Archive for ‘Homeschool’

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

December 6, 2011

The Week Of Worms..So Far

The first two days or worms we worked on our worm word wall and learned some really great facts about the worm

We learn about how many hearts a worm has and how they have no teeth

The second day we are working on the anatomy of a worm, and more facts. We are introducing new vocabulary words from the word wall in all the lessons this week. Here are our two projects so far!

Our words come from the Dolch list for preschool and first grade.

Then we made cereal worms to begin our intro the anatomy of a worm

We simply allowed  the children to glue the cereal on the paper and make a cereal tree


InshaAllah later we will go on a worm hunt!


October 31, 2011

Constructing A Kabah

For this month of Dhul Hijjah and Hajj we decided to do some Hajj related activities this week. We kicked things off with making our own Kabah.

We found some awesome history facts on the Kabah on Soundvision’s website, We shared with the children some facts about the Kabah and we looked at pictures of the Kabah online before we made it.

The boys did most of the work while we instructed them on how to glue the construction paper.


The boys paid much attention to the details of the kabah in the pictures we have seen. We even said that Kaf is for Kabah.

They went glue happy on this one “sharing” turns together and squeezing the glue, alhamdulilah they were happy and did not get glue all over the place so I was happy too 🙂  

The boys did an awesome job and after they added the yellow, hubby wrote the word Kaba in Arabic and English for the children




Facts about the Kabah taken from Soundvision’s website:

The other names of the Kaba

Literally, Kaba in Arabic means a high place with respect and prestige. 


The word Kaba may also be derivative of a word meaning a cube.

Some of these other names include:

Bait ul Ateeq-which means, according to one meaning, the earliest and ancient. According to the second meaning, it means independent and liberating. Both meanings could be taken

Bait ul Haram-the honorable house


October 2, 2011

A Few Fun Math Ideas!

These are a few pictures from some of our math activities. Nice and easy DIY math games that children can enjoy for a long time!

Graphing with leaves

Had a great time collecting them and then observing them.  A fun way to introduce graphs









Homemade flash cards with number on the front and the amount of star stickers on the back








DIY pattern sheets, we made this on the computer and cut out the similar shapes, then had the children glue them in the right place









Egg Carton Math.. we let the children paint the egg carton and numbered the inside… you can have children put the amount of cheerios or beans in each numbered slot

July 8, 2011

Bottle Top Caterpillars

Day 2 of our Observing insect life, our focus this week was on the butterfly. Our first day we went trough the various stages of the butterfly life cycle. Day 2 after getting to know the stages we made a caterpillar out of bottle tops. This is a simple idea that I have seen done on the Teach Preschool website: 

We picked different size bottle tops, dipped them in different color paints and put it on the construction paper. After we finished we added some googly eyes to the caterpillar.

We reviewed the caterpillar and what it eats and what happens in the next stage.

Lessons that we learnt from this experience:



and more facts on the caterpillar

Before we did the bottle top caterpillar we read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar  by Eric Carle and it really helped to get them ready for the lesson also the book goes through the stages again and it only reinforced the previous days lesson. We often collect bottle tops in our so we were very happy to put them to use 🙂