Considering Home Education Part 5: what do you know now that you'd liked to have known when you started out home schooling?

what do you know now that you didn't know when you began home schooling?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it. The 5th part to our considering HomeSchool series asks what our home educators know now, that they would have liked to have known when they started.

Most of us start out clueless, but over time and experience as we learn what works and what doesn't, our confidence and understanding of educating our children grows.
We all look back and see how much we have progressed as home schoolers and mothers since we began this life changing journey. 

Look out for the last and final part to conclude the series, with our home educator interviewees sharing their wisdom to those who might be just starting down the road of home school.

If you've missed the earlier posts in the series, you can catch up from the first post clicking {here}

What do you know now since starting home education that you wish you knew when you started out?

"Relax!  take time to figure it all out, they will not get behind if you take your time in the beginning."
Umm Ibrahim, Canada

" wish I had known from the start that children have different learning styles, and can't always adapt to different ones. For instance, one of my daughters is a very visual learner and needs a lot of hands on activities and experiences whilst my other daughter gets on very well with written instructions and worksheets. I needed to get to know my children's learning styles and this has taken a while."
Umm Hannah, UK

"That children learn when they're ready, but they also need nudges and encouragement. A smile and a encouragement go a LOT further than disappointment and rules. Happiness, joy, smiles and saying "You got this right lets try this" vs saying "NO! You're wrong!" No teaching when you're angry, depressed or disagreeable you'll just upset your child."
Holly, USA

"I wish I knew not to panic too much!"  
Umm Maimoonah, Qatar

" I wish someone would have told me to start early looking for curriculum and resources and slowly put lesson plans together. So I wouldn't be struggling and be overwhelmed by the amount of work that I have to put into this."
Umm Maryam, Canada

"I wish I was more equipped and had myself well planned out like I read on many of these bloga, 3/4 into the year , I'm still not there, but إنشاءالله , I feel assured that the next year will be a differently ball game."
Umm Yusuf, South Africa

"The number of countries that did it, the number of families doing it etc"
Umm Noor Zainab, UK

"I wish I knew more about time management, about children emotional development and teaching technics that I missed at that time."
Umm Abderrahman, Australia

"That it can be quite easy if you stop stressing all the time! That you don't have to always follow the same routine."
Anonymous, UK

"Where do I start! I look back and there is a great deal I wish I knew. Even now I am still continuing to learn new things as we develop. I'd like to have been more relaxed when I started out, and spent perhaps more quality play time with the kids rather than formal "school" time. Kids can pick up things fast mashaAllah and you don't need to spend 3 weeks teaching them something at age 4 that by the time they get to 7 or 8 they can learn in 10 minutes mashaAllah! Spend those early years having fun and building the child's character and relationship with their Rabb."
Umm Khadeeja, UK

What do you know since starting to home school that you look back and wish you knew then? Let us know in the comments below!

Considering home education Part 4: negatives of home ed!

What are the negatives of home schooling? part 4 of the considering home education series from a muslim home school

Part 4 of the Considering HomeSchool series questions the negatives of home education.

Those who don't home school, often perceive entirely different negatives to what is actually faced by home educators (the social myth comes to mind), so here we lift the lid and ask that question, what are the negatives faced?

If you missed the previous parts to the series, you can catch up with post one {here}. Part 5 asks what do you know now since starting home education that you wish you knew when you started out? So check back in for that.

What are the negatives to home education? (please list any solutions to overcome these if you have any)

"You have to juggle many things- my solution has been to drop standards in other areas eg cleanliness and meals can reach a new acceptable level. Secondly, people continuously advising (us) that the children should go to school so we could get a break as parents and children would benefit from social dimension."
Umm Noor Zainab, UK

" Lack of interaction with other children for some families. We overcome this by trying to provide other opportunities for our kids to see other children (We organise, sport activities, outing to Museums and interesting places, park days with other children from other homeschoolers or family and friends).
Balancing Hoeschooling with other household or work duties. Increase in the mother's load of work brings more stress and exhaustion on the mother. The husband's involvement is crucial in this. Alhamdulillah I get a lot of help from my husband, he helps in the cleaning, takes the kids for the sport activities, also helps in teaching the little ones, reads for them when I am busy, he does not impose more hardship on me when it comes to cleaning, tidiness, food and other duties that I might leave last in times. We can ask for help from the husband and other family members or we can hire others to relieve us from some of the duties."

Umm Abderrahman, Australia

"I actually don't see any negatives to homeschooling at all. I think it's awesome!"
Umm Safiya, Denmark

"The positives to home ed far out-weight any negatives Alhamdulillah! However, in terms of negatives then I'd say from a selfish point of view, not having "time" to yourself and the constant clean up! When you have your kids with you 24 hours a day 7 days week, your house is lived in constantly....and it shows because things are rarely in their place like they would be if everyone in the household went out to work and school all day. But that's the point, Alhamdulillah we have a home, not a show-house. (I have to remind myself of that every time I want to scream!).
I guess another negative, is the pressure of ensuring your children "succeed" - if they fail at school no one blames the teachers, but if you are homeschooling and your kid fails the fingers will point straight to mum and dad! - I reassure myself that research statistics show that homeschoolers generally outperform schoolers Alhamdulillah!
Umm Khadeeja, UK
Umm Romaisa, USA

"My biggest challenge is motivating the children. When they are being taught by their own parents they tend to try and push their boundaries, try to get away with things etc. I sometimes struggle to make them complete a set amount of work - I know I need to use more sanctions, rewards etc, I need to think about devising a system which works for us."
Umm Hannah, UK

"Not having much of a personal break."
Anonymous, UK

"Not really negatives for strong families, but they could be reasons for some families to fail at homeschooling or not the best option - One parent has to be heavily involved, better if there is a second parent to help (and to work so the family will have money, only one parent can work full time). Must make effort to have socialization and not just stay in the home. Parent must make effort to find the best curriculum for their children.  Children must be motivated.  There must be respect and calmness in the home- if it is a 'yelling home', "hitting home' or there is huge culture clash between parents/kids it will be a big issue. If the main schooling parent gets ill or injured, it will be hard on the family. If the parent is too strict/rigged and does not understand child development it will be hard for the children to learn to the best of their ability. "
Umm Ibrahim, Canada

"Providing a good social-interaction alternative. I enrolled her into the classes mentioned earlier (a fun science class, an art class, an Arabic class and a Robo-makers class on different days of the week. Each class is 45 min long), where the number of kids in each class isn't more than 12."
Umm Shehrezad, U.A.E

"No companionship at times - Solution Co ops."
Umm Maimoonah, Qatar

"Initially , not knowing if my child was at the right level or stage or wondering we were doing enough or not. Then I realized, she is an individual, I don't need to compare her to any school or anyone."

Umm Yusuf, South Africa

What negatives have you come across with home ed and have you found any solutions to them? Let us know in the comments below.

Considering home education part 3: Positives of Home Schooling

what are the positives to home schooling?

From being able to spend more time together as a family to a better quality of education, everyone has their own benefits in adopting this alternative education choice.

Part 3 in the considering home education series asks our home educators what they feel are the positive aspects to home schooling.

If you missed parts 1 and 2, be sure to look back and keep an eye out for part 4 inshaAllah What are the negatives to home education?

What are the positives / benefits to home education?

"Children benefit tremendously from their parents attention"

Umm Moor Zainab, UK

" One to one learning, stress free, teach what is important and leave what is not, Tarrbiyah is possible from day one without any compromise, no need to waste time in traffic. Explore all what we want and no one to ask questions. Love Learning without spending time in studying for exams! "

Umm Maimoonah, Qatar

"alhamdu lillah there are many . we get more time with our kids, so that we know them and their problems, we can give more importance to deen, we can create and decide what are the subjects to be taught, also we can correctly guide them at each and every point"

Umm Abdurahman, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

" You can go at the paste of your child. It's relaxed and comfortable environment for the child, (you have) one on one so your child gets more time and attention and you can pick up where you need to focus on more quickly. (As parents) you know what they are learning Islamically."

Umm Maryam, Canada

"We have the freedom to learn what's relevant and important and leave out the things that "google" is always there for."
Umm Yusuf, South Africa

"There is a multitude of benefits that would vary from family to family and from place to place, but just to cite a few:

- Live Islam inside the home and minimize outer influences that might corrupt it.
- Spend more time with people who mean the most for us,
- Being actively involved in the education of our children
- Have more possibilities to teach children to be righteous, dependent and responsible."
Umm Abderrahman, Australia

"You can spend more time learning things which are relevant to your family and your children. Learning is much more beneficial when you are interested in the subject matter, and home schooling gives our children that opportunity to look at what they are interested in!  When you are teaching your children, you can spend more time on something they struggle with before moving on, or speed up if your kids get the material fast! 
There is so much foolishness in mainstream society, which we are able to avoid bi'ithnillah! Education isn't just what we cover with pen and is every aspect and part of our is lifeskills - something many of our youngsters today fail to have once they reach adulthood!
People often ask about socialisation.....typical school kids are made to sit with 30 other same age kids for 7 hours a day and get to actively socialise for an hour over lunch and maybe for 15 minutes during a morning me that is not natural nor is it a representation of the real world!"
Umm Khadeeja, UK

" In the beginning when I didn't know much about homeschooling, the most important benefit was that they wouldn't be exposed to too much fitnah. But the more I learned about learning, I began to appreciate molding the education, instead of trying to fit a child into an education that just doesn't fit. " 
Umm Safiya, Denmark

"Control over topics, order, subjects, friends."
Umm Romaisa, USA

1.   "Too many to list, but the main ones for us are:
Children do not pick up bad habits and bad language from children at school. They choose their friends carefully now and we make an effort to socialise with like-minded families where the children are least likely to pass on bad habits etc.
2.    We get to spend half of our home educating time on Arabic and Islamic Studies. When they were at school they were often too tired to learn Arabic after a full day at school.
3.      We have got to know our children well through educating them. We get to spend much more time with them than we did when they were at school so get more time to talk and also to pursue family activities. Often when children are in school they become strangers to their parents or adopt a second identity for school.
4.      We get to travel and go on family holidays several times a year, at times when we choose. ie, when holidays are cheaper. School holiday dates are far too expensive for travelling in.
5.      Children are not pressured to do exams and tests every so often. We can test them in our own way, as and when we see fit."
Umm Hannah, UK

"Knowing what level of Education your children are at and help them succeed. Being able to protect them from bullies, and general bad influences' found in schools. Having more closeness as Mother and child."
Anonymous, UK

"Family ties, children get a strong identity, no bullying, no peer pressure, children can get up later if they are not morning people and learn when it is the best time for them.  less rushing around, more time to do things together, less stress.  Parents have control over curriculum content and things can be discussed with an Islamic perspective.  Don't have to 'ask' use the bathroom.  less illness.  Mostly positive socialization, avoid negative situations.  Can take Jummah off! Can travel more easily as a family. Don't have pressure to have the 'latest fashions'. Can tailor education to each child's needs." 
Umm Ibrahim, Canada

"Learning at own pace. - There's no pressure to 'catch up' to the rest of the class, there's no boredom if she gets something quickly and wants to move on."
Umm Shehrezad, U.A.E

"Homeschooling helped me become a better parent, more patient, and instilled even more of a love of learning in me even! I started looking forward to the time I was spending with her more and more and discovering I couldn’t, nor did I want her to spend 35-37 hours a week with other people not knowing what she was doing. I din’t want her spending 35 + hours a week learning their values, beliefs, jokes, lifestyle and mannerisms. I loved noticing her little eyes, they just sparkled when she would “get something” and it was just such a great feeling. I continued with much love and conviction. I discovered I loved her far too much to just throw her in school. Even though I didn’t have patience nor the time, or so I thought-I made time. Homeschooling is a very healthy, loving way to raise and teach our children. The fact is they DO “socialize” but the catch is they socialize with whom we allow them to."
Holly, USA

What positives do you get out of home schooling? Leave a comment below to let others know who might be thinking about starting this alternative education lifestyle or are feeling overwhelmed and need a reminder.

Considering home education part 2: Why do you Home Educate your children?

why do you home school? Part 2 of the "considering home education" series from
I sent out a questionnaire and many of you responded, JazakumAllahu khayran. There was so much good stuff in there I decided to share your gems to create a 6 part series helping to answer part 2 of my last post Considering home education

So here is a collection of advices from home schoolers across the globe. I hope that those thinking about homeschool or who are just starting out may find helpful bi'ithnillah.

Look out for part 3: What are the positives/benefits to home education?

Why do you home Educate your children?

"That has a very long answer! I homeschool because I love her and I love spending time with her. I homeschool because I love that our learning is not confined to a desk in a room. It’s in the car, the playground, the Mosque, the grocery store, the library, a friends house, the kitchen table, in arts and crafts, real life experiences, in books and online. I homeschool because learning can be fun, interesting and yes; even what the child wants to learn about. I homeschool because my daughter loves to learn when she is awake and comfortable. "
Holly, USA

"To give her the Tasfiyah and the Tarbiyah from me first and to educate her upon the sunnah. To protect her from the inevitable evils of the society that we are living in and I did not want anyone to put thoughts and concepts into her mind before me as I wanted her to learn the correct thing and did not want her to send out to get confused especially with the dheen of Allaah."
Umm Maimoonah, Qatar

"My child was at a disadvantage in school due to certain small leaning disabilities. My choice to teach her was so she would be in a different environment and one on one attention. I already intend
teaching the other 1 who is ready for Grade school next year because of the immense advantages I have noticed!"
Umm Yusuf, South Africa
"To give them the best preparation inshallah for their hereafter."
Umm Noor Zainab, UK
"I want to give them a quality islamic upbringing. There's to much fitnah, bullying and shaming in schools here, and I don't want my kids experience with learning to get ruined because of bullies or bad teachers."
Umm Safiya , Denmark 
"It is our duty to do that, and the first 10-12 years of their lives are so critical and delicate and need to be handled with care in order for Islamic principles and good personalities to stick."
Umm Romaisa, USA

"To make sure they have a good education. To protect them from the many bad influences at school. To have more time to teach them Islamic themed work."
Anonymous, UK
" My number 1 reason for home schooling, is to please Allah! To raise our children worshiping Allah through their youth and into adulthood inshaAllah, knowing it is only Allah Who guides.
Since home schooling, my reasons for educating at home have grown as long as my arm as I have started to see the many benefits to home-ed Alhamdulillah, and see the flaws of school! I want to have a family home, and not feel like I am running a bed and breakfast!
I want my children to be happy, healthy and work to achieve their full potential inshaAllah, without some one else shattering their aspirations or making them feel unworthy either through bad teaching or peer pressure!
I want my kids to love learning, to love seeking knowledge, because without education, they have nothing"
Umm Khadeeja, UK
"There is no Muslim school option past grade 7, and the muslim school is second rated to homeschool.  We believe homeschool is the best option.".
Umm Ibrahim, Canada

What about you? Those of you who are home educating already....why do you home educate your children? Let us know in the comments below.

Considering Home Education Part 1

Considering home education part 1 from a muslim homeschool
 I received a question a couple of days ago and figured it would be easier to reply fully as a blog post rather than give a brief response through the comments reply, as I think this question will resonate in the minds of many who are thinking or planning to start home education. 

I'm going to respond to this question in 2 parts inshaAllah.
 Part 1 being my own response and in Part 2, I will gather some of the responses to a questionnaire I sent out a short while ago asking home educators about their thoughts, styles and backgrounds to home ed.

Wa'alaikum asalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

This kind of question probably runs through the minds of (almost) every single parent who thinks about embarking upon the home-education path.

For the majority of us, we ourselves were educated in the traditional school fashion. We know school. We know the teacher knows best and the student (and their parents!) know nothing.

We know this box and until we start to home educate, most of us are still stuck inside it...but once we dare to educate our families ourselves, we will escape and learn to think outside its boundaries inshaAllah!

Home-schooling is something completely new to most of us so we don't know what to expect or what is "normal". Our mind's rush with worries and anxieties; we are afraid of getting it "wrong"....and that's because we have been trained throughout our own school experiences that only teachers know how to teach! (which is not true!)

However, as a loving parent you are in the best position to teach your child. You know your child better than anyone else, and no one wants them to succeed more than you ever will - not even the most dedicated teachers in the profession.

You are totally your kids number one champion ....even during those times when they (and even you) might not think so after they have been sent to their room or reprimanded for misbehaviour. Because even when you discipline them, you are doing it from a place of love and a strong earnest desire to build them for long term success in both the dunya as well as more importantly, the Akhira. 

Your question reminds me a lot of myself as a new Mum to home education. I remember when I started, I was completely clueless...I still feel clueless even now 3 years later, but Alhamdulillah, at least now I have a bit of balance with that cluelessness!

I was so worried about not meeting the "school standards" I became a militant teacher-Mum (more accurately: psycho-mum!). I'd be in tears as well as my then 4 year old some days. I was trying to replicate school. Alhamdulillah, I finally learnt that home schooling is not the same as school-at-home!

The biggest tip I can probably give you, is do not even attempt to replicate the "school" model as a home educator. Home schooling really is not the same as School-at-home.They are in fact worlds apart!

First off, your home is exactly that - your home. A place of rest, a place of sanctuary, a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Keep it that way. 

Secondly, you don't need to spend 6 hours a day officially "schooling" - depending on where you are in the world your local authority / State may have certain requirements so you will need to find out what those are. But generally speaking, you do not need to spend 6  hours a day working as they do in mainstream school institutions. And certainly not at ages 3 and this age children need a lot of play and not a lot more. You may only need an hour or 2 to accomplish everything you want to.

Let me assure you, there is no right or wrong way to home long as learning takes place! What works for one family may not work for another. As you try things out and figure out what works for you and your child's learning style, your confidence in your ability to teach your children will grow inshaAllah.

Allow me to remind you that your son is only 3 years old, so in September I am assuming he will be 4 inshaAllah if you say he is due to start school. Please believe me when I tell you, he is still a baby! He is still tiny mashaAllah, so my advise to you is don't overwhelm both yourself and your son at this young age. Children this young benefit and learn so much just by being with you and having the freedom to play, explore and be just take everything in.
 Being with you at this young age is the best place for him and far superior than being left with strangers in a school.

If you look at the various education systems across the globe, you will see that in the vast majority of counties, formal education does not begin until the age of around 6 or 7, and their Education system out performs the British standards and results (Finland comes to mind). 

Children are by nature curious. They want to explore and learn. So my advise is to simply nurture this curiosity and have fun. Don't fall into the school-at-home trap which catches so many of us when we begin home schooling and we start out with our little student sat at the table unable to speak as we stand towering before them explaining the life-cycle of a butterfly! (I did this ...cringe!)

There are some pretty awesome examples online that will be able to give you plenty of ideas of fun learning through play activities you can try out inshaAllah. You want the main objective to be helping your child to develop their natural innate curiosity and desire to learn through play bi'ithnilllah. 

When it comes to subjects like maths which you mentioned, make it as practical as you can. Get out the building blocks and count them together. See how many blocks there are when you take 4 red and 3 blue together! Find out how many of your son's hands are needed to measure across the length of the table! You may like to read my previous post about keeping maths real.
Maths is not as scary as we may have been taught to believe. When your child gets older, if you prefer to follow a curriculum, then there are plenty to choose from. .....but don't rush into buying straight away! That's the 2nd trap many new home schoolers fall into! We will buy every resource and curriculum we see, only to discover they don't work for us or there is something else better, leaving us with ££££££££'s lost!
Another option if you really feel unable to teach a particular subject is tuition, co-ops (if you have one nearby) or online learning. Home schooling doesn't mean it has to only be me myself and I. Benefit from the skills other people offer and resources available to you - it doesn't make you any less of a home schooler - in fact it makes you a better one.

To help you figure out what you want for your home school, you might want to think about a few things to help you understand why you want to home educate and I'd recommend writing your answers down.
  • What is important to you and your family Islamicaly?
  • What is important to you and your family educationally?
  • What is important to you for your family?
  • Why do you want to homeschool?
  • Are there any educational philosophies that appeal to you, or you think may suit your family?

Ease yourself slowly into home-education, don't put so much pressure on yourself (and son!). Relax, seek support from other home schooling families, have fun, play and allow yourself to think outside the "school box".

Learn the alphabet capitals with this cute as pie matching game!

I have this sweet printable alphabet set to play snap / match by pairing the letters with their capital counterpart! Each letter has its own pattern to help the child to identify matching pairs!

Through repetition, they should be able to learn casually through play both the small and capital letters inshaAllah!

 I think having something like this when I was teaching my eldest would have made learning the capitals so much easier and more fun! Alhamdulillah, my younger one can play and learn inshaAllah with help from her big sister instead!

To grab a set of the alphabet match game cards, just click onto the free download link {here}!

alphabet  game cards to match each letter with its capital!

Home school time-lines....a hands on way to visualising history!

home school time lines
Hear the term "Time-line" and probably what comes to mind is a dreary line etched into an old school book, crammed full of dates and information.

Okay well, I need to wake you up and remind a homeschooler you do school but make it cool! (wink!)

Time lines do not have to be squeezed into a page from an exercise book.....they can be huge....really big and as bold as you want them to be and fun!

I have discovered the world of time lines this week and I think they are long as you do not have a closed school mentality!

Before I continue, let us establish what is the point of a time line (just in case it is not already obvious!). It is fundamentally a "time map" showing key events within various or specified periods. It allows you to visually piece together key events across history from different cultures and civilisations, mapping out how they all piece together and in some instances even overlap!

You may want to produce a time-line of Islamic History starting with the beginning of creation right through to present day, and perhaps another on world History - or even mapping it all out on one time-line together to easily compare key events across different civilisations during the same time periods!
Perhaps you'd like to take a look at the Seerah in detail, so could use a time-line to map out the life of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم

I've been learning about Time lines over the past couple of days, and have found there are a few ways of putting one together, from binding in a folder to spreading it out all over the width of a wall!

I like my house to look like a house not a school everywhere you look so I don't want things all over every wall other than in our dedicated "school space" which is always full!

The most awesome method I have seen, is to make an accordion style book, which allows you to open out its pages should you desire, or flick through as a compact book!
This makes it easy to store away, and just pull out when needed!

The great thing about time-lines is that you can go backwards and forwards through the years, adding key events throughout different times as you study or come across them - you don't have to study everything "in order" from the beginning.
So for example, lets say you are doing a time-line of Islamic history, you may do a study about the early companions, and so map out key figures and events back in the early years before Hijrah, and then you may learn something more contemporary such as the recent Scholars during the last decade - so you can skip ahead and put those in, then you might go back to add one of the great battles! In this way you can continue to add information and dates going back and forth throughout all ages, allowing a visual representation of history to be captured right in front of you!

You may never finish a time-line, as you continue to add more events and dates, adding more paper and centuries as you go! Its a great hands-on way to help make history real!

You don't have to do a time line covering a huge time span, but instead specify a particular era, such as the Tudor times, or perhaps take a look at the development of something such as inventions over a century!

I don't have any images of completed timelines to show you (not "blogger professional" I know!), because we haven't done any yet. But I'd suggest taking a look online at various blogs and pinterest to get the idea.
What actually brought time lines to my attention and how cool you can make them was a youtube video by some American (Christian) home educators. I listened to it as I cleaned my kitchen and cooked dinner!
Its not a Muslim discussion so bare in mind there are things which they discuss which are of no relevance to us as Muslim home educators, however their conversation regarding the essence of how and why a time line can be produced is useful. If you are interested, the link for the video is here.

Non-Fiction creative writing prompts!

non fiction creative writing picture promts
I'm not going to mention anything regarding whether fiction writing is permissible or not here. This is something which I am still trying to understand myself and will remain silent on this issue until I have a clear grasp of what the basis of this matter is.

However, I will say because I am not sure of this matter, I prefer to not delve into it purely for the fact that for me as I am unsure, it is something doubtful, a grey area. Therefore my children do not write fiction accounts and stories.

When my eldest daughter was learning to write and developing her early writing skills, we used to do a lot of story writing! Since leaving that, we haven't really done any "free writing" as such, instead we have been using factual accounts and Islamic Studies as a means to practice writing development.

However, I feel it is difficult to express your own creative thoughts and ideas when writing in this way. I wanted her to learn how to express her own ideas and thoughts because it is an important writing skill to have. And so, after maybe a year of no creative writing, today we found a way to explore this again but using non-fiction Alhamdulillah!

All I did, was find a few pictures online to act as a writing prompt. I gave her 4 images to choose from, and in this instant, she chose a pink cottage house with a perfectly manicured garden!
I asked her to begin her writing with "I think that...." and continue to write what her thoughts are on the house, what type of people or family might live there, what she likes, what she would do if she lived in such a house etc etc.

So in this way, she was able to explore and express her own thoughts and ideas . It has been a long while since we did any kind of free writing, so we need to work on building up our skills inshaAllah. But I think its a pretty neat way to encourage expression of thoughts and ideas and to develop articulating them inshaAllah.

Just to add -after a long time of not understanding the point of pinterest, I have finally "got it"..although still learning!
I'm slowly building up my pinterest list of boards and pins of useful ideas which I think may be useful "one day" inshaAllah!
I've made a pinterest board to gather images to use for non-fiction creative writing prompts, which I plan to continue adding to inshaAllah. So feel free to check that out! (it is very much a work in progress!).


lets make some cute alphabet tracing worksheets!

Some cute and simple letter tracing worksheets all the way from A to Z!

With two designs to choose don't say I don't spoil you! Alhamdulillah!

For younger children, I would suggest working with your child to help direct where to start from and pencil direction.

My youngest hates letter practice, and for a long time I have let her do her own thing, but I think its time to start reigning her in before bad habits are ingrained!

Please click here to download the Bunting letter tracing worksheets.


Please click here to download the Rocket letter tracing worksheets.


Indoor sandpit for winter-time fun!

indoor winter activity with sand
I was speaking to a sister a couple of weeks ago about what I could try to keep my younger one busy. She suggested playing with sand!
My first reaction as I mentally processed this idea was, what about the mess! There will be sand everywhere!
But as I pondered, and she shared what a benefit sand playing could be to help improve concentration and not to mention the "quiet" as she is busy playing away, I figured she would love it!

I already had a large container box, so that weekend we got a bag of sand (which was only a couple of pounds!) and put in a few little toys.

We place a mat under the box so if sand spills it is easily picked up and thrown back in! I have to say, it keeps both girls busy for a long time! ....and that gives me plenty of time to do something without feeling guilty I'm occupied with something!

I'm trying to find more fun activities to keep the kids busy......what do you your kids do? Leave a comment below because I really need more ideas!

weekly student planners...for those who like cute organisation!

For the super weekly planners!

boys student weekly planner
Download the boys weekly student planner here
girls weekly student planner
Download the girls weekly student planner here

Cute Arabic Alphabet game you can print at home!

arabic alphabet game cards
I'm always on the lookout for good quality educational materials that will inspire the kids as well as myself...and provide good value for money too!
I've bought many materials over the years which in hindsight, I really didn't need to. I think there are many resources which can be just as easily made yourself at home.....and sometimes they turn out better because they have been crafted with love!

Today I'm sharing these sweet Arabic alphabet cards, which can be used as a lovely tool to help familiarise and teach your children the Arabic letters.

It is a great resource to allow kids to learn through play!
The set consists of:
  •  56 Arabic letter cards - containing 2 matching sets of the alphabet.
  • 6 instruction cards for 5 different games
  • 1 cover card.
I'd recommend printing onto card and for extra durability, laminating! I printed our set out yesterday and I have to say, they look pretty awesome mashaAllah! .....way better than something you would find similar in a shop...and for a fraction of the price too Alhamdulillah!

arabic alphabet game cards
Click on the highlighted text below to download the

Printable Salaah tracker

Click on the link beneath each picture to download the trackers inshaAllah. I'd suggest laminating to allow you to use stickers that can be peeled off and start again week after week inshaAllah.


A little pampering is going on!

In case you've dropped by and had to do a double-take....yes this is! The blog is currently undergoing a virtual facelift so a few changes will be going on!

I know some things are misaligned and are out of place, please bare with me! Everything should still be functioning and available as normal during the process!

 Our new fresh new look should be completed soon inshaAllah! x
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