(20:114) ربِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Baraka Allahu laka, wa baraka 'alaika, wa jama'a baynakumaa fi khayrin. Ameen.

Inside Madinah Masjid


Today my brother-in-law married a very sweet girl, masha'ALLAH. My daughter has wholeheartedly welcomed her into the family and has taken to calling her "Aunty" already. I hope she feels just as comfortable with us as we do with her, InshaALLAH.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Tiny Scientists

Cotton Sky

This is ideal weather for a woman who wears niqab. It's not cold, so my glasses don't fog up. I'm not stifled by the humidity, so my glasses don't fog up, lol. Now that the trees are blooming and the insects are crawling out from their hiding places, my little scientists are spending time in the field as well as the lab.

Inquisitive

My son is much too young for most of the lessons that we cover in science but he's very hands on so being outdoors is great for him. They get very excited when they find interesting goodies:

Nobody Home.

It looks like we need some magnifying glasses.

I think a big challenge for us is fitting in some extracurricular activities that don't interfere with the main bulk of our instruction time. Math and phonics take up the bulk of the day - especially with all of the coding in phonics:

This is How It's Done

and the math worksheets/homework sheets:

Math Homework

Qur'an is first and then each of these subjects is forty-five minutes to an hour. We go through them both one right after the other and then slow way down. Depending on the mood of my youngest (she alternates between myself and my mother-in-law), we either alternate the rest of the subjects throughout the week, or we combine lessons where we can. For example, when we studied trees, I used as many Arabic words as I could in a mini lesson so that my daughter is exposed to the language.

We are currently studying communities in social studies and the jobs that people in the neighborhood hold. The most visible of course, is the postal worker who comes by every day.

Pickups

And the superintendent/maintenance workers of our neighborhood. We've also had a chance to see firefighters in the neighborhood.

150 Metres

In other news,my son is still resisting his potty training, even though I got him a shiny red potty from Ikea.

Chamber Pot

I thought he would like it since he is fond of bright colors but he hates it worse than the other one! I even have the potty rings that go on the toilet seat but he protests every time. He does his pee but won't do poo. Oh well, we have to stick with it or we will have three kids in diapers at the end of the year - yikes! My daughter was much easier to potty train, perhaps because we used cloth diapers with her. I went from cloth to pull ups for a short time and then put her in underwear. She didn't want to get it wet so she learned quickly. This did not work with him.

I hope to fit in some more interesting activities over the few weeks. Since we are studying the sky, I hope to get a telescope for the children. Or perhaps a really strong pair of binoculars. I need to research this more, InshaALLAH. Also, I thought this was cute:

They use a night light in their room so this would be a good alternative.

The Purpose of Sports Part II

The Long Path Home


As Muslim women, it's important to get off our bums and stay active. I have given birth to three children since 2003. That's a lot of up and down weight gain for one body and now I am doing it again.

The last pregnancy was tough because I developed gestational diabetes. I had just begun to lose the weight from the previous pregnancy so I had a lot of extra weight. It was a tough time for me because I had to be on a special diet that consisted of three meals and three snacks. Try doing this in a home where no one else wants to embark on your health kick with you, lol. No Coke, no Pepsi, fries and pizza will shoot your levels through the roof.

I had to monitor my blood sugar about four times a day (needles in the fingertip are not for the squeamish and you can get a nice callous).

Tools for Sweet People

At the end, my condition worsened and I had to inject insulin straight into my belly at bedtime, which surprisingly did not hurt but itched like crazy.

This time, InshaALLAH I will do my best to avoid it. With my wonderful midwife, we are taking all the necessary precautions and I am spending time around this:

Ride to Nowhere

So, sports is also for fitness and well-being. It's important that we as busy moms remember to take care of ourselves. Caring for a husband and children can fill one's day, but if we don't make the time to care for ourselves, who will?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Post Number 40, Week Number 7

Well, we've been really busy around here lately. It has been a long week already. We are expecting our fourth child, InshaALLAH and I have been super tired lately. AlhamduLILLAH the "morning sickness" is usually a nighttime, after dinner situation so it hasn't affected me during school time. People are surprised and seem to be giving me unwanted sympathy, lol. Really, I love having my children and find that they are not the handful that most people imagine them to be. Children thrive if they have safety, nourishment, encouragement and routine. I cannot stress routine enough. They are only out of sorts when the extraordinary occurs, like a visitor dropping by (at bedtime) or when they are out of their comfort zones (shots at the doctor, lol). Otherwise, it's business as usual. They are really excited about the baby and my oldest is already trying to feel for kicks although it should be some time before that is possible, InshaALLAH, (I'm about 7 weeks along).

AlhamduLILLAH we have finished the unit on trees! I never thought it would end. As a final unit, we learned about things made from trees. We discussed how dependent we are upon trees as a natural resource and talked about what the world would be like without trees. I think the best part for my daughter was playing with a new toy that comes from Ikea trees.

Choo Choo


We finally put our science journal together with pipe cleaners and manila drawing paper.


Grade 1 Science Journal

We will fill the pages with goodies from outside, drawings and projects from the science book, InshaALLAH. This is our tree menu. It shows the kinds of foods that animals can find in trees. I stenciled the words at the top and my daughter practiced her handwriting at the bottom and she set the prices too.


Tree Restaurant Menu

We paid a friendly visit to Costco recently and found a set of Bob Books that I really like.

 Bob Books

They are level 3 and so far she is getting a good workout from the new words and she is able to use the phonics rules that she has learned from the Saxon program as she goes along. I am very happy about that.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still around

Wow! It's been almost one week since my last post. We have been getting out a lot and enjoying the warm weather. I feel like I haven't seen green grass in ages.

The Last of the Leaves

I've also begun seriously potty training my son and trying to (unsuccessfully) wean my youngest. She does not want that to happen. Sabr, InshaALLAH.

It's also report card time since we just finished up our first six weeks. This bit of record keeping is certainly more for my sake than my daughter. I must print off a certificate of achievement for her because she has done so well. This site has a nice award maker


I have to reevaluate and try to challenge her more in this next six weeks, InshaALLAH. She does her work almost effortlessly and this is after introducing a more formal and technical program like Saxon. And, it's first grade work and she's four. I don't want to overwhelm her but I will not have done my job if everything is a piece of cake.

Not that everything is so easy. Teaching Qur'an is frustrating. It is hard. Her recall is excellent though, Masha'ALLAH. Once she gets into a rhythm it comes easy. The real test is for me. Just when I think that she is not memorizing it, the shaiateen start whispering. It would be so easy to say "Alright, that's good enough for today" and leave it alone but I know that we won't get anywhere like that. So on we go.

Onwards and Upwards

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Enjoying ALLAH's Creations

Stick em Up



Yesterday, we went outside on our anticipated nature walk. AlhamduLILLAH, the weather was excellent. It was warm and bright but extremely windy! The wind was so fierce, it blew my youngest daughter's stroller all by itself!

The snow has almost completely melted and the days are getting sunnier. The melting snow has collected into a rush of mini waterfalls in the once-tame creek behind our house.


Beware of Melting Snow

There were a couple of ducks that weren't successful at swimming against the current so they floated alongside us as we walked.

Duck

The kids were very excited by the huge fallen branches and puddles of water and I had the hardest time keeping them dry!

Get Out of There!

We also managed to collect a few pine cones here and there to assist us as we study trees and the different types of seeds.


Pinecone

By the time we got home, everyone was tired and happy. I am glad that we chose to go yesterday because the weather changed drastically once again and we are back to the snow suits and hats.