Friday, August 29, 2008

Montessori Materials

They ship to Canada as well....

Free Cloth Diaper Sewing Patterns

If you are so inclined, take a look at these. Read More...

Finally, I finished knitting something

This is the Cable Vest by Sarah Hoadley. Ravelry link is here.

Cable Vest I

It was supposed to be for big brother but he has a big head, lol. My little vest model ran out of patience quickly so I ended up with blurry photos. I still need to make some things for the baby but I've been so busy homeschooling that I can't find the time. Read More...

Books for Ramadan Learning

Since the kids are so young, I envision lots of coloring and easy crafting for Ramadan. We might do a wee bit of copywork and use the "Eid Mubarak" Islamic Celebration Around the World by Susan Douglass.

We will be using these books during Ramadan as well, InshaALLAH.

The Pillars of Islam Pop Up Books

They are The Pillars of Islam series and they are pop up books:

I also purchased some lights to decorate the home.

Other than that, we still have to work on phonics and math. Read More...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Keeping Track of Ourselves Part I

I downloaded homeschool tracker last year and never used it. Not because it was useless; on the contrary, it probably would have saved me a reasonable amount of time.

I was still trying to figure out what worked best for us and I had two very little ones at the time (like I will have this coming school year after the baby is born, InshaALLAH but I have the advantage of experience).

So, I downloaded it again it and have started to establish our one-room schoolhouse.

This is a list of the subjects that we will cover InshaALLAH with the main resources that I would like to use. It's mostly just a reminder for myself, but if it helps you then Masha'ALLAH.

Phonics -
Pathway Readers - JazakILLAH Khair to Sister Candace for bringing this to my attention. This is a program set up for Amish schoolrooms so the reading comprehension is centered around morals and values. It looks like there aren't any aqeedah issues.

Son: Beginning to Read/Preschool Kit in conjunction with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Donna Young's Manuscript Lessons

Daughter: Second Grade Language Arts Kit

I like what Saxon Phonics has done for my daughter but I am so tired of it. She learned to code words and think for herself before asking for help while reading, but the reading comprehension is very insignificant in the program. She needs much more practice than the tiny bits on the worksheets. All that aside, I will use it again for my son when he reaches first grade phonics, InshaALLAH. Pathway Readers has an online placement test that your child can take. My daughter is right on target at the second grade level.

Extras: possibly something by Leap Frog or Hooked on Phonics as fillers for my son.

Daughter: practice with words from Scripps National Spelling Bee's Consolidated List and Merriam-Webster's "Spell-It" booklet.

Singapore Math

Son: Essential Math Kindergarten A and B

Daughter: Math 2A and 2B

Starting to Arrive
I got these from Ebay a few days ago, so we'll be using the US Edition instead of Standard.

Copywork: I am making something for this - I've only begun to develop it. This is to supplement the other subjects and aid in memorization.

Stay-tuned for these subjects, InshaALLAH
Earth Science
Islamic Studies
Field Trip

Getting It On Paper

I am slowly organizing and planning our tentative schedule. We took a trip to the library yesterday and got a card for my daughter. The cards for children are so much more interesting than the plain blue adult cards so she was really excited.


My son on the other hand, did not appreciate being left out and thought it was terribly unfair that he did not get his own card. I told him that he has to be able to write his name properly and then we will talk, InshaALLAH.

I think we will have to establish a nice reading list with a minimum required number of books for the school year. I am thinking at least 100. There are approximately 36-40 weeks in our school year so I think this is more than reasonable - especially if she reads at least three books a week. She reads more than that on her own anyway.

Another thing I would like to do is make time in the school day for read aloud sessions each day. We did this last year when she started her kindergarten curriculum but my son was so disruptive that we were not able to continue with any regularity. I read a chapter a night to her before bed and she loves it. I think I will continue this and also read aloud for about twenty minutes during class.

For my own reading,I picked up The Well-Trained Mind because I have heard so much about it.

What's the hype about?

It does have some valuable information such as recommended subjects and how to present them for each grade, but I think a child can spend more than 10-15 minutes on their religious studies. It's all in how the material is presented.

It is very thorough, I must give credit for that. Also, it is adaptable to suit different homeschool styles and situations, I think. Read More...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Book Review: 'Issues in Madrasa Education'

Name of the Book: Issues in Madrasa Education in India
Author: Yoginder Sikand
Publisher: Hope India, Gurgaon (
Pages: 112
Year: 2008
ISBN: 8178711532
Price: Rs. 295
Reviewed by: Nasir Khan

A number of books have been recently published on the madrasas of India, and, in addition to this, madrasas have become a subject of considerable debate in the mass media. This latest addition to the writings on Indian madrasas makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the subject.
The issue of madrasa reform is much debated today, and several of the articles in this volume examine the question from various angles. The opening article of the volume, titled 'A Day in Deoband', based on the author's visit to the Dar ul-Ulum madrasa in Deoband, India's largest madrasa, suggests that even many traditionalist ulema, wrongly berated as being wholly opposed to change, actually do support madrasa reforms to some extent, although the way in which they imagine the project of reform substantially differs from that advocated by many outside the madrasa system. This emerges even more clearly in the following article, titled 'The State and Madrasa Reform: An Indian Deobandi Perspective'. The point is reiterated in subsequent articles, such as one on a Deobandi madrasa in Kashmir which is engaged in providing new forms of technical education in addition to traditional religious instruction, another on traditionalist madrasas in Kerala that have launched innovative experiments to combine religious and secular education, and yet another, on the educational model of the founder of the Jamaat-e Islami, Syed Abul Ala Maududi. A piece on the growing number of women's madrasas in India makes the argument that promoting women's rights from within a broader Islamic paradigm is also part of the project of madrasa reforms as even several traditionalist ulema see it. The author argues that this might have important consequences in the future for the nature of religious authority as well as gender-relations among the Indian Muslims.
At the same time as these articles hail little-known efforts at madrasa reform, they also highlight the views of several Muslim activists, including some ulema themselves, who are uncomfortable with what they see as the slow pace of reform and its limited nature and scope. This is particularly apparent in matters related to issues such as inter-sectarian relations, relations with non-Muslims, and also in enhancing the role of the community in the functioning of and the decision-making process in the madrasas, many of which are, now, in effect, family-controlled businesses.
Three articles included in the book deal with the issue of how the Indian madrasas and their ulema have sought to respond to the mounting wave of propaganda directed against them, being accused of being alleged training grounds for 'terrorism'. Sikand argues that these allegations are unfounded and unsubstantiated. He notes that the ulema have sought to rebut these allegations, but, because they have failed to reach out significantly to non-Muslims, their views continue to go unheard outside the community. To add to this is the fact that large sections of the media appear to have a vested interest in perpetuating negative stereotypical images of the madrasas as 'dens of terror' despite evidence to the contrary. At the same time, Sikand writes that the relentless anti-madrasa propaganda has had some unintended positive fall-outs. As a perusal of the madrasa press and the recent activities of some leading ulema bodies indicates, madrasas in India are becoming increasingly conscious of the need for curricular and administrative reform, establishing rapport with non-Muslims and government officials, maintaining proper accounts and so on, this being, in large part, a reaction to the anti-madrasa propaganda.
Although the information that book supplies is interesting, it lacks an overall central focus and a connecting thread that could weave together the thirteen short essays contained in the book (in addition to a section containing reviews of selected recent books on madrasa education in India). A rigorously argued and analytical introduction would have made the book seem less like a random collection of articles. At times, the reader gets the feeling that the author is unnecessarily wary of expressing his own views and is also hesitant to offer any substantial critique for fear of appearing too harsh on the ulema. Yet, all said and done, the book makes interesting and rewarding reading.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

UCMAS Canada

Have any of you had any experience with them? I want to enroll my daughter so that she can have an outside activity independent of the family and develop herself, InshaALLAH. Read More...

Suratul Nasr

This was also memorized a few weeks back.

Suratul Nasr (Divine Support/The Help)


Suratul Nas

My daughter learned this some time ago but I totally forgot how to post mp3 files!

Suratul Nas


Time to Learn Time

This was a busy week for us because we are squeezing in lots of lessons along with errands and appointments. I am trying to finish the Saxon math and phonics before the baby gets here and keep my sanity, InshaALLAH.

Another task that is taking considerable time is our tentative schedule. More about that later, InshaALLAH.

What I have been working on (finally), is a calendar and clock with the Islamic/Arabic script numerals. I couldn't find anything online so I had to make my own. Does that happen to you too? These seem like basic items but they aren't available anywhere that I have searched. Perhaps I am looking in the wrong places? Allahu 'aalam.

Islamic/Arabic Script Clock Template

Anyway, I made a clock and here's the pdf template if you need it. You will need Adobe Reader.

It's best printed on card stock and laminated. I plan to use it with this book among others from Troid Store. My husband bought all of the Arabic Learning workbooks from their site when my daughter was about one, lol. We planned to homeschool from the start and I am glad that he had the vision to get these materials so long ago, Masha'ALLAH. Read More...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Abacus - How to Use This Ancient Wonder

This is amazing.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This site has plenty of free worksheets available. I would like to use the Handwriting worksheets to make hadith, du'a and Qur'an copywork pages, InshaALLAH. Just type in your text and print it out. Read More...

Curriclick Has a New Free Download

This one is a lesson packet for the month of August. Just click the blue "free download" button. There are some pages that can be printed and used for various uses. Read More...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Canadian Home Education Resources

This site has Saxon and Singapore Maths, Home Economics, Social Studies (including books on Inuit communities). Read More...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Free Printable Books

Take a look, there are different kinds.

For Your Preschooler

Preschool Express is a nice site with stories, patterns, shapes, alphabet, etc. Read More...

Learn New Teaching Techniques

With these video links.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Free color flashcards. There are also lesson plans, worksheets and so on. Read More...

Study Your Prophet

Muhammad Rasulullah:(sallallahu alayhis wa salaam) Curriculum

This is a first grade textbook/workbook combo but I think it is great for K-2. I got it from Noor Art. It not only talks about Prophet Muhammad(sallallahu alayhis wa salaam) but etiquette in the masjid and so on.

I also got this which I am finding to be an invaluable tool from IQRA (also through Noor Art).

Preschool Curriculum

Since my son will be joining us, InshaALLAH, I need all the help that I can get because he is a handful! This covers an array of topics, including emotional development, Arabic and English learning at a young age, art, math, writing, developing speech, etc. Read More...

Art Solution

Art Supply Solution

Remember how my daughter kept getting into the paints? Well, no more! Ikea has an inexpensive solution called "BYGEL".

It also comes in handy because I caught my son trying to cut his hair with the scissors and AlhamduLILLAH I saw him in time! He doesn't want me to cut his hair because he thinks that he can do a better job, lol. Read More...

Science Supplements

We made a trip to Chapters and got a few books the other day:

For Second Grade Science

For Second Grade Science

Super Science Materials

These are all meant to supplement our science curriculum in the next year, InshaALLAH, which I still haven't assembled. Read More...

Summer Fun


We had a nice time at the zoo yesterday.It was dreadfully hot and there was lots of walking and lots of people.

As Close As I Could Get

We had to park so far away that I had a little bit of regret right at the beginning, lol.

We went around the world today

We decided to get a membership to the zoo because it is open all year long (didn't know that) and it really is the best value for us.

Finger Biters I

Since my daughter is studying Earth science in the coming year, InshaALLAH, we can really take advantage and visit at least a few more times before next August.

Water fall

The only disappointment for us was the elephant exhibit. They weren't outside this time so I was annoyed because that's what I was most looking forward to seeing. Oh, same thing with the hippos.

Looking For Lions

The older children were able to ride the camels thanks to their father's enthusiasm and they liked it a lot, except they said their camel was stinky.

Nervous but Willing

There were several exhibits showing artifacts.




Even my mother-in-law had fun!

Mother-in Law on a Safari Tour

Friday, August 1, 2008


Take your old calendars, cut out the pictures of the mosques and laminate them. Instant art for your learning space!

Recycled Art

Instead of buying expensive rolls of Kraft paper to decorate the bulletin board, grab some rolls of gift wrap from the dollar store:

Paper Wall

Busy Day

I took the kids to a local mall with my mother-in-law today for some quick errands and I am so tired now.

We stopped at the local Dollarama store and what a find!

Social Studies From the Dollar Store


Here are the titles if anyone is interested (click to see it larger).

List of Titles

Islamic Social History

I am planning to go a different route with the social studies/history curriculum in the coming school year, InshaALLAH. I used a U.S. based social studies book and workbook last year and I would rather they learn about other cultures and parts of the world right now since we live here in Canada and are exposed to the Western world every day.

I am thinking of doing small unit studies with countries that have significant Muslim populations(and not so significant in a few cases).

Here is my possible list:

1.Saudi Arabia
14.The Gambia
24.West Indies
36.China (Uighur)

We will try to get to as many as possible, InshaALLAH.

Here are some of the books that may help us along the way. Read More...