Ramadaan Mubarak! May Allah forgive my sins and I ask everyone i have wronged intentionally and unintentionally to forgive me. We are all the children of Adam and brothers and sisters in Islaam.
I bear witness there is no God but Allah and Muhammad, salla lahu alahi wa walam, is the Messenger of Allah.
Ramaadan is the month when the Quran was first revealed and the month we are commanded by Allah to abstain from all drink and food from fajr (when the first light begins to change the morning sky) till sunset. Muslims all over the world rejoice in this sacred month. We follow the lunar cycle not the solar, so Ramadan is earlier every year and never set on the same day or month for all time. We also have the “sight the moon” or if it is cloudy or not seen, we complete thirty days from before to determine the first day of Ramadan.
The moon phase we look for is called the hilal, or the thin sliver that appears at the beginning when it starts to “wax” after the new moon.
This month, i plan to do at least one lapbook with each child, a masjid/minaret diorama and many other crafts and activities inshAllah. For the lapbook, we will go a little cheaper this time and make it less like a large folder.
We will be hanging up our timeline inshAllah, something i have meant to do for some time. Al hamdulilah i realized both children are on the first year of the Ancients, my daughter for 5th grade and my son in first grade. It was great when I realized this because I can teach them some History together as well as reading from that time period, although with dd she will go into the History deeper, as with the logic stage.
The timeline will be especially useful in the children visualizing the time difference between historical events and people, particularly Prophet Muhammad, saws as he came after the Ancients period we are currently studying. I wanted to fully explain Ramadan to them, have them learn du’a for breaking their fast and other relevant supplications, learn some of the rules and regulations for Ramadan and the special salaat performed in Ramadan. I also wanted to read them humorous and heartfelt stories of the Prophet and his companions during Ramadan as well. Children love to laugh and I know mine learn better if learning can be made fun so i want to try to do that this year.
Dd fasted some of Ramadan last year but I didn’t believe it was obligatory upon her yet for various reasons. This year she will be fasting all month, inshAllah. Since she was in a private Islamic school two separate years I know she knows about Ramadan but whenever you question your children you will usually find where there are holes in the information so I am sure these will come up in our teaching and discussions this month so we can rectify any gaps or misinformation, inshaAllah.
I am having dd also do logic puzzles online as well as with a book I found years ago, called Logic Anyone? It was not one of the books listed in The Well Trained Mind but it follows the pre-logic period getting them ready for the formal study of logic by doing mental exercises and puzzles. When i feel she is ready to begin the formal study of logic, either halfway through this grade or starting sixth, i will start her on the book recommended by the WTM. If you don’t have a logic puzzle books or don’t want to buy what the WTM recommends for pre-logic grade five, or you just don’t want to wait you can print out many logic puzzles and brain benders from online or even play them online. These are some of the sites we have used for logic games and puzzles. Some of them, i can’t even master!
http://www.puzzles.com/PuzzlePlayground/NonManipulativePuzzlesHome.htm (harder, different levels and methods)
http://www.coolmath4kids.com/math_puzzles/index.html Critical thinking and math problems. One of my favorite math sites for kids.
http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/logic_games.html Skill building and interactive. I can’t pass level two on the Sliding block game!
http://www.thelogiczone.plus.com/logic_index.htm Grid logic problems, can be filled in online so no paper needed. For easier or beginner problems, click on Kids corner.
http://school.discoveryeducation.com/brainboosters/ Lateral thinking, reasoning, Spatial, word play. Beginner and up
http://www.allstarpuzzles.com/logic/ Rated by difficulty. Some of these middle schoolers can do.
http://www.barcodesinc.com/articles/math-logic-problems.htm what i call a ‘mamalist’. Divided by level and subject
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/brain_teasers.htm Resource list
http://www.printable-puzzles.com/printable-logic-puzzles.php Printable grid logic problems
And of course, there is always Sudoku.
Two weeks before Ramadan started I read, studied and did the exercises in Introductory Logic by Douglas J Wilson to prepare myself for teaching dd. It is the text recommended by the Well Trained Mind for the formal study of logic for grades fifth through eighth but meant for sixth grade. It is very Christian oriented with not just many statements of shirk but also requires a basic knowledge of the Bible, in particular the New Testament as well as a little history from that time, which would be a problem for someone who has no knowledge of that. Although I am Muslim, I was raised Catholic but became a Christian as a teenager, have read the Bible and know some of the events that surrounded the New Testament writers so it was not a problem for me however for my daughter or most Muslims they might be confused. Despite the glaring shirk, i found the text easy to follow but you must have the teacher key, so I have both. I ordered them years ago from Barnes and Noble they where a bit hard to find. However, i am not sure this book would even be permissible to let a Muslim child read, in fact, I am almost sure it is not so i am going to ask someone who is able to ask a scholar. In the meantime, i have rewritten many of the statements and substituting words and statements more appropriate. I plan on using the “new” version when dd is ready. Even with an adult the scholars have warned against even listening to the speech of someone on misguidance so i am not even sure it is permissible for me to read this book! I am halfway through understanding the lessons as well as writing notes and substitutions. i am planning to check out the alternative suggestions, Critical Thinking book one and two and A Case of Red Herrings series perhaps they will be more suitable for Muslims to use for beginning Logic.
I have never really studied logic before except for a little in middle school and college but they didn’t call it “logic”. In Math, we would do analogies,Venn diagrams and word problems where a chart must be drawn to find the answers. For example, we would be asked about the favorite flowers of five children, while no two like the same one:
1.Karen’s favorite is not the tulip. 2. Derek hates tulips and roses. 3. Someone really likes daisies. 4. Fay likes violets. 5. Tanya is allergic to carnations. 6. Scott like the flower to which Tanya is allergic.
And you would use a chart to deduct who likes which flower. Problems like the one above, analogies and some Venn diagrams where the only logic i had, if you could call it that because now that read through Introductory to Logic it’s nothing compared to those! I found it easy to follow although it does get consistently more difficult. If you are not entirely familiar with logic, you must learn it yourself before teaching your child so if they don’t understand or have questions you will be able to explain and help.
In regards to the text Introductory Logic and its issues, i will go further into this later as well as give examples of such problem statements and what I substituted instead. Also, i am aware that with newer editions of the Well Trained Mind, some of the recommended books for different subjects have changed due to discontinued publishing and lack of availability. With each subject we study I will list what we are using and how as well as what others use or what the newest edition of the Well Trained Mind recommends. For instance the History textbook for the logic stage was changed but I actually was able to find one at a used bookstore even though it is out of print.
I will update our craft projects for Ramadan inshaAllah. Some of these i will get from http://tjramadan.blogspot.com/ maa shaa Allah and http://raisingmuslims.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/ramadhan-lapbook-pics-printouts/ with great printouts for a Ramadan lapbook.
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