Lesson Plan – Categories of Tawhid

Asalamu alaykum Sisters,
i hope you are all well. I wanted to share a couple of things I did with my kids to explain Tawhid a little further.
Weve already covered the pillars in Islam in quite some detail, so I decided we now need to study Iman in more depth. Using mind mapping, discussions, and note-booking worksheets we managed to have a really engaging lesson which the kids thoroughly enjoyed, Allahuma barik.

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The wonderful thing about mind-mapping is the discussion that flows. We spoke about each category, how we implement it and also touched upon negation and affirmation. Alhamdulillah, because it was so engaging, we will be covering each pillar of Iman in a similar way insha’Allah.
You can download the full lesson plan HERE and get a copy of the note-booking pages by clicking HERE.
Have a wonderful day!


Aligning Post Ramadan & Homeschool Goals

Assalamu alaykum sisters,

It’s that time of year again where most homeschooling families are wrapping up their current school year and busily planning for the next.

In the midst of researching curriculum, lesson planning, stationary hauls and typing up weekly schedules, it’s all too easy to lose sight of those goals we set a mere couple of weeks ago.

Those goals we set in the last third of the night…
The schedules we jotted down after finishing Taraweeh…
The daily practices we began to implement and promised ourselves we would carry on…

Yes, I’m talking about our post-Ramadan goals.

Ramadan – seems like only yesterday that we were planning its arrival and yet it seems like it was months ago.

After the excitement of Eid wears off and we start to find our feet again, old habits start to creep back in.

As mother’s, and specifically homeschooling mother’s, the weight of planning our children’s goals and objectives for the year can often lead to us giving our own less importance.

Slowly but surely…
The Qur’an memorisation we made time for, now gets filled with lesson planning.
The promise of physical self-care gets replaced with copious amounts of coffee again.
Our own path of seeking knowledge suddenly comes to a halt.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need too and should prioritise our own goals too. And YES, you do have TIME!!

How? Here are a few tips.

Instead of separating the two, why not plan your goals alongside your homeschool goals? Pull out your Ramadan goals, and have them next to your while you are planning your year. That way, you can account for both and plan your daily routine in such a way where you give everything adequate time.

For example, if you made the intention to memorise Qur’an daily, why schedule this in at the same time as your children. Perhaps Stay awake after Fajr, give your children their hifdh portion, and while they are memorising, you can memorise too.

If you had a pile of books you intended to read, ensure you read snippets during the day. So while the kids are playing after your morning subjects are done, have a well-earned break and read a few pages; alternatively leave a little early to collect your child from Arabic class so you can read in the car while you wait. Don’t wait until the kids sleep to get your daily dose of reading in…it won’t always happen and eventually you will place the unread book back on the bookshelf.

My overall advice to myself first and foremost and you, is to carefully look at those pockets of time, scribbling out anything unnecessary as well as ensuring you aren’t spending too much time in one area (homeschool prep can take over your life!!).  Then add in your Ramadan goals and make these a priority and part of your daily routine.

Because these goals we made when we feeling spirituality uplifted can change the whole dynamics of our homeschool and ultimately our home life.

So pick up that pink highlighter and get writing. Don’t allow your Ramadan goals to be left in your planner until next Ramadan.

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Eid Treasure Hunt

Asalamu Alaykum ladies,

Its hard to believe that our beloved Ramadan has already left us.  It seems like yesterday that we were planning its arrival and now many of us are going through the process of readjusting.

It’s not an easy time by any means.  There’s always an overwhelming feeling of loss, confusion, and anxiety.  But if Ramadan really did impact us, we need to use its presence as a catapult to better ourselves and hold firmly to the good habits we developed while it was with us, inshaAllaah.

And of course the glorious day of Eid is over, but I wanted to share a treasure hunt I made for my children which can be used for upcoming Eids inshaAllah.  I shared this as a treat for my Instagram family just before Eid, but of course, this can be used for upcoming Eids.  

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My dear sister – I need no explanation.

Asalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu everyone,

I hope you are all having a fruitful Ramadan. I’m off social media to take advantage of this blessed time but I popped back on to share this reflection which I think some of you may resonate with.

Yesterday, we went to our local masjid and as we walked into the sister’s section the salaah had already begun, the Imam was reciting, there was a wonderful atmosphere, filled with peace and serenity.

But just as I was about to join the jama’ah with my kiddos I was swiftly told I had to go upstairs since this area was for women without children.

I didn’t mind, and off we headed upstairs. But as soon as we reached the top of the stairs, I almost felt like I was in a different masjid. The atmosphere was totally different.

I wasn’t met with silence but with the sound of a crying baby, the smell of bottled milk and a sight of scattered baby bags.

As I made my way further into the room, I walked past a woman trying to settle her child before the next rakaah began, another scrambling to find things to keep her toddler busy and another who just looked worried; I’m guessing she was hoping her baby would sleep through the salaah.

And it dawned on me. That even though I didn’t know these women, and they didn’t know each other; we were connected.

We didn’t have to say anything but the struggle voiced itself.

I didn’t know where she was from, but I had a good idea of what was going through her mind.

And I’m pretty sure we all had a pack of baby wipes in our bag somewhere.

You see, when Ramadan comes, we as mother’s often voluntarily put ourself at the back of the queue. We facilitate everyone else’s ibadaah, be it ensuring our children read more Qur’an, to making sure our husband’s clothes are ready for taraweeh, to cooking up a gourmet iftaar.

And while that is wonderful, and a path to seek reward, sometimes we need to just put everything aside….just for a few moments, and think about nothing and no one, except for ourselves.  Because these precious moments give us the momentum to then give back to those around us.

Aside from that, I noticed something just as wonderful. Our common struggle resulted in a non judgemental atmosphere.

You see, I understood why the sister was there….and that was far dearer to me than caring if her child was in her pyjamas. 

Sisters didn’t get mad when a random toddler tugged at their khimar…they were used to it.

Noone seemed to point fingers when a child was disruptive – there were no stern looks. 

My dua for you my dear sister is that you benefitted from those few moments of peace…may Allah reward you in abundance for all your beautiful effort, Ameen.

And if you ever run out of baby wipes? I have plenty…don’t worry.


Crack the Ramadan Code: Junior Edition!

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu sisters,

I hope you are all well.  I had several sisters message me to say that they will be doing the ‘Crack the Ramadan code-challenge’ with their families, which is super Allahuma barik.  However, there were some sisters who told me that their children were a little too young to participate, so I made a toddler-friendly version!
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The setup is exactly the same as the original challenge, even the code itself is the same.  However, for the junior edition, the questions are much easier, with clues and pictures to help the child further.  Of course, a grown-up helper can help spell out the word too. Read More


Family Challenge: Crack the Ramadan Code!

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu

I hope everyone is doing well and getting excited for Ramadan which is less than a week away!  

Today, I’d like to share another Ramadan activity that can be done by the whole family.  Like our Gratitude board, this ones not just for the kids.  Kids, parents, grandparents and guests can all join in.  But there’s a big difference….. this is a CHALLENGE!

Let me introduce our ‘CRACK THE RAMADAN CODE’ challenge.

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The concept is simple.  Every day, for the next 30 days (or 29) you will be handed an envelope.  In this envelope, there will be a question related to Ramadan.  There are some simple questions, and some fairly challenging.  I kept them varied so everyone has a chance to help crack the code! Read More


The self-care myth

Asalamu Alaykum ladies
Ever find yourself…

Still wearing the same pjs/shalwar kameez/sheedh or baati you woke up with at 5pm?
Forgetting to brush your teeth?
Eating the whole family size bar of chocolate, instead of a couple of squares?

I feel you, I’ve done the same.

You see as mothers, and homeschool moms, in particular, I feel, as our responsibilities increase and the demands of daily life seem like an ever-growing mountain, we tend to put our self-care on the back burner.  

Ahh yes, the infamous old ‘Self-care’ that we’ve all heard about before.  It’s the term we google late at night when we’ve slept with our coffee-stained PJs, wondering whatever happened to the old me. 

But self-care for me is simple. 

It’s anything you do for yourself that feeds your mind, body and soul. 

And a word of warning here..it doesn’t have to be so elaborate! One mistake I feel we make when we do have those late night panic attacks, is to associate self-care with something that takes up hours of time which we don’t have, hence we swiftly click off Google and go back to binging on our chocolate bar.  

But self-care doesn’t have to mean we need to go on a mountainous hike, all alone, with a coffee every morning before the kids wake up.  Or that you must commit to a gym workout every day while the hubby keeps the kids.  While it’s fantastic if you can do this (!), it’s not realistic for everyone.   

On the other hand, don’t make the mistake of thinking that those pockets of time you do have for yourself though, are better spent on doing something else either. When we make self-care an extra thing to squeeze in ‘if we have time’, as opposed to a ‘priority’, we fall into a vicious circle of feeling like we’re living in the same day.  Lack of nourishing ourselves, and giving to others constantly without replenishing, leads to a bad case of getting burnt out. 

So make a promise to yourself today and… 

Don’t skip that shower to get an early start on breakfast.
Pray on time, the hoover can wait.
Brush your teeth first, the kids seemed to be immune to each others ‘morning breath’ anyway.
Realise when one cup of coffee becomes one too many, and replace with water instead.
While the kids are playing, read that book which inspires you.
Don’t skip making the juice because of the mess.  It doesn’t bother you when you know allowing the kids to make pizza will make them happy, so it shouldn’t bother you when you know how good it will make you feel after.
Get the workout in – come rain or shine!
Schedule a class for yourself, either in person or online.  Do what works for you.
Go for a long walk, and take the kids with you if you have to!

Have a wonderful day ladies!

 


Family Ramadan Craft: Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu

Ramadan is mere days away, and as it draws closer our excitement increases.  Most Ramadan crafts and activities tend to be for children but this one is for everyone.  We have done our gratitude board before, and now everyone is looking forward to using it again, Allahuma barik.

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The concept is simple.  After you break your fast and have completed another day of the blessed month, everyone lists down one thing that they were grateful for that day. Kids, parents, extended family and guests you have that night join in and take a turn to write onto a post-it note. 

By the time Ramadan has finished, you will be left with a board brimming full of things that Allah has blessed you with, a drop in the ocean compared to the number of the favours Allah has blessed us with, Alhamdulillah.

See, there is always something to write about….but not enough space to write down everything.

It will take you less than 10 minutes to put this together, but it will be memorable for your whole family, inshaAllah.  It’s also inexpensive, and easy for someone who is not an avid crafter!  Read More


Parenting popped my personal bubble.

Asalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ladies, what comes to your mind if I was to say…

“Parenting popped my personal bubble.

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Let me elaborate.
Do you ever miss…
Praying salah without someone tugging at your khimar, perhaps in a quiet room, with lit candles and bukhoor burning in the background?
Eating a chocolate bar, without having to share a piece?
Being able to focus on your needs, without having to pause to cook, clean or tend to kids?
Having a decent nights sleep, without that having to mean you wake up to twice the amount of chores?
Attending classes at the masjid without worrying about finding a creche?
Having time with your spouse, when you could take impromptu holidays and have alone time that didn’t need to be scheduled?
Being your pre-baby weight, since you’ve had children your body has not been the same?

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