Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring-winter Wonderland

It's Spring as of March 21st, but we have received the snow that we were praying for all winter today!

We finally received enough snow to have a proper sled.

I love my little self initiator , Z Man started to shovel the snow without anyone asking him to.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Where in the World are you?

I have to admit one of the coolest things about having a blog is the Live Traffic Feed!

It really is amazing how we are connected to people all over the world by the web. I can only imagine
someone in Africa, Europe, Asia using Noor Janan's free printables and it warms my heart. ♥

I am also thinking how can I make it a Geography lesson for my Beloveds- by having them find the locations on the map?

On here we had visitors from Rome, Italy - Sydney, Australia - Shubra, Egypt - Puchong, Malaysia - Bangalore, India

Jummah Mubarak! Happy Friday!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Arabic Letters- Montessori School

I visited a Montessori School today and I was surprised and delighted to see Noor Janan Homeschool's Arabic Letters being used. I loved the colors that they used. It really warmed my heart.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Goodie Jar

Lil A was so excited about telling another parent about our Jummah (Friday) Goodie Jar, it reminded me that I should of shared it a long time ago.

The Goodie Jar concept came to me because of a couple reasons. I saw some really pretty painted gift jars on Pinterest and wanted to create some of my own. I wanted to create an incentive to be Good, in our culture somewhere being a Goodie-Goodie became bad. However, in the original story of Cinderella called Goodie Goodie Two Shoes,  the concept of Goodie was a joyous happy GOOD feeling. In these recent decades, "Goodie, Goodie Two Shoes" has been used to bully other children out of having good morals and character. Because being good or angelic is unpopular and the devilish child is the cool kid. This must be changed, starting with my family- lets be a Goodie Goodie family.

The concept of saving our special treat until Jummah is not only a lesson in patience. It became our way of celebrating our holiday read Holy Day of the blessed Jummah. Some Muslims are under the impression that we only have two Eids: Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha. However, there is a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) that says:
      Oh Muslims! Allah, the most High has made Friday a day of Eid. So have a bath on this day, whoever has perfume should apply it, and use the miswaak (tooth cleaner) ~Ibn Majah

In fact, Muslims have many days of celebration and remembrance, Friday is the best of these days that happens every week! We don't have to buy into the consumer culture to make it special for our family and our communities. Simple things: like a piece of candy, a special Jummah storytime, a special Friday supper, feeding the ducks after Jummah prayer, inviting friends over for some ice cream, a community walk/hike in nature, a special Friday Halaqa and/or whatever creative thing you can come up with. The Goodie Jar was just my idea.

I used baby food jars, a masjid template and glass paint applied to the outside of the jar. I painted the lid and added a ribbon and a goodie jar tag. All the free downloads can be found under our Practical Life tab.

It is not so much competing with Secular holidays, but teaching your children to create joy in the life God has blessed them with. So this also fulfilled another part of our Homeschool curriculum called Life Skills. There is a wonderful book called Life Skills for Kids by Christine M Field. It is written from a Christian perspective, but it is very useful for anybody raising children. She talks about the art of celebrating life as a skill that must be taught. This is a beautiful lesson in appreciation and love of our Creator- the Life Giver.

So how do they earn a jelly belly, by doing Good deeds of course! Taken from the song "Who took a cookie from the cookie jar?" which again is another cultural dysfunction: encourage a child to steal and then blame someone else. Yes, this song needed a makeover. . .

"Who deserves a bean in their Goody Jar?"  "I do!" "Who you?" "Yes! me." "What you do?" This teaches accountability, taking ownership for their behavior and responsibility. They list off the Good Deeds they should have did each day and is rewarded for it. They can patiently watch their jar fill up throughout the week, then on Friday they can eat their treats. Since they have waited for soooo long, they never feel the need to eat them all in one day. They stretch out their jelly bellies out over a couple of days and share them with their siblings and friends. I write the number of beans that should be in the jar with a wet erase marker, to help my Beloveds to stay honest.

A graph is a fun and educational way to chart how many beans Lil A has earned each day. I made a graph and song chart for those who are not Muslim also. Whether Saturday or Sunday is your special day, there is a free graph for you also!

Keep up with our Curriculum Checklist

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reading & Phonics Workbooks

I think Spectrum Reading workbooks are really convenient in so many ways. They provide easy work to take on the go, they cover vocabulary and other reading comprehension lessons. The workbooks are multicultural and have interesting subjects. I also like the Test Taking practice by Spectrum also. The best reason I like them is because they really are kid approved. In fact, Big A said why didn't you just save your money on expensive curriculum and just buy Spectrum books in every subject. Hmm, interesting idea.

Multicultural with names like "Jamila " in it.
Well after taking a look on Amazon, I decided their math workbooks were not worth it. Singapore Math is a much better deal and practice. I did order the Science workbook from Spectrum and the same interest was not there for my Beloveds. I also had to rip out a great deal of the evolution beliefs that I do not agree with. So Science is a no go for our family. Some companies do everything well and that is the exception and not the rule, I love the ability to pick and choose. So I just pick Spectrum for Reading Comprehension and Test Taking fun! Of course, this should not take away from reading real books.

For Phonics, Z Man has been working steadily through Steck Vaughn Phonics. He seems to like this one over, his old phonic workbook by EPS. We also do Explode the Code, but since he likes more visual stimulation- yes the black and white pictures do not work for everyone, we also do the more colorful Steck Vaughn.

Spectrum Reading on left, Steck- Vaughn Phonics on the right
Keep up with our Curriculum Checklist

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Color Tablet Words

Do you remember these color tablets from Montessori? They are a wonderful manipulative and easy to make too! A piece of wood, paint samples and some modge podge makes very inexpensive color tablets, read more on Living Montessori Now

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Curriculum Check

Although, I have a categorized page tab above to help my readers find what they are looking for. This curriculum check is for me, so that I can stay on the track that I set for myself here. I am making it public to stay accountable, but also to help my reader with their own curriculum goals. Each Link in the spreadsheet will direct you to the blog post. Scroll the spreadsheet down to see the complete list. Just keep in mind that this Curriculum check is ultimately for me and will appear and disappear as needed.

Candy Cupcakes & Cakes

I would love to take credit for all the wonderful creativity, but this was all my friends and our children. In an effort to build community, our local Masjid has monthly events and the cake decorating event was one of them. My Beloveds were happy to participate even if they didn't win.

Z Man's Boys group had a very creative Kabah/Hajj/Umrah cake.

Lil A decorated a very nice cake.

The winning cake created by some very creative young ladies.

Some of my favorites!

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