Jolly Phonics Lapbook with a Montessori twist!

What do you get when you mix Jolly Phonics with Montessori???? Jolly Montessori! :) Okay only kidding! But here is a lapbook I put together using the Jolly Phonics method of learning letters, and combined that with Montessori techniques to practise.   

This is the first lapbook following the JP series, so I hope to complete and upload them as I go along teaching my 4 year old inshallah.

The Montessori moveable alphabet uses red for consonants and blue for vowels, however I purchased from Learning Resources something pretty similar (as was alot cheaper...altho the Montessori letters do look way better and easier to use in their box) but the colours are reversed.

The lapbook is available to download inshallah with 2 options:
1) with consonants in blue and vowels in red HERE!!!!!
2) with consonants in red and vowels in blue (as used in Montessori)  HERE!!!!

Front cover (here cut into 2 parts to open up)

Inside folder

Each letter mini book opens out to show 3 different nouns beginning with that letter, as well as a letter tracing page to practise writing.

Same as previous pic above.

Activity page which includes colouring, letter matching, sounding out words and pencil control practise.

Once the lapbook was completed, we used the sounding out words on the activity page with the movable alphabet. My 4 year old copied the words and we sounded them out together to try to read.

magnetic moveable alphabet from Learning Resources with magnetic whiteboard
(excuse the capital "S"'s....I swapped them over for the small letters after pic taken!!!!)

Great online Arabic reading series!

If you are looking for an Arabic reading series to help your children read and learn the Arabic language inshallah, then be sure to check out Omar and Maryam!

Alhamdulillah I found out about this site through an email and although I haven't checked the whole site back to back, what I have seen looks pretty good subhanAllah.....and it is totally free!!!!

As you can see though, it does contain pictures - so we should be cautious and explain to our children that the picture making is haram.

The series is just like any English reading book set, in that the first books are very basic, with only a few words which are repeated often! As the books go up in levels, so does the number of words and difficulty.

It includes an audio feature to help with pronunciation, and each time new vocab is introduced it has its full vowelation markings (harakat), the markings are then dropped after a couple of uses.

At the end of each book are a couple of quizzes which help to solidify vocab understanding!

A really useful site for children and adults of all ages...just start at your reading / vocab level!

To help my children develop their reading and master the vocab inshallah, I've started to put together flashcards using the vocab in each book.

Canvas craft!

A cute and very simple activity which keeps any little girl amused! Very simple to make, and all you need is a canvas, regular kids poster paint, some ribbon, some heart shape cut outs and some cheap glitter glue!

Paint the canvas

Wrap ribbon round a few times, and stick the hearts on. We folded the hearts in half so that they could flap up a little once the glue dried.

Use the glitter glue to write name!

Place value addition

To help practise place value, a small worksheet using place value and addition (no carrying over). The sheets are ready to print on A4 landscape, double sided so that it can be folded into a mini book. (or if preferred just use as standard worksheets)

Can be used alongside Montessori and Base Ten unit material to help work out answers.

Inshallah further addition using carrying over will be uploaded in the near future, as well as subtraction.

Above mini fold booklet is available to download inshallah HERE!!!

Also, available to download is a blank sheet, to allow you to write in your own additions in the top box for the child to work out, as shown below:
Available to download inshallah HERE!!!

Cookie Crafts!

Today the girls with their friends made some cookies and packaged them up to take home!

This could be a neat project for older kids to make a product and do their own "branding"...I might keep that idea to use a few years down inshallah!

We just used a simple shortbread recipe, using a heart cutter to shape. The packaging was made from some craft paper, and some punches which we put together to hide the clear bag seal at the top.


250g butter
100-150g caster sugar (the recipe actually states 50g but I tasted the dough before baking and added abit extra)
250g Plain flour
125g Cornflour

Oven approx 170 degrees C.

With your hands nead the ingredients together until they come together to make a dough. Store in the fridge for at least an hour to firm up before rolling and cutting.

Place on a greased baking tray and bake.

We baked until they were a nice yellow golden brown, approx 10 minutes. (they burn want them to still be quite yellow)

Ar Razzaq - "Allah Provides us" mini poster

Everything we have is provided for us by Allah.
The purpose of these spider chart posters is to allow children to think about this and understand inshallah that Allah is Ar-Razzaq and everything we have is from Him. 

2 charts, the first for older children to write and draw pictures of what Allah provides us with, the second for younger children to colour.

Download HERE!

Download HERE!

Corner bookmarks...

Tired of the same old standard rectangular bookmarks? Try a making one that fits on the corner of the page!

They are very easy to make, and if you take a look on google images, you will find plenty of design ideas you can try.

Today the girls with some friends made some sparkly ones using sequins.

All you need to make the base is an envelope, card and chosen materials to decorate....

Take an envelope and cut off the corners (1 envelope will make 2 bookmarks)

To give strength to the envelope corner, trace and cut some coloured card to stick onto both sides.

Now you'll have a strong corner pocket and you are ready to decorate!

Some of the kids designs

Just slide onto the page corner to keep it marked!

Morning and Evening supplications mini book!

From Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim), the chapter of "Remembrance said in the morning and evening" in one easy to read format, with blown up larger text, great for children and adults of all ages!
Each supplication is on one page, making it easier to focus and seem less daunting for less confident readers inshallah, and handy to help the family memorise the recommended adhkar bi'ithnillah.

To make it long lasting, laminate the pages for durability inshallah!

Can be downloaded inshallah HERE!

Chocolate E'id Gift!

Want to find a one of a kind E'id Gift with that special touch? .....decorate some chocolate wrappers!
A cost effective way to give out nice gifts especial if you have 50 kids in the extended family!
All you need is a chocolate bar...whatever size, some pretty paper, ribbon and whatever else you fancy! Just remove the outer wrapper, keeping the inner foil, and make a new hand crafted wrap!

This afternoon the girls made some with their friends to give to their mums / Dads (pic on the right).
We used large punches for the shapes, and some self-adhesive diamonties....not a bad job for a bunch of 6 year olds (and a 4 year old!)....

Note pad kids craft!

This note book is a fun craft for the kids to put together and is something they will cherish because they made it!

All it is, is a small pocket size note pad which has been decorated, siting inside a Velcro shut card cover.

Its very simple to put together, I took the idea from a tutorial I found on youtube, you can watch it inshallah HERE!

I adapted the tutorial, rather than using a file folder to make the cover, I used an A4 sheet of card which I just cut to size to suit the size of the pocket note pad I was using, and used Velcro instead of the magnet to shut it closed.

I pre-prepared all the card and paper cut outs, so the girls just had to put it together. (I think I would have asked for trouble if they had to measure, mark and score themselves!).

The note-pad is just decorated with cut-to-size craft paper from front to back and finished with a ribbon (using thin strip of double sided tape to hold in place!).

The end result was cute and the kids loved it! My 6 year old took it to bed with her and is writing all sorts inside alhamdulillah!
They would make pretty nice gifts for friends and family members at E'id or something.....would be nice to give something the kids have made, yet looks so usable alhamdulillah! Plus when the notepad is finished, just take it out of the cover, and insert a new one!)

I used a pocket size note pad, and used it to measure out the correct proportions for the outer cover, cut, and scored along the fold marks.

Pre-cut materials ready to assemble!

Cut Velcro strips to size....I saw this in poundland or the works, I cant remember! Cheaper than getting the little Velcro dots! (although the dots to look more presentable!)

Reward / Chore tokens!!!!

 We've used sticker charts to encourage good behaviour, however I felt we'd try out something a bit different.
A little while ago I wrote about reward tokens I'd found on another blog, and I thought it would be an idea I'd save and try when they kids were older, but I was getting a little bored of the stickers and I started thinking these tokens may be a good opportunity to encourage a little responsibility from the kids inshallah.

Basically, how it works, the girls have a jar each (which we've been using for 3 weeks but I just got round to labelling and decorating today!) and in the same way in which sticker charts are used, a token is given for various acts of good behaviour including chores.
I have 3 different token values, 1, 2 and 5. I'll give a token according to what I deem appropriate to the action. Mostly it is 1's......I keep the 2's or 5's for something extra special.

So what is the purpose in the tokens and how do they promote responsibility?  Well, these tokens can be saved and traded for a treat! .....
  • For 10 tokens they can choose a colouring page from the Internet to print off (google images)
  • For 25 tokens they can have 15 minutes on the computer to play a game. (we don't encourage screen time so this is a treat)
  • For 50 tokens they can stay up an extra 30 minutes at bedtime on a Saturday.
  • For 100 tokens they can choose a pre-bought gift. (I went to pound-land and chose 3 different gifts they can choose from)
There's a poster up on the wall so the girls can see what they can trade their tokens in for.
They are in control then of how they wish to use their tokens and gain treats.
They can either spend on the smaller value rewards or save up their tokens for something more special....or as I encourage, a bit of both - spend tokens on the lower value trades whilst still saving some tokens for the higher priced incentives!

The only rule I really have, is I won't give a token if they do something and then ask for a token.

So far they seem to be working alhamdulillah.

I tried to use rewards which were low cost or zero terms of monitory value such as the colouring pages and staying up past bed-time.

The big treat for the 100 tokens is an incentive gift to try to promote the idea to save for something and encourage patience.....100 tokens isn't something they will collect pretty soon.

The thing to remember is to be consistent with the tokens.....its all too easy to allow our children's good behaviour to get overlooked and ignored, whereas negative behaviour is always always always picked up by us immediately!

Its nice for the kids to have their good behaviour noticed and appreciated by us.....if they were naughty there would be no way we'd allow them to escape without attention being given to it.

The tokens are available to download inshallah:
Value 1 HERE!!!!
Value 2 and 5 HERE!!!

Number Fact "Partners"

I've been working with my 6 year old for a couple of months trying to enable her to recall without thinking number facts to 10 inshallah.....without telling her that is what we are doing! (if she realises we are "doing maths" you can count on a full scale melt-down!!!)

The past couple of days I have found something which alhamdulillah, seems to be working and she is catching on quick!

Using the Montessori addition and subtraction board we started playing a game, in which I ask her to find the partner of a given number which would make the total 10.

So here, you can see I presented the blue number strip "5" and asked "What is the partner of 5?", to which she responded "5" and placed the corresponding partner in red besides to show the total of 10.

To make it appear more like a game, we took in turns to ask one another to find the partner of a given number. Here K presented "8" to me........

........and I responded with "2".

We end up with all the number facts to 10 (excluding 10+0 / 0+10)

I found this to be quite successful alhamdulillah, as it does appear like a game, but in playing this game a few times, the number facts are indirectly learnt and memorised without any effort inshallah, alhamdulillah!
And of course, you can change the total to different numbers to learn various other important number facts such as 5, 20 etc etc etc (although if using number facts beond 10, you'd have to make your own resouces)

It is not at all necessary to have the number board as I have pictured, I just linked it up at the top just for those who are interested.
It is easy to use any other similar material to demonstrate this to the child....unifix cubes would be good.

Alternatively, to use the Montessori equipment but without the price tag, Wikisori have listed free printables to replicate the same materials at home!

Addition / Subtraction strip board can be printed HERE!!!!
The red number strips can be printed HERE!!!!
The blue number strips can be printed HERE!!!!

If you have not checked out  before, its a brilliant site with free Montessori albums, printable worksheets and equipment replicars.....very useful alhamdulillah.

Raising children upon tawheed...

raising children upon tawheed

A mother recently had a conversation with her 6 year old. She can't remember what her daughter was doing at the time, whether she was eating a meal or reading a book; but they were sat at the kitchen table.
The girl randomly without prompting, told her mother that she is so happy that she was not born into a "family of shirk" because if she was, then they would teach her to do shirk and other things which displease Allah!

Alhamdulillah, indeed all praise is for Allah, this girl's mother felt so humbled by her daughter's thoughts.

 A child so young understanding the difference between being upon Tawheed or being upon Shirk, and being thankful for not being born into a family calling to the later.

Stories of the Prophets Notebooking pages!

I'd like to try notebooking, so experimenting with pages! I thought might be nice as part of literacy to write up the stories of the Prophets, so have come up with a few different styles for this topic.....

***Note*** - the space provided for an image, is not intended to draw any of the Prophet's, but rather to draw a picture which represents the main essence of the story, for example, a fruit tree could represent the Story of Prophet Adam, a ship to represent Prophet Nuh and so on.

I've slightly indented the boarder on the left side to allow for a hole-punch.
An extension page is also available for older children and those who can write longer assignments inshallah (just print off as many extension sheets as needed)

Style 1:
Available for download inshallah HERE!
Extension page download HERE!

Style 2:
Available to download inshallah  HERE!
Extension Page HERE!

Style 3:
Available to download inshallah HERE!
Extension Page download HERE!

Diary of a Muslim HomeSchool has gone "FaceBook"!

Extending on from this blog, Diary of a Muslim HomeSchool now has a FaceBook Page to continue to share homeschooling resources across the Muslim Home Educating community inshallah!

Check it out and hit the "like" button! :)

Cute personalised note book!

This is a cute little writing book, made to try to inspire a desire to do more independent writing inshallah!

I'd bought this A4 hard-back note book for I think 99p a few weeks ago from one of those cheapy bits and bobs shops (anyone in Leicester.....BM Stores next to Sainsburys!)
 I had some 3D fabric paint laying around (as you do! lol) and thought would be nice to personalise the book.....what child doesn't like their name plastered on something!

I don't know if you can see in the picture below, but the paint is slightly raised....

I used Pebeo paint.....I think if I remember right it was about £1.50-ish!

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