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philosophy, not that i am an expert.

The below is a continuation of my previous post. It was too long so, I broke it up into two posts realizing the second half became another topic; practical applications and learning philosophies.

Notes on This week:

a new fascination with Science and String Theory:

Once my kids saw me spending time watching a three part series by PBS called, “The Elegant Universe” they wanted to watch it also, and it was received very well by them. I don’t think I would have understood these concepts till age 30+ and I certainly wasn’t exposed to these fascinating theories till I was an adult. We borrowed library books from the recommended Science books list of the Well Trained Mind and they picked out some on Physics on their own.

It’s amazing where the human mind goes when it’s not being led.” Jennifer Head, published in Life Learning Magazine.

Dd(14) a voracious reader, has never been that interested in Science or History and Math was a struggle. Once she was not forced (as in public, charter, and online school at home) to learn certain subjects, in a pre-established time table, she became interested in them on her own. Ok well, she tolerates my enthusiasm for History. And I am shaking my head in disbelief now that I can say there is little to no resistance in Math. She does it on her own from books I have bought and from the library to fun websites online and lessons on Khanacademy.org. Best of all, she likes it! She understands. Math, the hated subject, the struggle for YEARS, she can test herself, find discrepancies, review and master it all on her own. I am delighted and proud of her. It is hard to believe that MATH could have caused SO much problem in our relationship and the harmony of our home, because of an arbitrary time table and the pressure of others!

She was able to stop caring that certain family members didn’t approve or support her decision to leave public school, they even took away travel to see family. They made it clear she would not receive gifts or plane tickets as long as she didn’t return to school with proof of grades. I however, took longer to stop caring. smh….me caring what they thought and how it affected my daughter actually affected my daughter MORE because of my stress and pressure on her for her to perform. Once we made it just about learning, I stopped caring how it looked to them, and KNEW I was doing the right thing FOR HER, she came out of her shell and was able to blossom. May Allah keep me on this path and not let me forget what I have learned, or regress.
<Chapter 2 verse 286 “On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray): “Our Lord! condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; help us against those who stand against faith.” (286)

Appreciation of historical fiction:

As a public school attendee (didn’t graduate but got my GED in 11th and went to college) a passionate reader, with decades of independent study of a vast array of books, I am astounded I was never introduced nor had discovered the genre historical fiction. I didn’t even know it existed! How is that possible?! However, every book store owner within a ten mile radius has been happy to fill the gap with many suggested books. You know how it is, when you learn about something you see it everywhere when actually, it was always there but because it was unfamiliar it didn’t “register” and you took no notice.

So I have been able to pick many up, including kids historical fiction at sidewalk sales or thrift stores. I have even read some “children’s” books under historical fiction myself but I give them historical fiction for what they are learning at the time. We sometimes watch movies for the period or person they are studying as well.

Ds(10) continues building all forms of swings in the yard and has plenty of outdoor play. I try to squelch the mom desire to tell him, “you’re gonna get hurt” or “you’re too high in that tree” or command “wear knee pads when you ride your skateboard”. Believe me, when he insists upon something i know will have consequences but i allow him to do it, the lesson is learned much better on his own with ‘natural consequences’. He didn’t wear long pants when skateboarding, he skinned his knee. I never had to tell him to wear long pants again.
It was the same with walking through the woods; i suggested pants because he would get itchy/scratched, he wouldn’t so i let it go. He took an immediate shower upon arriving home with vigorous comments which i refrained from an “i told you so’ and he wears thick pants through the woods now.
I approach with the same attitude such as wearing a coat/jacket, (the cold) wearing tennis shoes instead of sandals and wearing socks. He complains now all his shoes smell. I refuse to buy him more because i asked he wear socks. So now, he knows he must hand wash his shoes by himself. He knows he must do this so he can bear wearing his shoes! I will not wash his shoes for him or save him from what he chose to do. Once I feel he is being responsible or he saves up his allowance, he will get another pair of shoes.

It may sound harsh holding him accountable for his choices but it’s working with him. I can be kind but firm, understanding and forgiving without being lenient. Consistency is the key. Alternatively, I say “yes” much more often than I use to, and it has made a world of difference for both of them: in their mood, their attitude while improving our connection. mA

My children are mostly fearless, which i now see the benefits of. Wrong way to end a sentence:) I feel the advantages of allowing them to be more independent and to make their own choices outweigh the risks. For the most part, they’ve learned to respect and listen to me because they found out through natural consequences that i was right:)

Watching home videos, i found surprisingly i used to be a very permissive parent, from toddler to ten. That extreme wasn’t healthy either. Mentioning the above examples is important for me not because I feel i am right about how i approach it and others are not, but because i had begun to coerce my children in every little thing. I ‘lost’ control and that was how i dealt it. i am controlling by nature, i think. Perhaps that is a modern woman thing? <shrugging hopefully>

I have learned forcing a child may work temporarily and give a parent momentary relief but in the long run, is NOT a solution.
So i don’t force but It’s not that i allow my son to be dangerous either. I allow him to be a child and a boy. The protective mom gene kicks in and you worry and nag, forgetting your own childhood. I had to remember I roamed miles away from home and i was fine. Of course, it was a different time.

Seriously, I look back in wonder and know God protected me. I grew up in the country and yes, none of us locked our doors but we had rattlesnakes and spiders, coyotes and once a mountain lion on the loose. I lived. I got lost several times and had to climb the nearest hilltop to see my neighborhood. When i got hurt, i walked home. I wasn’t a cryer or attention seeker. Ironic, because i was in public school.
Growing up in the country I realize now i was free to choose how i spent my spare time. I also had personal relationships with my neighbors, knew the ins and outs of their houses, along with their pets, gardens and projects. I learned more from family, adults and elderly neighbors, than I ever did from my school-age friends. I also loved nature, watched wildlife, followed the creeks, and knew all the deer trails like the back of my hand.

bounce

My best memories were of my childhood and i want my kids to have the same, not cooped-up in classrooms without windows, separated from the real world and nature. I never want them to check the clock a million times, watching the hands on the clock, waiting that agonizing last hour of school till the bell rings and they’re set free.

My kids aren’t instilled with the prevalent ‘stranger danger’ attitude, which enables them to have wonderful conversations with adults. My son has a personal relationship with our mail lady and knows everyone on our street. He goes for walks with our Hispanic neighbor who has three little girls and no sons. Both my kids want to learn Spanish to speak to him without relying on his girls all the time!
Of course because i am a hoarder of books, i’ve got a couple books on learning Spanish and even a textbook as well. Dd picks them up at her leisure but prefers the faster method of videos online. I’m helping her with flashcards and vocabulary. I understand more Spanish than I can speak, so it’s a refresher for me and we can learn together;)

In regards to safety and other adults my kids have been instructed on what constitutes danger and what is and is not acceptable, al hamdulilah. May Allah protect and guide my children, grant me patience and wisdom. Ameen

Dd shares animal husbandry and breeding tips with our corner neighbors who breed guinea pigs. She has considered, discussed and planned a leaf raking business with her friend down the street. Believe it or not, she is an introvert but look how she benefits without school.
Socialization in school is a joke. My introvert shines now, a word i would have never used before to describe her, she was just sullen. Shines in real life: without pressures, constraints, limitations, inflexible staged curricula, deadlines, stress, fear of fitting in, the list goes on. She enrolled in karate. Yes, I nudged her but i promised if she took ONE introductory class she didn’t have to continue but she liked it. She is self motivated and confident in a way she never was in public school. The only motivation i remember is her wanting to be on time because she was severely embarrassed when late!

Finally:
“Growing without schooling” has it’s challenges and i won’t say it’s always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel but then almost every day I am reminded of why I home school. Not just from seeing all the negatives of current educational trends and modern culture but I love the ‘light bulb’ moments when my kids ‘get’ something or when they overcome a challenge. I admire how many ideas and interests they have when i don’t make them follow a list of learning objectives or a hard structure curricula. I revel in the joy of just being together. What has been the most amazing of this journey is NOT how much I was able to ‘impart knowledge’ to them, but how much they have taught me.

Muhammad, peace be upon him, always thought the best of people and they responded to that. He always had a smile for them and they strove to please him. When he was displeased he didn’t yell or become angry. He wasn’t critical but reprimanded adults and children gently, without embarrassing them. He was the best example and REMAINS the best to emulate. I am reminded of this constantly the more I learn of his sunnah, parenting, and modern psychology.

If it works with other kids and mine or i read it online, surely it’s in the sunnah, i find. :)

In life and education i must give my kids a balance of freedom and expectation of responsibility while trusting and listening. I just don’t feel I can go wrong with that. and God knows best.

PS:
I’d like to acknowledge a few women whose words, stories, blogs or comments online have inspired me. While i may not fully agree with anarchist beliefs or a ‘radical unschooling lifestyle’ these mothers are no less pioneers in the unschooling movement and to restoring children’s dignity and rights. When it comes to their children’s growth, learning and meeting each individual child’s needs these ladies are inspirational. With wise words, sound advice and much experience, they are a comfort for moms and a breath of fresh air in the mainstream ‘unattached parenting’ trends.

I’ve noticed a gradual shift from the unnatural parenting norms, to a more intuitive, thoughtful and sensitive way, thankfully. I feel this is partially due to these women’s contributions whose passion and advocacy for all children led the natural parenting movement. I hope many more parents and educators adopt the natural, respectful and individualized way of allowing kids the freedom to learn and grow on their own terms.

I am indebted to these women whether I spoke to them or did not have the pleasure of meeting them. Keep up the good work *and remember you will never go wrong by putting your kids first:)

Listed fairly chronologically:
Paved my way (furthest back):

Contributors of Mothering magazine
Lisa Russell, writer. Current home: http://www.gypsymom.com/ my inspiration originally at http://mrshannigan.wordpress.com/
Carol Pavliska, homeschooling conference speaker, blogger. http://sardinesinacan.blogspot.com/
http://www.raisingsmallsouls.com

Learned more (way back):

Home Education magazine (snail mail subscriptions still available but digital is cheaper)
Life Learning Magazine (when still in tree wasting, shiny pages and lovely holding form) The void will never be filled *sob*
http://www.lifelearningmagazine.com/ digital is quite cheap, still a treat:)
Sandra Dodd, unschooling advocate. http://sandradodd.com
Wendy Priesnitz editor/creator several magazines. Champion for parents and kids everywhere.

Finally and continuing:

Grace Llewellyn, educator and author. Her groundbreaking “Teenage Liberation Handbook” had me adamantly shaking my head in agreement with her descriptions of school and learning yet disbelief over her thorough grasp of the problems and issues of modern kids trapped in compulsory schooling. I wish i’d had this book at the age of ten!

Astra Taylor, film maker and writer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM-DtE6mkeU
Idzie Desmarais  ‘unschooled’ adult and writer. I discovered her blog, a delight. One of the few i subscribe to and read consistently http://yes-i-can-write.blogspot.com/
Dayna Martin
, author, speaker. http://thesparklingmartins.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheLibertarianHomeschooler  Some of the smartest advise i’ve seen and best dialogue i’ve heard

http://www.celebratecalm.com
I met the father and son at a speaking engagement. Scheduled speeches are free, materials may be purchased.
I found myself in jaw-dropping awe listening to their common sense, non emotional approach to parenting. They had me spellbound with their candor and stories, both humorous and serious. I believe some of the CD’s are worth the cost, and i rarely promote any product. They give dynamic advice, immediately applicable. Many American families would be healed if they applied the techniques taught through celebrate calm. However, most of what they teach is also in the hadeeth of our Prophet, the athaar(narrations) of the sahabah and sayings of the scholars. Listening to the founder speak was a kick in the *ss wonderful reminder for me.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn (Dr. Peter Gray)

Awakened** and Increased my understanding:

Last but not least, what i call ‘the two Johns'; their names must be known and their words heard: John Holt and John Taylor Gatto. Without Holt, there could not have been Gatto.

John Holt, teacher and writer, the premiere founder of home education, some say the father of it and finally the unschooling method. John Gatto, an impassioned educator and former teacher making waves:)
I hope he continues to open more minds to our modern educational system, motivating educators and parents.

For our children and our future we must work to create change through open forums, grassroots effort and even legislation. If that cannot be attained we can make the intention and change it with our hearts, our minds and our hands within our own families and those we know. Above all, don’t stay silent, share what you’ve learned and what you know with others so we can collectively raise the next generation mindfully, with tolerance and purpose.
journey

.
*a mom has to have ‘me’ time also!

** Allah is the All Aware, the Opener and Awakener. He, glory be to Him, Alone is the Best of Planners, the Beneficent, the Merciful, Owner of the Day of Judgment.

…and a new start
homeschool last year

An Important distinction I made recently and lesson learned was to put Aqeedah and Quran first, academics second. I don’t just mean schedule-wise like lessons on religion first or Quranic memorization in the morning before academic subjects are covered I mean philosophically, practically and mentally first. Of course with learning everything is connected and can be experienced together but that’s a whole ‘nother post;)

Days I awake alert, pray, and began the day cheerfully reviewing our lesson plans and my to do list, the day goes smoothly, is productive and I accomplish the goals i set for myself and my children’s learning or activities for that day.
NOT!!!

I realized for quite a while now those days are infrequent and in the past. Lately I felt little was accomplished and that our whole household was dragging through the day, starting later and later, not getting into the swing of things till the afternoon. I became frustrated meals were no longer on time or in a reasonable period (breakfast before 11, lunch before 3) I was annoyed their chores weren’t done, I had return to nagging and criticizing and by ‘asr, only a couple lessons had been finished.

That overwhelmed feeling became worse and worse: the house wasn’t the way I wanted it, the kids were starting the day too late, we weren’t getting enough done, in my opinion. And no, I’m not going to say the common revelation that unschoolers have was that we needed to slow down, de-school, have less schedule or structure or enjoy nature. Thank God, I have realized a lot of these and my children have shown me the error of my way that my idealized picture of a schoolroom complete with textbooks, desks and posters replicated in our house did not appeal to them nor yield much result. I mean, they go in there to get supplies or grab a book and read on the small, comfy IKEA couch or perhaps even play with our cockatiel but sitting at the antique desk I bought and letting me “teach” them…..no.

The word that comes to my mind is liberation. Once I was able to ‘let go’ of all the common, erroneous ideas of education and release my faulty way of thinking, my children and I were so much happier. Really, I am not trying to copy the word of the title from one of the most appreciated  and well written books in the history of education*…it is just the perfect word. To know something is to know it’s opposite and the opposite of liberation would be in my mind, slavery.

My mind was held captive to the idea that learning must be represented as a schoolroom in my house and that was the only way my children would learn. Silly, because that was not the way i was raised but it was how i was ‘schooled’.

Back to my original point, realizing the tone in our home had shifted from following interests, open discussions, and harmony to one of drudgery. That nice flow and balance we had that comes when you’re free to learn or pursue what you want, when you want, while still setting goals was gone.  Being carefree and the lightness in our chests but still feeling our time was well spent, meaningful…the positive charge exiting in our home was absent.

So I decided to forget worrying about the lesson plan and announced we would start the day by reading or memorizing Quran. It made a difference immediately. It wasn’t just in the kids attitudes and what they finished, it was MY mentality and demeanor changed. After all, the feeling in the home usually reflects the mom. I mean, the husband can set the tone and he is the leader but the mother is the the love, the example and the teacher.

What a relief! It’s not that I took charge and we got the house in order, or that our prayers were on time, but that I felt confident that if I put God first, everything would be all right. It goes without saying of course, the importance of fajr prayer offered at it’s prescribed time.
Once I began having them work on their surah memorization or having a short halaqa discussion, I stopped feeling that weight becoming heavier throughout the day; that familiar, nagging worry ceased. I knew if we began our school day right, in worship and remembrance of Him, subhana wa ta’ala, my children would learn whatever academics essential for their future.

When I experienced that certainty, that comfort, I relaxed, the scowl on my face replaced by a smile, and the light-heartedness returned. I rediscovered just the simple joy of being with my kids. Once again i felt the liberation.
Instead of dragging through the day, with that feeling of defeat by dinnertime, I was relishing each moment with my kids. New thoughts, more reflections, revelations how history, science and current news were all connected and explained through Quran and hadeeth, were easily discovered and shared among us. maa shaa Allah. There was less arguing, more play and camaraderie, and more wonder in the world around us.

I mentioned to my teenage daughter what a pleasure she was to be around lately “I’m glad you noticed,” she retorted. I didn’t take offense, in fact the opposite. I could tell by her tone she appreciated my words but was hurt. I had betrayed her. After the long journey of discovery and realization that culminated in allowing her the freedom to learn on her own I had backtracked and returned to ‘do this, do that’… ‘why haven’t you…..

I do believe children should obey but I also believe adults should apologize to children when they are in the wrong and I try to do that. My wrong had been returning to the negative, hostile mom from the past instead of the positive, encouraging, and relaxed one as I was after my ‘enlightenment’. Instead of my usual need to make this into a lesson, with a minimum statement (lecture) responding to her, “I’m glad you noticed” I remained silent and just ‘took it’. I think that meant more to her than any admittance or promises I could have made. and Allah knows best.

Copywork

Just a quick post of a blog I found very useful : http://www.islamiccopywork.wordpress.com
Seeing the simple address, I wish I’d thought of an easier blog url than mine :)

Her blog is a practical guide to implementing the copywork aspect from the four part method of writing recommended by the Well Trained Mind.

I could not add it to the Blogroll on the right side of my page, so i’m posting it here.

I wasn’t on wordpress for a while and my reader showed up. I love reading other people’s thoughts and ideas. I knew there were many blogs I found beneficial that I was following but had forgotten them so I went to edit, the only way i know of that enables me to see the whole list.

I did not even know I had added Islamic Copywork, but it’s just what I was looking for! al hamdulilah.

Thanks for visiting and i’d love to read your blog if you have one! If not, leave your favorite one in the comments, please :)

We are here to help one another and share. < O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). Chapter The Dwellings 49:13 (Quran)

I. could. not. resist :)

We have been enjoying math lately, an unusual thing for our voracious readers, so when I saw this link from Wired, i had to repost.
Not only do i “get” math now (another post entirely it’s own) but we have been tackling spacial relations, abstract thinking, logic and divergent thinking.
It took me quite a while to get that last sentence right, and i still don’t like it.

Nothing will compare to my love of grammar *sigh*

I could not resist: Popular songs written as graphs and charts.

http://www.wired.com/2014/09/21-beloved-pop-songs-redone-pie-charts-graphs/?mbid=social_fb#slide-id-1565583

Did anyone see the flow chart of “Total eclipse of the heart?” lol only 30+ would get that but look it up if you are unfamiliar. It’s hilarious.

An Illustrated book of Bad Arguements

I just HAD to post this quickly, a great resource as a refresher OR for those unfamiliar with the study of logic. You must check it out! His HILARIOUS rendition of copyright in the first pages of his book is reason enough alone :D

How can we teach what we don’t understand? The best day is one filled with wonder as we learn new things together and teach EACH OTHER the joy of discovery and of being human, thanks be to God.

From the author, Ali Almossawi:

“This book is aimed at newcomers to the field of logical reasoning, particularly those who, to borrow a phrase from Pascal, are so made that they understand best through visuals.  I have selected a small set of common errors in reasoning and visualized them using memorable illustrations that are supplemented with lots of examples. The hope is that the reader will learn from these pages some of the most common pitfalls in arguments and be able to identify and avoid them in practice.”

BUY HIS BOOK! or you could just make a donation, the book is still viewable online and includes quite talented, beautiful artistry, i might add. He was amazing enough to offer it under CCL. Anyone that selfless deserves some appreciation. and Allah knows best, al hamdulilah.

Grettings, yall :D  i  was going to post about Eid celebrations and gifts but I would like to quickly ask this and leave some words of remembrance for myself. I don’t know about anyone else, but my blog helps me ponder issues and problems when I write but more importantly, remember lessons in education or parenting I learned! It’s a record i can refer back to, a benefit and reminder, especially when someone posts a comment.

Forgive the simplicity of this post, perhaps I will elaborate more later. Answer the question: what is your role as a mother? I did a similar post about this, what are your goals of educating your children and this question is not really different, rather it is more comprehensive. Educating, training, and teaching our children is definitely interlinked with our role as a mother.

When I came across this question not only did it make me think, but what created more contemplation and realization was someone else’s comment. When this question was asked, a sister responded:

As the mother of a girl I saw and see my responsibility to instill high values of womanhood and humanity within her. Make sure she grows up as physically and psychologically healthy as possible. Give her the best knowledge of life and the world I can. And try to get her as educated with marketable work force skills as possible. And as well try to earn a living that leaves her with some kind of inheritance.

Al hamdulilah. I thought to myself, those are all true and lofty aspirations for raising a daughter. The last statement struck me though, because i immediately thought, well, not just about working and supporting herself, but what about marriage? Not only is it part of our religion, it is a proven biological drive as well as human nature to seek out a significant other, a partner for this life. As Allah says in His book:

< And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.> 30:21

Libas [ garments, i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her – as in Verse 7:189) Tafsir At-Tabari], for you and you are the same for them.> 2:187

 

This was my response:

“Reading all the sister said,  i’m in agreement, however, lastly, we must make sure she marries a man who fears Allah and can take care of her.

I feel my role as a mother is to protect her from her own whims, educate her in Islam, to know her Lord and worship him and yes, as M. said, raise her healthy and compassionate. Girls are a challenge! It’s a balancing act with their self esteem and image and correcting them. Oh! Protect them from the portrayal of women in the media AND the illusion of happily ever after (it’s not just about falling in love, marriage is hard work, but it IS a way into Jannah!)

Allah is the Provider, in this society it is important to have marketable skills but what gives us happiness is not a career or money it is personal, fulfilling relationships, fulfilling our role (as a husband, wife, mother, daughter or sister) and correct knowledge of our Creator and practice of our deen. ALSO, i realized not too far in the future she would be getting married and i didn’t want the poor brother coming to me asking what was wrong with her, lol  (Because for years i waited on her and it made her lazy and not respectful). So i started not just assigning chores but teaching life skills, how to take care of herself, her hygiene, her home, and help with her siblings. Al hamdulilah she loves to cook and bake, learning all things related to it, so THAT opens up the door for fractions and science ;) two subjects she wasn’t fond of before.

When i realized that i also realized the same with my son. I had to raise HIM to be a good husband and father in addition to knowing Allah and his responsibilities. So, he learns how to cook, clean his room and bathroom, take on more responsibility as he gets older, and not try to remove his sister’s scarf when they argue in public! lol. Loyalty and protection towards his family. In essence: teach my son how the prophet, salla lahu alahi wa salam was.

I feel good doing things for others, but it can create problems. We need to make sure we are not fulfilling cultural gender roles and ignoring the sunnah. The prophet, salla lahu alahi wa salam, did not depend on his wives constantly to bring him food or cook. He cooked, mended his own clothes and was compassionate but firm.

In retrospect, Rasulullah’s example IS the ideal example not just for my son but as well as for my daughter however where I failed was thinking doing everything for my kids was being a good mother; after all, that’s how MY mother was. However, i was an only child. I also realize I didn’t truly appreciate my mom until i had kids. I was selfish and even at the age of twenty, I still could not feel gratitude in my chest. I blamed my problems on my family upbringing, my parents and what I thought were their failures. No doubt I had a dysfunctional family but my mother was practically a saint. She wasn’t perfect and had to deal with her own hardships but she was very sacrificing and loved me unconditionally. I was a difficult, ungrateful, self-absorbed teen even till my early twenties. It wasn’t just having kids that made me appreciate her, it was becoming Muslim and learning to respect and value her. All praise is to God.

I do realize now that cleaning my daughter’s room for her and not assigning any chores or expecting anything from her except her studies made her selfish and ungrateful. Had i raised her from an early age with the Prophet’s sunnah in mind, how he didn’t depend on his wives or others, would have created in her the understanding that she is part of a household that must work together, and give her better abilities earlier and independence. My mind was always on “at the age of ten she has to pray and will be asked” when I should’ve trained her from the age of seven, as according to the hadith. Al hamdulilah though, we cannot say “if” in Islam. What’s important is that i realized the error of doing everything for her and not insisting she contribute by helping around the house and doing chores. I lacked consistency but now I’m more focused.

 

This was a great question and could be a good thread! It helps to clarify your intentions and goals when asked,  al hamdulilah.

So what do you think your role is as a mother and after reading these two responses, what do YOU think in response to them and from your own experience?

As I returned to editing this, understood the sister’s comment of raising her daughter to ‘high values of womanhood’ includes motherhood, marriage, raising children, taking care of your home. However, that is MY interpretation of her statement, what do other women, think is the value of womanhood and more importantly, what does our Lord say about it and what was the example of the Prophet’s wives?*

May Allah reward you for your thoughts and comments and guide us to raise healthy families, who are a benefit to society and have righteous children who will pray for us when we are gone.

salla lahu alahi wa salam wa radi Allahu anhumma

Ramadan activities

I wanted to post all the activities and crafts I WANTED to do this blessed month, but I was sick in the beginning and life is so busy sometimes, subhanAllah.

Since I prefer to teach History sequentially, from ancient to current,  I haven’t taught my kids the Seerah of Prophet Muhammad, salla lahu alahi wa salam, per se. Learning is all the time, so I insert a hadeeth into a discusion or in answer to a question. 

So far the only serious study related to the Seerah we have done was with the book, Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq: Theory and Practice , by Aisha B. Lemu. We were working through the lessons on character and manners before Ramadan.

I ordered it from Amazon, but you can also get it from islamicbookstore.com. It’s a book I saw used at a Sunday school at a masjid i visited many years ago in Evansville, Indiana. The book is one of the most comprehensive, yet easliy understandable on character and manners that I have seen. It is written at about middle school level, but good for adults, too. Please, if anyone has any recommendations, leave me a comment!

My children were learning World History along with Geography, inventions, events, Prophets and Peoples, roughly in order but for Ramadan I wanted to focus on the biography (Seerah) of Rasulullah, salla lahu alahi wa salam, as well as understanding the importance of Ramadan.

So I used a few sites for them to read from, mainly I read to them or Dd(13) reads to Ds(8). I also own a few books on seerah but many Islamic books can be downloaded free online at kalamullah.com, just enter a specific book or subject in the search box.

Here are a few children’s seerah websites we’ve used:

http://www.prosyst3ms.co.uk/8965/index.html (For younger kids with booklets to download, printout, and worksheets)

http://www.seerahforkids.info/seerah/ (For good readers or older kids-has backround music, if you want to mute)

http://www.musalla.org/Seerah_3.html (For good readers, with backround information on Prophet Ibrahim, alahi salam, and the Hajj)

http://www.kalamullah.com/sealed-nectar.html The Sealed Nectar, Seerah of the Prophet. In depth, can also be used by the parent as a guide.

This link is nice as a reference, simple timeline of dates and events in Rasulullah’s time: http://www.islamicemirate.com/resources/timeline-of-the-prophets-saw-life.html

 

When teaching History, I sometimes used Ibn Kathir’s The Prophets, but I am a huge fan of the amazing work compiled by Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil, published by Darussalam, titled Atlas of the Quran, Places, Nations, Landmarks.
I was even more pleased to learn that Darussalam also published Atlas of the Prophet’s Biography, also by the same author and can be read online or downloaded through google books :

http://books.google.ae/books?id=mZmBkoDa9fcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Atlas+of+the+Prophet%27s+biography&hl=en&ei=wyXaTqHXBs7nrAenxOHODQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-thumbnail&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Atlas%20of%20the%20Prophet’s%20biography&f=false

This book can be used also as an outline for Seerah studies or to read stories of Rasulullah, salla lahu alahi wa salam, to kids.

One of my favorite sites, with an interactive timeline of the Prophet Muhammad, salla lahu alahi wa salam: http://prophetictimeline.com/home/index2.php

Another helpful link : http://ummmaimoonahrecords.blogspot.com/ Great sister’s blog with MANY resources, links and activities for Ramadan, maa shaa Allah.

I wanted to upload our crafts, which I will inshAllah, although i wanted to do that before the last ten days of Ramadan started! This is Dd’s third year of fasting, i think, and my son is trying to, so it’s been difficult to get them both awake and alert at the same time, including me! Most of the time, i have to be there to provide the enthusiasm or motivation, at least for Dd, crafts aren’t her thing but Ds is always raring to go, ready to try anything! lol

Tomorrow I hope to do a masjid/minaret diorama with the kids. I had a neat idea to make it different. I will upload pics, inshAllah.
Also, when i figure out how to upload docs, I will add a couple coloring books to this post, iA. Here is a simple one I have but you can get it here now: http://www.muslimhomeschool.net/lessonplans/colourin/ramadan%20colouring%20book.pdf

Finally, another important goal I had for Ramadan is for the children to learn all the necessary du’a like, breaking the fast or duas for forgiveness. We also read ayaat from Quran about fasting.

I hope something in this post was useful, al hamdulilah. Please forgive any mistakes from me, for Allah Alone is Perfect and free from error.

May Allah, subhan wa ta’ala accept your fast and forgive your sins, this glorious month that the final revelation to mankind was revealed.

I hope you and your family are in the best of Imaan and health.

 

 

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