I Want to Read Only One

I’ve been blog-hopping recently, in an effort to look for ready-to-go Islamic Studies/Quran lesson plans/activities for Z. I’m at a point where I no longer have the time nor energy to brainstorm creative ideas for activities with him like I did with the older kids when they were this age. So I succumbed and have to admit defeat. Usually, I prefer to brainstorm my own activities, but I can’t afford to do that anymore, so I seek to be inspired and benefit from other Muslim homeschooling moms with young children.

When I first blog-hopped, it made me feel bad. I mean really bad. Here are these wonderful mothers, doing wonderful things with their children and it makes me feel guilty for not doing much with Z. Subhanallah. I remember that, way back, this was the very reason I avoided reading other homeschooling blogs. It stressed me out as I would compare myself to these amazing mothers.

But as I grew older and hopefully wiser, I realized that every family is different and that every family has different strengths just like individuals have different, unique strengths. I also remind myself that I am not a big fan of worksheets and following curricula, because I had done that with the older kids and feel that it is not the best way to learn and apply what is learned. It gives ‘ilm, but not necessarily the spiritual wisdom. That was why I looked into unschooling and am now an eclectic homeschooler.

So, after spending quite some time drooling over other moms’ beautiful activities with their kids, I began to get inspired to take a little bit of this and that and come up with my own, individualized activity plan for Z. I have unique struggles with teaching Z, so I looked at all the different things out there and these moms really have amazing activities! May Allah reward and accept it from them. Ameen!

Sumayyah’s post [Make Your Own Arabic Alphabet Letter Form Blocks] in particular inspired me to come up with a (hopefully) solution in teaching Z his Quranic Arabic reading. With S, I remember writing down the letter she had trouble with on the whiteboard in our living room. And everyday I would point it out to her until she finally gets that letter. With Z, our whiteboard is now full with stuff for the older kids. Subhanallah, I feel so bad for Z. I might start doing that for him, but after reading Sumayyah’s post I decided to do a similar thing, but with index cards. I went ahead and took a bunch of index cards I had sitting around for a while and cut them in half.

While I was doing this, I put on Shaikh Abdulbary Yahya’s lecture Love for the Sake of Allah.

After I was done cutting, I wrote the beginning, middle, and ending form of each letter, making sure to align the cut cards so they would join perfectly when put together. Then, I cut the top part of the cards and made these into the tashkeel cards, fatha, kasrah, dhammah, sukoon, dagger alif. Then I tied it altogether with a rubber band.

I tried it Z, but when he saw what it was, he immediately said,

“I don’t want to read it.”

Aargh!

I coaxed him, and he said,

“I want to read only one.”

Good enough. That’s what we did.

Today, he came to me with the card bundle and said,

“I want to do this.”

(!) Allahu Akbar!

So we did, but he put a condition on it,

“I want to read only one.”

As I was finishing up praying Isha just now, he came to me and said,

“I want to do this.”

So, we did.

Of course, he said, “I want to read only one.”

Well, as long as he keeps coming to me asking to read it, I guess I’m fine with him saying,

“I want to read only one.”

Last night, he did the activity with S, and surprisingly, they went beyond reading ‘only one‘. In fact, she even had him make up words!

This morning, I picked out some of the old Arabic writing workbooks we had bought from Malaysia years ago for the older kids and I gave some to him for writing in. It took some reverse psychology to get him to write as per instructions but he did do some. With Z, it’s more of a battle of wills. It’s not that he can’t do it, but he won’t, and he will do reverse psychology back on us.

Sep 24, 2012
S was 14, N was 13, H was 12, Z was 4

This is part of a series called ‘Been There Done That‘ where I share my old homeschooling blog posts. Each post will portray different aspects of homeschooling and show different days of homeschooling looked like for us years back. I have also evolved throughout the years with regards to my views and opinions. These old posts are as they were at the time I was penning them.

 

Juli Herman is a homeschooling mother of four children, two of which are now in college. While pursuing her BSc. in Computer Science, she had her first two children.  By the time she completed her final year, she was 100% certain of two things; stay home with her children, and rekindle her love of learning. As a bibliophile, Juli naturally instilled the love of reading to her children from a young age. Homeschooling became an obvious choice of education for her children as she read more about it. Through living a homeschooling lifestyle where love of learning is placed on a pedestal, she witnessed her children blossom into their respective areas of strength. Now that she has been homeschooling for over 19 years, she is glad she documented the journey on her homeschooling blog, which went through its own growth. Blogging has served as a great reminder of both the blessings and challenges of homeschooling to keep her going with the youngest child. Through it all, homeschooling has taught her a lot about the true meaning of tawakkul.

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