Keep maths real...

Why do so many children (and adults!) today, hold such a dislike for anything mathematical? Go back to your own school days in the stuffy old classroom.
Remember Mr X standing at the front of the room, going through some obscure word problem dealing with a situation that would never happen in real life to some imaginary characters called Bill, Bob and Ben!
Not only did you long to hear the ringing of the class-change bell, but so did Mr X himself!

And this is the situation for many of us.....we are taught at school that maths is a series of equations and word problems in a text book! We are not shown how maths is relevant to us in everyday life. And sadly, even as home educators, it is all too easy to follow this same ritualistic pattern! And so, instead of learning Maths, kids learn instead to simply switch off!

When something is real, when it is tangible then it has a purpose. And if something has a purpose, then it has a value. And if it has a value, then it is remembered, inshaAllah.

Instead of using a text book with cartoon images of money followed by a word problem asking how many toy cars can Billy buy with £1.55, take the kids shopping next time you need to get some milk! Let them count the money and work out the change!

Set up a small shop in your living room! Price up the goods from your kitchen cupboard, fill a little purse and a till with real coins (not pretend plastic ones!) and through play let them add up and pay!

Give what they are doing a purpose, give it value so that what they learn, stays with them inshaAllah.
 Who says you can only learn about the real world through text books and word problems? Who says its even effective? ...I know most of us as adults don't remember much beyond simple equations, because we memorised what we needed to know to pass the exam and as soon as it was over forgot everything!  
We were not shown how it was relevant to us, so we never applied it. Therefore forgot it! What we were forced to learn 20 years ago back in Mr X's classroom was not presented to us with value! And because there was no value, it was not remembered....or rather, it was not truly learnt!

The real world is just that....real! So keep it real and you may stop kids (and grown ups!) falling asleep, and instead, keep them switched on, and learning!

A gift for you.... Home School Planner!

We are approaching that time of year again, Ramadan is around the corner, and many of us will be breaking... or at least, slowing down over the summer period. For those of us who are getting that itch, ready to start thinking about our next home school year,  a welcomed help is on hand to add abit of organisation to our chaos....or at least try to anyway!  
Introducing "My Home School Planner" organisation tool to help get your home education planning in order....if you are somebody who likes to plan!
If you are looking for something to help you make sense of  how to facilitate your children's education, then try My Home School Planner!
Whether you are new to home education or are an old home schooling pro, My Home School Planner has been beautifully designed to help you map out educational plans for your family, with inspirational quotes and reminders.
....And did I tell you? ......It is free to download Alhamdulillah!
Click below to view sample pages from  My Home School Planner...

Use the organiser to gather your thoughts....dump the chaos from your mind and offload it onto paper. Once its on paper you don't need to keep your subconscious buzzing with reminders and mental planning! Ink your thoughts and then forget about them, reassured its all there for when you need them later inshaAllah!

My Home School Planner, will walk you through some basic tips for successful planning inshaAllah. Print off as many planning pages as you need for each of your children and their subjects of study.

 How will I keep my planner together?

Its up to you how you bind your Planner.

You could calculate how many of each of the planning pages you need for one year and print off the lot in one go so you can put together using a spiral binder.

Another suggestion would be to print of the Planner onto good quality photo paper or card, and bind, keeping the organiser as a master copy to photocopy as needed throughout the year.

Or the most easiest method, would be to store in a ring binder, that way you can just print off new planning sheets as you go along, and it would also make it easy to separate between children with dividers.

Get your copy today with a free download!

Click link below to download inshaAllah!
My Home School Planner...

Update: If you have problems with the above link, please try this link (I'm not sure if outside the UK there appears to be a different link required)
Try this link here!


Jolly Phonics - Montessori fusion lapbook 3

Again long overdue, the 3rd in the Jolly-Montessori fusion style lapbooking series, covering letters  g, o, u l, f, b
As with all the previous lapbooks in the series, 2 download options are available for whatever preference you have for your consonant and vowel colours.

Blue consonants and red vowels (as used with the Learning resources alphabet)
download HERE!

Red Consonants and blue vowels (as used with the Montessori movable alphabet)
download HERE!

Activity after completing the lapbook:

Use a movable alphabet to copy and spell the simple CVC words in the middle of the folder. Help child to sound out the letters  to put together the full word, for example,

taking the word "sip"...
Child copy the word, finding the letters from the movable alphabet to spell. Then ask the child to read each letter sound "s" "i" "p". (make sure the letter sound is sounded out and not the letter name).
Help child to blend the letters to say the word, or ask what word can you hear, and you sound out the letters.

Continue making new words with all letters used from past lapbooks.

child led children freedom to educate themselves!

Child-led learning....helping your children study something they are interested in or have a passion for!
It sounds like it would be something which would end with good results right, I mean, if a kid actually wants to do something, he is going do it well with enthusiasm and pleasure...surely!

Since home educating my own family, I have read home schooling articles and books here and there, and it has always resonated with me that if a child is interested, then he will benefit more as appose to finding something mind-numbingly dull and forgetting before the lesson is even over!

Having been raised in a society which accepts the public school arena as an entity which knows best, it can be difficult to break away from what is customarily accepted as the right way and instead opt for something a little more allowing a child to choose for himself what he wishes to study and trusting him in that!
 Over the short 2 and a half years we have been home educating, I have always tried to provide my children with areas of study they are interested in, however, I have still maintained the control and decided what and how they should learn about their topic of interest.

However recently I have been looking more seriously at how children effectively learn and project based schooling or child-interest led education.
Now, I'm running a sort of semi-unschooling experiment, I've told the children they will produce a project of their own choosing and present it however they so desire. All I will do is facilitate them in finding the required information they decide they need and maybe give a few helping prods or nudges if they tell me they need it!
The only bit of "structure" I have given to this project, was asking them to produce a spider diagram of all their project ideas, topics they think they'd like to study, before selecting one and completing a project planner. The purpose of the project planner was to help get their own minds thinking about what they want to understand Mum isn't going to decide for me, also to let me know what they think they will need so that I can make arrangements to get them what they require, such as books, visits, meetings with people in subject fields, material supplies etc.

I have to say, they are so excited Alhamdulillah, and have never seen them so eager to get on with something mashaAllah!
I tend to steer away from mentioning personal accounts on the blog, however I think there could be a benefit to vaguely sharing our experiences with this as we go with this project inshaAllah, so will update with our progress and experience of child-led learning!

Use the project planner to help you to facilitate your children's research needs by knowing what they want....this will probably change as they continue through their project, but this will help to get them (and you!) started!
Download for free inshaAllah HERE!


Number towers!

A really great tool in mastering numeracy basics has to be the good old unifix cubes!
There are tonnes of ways these simple little blocks can be utilised to help develop mathematical understanding Alhamdulillah!

A quick lesson which can be pulled together with no planning or prep (always a bonus!) is to use the cubes to help demonstrate number size.

Take some flashcards and face them down on your workspace. Allow the child to select a card at random and read the number, then build a tower with the unifix cubes.
The height of the tower helps to demonstrate the numerical size!

You can extend on this activity by sorting the numbers into order or sorting the towers from largest to smallest. Try muddling up the towers and matching to the cards! ......Maybe you can match them incorrectly and allow your child to spot your "mistake"!
Whatever you do, encourage your child and have fun!

Fruity summer ices!

Alhamdulillah we're enjoying some beautiful warm whether over here in the UK at the moment!
To cool down the temperature as the kiddos sweat it out in the garden, try one of these all-natural home made lollys!

Take some sweet local market fruit... stick them in a juicer....pour into lolly moulds.... freeze....and after a couple of hours you have some yummy 100% natural fruit juice lollys to cool down the kids (and maybe you!) on a lovely hot summers day!

If you don't have a juicer, throw them into a blender, they'll taste just as great inshaAllah!
No preservatives, no e-numbers, no artificial colours or flavouring....just 100% all natural fruit juice!
                                                                                     And what tastes better than that alhamdulillah!
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