Friday, September 29, 2006

Ramadan Paper Chain

This is the paper chain attached to the Eid Present that we did in Madressa for the girls. This is quick and easy to do if you are short on time. It took less than half an hour to complete and my five year old daughter did almost all of the work. The only thing I did was cut the strips of paper for her to make the chain and then explained to her what to do. She decorated the Eid present herself and then attached the links to it. The paper chain touched all the way to the floor when I first put it up, but now that we've taken off five links it is above the floor. Both my daughters alternate nights taking the links off and then we count the leftover links together to see how many days are left till it's Eid. 25 more days to go! :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Iftar time in Orlando

Another thing that people are searching for and ending up on my blog is the iftar time in Orlando Florida. To view all the prayer timings for Orlando, you can visit Husseini Islamic Center's website to get the Prayer Schedule and from there you can see the iftar time.

I hope all of you are having a fulfilling month so far and I pray everyone's fasting is going well. My five year old is begging me to let her fast, so I suggested that she do a half fast but she won’t hear it. She wants to wake up in the night with us to have suhoor and then doesn’t want to eat till iftar. Luckily Baba took over and talked to her about it so she has simmered down now. We have been removing the links on our paper chain after iftar every evening. So far three have already been removed.

Here are some more month of Ramadan projects I found on other blogs that are just wonderful:

Ramadan Surprise Box by Sketched Soul - This one is so gorgeous!

Moon Phase Calendar by Zaynab - Very neat idea!

BrainPOP Jr.

I first discovered BrainPOP when we started Connections Academy. They provided us a subscription for it and my 5 year old went on it all the time viewing the little educational movies. She especially loved the one about rainbows under the science section. However I didn’t talk about it before because you had to pay for the subscription to view the movies. (Some of them are free if you want to check out the site!)

Now I just found out that they have a BrainPOP Jr. and it’s free right now! This is a great site for children in grades K-3. What it has are short animated movies that cover a wide range of age appropriate educational topics. My 5 year old sits there and loves to view all of them and also loves to do the quizzes, activities and play the games.

This is an excellent site to incorporate into your curriculum!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

RIF's Charlotte's Web Art Contest!

RIF (Reading is Fundamental) is having a contest for children between the ages of 5-15. The contestants need to create posters of characters, scenes, or other imagery from the book "Charlotte's Web". The contest offers exciting prizes for the winners in three age groups (5-8, 9-11, and 12-15).

All artwork is due November 10.

This link below has the official rules, entry form etc... Good Luck!
RIF's Charlotte's Web Art Contest!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy month of Ramadan!

It is with great joy and happiness that I congratulate all of you on the arrival of this blessed month of Ramadan. I offer my best wishes to all of you and sincerely hope that this holy month will bring peace, happiness, health and enlightenment to all.

Some hadith on fasting:
A person gets the same reward by reciting in this month, one verse of the Holy Qur'an, as others do by reciting the whole of the Qur'an in other months. (Prophet Muhammad (saw))

The day of your fast should not be like any ordinary day. When you fast, all your senses - eyes, ears, tongue, hands and feet must fast with you. (Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (as))

The sleep of a fasting person is worship, his silence is glorification (of Allah), his prayers are answered and his actions are multiplied. (Imam Ali (as))

Please remember my family in your prayers, duas and Amaals.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Painting and pen pals

Today for the science lesson we talked about land, water and air. I sketched a picture of a landscape with a hill and lots of sky and water on newsprint. Then my five year old painted it using lots of light blue for the sky, green for the grassy hills, brown for the soil and mud and bright blue for the water. There were some activity pages in the science book that had small pictures of butterflies, boats, clouds, airplanes, flowers, trees, etc…that she colored and cut out. Once her painting has dried by tomorrow, she will glue these pictures on her landscape painting where they would belong, in the land, water or air.

We’re supposed to put this in the portfolio folder that we send to her teacher next week. She’ll look at her artwork, worksheets and tests; grade them and mail them back to us. This will be the first portfolio mailing next week and we’re both excited about it. I’m looking forward to see what kind of grade she will get, and I think she’s looking forward to sharing her work with someone other than her family members.

Last week we mailed off our first letter to her new pen pal. Connections Academy has a program that sets the students up with pen pals of similar age and interests. So we mailed our first letter to a little five year old in Oregon. My five year old dictated a very polite and friendly letter to me and then made a drawing of herself and her pen pal. Today we received a response and I can’t tell you how excited she was. The best part was having her read the letter to herself first and watching her facial expressions. She was very surprised and excited to hear that her pen pal had THREE OLDER SISTERS! For some reason that was unbelievable to her. Her pen pal also loves to paint and has a dog that is bigger in size than her. So after painting her landscape, my five year old did a painting for her pen pal as well. A little girl beside an orange dog that was bigger than her.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Month of Ramadan Activities

As the month of Ramadan approaches a lot of us start thinking about how we will enlighten our children and teach them about this sacred month. For the younger ones, it’s always good to have things that they can see and perhaps do themselves and also activities that will involve daily participation. We can get them involved with preparation of food, reciting prayers, Quran, and arts and crafts are also great fun! I have found many websites with wonderful ideas so I thought I would do a jumbo list of them.

Here goes:
This week at Madressa we had a little time left over so we decided to do a quick Ramadan craft with the kids, it really only took about half an hour. First on a large sheet of construction paper we drew a ribbon and bow to make it look like a big present. The students then decorated it and we wrote Eid Mubarak on there. Next we cut strips of paper about one inch wide and ten inches long. Then we had the students make a paper chain with the strips of paper with 30 links in it and we attached it to the bottom of the Eid present. So their homework for each day of the month of Ramadan is to remove a link from the chain (with their parents) so they can see how many days of the month are left until it is Eid. They are all very excited about it and ran home to put them up in their room somewhere. My 5 year old did one as well. Once the month of Ramadan is here and we get it up I’ll take a picture and post it so you can get an idea on how it looks. It’s VERY easy and quick to do if you don’t have a lot of time.

Enjoy the links and please let me know what you are planning to do with your children this month of Ramadan!

Daddy’s little girls

I don’t want to admit it, but sometimes when I watch my husband and daughters together, I get a little jealous. I wish I had a father growing up. Watching them is so sweet. Whenever they need any kind of help, especially with their toys or something more difficult, they go running straight to him. I see him caving in and giving them whatever they want if they just give him their sugary smiles and use their sweetie pie voices. I know they are both very attached to me and they want to be with me all the time. However, they seem to have this bond with daddy that is just so moving.

At this moment, my 5 year old and 3 year old daughters are huddled together in front of the tv with their daddy watching Star Trek. HELLO, they are turning into trekkies like him, that is SO VERY WRONG!

Here’s something I wanted to share that made me think of my little girls:

What Is a Girl?
by: Alan Beck

Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people. They are born with a bit of angelshine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart--even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother's best clothes.

A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot...

God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiousity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman.

A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noisemakers, the girl next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, make-up, cans of water, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn't care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again.

Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale. She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity -- spend your money, your time, and your patience -- and just when your temper is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you've lost again.

Yes, she is a nerve-wracking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess--when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all -- she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all!"

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Waiting For The Call - Irfan Makki

Waiting For The Call - Irfan Makki

This is so beautiful, brings tears to my eyes. I went to highschool with him, I'm so glad he started reciting nasheed. Good job Irfan!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Even though I hate Dr. Phil!!!

Dr. Phil is planning a show on homeschooling. It's a good chance for us to show homeschooling in a favorable light, something that does not happen often enough. The link below has more details and an application to appear on the show.

Dr. Phil - A show on homeschooling

Saturday, September 09, 2006

15th Shabaan Mubarak

What a wonderful day it was, the birth of the twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi (as). My husband and I decided to do the amaal at home on Friday night; it’s nice to be able to do them together as a family. We can take as long as we want and enjoy reading all the translations as well. My husband also found a great website for sending Ariza.

During tonight’s lecture the maulana said something at the end that really struck me. He said that we should always remember to pray for Imam Mahdi (as), for his protection and safety like we do for ourselves and our family. I already did that, in fact one of my favorite daily duas is the dua for his safety, however I just never thought of it that way. That we should be praying for his safety like we do for ours. Such a simple concept that I’ve been completely missing.

Now I’m going to type out my favorite dua just for him, on his birthday! :)

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Allah humma kun le wali yekal
hujjattibnil Hasan,
Salawatuka alaihe wa'ala abaa eh
Fi hazehis saate wa fi kulle s'aat.
Waaliyan wa hafezan
wa qaedan wa nasera,
wa dalilan wa aina,
hatta tuskinaho arzaka tau an
watomatte ahu fi ha tawila.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
O Allah! Be now and at all times for Your deputy Hazrat Hujjat ibnil Hasan (may your blessings be upon him and his ancestors). Master, protector, guide, helper, proof and guard, until he resides peacefully on Your earth and let him enjoy (Your bounties) for a long time (to come).

To listen to this dua or read it in the arabic language, please visit: Dua for the safety of the Imam and don't forget to recite it everyday! :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to School Meme

Taken from Otowi!

1. Where have you attended school? -- Donwood Park Jr PS (elementary), Charles Gordon Sr PS (junior high), David and Mary Thomson CI (highschool) -- All in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.

2. What was your favorite grade? -- Can we pick more than 1? I loved 5th grade, the best teacher I ever had. And then I also loved 11th and 12th grades!

3. Favorite subject? -- Spanish, I loooooooooved spanish class.

4. Were you in any clubs? -- OMG, do I really have to admit this? Okay, but just a few dorky ones like gram committee and multicultural club.

5. Whatever happened to that old home ec or shop project? Or maybe it was science fair? -- Yeah what the heck happened to that pair of awesome shorts I sewed in sewing class and my fish bank that I made in wood shop??? I remember wearing the shorts at night up until college and my fish bank full of my penny collection up until 12th grade but then it's all a blur after that.

6. Did you play any sports? -- Yes, but mainly in elementary school. Soccer, and track.

7. Did you ever win a ribbon on field day? -- Yes, I won ribbons for some sort of running long jump or something, can't remember.

8. What was your favorite project or activity in art? -- I hated art. I am so not creative at all.

9. Did you play an instrument? What? -- Yes, flute, I think I still could if I tried.

10. What did you do in a school play? -- 5th grade, I was Shahrazad's younger sister, Dinarzad in 1001 nights (in which I wore a Sari for the first time in my life)

11. What is your favorite school supply? -- Pencil crayons, I loooooove my freshly sharpened pencil crayons.

12. Did you look forward to going back to school each fall? -- Yes in elementary and highschool but not in junior high.

13. Were you one of the first or last out at dodgeball or wall ball? -- Close to last in junior high, what is wall ball?

14. What were the cliques in your school and where did you fit in? -- typical like in every other school. I was in a group with mainly other muslims, all clean, good and innocent fun. :)

15. Finish this phrase: Down down baby just like a --------- (I'm sorry, I'm lost?)

Or this one: Miss Susie had a ----------. ?

And now share your own that you remember: ----------- ?

16. Do you remember the name of the lunch lady or the custodian or the secretary? -- Nope, sorry.

17. Did you buy new school clothes? Did you pick them or did your parents? -- yes, I did.

18. What did you do at recess? -- I remember lots of hopscotch and skipping

19. Hot lunch or cold lunch? Pail or sack? -- cold sandwich in a lunchbag

20. If you had a lunch box, who/what was on it? If you didn't, who/what would you have wanted on it? -- I don't recall ever having a lunchbox, but if I did have or want one, I'm sure I would've wanted a strawberry shortcake one because I was a fanatic!

21. Dress code? -- Typical muslim dress code sans hijab.

22. How many times did you get sent to the principal's office? -- hehehe, I think only a few times.

23. Pencil fight or dimes or _____? -- Can't recall.

24. One potato two potato, bubble gum in a dish, or eenie meenie? -- eenie meenie

25. What was a poem you memorized, and do you still remember it? -- Don't recall the name, therefore do not remember it. :)

26. What are the best children's books you remember reading? -- My favorites were Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books, I read them over and over and over.

27. Were you a scout or something similar? -- Nope

28. What was your favorite classroom chore? Taking the chalkboard erasers to the janitor's hall where they had this machine you slide them in and it cleaned them.

29. What gimmick did elementary teachers use to get kids to behave? -- I don't remember any.

30. What drills did you have? I just remember fire.

31. What were the hot hairdos and fashion statements? -- Unfortunately I had the crazy teased/curly hair with bangs and the big bell bottom pants!

32. Shared a locker? Had your own? Cubby hole? -- Lockers started after elementary.

33. Best memory of kindergarten or even preschool? -- Sadly I never went to kindergarten or preschool. I was in Pakistan till the age of 5 then when we moved to Canada and when I started school I was turning six that month so they put me straight into grade 1. I never went to school in Pakistan.

34. What color was your graduation gown? -- purple (which is also my favorite color)

35. Did you letter in anything? -- What do you mean by lettering?

36. What's the best game of tag? -- Kissing tag, NOT!!!

37. Red Rover or Crack the Whip? -- Red Rover

That was fun, went down memory lane and realized just how much I have forgotten already. Thanks sis Masooma!

Bookit Program from Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut has a program called Bookit to encourage children to read, or be read to if they cannot read. Now they have one available for homeschoolers as well. It starts on October 1st and runs till March 2007. They still have some program materials available, I just enrolled today! If you are interested in enrolling in this program then download this form:
Homeschool Enrollment Order Form
or call the number on the form and enroll over the phone, it's faster!
To learn more about the program visit: