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:

http://9davids.blogspot.com/2011/02/babywearing-through-ages.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alesdemar/5051222873/in/[email protected]

http://oliviapendergast.com

http://www.photoree.com/photos/uprated_basic/4802/3

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

 

 

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?

We have a plan!

Assalaamu alaikum

 

It feels almost impossible to document our plan for the year term insha Allah as our resources comes from so many places. This is just a rough idea of what we are covering. When it is going to be done will depend on the girls’ interests at the time.We may go deeper into some topics than planned so I am not putting a time frame on this plan.

Circle time: This needs its own post to outline what we will be doing insha Allah. I may be a bit over ambitious with regards to all I would like to include so I will tweek it until it suits us insha Allah.

As it stands I would like to include:

  • Greeting
  • Reciting morning athkar
  • Quraan
  • Duah of the week
  • Name of Allah of the week (Discuss/revise)
  • Question of the day
  • Hadith of the day
  • Writing in calendar file

We will do another circle time after lunch and Thuhr Salaah to regroup before the afternoon slot insha Allah.

Islamic Studies:

We will be using this Islamic studies framework as it is clear and concise masha Allah. Umm An Nu’man over at A Muslim child is born wrote about it here.

  • Tauheed
  • Aqeeda
  • Quraan
  • Seera
  • Akhlaq
  • 5 pillars
  • Wudhu
  • Salaah

I will write a more in-depth post about  each of these as there are so many other links to great works that other sisters made available through their blogs but for now here are some resources I found:

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Arabic

I have been holding out and waiting to find an Arabic teacher for the girls but in the meanwhile I better just try my best with them insha Allah. We will be using these resources and other craft and worksheet based activities

We will use these for Arabic Writing

Lives of Prophets:

We have read all the Prophet’s stories but now we will do further studies to develop their comprehension insha Allah. I have prepared units on three Anbiyaa and insha Allah I will make some more as we go along insha Allah.

Math

Zahra: MEP Reception year

Montessori numeracy activities

Imaan: MEP Year 1 (to go over some basics)

Singapore math 1A

Worksheets, games, hands on activities for practice:

  • Addition and subtraction (practice number bonds)
  • Place value
  • Measurement
  • Graphing
  • Estimation
  • Time
  • Money

English

Zahra: Montessori method, we are currently using the moveable alphabet and doing work with the Pink Series masha Allah. Using handwriting worksheets and A LOT of prereading activities I have found online.

Imaan: Montessori Blue and Green level along with loads of hands on materials I have made to facilitate fluency insha Allah. I forgot to add that we are using the  Progessive Phonics program (free printable phonics program available online) I will post how we are using it when I get a chance insha Allah.

Grammar: First Language Lessons and Scholastics Grammar, along with the sight word activities and many many other resources I will share as we go along insha Allah.

 

She loves reading so I am searching high and low for good reading material for her. I don’t understand why fantasy and witchcraft have to be so prevalent in the children’s reading material! I ended up printing off a few readers for her to use alhamdulillah. According to the this guideline with regards to their Primary English Curriculum Framework Imaan is doing quite well but I don’t want to move through to stage two as I want to encourage fluency as I believe it is more important to have solid foundations than to rush to reach higher levels. She can enjoy having mastered this level a bit longer and if I feel she needs more stimulation we can move on insha Allah.

Geography

I have a post in the works which has more details. Here it is

Nature Studies

We will be using UmmTafari’s 6 week Nature Studies Unit which she has provided on her blog (River City Homeschoolers). I love it because she has made it so hands on and brings in Quraan Ayaat as well!! 🙂 May Allah reward her.

We will also be doing lapbooks on a few topics which tie in with her Nature Studies Unit.

  • Birds
  • Plants
  • Clouds
  • Water Cycle

Science

I have prepared unit studies on:

  • Phases of matter
  • The five senses
  • The body
  • Reuse, reduce and recycle

OK so that a verrry rough idea of what we will be doing I hope to post details of each of the subjects to share my links and resources with you all insha Allah.

Please make duah that Allah grant us success in Dunya and Aakhira and that we please Him in our efforts . We make duah that Allah correct us and keep us on the Siraat Al Mustaqeem and never leave us for even a second. This is hard work but if Allah wills      the rewards is surely greater!

“Mommies are nocturnal”

Assalaamu alaikum

Zahra asked “Mommy why don’t you have your pajamas on?”

I answered and said “I am not going to bed right now.”

She asked “Why?”

Imaan answered ” Because Mommies are nocturnal.”

Well said Imaan! LOL! Yes this mommy has been pretty nocturnal of late alhamdulillah. I am trying out a new strategy which includes some planned curriculum bits and bobs lapbooks researched and printed and at least a 6 week chunk of work and unit studies prepared insha Allah. Its been an uphill climb with a teething 10 month old who just loves to “touch” my laptop. But insha Allah it will be worth it to not be flying by the seat of my pants!

So we have been taking a homeschool break and the kids have enjoyed playing outside in the garden making mud pies…in the trees…in the blow up pool. We have plans for cherry picking, swimming, braaing (BBQ), picnicking, and generally having a full on summer holiday and coming back to school with a new  plan and new energy insha Allah.

Please make duah that Allah grants us success 🙂

Fee Amaanillah

Umm Imaan

Some of Zahra’s Activities

Bismilahi Rahmaani Raheem

Assalaamu alaikum

Zahra’s activities always used to be ways to keep her occupied while I am busy with Imaan. She is three so I never really considered it necessary to “teach” her but she is showing more and more inclination to do what Imaan is doing 🙂 She has mastered most of the activities I used to put out for her…she knows all her letter and numbers and cutting sorting puzzles are all old hat to her so I will need to search for more activities for her. Time! I wish I had more time! May Allah place more Barakah in our time, ameen.

Here are a few snaps of what Zahra does. Most of these activities are on the shelves in the school room. She may ask for an activity but usually I suggest something to her while I am trying to do more quiet work with Imaan. Most of the activities are self correcting, independent work, but very often she still wants me to sit with her and watch/praise her 🙂

If you have any questions on how to make any of the materials you see then let me know and I will write more insha Allah.

*NOTE*

Here is a link to the curved and straight line printable, check out the rest of the site for very good quality Montessori printables.

Here is a link to the pom pom numeracy sheet.

Here is a link to the farm tot book.

What we have been up to

Bismillahi Rahmaani Raheem

Assalaamu alaikum

So I have been thinking of what to blog about…trying to see if there is anything in our day which could be of benefit. I was looking back over the past few weeks reviewing our “moments” and I was struck by how “unschooly” we are. We have bits of structure in that we are consistently learning all day but it does not follow much of a schedule nor do we use a standard curriculum.

The more I dwell on it the more I realize I have been doing this even before we decided to homeschool. I always followed the girls interests, making sure to suggest things along the lines of what currently has their minds whirring…but then I thought about how I use a bit of Montessori methodology as well, by presenting or making available age appropriate activities to spark an interest, but never forcing it. Surrounding them with shelves of interesting activities which they can get involved with if it interests them.  There is so much out there why be limited to just one?

Alhamdulillah none of these methodologies tie us in. First and foremost we are Muslim and that is where the structure, consistency, schedule and guidelines are. We are trying our best to stay on the Siraat al Mustaqeem and that is more important than anything what so ever! Making sure we have no Shirk, no Bid’ah, no disrespect, no dishonesty, etc… in that we have pretty strict boundaries. Alhamdulillah.

While they are still young I  hope to continue with a free flowing “structure”. I have been inspired by Umm Raiyaan who also writes about her family’s inadvertent exploration of unschooling. During the summer months I would also like to try to apply more of the Chalotte Mason approach by encouraging outside play and nature study insha Allah. Have you read her writing? It’s a very interesting way to enrich your homeschool experience. This site has some very interesting free e-books where you can read more, insha Allah.

For now I will continue scouring the internet for ways to keep the education of my children a joyful experience for both them and me, insha Allah.

 

Disclaimer regarding links I share

While I do provide links to other sites I do not endorse their beliefs. While I was browsing through  the printables and resources provided by the site 1+1+1=1, I was going to pay for access to the ad-free section to their site, when I read this:

“Why an Ad-Free Section?

For you and for me!  I know many people will want access to the printable units for this program before I release them for free on my blog.  This is a way for you to get them earlier than the public, AND also support our mission work!  We are faith-supported missionaries and use this extra income to keep our support needs to a minimum.  You also get the joy of a clear ad-free page to download your files from at anytime! I am always thinking of new ideas also, and will only be including any new add-ons to the program in the ad-free section!”- 1+1+1=1
Alhamdulillah I didn’t buy it!
I wanted to give you a heads up too. I do not support or endorse any missionary work a’oothubillah! It’s a minefield out there!