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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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.

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.

Fantastic finds

I found this blog post and just had to share it as is. I have been sitting all afternoon just going through the list and saving, preparing and printing materials.

Living Montessori Now:
Living Montessori Now

“Whether you use Montessori education or a more traditional form of teaching or homeschooling, free printables are invaluable for saving time and creating attractive, professional-looking activities.”

Insha Allah you will find benefit in it.

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.)

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.

Where we are at…

We have a verrry informal way of homeschooling πŸ™‚ I mainly follow what the girls are interested in while keeping literacy maths, andΒ  Islamic studies constant. I use Lapbooks to address the changing topics they are interested in and I have a few Montessori resources which I have used for letter recognition, phonics and word building with Imaan and which I am currently using for Zahra.This is her pictured below.

Imaan was very interested in literacy and we would spend ages doing phonics activities and writing practice, but now she is much more interested in doing Lapbooks, learning about different animal life cycles, weather, and other science related topics.

This is what I love about homeschooling, we do a bit of everything but we follow the tides of a child’s interests that way ensuring they are 100% engaged.

Numeracy with Zahra I used one to one correspondence using things found around the house.

This is Zahra’s activity above.

With Imaan we are learning word sums and have just started using the number line to help her calculate. She was doing it using her fingers to add up but I read a suggestion on the maths thread of the IHSAN forums that its better to get them to use a number line.

We love doing arts and crafts, life sciences, nature exploration and generally learning about anything and everything that takes their fancy.

We are currently not using any curriculum as there is a wealth of resources available online if you have a printer it’s a real goldmine. I am exploring the possibility of getting a maths curriculum for next year as I would like to have more things prepared in advance. It’s not one of my fav subjects so I need to learn the best way to convey the different concepts.

OK πŸ™‚ that is a very broad overview of some of the days’ activities I will try to pin down more specific activities in later posts insha Allah.

Insha Allah in my next post I hope to share their butterflies Lapbook which they are just about finished with.