Archive for ‘Guest Writer’

February 6, 2012

Confessions From A Homeschooling Dad

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?

Who benefits?
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

May 9, 2011

>Flower Theme Challenge: Fancy Flowers

>By: Safiya

Was happy to find your blog and FB page and to read and learn about you’re adventures with you’re children. Ma sha Allah you’re Ideas and tips are really great and easy. Am really newbie to this idea with no experience at all in teaching, just began it few days still back still dont know my head from my toe on how to and where too. :)…but reading encouraging blogs like you sisters keeps my spirit high! alhamdulilla.

I am attaching a flower me and my four year old daughter Maryam did, I did this activity as a basis for her scissor holding and cutting. I cut long strips of it and she snipped them into tiny square pieces. Then sticked them to a flower I drew on the page we did it over two days, here’s the final image.

Alhamdulilah we are honored by Saifya’s words mashaAllah she also has a blog as well

May 9, 2011

>Flower Theme Challenge: Shell Flowers

>We had recently gone away to the seaside, and the kids collected alot of shells as usual.
So, there was no doubt that this project was going to be made with shells !
Muhammad (aged 4) was the main artist – with my assistance.
We glued the flattest shell as the center of the flower.
I wanted to use the other shells as the petals, but Muhammad vetoed that idea  , instead we used them for the stem and leaves which I think worked out better.
We had a collection of other odds from  a pot-pourri set which worked out well for the petals and to add a bit of colour.
We had glued it to card stock, but now that it’s all dry, the card seems too thin for the weight of the shells,  so we’ll have to reinforce it with a stronger board.

By: Carimah & Muhammad,
Cape Town, South Africa

May 9, 2011

>Flower Theme Challenge: Felt Flowers

> By: Kalimah

This week  we made felt flowers in a vase.  We traced and cut the flowers from felt, I had to do the cutting since the felt is difficult to cut with the kids scissors.  Then the kids threaded the flowers onto the green pipe cleaners for stems.  They gave the pipe cleaner a twist after the last flower was on, to hold them in place, then they ripped a small piece of yellow tissue paper and bunched it up and glued it onto the flowers for the middle.  We wrapped a cleaned out pasta sauce jar with pink tissue paper, mixed craft glue with a little water, and they used paintbrushes to thoroughly coat the paper and adhere it to the jar. Adding water to the glue helped it to spread easier, and dry to a clear and glossy finish. 

This was fun, and even my younger son, age 1, got to help, he ripped and scrunched up the yellow tissue!  So, it really was a fun family activity ❤

May 9, 2011

>Flower Theme Challenge: Flower Pencils

>By: Jamila Alqarnain
This is one of my favorite crafts! Flower pens/pencils are fun and very easy make . You can sell them, give them as gifts, or keep them for your own personal use. There are a few different ways to make them but I think my way is the easiest alhumdulilah. Here’s how you do it:


silk flowers
floral tape
pencils or pens
wire cutters

Use your wire cutters to clip the silk flower stem down to about 4 inches. Use two small pieces of floral tape to cover the top part of your pen or pencil. If you are making a flower pencil you may want to skip this step so the eraser can be used later on. Next hold the stem of the flower close to your pen or pencil. Start at the top and begin to twist the floral tape tightly around the pen or pencil and the stem. Twist it down to about one inch from the bottom. You should leave enough space to put the cap on your pen or to sharpen your pencil. Alhumdulilah thats it! Enjoy:-)