February 6, 2012
It’s all about the kids
Whenever we talk about homeschooling the first thing we think of is our children. We all ask different questions. At what age can they start? Is it better for them? How will they make friends? Can they go to college? We think of our children first and rightly so, because they are the center of our world. However, is it really just about them?
While homeschooling my children there have been some unintended consequences that I have had to cope with. These unintended consequences are that I am learning as much as I am teaching, if not more, and I am certain that I am not alone. Often times we focus upon the advantages homeschooling has for our children and forget about the teacher within the homeschooling equation, and the benefits that come out of it. It has been said that we retain only a certain percentage of information through reading, listening, and experiencing something, but that we retain the greatest amount of information through teaching. This is probably because in order to teach something you have to understand it. Sometimes just through trying to teach a subject to your child, you fortify information that may otherwise have been forgotten, misunderstood, or less coherent.
Many a time I have been looking though my son’s curriculums and realized that there are major gaps in my knowledge, things that I need to relearn. Personally I have found this realization has served as a driving force for me to push myself in my educational development, to learn new things and even to go back and relearn those things which I never had a handle on in the first place. It is a humbling experience. I want to remember how to do algebraic equations, understand the periodic table, do chemistry experiments by watching vinegar and baking soda react. Some of it is remembering childhood, but a lot of it has to do with that thirst for knowledge that seems to have been lost while “growing up” and moving into “the real world”.
Homeschooling isn’t just for kids
I must confess I’m not just homeschooling my kids, I am homeschooling myself in the process as well. I don’t believe education ends with a piece of paper, be it from a high school, or a university. I define homeschooling in a much broader sense than just teaching my children the equivalent of a public education, but rather I see it as a love for knowledge that transcends age levels and carries on throughout life. I love to study alternative medicine, agriculture, and the social sciences like history and political science. A lot of times in my own studies I develop a love for a subject or find something really cool that makes me say to myself “Hey this would be really great to teach the kids”, and then it becomes a lesson or even a completely new subject in our curriculum.
For me learning is a life process and I hope this is how my children will view it too. I want to be an example for them. I am always searching for new beneficial things to learn. As they see dad also in the books every day reading and learning I pray it has an effect on them. As they see me involved in their education I pray that they too are involved in my grandchildren’s education. I pray it is something that my children will pass onto theirs throughout the generations, and as I homeschool myself. I hope that they will too.
-Nick is a Muslim father of two boys and has been married for the past five years. He is currently homeschooling his children with his wife, while managing work and being a fulltime student. He maintains a blog about his experiences, curriculum ideas, and advice at www.abihomeschoolstoo.blogspot.com
December 12, 2011
We had a Peter Pan moment where the boys enjoyed the body cutouts for about a hour, before we actually used them to measure items around the house.
We simply used cardboard boxes, the boys laid on them and we traced their body on it and cut it out.
We made number cards on index cards to mark the spots on the wall so we could easily keep count
You can use the body cutouts to label body parts as well, it’s a great visual aid but the main thing is that it is personal because its them and so the children obviously named their cutouts after themselves: Takbir and Tasbeeh
Tomorrow inshaAllah we will use them for body parts, more measurements and play time
December 6, 2011
Tomorrow inshaAllah we will go over the anatomy of a worm but I prepared for the lesson today.
We wanted a brief and not complex description of the parts of the worm. I used this website: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/worms/anatomy/index.html and used the basic parts for the boys to learn. We knew there were more parts like the gizzard etc but to keep it simple we introduced parts they were familiar with and a new one called segments, the rings around the worm.
You can use stockings for this, we stuffed the inside with plastic bags and then used tape to make the rings around the body..the segments
We labeled each part and then we put the words and their definition on the wall, and it is written in basic terms that they could read on their own, whenever they want to go visit the wall and talk to each other..then they will be able to read it inshaAllah! Without help..so tomorrow looks like another wormy day inshaAllah
But today was a worm hunt, in the fields and bringing the lessons to the streets LOL
It was a rainy day alhamdulilah and so our job was pretty easy, all we needed were our tools…a cup and some sticks then we went digging in the dirt:
November 29, 2011
Alhamdulilah we taught a lesson in floating and sinking.
We saw this idea on Irresistible Ideas For Play Based Learning. Check it out ( http://www.playbasedlearning.com.au/2011/10/floating-sinking-and-predicting/)
Before we started this fun science lesson, we talked about the words float and sink. First of all I was truly amazed that my newly turned three year old Tasbeeh read the words float and sink to me when I asked him what did the words say on the index card! He totally took me by surprise and I needed a minute to recover lol
After telling them what the words means and quizzing them on it, I asked the boys to find three objects in the house that we will see if it floats or sink. After they ran around the house, I picked three of my own and then we met up to discuss what we had and whether it looks like it will sink or float.. prediction time.
The boys filled our bin with water as far enough to make a difference that we could see what sank and what floated.
The boys took turns placing objects in the water and telling me if it floats or sinks and this helped them to keep the definitions in their memory.
We laid down on the floor to get a better look at the items that went to the top and the ones that went to the bottom. It was fun and afterwards our four yr old journaled about it, writing his new vocabulary words float and sink and then drawing in his journal what happened with our wet and fun science experiment.
November 15, 2011
We had a nice simple fun activity
Today we did a collage of circles with different size tops
We identified which ones were big and small. Then we played Frisbee with the big tops lol
we had a light and easy day today and this made for fun review and practice on various skills from colors, counting, size and naming the shape.
Maybe later in the week we will do many shapes