Saturday, 19 December 2015

Birdwatching in Qatar!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

السلام عليكم



I love birds, and I admire every bird that looks at me from the window. Birdwatching helps me to remember Allaah's perfect creation. It is indeed knowing your Lord through His signs, signs in His creation. Allaah says in the Qur'aan, 

أَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلَى الطَّيْرِ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ فِي جَوِّ السَّمَاءِ مَا يُمْسِكُهُنَّ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

"Do they not see the birds held (flying) in the midst of the sky? None holds them but Allah [none gave them the ability to fly but Allah]. Verily, in this are clear proofs and signs for people who believe (in the Oneness of Allah)."
Soorah Nahl Aayah 79

(For those of you who are studying about Tawheed and its categories, can you guess which type of Tawheed is this aayaah talking about?)

Birdwatching  means going outside to enjoy watching birds. Someone who does this is called a birdwatcher or birder. Ornithology is the study of birds, and the one who studies about birds is called an ornithologist.

This is my little fascinating, radiant birdwatching spot. It is where I read my books too!  Can you see a big bird book waiting for me to read? 




This is my big book of birds which helps me to identify different birds. It gives me information such as whether it is common or not, migrant or resident, in which months and seasons they can be seen and locations of where you can spot those different birds in Qatar.  


These are some of the birds I hear and see a lot:
Common Myna, present all year: Common Nightingale, it is seen in parks, and gardens: Common Starling which is up north and is black with "stars". you can see them now.

 


The Spanish sparrow:  The female house Sparrow on the ladder looking for me:  The Cuckoo can be seen during Spring and Autumn. Blue Rock Thrush in February and October. Citrine Wagtail seen in the north and east of Qatar: White Throated Robin a migration visitor.

The book also has information of other birds that can be seen in deserts, coastal areas, farms and gardens. 

 


 

I do not have a birdwatching kit with a binoculars and other things, but Inshaa Allaah I hope I will have one later, until then I enjoy watching birds from my rooftop and I look for them at many different parks in Qatar when I go out. 

We hope to make our own wooden bird feeder at the co op inshaa Allaah and it is going to be thrilling watching birds coming and eating. I will share with you about it later inshaa Allaah. Do you like watching birds too? If you have not tried yet just look outside your window and see what birds come and what they do. Happy birdwatching!


Maimoonah

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Blog Takeover!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


By Maimoonah
السلام عليكم

I am Maimoonah. Alhamdulliah,i am eight years old. Since Ummi is taking rest, Insha Allaah I will be taking over the blog until she feels better.


I will be sharing with you my home school adventures, my very own enjoyable craft projects, our co-op cool activities, some benefits, and a lot more.

Join me here in my exciting journey of blogging, insha Allaah.


Maimoonah



Monday, 2 November 2015

Taking a Break!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Assalaamu Alaikum warahmathullaah ya akhawaat!

Hope all of you homeschoolers and my readers are doing well by the grace and Mercy of Allaah. Jazzaakumullaah khayr for all the lovely messages and emails that you have been sending inquiring about me. Baarakallaah Feekum for all your concerns, 

Alhamdulillaah my family and me are fine. But I am taking a compulsory break due to health reasons. Nothing serious by the mercy of Allaah, but we hope things will be better soon and we can share with you some good news too bi idhnillaah. Please do remember us in your duaa.

Maimoonah is continuing her homeschooling mostly on her own and also thanks to my fellow homeschooler in Doha she is enjoying her once  week co op classes, Alhamdulillaah. Will keep you updated on that as and when I am able to Inshaa Allaah.

For all those sisters and kids in Doha, I am sorry I was not able to continue the kids programs and workshops this year, but Inshaa Allaah everything will resume next year. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Hope and pray your homeschooling is continuing well and your kids are benefiting.

Inshaa Allaah!






Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ramadhaan Plans 2015

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم



Sulaymaan bin Moosa [d119H] – Allah have mercy on him – said:
"When you fast, your hearing and sight should also fast, and your tongue should fast by keeping away from lies; and do not harm your servant. Don’t let the day you fast be the same as the day you don’t fast."
(Târîkh Dimishq Vol. 22 p389.)

Alhamdulillaah another Ramadhaan is here and May Allaah bless us to to witness it and benefit from His Mercy and help us make these days different from the days we do not fast! Aameen.

It is nice to see all the homeschoolers around the world getting ready with lot of activities to engage the children this Ramadhaan.

It is also interesting to see how children grow and activities differ year after year as lots of changes do happen and we tend to cater to those changes every year. This year Inshaa Allaah Maimoonah hopes to have a Journal where she would write benefits from "Fasting from Alif to Ya" by Umm Mujahid,
Alhamdulillaah this book is written in such away that everyday it covers  point of benefit from the Arabic Letter Alif  ا   to Yaa   ي. Each chapter explains a matter related to fasting. Each day the subject matter is an Arabic word that begins with one of the Arabic letters and this goes on in the Arabic alphabetical order. For example the First chapter is all about "Ihtisaab" which means consciously seeking the reward of Allaah with good deed. Then the chapter explains about it linking it to fasting.

Here is a summary of what you get in the book according to the publishers:

"This newly revised work about the blessed month of Ramadhaan contains additional daily points of benefit to teach one how to live Islaam as a way of life. Plus, it contains stories of the Prophets and Messengers including activities for the whole family to enjoy and benefit from for each day of Ramadhaan. Some of the Prophets and Messengers covered include Aadam, Ibraaheem, Lut, Yusuf, Sulaymaan, Shu’ayb, Moosa, Zakariyyah, Muhammad, and more! Additionally it has recipes for foods enjoyed by Muslims around the world."

And the good news is Maashaa Allaah the author Umm Mujahid will be having live classes via wiziq every day during Ramadhaan covering this book and explaining each chapter each day. This class is only for women and if you want to join the class enroll here

We chose this book and a journal of benefits this year as I want Maimoonah to understand how to benefit from reading and listening. She will be attending the classes and we will be reading and discussing each chapter everyday. Then she can write the Arabic Word, its meaning and some benefits each day and decorate her journal. This will also pave the way to get used to taking notes, listening carefully and writing down the benefits,

Additionally she will be trying to recite the Qur'aan as much as possible along with memorization.

She also wants to do some sewing as she got this easy little sewing machine that sews without thread as a gift from a dear friend of mine, Using felt she is able to do many little project without too much hassle,



We may also choose some activities from some of the following links as we go on:

Here are some more Ramadhaan Activities to choose from for different ages:
May Allaa make this a fruitful Ramadhaan for all of us. What are your plans?


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Tarbiyah Girls Club Level 2 - Classes 6 - 13

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 
Alhamdulillaah we concluded the Tarbiyah Girls Club classes level 2 last week. Due to all my commitments I was unable to update each class. And I was unable to take pictures of all the documents as well. So here is a summery of what we have done from class 6 to 13 and few of the pics what I manage to take.


As for Waajibaat the girls completed the whole chapter of "Who is your Prophet". It included knowing the difference between a Messenger and a Prophet, the Messenger of Allaah's physical Characteristics, and his beautiful manners. At the end of this lesson, the girls did a project work by writing how following the manners of the Prophet would make them a better Muslimah, They had to include how to know the life story of the Prophet, how to learn his character and manners, what are the best ways to understand his examples, how would following his examples get them closer to Allaah and so on.
The girls also did a poster the following week on "Manners of the Messenger of Allaah".

Then we learnt about the "Shahaadatain", its meaning, its pillars and its seven conditions. At the end of the chapter they made a poster about the Shahadah.

To make it easier for the kids we started having a Quiz at the beginning of each class from few selected chapters on what we have studied from the beginning. They were asked to study and be prepared for the quiz at the next class, This proved very much successful Alhamdulillaah as the girls started to benefit from what they have studied as asking questions made them remember and realize what is given to them in the notes. 

In Tahaarah we completed Hadeeth 3 to 6 from the Chapter entering the place where one releives himself and cleaning the private parts. This included the following:
  • The Prohibition of facing the direction of the Ka'bah while relieving oneself
  • What to do if the toilets are already built facing the Ka'bah
  • Making Istinjaah (Cleaning the private parts) with water 
  • The punishment in the grave because of not taking care of the urine on oneself.
The kids learnt a lot from these hadeeth and these hadeeth help them understand lot of benefits other than the Tahaarah itself like learning about the narrators their manners and actions, the innovations and the importance of following the sunnah and understanding it according to the explanations of the companions and the scholars and much more. Subhanallaah every part of it is filled with benefits Alhamdulillaah. 

As for Adab al Mufrad we covered up to Chapter 10 still dealing with dutifulness to parents. The kids learnt even to make Hijrah and Jihad they need to ask permission from their parents and make them happy first they also learnt that they must not raise their voices to the parents and what a disgraceful act it is to do so. 

We completed Hafsa bint Umar radhiyallaahi anha in the great women of Islaam, Kids were given the summary of the story and they had to complete a fact sheet and write how she is a role model for them.

Home Making turned out to be a very structured program for this level as the kids actually learnt something proper. The sister had planned it well this time. The kids basically learnt the whole program of cutting with knife for cooking.

We spoke about the definition of ibadaah - worship and explained to the girls how home making could be linked to Ibaadah and they could get rewarded for learning and making!

They did arts and crafts items and other things for the community project, 

And then they moved on to learning sewing. Hand sewing first with learning and practicing each and every stitch to stitch by themselves before embarking on any project.

Each child was given a very good sewing kit. And each item in it was introduced to them and taught when they should use each of them. They were taught how to use a hoop. And then they have learnt how to stitch/do the following:
  • Threading the needle
  • Putting a knot
  • Starting and Ending each stitch
  • Running stitch
  • Back Stitch
  • Blanket Stitch
  • French knot
  • Split stitch
  • Chain Stitch
  • Cross Stitch
  • Whip Stitch
  • Satin Stitch
  • How to stitch buttons
At each class the kids learnt how to sew all of the above and practiced well. They were given materials and resources to use the stitches they learnt and do a project during the break and bring them back for the next level when we resume after summer Inshaa Allaah. 

Other than sewing, the kids made Beeswax candles. The kids watched a You Tube on how bees make honey and then learnt a lot about bees and hives, Then the sister taught them how to follow instructions and make a candle. Each one made their own candles and took them home.

At the last class kids were given a small revision test and then they had to decorate some cupcakes and eat and take home.

Alhamdulillaah we hope all the kids benefited from these classes and hope to see the girls again for the Level 3 we when resume after Summer Inshaa Allaah. We thank all the parents and the sisters who helped us in every way to make these classes a success and may Allaah accept this from us. Aameen.

Here are some moments!


Saturday, 6 June 2015

Resources for evaluating!


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم



It's that time of the year that most of the homeschoolers worry, panic, wonder, ponder if they have really taught the kids what they should know! I get many email from different sisters as to how I evaluate Maimoonah each year. 

While evaluating is something good I do not agree with putting kids into a great stress by making them sit exams. The kids learn very less by studying for an exam, but they learn pretty much more by just doing a project which includes researching, writing, experimenting, learning as well as exploring! 

Yes I hear you! But what about grades, marks reports!!!! True some of you may be living in places that necessitates grade certificates for each grade or you may be convinced that you should have certificates ready in hand in case you had to send the kids to a formal school at any given time. If that is the case I am afraid you may have to go through a program that could give you the certificates each year and choose what is best for you and your kids.

As for us we do not need evaluated certificates for each grade as I have chosen Cambridge as our curriculum which consists of Primary, Secondary and GCSE Ordinary level right up to GCSE Advanced Level. Even though this Curriculum is purely catered for schools, using this for homeschooling is not a big issue. You do not get an opportunity to get a certificate for each grade or level, but GCSE can be done privately at any age and you can get the Cambridge Certified Certificate for all subjects, plus you do not have to sit all the subjects one shot rather you can choose when to sit what subject. 

In my opinion and experience,  for kids younger than 5 there is absolutely no need for any kind of evaluation, test or exams. They learn every moment and they will continue to learn as long as you have been consistant and have been facilitating the right materials and environment, 

But the feeling and issue becomes a bit deep when the kids are getting older. You seem to stop and think how do I know if my kids are been taught the right thing!!! I have this feeling too, so to get over it this is what I do now. (While Maimoonah was younger I did not do this at all).

I download papers that go along with the Cambridge Curriculum online and end of the year give Maimoonah to do. She thinks its part of her work and keep doing. And I ask someone else  to correct it for me just to see if we have covered everything and we are on track. 

Alhamdulillaah this works for us and I am able to understand the weaknesses, mistakes and strengths, Here are some links from where you could download resources for free.
Any other links and resources to download past papers? How do you evaluate and get over this in your homeschooling joaourney?  Please share by commenting!


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Al Israa wal Mi'raaj - Lapbook






Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him] Who took His slave (Muhammad sallaahualaihiwasallam) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad allaahualaihiwasallam) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Soorah Al Israa 17:1)

Alhamdulillaah we had a workshop for the kids on Al Israa and Mi;raaj few days ago. With the permission of the sister at Muslim Learning Garden we redid the layout of the lapbook with additional information. May Allaah reward sister Umm Aayah and her friend for helping me with the layout and design as usual. The Lapbook template could be downloaded here 
We got the kids the folders and while explaining each page the kids assembled each page on the lapbook.


This is the cover.


 The next page has the summary on a diagram of the happening with explanation of the terms such as Buraaq, Al Israa, Al Mi'raaj.


Then comes the facts of what happened before the journey, the description of Buraaq, and the happenings at Masjid Al Aqsaa.



The next page is about the Prophets met by the Messenger of Allaah on each heaven and all about Baitul Ma'moor.


 

Sidratul Muntaha and story of the order of Salaah is described on the next page which also includes the meeting of Allaah and the revelation of the last two aayahs of Soorah Baqarah.

 


Next page has the ahadeeth of what the Messenger of Allaah witnessed at Mi'raaj such as the punishments for some sins and some companions in Jannah.


This page talks about what happened the next day in Makkah and how Abu Jahl and the people ridiculed the Messenger of Allaah and about how Abu Bakr radhiyallaahu anhu got the title As Siddeeq,


The last page talks about the innovation of celebrating Al Israa wal Miraaj with a Fatwa of Shaykh bin Baaz raheemahullaah.

The sources and links are given in the last few pages,

We finished the lapbook with the kids and also had a review question and answer session which was interesting and we were happy to note that the kids really got something out of the workshop and working on the lapbook as all of them showed enthusiasm and answered many of the questions correctly, 

The kids had some snacks and took home their lapbooks after enjoying a quality evening. Alhamdulillaah! 


I thank the sister and my dear friend who opened up the house for this session and the sister who organized the workshop and the sister who helped with narrating and questioning the kids at the session. Jazzaakumullaah Khayr for all your efforts, 



Sunday, 12 April 2015

Origami Fun!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Picture Courtesy of Origami Qatar
Alhamdulillaah last Saturday our kids and mums had a blast at the Origami Workshop which we organized for the QMuslimah kids with the talented sister Afsheen here in Doha. Maashaa Allaah she was just wonderful and the kids loved the whole session from the very start! She is known as Origami Addict Qatar and you can read her sweet story here

Afsheen was very clear with her step by step instructions from the beginning till the end and the kids easily followed her and started folding the sheets of papers. She was also helping the kids and looking into each and everyone until they all could get every step right! Mums were around making Origami with the kids too and we all enjoyed the session.
The kids learnt to make an Origami Ice Cream, a Sail Boat, Little Origami Notebooks, Flower and stem on a Card, Sun Glasses and cute little dresses and Abayahs. 

 

 

Maimoonah just loved the whole session. And loved making the notebooks. As she came home she could just make few more simple but cute little notebooks without any assistance,

 

If you are in Doha and if Maimoonah knows you do not be surprised to get few of her handmade origami notebooks as gifts Inshaa Allaah as I see her making them for different people by saying w m, w m!(that's a part of making the notebook!) 

Maimoonah is also trying to remember how to make little dresses as she once heard Umm Mujahid from Taalib.com talking about her kids drawing dresses to indicate little girls and little boys while doing Art work, thus avoiding the drawing of figures with souls. Alhamdulillaah! These little Abayahs the kids made with little help are a bit complicated but with practice the kids would get a hang of it soon Inshaa Allaah!


This was a much needed change and a boost for homeschooling kids Maashaa Allaah and they really enjoyed the out of home activity. Maimoonah loved the company of the fellow homeschoolers and the other kids and the group session with Origami was something ideal for a change! 

 

If you are in Doha your kids must enjoy this session with Afsheen. Head over to Katara Arts Studio every Saturdays 2 to 6 until June 2015, register before that and enjoy and learn. Do not forget to find out what is this w m, w m is all about! You can contact Afsheen via her Facebook Page

Our sincere thanks to Afsheen for the fabulous workshop. Jazzaakillaah Khayr, We hope we could have another one soon Inshaa Allaah if time permits! 


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