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™‚

Math Curriculum decisions…

I have been researching, and researching but still can’t decide! Wish someone would just tell me “This is the best for your child and the others after her…” There are so many variable at play. It is so frustrating! Miquon maths, Math-u-see, Singapore maths, MEP, Horizon Maths, Saxon Math…HELP!

Everyone has to do what is suitable for their own child but how do you know this without trial and error? Is there anyone out there who has any input?

So, here is where I am…

I need:

  • Something that is accessible here in South Africa.
  • Something with a comprehensive teachers guide. I never loved maths it was OK but I would like my kids to have a different experience so I am willing to put in the extra time and effort to make sure my kids enjoy it.
  • Not too pricey LOL!
  • Manipulatives…I think that kids learn best if they are grounded in the concrete, they help a student visualize math concepts as they are being taught.

So there we are…

I will make istikhara insha Allah.

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™‚

Ramadaan is flying by too fast!

Assalaamu alaikum

I am so sad, this beautiful month is just going by too fast and I feel like I am loosing it by the minute. May Allah help us to reap the most out of this blessed time.

I had planned on posting updates of what I am doing with the girls and sharing our Ramadaan experiences in this space but time is just too short.

I am so much busier than I anticipated as my Grandmother is ill (may Allah restore her to good health) so my Mother went to Port Elizabeth to look after her and I have had to cook iftaars at my mom’s house. Alhamdulillah its a chance to earn more rewards in this blessed month πŸ™‚

Sooo, my blogging has had to take a backseat Allahu a’lam. I will have to just do a recap at a later time insha Allah.Β  I think I am still too new to blogging to balance the needs of my family and my blog LOL! So yes, priorities!

May Allah fill our time with baraka!

 

 

Wordless Wednesday

Monday Moments…

Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Ramadaan Mubarak to all my sisters!

All praise is due to Allah swt who has granted us another Ramadan!

May we make the most of this great month by gaining its virtues and Allahs forgiveness! I pray that we come closer to Allahs Pleasure and further away from His Anger!

Alhamdulillah what a wonderful fasting day we all had masha Allah, teaching Imaan and Zahra, sharing our beautiful Deen with them had me to the brink of tears the whole day when I saw how responsive they are and how willing they are to please Allah (SWT). We are truly so blessed to be able to teach our children and share these moments with them.

Here are a few snippets of what we have done today.

We added some beautiful things to our Ramadaan Bulletin Board, Masha Allah Imaan and Zahra were so excited to do their good deeds and while they enjoyed sticking stickers they also reaped the benefit of a day with very little bickering… so they could see the actual benefits of sharing and being kind to each other.

The highlight was adding the apples to the fasting tree even though she only fasted half the day I gave her a whole apple because of the effort she put in, Zahra got a half apple for fasting the morning, LOL!

They loved all the activities that we did masha Allah πŸ™‚

These are all pics that she took πŸ™‚

Oh yes, I got these cute letters from this site.

Monday Moments…

We did some lovely crafting today, the girls enjoyed getting messy.

They first snipped the wool into manageable pieces, placed the pieces into a bowl, then I helped them squeeze some glue into the bowl and then the messing began. They squeezed and squelched much longer than necessary but that was part of the fun!

I prepared the inverted bowls by covering them with cling wrap and the girls covered the bowls with the pieces of wool.

They added some ubiquitous glitter to finish it off and I whisked it away so that it can dry! Once it dries I’ll put up pics of the completed project, insha Allah. The girls have no idea how it is going to look so it will be a surprise.

They actually enjoyed getting messy. I usually avoid the getting messy activities as they are always running off to wash their hands! I have been reading about sensory tubs and think they might actually enjoy it. I will share our experience with them when I get one going insha Allah.

They also got into one fail safe activity which is always a pleasure πŸ™‚ Play Dough πŸ™‚

Whether is it cutting or decorating with shells and glass pebbles play dough is always a hit and its home made so its cheap too πŸ™‚

Recipe:

2 cups white flour

2 cups water

food coloring

1 cup salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

Β Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture holds together, about 5 minutes.

2. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside until the dough is cool enough to touch, about 5 minutes. Turn the dough onto a counter top and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes.

The girls usually can’t wait to take it from me and love to knead the dough while it is still warm. You can add different things to add another sensory level to it like different essences to give it a pleasant smell like vanilla or almond essence. A sister once suggested I add eucalyptus oil to the play dough when the girls had a bad cold, I didn’t have any at the time but I think that is a good idea. You could also add some sand to give it a more grainy texture…

Once the kids are done playing you can store it in a Ziploc bag or a container with a lid, I find it stays air tight in the Ziploc bag. It keeps for very long but make sure they pack it away as in summer it gets dried out if left out over night.

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.

Butterfly lapbook

We have been busy learning about the beautiful butterfly πŸ™‚

The girls loved this, its our second attempt at a lapbook and I really feel this is the way forward for us…lapbooks that is. The way it works is you find the content for what ever you would like the kids to learn be it an animal or a concept or a book. You scour the web or create your own little printables. Homeschool share has a huge array of lapbooks to choose from and if you have something that is not on their list then they have templates and resources to use to create one with your own topic and information. Then you prepare a few lessons for the duration of the week and at the end of it you assemble all your work into a folder. You can always add to it at a later stage. My girls love revisiting theirs to look at all they have accomplished.

Before we started we watched a life cycle of the butterfly clip (there are quite a few to be found online). We discussed the different stages and the concept of metamorphosis. We alwaysΒ  come back to how Allah is Al Khaliq (our first lapbook was on one of the Names of Allah )

Most of the printouts I got from Homeschool share , I got the life cycle booklet and other things from Enchanted Learning

I cannot find where I got this grid from πŸ™ Imaan was so surprised when she finished colouringΒ  that there was an image of a butterfly.

There are soo many things to do with kids be it art n craft or pollination the list is endless, I think our butterfly lapbook is going to turn into a butterfly file πŸ™‚

Here are a few things I found, some we did and some I would still like to do.

Cute Butterfly Unit

Butterfly life cycle nomenclature cards

Butterfly colouring in

Complete Unit of activities I used this as a guide and did most of the activities.

Insha Allah you will find benefit in this πŸ™‚