Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Search for Warmth

A trip down South is not complete without a stop in South Carolina and in particular Gullah Country. We were searching for warmth and although we did not find warm weather in South Carolina, we did find something that warms my heart, called Gullah Luv. Gullah luv is a seasoning mix that we picked up last time we came to this area and have been craving ever since we ran out of it. Yes, I could of ordered it online but that's too easy, if I don't have to work to grow and cultivate the spices at least I can travel a little to get it.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

World Geography- Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra

We are going on a Geography Expedition around the world, learning 4 (four) new countries each week that we homeschool. Azara and her friends will be using our Children of the World Notebook to record the countries that we visit. Inspired by photographer Anthony Asael's wonderful book: Children of the World.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Worldview of the Believer

Most Friday and Weekend morning when I am busy completing computer work (making curriculum) or any day when I am cleaning up, I will put on a lesson to listen to while I work. This Friday morning, I chose to listen to Shaykha Nagheba Hayel who tells a beautiful story of Habib Ali Jifri and what our world view as Muslims should be. With these cold winter days in the Northeast, the reminder came at the right time. . . time to stock up our car with gloves, blanket, food, etc. to give out to people on the streets. ♥

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Biscuits!

I am starting to feel myself with this gluten-free baking. MashaAllah, I made some really yummy gluten-free biscuits and it was extremely easy.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Between Worlds

I often feel like a tug-a-war is going on in my little world, between what's good for one child and what's good for the other child, between what's good for me and what's good for Humble Dad, between what's good for my dunya (this world) and what's good for my akhira (the next world after death). Driving one child to all his baseball practices conflicts with driving another child to all of her softball practices and it makes me want to just lay down, take a season or two off and keep both children away from doing anything because I am faced with what every mother comes to understand "I can't do it all."

The hope comes, the Mercy is realized, in the knowing that there is a God Who Can and does Do it All, Ya Allah.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Need for Warmth

I do not do very well in cold weather, it brings aches and sickness. When the dying seasons (Fall & Winter) approach, I want to escape the North like the birds and fly South.  . . . and in truth, I would never fly back North, making a permanent home in the warmer Southern parts of our country right along the Ocean .  . .  or anywhere .  . . in the World . . . would be fine.

Since living in Paradise, sipping on non-alcoholic Pina Coladas or fresh coconut water, swimming in clear blue-green water, riding the waves is not my current reality, I must find ways to cope with my situation.
When warmth is not found outside, then we must create warmth inside our homes, our kitchen, our bodies. . .
Reminiscing of Paradise in the Dominican Republic.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Birds

We wanted to find birds to study for our ABC of the Quran- Birds unit which led us to a free Zoo in Cape May, New Jersey. The interesting thing is when I asked for Birds, I didn't realize Allah would shower us with birds. We had a day of birds and so much more.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Introducing Asha, Sajid, Zahid & Azara

Please let me introduce my Beloved Children by their names: Asha aka Big A, Sajid aka S Man, Zahid aka Z Man, and Azara aka Lil A. Although, I am still quite protective . . . as they get older, I feel more comfortable with them knowing what to do when strangers approach them. Azara, forever my Lil A is not so little anymore as she reminds me :) and honestly I am trying to simplify things around here, which means now that you know their names, I don't have to edit the videos and their worksheets as much trying to hide them! . . . and inshaAllah some of our readers might want to pray for my Beloved children by their name.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Du'a (Prayer) that Saved my Marriage ♥

It was the Spring of 2009, the year I started this blog under a different title "Our Life". Many changes were happening: we had just moved to Tyler, TX , my oldest son had moved out, and I had a block, well no .... block sounds too light, I had a head on collision in my spiritual life which consequently affected my marriage. Many Religious people understand that when you are disconnected from God everything in your life will eventually fall apart and I was of no exception: it was all falling apart.


I wanted to leave my marriage with Humble Dad, we had been married 10 years since 1998 and I felt I had tried long enough to keep it together. My mother and father divorced when I was two, both sets of grandparents were divorced and remarried. I really wanted to end this cycle of divorce in my family and I came into the marriage believing strongly in "for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do you part." But I was being tested in my words and in my beliefs....

I remember the day vividly when I drove off, eastward towards my grandma's house in Maryland. I made it as far as Arkansas before I turned around. I couldn't go through with it, but I knew something had to change  . . . and like many people who consider divorce, I was under the delusion that the other spouse: Humble Dad in my situation, was the person who needed changing.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cream of Remembrance- Our Morning Prayer Routine

This has truly been a labor of love.  .  .  I have been working on the audio/video/pdf of the Cream of Remembrance for two months since the end of the al-Maqasid summer retreat. It was important for me to finish this project because words can not adequately describe how much I loved my mornings at the retreat. The Cream of Remembrance along with Shaykha Nagheba's class & the sister's remembrance gathering was the absolutely best part of the retreat. Most nights I would go to sleep at 2:00 am, sometimes 3:00 am . . . just to wake back up at 4:00 am to make it to the Pre-Fajr/Post Tahajjud Adhkar (Remembrance). My cabin was one of the furthest from the prayer room/classroom and I would walk alone each day in the peace of the dark night to the prayer room (except for the night that I slept in the prayer room.)


From the wudu . . . 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Children's Islamic Calendar

Just in time for the Islamic New Year, Muharram & Safar Copywork pages are now available for download.


Muwasala has shared a beautiful message for the end of the year and a du'a (prayer) to recite.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Seekers Retreat 2014

Note: Due to how much attention this picture received on Facebook with several questions inquiring where we bought our abayas. I am not a shopper, Humble Dad does all of our Abaya shopping at Islamic Design HouseShukr & East Essence. Please also consider shopping with my friend at Islamic Outfitters.
We have so much to be grateful for in this life and we often take many things for granted. Sometimes it takes getting outside of our normal environment to realize our blessings. One of the biggest blessings I have is Humble Dad who watched our youngest three children while Big A and I took a road trip to Ontario, Canada to attend the Seekers Retreat 2014.

Monday, August 18, 2014

al-Maqasid ~ Summer Retreat 2014


I wanted to write this blog post before my Iman (my faith or certainty) totally went back to the lowly state it normally is in. In Ustadha Nagheba's class on al-Ba' iyya (The Counsel of Imam Haddad), she talked about authors who did not just put pen to paper but were breathing out unto the paper. You are not just reading the work of these authors, but their state with Allah (God), you are reading their heart. I wanted you to read my heart when it was at its' purest- hours after the retreat. However, with sleeping 4 hours at the most during a 24 hour period and sometimes as little as 2 hours, I crashed the following days after the retreat. Despite this prolonged writing, I pray that you can still find some benefit, knowing that all good came from Allah, and anything bad is due to my poor state.

Monday, July 21, 2014

2013-2014 is Complete!



Farewell to our 2013-2014 School Year, the year has been completed. Today, we have finished our 2013-2014 Portfolios or Record Books as we like to call them. A beautiful reminder of the work that we did this year. Whatever work we did not finish will be saved for another time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Audio Books- Miraj

Z Man says Miraj Audio is sooooo awesome and I am inclined to agree.

We are enjoying the Free Audio Books and our purchased Audio Books from Miraj Audio during Ramadan. We do not watch television in our house and our movies are limited to documentaries and Islamic movies most of the time.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ramadan Banner


I love all the Ramadan Banners that are available for download. Ramadan decorations have come along way since I became Muslim 15 years ago. So many wonderful ideas and creative people, mashaAllah.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ramadan Moon.


We went to our beloved Makkah Learning Center, the home of our Makkah Community Garden and where we take our Fard Ayn Classes with our beloved Imam Mikaeel Smith to look for the Ramadan Moon.  Yes, we are in love with this place. The Imam, the Space, the Community. And we are so excited to bring back the Sunnah of trying to sight the Ramadan moon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Ramadan Schedule

Ramadan is our month of freedom. It is our most liberating month. It is our month of simplicity. It makes me happy that Ramadan is in the summertime, with no baseball/softball distractions that fall and spring brings or heavy loaded homeschooling we do in the winter.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Big A's Daddy's Day Story


My Beloved Big A is becoming quite a writer, mashaAllah. We bought her this wonderful little word processor, that she now has been using to write with called the AlphaSmart 3000. The reviews on Amazon from other writers raved about this light and non-distracting (no internet) device. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ramadan Calendar Inserts

Do you have a Ramadan Tradition? Ramadan Calendars were our main tradition that we held for many years.


Lately our Ramadan Calendars have not been used as much because of our travels during Ramadan. However, this year we decided that if we are to travel, we are going to bring our Ramadan Calendars with us. Hey, Traditions are important!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ground Level

We recently made some changes to our learning environment. The environment centered around big bowls of fruit and the smell of burnt toast. Yes the dining room/kitchen where we spend a great deal of time sitting at the table doing schoolwork as well as eating . . . umm, burnt toast.


We transformed the table, no more sitting at chairs, we took off the legs and now we sit on the ground. We have been grounded and it feels so good!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Perfect Name



When I created the first 12, I was concerned about filling two pages with cards and out of my imperfection did not add the most perfect name: Allah. 

As I was working on the next 5 names of Allah, an image of five attributes/colors encircling the Name of Allah came to me:
*Pink ~ Allah is the Loving One~ Al- Wadud
*Blue ~ Allah is the All Powerful ~ Al- Qadir
*Green ~ Allah is the All Compassionate, All Merciful ~ Ar-Rahman/Ar-Rahim
*Yellow ~ Allah is the Perfectly Wise ~ Al-Hakim

I doodled down the idea, then reread the chapter on Allah. Under the Aqidah term: Takwin it reads:

"All existence and actions depend upon (Allah) Him. He is the only creator. . . He created the creation, not because He needed it, but to manifest His love, His will, His wisdom, His power, and His compassion."

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Righteous Company

Imam Maalik reports that Luqmaan Al Hakeem advised his son by saying: "O my son sit with the scholars and approach them eagerly, since Allah enlightens the heart with the light of wisdom in the same way Allah enriches the earth by supplying it with rain."



Monday, May 26, 2014

Trenton Makes Nur (Light)

There is a big sign over the bridge in Trenton, that reads "Trenton Makes, the World Takes". How true is that statement for us! Trenton has a few Beloved souls that we love to visit as often as we can. One of these beloved souls that we affectionately call "Auntie", her street radiates Nur (Light) and it directly comes from her house. The street above it, below it, to the left and right of it may look dark and grimey, however, the light shines so brightly on her street and the warmth penetrates the heart. ♥


Friday, May 23, 2014

All American Baseball

Z Man tried out for the All American Baseball Team- USSSA.


So far, it has been a beneficial experience to see how his skills are compared to other players.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Community Garden


We have been busy trying to get our community garden on it's feet. If you have been following this blog, you know that I put 100% into everything I do. Since, I put so much love and energy into it, sometimes I get burnt out or just burned by others. However, I can't see doing it any other way. With Noor Janan Homeschool, it has been a little of both. A couple of comments that were left has me reassessing what I am trying to do with this blog. It is such a huge responsibility to run it all on a volunteer basis. I think some people may forget that I have a family and other responsibilities and I am doing this as a service to others with no financial compensation. I think some people may forget that I am a person with feelings and usually the most creative people are the most sensitive.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Our Beloved Aunt



Dear Aunt Sharon,

We love you. . . Lil A opened up Humble Dad's and my wedding album this morning and it got me thinking about you packing up your home. And all the wonderful memories we shared there, I remember the day Humble Dad brought me to your house for the first time for his birthday.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Behavior Chart

Our Behavior Chart took alot from this Chart.
When I first learned about this Behavior Chart a couple of months ago, I wanted to implement it but didn't have the time to create one to suit our family's need. So it was on the back burner... however, after having another bout of nerve pain and extreme fatigue that usually comes during the Winter (I need HOT weather!) that has had me spending many days in bed, I felt it was a good time to tackle this project. Not to mention that a Behavior Chart is needed even more when the mother is sick in bed . . .

Friday, January 24, 2014

Organizing & Painting

Our January project has been organizing our homeschool materials. We have been putting our label maker to work alot lately. The art supplies were finished just in time for our Prophet Muhammad, salAllahu alayhu wasalaam Caligraphy art project.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Lesson on Controlling Anger ♥

Sometimes I just post our thoughts on the Noor Janan facebook page with no plans to make a blog post on it. However, due to it's popularity, I have decided to share it here also for those who do not use facebook. Anger (patience in aggravated situations) is something that I have been working on as well as other diseases of the heart. So this is not coming from a place, of I got it all together . . . it is just one example of a time I was able to control my nafs (ego).


~ ♥

Z Man sings Qasida Muhammadiyah



MashaAllah, Z Man first time singing in front of hundreds of people went pretty well. InshaAllah, his love for the Prophet salAllahu alayhi wasalaam will grow through these nasheeds and other acts of ibadah. Amin.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

On Montessori

A facebook Reader asked a question about Montessori, Early Education, & Traditional Islamic Education.

The Question (paraphrased): Do you feel it to be better to start early education, like with Montessori or wait until 7 years for formal education? What is your experience?


Our Answer: Big A was 1 years old when I began my Montessori Training. My wonderful friend, Halima had the idea of "Let's do Montessori in our Home" Essentially Montessori homeschooling for us began with my friend's idea and us attending the classes together. We were living in Northern California, and the Community Colleges in the Bay Area at that time had Montessori classes for $12 a unit. It wasn't as expensive as many Montessori courses are. It is a shame how expensive Montessori education is because Maria Montessori believed in the principle that Education is the right of the poor. Her first students being children who were from the slums of Italy and children that others had given up on as teachable.



I made different Montessori material for Lil A to make our environment more Montessori by the time she turned 3. The first class I took was Practical Life, essentially home education, what a mother should be training a child and/or letting a child do anyways. Or if they are like my children will find a way to do it. ;)

* Helping to make their own peanut butter & jelly sandwich, rinsing their own dish, using kitchen utensil like an ice cream scooper to pick up puff balls (cotton) or chicken baster to suck up water. Proper hand washing and wudu making, clothes washing and folding, are all ways to teach a young child practical skills, but is also developing their fine motor skills that they will need later for writing.


Montessori is all about encouraging the natural growth of the child, just as the Islamic principle of playing with the child from 0-7, teach them from 7-12, and become their friend after puberty... Montessori and the Islamic Tradition are not opposing views, they compliment each other. Montessori gives the mother or educator a structure of what to do, more than have a structure for the child. It is your job to create a "Prepared Environment", so that the child can naturally progress in it. (*Note: The lack of a structure for the child is why Montessori schools have been criticized by other early childhood educators)

In a traditional Montessori classroom, these Practical Life materials is child's play, there are no workbooks, it is all about manipulating materials that will help with their natural development. At home, we also did not have workbooks for Big A. However, I did go through the book "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" She was reading by age 4, but she also developed a "lazy eye" and had to wear glasses. This was not a Montessori book, the reading cards in a Montessori classroom were traditionally alot bigger than they are today. Big A reads no better than S Man who learned to read at age 6 or Z Man who began reading at age 8. Here I would suggest learning about the eye development of children, look at the strength of the eye, and the arguments for bigger text for early readers.


So the question comes up if the child wants to progress, wants workbooks, but they are not 7, do you stop them? My answer is no. Children are different and develop differently. Montessori believed in sensitive periods, with a stress on "periods". A Traditional Montessori classroom has children of multiple ages (i.e 3-6 years old) and the learning material corresponds with the natural sensitive periods, producing an enthusiasm for the material. This is so the child can pick up a material within that period when he/she is ready.

**In my experience the problem does not lie in parents holding back a child who wants to progress, but many parents/teachers will push a child towards work they are not ready for. The child becomes defeated and builds insecurity in a subject matter at an early age which many older children and adults have never recovered from.**



InshaAllah, I created a blog post just for this question. And I will list helpful links for Early Montessori Education, but I would first encourage you to read Maria Montessori's books, if you are unable to take a Montessori course.

Two of my favorite books are The Montessori Method & The Absorbent Mind


My absolute favorite Montessori support and blog is Living Montessori Now. Not only because Deb Chitwood was one of the first supporters of my own blog, but because she embodies the spirit of Montessori and the resources she shares is beyond anything you will get anywhere else.

Montessori Blogs:
Living Montessori Now
What did we do all day?
Montessori Beginnings
The Helpful Garden
The Learning Ark
Forkolesburken
Homeschool Den

Montessori Resources:
Alison's Montessori
Montessori Materials
Montessori Curriculum/Albums
Montessori Research & Development
Montessori for Learning Downloads
Montessori Services


♥  More Montessori
Why Montessori?

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