Friday, December 20, 2013

The Name and The Named- 1st 12

I have taken another book "The Name and the Named" and made it kid-friendly. I love the applications in this book, and I wanted us to not just learn the beautiful Names of Allah, but to reflect on them. MashaAllah, this Fons Vitae Book gives practical application on how to do just that.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Grateful Tree ♥

I am grateful for so many things in my life. My Beloved family is one of the most important. However, it was funny that most of the things on my list surrounded food and the BEACH... Am I that linear? All I need is my family, good food, and the Ocean to be happy. . . God, of course, is número Uno in my life, but Alhumdulilah He is everywhere and is beyond everything.

What are the things you are grateful for and do those things make happy? Beautiful Free Printable to write it down with two versions: either a verse from the Quran or the Bible. ♥

We used these wonderful watercolor pencils to create our art.

 BIGGER HEARTS for Little Hands

♥  Download the Free Printable
The Grateful Tree

♥  More Character Development

The Goodie Jar
I am Grateful
Learning Character Through Stories

♥  Amazon Store: Art/School Supplies

♥  Pinterest: Practical Life

♥  Check our Progress: Curriculum Checklist

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ibadah & Khitmah Checklist

This Ibadah& Khitmah Checklist was inspired by one of my wonderful teachers Anse Tamara at .

I just completed her game Pilgrims at Home during the first 10 days of Dhu- l- Hijjah , it changed my perspective on what it means to be a Muslim in America and the nearness to Allah we can realize anywhere. We do not have to travel overseas to gain this nearness, but we do need to travel beyond our nafs towards our inward strength. The workout I went through, flexing my Ibadah muscles is not easy and can be harder than entering a gym for the first time to flex physical muscles. But the gain is better than any toned up abs, as one’s physical body is temporary and our spiritual body is everlasting.
Read more about our experience with Pilgrims at Home in: The Hajj- 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Lesson in Patience

We are a working class family and we weren't always at that status. Humble Dad and I married in our early twenties and will inshaAllah, God Willing celebrate our 15th anniversary soon.

During our marriage, we were starving students, poor, really poor, struggling to get by poor, rice and beans poor, and our current working class status with a boat load of Beloveds which means a boat load of expenses. We were so poor when we got married that we never had a real honeymoon and I received a promise as a dowry. As more Beloveds were born and less babysitting options were available, taking a trip as a Married couple without the Beloveds became a distant dream of the day when Lil A is old enough to stay home alone.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Road Trip to Chicago- 2013

On Friday, we headed to New Jersey for Shaykh Jihad Brown's Aqidah class. You always know you are on the right path in life when everything compliments each other, the Aqidah class reinforced some of the lessons I learned in my Companions of the Prophet class from earlier that week. We were given such a warm welcome, we were fed, offered a place to sleep, and had the best of company. Surely New Jersey community is a blessed one with many of the Scholars from our recent Al-Maqasid Retreat residing there.

After leaving New Jersey, we rode the main highways for a long time. However, I always have the urge to get off the main highway and take the road less traveled. I like to see real people and real places, I like to formulate my own opinions of the world and moreover, I want to teach my children to see things for themselves. To understand that the world on television is a propaganda, but by talking to people and seeing things for oneself will we only begin to understand the truth.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Homeschool Planning 2013-2014

I am excited about life in general, wherever God leads us, and this excitement pours over into our homeschool, especially our homeschool planning. It never goes exactly as I plan, God is always the Best of Planners. So here is my very planned out new school year~ based off my excitement, understanding that only a half of it may get done and knowing that We Will Learn 10 times more than I could of imagine planning.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ramadan 2013~ a change for the better

It is only the 2nd day of Ramadan and it has already started out great. The days are long, the fast is hard, it's really hot and humid here in Maryland, but I feel wonderful. Yes physically I am suffering, but my spirit is great and isn't that what Ramadan is all about. Actually, Ramadan hasn't always uplifted my spiritual being like it should, in fact I had alot of stubborness and attitude when it came to Ramadan and Islam in general. I made a choice to become Muslim, but I wanted my Islam to fit all my preconceived notions about how things should go. I wanted to fast with water, because I thought it was backwards to fast without water, we need to be hydrated right? I wanted Ramadan on my terms: so what if I ate something 10 minutes after Suhur ended, I was fasting all the rest of the 9 hours and 26 minutes. I wanted to pick and choose what part of Islam I wanted to follow and I sure did not want to follow it as it was prescribed in the Quran and Hadith. I didn't care that people had been doing the same thing with excellent results for hundreds of years, I was ignorant, I was brain washed, and I was spoiled.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Books for Boys

I am in the process of ordering books for our 2013-2014 year, a little later than I would like, but in the process I came across a fabulous article called "The Dangerous Article for Boys"

An excerpt from the article: 

It is now well-recognized that boys are not reading. What is the problem? Most commentators want to say that boys have an aversion to books. But the problem is quite the opposite: books—modern books, that is—have an aversion to boys.

A recent edition of The New York Times Sunday Book Review featured a Robert Lipsyte article that attempts to address this problem. Here is the proffered solution:
[B]oys need to be approached individually with books about their fears, choices, possibilities and relationships — the kind of reading that will prick their dormant empathy, involve them with fictional characters and lead them into deeper engagement with their own lives. This is what turns boys into readers.

Excuse me while I dab my eyes delicately with my handkerchief, touched as I am by this tender thought.

Okay, let's get something straight here: solutions like this are part of the problem. I'm normally against shooting spit wads in class, but I am willing to make an exception in this one case. The entire educational establishment has tried for over 50 years to force boys into their effeminate mold, and in the process, they've succeeded in evacuating literature of all the things boys like in books: action, adventure, danger, bloodletting—and an iron moral code that is taught, not by smarmy sermonizing, but by immersing them in the moral universe of a story about a hero who not only believes in this code, but enforces it with a vengeance.
Great article can be read in full here:
However, I wanted to post on my blog the book list for boys that Martin Cothran suggested.
  • Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (and anything else Wilder ever wrote)
  • The Jack Tales, by Jonathan Chase
  • Call it Courage, by Armstrong Sperry
  • Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • King Arthur, by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • Adam of the Road, by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  • Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Lost in the Barrens, by Farley Mowat (and anything else Mowat ever wrote)
  • Goodbye Kate, by Billy C. Clark (and anything else Clark ever wrote)
  • The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Mask of Zorro, by Johnston McCulley (and the rest of the Zorro books)
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel and El Dorado, by Baroness Orczy (and the rest of the Scarlet Pimpernel books)
  • Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle (and anything else Pyle ever wrote)
  • Shane, by Jack Shaeffer
  • The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
  • Old Squire’s Farm, by C. A. Stephens
  • Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
  • The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow, by Allan French
  • Little Britches, by Ralph Moody
  • Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
  • A Texas Ranger, by N. A. Jennings
  • Penrod, by Booth Tarkington
  • The Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling
  • Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  • The Worm Ouroboros, by E. R. Edison
  • The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien

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

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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bookmarks & Log- Updated

When we went to the RIS conference in Toronto this past winter, we came home with gifts for friends. Two of our gifts were that of books. I love books, do you remember our bookshelf from our schoolroom post.

I like the smell of books, the feel of books, the pictures in books, and the language used in books. I like having them in my home, in my purse, in my bookbag and not having to drive to a library or a store to read it. I have not moved into the era of Kindle and ibooks, I still enjoy visiting small businesses that sell books especially old used books. We have a wonderful used dictionary from 1936, one of our most cherished books.

It's almost like the song, "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is Silver and the other GOLD"

Books, real books, made out of paper are Gold. . .

So we gave the gifts of books, two books to one family, our gold with some extra special gems added to it.
Humble Dad gave the dad of this family a special book written by a wonderful Scholar of our time, Imam Zaid Shakir: "Treatise for the Seekers of Guidance" The gem: Imam Zaid signed the book.

Their children are named after the four greatest women in Islam, so we gave them  Noble Women of Faith: Asiya, Mary, Khadija, Fatima

The gem: we included our popular bookmarks with the book.

These bookmarks and booklogs are free as everything on our site, be sure to download and read. Even if you own a ipad or kindle, don't forget what is gold and read a real book once in a while.

Free Downloads
Noor Janan Bookmarks & Booklogs

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love Letters

I recently started a pen pal in another State, sending real letters with a real stamp. It not only provides a genuine pleasure to receive a letter in the mail, but also there is so much pleasure and personal reward in sitting down to write someone. This motivated me to start my Beloveds on letter writing. We had many thank you's we wanted to send, so I went searching the web for Thank you templates. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Arabic Vocabulary

After learning the Arabic letters, we can learn how to write words. If you have not visited our post on Arabic letters, please do so now as it has the information about the Movable Arabic letter cards.

Arabic Letters

I am publicly releasing our Arabic Letters and Arabic Vocabulary pages. This has been an extremely hard project for me because I am not an Arabic speaker, I have never taken a class, and learning new languages has never come easy for me like it did for my mother who is fluent in Italian, and has working knowledge of the other Romance languages.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thikr/Quiet Time

"Remember Me and I will remember you." Quran 2:152

To begin the morning in quiet thikr in Remembrance of Our Creator just makes the day start a little brighter. So many Religions have their different ways to remember their Lord, Muslims pronounce the name of God over and over again until the name of God radiate within you. We create songs about remembering God, rejoicing His Magnificence and we can do it silently and peacefully. Both have it appropriateness at different times, but the morning is for silence, so is the afternoon and the night. Taking a break from everyday rush rush, to have a time for quiet is an important lesson that we should make habit and what better time to make something habit than with a young child.

"And remember thy Lord in thy self with humility and fear, and without loudness of speech, in the mornings and evenings; and be not of the neglectful." Quran 7:205

Maria Montessori who escaped the war in Italy spending time in the Muslim world-India and Pakistan had a special exercise she would do with the young children she taught, who were partially deaf called the Silence Game. Montessori believed that the Silence Game would "bring little by little a discipline composed of calmness and inner beatitude" SubhanAllah, which is one of the key points of thikr to beautify ourselves from the inside. Imam Ghazali explains that our heart has two doors, one that is open to this world and another opened to world of angels. In thikr, quiet remembrance of God, we beautify our heart and the door to the angels open wider.

(NOTE: The link to the Silence Game has been corrected)

In our home Montessori's Silence Game, other quiet practice, including quite honestly naps and time outs, and Thikr are all used. I encourage you to read the link above to learn more about the Silence Game. In Thikr, we are simply repeating names of God over and over again. Sometimes we use our fingers to count.

Sometimes we use beads, i.e. Thikr beads. I use to practice the Catholic Religion before I was Muslim and I had Rosary beads to count my "Hail Marys". Same concept.

Our friend makes and sales some really dope thikr beads, as in MashaAllah beautiful ones like these.

Saying the names of God in public can be a little bit tricky, however there is one Thikr that you can do without moving your lips, so no one thinks you are talking to yourself. Say "La Ilaha ill Allah" which translates to "There are no gods, but the ONE GOD"

We have many different thikr that we can do with different benefits, so I created a chart for my children to record the thikr that they learn called Thikr, Quiet, Peace. We keep it in their Islamic Notebooks, the cover comes along with the free download.

Loud thikr and Remembrance makes it a community event and fun way to do it. I found some old footage of my children singing, I mixed it with some other Remembrance songs. Enjoy.

Find More Remembrance Songs
on my youtube here.

Free Downloads

More Islamic Studies
Arabic Letters
Arabic Vocabulary
Asmaa ul Husna
The Meaning of the Quran

Friday, January 4, 2013

Learning Character through Stories

I have been very conscious of my character lately. Although, my children often get complimented for their character traits from other people, I know much of what they learn is through following the example of their parents. However, they do take on character traits of their companions, we all do. As my father always said "Association brings on Assimilation" which is not a bad thing if you have good companionship. But it can be a detrimental thing, if you don't. Hardly anyone has 100% bad character, it's usually a little good mixed with a little bad. My dilemma is how do I keep my child having great character on their own while not under my watch. And how do I strengthen my character and that of my family. In Islam we call character, manners, or one's morals: Adab and it is a branch of Islamic study incumbent on all Muslims. Our Prophet said "God has sent me to perfect good manners and to do good deeds" (Bukhari)

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