Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

What we do and did

April 10, 2014 Leave a comment

I’ve been meaning to outline what we actually do day to day, for the benefit of those who want structure in homeschooling. This is what we do and did.

I came across Robinson’s Method, which I think is sublime in that it makes sure Math is done, and language too, and it’s real simple. Math is done éveryday and takes the first portion of the day, then a full page essay on anything, history, geography, anything you want your child to learn basically. It’s like notebooking really.

So, I adopted this method with some changes, being a Muslim, the first thing we do is pray and then we have Hifdh or memorisation of the Qur’an, chores, breakfast, bath, then Math, then language (either English, Malay/Arabic). For English, I’m happy that I could free myself from the local syllabus and used First Language Lessons, we still do, but have moved on mainly to Galore Park English, and we’re doing a grade lower than the books intended, both FLL and GP, since it’s already higher than the local syllabus I don’t think we’re losing out. Malay, we’re using the KBSR/KSSR books and Arabic, JAIS books, but I’m thinking of moving on from JAIS with Maryam especially, and just getting her to write half a page every time we do Arabic on anything since it’s not our mother tongue.

Last year, I did 2 days of English, 2 days of Malay, and a day of Arabic, sometimes we did Arabic instead of Malay. We didn’t quite finish the Malay KBSR books last year, so this year, we’re really just skimming through the text and focusing on what’s interesting and what I think we may need to work more on. Looking back, I’d rather just get them to write an essay in the respective language and then read a good book in that language, memorise poetry, pantun, Arabic songs. I think I’d start doing that for Arabic with M and let H soldier on and finish her Y2 Arabic (JAIS) workbook. Oh yes,I forgot to mention that we end the morning session with reading (at least that’s what we did last year). This year is a bit hectic since I have started sending the 2 girls to BaoBei, a mandarin reading class. It’s not perfect, but they enjoy it. I’m still looking out for an alternative that’s fun, teaches traditional characters, and have more immersion put into it. At the moment, the girls are enjoying the classes 3 times a week, and I’m on a look out for Mandarin playgroups we can join in the mean time.

Since my husband insists on exams, it’s pretty hard for me to choose whatever I fancy. I’m still tied to KBSR and JAIS curricula especially for my eldest, since she is the one taking exams this year (UPKK) and next (UPSR and PSRA), yes there are still exams everyone. I’m not 100% against exams, but really I’d rather go through Allah’s names and verse in the Qurán and Sunnah, than do Sifat 20, and Sifat 20 goes on and on until Y5 (Tauhid, JAIS). In Y6 they do go through Allah’s names, all 99 in one year, amongst other things, phew!

We are doing khat with an ustaz this year, and M is taking a liking to it. Akhlaq (JAIS) is also a chore, some are ok, Jawi is a bit confusing for me, there are different rules maybe for JAIS and Klinik Jawi on IKIM (course notes on Perpustakaan Negara website). In short, the JAIS syllabus is bogging me down. I glance longingly at ad-duha tafseer books, Yahya Emerick’s intro to Islam, maybe I’ll get to do them with H & H-boy when M goes back to school next year. I’ve been looking for something like Yahya Emericks book, which goes briefly through history since the beginning of time from the Islamic perspective. I love Mufti Menk’s stories of the prophets lecture series on youtube too, I’m just wondering if it’s a halal option. Also, Bidayah wan Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, the English translation at Dakwah Corner is not really my cup of tea, we have the Arabic, but I don’t read Arabic well, so I think a Malay version would be nice for our collection. These are what I’d do for Deeniyah Studies, but then as I said, we are bogged down by JAIS, and impending exams. SO I have this nagging feeling everytime I think about currciculum and I felt again when I looked at samples of Montessori lessons on the NAMC website. It was on Geometry, I love Montessory for geometry and the choices a child makes in a controlled, prepared environment, I love it but  i feel I have failed to live up to my dreams of providing a Montessori style education/space for my children. I pray I get to do it some time, may be this year, dreams and hope.

With us planning to renovate and then move this year, and not having a maid starting June, how am I going to cope? I pray we get to move when it is best, and get a lot of things if not everything sorted for a nice, condusive environment for my children and myself to work in. Dear husband prefers tiled interior space to a small garden, and I’m trying to accept it, although at the moment I’m planning an alternative plan with some greens for him to look at, but I’m not that hopeful.

Back to education, I’m still looking for a science curriculum, I’ve been looking at supercharged science for aeons but have still not the courage to try it because I’m not 100% sure how it works. I think we pay yearly, and I’m not sure then if we would still have access much later on after having done some of the experiments but have stopped paying. I stumbled through recently and I think we’ll be trying it out, it’s free and even has a robotics section which was how I found it through google. Incidently I help out in M’s previous school’s robot club. We did OLLO for two years, and this year we are venturing into the unknown, for starters, we did a spongebot, and it was a modest success, I would say. Next project in the works is an art-bot, inshaAllah.

Oh, and we join a multi-age playgroup twice a week. Nothing carved in stone so far, but we did botany loosely, and am aiming to a more structured co-op, science from the Islamic perspective maybe. But it’s so vast I’m having trouble to focus and get it started.


I want Ideaventions

June 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Ya Allah, I want my kids to be in an environment where recyclables, cardboards, paper, plastics, metals, wood, nails, fabric, electronics bits and bobs, tools, sewing equipment, stationery are suitably organised for them to use, create and experiment with. And I want them to have mentors that will mould them into exceptional beings in your eyes, al-muqarrabuun, so they will succeed in this life and especially the next, ameen.

So, I’ve discovered Ideaventions, and have been awed by this coming together of professionals to create a stimulating environment for kids to explore in, I’m impressed and I want one here in Malaysia! Something similar anyway, I want one!

Categories: Education, Ramblings, Science

Montessori Zoology, and other elementary stage Montessori ideas

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment

So I’m overwhelmed by the work and inspired by what other mummies have done, and dream the perfect place for my kids and er.. myself. Before I ramble on, her’s an excellent blog for elementary (that is primary level for Malaysians) from a Montessori viewpoint: called Montessori Muddle. Great site so far for zoology, specifically insects and nature study, this is only from a brief glance.

Categories: Montessori Tags:

Map lessons form USGS

April 3, 2013 Leave a comment

THe US geological Survey website offers quite an abundant stash of materials for teaching geography/geology to students. Here’s one we’ve used, and are going through this week (we’re right on lesson 4 today): Map Adventures

Categories: Geography

Skipton Castle

April 2, 2013 Leave a comment

So I stumbled upon this, and it looks great for history, specifically English history, and thus castles, from 1090 to about 1670.

And what’s great is it has colouring pages and printouts to make a model of the castle and a kitchen scene. There’s also special paper for letter writing with a coordinating envelope




Categories: History Tags: ,

Poetry Lesson Plans

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment

I’m so happy to have finally found free lesson plans for poetry. we’ve borrowed Driscoll’s poetry book from TTDI library and another better one (title of book!) from MBPJ lib, but both have missing CDs!

Anyway, here’s the link! : Poetryarchive Lesson Plans

I’m so happy as there are also accompanying audio files, and lesson plans for KS1-KS5 (British Curicullum), again I prefer British spelling, so this is great for us!

I seem to remember Montessori Print Shop selling lessons on different types of poetry too.

Edit: We use First Language Lessons and a fellow mummy has put together the poems in fll as printables! You can easily use these even if one does not use FLL. Get the printables from homeschoolcreations

Edit 2: Here’s another free printable on cinquain.

Also some more potential freebies on teaching poetry/language generally

Edit3: Looks like this is even more comprehensive than poetryarchive but not sure quality wise

Spelling practise & vocabulary

March 18, 2013 Leave a comment

So I’ve been busy with this year’s schooling.

A short share on a great find on the net. I’ve always preferred british spelling to American, so for those who do, here’s an online spelling site with British spelling:

Times Spelling Bee

I love it except for the fact that if one does not click on a button to show the meaning of the word said, then one would only be tested on spelling, and would not understand the word spelt!

Another site we’ve used is wordly wise, but this is American and introduces vocabulary:


Categories: Spelling
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