Monday, October 11, 2010

Arabic Websites

Below are some free to use interactive websites teaching basic arabic words and phrases. I have found these useful with my kids. Once a week or so one of my subjects is simply 'Arabic on Computer'. Vague I know,but it allows each of my kids to go on a website or arabic CD of their choice, giving them (and me) a break from the more formal program, yet still derive benifit Insha Allah. Listed in no paticular order, but some are harder and/or more comprehensive than others. These are all at a basic beginner  level.

First Arabic Words

Madinah Arabic Online

80%words(Quranic Arabic)

Language Guide

Arabic 4 Fun

Number Animal and Colour Games

.Fun with Arabic

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Islamization of Education

Here is an interesting and benificial video on educating our children in the west and the trouble we as muslims have in this field by Dr  Bilal Phillips. Insha Allah it may be of benifit. It's about 1 1/2 hours long.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

sentence worksheets

Todays contribution Insha Allah Are 3 sentence level worksheets suitable for first or second grade. Click links to get them.

worksheet 1

worksheet 2

worksheet 3

Enjoy Insha Allah.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Asma Al-Husna

Today I am writing about something I do as part of our morning group routine with my younger children (10 and under). It's memorizing the 99 names Of Allah (swt). Originally I worked on one a day but I found once you start to get a very long list for recitation, it becomes more difficult for them to remember the older names and revise the newer ones, so now we do a new name twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) while using the other 3 days simply for review of recent attributes. The concept is very simple, try to learn 1 new name or attribute at a time while constantly re-enforcing the ones we already know.

So on day one you would learn one new attribute. We generally start the session by reciting All the names we know until we get to the new one. Sometimes I jumble the order up a bit just to test them. I found my son(8 Years) did not think through his answers but just said whatever was next on the list so this forces them to think a little harder and really learn the corresponding name, Insha Allah.  I will generally say the Arabic name and they reply with the English equivalent. Sometimes I might say the English name and ask for the Arabic equivalent. This they find harder to do. Then I  generally read a passage describing the new attribute while they colour in the corresponding name. We discuss the new name and it relevance to our lives. That obviously varies depending on the attribute. The colouring allows them to recognise the name in written format, Insha Allah. I have my 8 and 6 year old identify the letters in the name. My 10 year old writes the new name on our 99 name revision board. There is only a few on at a time as its a small white board.

On our revision days we simply review any names on the white board and if we have time the longer list or play a game or other activity. (I will post about that another time Insha Allah).

For reading about the attributes I have 2 books. One is The Most Beautiful Names By Sheikh Tosun Bayrak Al-Jerrahi Al-Halveti and the other is  called The Most Beautiful Names of Allah By Samira Fayyad Khawaldeh. The first one I feel is more indepth, probably too indepth for young children. It also has The names and attributes of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) which I feel is an added bonus. The second is very brief and to be honest I feel some of the names have a weird translation, by that I mean they are not the standard translations we have become accustomed to, for example Al- Haleem is translated as The All-Clement instead of The Forebearing, While Al-Sabur is The Forebearing And Not The Patient as is the more generally accepted translation.Now I know that Allah's Attributes can not be translated with 100% accuracy but if you are use to the more traditionally accepted translations this book is a little awkward. I had my 12 year old go through and write the more traditional translations under each name.

If you don't have access to either of these books there are various websites that give a very brief introduction to the attributes. Just do a web search Insha Allah. My favourite for reading to young kids was actually printed off a website many years ago, they tend to be more simple and to the point.

Insha Allah (if you haven't already) you will enjoy learning about Allah's Asma was-Sifaat as well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Home Education

As one who has been educating my own children for close to 15 years, I am praying Insha Allah that I may be able to provide some guidance, ideas and resources for those who may be nearer to the beginning of this path. Over the years my style, methodology and approach has evolved into how I teach today. Education is an ever evolving process that changes not only over time but also between individuals. The needs of each child are different.The needs of one child today may not be the needs of that same child tommorrow. I do not believe in a one size fits all approach to education. Each child is a unique gift from Allah(swt)with unique skills and talent. I believe it is our job as parents to cultivate these gifts given by Allah(swt)so that they may become believing Muslims capable of benifiting society in whatever pursuit they choose to undertake.

There may be times in our journey when it seems hard or almost impossible to accomplish what we wish to do, especially if we have a new baby, a family emergency, or some other blessing or trial. There are times when we may feel like giving up, packing it all in and sending our kids back to school. However we must remember that Allah(swt)tests those that he loves and that the long term benefit we will gain through home education outweighs any temporary hardship we may encounter. It is Allah(swt)that has charged us with the care of our children, and it is us who will be asked about their upbringing. Ultimately it is us who will be rewarded or punished for their shortcomings as adults. Yes, I said adults, because if we fail to raise them correctly today, it will be extremely hard to get them to change their ways tomorrow.If we do not teach our children the values by which we want them to live today,they will not learn them tomorrow. That is why it is so important to have correct tabriyya today,while they are young ,and not wait until those few precious years are gone.I believe the best place for this is at home under the loving care and guidance of the family.

I am seeing this now as my elder children are in their teens. I look around at the condition of the youth in our local community and am so glad I was blessed with the option of home education. I believe it has helped my children to become better Muslims, stronger in themselves and stronger in their beliefs, not having to deal with the many evils and peer pressure our youth are subjected to today.

So for those of you on this home education journey, don't give up, persevere for the rewards will come with time Insha Allah. We may not see them today, but Insha Allah our home educated children will become a blessing for us and the community in their lives and a blessing for us in the afterlife.

I pray that Allah will make it easy for all us who have been blessed with home educating our children.