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!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Homeschooling vs Islamic schools vs Public schools

Assalm alykom:
I am back to homeschooling after a year of teaching in an Islamic school. I think this year has really let me evaluate and change my mission for why I homeschool. My mission used to be that I did it for religious reasons. Now, I truly believe that it is for educational reasons mixed with a little bit of religious reasons. I discovered that the quality of my children's education was very high when it was me teaching them. After a year in an actual school setting, their level of education declined. I can control my children's accountability much better. If I find they are lacking, I have the time to reteach it to them. I can take more time to make sure they do their best.
Islamic schools, in general, are at their infancy stages in America. Most of them in my area, have been around for less than ten years and many less than five. They are going through the process of always getting better, but not quite there yet. Many of the schools have low funding and low pay for the staff. Therefore, the more qualified teachers tend to go elsewhere. While I am sure there are great Islamic schools in the States, as I stated, many of them are just starting up and going through the learning curve. During this curve, the level of education may not be very high.
Public schools are tied to the No Child Left Behind Act. I really hate this Act because it leaves behind all creativity and learning in the classroom and teaches the child only to take the State Standardized tests. This is my opinion and I know it is a big controversy. Some of you may have great public schools that try to go around this act and maintain actual learning and teaching.
My blog will began to fill with homeschooling posts once again. I am not going to do the K12 this year because it has to be completed in the 9 month school year. This is if I go through the state program. If I buy the program as a regular homeschooler, it is soooo expensive. With four kids, it is too much. I am looking into the Oak Meadow cirriculum. It is affordable and seems good. I will let you know once I purchase it and get into how it really is. That is the only way to know of a cirriculum really works for your family.

Hijab pins I made

Assalm alykom:
I have decided to take my hijab pins and began selling them. I like to use a variety of materials. I use vintage items such as old pins, or buttons. I also use mostly glass beads. Some of them I make especially to appeal to younger ladies. These are made from polymer clay in the shape of mini-food. Here are the current ones that I am selling this week. They are all listed on eBay.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Iguana

Assalm alykom:

When I moved to South Florida, I did not expect to see iguanas as part of the habitat. When my husband first told me that he saw a bunch of them near the masjid, I wanted to go and see them. There is a walking trail that has a canal. This trail is right next to the masjid. The kids and I decided to take a look one day. Since that day, we started to research about these amazing creatures that Allah created. For one, they are definitely not native to South Florida. They are escaped or neglected pets that thrive in the tropical climate. However, it is interesting to mention, that since they are not native to Florida, they do not have any natural predators. Therefore, they just keep multiplying.

With a little research we discovered that they are not an aggressive animal. They like the warm weather and you will find them sunning on the hottest of days. Than can grow very large and look quite frightening. They look almost as big as a small alligator. They are herbivores, and will only dine on your flowers and your mango trees. If they are cornered, they may scratch or bite, if they feel threatened. We read that many residents do not like them and will have a trapper come and remove them. All the pictures that you see her are from my 11 year old son Nour. After snapping these picture, he thought he might like to become a wildlife photographer.

This one is quite large here. The big ones appeared to be orange and the smaller ones were green

I did not know they could swim, but this one was swimming away down the canal.

Can you spot the one here? I will give you a hint: He is green.

Do your own research on this interesting reptile. For school, it would make a nice research report.

Recycle Your Crayons

Assalm alykom:

This is an easy project, and I am sure many of you have tried it yourself, or have at least seen it done. We had so many broke crayons. All of my kids and I just sat and peeled them all. Next, we put them in paper muffin cups. If you have a nice metal cookie cutter that is a unique shape, this will look better. I put my oven on about 375 degrees. I placed the muffin cups on a cookie sheet. It only takes a couple of minutes to melt. Take them out when they are all melted and let them cool. You just peel the paper off after that. We made so many that we gave them away as gifts. They are really great for the little ones because they are easy to hold. Enjoy!