Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Do You Know Allah?

Assalam Alaykom:

The best way to know Allah is to read what He said about Himself in the Quran.

Know Allah by His words
Know Allah by His Names

Jesus in the Quran

Assalam alykom:

The best way to know Jesus is to read what Allah said about him in the Quran.

Jesus in the Quran

Monday, February 20, 2006

MWA Poetry Contest

Assalam alykom:

This is a wonderful opportunity for the older writers in the homeschooling world.

Announcing the Muslimah Writers Alliance First Annual People's Choice Poetry Competition and Blog!
The Muslimah Writers Alliance First Annual People's Choice Competition held in conjunction with National Poetry Month, April 1-30, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, is a free-style category contest open to anyone age 12 and up.This event is designed to support creativity and fun with writing in honor of National Poetry Month! Yes, it's a little early to start thinking about April, but not too early to start thinking about writing that poem! If you would like to enter your poem in MWA's First Annual People's Choice Poetry Competition, please be sure to include contact information when emailing your entries to: http://us.f326.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=PoetryContest@MuslimahWritersAlliance.com. Limit: 3 entries per person. There is no fee for entering this competition.DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: APRIL 21, 2006. Contest 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be announced and winning entries posted May 1, 2006, Insha'Allah. (Prizes to be announced, subscribe to contest blog for updates.) Copyright remains exclusive to you, the author and will be indicated at the bottom of each entry. VOTING: Each entry will be voted on by YOU the reader! The MWA contest blog has been set up to receive comments (votes), however, only registered users will be able to vote via the blog in order to deflect duplicate votes from being made. If you do not wish to vote as a registered user, you may cast your vote via email. A comment (vote) link is shown under each entry posted on the contest blog. When commenting (voting) on entries, please leave your Poem Rating. Each poem is rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Any comment/vote that does not specifically include a rating will not be counted as a vote. Submit your entry today and don't forget to share the blog link (http://www.mwapeopleschoice.blogspot.com/) with your friends, insha'Allah!To learn more about Muslimah Writers Alliance visit: http://www.muslimahwritersalliance.com/ To Join Muslimah Writers Alliance visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Muslimah_Writers_AllianceVisit The Academy of American Poets at http://www.poets.org/Copyright © Muslimah Writers Alliance 2006. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Homeschooling Burnout

Assalam Alykom:

Around this time of year, I usually start suffering from homeschooling burnout. I think it is very normal because you have been working hard for about six months. Things start to pile up about this time and the ambiance and excitement of starting the new school year is long gone. The only thing you want at this point is to just finish for the summer.

Well, this is the first year I did not feel like that. I think the reason is because I am more organized and I know what to expect. I think that having high expectations is a large factor in suffering from burnout. Do not have lofty goals with your children. Do not do more than your children can handle. Make sure that your goals are realistic and attainable. The other reason that I think I did not experience this burnout is that I am more organized this year. I remodeled our study room last summer to make our accommodations comfortable. Our "classroom" is a more pleasant place to be now. We do not dread coming in every morning. I strived to make it a comfortable room. After all, we are only spending 5 to 6 hours a day in it. On the subject of organization, I have done a better job in mastering the housework with the homeschooling. I think the housework is another big contributor to
burnout. If you can overcome that, you are on your way to avoiding this setback in homeschooling. Here is a nice link with many articles that can help you with homeschooling burnout.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Google Earth

Assalam Alykom:

This is my latest find for homeschooling. It is Google Earth. I found it to be a highly prized asset to homeschooling. In the history for my children, we are studying Asia. In particular, we are concentrating on the country of China. The children just learned how the Ming Dynasty ruled China for many years. They also just studied the Forbidden City, which was built by one of the Ming emperors. Here is a view from the Google Earth of the city. The satellite picture is amazingly clear. It is exactly the printout that came in the kids history. Have a look:
After downloading the program,(which is free by the way). The kids and I have been thinking of all kinds of places we should visit. Here are some of the places that we have been to so far.

The City of Chicago

Niagara Falls, Canada

The Grand Canyon,USA

The Pyramids of Egypt

Basically, it is a 3D view of the planet. It is interactive in a way which makes you appear that you are flying to each place you are searching. Many of the places have a 3 dimensional look to them. Not all places are so visible. For example, I tried Mecca and Medinah, and they are very blurry. Back on the subject of China, I also tried the Great Wall of China and was unable to locate it. It is fun to look up your own house. The kids and I did this too. You just put your street address and the Google Earth will fly you there. I encourage you to download this program if you can. I found it to be very educational, fun and exciting at the same time.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Homeschooling Multiple Children with Toddlers

Assalm alykom:

I have four children. The ages are 10,8,3 and 18 months. Homeschooling this variety of ages can be very challenging. The biggest part of the challenge comes from the toddlers. This can be very distracting to the older children who are trying to concentrate and pay attention. During school, my toddlers have done quite a bit to distract everything. They have written on the walls, climbed on the desk,torn up the books, ate markers and crayons. Then there is the everyday tasks that involve todddlers. The tasks involve breaking up disputes amongst them, feeding them, change their diapers, potty train them. The list is endless. So, you may ask how do you do it? Well the first thing you have to realize is they are toddlers and that is how they are. You can do your best to limit the distractions but always keep in your mind that this is how they are. If you remember this it can relieve a lot of frustration.
Here are some things that I have done to entertain my toddlers:

I recently have bought several buckets of foam stickers. I found them at Wal-mart for around $5. They are big and easy to peel the stickers. My three year old will sit for at least a 1/2 hour and play with them. I also found large foam beads that she can easily string. She strings them and them takes them off and starts again. Recently, I found a box of 1000 little stickers at the dollar store. My daughter mixes them with her foam stickers and has fun.

I make my toddlers homemade playdough. I add food coloring or tempera paints to the salt dough recipe. I also add glitter sometimes to make it even more exciting. I have all kinds of tools such as cookie cutters and plastic utensils. I also found at the dollar store all kinds of neat tools just for playdough. I keep everything in a large closed tub and the girls play with it when they want.

Over the years, I have picked up things to keep everyone busy . The large Lego blocks are good. I have all sizes of wooden blocks also. I have wooden puzzles and foam puzzles with various themes. While they become bored with these items quickly, taking them out from time to time does help.

Making your toddler feel included in your homeschooling atmosphere is important. Give your child some assignments so your toddler feels included. The child may feel jealous when you are working with your older children. I give my toddlers some coloring pages and worksheets to work on. Here are some links that I use:

I use to be worried about the educational benefits of my older children with all these distractions. However, kids are very resilient. They can adjust easily. A teacher from the K12 program I am using informed me that kids have the ability to concentrate easily with many distractions. She said that an adult who sits and reads a book, has to concentrate on that book with limited distractions. However, she said a child has the ability to concentrate easier with many things developing around them. It must be true because my children do quite well considering all that happens in our homeschool.