(20:114) ربِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What We're Doing for Literature

I saw the Invincible Abdullah series some time ago and made a mental note.

In an age where Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia are mentioned on nearly every secular homeschool blog, I desired a series of books that we Muslims could enjoy for our children and ourselves. I don't know if this is it, after all, we haven't read them yet, but if it's good, InshaALLAH, I'll let you know. The series is four paperbacks with corresponding workbooks, purchased separately. I got mine from Islamic Bookstore, (this isn't a paid advertisement by the way - it was cheaper for me since I'm in Canada).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Different Methods, Same Goal

We're trying different methods to learn the multiplication tables. My daughter can fill out the chart but she's slow about it. I'm hoping that rote memorization helps her speed up her mind when I drill her, InshaALLAH.

She also wrote our a few rhymes for the more difficult numbers in the table. There are rhymes on the back too. We didn't do them all; I want her to understand commutative math too, i.e. 4 x 7 = 7 x 4, etc.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Battle of Uhud

We've finished the Battle of Uhud and now on to the Battle of Al-Ahzab, (Battle of the Trench), InshaALLAH.

The Battle of Badr

The snow is back. The kids have been pretty upset this winter because they hadn't had the chance to get outside and use their toboggans due to the mild weather that we've had (they were sick a lot too).

Finally, we had a decent snow and the weather was okay so my husband took them out to a hill that's at the far end of the field behind our house. I was able to spy on them from the balcony while the baby slept.

When they came back, my son was so excited that I couldn't get him to focus for anything, lol.

Of course, little sis had to get in on the action. She says she's serious/mysterious; to us, it sounds like "seewious/mysteewious".

After everyone settled down, big sis was able to get into her Islamic Studies lesson and really enjoyed herself. We are still using the same books as before but we're really taking our time with it so that the names and events stick.

We pulled out the atlas so that we could fill in a map as we go along; It was a blank map that I scanned from a book that we have but there are plenty of them online also.

We've also covered the continents and oceans but I'll have to give her a spelling test, InshaALLAH.

Finally, she wrote a summary of the Battle of Badr and added a map and picture that we found online.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chechen Muslimah Homeschoolers

MashaALLAH, it is so exciting to meet sisters from all over the world who have the common bond of Islam and home education.

Check out sister Iman's blog - she has some great resources, MashaALLAH:


Another Thrift Find

Salaam Umm Tafari,

I found this at the thrift shop and thought of you. ;)

Thrift Store Finds

My daughter had three chapter books left so we visited the local thrift shop last weekend. I found a lot of good books and even managed to find this National Geographic out of a stack of hundreds!

She can finish a chapter book in about two days, mashaALLAH. She reads on her own time and prefers it to video games, so I hope that she rubs off on her brother, lol.

To make it a bit more challenging, I have added book report/review pages to her language arts binder, so that she can fill them in as she reads a book.

They are pretty simple for now, but next year, she will be required to write her own, InshaALLAH.

She is also using Spelling Grade 3 from www.Currclick.com. She had been floating between second and third grade work for a while and her reading skills are more like fifth or sixth grade, so we really need to focus on writing, InshaALLAH, including cursive.

This is from www.donnayoung.org.

I'm starting to incorporate different activities into our regular math program (Singapore) so that my daughter can really grasp the concepts, InshaALLAH. We have a math binder with dividers for each focus of math, (addition, subtraction, etc) and currently, we are focusing on adding money and making change. A book that I found a couple of years ago at the thrift shop is Slugger's Car Wash. This book is perfect for learning to make change and counting money, AlhamduLILLAH.

Next, InshaALLAH, we conquer fractions! (Math resources found here by the way.)

If you want to read about math notebooking, Jimmie talks about it in her squidoo lens.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keep Making Du'a

[Summarized from Al Jumuah magazine, vol 19, issue 7]

Imam Ahmed (Rahimahullah), may Allah be pleased with him, once was traveling and needed to stay somewhere overnight. When he went to the masjid, the guard (not recognizing Imam Ahmed) denied him entrance. Imam Ahmed tried numerous times, but the guard did not accept his requests. Frustrated, Imam Ahmed resolved to spend the night in the masjid yard.

The guard became furious and dragged him away, despite the old age and frailty of Imam Ahmed. A baker, whose shop was nearby, watched this scene and took pity on Imam Ahmed. He invited the Imam to stay with him for the night.

While there, Imam Ahmed noticed that the baker continually made istighfar (asking for Allah's forgiveness) while working, and in the morning, the Imam eagerly asked his host about the latter's continual seeking of forgiveness. The baker said it had become like second nature, and Imam Ahmed then asked whether the man had experienced any reward from this practice.

The baker answered, "By Allah! No duaa (supplication to God) I made except that it was answered but one." "And what is that duaa?" asked Imam Ahmed.

"To be able to see the famed Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal!"

Imam Ahmed interjected, "I am Ahmed ibn Hanbal! By Allah! I was dragged to your place so that you can have your duaa come true."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Have you been to Ology? It's from the Museum Of American Natural History.


We are still moving along, even though I seem to be running out of steam, (mostly on the blogging side). For science, the focus is still animal classification. We are trying to use various resources just to keep it interesting. We added these pages to the science binder recently. Most of the photos are from the Toronto Zoo newsletter and a few were found online.

I might also invest in Anna Botsford Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study. It corresponds to the activities found on the Handbook of Nature study blog.

My daughter also added a page on bats:

She loves to read and loathes writing, so this is a fun (and sneaky) way of getting her to write!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If You Have A Kindle....

I don't know if this works for Kindle for PC, which is what I have, but you can try it, InshaALLAH.

I've been thinking about getting an ebook reader of some sort, simply because I want to cut down on the amount of books that we have. They are all over the house, I literally have them stacked on the floor in a corner near my desk and we don't have the space for more shelves.

I read a lot and so do the children so I haven't decided yet. Do any of you have one? I think that they are way on the expensive side so I am waiting to see a huge price drop before I even seriously consider it.

My husband was downtown so I made him go to the Sony store at the mall (we were on the phone, lol) and he checked out their ebook readers. He didn't like them at all but that's because he's missing the point of a gadget that is just for books (you can download books from the library on the Sony). He's more impressed by the Apple iPad, but it doesn't have the proper screen for reading. Lol, we are gadget geeks over here so if you don't care, just ignore me.

Anyway, here is the link: British library to offer free ebook downloads.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Observing ALLAH's Creation

Try It - It's Easy!

I used oil pastels from Dollarama and a sheet of computer paper.

Jon Gnagy Lesson: Mountain Lake

Just finished this... InshaALLAH I will post my finished product as soon as I scan it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wow, A Whole Week Has Passed

It has been so busy behind the scenes this week - my husband is working weird hours so by the time I think about it, blogging is on the back burner. Still, I'm just now realizing that it's Thursday?!

The good news is that the boy can read now! He's getting more confident each day, alhamduLILLAH. He read one books that we kept from our Calvert days, and then I read Goodnight Moon to him and he completed the workbook page for it.

Next, I opened the pack of Saxon Math 1 workbooks and started it with him. I like Singapore Math too but I still had this extra pack sitting around and didn't want to waste it.He gets a kick out of coloring in the blocks anyway.

While he didn't mind reading and he really likes the math, he absolutely detests writing. It's the most stressful part of his day because he is still struggling to hold his pencil properly. He does much better with a fat pencil or a pencil that is super short.

Oh, and to his penpal: InshaALLAH this weekend he is getting his letter ready for you! He's very excited.

My daughter is doing well and she's moving right along with her studies. She finished her phonics book so I had to think about what to do. She reads all the time on her own - she's finished her 28th chapter book so I owe her an ice cream this weekend, InshaALLAH.

I started reading Black Beauty to her last night and we're using a unit study from Currclick. We're also doing animal classification for science, specifically mammals, so horses fit in nicely with that. There is a curriculum called History of the Horse that I am thinking about using. It is a literature-based program and I think my daughter might like it. I don't know, maybe; I have to think about it a bit.

She's also practicing her Arabic by reading from this book:

Right now, we're just combining short vowels and tanwin with each letter.

I'm trying to strengthen her math skills by doing extra work outside of the Singapore Math curriculum. Today, we focused on place value. I think it makes more of an impact on the mind to see the numbers, so she simply wrote the numbers in the table and we placed it in her math binder. She was surprised by all the zeros, but I think the exercise helped her mind to absorb it.

For spelling/geography, we focused on Canada. I gave her a stack of index cards with the names of the ten provinces and she looked them over for a few minutes.

Then, I tested her and she got six out of four right.

Today, I had her spell them out loud and she got them all right, MashaALLAH.

The kids got out into the back yard again to see what wonders lay under the snow. They brought back a goody bag of leaves for us to dry, pressed between some cardboard squares.

And lastly, my daughter wanted to make a sandwich for me yesterday. Can you see the tuna? Neither could I, lol, but still a sweet gesture.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Week in Review

This past week was very productive, mashaALLAH. We finished The Story of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in Makkah and have moved forward to Madinah. The children enjoyed hearing the story and I also asked them to narrate and had my daughter complete a few activities in her notebook.

She really liked the story of Prophet Muhammad's (Peace be upon him) Night Journey, so she made a mini book and illustrated to my writing.

Originally, she attempted to write it herself but her handwriting was too large to fit inside and she became frustrated.

Although it was very cold, we managed, okay, they managed to get outside and explore the backyard. I just snapped a few shots from the door, lol.

My son had fun with his phonics lesson - he's doing well now that I've figured out how he works. We are using an eclectic mix to help him learn to read, including Progressive Phonics, a free site (with registration), that has printable stories that we read together.

His Pathway Reader curriculum comes with a few cut and paste pages that we add when we have the time. On this page, he had to read the word to me and then I gave him the proper picture to glue over the word. It took a while but he eventually finished.

There were clock puzzles,

towers constructed,

crowds controlled,


and busy babies too!

It was a good, productive week, AlhamduLILLAH.