Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Another bug filled week!

Well we are still ill and with the beautiful weather we have on offer I though it would be a great idea to go outside and explore the properties of water in the family paddling pool (lots to talk about here: three states of water, why water splashes, why things float and sink, we also discussed surface tension, and how pressure works in water and pushes fluid up a straw, global warming etc). So we all (yes, me too ;0))) got in the pool for lots of fun and learning whilst relaxing. I should also point out that I was in my 'dress' and we are blessed to have a sun trap in our garden that is completely private and not overlooked alhamdulillah. It also helped to keep the kids temperatures down too (bonus!).

I recently purchased a hydro-pneumatics kit so when we are all better this will follow on nicely inshaAllah.

Other than this we have done very little education wise because of the 'lurgy' so the kids have just been getting on with whatever they felt like doing which resulted in DS1 building a small motorised thing (he claims that from his research it could be classified as an non-programmable robot but I'm not so sure it meets the criteria). I fought the urge to critisise it immediately - as he had done a lot of research and reading about making robots - and pondered momentarily about the fine line between encouragement and preparing them for 'real life'......I came to realise that I have a migraine, am very hot and do not have the patience to critisise 'constructively' so had better just be quiet! We can't take back the words we have already uttered and damage can be difficult to repair......

DS3 also discovered how to make a circuit with a few odd wires and a battery - he then found a propeller and added it to his circuit to make a fan mashaAllah, his face was a picture mashaAllah (I feel so blessed to have been there at that moment) he was so pleased with himself. I was promptly instructed to lay down on my bed and be fanned, I of course complied but only in order that his build could be tested; honest!

Now it's just bath time and bed to tackle and then I can get on with some 'real work'.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Adjectives and bargains

Well we have all been ill this week so not much planned (or even unplanned) education going on! But I did pick up a bargain at the aptly named 'Bargain Depot' the other day that has kept us all busy for a couple of days, I know you're all excited so here it is......

This really was a bargain, we got the set for £5 as the box was open and we also had to spend £3 on replacement parts from the Lego Replacement Parts Service so £8 for a set worth £60-80. My boy has wanted one of these for sooooo long, but never complained when I said no and now Allah ta'Ala has rewarded him with a set alhamdulillah. It's quite a monster; its an Imperial All Terrain Scout Transport Walker from the Star Wars series and is an impressive 42cm high and 24cm wide.

We also managed to finish our 'adjective snake' from the Jolly Phonics teachers book..

Apologies for the picture, my phone is my camera and I also had to put two photos together as it was so long.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Twycross Zoo

We recently had a trip to Twycross Zoo, which is not a big zoo by any stretch of the imagination but the kids were really looking forward to their day out which came about as DS1 is doing a project on Animals of Africa - I was not looking forward to the visit as I am opposed to keeping animals in cages and was trying desperately not to push my views onto the kids.

Anyway we had a lovely day (apart when I got upset at seeing a cheetah laying down looking very depressed in a very small cage) and the kids too had decided (with no proding from me, honest 'guv) that it was wrong to keep animals in cages just for us to look at. However, we also appreciated that some of the animals were endangered or on the brink of extinction and were kept at the zoo as part of a breeding programme to reintroduce them into the wild - they felt that keeping the animals was justified in this case 'for their own good'.

They also noted that if the zoo were to keep the breeding programmes going they needed the income from ticket sales to look after the animals. So a good day on all fronts, a day in which we all learned something and I am really pleased with how the kids processed the information they had and the conclusions they came to. I can feel a debate coming on with lots of comparisons and reasoning involved, mwahh hahh hahh! The kids are not going to like it tho' they just wanted a good old fashioned day out just for the fun of it...... you know what? They are right. Writing about it doesn't make the info stick in their minds any more so we won't do it.

The young ones do want to do something about zoo's so I have downloaded lots of lapbooking stuff for the little 'uns to do on animals/zoos from Homeschool Share (a fab site by the way that definately needs investigating).

Monday, 22 June 2009

Coool park

We went to the coolest park ever today - it even inspired me to have a play alhamdulillah and it was nice to have the kids push me on the swing for a change lol..... the place is Brocks Hill Country Park. It's a fab place not too big, lots of interesting areas too; this fab play area, woods for building huts etc (see pics below), long grass, orienteering, a pond, Eco House a& exhibition hall - its just brill.Apart from having a great time at the park we also did some math with mindsprinting, English (off the cuff), a picnic and swimming....yawn.... and now I'm off to bed...

Friday, 19 June 2009

Imagination is a wonderful thing.....

MashaAllah, you can give children a box of 'stuff' and they will inevitably come up with something amazing mashaAllah and today was no different. I gave DS2, who was bored, a box of stuff that included polystyrene, parcel tape, glue, paper, round lolly-sticks, propellers, motors, crocodile clips, batteries etc and he used these items to build this wonderful power boat mashaAllah and below is a little film of him testing it in the bath....

The maiden voyage identified a couple of design issues which he quickly identified and came up with solutions, he also worked out how to make it go forward and reverse....clever thing mashaAllah.

We also had a refresher lesson on nouns (common, collective & proper), verbs, pronouns, plurals and adjectives - we all made up a part of a crazy paragraph on the whiteboard and the kids had to identify and underline the noun, verb etc etc. We also mad an adjective snake using the Jolly Phonics grammar Book 1 - even me and a friend had a hand in decorating a section of the 'snake' pics to follow inshaAllah.

We also did a refresher on time and practiced reciting the times tables, the boys then went on to play some multiplication games online.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Prophet Ibrahim Lapbook

I just had to share this lapbook about the Prophet Ibrahim(AS) with you. It is a wonderful creation by my friends almost 8 year old daughter mashaAllah. The photos go from the back of the lapbook to the front for no other reason that I uploaded the pics that way and there are too many to chop and change at this time of night so bear with me...

This is the family tree of the Prophet Ibrahim (as)

This is a pop-up Kabah and glued around the bottom are small matchbooks with facts about the Kabah on them. The minarets at the back are stuck on with sticky pads which give them a 3D effect, ingenious mashaAllah.

This is another pop-up with three idols and on the top is are several tabs with the story of Ibrahim (as) and the idols.
Here you can see the Ibrahim (AS) and the Idols pop-up closed at the bottom with a 3D scroll at the side with ayats 91-92 of Surah As-Saffat. Above that you can see Ayats 75-79 of Suarh Al-An'am written on a sheet that A designed on a desk top publisher and then applied a transparency to.

Two scrolls; one of Ayats 43048 Surah Maryam and Ayats 52-56 of Surah Al-Anbiyaa

Here are two pictures of the 'Khaleel ullah' heart mini book(one open & one closed) with Ayat 4:125 on the left and on the right an explaination of what 'khaleelullah' means.
Below is the inside of the 'Allah saves Ibrahim from the fire' shape book detailing the story inside.

A picture of the whole 'the miracle' page of the lapbook.

Part of the puzzles page this is a challenge for people to make as many words as possible using the letters contained in the name 'prophet Ibrahim'. Also on the puzzles page is a jigsaw puzzle of the Station of Abraham, quiz questions and a wordsearch.

Here is a page explaining why and who first built the kabah with photographs.

This is 'The Great Debate' page detailing the converstion between the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Nimrod using speech bubbles and and an introductory and conclusive paragraphs.

This mini-book is beautifully decorated using pastels and tells the story of the spring of Zam Zam.
These 'Great Sacrifice' pages detail the dream received by the Prophet Ibrahim telling him to sacrifice his son which is typed in a 'thought bubble' that comes from a man sleeping in his bed and the story of the sacrifice which is on the inside of a sheep book shown open in the top picture.

The next few pics tell of the birth and childhood of the Prophet Ibrahim with the tea stained map and the scrolls on the sticky pads making them look 3D.

This lapbook was made of 3 Document Wallets and has 8 pages (one of which is an 'about the author' page that I haven't included for obvious reasons), the following pic shows the lapbook open showing just some of it's pages. The bottom pic is of the lapbook all closed up with a cover page designed on a desktop publishing programme.

Busy, busy, busy....

We have been so busy that I haven't had time to update the blog (apologies).. but don't worry I won't make it all up in one huge post lol......

Where to start....well I eventually got over my cold and regained my voice, it lasted about 3 weeks alhamdulillah. First the good news, for the first year ever my lillys have survived to bloom and fade naturally alhamdulillah - they are my fav flowers and they usually get snapped by the neighbourhood cats, the kids football/toys, or munched by bugs so I am a very happy bunny on the lilly front, aren't they beautiful?

The kids were also challenged by a sister to build a 'waterway' to reach from one end of the garden to another with whatever they could find laying around.... quite a challenge! It took them two days to build it and although it didn't quite meet the challenge it was a brilliant effort, as you can see, with lots of planning and problem solving going on mashaAllah....

Madressah daily as usual but we did have one hiccup - my youngest son didn't seem to be progressing and was stuck on the same page for weeks. I was very confused as he was covering the page without any problems at home - it turned out he was worried about moving on to the next lesson as it 'looked hard' so was pretending he didn't know it in class so he could stay in his comfort zone lol, poor children I don't think I will ever understand how their minds work lol.

DS2 is doing very well with his reading and has almost completed his 100 reading lessons and his confidence in reading has soared - it's such a blessing to see your children progress and the look on their faces when it all comes together, alhamdulillah.

More English and Maths from Mindsprinting, this site it brilliant but it is a bit slow and the kids do find it a bit dull doing the same stuff everyday so I have invested in some new teaching books for math that I am hoping to incorporate into the lessons to make it more interesting. I am also hoping to bring back the Nelson Thorne books to brighten up the English lessons inshaAllah.

Little ones are still ploughing through Jolly Phonics and their basic numbers alhamdulillah - I don't usually start teaching them until they are 7 but my DD1, aged 4, is asking for work and just loves the colouring which will all help with her penmanship skills at a later date inshaAllah.

We seem to have settled into a routine but it seems to have taken all the 'fun' out of our learning..I am not sure I'm cut out or comfortable with structured learning but will have to see if I can inject some life into it - I really don't want to get stuck in a rut and bore the children out of learning lol. I was also reminded today of the problems that I had with DS1 (how easily we forget when all starts going well, sigh) with regards to writing and 'school' in general it seemed and I haven't written about it here either so I am hoping to get something together in a separate post so that others can benefit inshaAllah.