Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Family Circle - floor time

Geography Lesson
We spend our family time in the morning usually on the floor. Somebody may use the couch, but I personally like being near the earth. We may also go outside and incorporate a nature walk, however primarily our morning time is on the floor.

We do many things during this time, but it mostly always starts out in prayer and stories. Since it is Ramadhan, many of our stories carry a Ramadhan theme, however my favorite book thus far was Hannah and her Grandma. I couldn't hold back the tears, I cried during the whole story and I was the READER! It is a beautiful tale about how a Hannah convinces her Grandma that there is indeed a God, that this world did not just come about by coincidence.

We also like to sing songs and use musical instruments like our drums, tambourines, gourd shakers, and xylophone. Most of our songs are about the Remembrance of Allah. The two that we sing often are Ya Sayyidi sung by three young brothers & La Ilaha ill Allah by a dear friend. Humble Dad spent an evening writing down the words to Ya Sayyidi and the author of La Ilaha ill Allah was very generous in sharing it, The youtube video of Sidi Muhammad Mendes singing La Ilaha ill Allah with Imam Zaid Shakir and Habib Umar is below.

Some of our songs are not Islamic in nature, we may sing our multiplication or the countries of the world. Lil A and S man enjoy singing the months of the year and the days of the week. My younger two love songs, my older two don't need them as much to memorize things, but they will still sing along.

We also practice our Quran during family circle. We have a new Family Circle Calendar that you can download for free. We talk about character using Shaykh Hamza's Content of Character and we are starting our ABC of the Quran with Lil A where we used our Puppet Theater to tell the story of the Ants and Solomon (Peace be Upon Him). We may also work on math facts, history/geography facts, science facts. We may introduce a family theme unit. Right now we are studying the Phases of the moon as you can see here. Family Circle time can last between one and two hours and it is really where most of the learning takes place because it is oral. Communicating through song, stories, and talking is still the primary way our family learns just like the griots of old West Africa who would deliver history through songs and stories that they memorized.

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