Monday, 31 May 2010

Freedom Flotilla

Just a quick note to rally support for those aboard the freedom flotilla on it's way to Gaza, the organisations involved are asking us to take part in the demonstrations (Monday, 31 May 2010 at 10 Downing Street) or write to our MP's etc further information can be found here.

What a shining example the people aboard the flotilla are to us all, may Allah facilitate their journey, help them to reach their goal, protect them and bring them back safely to their families inshaAllah. Ameen.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

We have had a good week this week alhamdulillah. The most exciting thing (I think!) we did this week was make cheese, it's surprisingly easy and not as cheap as buying it but it was a great experience all the same. First we heated the milk until almost boiling....

Then when the right temperature had been reached, we added some lemon juice and vinegar to separate the curds from the whey (as you can see below)..
This is amazingly quick and the picture below is when it was almost finished separating.
We then placed a cheese over a colander and poured the mixture in the colander (apparently you can use the whey (liquid part) in soups and stuff but hubby didn't that fancy as he has a dodgy stomach so it was thrown away unfortunately). It is at this stage that you add the salt.
You then squeeze out the remainder of the liquid and tie up the than add a weight to the top to ensure all the liquid has been removed and leave it to rest for a while.
This is the end doesn't look as attractive as normal cheese but I guess you could take more time to shape it or even press it into some sort of container. I would have liked to put in some herbs or mint or something, maybe next time inshaAllah. The cheese we tried was a version of what my husband knows as white cheese in Turkey but there are lots of recipes online you can try, I would thoroughly recommend you have a go yourself, there is definitely lots to talk about from an educational point of view.
Well back to the normal stuff, DD1 has been using these matching ladybirds/leaf shapes that I got from here, there are lots of other materials available here too, worth checking out inshaAllah and I do like her blog too :o)). She obviously had to match the number of dots to the correct number to aid number recognition and as an added activity I got her to draw the ladybird in her book and write the numbers underneath.
They have also been learning the months and seasons just by looking at and discussing this lovely A3 poster that a friend made for us....she had it enlarged from from a book and had it laminated mashaAllah its beautiful and the kids love it.
DS3 has been playing with this game this week which I think I got from 'Toys R Us' anyway it's proved a big hit this week with DS3 who has been spelling out some cvc words mashaAllah.

First he started with the pictures and then spelled the word..
Then, just to make sure he knew what he was doing I took away all the pictures and mixed up the words and he then has to read them and put the pictures back on...Last but not least he had to copy them out in his book and draw pictures to match.

DS1 has been continuing with his English lessons with a tutor...mashaAllah the sister is soooo good, they come out almost dancing from her lessons. She is from the 'old school', before the National Curriculum came and learning became too prescriptive...anyway....this week DS1 got an A+ for his homework and was really pleased but alhamdulillah, because we don't make a big thing of achieving on the academic front it didn't go to his head...more of a passing comment really lol.

DS1 & DS2 have both been working really hard on their owl projects so I am hoping to draw a line under that one soon too inshaAllah....hubby wants to take a trip to Hunstanton so I want to get a fish and/or seal project underway before we go inshaAllah. I must try to get some pics up of what they have done so far inshaAllah.

Maths is still on the times (yawn) tables....I am beginning to feel like the boys are winding me up with this one, it seems to be taking so long for this to sink in. Anyway, apart from that I am also having to go over long addition/subtraction & regrouping with DS2....I feel a lot of time is being wasted but madrassah is on holiday next week so we can really get cracking without having to stop inshaAllah.

DS3 has also been doing some jelly bean addition with some worksheets we also downloaded from Sarah Sellers Homeschool Printables which he steamed through..time to up the ante a bit I think.

We (I of course mean they!) have also been gymnastics, swimming and football. DS1 wanted to make his own puff paint so has been experimenting with poster paints and most of the other stuff in my kitchen cupboards....what a mess! Everywhere, clothes, coat(?), kitchen counter etc. DD also learned to rider her bike mashaAllah....just steering to work on now before the garden fence crumbles.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Still making mini-books

We have been doing lots of maths online and still trying to cement the times tables with the boys, I must admit I am finding this a bit tiresome but hey... other work is continuing using the 100 Maths Lessons.

We have had lots of badges earned at cubs and scouts and I HATE sewing them on....must buy some fabric glue....only now am I beginning to appreciate my mums efforts with me and little sis at Brownies, I was so proud of my armful of badges but never gave poor mums punctured fingers a second thought...thanks mum, love you lots! DS1 has been caving (will post about this separately) and DS2 camping and they are both off to another camp in June....I think I am looking forward to it more than them, lol!

DS1 is still with his tutor for English and they are having a whale of a time....lots of new work being introduced and the book the lessons are based around (Goodbye Mr Tom) is really grabbing their attention. DS2 is making steady progress with his reading and is reading to me aloud most days from the 'Read it Yourself' series from Ladybird. The two little ones are still progressing through the Jolly Phonics books.

Here is DS2's effort at making a mini study's going to be about lizards (just in case you missed the huge orange writing ;0)). He's stamped it and decorated the pages and we are just in the process of deciding what should be included in the study.

DS1 took this photo of the two younger boys climbing in their new white thawbs (they had to be white and new didn't they!) he thought it was funny that they got greasy black marks on them but I, on the other hand, was rather distressed and am still trying to wash the stains out...humph!

Well we are still on the mini-book trail with DS1 making the following albums from toilet roll holders