Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daily Lessons

In an effort to make sure DD doesn't deteriorate over the summer, she will be working on some lessons. We went to our local Barnes and Noble to find some workbooks she likes. She picked out a Summer Links book that includes Math, Reading, and Test Prep and I was planning on that being the only thing she was going to work on, but she found an American History workbook that she wanted, so we purchased that as well. She absolutely loves History, so who am I to say no? In fact, we got a membership to our History Society so we can visit various museums and sites throughout the summer. She's so excited!

So each day she is assigned:
Math: 2 pages from her workbook
Reading: 20 minutes of any book she chooses and 2 pages from her workbook
Test Prep: 2 pages from her workbook
History: 6 pages from her workbook
Islamic Studies: 1-2 lessons from her ad-Duha curriculum (See a breakdown of this below)
Writing: Write a blog daily that includes a couple paragraphs or more on any topic of her choosing

So, before anyone thinks I'm being all harsh-like over her summer vacation, the first 4 items take her a half hour total (minus the 20 minutes of reading). Islamic Studies takes the longest, and she knew that we'd spend time on this over the summer because a) she doesn't have her weekend Islamic studies over the summer and b) the curriculum I just signed her up for this year is quite advanced, so she is a couple grades behind their expectation and we want to catch up.

With that said, here's the breakdown of ad-Duha. For anyone interested in an Islamic Studies curriculum for their kids, I highly recommend ad-Duha! Each one of these items is a lesson, and like I said, we will do 1-2 lessons each day, depending on time available.

Qur'an: Read 15 minutes of Qur'an every day. Qur'an lesson is reviewing memorized surahs and learning new ones.
Tafseer:  Learn the meaning of surahs, learn vocabulary words, and surrounding situation behind a surah
Names of Allah: Learn the 99 names of Allah and their meaning
Adi'yaa: Learn various supplications such as leaving the home, Ayat ul-Kursi, entering the masjid, etc.
Arabic: We are learning how to join letters currently

I'm expecting that we will work on these things roughly 4 days a week, but it being summer, we aren't super strict on it. I want to enjoy the summer and be outside (in the mornings, before it gets HOT) and enjoy time with friends before we get back into school and a stricter schedule. InshaAllah this summer will be highly enjoyable for both of us.

Done with school!!!

I'm so proud of DD!! She finished school 7 days early, mashaAllah. She really worked hard this year to exceed the goals set by her teacher, then she set a goal to finish by this Friday (4 days early), and she even exceeded that goal by finishing on Tuesday! Alhamdulilah, she is such a great student, mashaAllah.

So yesterday was our "first day of summer" and we started it beautifully. We went for a bike ride at about 8am, before it got too warm outside for us to really enjoy it. We came home to plant the remaining flowers on our porch and we cleaned up the porch by removing the bird's nest (yes, we removed it... I typically wouldn't, but seriously... they need to make it in a tree, not the side of a building, please), cleaning up all the bird poop from the chairs and cleaning the chairs generally, and sweeping the porch (including all said bird poop). I still need to throw away some stuff, but I'll get to that in due time.

We had a pretty relaxing day and made goals for what she's going to do this summer. She looked at the programs offered through our local Gifted and Talented Institute and made her top 3 picks which include Make Your Own Computer, Fencing, and Sonic Blast Rock and Roll (they make their own band). We made a chart that includes everything she should be doing every day, which does include some lessons four days a week. I'll include this on another post, for those not interested in our homeschooling stuff. :) Alhamdulilah, Kira loves school and learning, so she doesn't mind doing some work over the summer, and really, she is not even doing a half day in comparison to her normal school day. I told her she doesn't get to become a vegetable when the weather gets nice.

MashaAllah, I'm just so proud of her, and she's such a great kid! She helps with chores, does her school work, doesn't talk back. How did I get so fortunate?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yay! Ultrasound!!

Alhamdulilah wa mashaAllah, we got an ultrasound done yesterday! I was a bit worried I was having twins which, yes, I know is a blessing, but it is SCARY also! I'm not a big person, and I just think that one at a time is enough for me, inshaAllah. Baby is healthy and mashaAllah, in perfect order. I feel so blessed. Now, as the first child born into Islam, I need to learn the sunnah acts for its birth such as saying the Athan (call to prayer) in the baby's ear, having an aqeeqah, etc. So much to learn, but it feels like we have a ton of time because this pregnancy is going sooooooooo slow! I'm so excited to raise a child from the time it is born into Islam, because switching gears when DD was 7 (when I converted to Islam) was jarring for both of us, and we are still getting adjusted to it (no bacon, please)! Top that off with she is with her dad's family, who doesn't like the idea of her ever being Muslim and puts pork on her plate for dinner.... let's just say it makes her life that much harder and I'm afraid of her living a double life because she's being pulled in two different directions.

We have four Bibles at home; a Revised Standard Version, King James, Catholic, and Jehovah's Witness. She is more than welcome to pick one, preferably the RSV just because from my knowledge it has the most accurate text of the four, and read it. She says she plans on finishing the Qur'an first (she is assigned 15 minutes of reading Qur'an each day per a lesson plan we have setup on Islamic studies) just so she doesn't get the texts mixed up in her brain. MashaAllah, I'm proud of her for making a plan, knowing what is best for her learning, and continuing with her education.

So yeah, fun times. I really look forward to educating both DD and coming baby in Islam... it's the teacher and student in me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Need to combat my short attention span

After watching an episode of Frontline about our technical age and they touched on the effect of this technology on our attention span, I started thinking about how long I pay attention to things lately. I take pride in my great multitasking ability, but I have a hard time sitting down and reading a book! So, I've decided that I need to make myself concentrate on one thing at a time, and make time to sit down and read books... you know, with paper and ink (no wai)!

It's hard to break old habits, and especially hard to change how much time you give to certain tasks. Staying on one webpage at a time or within one application on the laptop is especially hard. InshaAllah it'll get easier because I need to get back to the books including finishing reading the Bible, continue reading Qur'an (always) and just never stop learning, inshaAllah.

As for the computer, it is easiest when I have a task to complete, but with my free time... that still needs some work.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5 Things I'm Thankful For...

A sister on a forum started a thread where you list 5 things you are thankful for. Here's my 5:

1) My husband - He's totally out of my league, and he has still yet to notice it.  :P   j/k, but I truly never thought that someone like me would marry someone like him. Alhamdulilah.
2) My children, born and unborn - Again, my expectations have been exceeded in a wonderful way in both cases. MashaAllah wa Allahu Akbar! I can't say how blessed I feel in this area.
3) Availability of education - With the Internet, so many opportunities arise, and I'm am very grateful that I get to take a part in them.
4) The community of Muslims in our area - We have such a great sisterhood and brotherhood. MashaAllah
5) Availability of fresh, natural foods - InshaAllah we can keep our family safe and healthy eating what Allah intended us to eat when he created all the foods in this world.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Teenager? Not Yet!

I feel like I'm already raising a teenager. MashaAllah, she is still very polite and considerate, but it seems like I'm correcting or scolding all the time!! For instance, washing her hair has been a big fight lately. It has progressively gotten worse and worse to the point where I had to tell her that we are cutting her hair up to her shoulders (it is about to the middle of her back right now). I can't let her keep it long if she's not going to take care of it!

So today I washed it myself. InshaAllah she notices the difference. I'm trying so hard to not make her feel bad, but it seriously looked so gross!! I reminded her of the hadith that cleanliness is half of faith... we Muslims need to be clean. Allah gave us this body and we need to take care of it in this world.

Other note - I want to build bridges between myself and family members so we aren't the outcasts because of our different faith. It seems though that the similarities are far less than the differences. If we talk about things down to their core and root topics, we agree, but I think the general assumption is that we are too far removed to agree on anything so things I talk about are "extreme" or I'm just some hippy in the 21st century. It feels so political. When did politics get so entangled in religion? I mean, Islam promotes religion and politics being hand in hand, but we're in the country of separation of church and state. Hmph... yeah right.