Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The only way is up!

So much seems to have happened in the last few days, so I will start at the very beginning missing out all the really boring stuff inshaAllah.

We have a sister that comes to the house on Sundays to teach me and the kids Quran and Tajweed, this is her 2nd week and things are going great. She is so patient and very good with the kids; using flash cards, singing nasheeds and even saves time to chat with them about their interests; this week they told her all about their dad and taught her some Turkish words mashaAllah.

On Mondays we have a joint teaching session with two other families to study Geography, Science and Art. This week we played bingo using flash cards downloaded from Ordinance Survey with map symbols on them and designed our own 'map symbols' - although I am not sure A's 'Keep away from the battle between the Deceptacons and Autobots" symbol really counted. We made pictures using shapes for art, even the mums enjoyed that one, but not as much as last week when we made bookmarks using straight, zig zag, wavy and curved lines and then layered and glued them making these really effective bookmarks (see picture above). We are working from How to Teach Art to Children for our art sessions and they seem to be going well so far. For science, we continued our study on plants; we went through photosynthesis and did an experiement to show how water travels up to the leaves from the roots and another to demonstrate how the plant cells become flaccid when deprived of water (yes, that's what happening when we forget to water our plants), we also looked at the make up of the plant cell. It never ceases to amaze me how much kids love to learn about the natural world and I pray that it will bring them closer to Allah (swt) InshaAllah. I can't wait until next week when we get to make edible plant and animal cells in sandwich bags. Yummy! I plan and teach for this subject and have decided that we are all going to do a lap book for this topic - I hope the children will all enjoy it InshaAllah.

Today, apart from maths and english, we made skeletons and talked about the skeletal system - totally unplanned, but thats home education for ya! We got the pattern for the model from The Giant Science Resource Book; one of my better buys! The model had a chest that opened up to show the lungs and heart and a skull that swung up to reveal the brain and eyes... the kids thought it was so cool. We ended up having a conversation about how Allah put the heart in such a protective place and that we should also protect our hearts by doing good deeds, keeping away from bad speech and memorising/reading the Holy Quran.

On the parenting front things are definately looking up! It is amazing how quickly the children adapt and respond to new situations. In the last few days I have been trying not to respond to any whinging or moaning, I can't say that it has been easy and there is still room for improvement but it's greatly improved! They even sat better (I think) during our joint teaching sessions. It's so hard not to give in when your feeling tired but it's really worth the effort inshaAllah. I also feel that the kids are really benefitting from being taught by other people it has really helped with their adab (manners) and their concentration. It is also helpful for them to see other children doing their work without any problems and that it's not just their ogre of a mum that makes them work sooooo hard. I feel it has also shown them that although they are very intelligent and more advanced than their friends in some areas they have lots to learn from their friends in others. It has been a very humbling experience for them and inshaAllah they can use these experiences to help them grow as people and mu'mins (believers).

Well a productive few days I think, lets hope we can continue in this way inshaAllah; please make dua.

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