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 http://k12.com. 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: http://yemenlinks.com . 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

6 comments:

muslimbychoice said...

Asalaam 'Alaikum:

What tools/books/resources does your husband use in teaching your children in Arabic? I'd love to hear more as we are also struggling to teach our children.

Jazak Allah Khair,
Sumayyah Umm Sadiqah wa Asma

Um Nour said...

Assalaam alykom Sumayyah:

My husband is a Hafith in Quran he is certified to teach others to achieve the same. Therfore, a great deal of the children's education from him is centered around learning the Quran. Everyday they learn a new ayah or two depending on the length of the ayah. Also everyday they revist a surah or two that they have already learned and memorized. After they memorize an entire Jizah they review that Jizah over until it is very good. Keep in mind that they read directly from the Mushaff.MashAllah my son is on his 6th Jizah and my daughter is getting ready to start her third Alhamdolilah.
We had gotten some grammer books, reading books from Arabia when we lived there. We have ordered grammar books from a company called Noor Artistic Productions. They are out of Canada and the books are designed for the Arabic speaker not like the Irqra books which are designed for the English speaker to learn Arabic.
As far as reading we have story books in Arabic that people have sent from the Gulf. They are stories of the Prophet's and companions. We have some History books that came from the Saudi school system also. My husband usually asks them alot of comprehension questions with these.
For writing, the kids get a hadith from Bukhari or Muslim. It is a hadith that is relevent to teach them something. They have to copy it without mistakes.
This is a daily routine for the kids. I would stress this. Most parents that I know who either homeschool or not have their kids learning Arabic and religion once a week at a weekend school in the Masjid. In my opinion, this is not enough. It needs to be daily. Just like math, spelling and reading is daily in school.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can furthur help you.

Um Nour

muslimbychoice said...

Asalaam 'Alaikum:

Masha'Allah - it is wonderful that you have such a great resource as your husband! My husband usually teaches the girls - but only when he isn't busy working and studying - which is most of the time. My eldest goes to Qur'an school - but the teachers are not hafidh.

I'd love to send her to a teacher that is hafidh - and can each her Tajweed - but I don't know of any here.

I agree - Arabic and Islamic studies must be the most important part of their curriculum - thus, the weekends or one day a week is not enough.

Please let me know what books you decided to buy from Noor Art. My daughter is only 4 - so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Jazak Allah Khair,
Sumayyah Umm Sadiqah wa Asma

Um Nour said...

Assalam alykom Sumayyah:

I asked my husband about the books and He bought them from a company in Canada. He said he is not really using them now because he finds alot of mistakes and he does not always like the content. He is now trying to get books from overseas. If you know someone in your husband's country that can send books from their school system that would be good.
Also, putting Arabic into their lives anywhere you can helps. I really strive to do this. So, first yu must try and learn to read write and speak it. If you do not know already I know several women using this program:
http://www.madinaharabic.com/
I alhamdoliah was taught by my husband. Other ways to keep up the exposure is Arabic videos. I bought mine in Arabia while living there but I know they sell them here. They are cartoons with no music and all Islamic content in Arabic. Another way is nasheed for kids. The internet is full of them. here is a site that has some cartoons and nasheed.
http://kids.islamweb.net/kids/KidsCorner/KidsCorner.html
Keeping your children exposed to the language as much as you can assures their ability to speak it. I hope this helps.

Um Nour

muslimbychoice said...

Asalaam 'Alaikum:

Do you have any other wonderful arabic websites like that? My girls really liked that one, masha'Allah.

Jazak Allah Khair for sharing!

Asalaam 'Alaikum,
Sumayyah Umm Sadiqah wa Asma

umms said...

assalamualikum..

jazakAllah KASEERAN.