Friday, December 30, 2005

Flower Pot Dirt Cake

This is a great dessert. It is so easy to make. It does not require any baking and it is delicious. I like to take it to someone's house as a gift. If you have guests over, it makes a great conversational piece. I made this one when I had some family visiting. The oreo cookies look just like dirt. I have seen variations where they put it in a sand bucket and serve it with shovels. Here is the recipe:

1 package of Oreo cookies(I use the generic from Wal -Mart. They work just fine).
8oz. package of cream cheese
1/3 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of soft butter
2 packages of 3oz. Vanilla pudding
12oz. of cool whip
1 large flower pot (I use a plastic one)
Decorations: silk plants

Line flower pot with foil. Blend the Oreo cookies in a food processor to make crumbs. This is what looks like dirt. Mix pudding according to the directions. In a medium bowl mix cream cheese , butter and sugar with electric mixer. In a large bowl blend this mixture with the pudding. Fold in the cool whip. Put one layer of the cookie crumb mixture in the bottom of the flower pot. Then, put a layer of the filling. Alternate until the pot is full ending with the cookie crumbs. Make sure you have enough cookie crumbs so you do not see the filling. It should look just like a pot of dirt. Chill for several hours. When you are ready to serve it, insert the flowers. Lastly, enjoy it!!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Is there blessing in pain?

I was watching the news the other night and they had a toddler on a segment who could not feel pain. She could not be left alone in her house. She had to always wear a helmet and body gear for fear she would harm herself. This started me thinking because I have a toddler. When she first discovered that she could climb on the couch, she had no fear. After she fell a few times she learned to be more careful. She loves to play with our cat. At first she would do anything to him. She would pull his ears or his tail. She learned very fast that he has nails and sharp teeth. She now is a little more careful how she plays with him. If she could not feel the pain all of these actions could cause her grave injuries. After seeing this girl on television, I realize that Allah and His Ultimate Wisdom gave us the feeling of pain as a protection for us in this life. Allah also gave us another blessing associate with pain.

Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that."

This hadeeth is a huge encouragement for us when we are experiencing pain. Whatever the reason the pain, whether it is from sadness or sickness, and the extremity of the pain is not of concern. It is all a cause for removal of our sins InshAllah. Therefore, if we are experiencing pain we should realize the ultimate benefits of it all.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A beautiful Riddle

Well we finished our last unit in composition today. This is the last poem for my son. This poem style they taught has to be a riddle. See if you can guess it!

I am black, brown, green and gold.
I say Oh people Allah's rope you should hold.
I guide people to the straight path.
I save alot of people from Allah's rath.
I am friends with Ramadaan.
I always turn the minds of people on
What am I? The Quran!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Hajj.............. a poem for help with writing

The K12 cirriculum has the children starting with cursive writing in second grade. My son complained that he did not want to practice each day. They had him practice each day with phrases and sentences . I did not care for what they had him write. Each day I would find a joke or a riddle and made him write this. He became excited about it and was more eager to learn a new joke. When the Hajj season came I sat and wrote for him this poem. Each day I would have him write a line or two. Well my daughter is in second grade this year, and I will have her write this

coming up soon. Inshallah this poem is something you find helpful in homeschooling.

The Month of Hajj is soon to come

To Mecca the people will begin to run

Around the Kaaba they will make Tawaaf

Then, to Arafat they will be off

On Arafat the people will stand

Then the next day Eid Aludha will begin

In the Eid morning together we will pray

Then the rest of the day it is eat, run, and play

Now it is off to Moozdelifah where the pilgrims will stay

Their stop in this place is until the next day

The next place is Mina where the pilgrims will go

At this stop is the Jammrah and pebbles they’ll throw.

The tenth day of Hajj for the pilgrims is busy indeed

But for the rest of the Muslims it is the Eid.

The pilgrims are busy to Mecca they return

They have the hopes that all of these good deeds they will soon earn

One of these acts is sacrificing a sheep

Then they will trim their hair with still the hope of good deeds to reap

Again the pilgrims will make Tawaaf

Then running between Saffa and Marwa they will be off

On the 11th day of Hajj back to Mina they will go

For the next three days at the Jammrah they will throw.

The Hajj for the pilgrims is coming to an end

They are hoping that Allah accepted it all from where they began

There is one more thing that the pilgrims must make

It is seven more times around the Kaaba for Allah’s sake

Back to their lives the pilgrims return

Hoping Allah accepted all that they earned

He is a poet and I did not know it

In the k12 curriculum, we are working on poetry in the composition section. They have a workbook called Writing in Action. They have the children do several exercises then they have them do the writing. I think writing is the most dreaded thing for children to want to do. This workbook makes it somewhat fun for them. I am really impressed with it. It really teaches the child to become a good writer. This last lesson was making a metaphorical poem. The lesson had them go through and think of different metaphors. For example "The night sky is like.........My son put a monster" Another example is "A traffic light is like.........My son put a boss" From one of these examples my son had to write his own poem. Here is what he wrote:

The Car Boss
The traffic light is awake day and night
It thinks that it is the governor
It does not let the cars go any further
It stretches out its big hand
to stop the cars from passing her land

Friday, December 02, 2005

Having a Little Fun

"The Prophet Muhammed said that smiling in the face of your brother is Charity."

Homeschooling can be strenuous at times, therefore maintaining a little fun and laughter is essential for it to have success. Here are some fun things that happened to us this week.

My seven year old daughter came up with this cute riddle:

Where do flowers sleep?
Answer: A flower bed Ha, Ha,

My three year old daughter has this story: We were doing a art project involving painting. Of course my three year old was involved with the whole process. After we finished we went to eat lunch. While we were sitting at the table my three year old proceeded to tell her father that mama said a bad word today. I asked her, what did I say? She told her father that I said the word "Paintbrush" and that was a bad word. Well we were all laughing so much but she was really serious. Well, I am very careful now when I say "paintbrush" around her.

This week my son had to write a silly poem for his composition. He did a really nice job. We all laughed a little with this one.

The Robber

A hen went looking for food.
She was so rude.
She went past the gate.
She took a fisherman's bait.
She went to the beach.
She took a man's peach.
She went to a roof.
She took a horse's hoof.
She went to the moon.
She stole a balloon.
She went to a person who sings.
She stole his rings
Then she ate all those things!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The King and the Boy

Do you know this Surah in the Quran?

By the heaven with its constellations, by the Promised Day, by the witness and that which is witnessed, slain be the men of the Pit, the fire abounding in fuel, when they sat around it, watching what they did to the believers. They took vengeance on them for no reason save that they believed in Allah, the Almighty, the Praised One, the Sovereign of the heavens and the earth, Who witnesses all things. Those who persecute the believers, men and women, and do not repent shall suffer the chastisement of Hell, the chastisement of burning. But those who believe and do righteous deeds shall have gardens with Rowing rivers; that is the great success. Stern indeed is your Lord's vengeance. He is surely the One who originates His creation and re creates them. He is All-forgiving, Compassionate, Lord of the Throne, the Glorious, Performer of what He wills. Have you heard the story of the warriors, of Pharoah and Thamoud? Yet the disbelievers persist in their denials. But Allah surrounds them all. This is indeed a glorious Qur'an, inscribed on a well-guarded tablet.

This is Surah Al-Burooj. This Surah mentions the people of the pit, or sometimes referred to the people of the ditch. These people had a special boy amongst him. As Muslim parents, we should know about this boy. His story should inspire our children. We should not let Harry Potter and his likes be our childrens' inspirations. I think that the sorcery and imaginitive scenes peak childrens' interests. This is why they crave them as a source of entertainment. Well stories like this are present in Islam. The story of this boy and a king contain the elements of magic and excitement that children want. This boy should be one of the heros that we want our children to talk about. This boy shows courage and bravery at its highest limits. Let stories like these be the "entertainment" that enter your children's hearts and minds. To read the complete story about this boy you can find it in Ibn Kathir's book Stories of the Quran. It is available to read online here:

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Hud-Hud or Hoopoe Bird

Is it not an exquisite bird? This bird is called the Hud-Hud in Arabic and the Hoopoe in English. Do you know the significance of this bird to Islam? Well we all should know because it is tied to a fascinating story about the Prophet of Allah Suliman. Nowadays there is so much talk and popularity with sorcery and magic. Harry Potter has become the literary icon of our times. Parents are thrilled that their children are excited about reading because of these books. Well we as Muslim should be terrified to have our children read such evil. If magic is the rage of the times and doing unbelievable things are the excitement of our children, you do not have to go very far to find these exciting stories in Islam. The Story of Suliman is packed full of this kind of excitement. Did you know that Suliman could talk to and understand this beautiful bird Hud-Hud? Did you know that he could communicate and control many animals? He also employed and controlled the Jinns. He had them build him beautiful palaces with glass floors. Did you know that he controlled the wind and used it to help him travel? I encourage you as parents to instill in your children these stories. Steer them away from the evil stories that corrupt their minds. Here is a link for Suliman's story.

You can find other books for young children that have stories of the Prophets here:
For adults, it is recommend to purchase Ibn Kathir's Stories of the Prophets. This book is available at almost any Islamic bookstore.

Here is some other great information and pictures related to the Hud-Hud :

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Once it is lost it is impossible to retrieve.......

Do you know what it is? It runs out very fast and it does not have legs? Have you guessed it yet? You can spend it and it does not cost you any money. Well, if you do not know the answer to some of these questions, the answer is:
Time is a precious commodity. It is an important item in the life of a Muslim. The passing of time quickly is a sign of the Judgment Day. How a Muslim spends his time is also significant to his outcome. As you can see from this hadith we will be questioned about it.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: No one will be permitted to turn his two feet away on the Day of Resurrection until he is questioned about four matters: about his life, how he spent it; his youth, how he employed it; his work, what he did with it; and his wealth, how he earned it and spent it. [Sunan al-Tirmidh®]
Homeschooling requires an organization of your time. It is essential to schedule time slots for everything. Schedule a time for the classes you will teach, and every break that you may have. Once you have created this schedule, try your best to stick to it. Granted there are unexpected things that arise(like my three year old and my 15 month old). However, sticking close to it will ensure you the progress of finishing your work for the day.
A handy tool that is a must have and can save time is a timer. When you want to give them a 15 min. break, you need to time it with the timer. If not ,that 15 min. can turn into 45 mins in a blink of the eye. When you give an assignment that should only take 20mins, time your child or they will waste time and take an hour.
Expect homeschooling to take almost all of your day. My children wake at around 7:00am and we start at 8:00am . With all our breaks and all the interruptions from my little ones we finish between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. It took me along time not to get frustrated with the "Time"issue. It does take a great deal of time to homeschool, but remember your reasons for doing it. For the sake of Allah and the hopes He is pleased with your efforts.

A Hero

Do you have a hero? Does your children have a hero? Maybe 50 to 60 years ago, a hero might have been a teacher, doctor, nurse, firefighter or policeman. Nowadays, the hero is the basketball player, singer,dancer or actor that makes 20million+/year. The hero's of the past did not make millions and they were portrayed to have morals and values and good character. These so-called hero's of today may make millions but most of them have children out of wedlock, arrest records,and a violent past. There are even fantasy characters that children call their hero,such as Harry Potter. All of these false hero's instill characteristics that are in completely against the teachings of Islam. These negative hero's promote money as something to worship, they do not promote marriage as a sanctity for the family, they promote violence , witchcraft and the list can be endless. I think that it is time to go back to the hero's of Islam. Do we really know them? They are the stories from Quran, Hadith, The Prophets, the Companions. Do we really know these stories?Are our children creating a sense about them ? Are they the hero's in our lives? Here is a story about a companion named Salamah bin Al-Akwa. He is an athlete you need to tell your children about. He was an extremely fast runner. Here is his story taken from Sahiha Bukhari:

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 507 Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa: Once I went (from Medina) towards (Al-Ghaba) before the first Adhan of the Fajr Prayer. The she-camels of Allah's Apostle used to graze at a place called Dhi-Qarad. A slave of 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf met me (on the way) and said, "The she-camels of Allah's Apostle had been taken away by force." I asked, "Who had taken them?" He replied "(The people of) Ghatafan." I made three loud cries (to the people of Medina) saying, "O Sabahah!" I made the people between the two mountains of Medina hear me. Then I rushed onward and caught up with the robbers while they were watering the camels. I started throwing arrows at them as I was a good archer and I was saying, "I am the son of Al-Akwa', and today will perish the wicked people." I kept on saying like that till I restored the she-camels (of the Prophet), I also snatched thirty Burda (i.e. garments) from them. Then the Prophet and the other people came there, and I said, "O Allah's Prophet! I have stopped the people (of Ghatafan) from taking water and they are thirsty now. So send (some people) after them now." On that the Prophet said, "O the son of Al-Akwa'! You have over-powered them, so forgive them." Then we all came back and Allah's Apostle seated me behind him on his she-camel till we entered Medina.

Is this not a great story. As you can see he ran so fast he caught up with the thieves. You can probably guess that the thieves where not on foot like Salamah. There was and advertising campaign not long ago presuding people to be like the athlete Michael Jordan. It said "Be like Mike" Well let us as parents start our own advertising campaign amongst our families. Let us begin to know who our hero's are . That way we do not have to be like Mike or anyone else the media promotes. We can be like Prophet Muhammad, the four Calipha, the companions, the Mother's of the believers and the son of Al-akwah. I hope to share more stories of "our" hero's so keep checking back!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Where do you began?

When people ask me about homeschooling, I almost always get the question about what type of curriculum is best. When I started out, my husband and I mainly concentrated on the Arabic. Around age four the kids recognized the letters, and then began to trace them, and then by five they could read and write simple words. At age 5, I did not buy any curriculum in English. I just taught them myself to read and write and do simple Math. Once my son turned 6 and my daughter 5, I had heard of the K12 It was a pilot program starting up in my state and I decided to try it. It is actually public school from home. They provide the books, computer ,printer, and teacher assistance. They even pay $12.00/month for your internet connection. Well did I mention that this is all free because it is public school. It is a good curriculum and has very intense learning objectives. This is the positives. The downside for me is the time constraint to finish the curriculum. It is public school. Therefore ,you have nine months to complete the year. I do not like to feel rushed and sometimes this curriculum makes me feel this way. Also, you have to participate in the state standard testing. I hate these tests. I do not feel they reflect the true learning degree of the child.
As far as the Arabic, my husband continues to give the children a full lessons of Quran, History, reading/writing and Hadith. These studies are all done in Arabic. May Allah bless my husband's efforts. I have two younger daughters one is three and the other 15 months. With my three year old I have been giving her Arabic Alphabet material from this site: . This site is very nice and the material is great for the little ones starting out to learn Arabic. May Allah bless the efforts of the sister who developed it.
In closing, I think buying a curriculum is a risky task. You never really know how it is going to be unless you try it. While considering what to do, I would research and take recommendations of those who are already have tried certain curriculums. This way, you have seen actual experiences to go by

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Painted Mountains

Allah said:
{و لله الأسماء الحسنى فدعوه بها}7:180 {The Beautiful Names are Allah's,thus call upon Him with them}

One of Allah's names means beautiful. It is:الجميل Al-jameel (The Beautiful). This picture I found on the net. It is a picture of wild desert flowers blooming in the mountains of California. It is as if someone painted the beautiful flowers onto the mountains. However, Allah is: الخالق Al-khaaliq (The Creator) and He also told us He is: الخلا ق Al-khllaaq (The Creator, emphasis is on varieties of created matters). Therefore, it is clear who created this beauty for us to enjoy. Thank Allah for your eyes that He created for you to see it and for your heart He created for you to feel the joy from it.

These translations where taken from Visit the site to learn more of the Names of Allah.

The Start

Assalm Alaykom:

Well, I see so many blogs nowadays, I thought I might try one for myself. I am a mother of 3 girls and 1 boy. I homeschool them with Allah's help. I have two purposes in creating this blog. One is to help other families with homeschooling. Maybe others can learn and be helped from my experiences. I also want to bring people back to the essence of Islam. That would be through faith or iman. Sometimes in our busy lives we forget and sometimes all we know about Islam is the rules. However, do we really know how to apply it all to our hearts? Do we really know our Lord, Allah. I think Muslims do not explore this area enough and I hope to extend some exploration.

Um Nour