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!

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