September 11, 2011

Were Back!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:54 am by Umm Fatimah

Asalaamu Alaykum everyone, Long time no see or rather read/write 🙂

Where have we been? Well in the past year a lot changed in our family life, both structurally as well as our priorities. I had to make a decision not to continue homeschooling last autumn which lead F to return into the public education system. Alhamdulilah it wasn’t so difficult to find her a good school and so I have managed to put her into one of the ‘better’ primary schools. Our experiences so far are a mix and match. I must say in hindsight I can definitely see the differences between state schools and independent schools. But so far it is going well enough. I say well enough as my concerns that the public education system isn’t enough is proofing true. Last year I more or less took a back stage in teaching F altogether, as I had to concentrate on my studies.

I had to retake my final year as I lost out on a module and so had to balance that and home life and the general adjustments to our family. Alhamdulilah now I have successfully completed my degree and F has settled into school. Although I studied Law at university I would like to become an early years teacher and so this year I will be applying to a teacher training course as well as working part time in a children’s center. In order to do this baby K will have to start nursery as well which is going to be a challenge. So life is going to be busy busy!!

So why am I still on a homeschooling blog, well after much thought I have decided to before/after school F. As I previously said after all the research and curricula to hand I can see the major gaps that she would otherwise have if I were to leave her education to her school. And so today I will plan out what I want her to learn in addition to school so that I can broaden her studies.

An important lesson I have learned this year is that I did not provide enough extra curricula activities for F. To be honest she did next to none. She has recently started swimming, gymnastics, and french. All of which are coming along. There is a possibility that I may change some of these round. I will update you on this nearer to the time.

Although I didn’t do very much with F last year, baby K and I did experience a number of educational toddler groups. I was concerned last winter that baby K was not as vocal as her sister at her age and was rather a shy child which didn’t really help. I came across baby sign language class which we started. I can not emphasis enough how amazing it is!! baby K went from speaking a handful of words to perhaps a hundred more, all vocally as well as in sign. she learnt to count, her colours, animals and many many more. I am so pleased that I did this with her as she is now doing very well.

I have decided this year is the year that I make huge developments in the academic abilities of both my girls. Baby K is 2 and I think she is very ready for some informal educational activities. My general plan for her is exposure- to ensure that she has as many experiences as possible. For F she is now in year 4 [she was my baby just last week: subhanallah] and I believe this is a very important year for her. I’m taking the ‘its all or nothing’ approach so we will work very very hard this year.

Having plans to work full time in the near future, home schooling wont be an option for us so I hope to work towards helping her gain entrance to one of the independent girl schools for her secondary education and to do this we have a lot to get through [Insha’Allah I am trying to think ahead].  Please join us in our adventures to learn learn learn.

See you all soon.

Umm Fatimah

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5 Comments »

  1. ummtafari said,

    As salaam alaikum,

    Good to hear from you, maashaa Allah. I was wondering if you could explain a little more about why you think not including extracurricular activities as part of F’s program left her at a disadvantage.
    Thanks for updating. I was wondering how you all were getting along.

  2. Umm Fatimah said,

    Wa alaykuma salaam Ya Umm Tafari

    Subhanallah it has been a while hasn’t it. Time can go by so fast!

    Well if I look back now from age 3 when F started nursery, apart from activities from school I haven’t really done much with her. I recall once waiting to pick her up and some of the parents discussing what their children did, and I thought its so sad that we send them here all day long it would be much better to take them home, let them rest and to spend some quality time with them.

    Fast forward that now and she’s eight years old and I realise that there are so many gaps from what is offered at school that I could have filled much earlier on. For example, it has come to my attention that she isn’t very confident in sports, and I feel had I gotten her to take part in say gymnastics from earlier on there are many skills she would now have already acquired. And so with the benefit of that hindsight I feel like were playing catch up on many levels. Both academically and say in sports.

    There are a number of opportunities offered in schools- I’m not saying their totally rubbish but I feel a lot of these can be built upon to ensure that the child has mastered them. So that little bit of extra help outside of school can go along way.

    This is my experience. I guess it may vary for different families, and that’s fine. I see a lot of things differently I think due to my experiences with homeschooling and the possibilities that it offers. I believe now if I were still homeschooling I would certainly continue with these activities, I don’t think we as individuals can teach/show/provide all those experiences for our children.

    What do you think?

    Umm Fatimah

  3. ummtafari said,

    As salaam alaikum, I totally agree. As you probably have seen on my blog, we take advantage of many opportunities that our area has to offer!

  4. ImaanI said,

    as salaamu `alaykum…

    Ah, girlfriend, you are back 🙂 Looking forward to more about your new schedule!

    • Umm Fatimah said,

      Wa alaykuma salaam Ya Imaan. Masha’Allah it has taken me forever to get back into blogging but walahi I can see it helping me to stay focused as I post each week about what we have accomplished. Check out my new post and come by often I need to grab you for advice from all your wisdom in homeschooling lol. I hope all is well with you and the family sis.


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