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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.

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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:

WordlyWise3000

Categories: Spelling

Spelling (Fry’s first 1000 words list)

November 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I discovered this for spelling: http://www.uniqueteachingresources.com/Fry-1000-Instant-Words.html

Scroll down to dowload the .pdf lists divided into 10 files of 100 words each.  I’m printing the 2nd page of each file so I can tick off the words learnt/spelt right. I’m probably going to skip some of the easy words in the first list, but you never know. (I’m wondering now what the difference of spelled and spelt is as I write.)

Categories: Language, Spelling

Poetry Printables from FLL

May 30, 2011 Leave a comment

http://homeschoolcreations.com/Language.html

Cool! If you don’t like First Language Lesson’s approach to grammar, at least the poetry collections might be useful and suitable according to your child’s grade level. So the link above is to printables of the poems in FLL, all decorated, really cool mama! 🙂 I should thank her.

Crafts, games and fun!

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Poems

May 22, 2011 Leave a comment

The Caterpillar

Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry;

Take your walk
To the shady leaf, or stalk.

May no toad spy you,
May the little birds pass by you;

Spin and die,
To live again a butterfly.

-Christina G. Rossetti.

The Crocodile
by Lewis Carroll

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!

Categories: Language, Poems Tags: ,
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