Have you played Boggle?

I bough this Boggle game off Gumtree a couple of months ago and we love it!

I can use it with both the girls, they can play it with me or on their own which is great considering they are 3 and 5 years.

There are two ways of playing, with Imaan she will keep the flap up leaving the word covered, she will look at the picture and choose the letters and build the word.

With Zahra we will leave the word uncovered and she will search for the correct letters and build the word and sound it out.

She is growing in confidence though and pretty soon we she will also want the word covered like her sister (Insha Allah).

There are harder words as well.

I think they really benefit from it, Masha Allah.

Literacy jewels

I have been wanting to share some of the literacy jewels I have found online!

OK! I sooo love the idea behind Read! Build! Write! I love how it encourages you to use all three mediums, I love how you print out the sheet and laminate it, or put it in page protector or you can even cover with contact paper for longevity…all appeals to me πŸ™‚

The frugal…tight budgeted…me πŸ™‚

I like to combine it with these home made magnetic letter tiles from http://www.mamajenn.com. Its sooo simple! She even provides the printable, it doesn’t get any simpler…..erm unless of course you just buy magnetic letter tiles…yes…but that would not be frugal! I had an idea to recycle an old scrabble set to make the magnetic letter tiles if you have one that is lying around.

So you would print out and laminate the page, vocabulary cards and the tiles and use it on a cookie sheet or something similar. Because it is magnetic the tiles won’t slide all over the place.

Laminating is a great idea if you have other kids you need to teach as well because lets face it, resources like printer ink and card stock are expensive and by just adding this extra step you can reuse the material again and again insha Allah.

I can get lost in some sites they are filled to the brim with wonderful resources!

Sparkle Box

Homeschool Creations **

1plus1plus1equals1 **

Mama Jen **

To name just a few!

(**Please note my disclaimer regarding this type of site.)

Spring has sprung here in the Cape

The flowers are blooming and the girls are sooo excited for summer to hit because that means strawberry picking, cherry picking, beach, picnics and generally being outside all day long πŸ™‚

Alhamdulllah we have a peach tree which we have been observing though Autumn, Winter and now Spring where they have been following the life cycle. the blooming phase was so beautiful and now we can see the tree bearing fruit.

The girls are manic tree climbers and love being outside πŸ™‚

See if you can spot the little monkey?

Alhamdulillah it is a real blessing to be able to enjoy safe, halaal, outdoor fun within our own space because as beautiful as Cape Town is… the fitan that comes with Summer is truly unbearable! We have to be so selective of where we take the girls so as to lessen the exposure to the nakedness! Yaa Allah protect us from the fitnah of summer, everywhere you turn u see ‘auwra!

We have a few select spots where we can take them where we know not many people go like the nature reserves where you have to pay entry fee and they limit the amount of people so you can enjoy the space without it getting overcrowded.

But then we need to be careful we don’t crowd the inhabitants! πŸ™‚

Kirstenbosch botanical gardens are also a favorite place for us to visit.

But I have yet to find a place where I can swim in the ocean!! Insha Allah one day πŸ™‚

Games work better

I have found that, in many cases, games work so much better as it keeps them entertained and they don’t mind repetition as much when there is the hope of winning the next round!

I have used this approach with both phonics and maths. Imaan really enjoys it. She kept wanting to play again and again without realising how much she was learning in the process.

We used domino’s to practice subtraction. She was using her fingers at first but I thought it better to use the counters as this was the first time we worked with subtraction.

You need at least two players, one player turns over a domino and subtracts the lower number from the higher number, then writes it down. So Imaan would flip over a domino, Say “two, take away one”, take out two counters and places them on the table, then take away one counter. The next player does the same. Whoever gets the lowest number after subtraction gets a tick next to their number. The one who gets the most ticks wins.

So after tallying all the ticks it turned out that Imaan won this round, we played more than four times,with Imaan getting lots and lots of subtraction practice πŸ™‚

I will post about the phonics games we played next insha Allah.

NOTE: We changed the game a bit ,Β  instead of just writing the number we write out the sum.

Also Imaan gets to choose what sheΒ  wants as counters, this time she chose the stones πŸ™‚

Wordless Wednesday

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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!

CurrentlyΒ  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.