August 29, 2010

Two days and counting…

Posted in Uncategorised, Weakly update at 5:07 pm by Umm Fatimah

A few days till we start school- Yaay!! We haven’t been doing much school work in the past month since I’ve had my head glued to my text books, preparing for exams and more or less have had F reading every day. However, she has managed to get through quite a few books in that time which is great. I’m noticing huge improvements in her fluency and confidenceJ. Her interest in reading is also developing, which I am very pleased about.  She does not doubt herself anymore when I assign books that maybe a little more challenging, have longer chapters or generally a thicker book.

Great timing really because this coming term I am hoping to really concentrates on her writing. We have quite a lot of work to get through, so hopefully we’re on the right track. I’ve spent some time looking through different reading lists for grades 2/3 and 4 to give her a variety of text to read from which has been a real help actually so we will continue with this system of choosing. I’m hoping to set up a column with our reading lists, which I’m hoping to get round to pretty soon, so stay posted.

At the moment I’m bogged down with doing our daily planning. I’ve managed to write up a table of what work I hope to cover on a monthly basis up to December, then I’ve broken down the subjects to identify how this can actually be done, on a weekly basis, all that is left is to complete the daily lesson plans, for this term which is turning into a task in itself.  I’ve never been the kind of person who obsesses about schedules and deadlines, well maybe the deadline part lol. So I’m seeing what a chore it is, however at the same time, looking at our daily plans really helps to put into prospective what you want to cover and whether you really can fit it all in.

Additionally it gives an opportunity to glance at how your child will develop be it academically or otherwise, which is great!! We just have to stick to it like glue!  I’m very excited about starting school again, not only because I’m hoping to complete some of our previous materials and starting others but also because I won’t be studying in September as I hope my degree will now be over [still waiting on results. So I can concentrate 100% on F and her work- I’m sure in many ways I will be learning along with her 🙂

If you remember correctly F was taking a summer course on Quranic Phonics. She will have her last lesson tomorrow which will mark the ending of their level 1 and 2 Quran program. She has done very well with this course.  Alhamdulilah she has managed to retain all the tuition and can happily tell you all the rules that she has learnt so far. She is very pleased mostly with being able to pick up the Mushaaf to read it on her own [perhaps with very minimal help].They have just been reading surah Baqrah for practice and she seems to be doing pretty well. All she needs now is plenty of practice on a regular basis.

Insha’Allah my aim for this year, is to start her over again with Juz-Ama and to have her sound out each surah a number of times with the Mushaaf and without, this will reinforce correct pronunciation as well as improving accuracy. Her fluency Insha’Allah will follow naturally with the practice so no worries there. So our general aim for now is to complete 3 surahs a week with perfect pronunciation Insha’Allah. If we follow this plan we should finish some time in spring which would be great. I ask Allah to make it easy for her, and to bless her heart with the beauty of that which she will learn Ameen.

Well I ought to be getting back to my planning so that’s all for now.


July 27, 2010

An exciting parcel & a laid back approach

Posted in Uncategorised at 2:32 am by Umm Fatimah

Just had to share this one with you before I drift off to sleep. Our postman hasn’t been complaining lately, as he no longer has to carry stacks of books on our behalf :-), so if you were to visit us in the mornings, there wouldn’t be a fight to reach the door between the girls and I. However, today was almost like a breath of fresh air when a Royal Fireworks Press [RFP] parcel came through our door. To think that I had actually forgotten that I’d even ordered these books! Ooops.

I’ve been rethinking our curriculum schedule that I posted over the weekend, and dare I say I’m considering to tweak it a little after seeing the content of the above books. For the  summer I was planning to balance F’s home school studies and my own revision time [in case I haven’t mentioned already, I’m studying for a Law degree and this is my final year]. Although I wanted to push for F to get some work out of the way so that we could progress with next year’s curriculum along with the rest of the schooling world. Life isn’t always as you plan and I am left contemplating on pushing our deadlines back a few weeks.

Hmmm this would give me the window I need to dig into my last minute revision [I am such a last minute person] as well as easing up on the pressures of home school for F and I. So yeah I will, what harm can it do? So you’re wondering what changes I am making right. Well instead of continuing with our general language art curricula, I’ll try to give her more independent work instead. Hence the Aesop’s Fable curricula pictured above. Despite there being  four books in the series, I’m not sure how many we will actually need for now. I guess time will tell.

The layout of the book requires that she reads an Aesop’s Fable, learns a list of vocabulary set in the story [what I would class as the 1st assignment]. For this F can practice using her dictionary to look up the correct meaning of the words and then to do copywork to familiarise herself with the meaning given in the dictionary.

 Then she is required to write a sentence based on a picture which she must also colour. The remaining part of this lesson are a set of grammar exercises nothing too complicated,  but straight to the point. Which I think is a highlight of the curricula I have so far purchased from RFP. The books aren’t very thick so. if F enjoys them, then we may continue with them in the autumn until we complete them. Is there such a thing as too much writing? Naaa

Classics in the Classroom  is written by MCT who is the author of MCTLA[our new LA curricula for next year]. Many have spoken of this book very highly so I’m looking forward to a quite read :-). I had a sneak peek at it this morning and he did grab my undivided attention. Advice here I come!

May 10, 2010

Its been awhile…

Posted in Uncategorised at 1:50 am by Umm Fatimah

Asalaamu alaykum [May peace be upon you] everyone,

It has been a while since I last blogged, Subhan’Allah [Glory be to God] where does the time go hey? I recall reading from so many bloggers who apologise about keeping their readers waiting, and I had thought when I started this blog Naa! that won’t be me, I’ll have something interesting to say at least a few time in the week. 🙂 here I am a number of weeks later! Alhamdulilah [All praises are due to Allah]

I wanted to write a number of reviews about some of the curricula that we have used this year [year being since Feb 2010]. It has taken quite a while to get through some of their reviews from academics as well as home schooling moms. So I thought it might be helpful to bring some of those points together for anyone who may be interested in these materials.

Having said that we have sort of shifted about in some areas, and are a little undecided in a few. However, I must say that we have ‘Language Arts down to the T’. So Insha’Allah [God willing] this week I will write a little on each area in the light of our experiences. Watch this space this week Insha’Allah [God willing]. To have a sneak peek at which curricula I am referring to have a look at the curriculum folder.

Untill then, Wa alaykuma salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu [May peace, mercy and blessing be upon you]