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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 http://www.sciencebuddies.org 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.

Montessori Resources (and free ones too)

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

In my search for the Montessori Curriculum, I first found Monteaco to be useful for the 3-6, 6-9 age range (the 9-12 link still goes to the 6-9 page).

Then I found Hainstock’s book for the early years and for the school years in Playcentre Library, got a hold of the early years from Kino, and Teach Me to do It Myself (Maya Pitamic) to boot. So we did some of the activities, but the equipment/materials I made got stuffed away in the kitchen or in boxes, so that was that. So now I’ve blocked off a section of my mum’s living room and of my own room to (hide) away the materials (ha..ha..). We have taken over my mum’s place, I’m not sure whether she’s horrified or pleased, but anyway, we have things to do 🙂

I then found the NAMC blog and website. Really extensive albums, but for a song! What I did was painstakingly opened all the TOC that was up for review and compiled them as an extensive to-do list of activities from 0-12 years of age, real worth the effort if I may say so myself, but I’m afraid putting it up might infringe copyright. There are also Montessori International Reasearch Department (monterssoriird.org) albums that are really extensive but without pics!
(not my thing, visual learner here). KarenTylers’ albums are cheaper, Karen Tyler’s I probably found around the same time as NAMC’s, but only entered my conciousness as something viable and worth using only recently. There were also other albums made by individuals which I skimmed, as I did with Karen Tyler’s that may be worth looking at. Recently I did consider buying the art surriculum from here: ,but we’ll see. As I said to a friend, I’m practically drowning in curriculum, so I’m putting a stop to curriculum buying for the moment.

Then I found infomontessori.org, what a blessing! They have whole albums for 3-9 year olds online! This I have in pdf form, though I forgot which free online software I used to do it, only after sending it to a friend did I realise I missed practically most of the culture section, so still working on that. The only thing is, even in pdf form the brown background is still there, so I decided against printing, since a whole lot of black ink will be wasted in doing so.  It’s just easier to browse in pdf than wait for things to load while online. Finally, there’s freemontessori, I felt super blessed having found this site, and even though I don’t know the person who have graciously shared his albums for 3-12 year olds (maybe it’s a higher range than that), it is the most useful free album I have found so far. The only thing it doesn’t have is the cultural album. An alternative is getting a free one by signing up at livingmontessori, and an e-mail will be sent with a free geography album, strictly speaking not a complete cultural album though,only the geography part, no zoology, botany, cosmic education etc.

So far that’s how I got into collecting montessori albums online. I would recommend both of Hainstock’s books mentioned above for quick easy reference, but the school years are out of print and thus hard to find (haven’t scored one myself).

One other Montessori resources such as 3part cards, and other free online materials generous parents,mostly mummies have put onlineto share, I shall add to below from time to time inshaAllah (God willing).

Categories: Curriculum, Montessori

Montessori NAMC Curicullum/Albums – H2’s current stage

May 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been focusing so much on M and H these days, I feel H2 is neglected in terms of acquiring skills and learning. Well, he’s happily cycling the tricycle and doing lego, menggentel plasticine (like playdough), roleplaying/acting with his sisters, maybe it’s not all that bad. However, a lot can still be done.

So I went to the NAMC site, and identified that H2 is at the infant-toddler stage. Alhamdulillah, when looking at the TOC of the manuals for infants and toddlers, he seems to be acquiring and have acquired most of the skills he should have for his age. Below is the current checklist for H2. I don’t think I’ll be so rigid, and necessarily be doing all, but they are mostly good ideas. It’s a good list for mummies to do with their 2yo.

So I’ve put a ‘/’ to some of the activities that I think H2 has been exposed to. Once the activity is re-enforced, another ‘/’mark. I think maybe 3 slashes ‘///’ for me means thatH2 is suitably exposed. So there’s the plan!

Oh..added an Islamic Studies list at the end, still working on it.

The Table of Contents for the Infant and Toddler – Twos Manual B

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Identifying Pictures of Objects with Unusual or Complex Names
Activity 2: Naming Parts of the Human Body /
Activity 3: Naming Pictures Starting with the Same Phonetic Sound
Activity 4: Naming Objects Starting with the Same Phonetic Sound
Activity 5: Looking at Number Booklets /
Activity 6: Creating a Story from Pictures
Activity 7: Becoming Familiar with Letters and Their Sounds /
Activity 8: Listening to an Audio Book
Activity 9: Using “I Spy” to Practice Identifying
Activity 10: Matching Letters on an Alphabet Board

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Opening and Closing Doors Quietly /
Activity 2: Practicing “Please” and “Thank You” //
Activity 3: Pulling Together
Activity 4: Singing the “No” Song and the “Yes” Song
Activity 5: Making Group Art
Activity 6: Recognizing and Describing Emotions /
Activity 7: Planning a Trip
Activity 8: Imitating an Action Story /
Activity 9: Changing Partners
Activity 10: Making Butter Together

PRACTICAL LIFE ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Fastening Clothes
Activity 2: Washing Kitchen Objects
Activity 3: Washing Napkins
Activity 4: Preparing Vegetables and Fruit for Cooking and Eating
Activity 5: Making Fruit Salad
Activity 6: Washing Windows and Other Large Objects
Activity 7: Sewing
Activity 8: Taking Apart and Putting Back Together
Activity 9: Polishing
Activity 10: Making Snacks

TWOS – MANUAL A

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Sorting Objects by Concept
Activity 2: Matching Pictures by Concept
Activity 3: Carrying Out a Two-day Project
Activity 4: Associating Objects and Numbers
Activity 5: Matching Three Basic Geometrical Shapes /
Activity 6: Transferring Equal Numbers of Objects
Activity 7: Matching Shapes to Outlines
Activity 8: Sorting Events by Sequence
Activity 9: Manipulating a Fraction Puzzle /
Activity 10: Matching Pictures of Parents and Babies

MOTOR ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Cutting with Scissors /
Activity 2: Throwing from a Distance /
Activity 3: Using a Hole Puncher
Activity 4: Clamping Clothes Pegs onto a Rim
Activity 5: Transferring Water Using Squeezing Implements
Activity 6: Stringing Objects Using a Cord
Activity 7: Making Building Blocks /
Activity 8: Walking the Line
Activity 9: Transferring Tiny Objects Using Grasping Implements
Activity 10: Transferring Using Spooning Implements /

SENSORY ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Matching Objects by Color /
Activity 2: Hunting for Treasure
Activity 3: Pairing Objects According to Color and Pattern
Activity 4: Discriminating between Sizes of Shapes
Activity 5: Painting /
Activity 6: Exploring a Texture Box
Activity 7: Observing Nature Close Up
Activity 8: Experiencing Smell Bags
Activity 9: Growing Plants Outside
Activity 10: Visiting the Bird Feeder /

ISLAMIC STUDIES

Adab
Assalamu`alaikum
Quiet when someone is Praying
Listen to the Qur’an

Dua
Before Eating //
After Eating
Before Sleeping /
After Sleeping
Before going to the Toilet
After going to the Toilet
Rabbana Aatina /

Qur’an
Basic Iqra’ / huruf
A’uudhubillah
Fatihah
Ikhlas
An-Naas

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