Lapbook prep is hard work!

What a lot of cutting!

I realised on my second lapbooking attempt I have to have everything cut and already prepared to go into the lapbook. The girls would get distracted or Zahra would expect to get involved in the cutting! At their age getting involved in the actual creation of flaps is not essential. Imaan loves prettying it up and choosing where to place it and stick it which I realised is enough.

So here I am with a pain in my neck from sitting hunched (yes, I have very bad posture!) cutting pages and pages of Ramadaan prep-work (no, I don’t have a paper trimmer yet!). I never imagined there would be so much stuff LOL! It will be worth it on the day of each lesson insha Allah when I dont have to be running around making sure everything is in place.

Lapbooks are still new to me so there’s much I need to learn insha Allah, gosh homeschooling is new to me and there’s so much for me to learn but no matter if you are having a good day or a bad day… its the knowledge that the ultimate reward is with Allah (SWT) that gives you the drive to keep learning, overcoming obstacles and reaching those goals, insha Allah. It really does fill you with so much peace when you do things which will benifit you in dunya and aakhira (insha Allah).

 

 

Monday Moments…

We did some lovely crafting today, the girls enjoyed getting messy.

They first snipped the wool into manageable pieces, placed the pieces into a bowl, then I helped them squeeze some glue into the bowl and then the messing began. They squeezed and squelched much longer than necessary but that was part of the fun!

I prepared the inverted bowls by covering them with cling wrap and the girls covered the bowls with the pieces of wool.

They added some ubiquitous glitter to finish it off and I whisked it away so that it can dry! Once it dries I’ll put up pics of the completed project, insha Allah. The girls have no idea how it is going to look so it will be a surprise.

They actually enjoyed getting messy. I usually avoid the getting messy activities as they are always running off to wash their hands! I have been reading about sensory tubs and think they might actually enjoy it. I will share our experience with them when I get one going insha Allah.

They also got into one fail safe activity which is always a pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚ Play Dough ๐Ÿ™‚

Whether is it cutting or decorating with shells and glass pebbles play dough is always a hit and its home made so its cheap too ๐Ÿ™‚

Recipe:

2 cups white flour

2 cups water

food coloring

1 cup salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

ย Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture holds together, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside until the dough is cool enough to touch, about 5 minutes. Turn the dough onto a counter top and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes.

The girls usually can’t wait to take it from me and love to knead the dough while it is still warm. You can add different things to add another sensory level to it like different essences to give it a pleasant smell like vanilla or almond essence. A sister once suggested I add eucalyptus oil to the play dough when the girls had a bad cold, I didn’t have any at the time but I think that is a good idea. You could also add some sand to give it a more grainy texture…

Once the kids are done playing you can store it in a Ziploc bag or a container with a lid, I find it stays air tight in the Ziploc bag. It keeps for very long but make sure they pack it away as in summer it gets dried out if left out over night.

Monday Moments…

I gave Imaan some items to classify into Metal and Non-Metal using magnets. Once she finished she played around for ages creating little magnetic …errm gosh I don’t even know what to call them ๐Ÿ™‚ but she enjoyed it.

Zahra was busy with one to one correspondence using the stamp set…the ink being purple made the work irresistible to her ๐Ÿ™‚

Teaching Imaan: Literacy part 2

Word building. Imaan loves it! We encouraged her to write phonetically all the time, she had no inhibitions and wrote us letters as soon as she managed to form the letters of the alphabet. Her favorite thing to do was make shopping lists LOL! All according to how it sounded to her ๐Ÿ™‚

Once I realized she was over letter recognition activities I had to make the next level available for her. I had printed off picture and word cards that I downloaded off the internet and she used it along with the movable alphabet.

We would look at the pictures and make sure she knew the names of them and then I would have her phonetically choose letters from the movable alphabet to spell those words, or we would match up the pictures with the printed words. Now these pictures and word cards you can print on card and cut out or you can print on paper, laminate and then cut out for longevity.

The letters can be used to make up words or sentences.

Other than these resources, we would use workbooks that I bought from book shops, or I would print out some worksheets from Progressive phonics which is a site offering free phonics readers and worksheets.There are amazing resources online you just have access to internet and printer.

We are currently working on blends.

An easy way to store the blends cards is in a little envelope glued to the back.

What is nice about this type of activity is that she can easily take it off from the shelf and take it to the table and do it if she feels like it.

Some other nice sites for printable resources relating to literacy:

http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com

http://bogglesworldesl.com/phonics.htm

http://www.abcteach.com/

http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/

http://www.enchantedlearning.com

Teaching Imaan: Literacy

Its been sooo easy teaching Imaan, masha Allah, she was being homeschooled before I even knew there was such a thing! My mother read to her constantly when she was young and being the “Precious First Born” had every question answered in detail ๐Ÿ™‚ She had (and still has) an insatiable curiosity and I used to find myself having to run to Google to check my answers to her questions!

Once we committed to being a homeschooling family I focused mainly on providing a Montessori inspired environment, using the Sandpaper letters to teach her letter recognition and letter formation (an introduction to writing).The Sandpaper letters are hard board with the letters cut out of sandpaper, there are many tutorials of how to make them yourselves and if you would like to buy it I found a local supplier who is by far the cheapest. The cost is not so bad if you factor in the durability of the item, it’s going to be handled often and perhaps even get used with later siblings insha Allah…or if not there’s always Gumtree ๐Ÿ™‚

Using the sandpaper letters is recommended as it involves more of the child’s senses, especially the sense of touch. When using the sandpaper letters the child’s brain is getting tactile and kinesthetic memories to help remember the letter/number, as well as the visual memories.

Other things we did to encourage letter recognition was playing “I spy”. This game followed us everywhere! Waiting in the car…while in the bath…EVERYWHERE! It’s amazing how it encouraged them to notice things and notice the letters ๐Ÿ™‚ What I did with my younger daughter (when she just wasn’t getting it) is place three items on the mat, then we named them (for example, fork, pencil, spoon). Then I would play “I spy” with those three things and increase the number of objects according to her ability, now she can play along with us.

Doing arts and crafts to reinforce letter recognition is also great with my girls anything including craft paint or glitter glue is a winner!

Currentlyย  I am doing letter recognition with Zahra and I am word building with Imaan.

Next post insha Allah, I will highlight what resources we use to do word building.

Ramadaan preparations

Assalaamu alaikum

Have you started preparing your activities, lessons and craft for Ramadaan? I have and Masha Allah there is so much out there thanks to the generous, dedicated and hard-working homeschooling Muslimaat out there! May Allah reward them abundantly.ย  I am sooo excited ๐Ÿ™‚ While preparing our “schedule” for Ramadaan I decided to collect all the links of the sisters who have so kindly posted all their resources to their Ramadaan lapbooks, lessons, crafts and activities. I have a category on the right hand side of my homepage called:

Links to Ramadaan Resources, Crafts and Activities

There you will find links to blogs belonging to some of the best homeschool blogs available or rather that I have managed to find ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought it would be a good idea for us to start ahead of Ramadaan (to get it all done!!) Insha Allah.

So I’ve got to get back to work preparing!

P.S I found the pretty banner containing the dua at Easel and Ink.

Butterfly lapbook

We have been busy learning about the beautiful butterfly ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls loved this, its our second attempt at a lapbook and I really feel this is the way forward for us…lapbooks that is. The way it works is you find the content for what ever you would like the kids to learn be it an animal or a concept or a book. You scour the web or create your own little printables. Homeschool share has a huge array of lapbooks to choose from and if you have something that is not on their list then they have templates and resources to use to create one with your own topic and information. Then you prepare a few lessons for the duration of the week and at the end of it you assemble all your work into a folder. You can always add to it at a later stage. My girls love revisiting theirs to look at all they have accomplished.

Before we started we watched a life cycle of the butterfly clip (there are quite a few to be found online). We discussed the different stages and the concept of metamorphosis. We alwaysย  come back to how Allah is Al Khaliq (our first lapbook was on one of the Names of Allah )

Most of the printouts I got from Homeschool share , I got the life cycle booklet and other things from Enchanted Learning

I cannot find where I got this grid from ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Imaan was so surprised when she finished colouringย  that there was an image of a butterfly.

There are soo many things to do with kids be it art n craft or pollination the list is endless, I think our butterfly lapbook is going to turn into a butterfly file ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are a few things I found, some we did and some I would still like to do.

Cute Butterfly Unit

Butterfly life cycle nomenclature cards

Butterfly colouring in

Complete Unit of activities I used this as a guide and did most of the activities.

Insha Allah you will find benefit in this ๐Ÿ™‚

Where we are at…

We have a verrry informal way of homeschooling ๐Ÿ™‚ I mainly follow what the girls are interested in while keeping literacy maths, andย  Islamic studies constant. I use Lapbooks to address the changing topics they are interested in and I have a few Montessori resources which I have used for letter recognition, phonics and word building with Imaan and which I am currently using for Zahra.This is her pictured below.

Imaan was very interested in literacy and we would spend ages doing phonics activities and writing practice, but now she is much more interested in doing Lapbooks, learning about different animal life cycles, weather, and other science related topics.

This is what I love about homeschooling, we do a bit of everything but we follow the tides of a child’s interests that way ensuring they are 100% engaged.

Numeracy with Zahra I used one to one correspondence using things found around the house.

This is Zahra’s activity above.

With Imaan we are learning word sums and have just started using the number line to help her calculate. She was doing it using her fingers to add up but I read a suggestion on the maths thread of the IHSAN forums that its better to get them to use a number line.

We love doing arts and crafts, life sciences, nature exploration and generally learning about anything and everything that takes their fancy.

We are currently not using any curriculum as there is a wealth of resources available online if you have a printer it’s a real goldmine. I am exploring the possibility of getting a maths curriculum for next year as I would like to have more things prepared in advance. It’s not one of my fav subjects so I need to learn the best way to convey the different concepts.

OK ๐Ÿ™‚ that is a very broad overview of some of the days’ activities I will try to pin down more specific activities in later posts insha Allah.

Insha Allah in my next post I hope to share their butterflies Lapbook which they are just about finished with.

Bismillahi Rahmaani Raheem

Assalaamu alaikum ๐Ÿ™‚

Insha Allaah this is a blog to record our journey into homeschooling.

At the time of starting this blog Imaan is 5 years old, Zahra is 3 years old and Sakeenah is 5 months old. Masha Allaah.

I have been moved to create a blog not only to record our journey but to be able to share what we have learned and acquired as we have benefited so much from the amazing blogging sisters out there who have selflessly shared all their hard work. Insha Allahย  I hope to do the same for the sake of Allah.

Follow along on our homeschooling adventures and please feel free to leave your commentsย and suggestions ๐Ÿ™‚