Sunday, December 30, 2007


I think that my children should memorize poems and stories as part of their studies. I am not seeing that too much in the books I have used for them. Therefore, I am doing it myself. In the 1928 English book I have they have a whole section about memorizing different pieces of poems or stories. I found this one beautiful poem about somebody's mother. I am having my son memorize it. He complained a little, but he is able to accomplish it. Here is the poem. The author is unknown.


The woman was old, and ragged, and gray,

And bent with a chill of the winter's day;

The steet was wet with a recent snow,

And the woman's feet were aged and slow.

She stood at the crossing and waited long,

Alone, uncared for, amid the throng

Of human beings who passed her by,

Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.

Down the street, with laughter and shout,

Glad in the freedom of "school let out,"

Came the boys like a flock of sheep,

Hailing the snow piled white and deep.

Past the woman so old and gray

Hastened the children on their way,

Nor offered a helping hand to her-

So meek, so timid, afraid to stir

Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet

Should crowd her down in the slippery street.

At last came one of the merry troop-

The gayest laddie of all the group;

He paused beside her and whispered low,

"I'll help you across if you wish to go."

Her aged hand on his strong arm

She placed, and so, without hurt or harm

He guided the trembling feet along,

Proud that his own were firm and strong.

Then back again to his friends he went,

His young heart happy and well content.

"She's somebody's mother, boys you know,"

For she's aged poor and slow;

"And I hope some fellow will lend a hand

To help my mother, you understand,"

"If ever she's poor and old and gray,

When her old dear boy is far away."

And "somebody's mother" bowed her head

In her home that night and the prayer she said

Was "God , be kind to the noble boy,

Who is somebody's son and pride and joy!"

Author Unkown

I tried to put these in stanzas. Blogger does not like to cooperate always and the spaces did not show up. I hope you can still find it easy to read. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Life is Precious

Isn’t it oxymoronic to dishonor God so as to make another person honor God? To read more, please see:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An old book brings a new light

I picked up this 1928 6th grade English book in a yard sale recently. The book is by a current famous publisher, Houghton Mifflin. I only paid a dollar for it,but I found it worth more than that. My son is in 6th grade and I decided to use it with him. The book seems to be much more advanced that the books that we have today. It concentrates a great deal on spoken speech as well as written speech. I love what the beginning of the book says. It gives the purpose of the books as follows:
This book is intended for the 6th grade in elementary school. It endeavors to aid pupils during this formative year in establishing habits of thought and expression that will prove a permanent value.
I hope to use this book for its intended purpose. I have picked up many books lately from the 1920's and 1930's. I have bought many for teaching and many for myself to read. The language is so rich in these older books and the themes are more innocent and moral. I hope to share more from my 1928 English book.

Looking through a window

This project is partly part of the Oak Meadow 4th grade curriculum and partly my idea. My daughter and I each made one. Here is how we did it.

Items needed:

  • Card stock paper white

  • water colors blue, green, red,yellow and paintbrushes

  • crayons

  • construction paper, brown

  • small amount of fabric

I painted the ground green with very light painting. The sky was done the same way in blue. I waited for this to dry. Then, I drew the tree and the falling maple seeds with a brown crayon. Then, I painted the leaves onto the tree with various fall colors. I cut the window frame from construction paper and glued on top of the picture. Finally, I positioned scraps of material for the curtains. I just stapled them on to the artwork to give the window appearance.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Assalm alykom:
I always loved this game as a child. So, I thought I would make one for my kids. I found this template of the donkey.
The pattern is for felt, but I thought I could just as well do paper. I made the donkey, the sun and the flowers out of construction paper. I painted the sky and the mountains out of water color paints. The board is just a cardboard display poster board that folds out. This way I can store it away easily. I glued everything on with modge podge. I even painted the whole board with it. This way, it keeps it lasting longer. It is like a varnish coat. I glued with a hot glue gun the mane from fringe. I also glued pony beads on the saddle. I put clear tape on the tail to act as a laminate, and then, I hot glued the left over fringe to the tails. My five year old thought the game was to hard and was always taking her blind fold off. Now, she likes it after she plays with her siblings.

A Morning Stroll on the Beach

Assalm alykom:

There is a famous hadith that says:

If you say 100 times a day, "Subhanna Allah wa be Hamdi" (Glory be to Allah, with His praise), your sins would be removed even if it were as much as the foam of the sea.

With our morning stroll on the beach there was a great deal of foam that reminded me of the above hadith. My son found this big crab that morning. He placed his pincher on the edge of his shirt. I did not think his pincher was so strong. It took two of us to pry the pincer apart. Al hamdolilah it did not pincher our fingers!

Here is a nice water bird we shot also.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Field Trip

Assalam Alykom:

Taking field trips, in my opinion, are very essential to homeschooling. The advantages are numerous. My children and I begin to have would I call homeschooling cabin fever. We are always in the house together doing school. It really helps for us to get out. If you make the trip an educational one, it is a learning experience you can integrate with your studies. Our trip was to the Ponce de Leon light house. It is the largest working light house in the United States. Yes, My children and I climbed over 200 steps up and 200 steps down. It was raining that day and the steps were so slick. Needles to say it was pretty thrilling and scary for my five year old and three year old. Once we got to the top, you can see our view. It was pretty breath taking!

Here is a look from the steps. This is going up from the bottom.

This is one of the old glass lights that was used. Just beautiful!

After the light house visit, we stumbled upon a marine science center and animal hospital. This was great! I was able to pick up all kinds of literature for free. We have been using them to learn from for about a month now. Here are some of the animals that we took pictures of at the center. They even had an I.C.U. unit for sick and injured sea turtles.

This trip was very inexpensive. It is very easy to find small museums in most cities. They are most of the time free or a very minimal fee. I encourage you all to take the time to take a break sometimes!

The Spider

Surah 29 AL-ankabut(The Spider)
From Ayah 41 Allah says: "The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah is that of the spider, who builds (to itself) a house; but truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider's house;- if they but knew. "
I took this picture of a spider that I saw making her web between two trees. I found her to be quite amazing. I was amazed at her markings after I viewed the picture. Look how her head looks like a small rabbit's face is painted on it. Let me know if you see it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Math for Muslims

Assalm alykom:
I always dreamed of an integrated curriculum made by Muslims. I think it could encompass every subject. So far now, I just make little things here and there that gives my children a sense of commonality with what they are studying. I was searching for math worksheets the other day, and I thought I should just make my own using clip art on Microsoft. She loved it. I used one of the problems with a woman wearing hijab and she was so happy with it. I hope to make her more of these.

Learning Arabic

Assalam alykom:

My son Nour who is eleven and my daughter Muryam who is nine can read write and speak Arabic fluently. Now, is the time to teach my daughter Zaynab who is five and my daughter Faatimah who is three. Even though I am American, I have been blessed to be able to speak, read and write Arabic. I speak formal Arabic and it was my wonderful husband who taught me. I can teach the children myself, until they reach the level of needing the grammar. This is where I have never been able to excel, yet! However, I am not giving up. As far as teaching the young ones, this is how I began. We start about four years of age just recognizing the letters and their sounds. This lovely sister has a great site for manipulatives. I have used many things on this site. After they are able to recognize the letters and the sound of the letters, we began writing the letters and using words that began with each letter. This is what I will concentrate on for most of the year. Arabic has many curves in the letters and this will take a great of practice for the child to master it. Probably towards the end of this year, I will start to introduce the Tashqueel. This is the Fatah, Dumah and Kaserah sound for each letter. Next year, I will start to work on the letters when they are in different positions in the word.

The notebook pictured above is a composition book for early years. I just draw a picture in it of the letter, and she practices writing the letter. Here are letters that I printed out from sister Sumayyah's site. I printed the clip art from Microsoft. I printed two pictures of each sound of a letter. We use it as a memory game or just matching letter sounds. I laminated them before I cut them all up to preserve them longer.

Here is a connect the dots using the Arabic alphabet. I just drew it myself first and then erased the lines.

Here is the finished picture that Zaynab did.

Here is another worksheet that I made Zaynab. I just typed the letters out and then used clip art to match a picture that has the beginning sound. If anyone would like me to email this one, just send me an email, and I will be more than happy to send it.

The Red Tide

Assalm alykom:
We are temporarily staying in a condo on the beach. Last week a natural event was taking place. It is called Red Tide. Red Tide is actually algae blooming off of the coast. This type of algae is toxic and kills a great deal of the marine life. The ocean appears to have a red a brown tint to it, hence the name Red Tide. For us humans, the Red Tide was affecting the air. When we went outside, it would cause us to cough and sneeze and would cause irritation to the eyes and nose. As far as swimming in it, we did not. However, the news reports said you could swim, but it may cause a rash. I was not taking my chances with the kids. One thing it did provide for us was a giant interactive science lab. My son Nour needed to observe a water habitat and make a map of it and my daughter, Muryam needed to find lines, shape and geometric patterns in nature.

The waves were rough, so the young sea turtles were washing back up to shore. We found a conservationist saving them. She said they were not affected by the Red Tide, but they were tired from the rough seas. She was collecting them and taking them to a rehabilitation center. She said these were about a year old.

I really love these sea horses and the star fish. Nour just finished a research report on the process of mummification. He learned in his research that these two animal naturally mummify once they are exposed to air. Well, that was enough information for them to start drying the dead ones that they found on the shore. The starfish actually looks like a rubber or plastic toy. It is dark purple and bright orange. I almost did not pick it up because I really thought it was a rubber toy.

Nour had to draw a diagram and label the parts of a water habitat, we took pictures of some of the fish that were along the shore. Then we went home and tried to find their names.

These are Atlantic Spade fish.

This one we were never able to identify. Nour calls it a Monster Fish because it is so weird looking, Subhannallah!

These little fish are called Mullet.

Here is Nour's diagram of his beach habitat.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A field of black eyed susan

Assalam alykom:
These shots were taken in a field off of Lake Jessup in Oviedo, Florida. We were on a toll road traveling to Daytona Beach from Orlando. The view was just breath taking, and Thank God we had the camera in the car. When we got out on the side of the rode, the smell was very over powering and so sweet. It looked just like a sea of yellow and smelled like sweet perfume. The beauty that Allah gives His creations are so magnificent! The bottom picture looks like a black eyed susan, but I am not sure if it is one. I shot this one off the beach near Daytona.

Salt dough project

Assalm Alykom:

My five year old is reviewing her alphabet right now. At the same time, we are daily learning the English alphabet along with the Arabic alphabet. We made some things out of salt dough that represented the letter we were working on. The "B" is shaped like a butterfly and the apples are for the Arabic letter "ta". This would be the word "tifaha" for apple. Here is how we did them.

Materials used:

  • Salt dough(take any recipe from the internet)

  • Acrylic paint

  • Assortment of plastic pony beads

  • Plastic craft string

  • Paint brush

  • Clear nail polish

Directions: After we formed the shape we wanted, we poked a hole in the top to run the plastic craft string. We then baked them in the oven until they were very hard. I put it around 300 degrees. Be careful not to burn them. Allow them to cool. Then we painted them with acrylic paint. Paint them on both sides so you can use them as a pendant for the necklace. After they are really dry, I painted them with clear nail polish. This is basically a varnish to preserve them. Once this was dry, both my three year old and my five year old daughter were able to string the beads they wanted on the necklace. It makes a really nice project, and it reminds them of the letter they learned.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Learning about Shapes

Assalm alykom:

You probably think that I am going to tell you some pointers about teaching shapes to young children. Well, actually this was a lesson for my fourth grade daughter and me. In the Oak Meadow cirriculum, the science starts out with alot of observing. I was skeptical about it at first. I was thinking what is the point to all this. They provide these small jewelers loupes for looking at things close up. They have the student go and look at things in nature to look for shapes. Look at the wing of a dragon fly, the bark on a tree, flowers, or leaves. From these observations, they want you to look for shapes. Look for obvious shapes such as circles and squares. Also, they should look for shapes that are not defined. After all these observations, they are to go and look at early primitive tools and artifacts. They want the student to look for the shapes that these early people carved or painted on these artifacts. Then, the point is that these early people did not know shapes. They were not taught these shapes in school like us. They have never seen these shapes. These early people learned shapes through looking and observing Allah's creations. Therefore, if the student also observes Allah's creations closely, he or she will inevitably learn something. I am 39 years old, and this was something I learned that was new about shapes!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Decorating Notebooks

Assalm Alykom:
This year, I am having my older children write in a journal every couple of days. Sometimes, I tell them what to write, and sometimes, I let them write anything. They love poetry that rhymes, and most of the time the will write a poem if I did not give them something to write about.
We decided to decorate their journals to make it more personal and fun. Here is how we did it:

Materials Needed:

  • composition notebook

  • flat items to place on the book. we used pressed flowers, cards and construction paper. Other suggestions would be: fabric, wrapping paper, stickers, cut up magazine pictures. I do not suggest computer printouts. The ink tends to bleed.

  • Modge Podge gloss (you can pick up at any craft store or craft section in Wal-mart)

  • paint brush

Brush a coat of Modge Podge on the notebook. Next, we carefully put a piece of construction paper the size of the book. Then, we put another coate of Modge Podge on the top of the paper. Next, we put our flat objects on the top of this. Again, you apply another coat of Modge Podge. Be sure to apply the coats evenly. The Modge Podge is very thick and leaves streaks. Finally. we would continue to put several coats of Modge Podge until we achieved to gloss we liked. Make sure you let the Modge Podge dry in between each coat. If not. it will be a thick goopy mess.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Oak Meadow

Assalm alykom:
Well, we have been using Oak Meadow for a month now. We really like it so far. The grades that I am teaching is 6th, 4th and kindergarten. The 6th and 4th grade are designed to have the children explore and research the subject areas on their own. This exploration has a great deal of hands on work such as creating maps and creating models of things. There is also a great deal of writing and reading involved in these upper grades. The children expressed to me that they like it because it is not just sitting down an memorizing definitions and concepts. While they were attending the Islamic school last year, they told me that the curriculum and the studies were so boring. Through the projects, they are having fun while they learn. They give the children several projects to choose from each time. Therefore, they are also involved in their own decision making process. They do not have the children reading short stories in a reading book. They are reading classic novels and most of them I like. I sent some of them back because I did not approve of the content. I intend to have them substitute with something more approving. This way they still get the quality reading that is needed. This curriculum is great if you also have multiple children. There is only a couple of books that you work from and no workbooks. All their work is done in notebooks. Therefore, if you maintain the books you can just pass it down to the next child. It is also very affordable. After checking with other curriculum's, this was the least expensive. The kindergarten is very laid back. My daughter already knows how to write the alphabet and can even read a few sight words. The kindergarten has them just learning the alphabet. I am using this repetition as a review for her and trying to spend more time on her Arabic letters. The stories they have them reading are the Beatrice Potter stories with Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny. I like these classical stories because they are not full of the sorcery like most fairy tales that they are exposed to at this age. There are many great crafts that are included, and I am excited about doing them all. If anyone would like more information or questions about my experiences, please feel free to email me in the box of my side bar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Learning about bugs

Assalm alykom:

Last week my husband was giving a khutbah about Fasting in Melbourne, Florida. The kids and I decided to tag along and join him. After Jumah, we were waiting for some time for my husband to talk with the people. My kids were exploring the grounds of this unfamilair masjid, and they found this HUGE bug. I always encourage my children to explore the outdoors. With this sense in mind, they see so many things and notice so much about Allah's creation. Some parents inhibit this type of exploration because they find outdoor items to have germs, or they do not want them to get dirty. This limits the imagination of the child. Encourging outdoor exploration can be a science lesson, a writing assignment or just a love to the creator that made it so wonderful. This bug looked like many nature shows of insects from the Amazon Rain Forest. I have never seen one with my own eyes this big. Eventhough this bug looked mighty scary and was so mammoth, I still let my kids pick it up and examine it. When we got home I researched all kinds of beetles on the internet. I discovered that its scientific name is Archodontes Melanopus, and it is a live oak root borer. It destroys the roots of the tree. I implore you to let your children to discover the world that Allah made for us.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ramadan Mubarak

Assalam alykom:

Listen to this wonderful inspiring Khutbah about fasting.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Be "Muhammad" in your character poster

Assalm Alykom:

Here is a great new product for education now being offered by These posters are a great tool for creating a super hero within our children. The poster uses the name Muhammad as an ancronym to describe some of his attributes. You as a parent or educator can use these attitibutes to enforce good behavior and manners in your chidren or students. Here is the link that you can order them and get more information and pricing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Little Blessings That We Take for Granted

Assalam alykom:
There are two incidents that have happened to my family that have really made me think about the little blessings we take for granted. Many of these bounties we do not even recognize in our lives.
When asked about the importance of your senses, most will respond that they are grateful to God for their ability to see or hear. We may even thank Allah everyday for these two bounties. But, have you ever thought about your sense of smell or your sense of taste. Many of us may never once thanked God for these bounties. Last month, my Uncle took an over the counter natural medicine for a cold. It is called Zicam, and it is a nasal spray to help clear your sinuses. He sprayed the medicine one time and has never smelled or tasted again. If he drinks a glass of water or a glass of perfume, there is no difference. If he eats a steak or a piece of bark on a tree, there is no difference. Allah has definitely made tasting and smelling a joy in this life. Just to be able to wake up and smell and taste a delicious cup of coffee in the morning is a great bounty from Allah. For my uncle, it is just hot brown water with no taste or smell. For my uncle, the doctors say that this is permanent. Therefore, thank Allah today for your ability to smell, taste, and enjoy the bounty of food and drink.
Another incident that happened was with my grandmother. She suffered a small stroke. With this stroke, she lost her ability to transmit information and some of her ability to process it. In other wards she can think what she wants to say, but she has an extremely difficult time telling it to me. She cannot write it either because it takes the same memory ability to transmit it. She no longer can drive, and she cannot dial a phone or even use the remote for the T.V., without a struggle. She no longer can remember how to crochet or knit, do crossword puzzles or even read the newspaper. I understand that she is 78 and that she is elderly, but only a few days ago she was driving, crocheting, knitting, and reading. Therefore, we should thank Allah tremendously for His bounties upon us. Maybe tomorrow one of them or all of them could be gone.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Did she really hear the complete Message?

I do not know if I mentioned it before, but I am an American convert to Islam. I think my journey to Islam began with my immigrant Irish grandmother. My great- grandmother was a VERY devout Protestant Christian. The rest of my family had no religion. That includes my parents, my grand parents, cousins, aunts and uncles. Through my 38 years of life, I never saw them enter a church, except for a wedding or funeral. I had no brothers or sisters. I was an only child.
I lived my life in Rural Central Indiana. My parents were city folk from Chicago who wanted a more simple life. They were middle class working people. When the summer time appeared each year, they needed someone to look over me while they went to work each day. That ended up being my great grandmother. She lived in Chicago, and they would drive me there every June and pick me up in August. My grandmother was thrilled to have a helper and a companion each summer.
She was a meticulously neat individual, who would have me cleaning everything in sight. She was also an individual who had a wonderful green thumb. Everything she seemed to touch grew lush and beautiful. Outside she had roses that smelled of the most expensive perfume, she also had snap dragons that I could not wait to pinch. She had a small garden where she grew fresh herbs. She would have me clip the chives each night for the salad at dinner. On the inside of her house she had many African violets. I remember always wanting to touch their leaves because they felt like velvet. To this day, I keep several of them in my house. Another notable quality of my grandmother was she was extremely devout in her religion.
Every summer, it would be memorize verses from the Bible, go to church, go to Sunday school. She was always after me to be a strong believer. I really followed her advice and tried to be as devout as she was. At the end of the summer, it was back to my parents who never went to church. My grandmother called and wrote my all the time to find someone to take me to church. I always did, but the variety of churches would be many. It was Baptist, Methodist, Pilgrim Holiness, Wesleyan, and non-denominational, to name a few. With all of this variety, I would eventually be confused.
When I reached college and was able to expand my horizons outside the small town churches of rural Indiana, I found Islam. It was 15 years ago and still seems like yesterday. Islam was introduced to me in college and it made so much sense to me. Shortly after my conversion, I married my husband. Shortly after this, my grandmother died. I was living in Florida and it was very far from my grandmother. I never told her that I converted, but I always felt she was the one to inspire me to become a Muslim because she always encouraged me to believe in God.
A year or so after her death, I become sad at the notion of my grandmother dying and not a Muslim. I was so convinced that she was the one who ultimately led me to Islam. This is when my husband told me that you do not know if she ever really received the message. You do not know how Allah will deal with her devotion. You really do not know what she believed in her heart. That night I went to sleep feeling much better about my grandmother. In my dream that night, I saw my grandmother. In the summers, when I stayed with her, she would get her square vinyl cushion and put it on her retro metal chair. She did this just before maghreb each day. She would sit in that chair and read from the newspaper or her Bible, or a book she liked. In my dream, she was sitting on that retro metal chair, but she was reading from the Glorious Quran. She was even reciting it in Arabic. I could not wait to share my dream the next day with my husband. I really felt better about her not being a Muslim, and Allah is the only One who knows her Final Abode.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Crocheted Monkeys

Assalm alykom:

My 5 year old daughter loves monkeys. I am not sure why. She said that she likes to collect them. When I saw a pattern online for one, I had to make her one. Of course my 3 year old daughter wanted one too. So, here is the pair. I got the pattern here. After you reach the page, on the side you can click on the pattern. She had very strict copy right rules on her pattern. Therefore, I wanted to meet her link issues that she requested. Her monkeys are alot cuter than mine, but my two daughters love them. I personally love to crochet with thread, therefore, I am trying the pattern with it. It is looking so tiny as I am making it. The girls are very excited to see it. I will probably have to make a pair again.

I do beading too. So, I made their earrings and I crocheted their scarves too!