Archives for 2012

Time savers: baby wearing

Assalaamu alaikum sisters

Alhamdulillah I have been using this time saver for a few months now and can vouch for its effectiveness!

I have often complained about my one year old Sakeenah’s presence in our homeschool environment and I find this is one of the tools I use to accomplish things, save time and keep her close to me all at the same time.

Photo Credit Alessia de Marco

If it comes to Sakeenah’s nap time which is usually right in the middle of school time I just wrap her on my back and carry on with whatever I was busy with.  She is so used to it that when I ask her if she wants to nap she comes to me and I put her on my back and she lays her head down and holds me round my waist while I secure her with her fuzzy blanket. You can use any fabric which suits you, it is winter here in South Africa, so the warm fuzzy blanket makes it extra cozy for her and she usually falls asleep in a few minutes.  Once she is asleep I lay her down and get back to what I was doing.

There are many ways which you can secure the baby and many fabrics you can use.

If you are on Pinterest there is a baby wearing board that you can browse through.

I use a verrry simple method which works well. It is very common amongst the more traditional African women and you can see it everywhere on the streets here. This site has a picture guide using a large piece of fabric like a sarong or large shayla.

If you just do a cursory search online you will find ample information on the merits of baby wearing and even though Sakeenah is 17 months masha Allah I hardly feel the weight at all.

Hope this benefits some one insha Allah

Image sources:[email protected]

The Bread Post

Assalaamu alaikum 🙂


OK… sisters who are dieting, going low carb or just don’t like crusty home baked bread look away 🙂

The rest of you bread lovers this is a bread you have to…  have to make! Here’s why:

  • It is quick.
  • It is easy.
  • It is tasty.
  • It is crrrusty.
  • It’s more nutritious than shop bought bread.
  • It looks gorgeous!
  • Your kids will think you are amazing.
  • Your husband will think you are amazing.
  • You will therefore earn Rewards in Dunya and Aakhira (insha Allah)
It is not my recipe I found it here.
It is a great blog and there are step by step pics of what the dough should look like at each step. Here is what they have to say about it:

What if I told you that instead of buying bakery bread for four or five dollars a loaf, you could make delicious handmade bread whenever you wanted, at a fraction of the cost and it is so easy a kid could do it?  Well, read on because this method of making artisan bread at home will change your life.

You can make incredible bread without having to do all the usual time consuming tasks of breadmaking:

  • no need to make a new batch of dough every time you want bread
  • no need to proof yeast
  • no need to make starters or prefermented dough
  • no kneading! 

In the last few years, several methods for making easy no-knead bread doughs have crept up on the internet and gained popularity.  Among the most popular have been Jim Leahy’s No-Knead Bread and Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’ Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  These breads drastically cut down the amount of time and work that it was always assumed had to go into artisan bread making.  Even the Zen Master of bread making, Peter Reinhart, has jumped onto the bandwagon, admitting that these no knead methods have made him rethink everything he knew about breadmaking:

“The results have forced me to reconsider all of the premises I once held sacrosanct”.

Have I convinced you to make it yet?

OK… now I need to warn you:

This bread will make you fat. LOL!

So go over to the italian dish blog and you can also make yummy bread like this (Insha Allah!):

I love soup!

Assalaamu alaikum

Who else can eat soup all day long? I can have it for lunch and supper and for a snack in between! I love eating it, I love making it and along with making bread and hanging up the washing it makes me feel like I am part of an ancient sisterhood which has done those simple tasks for thousands of years.

I was thinking about it… all through the ages…people of different cultures have their own version. There are so many variations of combining vegetables, meat/pulses and water to make soup. Whether you are rich or poor people make, eat and enjoy soup.

Here is my recipe for Chicken, leek and barley soup.

This Recipe is very easy you can use what ever ratios you like.


  • 2 pieces of chicken with bone. I used a large breast piece cut up.
  • 2 leeks (sliced)
  • 2 ribs celery(sliced)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 2 potatoes or sweet potatoes (grated)
  • few cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock (you can use chicken stock powder )
  • 2 cups barley  (boil for a 30 minutes or soak overnight)
  • optional:1 cup dried peas (I like this but you can substitute any pulse you enjoy or just add more barley)
  • fresh thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • Ground black pepper


  • Heat pot and add a bit of olive oil/butter, add leeks, celery, carrot and garlic.
  • Then add chicken, salt to taste, thyme, bay leaf and black pepper.
  • Add chicken stock and pulses
  • Add grated potato
  • Let simmer until thick and yummy, stirring occasionally
  • Remove chicken and flake the meat off the bones and discard bones and return chicken to pot
  • Check for seasoning add more salt and pepper if you need
  • Also check if you need to add more water/stock

Serve with some crusty bread (Recipe to follow insha Allah)



Home making moments

Assalaamu alaikum sisters

I have wanted to share some home making moments alongside our home schooling moments insha Allah.

I love being in the kitchen, working in my home (ok cleaning not so much!) and there are so many very wonderful tips I have come across which I am using and would like to share insha Allah so that you may benefit (as I have) insha Allah.

Some things I have been learning about are

  • Frugal living (There are some great tips out there to help us make proper use of our resources. )
  • Whole/real foods (Although I always cook from scratch I am learning how to feed my family better.)
  • Green Cleaning (I am a newbie but am trying to apply some things I have learnt, detoxifying my home one step at a time.)

OK we will start with those Insha Allah.

I would also love to try to share recipes which worked especially healthy, wholesome food.

It is winter here in South Africa so there will be soups, stews, breads and a few sweet treats (cupcakes if Imaan has any say about it!)


Praying Mantis Lapbook

Assalaamu alaikum!

We had one of those amazing learning moments recently, alhamdulillah. Imaan and Zahra were playing in the back yard with some friends when they came across a praying mantis! They came running  inside  shouting for me to come and see. So out I went to see what they were so excited about, they were so amazed to have found a creature which camouflages itself so well. We discussed that for a bit then I reminded them to leave it alone as we don’t want to harm it. A bit later they came shouting for me to come see their amazing find. I went out to find them hopping about in excitement pointing at a spot on the wall. The praying mantis was laying eggs.

Imaan: “What is it doing Mommy?”

Umm Imaan: “Its laying eggs…”

Nusayba: “What is the white stuff?”

Umm Imaan: “Hmmm….”

Rabia: ” When will it hatch?”

Umm Imaan: “Ummm….”

I realised that I knew next to nothing about Praying mantes… I fended off most of their questions and ran inside to fetch my phone to take some pics. Here’s the Praying mantis laying its eggs.


  That evening I researched Praying mantis and downloaded a few pics and videos. Prepared a quick lapbook and felt a bit better about not being able to answer their questions! Here is a pic of the “white stuff”

According to wikipaedia:

 The female then lays between 10 and 400 eggs, depending on the species. Eggs are typically deposited in a frothy mass that is produced by glands in the abdomen. This froth then hardens, creating a protective capsule. The protective capsule and the egg mass is called an ootheca. Depending on the species, the ootheca can be attached to a flat surface, wrapped around a plant or even deposited in the ground.

As for when it will hatch…according to my research the female lays the eggs in autumn and the case (ootheca) protects it from the elements and predators and it will hatch in Spring insha Allah…so the girls will have to wait.

Over a few weeks we learnt lots about this fascinating creature. Here are some pictures I found from the blog:  Mrs Warner’s 4th Grade Classroom, she has some wonderful printable resources which she has made available on her blog.

Here are some pics of the different types of Praying mantises we found. I showed these to highlight the fact that there are different coloured Praying matises as they live in different environments.

According to wiwkijunior:

” A mantis will often roost in something close to its own body color. Most mantes are green or brown and they perch in grasses, bushes and trees. However, some other species are brightly colored and depend on flowers for camouflage.”

Here are some amazing examples:

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Homeschool share has some nice printables to create a lapbook or project

Here are some links to clips:

mini clip  from Animal Planet. (with music)

Amazing  you tube clip of the life cycle of the praying mantis.

Here is another life cycle clip.

Here are some links where you can find more info on Praying mantises:

I will post pics of our completed lapbook once we are done insha Allah.

I hope you will find benefit insha Allah.

A post!

Assalaamu alaikum 🙂

Its been ages since I last posted, I had hit a blogging slump, life got hectic, camera was stolen, laptop charger broke (which was a mercy as I had been spending too much time online). It was easy to just not post.

Please forgive me if you were a reader and I just went AWOL. I have missed blogging and now that I have my hardware back up to scratch I hope to get right back into the saddle and spend less time fussing with slide show galleries and more time sharing our homeschool moments!

I still read and tried to keep up with the blogs but was using Hub’s laptop so signing-in to comment was a mission!

Alhamdulillah we are all well keeping up with our learning activities and surviving the toddlerhood! Sakeenah has grown into a force to be reckoned with, a danger magnet who will not be contained! Allah u a’lam…I am so happy with my girls coz I don’t know what I would have done with three boys if my girls are so daring!

Imaan is coming along steadily we are spending more time with Hifdh, Arabic, and Islamic studies as I feel I have not concentrated enough on the most important subjects. Zahra is also moving swiftly masha Allah, her reading is doing well but her handwriting is still developing so the Montessori style activities still suits her.

Scheduling is an ongoing battle with us as I want to follow the flow of their learning but it clashes with my 1 year old’s need for destruction. Her unpredictable escapades has truly been the most overwhelming force the last few months! Like I said we are surviving toddlerhood! Insha Allah soon she will be more interested in her own activities and less interested in distracting the girls! (Ameen!)

I don’t have many pics of the work we have been doing, just doing the work has been an accomplishment in itself!

We are in the Southern Hemisphere so Winter is truly upon us. It only snows on a few mountain ranges here in the Cape but it is still freezing cold as we do not have central heating and we usually rely on hot water bottles and/or heaters.

Here are a few winter pics around Cape Town.

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Keeping my head above the water!

Assalaamualaikum sisters!

Alhamdulillah I am back to blogging after a looong break LOL! All is good my side alhamdulillah. We had a homeschooling break for over a month as I had an opportunity to do a CELTA  course and after much prayer and Istihaara I was sitting in a classroom again! So alhamdulillah I am now CELTA certified to teach TEFL masha Allah.

It was a grueling month and I learnt so so much!  I was not sure I could manage it as I am quite a homebody, I mean I have been out of university since 2003!  But it was sink or swim and alhamdulillah I survived! It was tough managing the children’s needs, home life, fulltime studies and deal with the anxiety of preparing for teaching a class of 13 students! In the beginning the thought of teaching practise gave me nightmares and the 40 minutes seemed like forever but soon it became easier to cope, alhamdulillah!

The girls really missed homeschool as I didn’t have time to do any form of schooling but my sister-in-law took them swimming and did some art and craft and baking AND they spent time with their two grannies…so they had a wonderful time.

For the past month I have been recovering! We have been trying to get back into the flow of things, I am slowly finding my footing again 🙂 Sakeenah is 14 months…and is tearing my house down LOL!

On that note… I need to get back to work!

Fee Amaanillah

Umm Imaan



I even forgot how to login!

Assalaamu alaikum akhwaat

I haven’t blogged in so long I actually forgot how to get into my blog!

Jazzakillahu khair to the sisters who contacted privately to check that I was ok. It was truly heartfelt 🙂 I have missed reading you and truly hope you are all well and striving 🙂

It has been ages and I am so sorry for not even writing a “be back soon” post…but my laptop was infected with a virus and unusable!

I felt horrible at first… like a missing part of me, not being able to research, not being able to print off work. And my homeschooling files! My photo’s! I then I started seeing how addicted I was to being connected and how after the initial feeling wore off I realised I can get on fine without it. Alhamdulillah I can now get through the day without having to go online… Gosh I do sound addicted don’t I? May Allah cure me of it.

I got my laptop back some of my homeschool  resources were backed up on my hub’s external hard drive so I can get on with the show alhamdulillah.

We had a mini break as my husband was away and I went to say my at parents alhamdulillah. We kept up with basics arabic, quraan, math and english but mainly enjoyed being with the family. The girls enjoyed all the attention 🙂

Right now I am sick, Sakeenah and I have a nasty tummy bug. I am nearing the end of it but still have zero appetite. Please make duah for us.

Fee Amaanillah

Umm Imaan



Our first foray into geography

Assalaamu alaikum

We have been totally taken with our geography studies alhamdulillah with a little prompting and a few selected resources Imaan has fallen in love with a new subject. Zahra has read her first 6 letter word after scouring our new map for ages she spelled out Alaska with the happiest smile masha Allah.

There are so many great resources and while we are just reading about different things and exploring the continents and the names of different countries I am plotting and planning a nice curriculum for next term insha Allah.

Here is a list of the resources I will be using, a few sites which are currently inspiring me and the materials I have made and/or plan on making insha Allah.

  • “Where I live”

We will be reading the book “Me On the Map” this will tie in with the “All about me” lapbook we will be doing insha Allah.

If you are in South Africa you can get it here:

And elsewhere you can get it here:

I found this worksheet from enchanted learning

This video illustrates “me on the map”

This is something I found on pinterest and simply love. Here is another version.  So in preparation I have cut and prepared all the elements so it is ready when we need it.

  • Continent and oceans study

I love the felt map idea I found on United Montessori and may make it using craft foam as in this post I will post pics once we have completed the work insha Allah.

If you use the Montessori method here are some links to free 3 part cards ETC press has some very beautiful nomenclature cards for free download. I have printed and “laminated” my set and it is ready to go on the shelves. I also prepared some continent print outs that they can use with pinning.  This post outlines how to use this activity with your geography work. Here is an excerpt to explain:

The felt pad is placed flat on the table.  The traced continent is placed on top of the felt.Then they use the puncher tool to punch holes along the outline of the continent.  This perforates the continent so it can then be “punched” out of the paper surrounding it and ultimately glued onto their map.

I simply love the continent bags by Counting Coconuts.

The Little List is a useful site which will direct you very accurately to what free resource you are looking for 🙂

This is another nice resource for continents study.

A cute continent memory game on the National Geographic website click  here and you will go straight there 🙂 *note there is a sound which sounds almost like piano as you click, the game can be played with the sound off it is just a bit more difficult.

  • Maps and mapping

I have such a nice mapping unit study which I downloaded from Scholastics when they were having a special sale so we will be using that aswell as the Intellego Unit Studies on mapping.

Wonderful interactive map also by on National Geographic’s website

World atlas lists pertinent data for the different aspects of the world.

Using the mapmaker tool you can download and print a map of any country you choose.

  • Children of the World

A sister over at Noor Janan Homeschool has written a blog post about her children of the world stamp cards which she has made available as a free download masha Allah.

  • Animals of the World

Confessions of a Homeschooler has free downloads for Animals of the World.

  • Free online geography curricula

National geographic have free down loadable lesson plans for K-2

  • Art

Umm raiyaan has shared some nice activities relating to geography studies. I like this art project.

There are numerous activities on My Montessori Journey, I really like the Paint the earth activity and the continent work.

So that is just a peep into what I have been looking into for our geography studies insha Allah. I hope this prep work will help you in your geography work 🙂 insha Allah

So what do you do with your littlest tot?

Assalaamu alaikum 🙂

Our littlest tot : Sakeenah didn’t have as great a presence when we were schooling before the holidays, she took two long naps in the day so I had ample time to do what needs doing. Now however she is everywhere!

What do I do?

The schoolroom is the place to be as far as she is concerned. If I leave her anywhere to crawl freely that is the first place she will crawl to! It has lots of math manipulative, craft supplies and it is all accessible to the older girls. Now I am either going to have to change the whole lay out of the room or keep her out.

I love that everything is there for the girls to see and choose from, but I don’t like keeping Sakeenah confined to a stroller or the passage as I had been doing previously.

She seems pretty contented in the space I have here but this plan wont last much longer as she is starting to climb over the barricade!

Then what?

Do you have any ideas?

What do you do with your littlest tot?