Archive for ‘Help’

May 6, 2011

>Habeebee Homeschooling meets American Muslim Mom


Alhamdulilah Ponn Sabra’s intervew with Habeebee Homeschooling went pretty well. Its very interesting when the shoe is on the other foot lol mashaAllah. We are so used to giving the interviews on our show Homeschooling Now! that its a rare feeling to be the one being interviewed.

Reflections: Some of my notes from the show

About the article “Feeling Overwhelmed”-
We must remember that others may not have the benefit and pleasure of doing such an extraordinary task which is homeschooling, and in that we must show thanks and remember Allah for everything He has given. There is an ayat in the Quran that says:
It is through the remembrance of Allah that the heart discovers rest.” 13:28 subhanAllah so when we feel like things are too much and feel over loaded ..we must remember Allah for that peace in our heart and you will approach everything in your life differently.

My husband insired me to write a part two to that article alhamdulilah it felt like a much needed article for myself and for others. Some days we have to learn how to get refreshed relaxed and rejuvenated.

On the article putting the PR in Homeschool:
I have heard parents swear at their children on the street and it hurts me and saddens me, the world has these kind of people in it..muslim and non muslim, I pray the article can help parents see that those negative and hurtful statements will cause long term harm if continued.

Both of these articles can be found on this blog mashaAllah, they serve as reminders and reflections of what I have seen heard or experiened.

It was a good interview mashaAllah would love to hear any feedback on it!

April 16, 2011

>Feeling Overwhelmed


So You’re Feeling Overwhelmed?
Alhamdulillah you have entered the realm of homeschooling. May Allah bless you on such an amazing journey ameen. This is a wonderful time to make many memories with your child(ren) and promote a closeness in bonding and establishing a lifelong love of learning. You may be new to this journey or finally getting into the groove of it. One thing we can all relate to is that feeling where we can become overwhelmed. This feeling can come from many places and happen at any time. The purpose of this article is to focus on ways to avoid that feeling and if it just happens to catch you, the steps you can do to get rid of it.
A typical homeschooling day could be working with more than one child, taking care of your home, cooking and cleaning. One day it might feel like it’s too much. I recommend several steps to help overwhelmed parents.
1.) Keep Allah First.
There are many duaas one can say in times of frustration. In keeping Allah first you are putting more barakah into your actions. When there is a mistake or problem, seek refuge in Allah and make duaa for patience. Make a wudu and pray a few rakats, this gets you spiritually grounded and focused. Also when your soul is at ease, everything else falls into place. Before you begin the day’s lesson say Bismillah, recite faitha and keep the remembrance of Allah. Look to Allah for ease and your days will go smoother. Express gratitude for what you do have and goodness will increase. The more you show gratitude the more you will enjoy the honor of teaching and being a homemaker. We must remember that others may not have the benefit and pleasure of doing such an extraordinary task, in that we must show thanks and remember Allah for everything He has given. There is an ayat in the Quran that says:
It is through the remembrance of Allah that the heart discovers rest.” 13:28
2.) Take care of yourself
We are often very absorbed in what is going on in our homes that we tend to neglect ourselves. We must remember that we are an important part of our home and that if we do not function the whole structure of the house is thrown off. This goes into our homeschooling as well, if there isn’t enough time taken to get refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated then we will approach our homeschool in a manner that does not warrant a positive energy, we won’t put forth that “give it your all” energy. As I mentioned our homes run smoothly when we tend to take care of ourselves. More importantly if we spiritually take care of ourselves, it would be better for our mental and physical state as well. Of course there is nothing wrong with other outlets to take care of yourself such as a spa day or maybe its shopping for some as we all know that when you look good you feel good. I often recommend that if the day becomes too much then take time out, even if its 10 minutes, use that 10 minutes to make a wudu and a few rakats, it will change your vibe and put your soul at ease. Allah mentions good treatment to ones parents in the Quran, and for our older children we must share this with them as well
“And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims.” 46:1
“And We have enjoined on man [to be good] to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him and his weaning was over two years. Be thankful to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.”31:14
3.) Organize your time
I mentioned in an episode of Homeschooling Now! that organizing your time will lead to an easier homeschooling life. For instance, if you take the time once a week, say Sunday to sit down and map out the goals and accomplishments you would like to achieve during the week this would help you get your priorities in order. If the library story time is on Wednesday then on Tuesday the clothing should be ready and laid out for the next day. Lunches can be packed in advance and library cards put in their proper place. When Wednesday morning comes everything is ready to go, you are not rushing to find everyones clothes and shoes, there is some organization. Preparation is the key as my husband Ameer Idris always says and its true. You know the library is on Wednesday and so on Sunday night when you sat down to write out the sechdule for the week then you already knew ahead of time to prepare for that day. I also recommend investing in a calendar, the kind that is big and you can mark down the days of doctors appointments, story time, and family visits. It helps in homeschooling because you know that the homeschooling day will go differently based on that schedule and you know that you may need to work a little longer the day before because you won’t be doing much on the day of doctors appointments or you will know what work you need to focus on later in the week. Alhamdulillah for the joys of homeschooling

4.) Support Support Support

A lot of moms (especially ones that are homeschooling for the first time) become overwhelmed when they do not know what to do or how to begin. Having a strong support system is important for mothers to have that extra vote of confidence that they may be lacking and also it is good for advice and ideas. Sometimes we feel alone and we need to reach out to others. Alhamdulillah the Islamic homeschooling scene has increased and there are many resources for support. We have parents on the Habeebee Homeschooling group on facebook that are very good at encouraging and supporting other mothers. Also the group provides an outlet for questions on parenting. There comes a time when we may question our role as a mom and teacher, these are the times when we should seek much support and assistance. Mothers have come to the Habeebee Homeschooling group because they just did not know where to start. Also mothers come to show support and positive encouragement when there are accomplishments and success in a child’s homeschooling experience. On these groups we mention free resources that help in getting mothers started; sometimes we all need that extra push but alhamdulillah a loving one that will help you in the best choice you have made…which is taking the lead role in your child’s education.

5.) Don’t compare your child or yourself to anyone else

Now this list was not comprised in a particular order, except number one. After number one the rest of these steps are individually important and when put together can change your homeschooling, a lot and even outside of that. These steps are beneficial in everyday life. Our last step is not comparing your child or yourself to anyone else. I recently mentioned on the radio show about this issue. As parents we tend to measure our accomplishments by when everyone else has reached theirs. Your child is unique and moves at his or her own pace. What another child has done does not mean your child will reach the same level at the same time. Simply let go the notion that your failures and success lies in the hands of others. Do not doubt your parenting just because little Ahmad across the street can sing his ABC’s backwards but your son Jabril wants to spin in circles all day. While we can promote, encourage and support our children, we cannot force them to reach levels they aren’t ready for yet. Know that true success comes from Allah and that we can make duaa and ask Allah for that tawfiq, keep being patient and enjoy our children. Homeschooling done in a loving environment that promotes the love of Allah and His Messenger salallahu alayhi wa salaam and a love of education will help a child to blossom before you know it.
The (only) protection comes from Allah, the True One. He is the Best to reward, and the Best to give success. 8:4 <!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–> <!–[endif]–>

Ummi Circle View Article

-Ameera Rahim of Habeebee Homeschooling, is a contributing writer that resides in Brooklyn New York. A homeschooling mom of four she loves promoting early literacy, establishing educational households, and support groups for homeschooling moms.
April 15, 2011

>Time Out: Not Just For Children!


                                                          The children are crying, the place is a wreck, and you just can’t seem to get it together today. It happens to all of us, what is important is how we behave and act when we get off track. Are you the kind of person to yell? Say a bad word? Slam doors? or Give the children a harder time than usual because you are in a bad mood.
 Sadly, many of us let our emotions get the best of us, we must learn to master or feelings and know when to take a break. I say parents need a time out too, what happens when a parent takes a time out? They regroup, reflect, and feel refreshed. Then they are able to get back into the “game” with a whole other attitude. One that keeps the team together and motivated.
One of my dear friends said the M in mom does not stand for machine. I like to say the M stands for miraculous, we are able to dedicate ourselves to our family and be the strong backbone of support. The house functions much better when we are at our best but if we are not, everyone suffers. This is a list of reminders for parents when they need to STOP and take a time out.
1. Keep Allah (God) first. Turn to Him at all times and ask for Him to increase you in sabr (patience) and sakina (ease)
2.Take a breather, go for a walk and change the enviroment.
3. Seek the support of family and good friends. They can help you achieve number two and take the load off
4. Motivations! Talking to other moms/parents can inspire you and give you a pep talk and boost
5. Have fun, laugh, smile and thank Allah for your blessings.. there are so many you can lose count!!
April 12, 2011

>Putting the PR in Homeschool

>-Ameera Rahim, of Habeebee Homeschooling

Our theme song is catching on. We are now getting mail in our home mailbox addressed to Team Rahim. Its on the boys’ door in cool green and blue letters. Family and friends want to hear it when they come over. We woke up one day and starting singing this song and it has been our theme ever since. “Team team, team Rahim, team team, team Rahimmmmm!” We all sang this together in the morning, just before we get our day moving. You can see their faces light up as our hands are on top of each other and we raise them to the sky, looking as though we are about to run out on the football field, but even better we are running out to tackle every day life issues, no game, no tropheys, someones keeping score and we are in it to win it.

Win what? Win our children over with love and kindness, using our homeschooling as a means to support one another. One thing you can say about homeschooling is that it gives you the chance to be your childs biggest fan, cheerleader, and supporter. Many of us are in need of PR work, and I do not mean Public Relations but if you stick to what I am saying here, you might just make it in the world of Public Relations. What I am speaking about is positive reinforcment. Our children look to us for approval, they seek attention in many ways, either in a positive one or a negative one. The goal is the same: they want your attention. Our mission that we chose to accept, is to steer them towards good and we must support, love and appreciate the uniqness of our child(ren).
I was reading some post on Habeebee Homeschooling recently, I have been blessed to see the group growing and I have been learning a lot from others experiences and advice. A sister on the group mentioned that we “need to catch our children doing good”I thought about that, how often do you find yourself praising your childs good actions and accomplishments? When Takbir started to share with is younger brother Tasbeeh we made this a big deal. “Abi, Abi! Did you see that? Takbir shared the toy with Tasbeeh!” (I call my husband Abi as we do not use our names in the house that is so the children will not call us by our regular names) my husband turned around with the same excited tone in his voice as mine and replied “Whoa you shared?” he asked Takbir. Takbirs big grin was wide enough you could see his gums and he responded in an assertive tone and I want to add… in his super hero stance “Yes I did!” For the rest of the night he procceed to find items around the house to share with Tasbeeh and looked at us each time. Tasbeeh loved every minute of it and he is also now finding it much easier to share his own self. He will give his brother the juice and say “Share.” then bounce off saying “Thank you.” Of course we made a big deal out of it each time Takbir came with a new item, and alhamdulillah it was not draining or too much. We clapped our hands when Tasbeeh would share his juice. The point I am making here is that sometimes we spend hours and long drawn out minutes scolding our children when they are wrong but how much effort do we put into when they are doing something right?
Not only does positive reinforcement means using kind and encouraging words but it also includes using loving gestures as well. My husband says that society is “touched deprived” there isn’t enough hugs and kisses, pats on the back, and loving touches. When your child has worked hard during the day of homeschooling and has finally gotten that multplication down, what do you do? Use a kind word and show how proud you are and even give them a high five to seal the deal. What seems like such a minor thing is really major, whoever invented the high five knew how to show some PR. Little children especially love the feeling of hugs and a rub on the back followed by words of appreciation and support. Not only are we helping their self esteem we are promoting a behavior that they will emulate the rest of their life. As our children play with others and interact you can see them using speech and ways they picked up from home. My son will play with other children and his brother using words he heard us say, I heard him say one day “Thats right you can do it Tasbeeh!” I believe Tasbeeh was coming down the steps, something I dreaded for sometime but he did it one day and his father was watching close by and Takbir was near, being his little brothers cheerleader.
Alhamdulillah Allah tells us to speak to each other using kind speech and not to be harsh to one another. Our beloved Prophet salallahu alayhi wa salaam said to speak a kind word or be silent. There is much wisdom in this, if we speak too soon in the midst of being upset or angry with our child, several things may happen: 1.) Your childs feelings would be hurt 2.) You may feel bad for what you said later on and 3.) The energy of the house is off and everyone is upset. Know that our words leave impressions and feelings that last for a long time. Our fondest memories can be of parents being supportive and kind or it could be our childs worst nightmare, a parent that is harsh and saying these dreaded statements “You can’t…” “You won’t…” “You will never…” this could break your childs spirit. Children like this tend to feel low about themselves and always wonder about what they could have achieved. They also question themselves and their abilites. My husband often mentions the movie Finding Nemo where the father says to Nemo “You think you can do these things Nemo but you can’t!” we wan’t to raise our children in a way that we are not putting down their abilities but promoting their good behavior, celebrating their accomplishments, and keep encouraging them.

As parents we have to remember just as we love positive words from our boss, children love the same. We must know that the road to positive self esteem and kindness begins at home. Parents when interacting with one another should set the best examples and your children will watch and do the same. Our children look to us and we should catch them being good and make those moments the ones they remember for the rest of their lives. On the Homeschooling Now! blogtalk radio show we spoke on this topic and the audio to this article is now available. Let us make it our mission to use much more postive reinforcment in our lives, and you will approach your homeschooling in the same manner, one of positivty.

April 12, 2011

>Raising Readers


As a mom of four I understand the excitement of seeing children walk for the first time, using the potty, and saying their first words. We are amazed and proud of our children’s many accomplishments and we should facilitate an environment that can aid n our children reaching their potential.
Growing up I had a love for reading, often times I would walk to the library with my twin sister just to pile our backpack with books. My mother supported us in our literary passion by giving us the freedom and sense of independence by allowing my sister and I to spend as much time in the library as we wanted as often as we wanted. I found myself there every weekend for hours exploring the sections of endless reading material. My mind was open my eyes was racing there was so much to explore at my fingertips I could explore the world.

My husband often says visual is memorable and I am sure we have heard of the saying “Out of sight out of mind” if you have books out of the reach of children, how will they get to love what they do not know? If your child is young has a habit of ripping pages and being rough then I suggest to have board books available and the paperback books for special occasions when the chid can be monitored. It has even helped us to have the books in themes around the house. Upstairs by our bed we have the night time books, with such classics as “Goodnight Moon” and our family favorites “Goodnight Fred” “Goodnight Pillow Fight!!” and “Goodnight Gorilla” by our kitchen we have books such as “Eating the Alphabet” and “Things I like to Eat”.

Make Reading Exciting!

My husband and I do a blogtalk show three times a week mashaAllah and one show we did was about raising children to love reading. One thing we have seen that has worked in our home is that we made the book exiciting for our children. Key advice is to make the book come to life! Especially at such a young age where some children cannot sit still through a whole book. Alhamdulilah we have never had that problem! To this very day our 1-year-old, 2-year-old, and 3-year-old can sit still and listen to us read for hours mashaAllah. The boys would have us read the same books over and over again. How many times have I read “Green Eggs and Ham”? I lost count! We also discuss with them what they see and think when we are reading. Engage children! Why was he mad at Sam? and Where does the cat not like to eat green eggs and ham? Not on a ___? Not with a _____? Get them involved.

Make Activities Compatible With The Book

This is the super fun part! We take the books and bring them to life by making activities that match the book. For example we read the book “Caps For Sale” and this is a classic story about monkeys who takes a street peddlers caps from him when he is taking a nap. The book is very interesting but to bring the book to life we made a tree on our wall, colored some monkeys and put koofees on their head. The boys loved it and so as we reviewed the book you could see the boys looking behind them at the wall and looking at the monkeys. Once we came to the point in the story where the monkeys were wearing the hats they screamed and pointed to the wall at their monkeys. It was a good feeling, and if you enjoy homeschooling and working with your child as I do, then going the extra mile to see the excitement and joy on their faces when their books come to life would be worth it. Even the night-time books such as “Goodnight Moon”, you can have children color the moon and the objects mentioned in the book and put it above the bed, every time you read “Goodnight Moon” they will think of what they made with you.
These tips are what we have done in our home and what we are still doing. My husband and I love to read and we spend our days doing that, it also helps because children imitate what they see, you want to make the best impressions! Be the example you want your child to see and they will look to you and imitate you. Making reading a family time event helps because it aids in promoting bonding, reading independantly, and a love of learning. When you are reading point to the letters and make a game out of it, ask your child where is the word “dog” or “where is the letter D” there are many tips and inshaAllah I will continue to write more on the subject.

These tips are what we have done in our home and what we are still doing. My husband and I love to read and we spend our days doing that, it also helps because children imitate what they see, you want to make the best impressions! Be the example you want your child to see and they will look to you and imitate you. Making reading a family time event helps because it aids in promoting bonding, reading independantly, and a love of learning. When you are reading point to the letters and make a game out of it, ask your child where is the word “dog” or “where is the letter D” there are many tips and inshaAllah I will continue to write more on the subject.
 Keep working with your children all the dedication hard work and time pays off every day and please remember always keep Allah first!

~Ameera Rahim
Habeebee Homeschooling