July 2, 2010

A years glance & summer plans…

Posted in Weakly update at 10:35 am by Umm Fatimah

Aside from not blogging I have been quite busy with homeschooling. Having started our first year of homeschooling in the middle of the year, I feel that F has missed on quite some work. In a bid to catch up, Insha’Allah we will work through the summer on a tight schedule to ensure that the bulk of the work gets done. We have recently been doing a 7day school routine, which has at times felt a little stressful. However, Alhamdulilah we are finally getting into the swing of things . Schooling 7days a week may sound a little much at first, however, we do much of our school work in the mornings, which does allow us to enjoy most of our afternoons doing other things.

What do we have to get through? Oh just the small task of completing grade 1 and two curricula  No biggy!!!

At first the panicking sensation every time I opened a grade 1 book almost worried me to death! However, sometime last month I was able to identify the speed in which F could get work done, without feeling burdened by the work load. Masha’Allah she is a bright kid, picking up on things very quickly with the ability to draw connections in her work and so I was able to make an outline, of how to tackle this task. I didn’t want to cover material for the sake of ticking of a check list, the most important thing is to ensure that she’s actively learning and retaining that information, which I feel so far we are doing well on.

So what are we doing you may be wondering? Well I made a decision to concentrate on developing her Language Art skills, her studies in Islam as well as setting a foundation in her arithmetic. I’ve decided to hold off on Science, Geography/History and a few other bits and bobs until the autumn term.

There have been a few changes in our choice of curricula. We have swapped Singapore Maths [SM] for Maths U See [MUS] Delta, as I didn’t personally find SM all that great. Although it is a very popular choice in many homes, I didn’t feel there were enough exercises to ensure mastery as well as the somewhat awkwardness of its teaching style. MUS Masha’Allah is going quite well. We are currently on lesson 14 and hope to finish it by august. In which time, I hope to start Right Start Maths [RS]. I am hoping that the use of RS will enable F to have plenty of opportunity to reinforce the concepts covered in MUS. Perhaps we will finish RS B in October time, and then move on to the following levels Insha’Allah. As I am tying this I wonder how other families cover the material and how long it would usually take them to do so? At the moment we cover 4 lessons a week, which may take us an hour or so to complete. If I feel F needs a little more practice I have recently been dipping into SM there’s no point in letting it go to waste I guess.

With regards to Language Art we managed to complete WWE1 last week and have started WWE2 this week. Insha’Allah I hope to have this completed by august also. I have noticed that there’s quite a jump between the two levels, so we are covering a narration and a dictation in the first day, and then a narration, copy work and dictation in the next. Although this is still speeding up the pace a little we are going slower than before. Although were enjoying our lessons in WWE I do find that it is quite a slow curriculum, does anyone else agree?. Consequently, I can picture F becoming bored quite quickly if we were to spread the work out as recommended. I am also hoping to complete FLL2 by the end of august so that we can start FLL3 in due course with WWE3 in the autumn.

We have had some changes in our spelling curricula. Previously we were using Spelling Workout[SW] and I also had Sequential Spelling at hand which I was hoping to start. I went through it and didn’t see F learning the rules of spelling which i think is essential. Something that also lacked in SW and so we have moved on to All About Spelling[AAS] 1&2 for the summer. We’re finding AAS1 quite easy, but I thought it best to complete it as a review to our phonics as well as a gradual change over. This multi sensory curriculum is proving to be a hit for us. Even baby K gets involved with the letter tiles, and has recently learnt the phonic sounds of A B and C… How cute huh? Masha’Allah. So with spelling the plan is to be on AAS3 by autumn Insha’Allah. We’re still going to keep SW as an enrichment activity Insha’Allah, so we will have SW B finished this summer to start SW C in autumn Insha’Allah.

With regards to vocabulary, were covering Worldly Wise 3000 grade 2 and hope to have it finished by autumn in order to start grade 3. Although we could properly have covered more in this area, I don’t want our school work to seem a lot of work for her, so we’re just going to take our time with this one. One thing I have noticed her improving upon is her ability to cover the extract questions on her own. Masha’Allah I thought she may find this a little difficult at first but she has been doing fine. The rest of the questions seem easy for her actually so I am glad that a part of it is requiring her to think a little deeper.

We are zooming through our Explode the Code books 3-5 which is her reading enrichment activity books. Their very easy to complete and so are working well as a review for phonics, spelling and vocabulary. Best of all she does them when I’m busy running around so they keep her busy for a little while, no more ‘mum what shall I do?’ lol

We’re still prodding along with the Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading. Much of it is a review of rules we have come across in our daily reading. Insha’Allah I hope to finish it by august also. I am hoping that soon she will be ready for chapter books. Her reading isn’t her strongest area, but I have noticed that she doesn’t enjoy it so much as she used to when she was younger. I get moans of ‘mummy do I have tooo’ ahhh!! I sort of stuck with ideas to stimulate her to enjoy her reading. Dont get me wrong, once she gets into the book I often find her snuggling with it happily on the sofa. But the initial fight is still there. I am hoping that it’s just a phase did anyone have this problem at some point? How did you get round it? Would love to hear some ideas Insha’Allah.

For our Islamic studies we have started using The Islamic Studies workbooks by The International Curricula Organisation. We haven’t advanced in them to be honest, but Insha’Allah that is the purpose of this summer right? To catch up! I’ve also recently enrolled F on Quran summer program, she had her first lesson yesterday. Although it is pretty basic for her at the moment, I am happy for her to spend her summer covering Qaaidatun-Noor, Id already started this book with her, but it would be great to have an actual teacher to correct some of her pronunciation Insha’Allah.

For the future, I have been looking and evaluating our current curricula to identify how well or not our current choices fit us. Alhamdulilah I have made a few changes for the coming year, perhaps some time in January we will alternate our choices. I have already made a few decisions and purchases and feel quite excited about them. Look out for that post 



  1. Umm Fatimah said,

    Hello mummy this is Ami email me lots off love Ami.

  2. Umm Fatimah said,

    Aint you so sweet? writing on my blog Masha’Allah. xx

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