Homeschool Planning: Skipping Middle School

If your child is starting middle school, it is recommended that you incorporate ‘skipping middle school’ in your homeschool planning with your child. I did this recently with my 11-year old. He knows his weak areas and he knows his strong areas. I had told him that we would have a meeting and discuss his homeschool plan for the upcoming year together. So as I sat with two small whiteboards, he brought up ‘skipping middle school’. It was a term that has been permeating and infusing our home for a…

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3 Key Ingredients to Homeschooling a Young Child: Play

Part 1 “I am struck by the fact that the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think that the same is true of human beings. We do not wish to see children precocious, making great strides in their early years like sprouts, producing a soft and perishable timber, but better if they expand slowly at first, as if contending with difficulties, and so are solidified and perfected. Such trees continue to expand with nearly equal rapidity to extreme old age” –…

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3 Key Ingredients to Homeschooling a Young Child: Environment

Part 2 Environment The right environment can give so much to a developing child. Young children are like sponges and will absorb everything around them (Montessori, n.d.). It is also the age when they are refining their senses which then builds their brain architecture. Have you ever seen a young child explore something? They will literally put it in their mouth, smell it, feel the texture, stare at it and notice all the fine details that an adult is likely to miss. Ever notice their response to the slightest of…

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A Meeting of the Minds

“In later days, the Prophet (SAW) told his Companions that there was no Prophet who had ever lived on this earth, who had not worked as a shepherd,”  I read emphatically from the Goodwords Seerah book. “Mama!” My daughter squealed excitedly, “Even Prophet Musa Alayhisalaam?!” My daughter is absolutely obsessed with the life of Prophet Musa Alayhisalaam. When I told her that I had named her after his adoptive-Queen mother who is also one of the women of Jannah, she was beside herself with pure joy. “Even Prophet Musa Alayhisalaam,”…

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Mining A Diamond : Part 2

The Journey Begins I was told that homeschooling will not provide enough social interaction, which I later found was not true. Thus, I learned and was determined to make new ways and means from the same place where she was at her most fulfilled and happy self; her very own home. We arranged more family /friend gatherings and play dates at home. Moreover, some of her friends often joined her for few lessons weekly at our place. This gave her the joy of being with friends and having a learning…

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Mining A Diamond : Part 1

Don’t Call Me Shy “I am really considering homeschooling her!” I announced to my sister. “I have tried every other option, and nothing has given such satisfying results as homeschooling her these past six months. She has blossomed, I can tell she feels whole, accepted and she seems much happier,” I said persistently with determination and certainty in my heart. “How will she learn to be around other children of her age; how will she learn to defend herself and become a confident person?” she insisted. “Only if her personality…

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For The Love of Learning: Living It

Part 4 Live Learning “Just give me anything,” my oldest daughter said, when I kept asking her about how she wants to approach her high school curriculum. I was fishing for her interests and trying to customize her high school syllabus, but she seemed overwhelmed by the whole process. So I gave her the traditional curriculum. She started doing it and had no complaints whatsoever. But when I asked her what she learned, she replied, “I don’t know.” I was devastated. I believe this to be the result of our…

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For The Love of Learning: Start With Yourself

Part 3 Islam shouldn’t be restricted to rituals. It’s a way of life. Similarly, learning shouldn’t be restricted to the classroom. It should be a way of life. We are born with an innate love of learning that is usually crushed in the process of gaining an education because learning has been treated with such standardization that it has become something that is perceived to only happen in a certain setting. If your love of learning has been crushed, you have to go through a process of rediscovering it before…

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For The Love of Learning: Don’t Mind the Grades

Part 2 You will find very few parents who won’t ask their children, “So how did you do on your exam?” Attaining good grades has become the main focus of parents and students, because it has become the means through which perceived good education is achieved. Before there were grades, student evaluation was more individualized and subjective. Student evaluation was a form of feedback on particular tasks assigned by the teacher to a student.  The purpose was to help both teacher and student pinpoint what needed to be worked on…

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For The Love of Learning: Part 1

Part 1 Almost all mothers will testify to being bombarded with never ending questions from their preschoolers and kindergartners, to the point of aggravation. Children are born with a natural curiosity to learn about the world around them. Allah has given human beings the ability, capacity, and most importantly, desire to explore the blessings He has given us. In other words, you can’t stop a child from learning. He is like a ravenous caterpillar, chomping up all the juicy leaves he comes across. This is an apt description of a…

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