focus during school-hours is to teach them French.

Hachettes Illustrated French Primer

Un Deux Trois: First French Rhymes

La Chenille: qui fait des trous

Comptines a chanter

Artist Study

Every term, the children learn about a new artist and become familiar with there artwork.

If you’re not sure what Artist/ Picture study is, you should read this blog-post or watch this video!

FREE Picture Study Guides

Picture study charlotte mason how to guide

Drawing

We are taking a very relaxed stance on artwork this year, allowing the children more freedom to draw and create in ways that excite them. For this, we will use Pinterest or Youtube for ideas or tutorials.

Prang Water colour paints

Sketch pads

Interest-Led

Touch Typing

My eldest son has expressed an interest in learning to type. For that we are using TypeKids.com. You can read my review on this programme HERE.

homeschool touch typing

Lego Club

My younger son expressed an interest in joining a local Lego club this year.

If you’d like to know more about Lego clubs, Click HERE.

Muslim homeschool

I’m so excited for this coming year ahead and to use these fabulous resources with my children; resources that I believe truly reflect our values.

And, I’m looking forward to sharing that journey with you too!

If you have any questions, pop them for me in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

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Homeschool History Curriculum | Islamic & British

islamic homeschool history
  • History is one of my favourite subjects to teach in our homeschool, especially Islamic history! I am very excited to share with you our Living History curriculum choices for the coming homeschool year!

Download our FREE Homeschool History Reading Plan, and you can read these beautiful books along with our family! (More information is at the end of this blog-post.)

Further research of the Charlotte Mason method of education has led me to many delightful discoveries; one of which is her method of teaching history through living books and biographies. This coming school year, I will be using this methodology to teach my two young boys, ages 6 and 8, more about later Medieval times in Britain and the Islamic world. Towards the middle of the year, we hope to start learning about the Tudors.

Islamic homeschool living history curriculum

This blog-post may include affiliate links. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

If you’re interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason’s method of teaching History: CLICK HERE

I have collected together an assortment of beautiful books that we will use this year; some we will read together as a family, and others are independent reading for my eight year-old. This curriculum also incorporates Islamic History.

If you would like to use this curriculum in your homeschool as well, please scroll down to the bottom of this blog post, and you can download our Homeschool History Reading Plan  for FREE!

You can also WATCH THIS VIDEO, to get a closer look at all these lovely books!

These are the selection of Living History Books we hope to use this coming year:

Family History Read-alouds

 

The Story of Britain by Patrick Dillon

UK | USA

People in History by R.J. Unstead

UK | USA

This book is harder to source in USA, and may be cheaper to buy from Amazon UK, and ship over.

Muhammad: His life based on the earliest sources by Martin Lings

UK | USA

Columbus by Ingri  & Edgar Parin D’Aulaire

UK | USA

The topic of Columbus, an how to teach it, is a difficult dillema for many parents, as the horrific atrocities committed upon the native people of America are ignored by most historical accounts in children’s books. This is an excellent article to help you navigate this issue with your children.

Independent Reading/ Biographies (Ages 8+)

We hope that my son will read as many of these books as he can over the whole year, reading for only 10 minutes interdependently from them each school day.

Please note: I have not yet pre-read all of these books, but I plan too insha’Allah. I would always advise you to pre-read anything that your child will be reading independently.

 

 

islamic homeschool history

Bard of Avon by Diane Stanley

UK | USA

All About Leonardo da Vinci by Emily Hahn

UK | USA

Al Ghazali by Demi

UK | USA

Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta by James Rumford

UK | USA

 

The Silk Route by John S.Major

UK | USA

Ibn Sina: A Concise History by Edoardo Albert

UK | USA

This book is harder than the others. We may chose to do this one as a family read-aloud if my son struggles with it.

Saladin: The Muslim Warrior who defended his people

UK | USA

The Emperor’s Winding Sheet  by Jill Paton Walsh

UK | USA

Leyla: The Black Tulip by A. Croutier

UK | USA

So this is our plan for the coming year for History, insha’Allah.

History Curriculum: Islamic and European History

If you would like to read along with us, I have planned out the first term (12 weeks) of family reading, which you can DOWNLOAD HERE: Homeschool History Reading Plan.

As I mentioned above, this is a continuation of last year’s study of the medieval times, and so the British history component begins with Henry V (1413).

I do not plan out my son’s independent reading, but instead allow him to select a book from the list above, and read from it for 10 minutes daily. This approach could also work for your family.

To use the reading schedule, simply reading down the list the in order; beginning from the top and working your way down to the bottom. Each square correlates with the number of readings/sittings it will take to complete the chapter; e.g. 2 squares indicates that it will probably take 2 sittings to read through that particular chapter. You can even use this as a checklist if you like, and tick off each reading as you complete it.

The chapter names are written in the left-hand column, and the colour of the box indicates the which book it is from. There is a “key” to help make this clearer. If you need any further help with this reading schedule, please leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to help insha’Allah.

Download your…

FREE History Reading Schedule:

–>Homeschool History Reading Plan <–

 

Islamic homeschool history living curriculum

If you do decide to read along with us, please take a photo and share it with the hashtag #OMHHistory. I would love to see how your family are using this curriculum.

What history books have your family enjoyed reading? Do you have any favourites?

Please share with us in the comments below!

Peace and Love,

Living history curriculum islamic

 

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Homeschool History | Living Books and Curriculum Options

Homeschool history living curriclum

Are you struggling to choose a Homeschool History curriculum? There are so many different curricula and living books available, that choosing the right “fit” can become quickly overwhelming!

In this blog-post I’ll be reviewing three of the most popular Homeschool History curricula, that we have personal experience with, to help you decide what would be best for your children. I’ll also be discussing why the study of History is so important in a child’s education.

homeschool history living books curriculum

This blog-post contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.

Why Study History

In this modern educational culture, we have come to view History as a supplemental subject; a subject that is done merely to enrich the more “important” disciplines. However I would argue, as Charlotte Mason did over a hundred years ago, that history is “vital part of education.” (Vol. 6, p.169).

Understanding the events and people of the past, can help us to understand our own reality, and place in this world. The study of history exposes our children to worthy ideas, foreign worlds, people of noble character, and can act as an antithesis to the misguidance and trappings of modernity. It helps children to see what virtue looks like, through their imagination, and begins to train their powers of reasoning.

“…a subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas, should enrich the chambers of his House Beautiful with a thousand tableaux, pathetic and heroic, and should form in him, insensibly, principles where by he will hereafter judge of the behavior of nations, and will rule his own conduct as one of a nation.”

-Vol. 1 p.279

History, when taught by the principles set out by Charlotte Mason, enocurages children to relate to those unlike them; to humanize people from other nations and distant times.

“If he comes to think…that the people of some other land were, at one tome, at any rate, better than we, why, so much the better for him.”

-Vol.1, p.281

History has far more to offer our children that just the memorization of facts and dates. It can help to shape they character and guide the way they think.

Homeschool history living curriclum

Like many, I was taught history using a dry textbook followed by comprehension questions. These questions tested my ability to pick facts out of the text, but did not develop my person in any way. I consider the many years I spent sitting in those history lessons time wasted; little information was retained, no ideas imbued, and any interest I once had for history quashed. The great thoughts and personalities of history remained hidden from me until I began to learn alongside my children using the Charlotte Mason method.

Charlotte Mason History

Charlotte Mason advised us to take our time with history; to dwell on those time and people who inspire our children, instead of rushing through in the effrot to cover “everything”.

“Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period.” -Vol. 1, p.280

She also recommend the use of living books to teach history, specifically mentioning “Our Island Story” by H. E. Marshall  (Vol. 6, p.169) as the main text in the first two years (Form 1B and 1A), as well as reading well-written biographies of historical figures from Form 1A onwards.

Alternatively, many homeschooling families choose to use The Story of the World, by Susan Wise-Bauer as their main text or sole history curriculum. Another option is A Child’s History of the World by V. M. Hillyer.

Homeschool History Options

The Story of the World, Our Island Story and A Child’s History of the World are the three most popular choices of homeschool history curriculum.

This blog post aims to compare these three popular homeschool history texts, and highlight their strengths, weakness, and differences.

To help you further, I’ve made this Youtube video showing the books themselves, and discussing some of this details further. WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Story of the World

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

The Story of the World, by Susan Wise-Bauer is one of the most popular homeschool history curricula on the market. It was written to follow the classical educational model, however many CM families also use it.

The complete series consists of four volumes, which cover history chronologically from Ancient times through to the Modern age.

Story of the world review

In previous years we have  worked through Volume 1 (Ancient times), which covers world history from 7000B.C. to the Fall of Rome. However, for reasons I will explain later, we chose not to move onto Volume 2 – Medieval Times.

Each chapter is 3-4 pages long (A5), with plentiful black-and-white illusatrations and maps throughout. It is written in a conversational style, which appeals to many children, as it is easy to understand and is generally very entertaining.

The books do include Biblical stories and mythology. There has also been some concern voiced about the portrayal of Prophet Muhammad in Volume 2. I have not read this volume myself, so I cannot comment on the specifics.

Although the author makes a concerted effort to cover the history of many nations, it is still very much euro-centric world view, and so many families may feel the need to supplement this curriculum.

There are also optional Activity books available to go along with the main text. For every chapter in the main text, the activity book contains cross-references in encyclopedias, additional reading, extensive recommendations for audio-books and literature. The activity books also contain reproducible maps and coloring pages, as well as lists of crafts projects.

Our experience of using The Story of the World Vol. 1 was mixed. The children seemed to enjoy it, and found it fun and easy to understand, which was perfect for our first year homeschooling. It also gave me an idea of how to teach history in a home-setting, which was a very valuable lesson.

Unfortunately, the conversational, modern writing style did not encourage those “juicy” conversations that other living books can encourage.

I also found that the children had retained very little from the text a few days after the lesson. I also found the fast-paced nature of the book very frustrating, as the author has tried to cover so much history in just one book. Whilst I understand the thought-process behind that, I found that my children and I were not given the chance to form connections and relations with the material.

In hind-sight I could have slowed our progress down, and taken two years over the book, instead of one, adding in additional reading and other living books. However, as a new homeschool mum, I lacked the confidence to step away from the authors recommendations.

However, having spoken to many other homeschooling families, it seems that this is exactly what others have done; using The Story of the World as their “spine” and supplementing with their own resources and literature.

I feel that The Story of the World is a fantastic resource for teaching homeschool history. It is ideal for those who are uncomfortable teaching the subject and need some guidance, those new to home-education, or families who feel more confident reading modern English.

Personally, I would not class The Story of the World as a living book, as it did not inspire my children to great ideas, or spark interesting conversations. It is also not a book that I would pick up and read for fun, unlike other some other history books, that I will discuss later in this series.

The Story of the World is the perfect “middle-ground” for those interested in stepping away from the “textbook-workbook model” of teaching, but who are not yet comfortable or interested in using living books.

 

Our Island Story

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Our Island Story the primary history text recommended by Charlotte Mason in Volume 1 for forms 1B and 1A (children under 9 years-old).

This beautifully written book tells the story of Britain in chronological order from pre-history through to Queen Victoria. Each chapter is approximately 3-4 pages long and focuses on a historical figure, their story, moral character and contribution to the history of Britain.

Our Island Story review

The book also contains some poetry and Shakespeare quotes which could be used for further study and memorisation. There are also a few beautifully hand-painted illustrations in some chapters for the reader to enjoy. There is also list of Kings ad Queens at the beginning of the book, which could be useful when constructing your timeline or Book of the Centuries.

Unlike The Story of the World, there are no maps, and no accompanying activity books. If your children enjoys crafts and hands-on activities, you may choose to find these activities yourself.

The book is written in an older English, with richer language than most modern history books. It may take some time for children to get used to this language if the are not already accustomed to it.

It is written from an English (not British) Christian world view,  and this should be born in mind when discussing the Crusades and other such conquests within and around the UK.

Due to its world-view, and the fact it only covers the history of Britain, you may wish to supplement this book with additional reading.

We stopped using this book after six months as my son was finding the language difficult to understand and narrate from. However, I feel this book has a lot to offer and I hope to re-introduce it into their homeschool history curriculum sometime in the future.

Overall, I found this book excited the children’s imagination and filled their young minds with worthy ideas and beautiful stories. I would happily read this book myself for enjoyment and my own self-education!

A Child’s History of the World

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

A Child’s History of the World was written by V. M. Hillyer, the late Head Master of the Calvert School, Baltimore. Focusing on the stories of historical figures, it covers World History from pre-history all the way through to the Cold War. Although written in conversational, modern English, the language is rich and engaging.

Homeschool history living curriculum

There are black-and-white illustrations and maps scattered throughout the book. The chapters are approximately 4-5 pages long. There is no accompanying activity book, and so parents may wish to supplement with other material.

We primarily used the Audiobook version from Audible. The narrator was very entertaining and read the book beautifully. I would highly recommend it!

Although the author writes from a Western worldview, I felt that he was respectful to other faiths and people, a fact that may have been noted by the people behind the Ambleside online and Bookshark curriculum who have included it in their elementary years history curricula.

Through his writing, the author also highlights and raising questions about good character and morals throughout.

Please note, this book does contain Biblical stories and mythology. Also, as it is attempting to cover a large period of time in one volume, many important historical events are not included or are skimmed over. As the parent, you may wish to add in additional reading.

The book itself is paperback, self-published and not as attractive as the other homeschool history curricula mentioned. Despite this, A Child’s History of the World is an engaging introduction to world history for children aged 5-9 years old and well worth your consideration.

homeschool history living curriculum

These are the main three homeschool history curricula that you will see mentioned in literature-based, Classical and Charlotte Mason homeschools.

However, as I have hinted towards, there are many more options! In the next blog post and Youtube video, I will be discussing some alternative books and methods that we use to teach history in our homeschool.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you found these reviews helpful.

Don’t forget to WATCH THE VIDEO, and if you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Charlotte Mason Picture study how to

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How to do Picture Study Lessons in your Homeschool

Picture study charlotte mason homeschool how to

Picture study is one of the easiest components of a Charlotte Mason education to incorporate into your homeschool curriculum. You do not need to know anything yourself about art, or art history. I repeat …You do NOT need to know ANYTHING about art or art history to begin. All you need is knowledge of the method and a few worthy resources.

Picture study charlotte mason homeschool how to

Why is Picture Study important?

In today’s society, the importance of the arts has been superseded by STEM and the other sciences. We have lost touch with the great artistic masters of past. Now, the masses only see fragments, distorted reproductions of the original genius of these men and women. For most of us, the only exposure we get to great art might be a coffee shop using the Mona Lisa in it’s logo, or a travel advert for Japan using a work of art by Hokusai.

Many of us will have heard of  Leonardo Da Vinci, or Claude Monet, and will have seen their art used in advertisements on billboards and the TV, but have little to draw upon from our own education.

Just as the great works of literature give us glimpses in the the mighty thoughts of the world’s great authors, so too picture study can give us insight into the ideas and minds of those artists. It puts children in touch with worthy ideas and inspires them with something more than modern life can offer.

” We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at a single picture.” – Charlotte Mason

 

charlotte mason picture study

Picture study offers our children a store of images in their mind, to balance out the media’s influence and attempt to monopolize their senses.

Picture study also:

  • Improves a child’s power of observation
  • Develop a sense of beauty
  • Connects them with an artist of a piece of art
  • Helps them to form opinion about art and their own taste in it
  • Encourages them to draw and be creative themselves

How to do Picture Study

From the ages of 6 to 15 Charlotte Mason recommended that children become acquainted with at least thirty of the world’s most famous artists.

I have filmed a short video, showing glimpses into our own Picture study lesson, in the hope that it will make what is written here clearer.

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

First begin by choosing the artist you wish them to study. In our first year, we began with Leonardo Da Vinci as it was easy to find the resources we needed, and I was slightly familiar with his work.

However, please remember, you do not need to know ANYTHING about the artist before you begin. In fact, it will only add to your enjoyment of this subject, as you find yourself learning alongside the children.

Examples of artists to study include:

  • Van Gogh
  • Claude Monet
  • Hokusai
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Cezanne
  • Georgia O’Keeffe

The next step is to find six works of art by that artist for that school term, and studying three different artists per year.

Display one of those pieces in front of your children, and ask them to look at it closely, in silence. Allow them plenty of time to, not only absorb it, but to think and ponder over it. Then, when they are finished, hide the art from them and ask them to describe it.

Try your best not to prompt them with leading questions, like “What colour was her dress?” or “What was the weather like?” Just simply say, ” Tell me about it.” They will almost certainly not remember everything, but they don’t need to. By narrating in this way, they are performing a much higher thought process; of observing, processing, recalling and articulating those thoughts in their own words.

Muslim homeschool circle time
Artwork on display during school day

If you prompt too much, you are in danger of having your children become dependent on your questions, like we often see in school comprehension worksheets and multiple choice questions. Allow your children to think for themselves.

If your child is not used to narration, and is struggling to recall it or articulate his thoughts, then let him see the painting as he narrates. It is difficult skill to develop, so take it slow and try to keep the atmosphere joyful.

For older children, you can allow them to sketch from memory what they saw if they would like to.

Charlotte Mason picture study

 

 

The next step is to display that piece of art somewhere in your home so that the children can see it frequently through out their day.

The following week, repeat the process with the SAME piece of art. You will hopefully find that your children have more to say!

It can be helpful to tell the children a little about the artist or the painting before you begin. If the painting is about a story, it can be helpful to tell your children this story before you begin the picture study. Likewise, knowing a little more about the artist they are studying, will help them to form connections with him/her. Knowing more about the mind behind the art will encourage your children to look more closely at the work itself.

After 2 weeks, switch to another piece art by that same artist. In so doing, your child will some to  know at least 6 of the artist’s works each term. That’s an incredible achievement!

Picture Study Resources

For the art prints themselves, I would always recommend getting the largest prints you can find and display easily.

Postcards and images in art textbooks are often too small for multiple children to see at once, and inevitably loose the finer details.

We personally use wall calendars of a specific artist. These tend to be much cheaper than books, the prints are a good size, and they are easy to display on our kitchen wall. Here are a few examples of some we have used:

Georgia O’Keeffe

Hokusai

Claude Monet

Another option, is to look for larger “coffee-table books” on a specific artist. You can usually find some in your local library or on Amazon.

We have also used “Print Packs” from the Great Artist Collection. These contain a selection of six beautiful colour prints along with extensive information about the artist and his/her work:

Paul Cezanne UK USA

Vincent Van Gogh UK USA

Renoir UK USA

Claude Monet UK USA

 

The organsiation Simply Charlotte Mason also produces lovely Picture Study Portfolios that contains eight prints and a handbook.We have not tried these ourselves, but I have heard they are a excellent.

Children’s artist biographies can also be found at the library, but I would strongly recommend pre-reading these so you can omit the less-wholesome parts of the artist’s lives that young children do not need to know about. However, it may be worthwhile older children knowing the full picture, as these parts of their lives will have inevitably influenced their art, and will make for meaningful discussions with you.

Here are a few artist biographies, in the form of living books, that we have enjoyed with our young children:

  • Linnea in Monet’s Garden  UK USA
  • My name is is Georgia (O’Keeffe)  UK USA
  • Camille and the Sunflowers (Van Gough) UK USA
  • Cezanne and the Apple Boy UK USA
  • Leonardo and the Flying Boy UK USA

During their lesson, we use a wooden cookbook stand to hold the calendar or book.

From the age of fourteen, art history is incorporated into the Charlotte Mason curriculum, where children learn how the artist worldview would have influenced their art.

homeschool how to

The picture study lessons will take no more that 10-15 minutes a week, but the influence that they have will be lifelong. To be able to store “a couple of hundred pictures by great masters hanging permanently in the halls of [their] imagination” is a worthy endeavor.

Other useful Picture Study links

It you have any questions about picture study please leave them for me in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog and read my thoughts on this topic.

Peace and Love,

Charlotte Mason Picture study how to

 

Wild Mammals: Living Books

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

We recently wrapped up our nature study unit on wild mammals, and I realized that it may be useful to share some of the living books we used for it in our homeschool.

We follow the nature study rotation set out by Ambleside Online and it is these books that make up the nature lore, tales and nature study components of that Charlotte Mason education.

For more information on our Homeschool Curriculum Choices, CLICK HERE.

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

This blog-post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see our Disclaimer.

To get a better feel for, and to see inside, these beautiful living books, watch the video below. It’s always useful to see inside  children’s books before you purchase, so please take the time to watch this video.

WATCH THIS VIDEO:

 

Wild Mammal Nature Study: Living Books

Below you will find a list of the books that I recommend for the study of wild mammals. Please note, you do not need to purchase them all!

Rather, just chose the ones that suit your family’s needs.

Britain’s Mammals: A Field Guide to the Mammals of Britain and Ireland

This book is part of the WILDGuides series, and I have been so impressed with the quality of this reference book, that I am looking to buy more in the series!

This reference book lays out very interesting facts about British mammals, alongside detailed scientific diagrams, charts, maps and stunning photography.

The information in this book was so extensive, that we did not need to look in any other reference book during the duration of our nature study unit.

To purchase this book, CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW:

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

 

Enid Blyton’s Nature Series

These delightful living books are a collection of stories featuring wild animals from the British Isles. The stories capture the child’s imagination and interest, whilst also teaching them important information about the species’ habitat, behaviour and other natural history.

There are three books in this series, and they cover wild animals from all the major animal kingdoms; including mammals, birds, reptiles,fish and amphibians. These books are suitable for children aged 5-8 years old.

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Country Tales:

Species covered include: Deer, Dormouse, Bat, Mole, Hedgehog, Blackbird, Rats, Stoats, Weasel, Rabbit, Robin, Bullfinch, Kingfisher, Moorhen, Eel, Toad.

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Hedgerow Tales:

Species covered:Rabbit, Hare, Hedgehog, Swallows, House Martins, Field vole, Water vole, Toad, Frog, Cuckoo

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Woodland Tales

Species covered: Fox, Badger, Adder, Grass snake, Nuthatch, Woodpecker, Spider, Sparrow, Red squirrel, Grey squirrel,Bumble-bee, Wasp, Otter.

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Collins Animal Lives

This charming living books narrate the story on one specific species per book. They are aimed at older children, aged 8 -12 years old. Through their study, children will become intimately acquainted with the animal, and associated species, and it’s natural history.

There are five books in the series:

Talpa: The Story of a Mole

Amazon UK

Capreolus: The Story of a Roe Deer

Amazon UK

Vulpina: The Story of a Fox

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Sciurus: The Story of a Grey Squirrel

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Lutra: The Story of the Otter

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

For Friends in North America

For those of you homeschooling in USA or Canada, you can use the books I have mentioned previously, and make it relevant to your locality. In addition, I would also recommend the following books:

The Burgess Animal Book for Children

This is a collection of stories about animals in North America, and is widely used by many in the Charlotte Mason communities.

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

Handbook of Nature Study

This is an extensive collection of lesson plans, and information about the nature found in North America. It covers teaching nature study, animals, plants, and earth and sky.

Amazon UK

Amazon USA

 

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

In addition to these books, I have heard that books by Arabella Buckley are excellent sources of Nature lore, although we have not yet read them ourselves.

I hope this list help you to select the best living books for your children, and makes nature study even more enjoyable for your homeschooling family.

If you have any further recommendations, please share them with us all in the comments below. I’m always looking out for new books!

Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them for me in the comments section below.

Peace and love,

EASY Ramadan Activities for children

Wild british mammals living books Charlotte Mason Homeschool

 

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Games and Activities to Teach Young Children a Foreign Language

foreign language games and activities for kids

Throw away the workbooks! Pack away the textbooks! Teaching a foreign language to a young child requires you to think differently about what learning looks like!

The most effective method of acquiring a foreign language is the same method as a child acquires their mother-tongue; through regular exposure to the language in their daily lives.

Charlotte Mason said that young children learn languages through, “the ear, and not the eye,” (Vol 1. p.301), and so when we begin teaching young children, initially it is the ear that needs to be trained as the child becomes accustomed to the sound of that new language.

Before we jump into workbooks and expensive curricula, teach your child to speak the language at home through play and by natural exposure to the language.

foreign language games children

This blog post has been written in collaboration with WordUnited, who gifted my family their write-and-wipe flashcards and compensated me for my time. Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in blog posts and the sidebar. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

How do we teach young children a foreign language?

Young children can learn a new language by hearing it used in their day-to-day lives, without the need to use extensive curricula.

“The child should never see French words in print until he has learned to say them with as much ease and readiness as if they were English.” Charlotte Mason (Vol. 1, p.301).

Ideally, this requires at least one of the parents at home to know this language to a basic level, or for them to employ someone else who does. However there are no end to private language tutors or classes available in most cities, as well as online.

French should be acquired as English is, not as a grammar, but as a LIVING SPEECH. To train the ear to distinguish and the lips to produce the French vocables is a valuable part of the education of the senses, and one which can hardly be undertaken too soon.” Charlotte Mason (Vol.1 p.301).

Once your children are familiar with the words, and how to use them in their speech, you can introduce them to the written appearance of those words. Before beginning them on workbooks, I would recommend using flashcards. Flashcards are an ideal way to introduce children to the written form of any langauge, and can be used in games and activities to help keep children engaged.

foreign language games and activities for kids

At what age should I start teaching a new language?

To put it simply, children should be exposed to the foreign language as early as possible. We all know from our own children, that at the age of two years-old, toddlers may have grasped only a handful of words. However by the time they become three, they are able to hold a conversation and articulate their needs and interests with relative ease.

During these 12 months, there has been no “formal” teaching. Rather the child has heard the language spoke frequently used in the context of real-life, and that is all he/she needed to learn to speak it.

Thee ages 2 and 3 years-old are critical in language development, and thus this is the ideal time to begin introducing a new language to them.

However, whatever age your children may be, I would recommend you begin talking to them in a foreign language as soon as finish reading this blog-post!

Teaching foreign language to kids

What is the best foreign language to teach a child?

This is of course a matter of opinion! We have chosen to teach Arabic because of its connection with our faith, and French because my husband’s Mauritian heritage.

Others may suggest Spanish, Mandarin, or even Latin. I would advise that you look at your own family, where you live and what languages would be most useful for your children’s future.

Games and Activities to Teach Young Children a Foreign Language

To see these activities in more detail, and watch my family playing these games…

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

1.Daily Language Time

For one hour everyday, have your family speak ONLY in the new language.

If they need something from you, they will have to ask for it a foreign language. Likewise, when you speak to them, speak to them in the new language. By doing this, you are putting the language in a real-life context that helps young children to learn.

Charlotte Mason tells us that “…the child thinks in sentences” and so the most effective way to learn a new language is to have the words put into the context of sentence and place.

2. What’s in the Box?

Fill a box with items you have in your home. Then pull one out at a time and ask your child (in the new language), “What’s in the box?” Pass the object to them and they should give you an answer in that language, in a full sentence if possible.

Why not put cutlery or plastic animals in the box, or try different vehicles, fruit and veg or other household items. The possibilities are endless!

3. At the shops

When shopping with your children, read out the shopping list in a foreign language and ask them to retrieve the items for you. If your child is older, they could even write out the shopping list in the new language for you.

This simple activity makes learning fun and interactive. Your children will not even realise that they’re having a language lesson!

learning foreign language for children

4. Colour-hunt

Call out the colour in the new language, and ask your children hunt for something that colour in the room and bring it back to you. Once they get used to that, you could begin to include numbers and other vocabularly: “I want three red cars, ” or “I want two balls.”

5. Get Moving!

This game is one of my favourites!

Make sure that your children have plenty of room to move about as you call out a command, such as “Run!” or “Jump!” in the foreign language. The children will then have to do that action until you call out the next one.

6. Sing along

Children have an incredible ability to retain songs, so use this innate ability to help them learn the new language!

Sing nursery rhymes and children’s songs in that language. If you don’t know any yourself, look on Youtube! There are so many in different languages that you can listen to for free.

7. Bi-lingual books

Read you children’s favourite bedtime stories to them in a foreign language. This is an easy and enjoyable way to add exposure to the language with very little effort on your part. You will be amazed at the selection of bi-lingual books available at the library for you to take out.

8. Flashcards

Once you children a comfortable understanding and using certain vocubulary in the context of their lives, you can begin to teach them how these words look in the written form and encourage them to write them themselves.

For this stage in the process, we use Write-and-Wipe Flashcards from Word United.

Word united Arabic flash cards

The Word United flashcards are available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and German; teaching the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and actions in each of these languages.

Each card shows the word or letter along with a beautiful high quality photo on one side; whilst the other side has that word written out, followed by a tracing and hand-writing exercise. These high quality cards are kept in a magnetically closing box, along with two wipe-able board pens.

Word united Arabic flash cards

These beautiful flashcards introduce children to the foreign language in it’s written form, and allowing them to have hands-on practice spelling the words too.

If you are interested in purchasing the Write-and-Wipe flashcards for your family, visit their website (www.wordunited.com), or visit the Word United Amazon Store .

You also find them on Twitter and Instagram.

Word united Arabic flash cards

 

Remember, very young children learn language through their ears, and not their eyes!

Hold back on workbooks and textbooks until you children are starting to understand the spoken language. The ages 2 and 3 years-old are critical in language development, and thus this is the ideal time to begin introducing a new language to them.

When your children are ready to move onto the written form of the language, try using bi-lingual books and flashcards, like the ones from Word United.

This will your children with a solid foundation with which to master another language and help them in their further study of that foreign language.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I would also love to hear how you have successfully taught your children another language.

Let us know in the comments below!

In need of your duas.

Peace and Love,

Our Muslim Homeschool Dr Gemma Elizabeth

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| Day in the Life | + Arabic Flashcards GIVEAWAY

Muslim homeschool UK DITL Arabic

Since we began using the Ambleside online homeschool curriculum, our daily routine has changed. We are spending more time reading living books, less time doing worksheets and even more time outdoors!

WATCH THE VIDEO below to see a typical day in our Muslim homeschool.

Also, make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to enter this month’s GIVEAWAY!

Muslim homeschool UK DITL Arabic

This blog post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Word United, who generously sent me their products to review. Our Muslim Homeschool uses affiliate links in posts and the sidebar. Please see Disclaimer for more information.

 

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Word United Write and Wipe Flashcards

We are using the write and wipe flashcards from Word United to enriched our homeschool English and foreign language curriculum.

These cards provide a hands-on approach to learning a language that has kept my children engaged and enthusiastic to learn more!

Word United Enlgish flashcards

The Word United flashcards are available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and German; teaching the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and actions in each of these languages.

Each card showcases the word or letter with a beautiful high quality photo on one side; whilst the other side has the word written out, and then space for tracing and hand-writing practice. These high quality cards are kept in a magnetically closing box, along with two wipe-able board pens.

Word United English flashcard

If you would like to learn more about these flashcards, WATCH THE VIDEO above, visit their website (www.wordunited.com), or find them on Twitter and Instagram.

Word United Arabic flashcard

Other Products Featured

Arabic Flashcards
English Flahscards
Abacus
Scythe
How to Read a Book
Home Education: Volume 1
Charlotte Mason Summaries
Primer Free and Treadwell
Matilda
Harry Potter

Wizards of Once
Mr Poppers Penguins
Beatrix Potter Collection
Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

 

GIVEAWAY

This month, I  am thrilled to be sharing the beautiful Word United Write and Wipe Flashcards with THREE WINNERS!
Each winner can select ONE SET of the Write and Wipe flashcards from WordUnited.com.
The giveaway will run from Saturday 28th November  2017 until Saturday 4th November 2017 at 12am GMT.

This giveaway is OPEN TO UK RESIDENTS ONLY.

All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know it can be fun to see how other families home-educate their children; but more than that, I hope you found something useful in our YouTube video. Whether its a new book to read, or a new idea, I sincerely hope that by sharing these moments of our lives with you, I am helping you and your families in someway.

If you would like to see more of us, and an almost daily look into our homeschooling day, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
In need of your duaas.
Peace and Love,
Our Muslim Homeschool Dr Gemma Elizabeth

What we’ve been Reading + GIVEAWAY!

June reading wrap up Muslim homeschool

I’ve just discovered the world of BookTube and I’m thrilled to make my first ever Reading wrap up for YouTube!

In this video I share what books we’ve been reading this month in our homeschool, and what we are planning to read in July. I’m also hosting another GIVEAWAY to win two fabulous books; scroll to the bottom for this post for more details!

This post may contain affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.

To find out what books we’ve been enjoying this month,and what we plan to read next month, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Books Mentioned:
A Man Called Ove
Gods in Alabama 
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
Martha Inc.
Fitra Journal: Muslim Homeschooling 
Don Quixote 
Station Eleven
Before the Rains
In Order to Live
A House for Happy Mothers
Undivided

Children’s Odyssey

James and the Giant Peach
Bobs Books Set 3

Free and Treadwell Reading Primer
Secret Garden

YouTube Channels Mentioned

Lydia Senn

Arrrgh schooling
Read Create Repeat Homeschool

GIVEAWAY

It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!

fitra journal muslim homeschool giveaway

 

This month, I  am thrilled to be sharing two of my favourite books this month.
The first name selected will win:

Three further runner-ups will be randomly selected. Each will receive a Big Reconnecting Self Love Journal.

This Ramadan Basket Giveaway will run from Sunday 9th July  2017 until Monday 17th July 2017 at 12am GMT.

This giveaway is open internationally!

All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.

Please be aware that if you are entering from overseas, you may be liable to pay customs tax (or the equivalent), so please check before entering.

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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you enjoyed seeing what we’ve been reading this June, and our reading plans or July.If you haven’t already, you can SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE and pressing the BIG RED BUTTON. This means you will be notified every time we put out a new video. You can also watch my previous video HERE.If you have any reading recommendations, please leave them for me in the comments section below. I would love to get hear about what books you’ve been reading.Peace and Love,Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Homeschool Update: June 2017

Watch this short video to find out what we have been doing during Ramadan and our plans for the summer!

I also talk a little about how I feel our homeschooling year is going, as well how we plan to “catch up” with the subjects we have fallen behind in.

CLICK HERE to Watch!

If you have any questions, please leave them for me in the comments section below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

Homeschool Mom Tag on YouTube!

Homeschol mom tag on Youtube

This blog post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclaimer for more information.

Do you want to know about where we buy homeschool supplies from, what homeschooling approach we take, and if I get help to teach the kids? Then you need to WATCH THIS VIDEO!

This tag has been going around the homeschooling YouTube community for the past few weeks. It was started by Rachel from day2dayjoys and I was tagged by The Precious Years and Sarah Javed to answer these questions:

Homeschol mom tag on Youtube

Homeschool Tag Questions

1. Were you homeschooled?
2. Did you know always know you’d homeschool your children?
3. What are your 3 favorite books in your homeschool library?
4. Are you the only “teacher”? Does your spouse help, outsource help, tutors, etc.
5. Where is your favorite place to buy homeschool curriculum?
6. Do you have a set budget for your homeschool?
7. What are 2 must have homeschool supplies?
8. What’s your favorite/least favorite subject to teach?
9. Are you involved in coops or homeschool groups? What has your experience been in these groups?
10. What is your approach? ( Charlotte mason, eclectic, classical, etc)

Watch this video to see how I answered all these great questions!

WATCH THIS VIDEO:

Here are links to the books I mentioned in this video:

My Favourite Homeschooling Books

For Mothers:

Teaching from Rest by Sarah McKenzie – Amazon UKAmazon USA

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer – Amazon UKAmazon USA

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer (New Edition) – Amazon UKAmazon USA

For Kids:

Winnie-the-Pooh: The Complete Collection – Amazon UK – Amazon USA

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

Pinocchio by C. Collodi – Amazon UK – Amazon USA

 

If you would like to watch the playlist of all the other mothers taking part, CLICK HERE!

I am tagging anyone who would like to take part.

You can make a YouTube video, write a blog post

or just leave your answers in the comments below!

I’d love to hear how you do things in your family!

 

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

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