Make your own Kitchen cleaner and kick those chemical nasties to the curb!

If you are looking for a frugal kitchen cleaner that is toxin and chemical wouldn't believe how easy (and cheap) it is to make!

 I'm not a total neat-freak (come house is lived in 24 hours a day 7 days a week!), but I am a little obsessed by germs and making sure they are would always find a bottle of antibacterial spray dousing my kitchen worktops after every meal!
So despite wanting to make the switch to something more natural, it took me a little while to actually do it!
I knew these anti-bac sprays are no good for our long term health, and wanted to provide a healthier, safer environment for my when I found a recipe using vinegar and orange peel it looked so pretty in the picture I knew I had to give it a go!
Its so easy to make, and all you need is:
  • White Vinegar
  • Water
  • Orange peel
  • lemon (optional)
  • Essential oil (optional)
So find a large jar or container and fill with around 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water (I'm guessing here! I just eyeball what looks good!.....if you want specific measurements there are plenty of ingredients lists online).
Add left over orange peel, a few drops of essential oil (I used orange) and let it soak for a couple of weeks!
 I had a lemon that was turning past its best, so I squeezed out its juice and sliced to add a bit of extra zing and cleaning boost!
After a couple of weeks its quite hard to believe this liquid was once white vinegar and water because its drawn out all the orange extract it now looks like juice!

Strain all the peel and pour into an empty spray bottle and you a ready to go!

It has a strong unsweetened citrus scent...a huge improvement on the vinegar stenched work surfaces that are left when using just vinegar and water alone!

Not a bad product I have to say and costs literally pennies to make!

I defiantly feel more comfortable letting the kidos clean up after dinner.....if only they would just wipe the table the way I like it done! ......sigh!

What D.I.Y products have you made and tried? Drop a comment below.....I need more ideas!

Cute Weekly Menu Planner

Check out this cute weekly menu planner taken out from the HomeSchool Organiser 2014.

Meal planning isn't only for the routine obsessed! Putting together a basic menu plan actually has a number of benefits; the two most important being both time and money saving!

Okay so you will need to sit for a minute or two to jot down your weeks dinners...but those couple of minutes can save you heaps of time you'll claim back, as you no longer need to stand in front of your cupboards in a frizzle, deciding what you can throw together!
 Also, saving you time grocery shopping as you don't need to go up and down the aisles (or clicking back and forth between online departments!) trying to mentally menu plan as you shop!

Not to mention the financial gains as knowing what you will eat ahead means you only put in your basket what is needed....rather than any thing that grabs yours (or the kids!) attention as you get side tracked by those special offers....which really are not so special!

If you fancy giving it a try, you can download a free copy Here!

Home School Organiser 2014

homeschool planner 2014
So, you're not quite ready for super-charged military style homeschool organisation......yet at the same time, trying to run away from chaos filled days not knowing where to go and what to do?
.....Well, you have come to the right place!

 Trying to re-charge my batteries, I've pulled out a couple of things from the previous homeschool planner to attempt to rejuvenate some spark and sense of direction to my lil home school!

I've said many times before, I can't do full-on organisation - mainly because I can never stick to a regimented schedule, however at the same time, taking each day as it comes and going with the flow means there really is "no flow" to our learning endeavours - I need a balance of something in the middle. Something that will give me a sense of direction, but yet is flexible enough to allow for daily moods and to-dos.

Introducing the Home School Planner with 2014 calendar......flip through the embedded pages below for a quick peak! (note: preview is not complete organiser)

There is nothing too rigid about this planner, just a simple homeschool mission statement to remind you why you chose to homeschool on those days when you need inspiration and a reminder of why you do!

Some very basic, simple lesson planning sheets - just to serve as a gentle guide to what direction lessons are going in, and even a nice personal planning page for Mum! ......all too often we are rallying around everyone else 24/7 we seldom remember to put in time for ourselves.....if Mum is happy and chilled.....everyone else is happy and chilled make some time and add in some personal planning too!

You can download your copy by clicking HERE

The pages have been designed to allow you to print as many of the planning sheets as you require for each of your children / subjects. You may want to work out how many you may need for the whole year and print off in one go to allow you to bind and give yourself a reall planner to work in - or your may prefer to print as you go, adding to a standard ring-binder. ......whatever works for you!
I have added further sheets to the file, including "Boredom Buster" activity lists and meal planning for time saving and budget keeping! The above link has been updated.

I'd love to know what you'd want from an organiser / planner? Perhaps I can incorporate suggestions into a new design in the future inshaAllah! Drop a comment below!


Weekly planner

I'm going through a period of home-school to attempt to align back some sense of structure and routine (...without being too rigid)  I've put together a quick weekly planner to jot down some basic scheduling and weekly objectives.

I've tried so many times to go "free" and take each home schooling day as it comes.....but I think I am figuring out that for me and my kids, we do need a little structure and basic routine to our week.

I can't do the super-mom boot-camp style organisation.....we all end up in tears, but nor can I keep up with the chilled out free-style mom either because we are just not getting much done!

We need something in-between.....or at least I feel we do right now anyway. So, this is my next attempt to straighten out our schooling endeavours inshaAllah!

The idea is to have a basic "road-map" of what the week ahead will look like; what objectives or goals we'd like to meet in different subject areas inshaAllah.
Its not meant to be a rigid plan of action that is set in stone, but rather something to help put a little basic organisation into the schooling week inshaAllah.

If our goals are not met, its no big deal, we can carry them onto next week inshaAllah. We just need  something to help give us direction, instead of slowly plodding along stuck in a home-school rut, not knowing where to go next!

 ....oh the joys of home education! lol



CVC flashcards....tiny words for tiny fingers!

I'm really bad at following set out methods or curriculum, and so tend to mash things together that work for myself and kiddos as we go along inshaAllah. This always seems to be my way!
I don't believe there is one right way to teach children how to read, but hey what do I know, I'm only a home-school mum so don't take me too seriously!

Although it was only a couple of years ago, I can't actually remember what process we went through to teach my eldest to read! I know didn't know what I was doing at all, and remember a lot of the time panicking,  but Alhamdulillah Allah made it easy!
When I look back now, I scratch my head, thinking, just what did we do?

I remember one of the first things was I found 100 high frequency words online and printed them off to use as small flash cards to help develop her sight reading. I think I have since binned these...I don't know why I did.....I must have figured I would find a different way to teach the next one in line! (I know myself too well!)

 With my next child, I've decided before I get to the frequent words, to concentrate a little more on reading simple CVC words inshaAllah.

With this is mind, I put together a set of 105 easy CVC words which I'll print off and laminate tomorrow inshaAllah. I colour matched the letters to go with the learning resources movable alphabet I purchased a couple of years ago (instead of the Montessori moveable alphabet as it was cheaper! -The only key difference is, the consonants are in blue and vowels are in red, which is the opposite of the Montessori layout.).
I thought we could use the flash cards to sound out, and also use to copy using the movable alphabet.

As always, I'm putting up the file for free download if it will be of benefit to anyone inshaAllah. I also made another set in line with the Montessori colour scheme.

To download CVC flashcards with blue consonants and red vowels download here
To download CVC flashcards with red consonants and blue vowels (Montessori alphabet) download here


Updates on facebook!

I don't blog as often as I'd like to, and so for those who may not already know, we are over on FaceBook, using the old blog address before the domain got lost! (

Over there, I do try to post more frequently; any updates on projects I may be working on or beneficial links we may have come across.

FaceBook tends  to be the place to share forthcoming updates before they reach the blog as well as beneficial stuff which never makes it to the blog because its just not blog "material"!

....So head on over and hit the "like page" to get notifications and links I feel are of benefit inshaAllah!

Hit >this link< to get taken over to the official facebook page inshaAllah!!! See you there!

Effective budgeting: Waste not....want not!

Living in a world of ever increasing consumerism, its all too easy walking down the supermarket aisle, to be fooled into believing that we need things we don't even actually use!

Filling our baskets with over packaged, toxin filled goodies that we could home-make ourselves for a third of the price (and without the added chemicals) or overstock on fresh produce that's on offer and will inevitably end up in the bin by the weeks end!

As Muslims, we know that we will be held accountable for each and every penny we have spent throughout our lives. The last and final Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ told us:

The two feet of the son of Adam will not move from near his Lord on the Day of Judgement until he is asked about five (matters): about his life – how he spent it; about his youth – how he took care of it; about his wealth – how he earned it; and where he spent it; and about that which he acted upon from the knowledge he acquired.”

As wives, we know we are responsible for our husband's home.

Abdullah bin Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects: a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for his subjects, a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them, and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Surely, everyone of you is a shepherd and responsible for his flock.”
[al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 It is important to be mindful of how and what we use. We will be brought to account, make no doubt about that! In front of Allah we will recall all we have spent, every reckless, thoughtless purchase will warrant an explanation.
Even here in this dunya, we are accountable to our husband, and after all, the more we spend the more our husband has to go out to work!
In most households, it is the wife who takes the responsibility of head-chef in the kitchen! We know everything that comes into our cupboards and everything that comes out! We stand in front of those cupboards, staring at what we have, whilst figuring out what we can throw together to make a quick meal for our hungry brood. Sometimes, we may stare despairingly in a panic because although we may have a shelf full, we have "nothing to cook"...and then call our husband asking him to pick up something from the take-out on his way home!
The kitchen is one area of expenditure that we indirectly take charge of, because we choose what to serve up, what ingredients to use and what ingredients get thrown away! Its an area of finance that if we manage well, can really save the pennies inshaAllah!
With careful planning, a family can eat healthy, wholesome and nutritious meals on a budget, and not feel cut-back Alhamdulillah.
By planning  our meals, we can determine exactly what ingredients we need to purchase and ensure we use up everything without wasting....not to mention the time it saves not having to think about what to prepare each day!
Too much food gets thrown away. That is food wasted and money in the bin! Knowing what to cook ahead, really does make grocery shopping easier and cheaper, because you only put in your basket what you know is needed and will get used inshaAllah.
 Planning really can save time and money, allowing us to spend more in the way of Allah.
I've put together a weekly planner which allows you to work out meals plus snacks as well as jot down any appointments, outings or other to-dos.

Rotating stationary holder .... perfect for sitting around the school room table together!

I've been looking around for a loooong time trying to find some sort of cool little stationary holder that stores a multitude of school-room essentials and rotates....I wasn't asking for much!

After an array of disappointing searches, I figured I should just make my own and Alhamdulillah, I am glad that I did!

I wanted something that I can place in the centre of our school room table, rather than having it all spread out taking up valuable shelf space!

A rotating cake turntable came to my mind, and Alhamdulillah, worked great!

To put together, all I did was decorate some glass jars with ribbon before super gluing down to the rotating base. I used one lid to store rubbers and sharpeners (these always seem to go missing!) and added some cute lil gems around the base edge!

Alhamdulillah the kids love it, it takes less storage space in our school-room and can be transported around the house as needed!

I love that the kids can sit around the table, and each can grab whatever they need easily....I just wonder how long it will stay looking so neat and tidy! (.....sigh)

If you fancied making one, alternatives to glass jars could be decorated empty food tins or cut-to-size pringle tubes...whatever you like! I've seen some pretty clever holders using finished toilet rolls over on pinterest....have a look around for ideas.

You don't need to purchase an expensive cake turn table, mine only cost £5 Alhamdulillah and works just fine!

If you've had a go at making your own stationary pot, I'd love to see what you came up with! Upload a picture onto my facebook page!

Grammar book review

Grammar. Love it or hate it, we know we have to learn it!

   To be honest, I really don't remember anything about grammar from my own school days. I guess that says it all!

However, I have always considered my grammar skills are not too bad....a little rough around the edges maybe, but I don't think I am that I? (don't answer that!) After all, I can formulate simple sentences that you can understand...right! (I am becoming increasingly nervous as I continue to write this post!)

I have to admit, since really looking at grammar for my children, I know my grammar knowledge is shockingly bad....but that's nothing that can not be fixed inshaAllah with a do-it-yourself crash course a.k.a.....internet research and a couple of handy books!

To help me in my grammar quest, I've recently purchased a few books to assist, so I thought I'd write a quick review of how useful I'm finding them.

The first one is the Oxford Primary Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Dictionary. I've linked it to Amazon where you can see preview sample pages.
It has been designed to help support children aged 7-11 so I guess that is key-stage 2 (if you are interested in curriculum).
I actually quite like this one. Its simple and gives you a very broad overview of the important grammar essentials. Its easy for children to pick up and great for you as an education facilitator if you don't know much about grammar yourself. It serves great use as a basic introduction.
The pages are well laid out with clear basic explanations and simple examples. I like it, and it will defiantly come in useful for us inshaAllah.

The second one is The Usborne guide to English Punctuation. The content of this one is well written and the examples are well thought, clear and simple. The only thing I feel is there is a little too much going on, on each page. But all in all, a useful book.
There is more information in this book than the Oxford Primary, and although I can't find what age /stage it has been designed for, I'd say its probably for secondary stage. Although that is not to say primary age children would not benefit....they will! (and so will clueless grown ups like me!).

The last one, is Help your kids with Spelling and grammar. I couldn't find it on Amazon so just linked to the book people where I purchased it from for only £3.99.
This, is an excellent 251 page book...especially for us grammar-phobic grown ups! It goes through literally every part of grammar with full, clear explanations and examples.
 As the title explains "help your kids...."  it is designed for parents in mind.
 However its carefully planned pages are visually stimulating and easy on the eye, making it great for older children to pick up and work through.
 I have to say, its easily a self-study guide for both parents and children alike.

It is well laid out, visually stimulating, easy to read and goes into quite some detail to give you enough of a solid understanding of each rule / concept, making it ideal for older children....and bored grown ups!

If you want only one good book, then this one out of the three here, is far superior.

I'd say this is a really useful book to have on the shelf, and at the discount price, its excellent value Alhamdulillah.

Since purchasing these books, my grammar-phobia has somewhat subsided Alhamdulillah, and I actually believe this is something that once you have mastered the rules, then you have mastered the rules! Its something which can be easily learnt when the children are older in a much shorter time than what I feel I am facing if I continue to try to teach my now 7 year old.
So, although we have these books on our shelf, they are there to be picked up and glanced through casually, leaving a further in depth study a few years down the road, when it can be learnt over a much shorter time-frame with a greater degree of understanding inshaAllah.

So, on that final note, let's go eat, kids.

Have you heard of a "Home School Co-op"?

We have all heard that saying "I home school because I have seen the village and don't want it raising my children" ...its all over pinterest right!

Well, what if that "village" shares the same values, morals and interests as you? What if that village holds strong the same Islamic goals and lifestyle choices as you? What if that village enlisted the same educational philosophy as you?

Would that village be so bad? Really?

Okay, you are probably never going to find that village....and lets be honest, even if it did exist, it would probably be pretty dull anyway! I mean come-on....everyone thinking exactly the same, with the same ideas, same likes, same dislikes...what would be the point!

For every family who home schools, there are just as many reasons as to why they do it. Everyone is different....every family is different.
A lot can be said for having seen the village and not wanting it to raise our children.....society can and does have a deep effect on individuals and families. And when you don't live in the best of societies, you certainly don't want that village anywhere near your children or your family!

But its not all doom and gloom! Alhamdulillah most of us have developed our own little mini societies locally and most of us are part of our local Muslim community. And where ever you find a cluster of home schooling families (whether that cluster is 2 or 200!) then you find families rallying together. And it is often this shared identity of being a Muslim home schooler which creates small friendly home schooling tribes, within our local wider communities!

Even if you are a sole-home educator with no other family in sight, the global community is just a click away. And while online communities may not offer the same benefits as local face to face companionship can, the world wide web offers support, help, advice and yes, even friendship to your little home educating family!

So what has all this got to do with Home School Co-ops? Well, its like creating your own little village....we all know the other saying that goes something like "it takes a village to raise a child" (......maybe that's not so popular on pinterest!?)

Let me explain......home school co-ops are something I have stumbled across online, and looking into it, I think they are something quite awesome!

A home schooling co-op basically, is a group of home educating families who pull together to "teach" their children! (think about that village raising the child!)

Basically, families will draw on all their different skills, interests and passions, and use those to effectively "teach" the community children! So for example, one parent may dream nothing but she will set up something mathematical. Someone else may have a passion for crafting jewellery so sets up a workshop to pass on those skills. Some one else may have a degree in medicine so puts together some first aid or science classes! Perhaps one family has spent 8 years studying in Yemen so they are perfect to teach an Arabic you see where this is going!!!
.....Families share and pass on their don't know how to put together an engine, but Abu Talha does, so he starts up a mechanics workshop and stops your car crazy son from pestering you to help him fix something up!

Some co-ops may be quite small, some off the scale! Some may work by parents teaching lessons, workshops or projects in areas of interest or strength. Others may pool together to hire tutors!

Each co-op will be individual to the needs and wants of the families involved with it. Some co-ops may run a couple of times a week, sharing out volunteer teaching time to each of the parents different talents and skills, whereas others may just run once or twice a month, offering something a little more casual and fun.

I don't know a great deal about this, so I'd recommend taking a look online and seeing what sort of things existing co-ops get up to and how they have started.

But from what I understand, Co-ops seem to be great way for families to meet, get support and fundamentally, give opportunity to share valuable teaching skills and present to your children projects or subject areas you know little about....(or  bores you to tears!!!)
 Its a great way to get the children working together socially, on projects they wouldn't ordinarily be able to do at home with you.

 You get to create your own little village and make it work for you.....perhaps not the perfect one, but a valuable none the less!

My Wudu Reminder Poster

When I started teaching my eldest how to perform wudu, I found that although she knew what to do, she lacked confidence to know she was getting it right.
So I designed a fairly basic wudu reminder poster that we stuck up in the bathroom, serving as a gentle prompt if she started to worry she had the sequence wrong or had a mind-blank moment as to what comes next!
This saved me time... because it meant that I didn't have to stand over her every single time she needed to perform wudu. And it also helped to give her the confidence that she could complete it independently alhamdulillah.
I still check over her from time to time, to ensure she isn't skipping or skimping over sections, but alhamdulillah, I feel for us, having a reminder has certainly helped!
Based on our success, I have redesigned a more generic poster (our original was very basic) and is now available to download!
I recommend laminating the poster to keep it dry and clean in the bathroom! Ours has been stuck on the bathroom wall for several months and still looks as fresh as when we first put it up!
Get your free download HERE!
Please note: This poster does not explain the finer details of wudu, such as the method to rinse the mouth and nose, or how to separate the toes when washing etc. Rather, it has been designed to act as general guide or reminder, assuming that parents / teachers have already discussed and explained these important details

The Shuroot of Salaah are 9: Giant dodecahedron!

Some of you reading this may not be home-schoolers, and alhamdulillah that's okay! As parents, we know that a lot of the "teaching" doesn't go on in schools, but happens in the home!

One of the nice things about teaching your own children, whether you home educate them or not, is that you have the freedom to allow your little brood to be creative and use their imagination giving them opportunity to be more engaged in the subject activity, perhaps more so than school's have time or resources to allow.
And as most of us want to ensure our children receive a good, sound Islamic education inshaAllah, many of us teach our children this with or without "school".

Something which every single Muslim parent has an obligation to teach their children, is the salaah. How and where your kiddos "do school" is irrelevant, teaching our children to pray is a command we must follow.

The question we need to ask is, is teaching our children the words and actions of the salaah enough? What about teaching them the things which make their salaah invalid or deficient? Its important to know these things to ensure we don't fall into them inshaAllah. If we perform the most beautiful salaah with near perfection, but haven't completed the wudu correctly, what happens to that beautifully made prayer? I don't need to tell you right!

If you missed our previous post, we began working through  An explanation of the conditions, pillars and requirements of prayer, making a small lift-the-flap-poster, to form a simple introduction to the shuroot of salaah.

To ensure the kids have a reasonable basic understanding of these shuroot, we went over them again, this time in a little more detail, and with a fun twist......instead of just writing them out in a book, we put together a dodecahedron, with each shart on a different face!

Having something so visual allows the kids to view their finished work on display, and should encourage them to pick it up, read and revise, so its clear in their minds inshaAllah.

To put it together is very simple, print onto card (or print paper and stick ontop of card) cut out the circle, score the lines around the pentagon to fold, forming tabs, stick these tabs together! The tabs can be either folded inside the dodecahedron so are not viewable, or as we've done here, decorate them and stick facing out!

You can download the template for this Free HERE!


Kids Eid gifts on a budget

Finding a "budget" gift does not have to be valueless, rather the simple things are often the most precious. I'm pretty sure everyone will agree, gifts always mean more when they have been given with a lot of thought and love!

Now we are well into the last 10 days of Ramadan, and E'id is vast approaching, its nice to give small gifts to family and friends, however if your children have like 10 friends each.....don't panic! Gift shopping doesn't need to cut holes in your pockets!

Use your imagination, and make something personal, like these personalised pens! Take a budget packet of £1 pens (these are from Asda) and transform them into something pretty that your kids and their friends will love!

This is such a simple idea, but has such a great impact!
Get round the kitchen table with the kiddos and let them get involved making gifts for their pals!

I've used craft punches here for the scalloped edge, but they are not necessary, it would be just as effective to cut out a basic circle instead and still pull off the same look.

All you need to get started is...

A packet of budget pens, felt tip or pencils!
I do advise though, be wary of pound store packs if buying felt tips as they don't tend to last. These were just a £1 from Asda.
Craft punches if you have them....(and if not just use scissors to cut out a shape), double sided tape, thick card and sticky back foam. These come I think as a pack of 10 A4 sheets from certain pound stores.
Punch out the card to make the backing frame for your name.
Like I said, if you don't have a punch, just cut out a, square, heart, whatever you like!
Measure the front label on the packet and cut the same size using the sticky foam.
Lay the foam on top of the label to cover, before adding the frame centrally with the double sided tape.
Print off names on the computer and lay in the centre of your frame!
That's it! Easy peezy lemon squeezey!

Blog re-launch: A Muslim Home-School

Recently I have experienced some technical difficulties with the domain name. Earlier in the week I reverted the blog back to the original blogger address.

However I am now pleased to announce a new official re-launch of the blog!
Diary of a Muslim Home School will now be known as A Muslim Home school, reflecting the current direction of the blog!

What started out as a personal account of the experiences of a home educator,  over the 2 years the blog has been running, it has slowly altered its course and steered towards sharing educational resources and articles relating to the Muslim child and education.
Much of the original personalised content has since been removed.

I thank you for your support and kindly request you update your favourites bookmark settings and any web links.
I welcome feedback and suggestions regarding downloads and future projects!

I ask Allah to make this endeavour a source of benefit to all, and for it to be a means of good on my scales of account.
May Allah guide us and guide our children upon the siratul mustaqeem!

Umm Khadeeja

Ramadan Goal Planner!

Do you mentally have goals for what you would like to achieve each Ramadan, but don't always manage to fulfil them? Maybe you get side tracked, maybe you can never find the right time to fit your goals in, maybe you just don't know what you should do!

Writing out a rough plan won't guarantee you will act upon it, however, by putting your thoughts onto paper, it may help you to organise and plan out your day so that you can comfortably find a suitable time to action your Ramadan goals inshaAllah, whether that is reading Qur'an, dhikr, charitable deeds....whatever it is you want to achieve this Ramadan!

Think about what your daily schedule looks like during the week, we all have commitments that can not be ignored or neglected. So pen down those things first.
Maybe every Monday evening you have a class, every Friday afternoon you look after your sisters children......write these commitments down. By doing so you will have a better idea of where you can find undistracted free time to action your Ramadan goals.

Now, once you have all your regular commitments down, think about your goals, and when the best time will be to act on them inshaAllah. If you know the house is quiet straight after Fajr and you will have no distractions, maybe that is the best time to spend time with the Qur'an, or maybe you would find it easier in the evening after the kids have gone to bed until Maghrib comes.

You know your schedule, so think about what will be realistic for you. Ramadan is a month which we all want to achieve the best we can for the Pleasure of our Creator. A little forward planning can help you to go along way inshaAllah!

Download your Ramadan Goal Planner Free Here!
If you have problems with the above link, try this one!

Ramadan Meal Planner 2013

To help save time during Ramadan, try using these Ramadan meal planners to map out your Suhoor and Iftar!
There are 4 sheets in total, each with a different hadeeth to remind you of this month as you plan! As Ramadan begins of Wednesday, the planner has been designed to begin on Wednesday.
Week 1 download here
Week 2 download here
Week 3 download here
Week 4 download here

Ramadan note booking pages

To help your child's study of Ramadan, try out these Ramadan note-booking pages, with free download Alhamdulillah!!!
Download this 20 page Ramadan note-booking set Free here!

Shuroot of Salaah flip poster

Teaching our children salaah is one the most fundamental basics we as parents must pass on. But are we aware of what conditions we must meet before we even begin our salaah in order for it to be accepted? Are we aware of the pillars and requirements during the salaah, the absence of which leaves the salaah null and void?

An excellent book to read is An explanation of the conditions, pillars and requirements of prayer, by Shiekh Muhammad bin 'Abdil-Wahhaab, explained by Sheikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamee and Shiekj 'Abdul-Muhson al-'Abbaad.

This is an excellent book to go through together with our children inshaAllah.

The opening of the treaties begins with the 9 shuroot (conditions) of the salaah. To help relay this to my children, we discussed briefly these conditions, before completing a flip-poster sheet to stick into an excersise book.
The flap-up poster file can be downloaded inshaAllah free HERE


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!

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