Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Seasons (Pre-School/Kindergarten)

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Alhamdulillaah the next theme pack is ready!



Now that students have learned about themselves, the body that Allaah created for them, and the 5 senses that Allaah gave us, they can move on to learn about the four seasons insha'Allaah.


In this mini theme pack, students will have the chance to:

  • Learn characteristics about each season
  • Learn about hibernation and migration
  • Math: learn about and construct AB, ABB and ABC patterns
  • Use visual discrimination skills to find the picture that is different
  • Match fruits to the trees they grow on
  • Math: Sort items based on the season they are used in
  • Read 2 mini books
  • and more alhamdulillaah!


*Please be familiar with the Terms of Use for materials on A Muslim Child is Born before downloading*


**When you click on the above links you will need to download the file in order to see it. A preview is not available.**
 
 Enjoy insha'Allaah!



Saturday, September 22, 2012

The 5 Senses Theme Pack (Pre-School/Kindergarten)

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

After students learn about themselves and the body that Allaah has created for them, they can go on to explore the five senses insha'Allaah.


This topic is also found in abundance on the Internet so the purpose of this small pack is to teach students that our 5 senses are a Mercy from Allaah and with them we learn about His Creation and the various ayaat in it.


{...قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَكُمْ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ }


Say it is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing (ears) and seeing (eyes), and hearts.
 سورة الملك  (Al-Mulk): 23

The goal of this packet is also to impress upon children the need to be grateful and thankful to Allaah for giving us 5 senses.

{فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ}
Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying), I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me. 
سورة البقرة (Al-Baqarah): 152

Some of the activities in the pack include:
  • Discovering the 5 senses activity* (this is found on pages 2-6 in the pack). If you have access to an overhead projector you can use these pictures to introduce/teach the sense of seeing to your class. The pictures can be used to prepare students to get ready to use their eyes to search and notice details. For sense of smell page, you may try to have rose water for students to smell as you teach this page. For the sense of hearing, you may wish to find a sound clip of ocean waves that contains no music. An example can be heard here. For the sense of touch, many craft stores sell fake hay (or straw) that you can allow student to pass around to touch.
  • 5 Senses Labeling Activity
  • Identifying which of the 5 senses helps us perceive certain things
  • 5 Senses riddle activity
  • 5 Senses matching exercise
  • Math: Sorting pictures of foods and sounds based on certain attributes (i.e. loud, quiet, sweet, salty, etc.)
  • Math: More than/ Less Than (the game on page 26 is for the math centre. Two students use Snap Cubes® /unifix cubes (pictured below) and the spinner to play. The teacher/parent attaches a paper clip to the spinner using a brad. To play: the first student spins the spinner. Which ever number he/she lands on, he/she puts that number of snap cubes together and places them on the game mat in the column that has the number 1 underneath it. The second player spins and does the same thing but places his/her snap cubes in the column that has the number 2 underneath it. Students look and compare to see who has more and less snap cubes. Students continue to play and they record their results).

Activities with an asterisk (*) beside them (above) are used in centres therefore laminating is highly recommended so that you may use the pages over again insha'Allaah. Also, page 12 is meant to be photocopied and the extra blank cards are for teachers/parents to find pictures of their choice and glue them into the boxes to make new/different cards for students to use with page 12 insha'Allaah.

 

*Please be familiar with the Terms of Use for materials on A Muslim Child is Born before downloading*

 Enjoy insha'Allaah!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Back to School: Homeschooling Infants/Young Toddlers 6-9 months old


السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

The last post on the topic of homeschooling infants and young toddlers covered birth to six months old. In this post, homeschooling infants and young toddlers in the age range of 6-9 months old will be explored insha'Allaah.

Initially, this post was to cover 6-15 month olds but the information for both would combine to make a very long post therefore they will be covered in separate posts insha'Allaah. For those who are waiting for 10-15 months, your patience is asked and appreciated. Insha'Allaah, the time between this post and the 10-15 month old post will not be long.

Homeschooling your 6-9 Month Old Child

At this stage in your child's life, he/she is quite possibly able to roll from his/her stomach to his/her back and vice versa. He may also be reaching for objects now and tracking objects with his eyes. Now you may wish to begin introducing activities that will help your infant start developing hand-eye coordination, visual acuity, develop his/her concentration, balance and coordination insha'Allaah.

Your little one still needs regular naps throughout the day and this will be taken into consideration as you plan what you would like to teach your child insha'Allaah. Athkaar and Quraan are still essential just as they were for the newborn to 5 month old.

Baby's schedule at this age can include activities such as:

  • Treasures baskets: fill a wooden (not plastic) basket with various objects for your child to explore. These baskets have lots of potential as you can choose to have items that have a particular theme such as: colours, textures (i.e all wooden objects, all red objects, lots of different colour fabrics, various pieces of velvet, etc), items that represent places in the home (i.e. safe items that we use for personal care- soft brush, wooden comb, clean sponge, soft small towel, etc.). You can change the items in the treasure basket every week or when you notice your child has lost interest in the current items.
  • Parts of the face: teach baby the following names: nose, ears, face, hair, and mouth/lips by touching each part and slowly and clearly saying the name of the body part.
  • Give baby a pot and its lid to explore. First show baby how the lid comes off and how we put it on and then allow baby to explore on his own.
  • Pincer grasp activities: Give baby a bowl of cheerios (or other similarly healthy cereal). With your thumb and forefinger only, show baby how to remove the cereal from the small bowl and place it on the table. Then show baby how to put the cheerio back into the bowl. Allow baby to try on her own. This activity requires that you show and you do not need to explain your actions.
  • Creative Commons: Steakpinball
  • Sound bottles: These can be easily made using empty film canisters. You can place safe non-edible things into the canister, seal it to make sure it cannot be opened by the infant and allow him/her to shake it to experience the sound different items make. Items that you may consider placing inside include: sand, a large button, a or a coin. Try to choose items that have distinctly different sounds. It is extremely important that you make sure the canister cannot be opened by the infant and that the items you place inside do not present a choking hazard.
  • To help baby work on fine motor skills and grasping, you can still present beautiful Montessori Inspired Wooden Toys for play and exploration insha'Allaah.


  • You can also take a soft toy and place it in your child's field of vision. When you notice he/she has noticed the object and is paying attention, slowly move the object from your right to your left (or left to right if your child will read and learn in English or any language that is read from left to right), allow the child to track the object (visually).
  • Since baby may be sitting up and rocking (but not yet moving forward), you can assist baby in developing the ability to move forward by placing a soft toy (that you feel confident she likes and will want) in her direct line but not too far away. Allow baby the time to try to move forward to obtain the object. She will be using the large muscles in her legs while trying to obtain her objective. Do not allow baby to become frustrated but do not give the toy to baby too soon. Allow her time to work on trying to move forward to get it independently.
  • Play hide and seek: With a toy and a pillow, hide the toy under the pillow leaving a large part of the toy showing. Invite baby to find the hidden toy.
  • Montessori Object Permanence Box with Tray and Ball:The child drops the ball into the hole in the top of the box. The ball will roll out of the box and into the attached tray. This action allows the child to experience object permanence by seeing that the ball did not just disappear. "It practices precise hand movements while sending information to the brain as well as develops hand, wrist and finger control - also known as "refined hand movements" {from Amazon.com}.

Activities such as those mentioned above do not need to be long in their presentation and can last a few minutes or several. Again, if your child wishes to continue with an activity allow him/her to do so uninterrupted but if you notice the child has lost interest, end the activity and take the child with you as you clean up the materials and put them in their correct spot.

Your baby's weekly schedule may resemble the one below:

Click for larger view insha'Allaah

Present such activities 2-3 times each day insha'Allaah (i.e. after breakfast present a treasure basket, after baby's first nap play hide and seek, before dinner give baby a pot and pan to explore after showing her how to remove and replace the lid). Change the activities up as you notice baby no longer shows interest. Hmm...that sounds rather like a prescription from the doctor does it not? "Present activities 2-3 times each day...repeat until baby no longer shows interest". Unintentional of course.

Insha'Allaah, the next post will cover 10-15 month olds. Check back!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Body Theme Pack

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Alhamdulillaah the school year is under way. After students have learned classroom routines and things about themselves that make them unique they can explore more about who they are with this next packet. This packet, My Body, teaches children about the body that Allaah Created for them.

{ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ} 
 
Then We made the Nutfah into a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators.
 
{14: سورة المؤمنون} 
 
 

{وَانظُرْ إِلَى الْعِظَامِ كَيْفَ نُنشِزُهَا ثُمَّ نَكْسُوهَا لَحْمًا}
 
Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh.
 
{259: سورة البقرة}



The pack contains the following material:

  • Learning that it is Allaah Who has created our bodies in a good shape
  • Naming the parts of the body
  • Learning authentic ahaadeeth related to the body
  • Putting together a "Parts of the Body" mini-dictionary
  • Independent/Shared reading and comprehension
  • Cut & Paste activity
  • Puzzle with hadeeth 
  • Math Skills: Addition (to use the spinner in the file, place a paper clip in the centre and affix it with a push pin to the paper. Children spin the paper clip to see what number it points to)
  • 1:1 Correspondence Activity (Math)
  • and more!
*Please be familiar with the Terms of Use for materials on A Muslim Child is Born before downloading*

You can also use this felt board story to go with the story on page 6 in the pack. The story in the pack is an Islaamic adaptation to the story found here.

 
Enjoy insha'Allaah!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back to School: "Homeschooling" infants and young toddlers - Where to begin?

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Recently, several sisters have asked about how to homeschool infants and young toddlers. More specifically, where do you start and how do you know what activities to do with your young child.  

The guidelines you will find in this post are by no means hard and fast rules but are merely suggestions.

With infants and young toddlers education begins from day 1. What does this "education" look like? Starting with infants, it may look like this:
  • Observing the sunnah of welcoming the new born child
  • From day one establish a time/place that you read Quran aloud to your child (short suwar - pl. of surah) - or whatever you and baby are comfortable with. Be aware of baby's tired times and more active times and pick a time when he/she is alert. Try to make this Quran reading time occur around the same time every single day insha'Allaah but do your reading with baby when he/she is not occupied with another task. 
  • From day one (birth) read the athkar to your child. You can find them here in Arabic, in English here and here in several other languages.
  • When you pray, place your child in a spot were he/she can see and/or hear the salat.
  • Talk to and with your infant/toddler frequently. Praise Allaah frequently so that your child hears this (i.e. Subhana'Allaah, Alhamdulillaah, Allaahu Akbar).  
  • Name objects in his/her environment. Pick him/her up or when he/she is near you, tell your child what you are doing. Explain the steps you will do to complete the task you are engaged in (i.e. I am going to bake some cookies insha'Allaah. First I will need a large bowl to mix all of the ingredients. Next, I will assemble the ingredients. I will need flour, eggs, sugar, milk. etc.). 
  • Be familiar with the milestones for your child's age group and be familiar with what children at his/her age are typically able to do by the Permission of Allaah. This will greatly assist you when deciding on what you want to teach your child and when (i.e. at what stage).
  • Decide upon what skills you would like your child to learn and begin with a long range plan.
  • Once decided upon, draft weekly plans that briefly outline the type of activities you wish to complete with your infant. The activities may be short in duration and as your child's concentration and ability to focus develops you will notice the duration of the activities may increase. But do not be surprised if your infant focuses on an object for far longer than you expect and when/if this happens, do not break the infant's concentration and do not interrupt. Allow the infant to focus for as long as he/she wishes.
Here is a sample of what an infants weekly plan might look like.

Click on the image for a larger view insha'Allaah

As you can see, the hours between each activity allow for baby's nap, feeding, and bath times. Your goal is to be as consistent as possible and to decide what you would like to do with your child, when you would like to do it and to verify that the activity is within your child's developmental capabilities insha'Allaah. And a plan such as the example above does not need to be typed out. Something written and placed on the refrigerator will do the job just as well insha'Allaah.

Here is an example of the typical development of children birth to 12 months old (keep in mind that children develop at different rates):
  
BY FOUR MONTHS 
 PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
  • weight: 10-18 pounds
  • length: 23-27 inches
  • sleeps about 6 hours before waking during the night
  • averages 14-17 hours of sleep daily
  • lifts head and chest when lying on stomach
  • holds both eyes in a fixed position
  • follows a moving object or person with eyes
  • grasps rattle or finger
  • wiggles and kicks with arms and legs
  • rolls over (stomach to back)
  • sits with support
 SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • cries (with tears) to communicate pain, fear, discomfort, or loneliness
  • babbles or coos
  • loves to be touched and held close
  • responds to a shaking rattle or bell
  • returns a smile
  • responds to peak-a-boo games
 INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT
  • explores objects with mouth
  • plays with fingers, hands, toes
  • reacts to sound of voice, rattle, bell
  • turns head toward bright colors and lights
  • recognizes bottle or breast
BY EIGHT MONTHS
 PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
  • weight: 14-23 pounds
  • length: 25-30 inches
  • first teeth begin to appear
  • drools, mouths and chews on objects
  • needs at least 3-4 feedings per day
  • reaches for cup or spoon when being fed
  • drinks from a cup with help
  • enjoys some finely-chopped solid foods
  • closes mouth firmly or turns head when no longer hungry
  • may sleep 11-13 hours at night although this varies greatly
  • needs 2-3 naps during the day
  • develops a rhythm for feeding, eliminating, sleeping, and being awake
  • true eye color is established
  • rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back
  • sits alone without support and holds head erect
  • raises up on arms and knees into crawling position; rocks back and forth, but may not move forward
  • uses finger and thumb to pick up an object
  • transfers objects from one hand to the other
  • hair growth begins to cover head
 INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT
  • cries in different ways to say he is hurt, wet, hungry, or lonely
  • makes noises to voice displeasure or satisfaction
  • recognizes and looks for familiar voices and sounds
  • learns by using senses like smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing
  • focuses eyes on small objects and reaches for them
  • looks for ball rolled out of sight
  • searches for toys hidden under a blanket, basket, or container
  • explores objects by touching, shaking, banging, and mouthing
  • babbles expressively as if talking
  • enjoys dropping objects over edge of chair or crib
 SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • responds to own name
  • shows fear of falling off high places such as table or stairs
  • spends a great deal of time watching and observing
  • responds differently to strangers and family members
  • imitates sounds, actions, and facial expressions made by others
  • shows distress if toy is taken away
  • squeals, laughs, babbles, smiles in response
  • likes to be tickled and touched
  • smiles at own reflection in mirror
  • raises arms as a sign to be held
  • recognizes family member names
  • responds to distress of others by showing distress or crying
  • shows mild to severe anxiety at separation from parent
 BY 12 MONTHS
 PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
  • weight: 17-27 pounds
  • length: 27-32 inches
  • sleeps 11-13 hours at night
  • some babies will stop taking a morning nap; others will continue both morning and afternoon naps
  • begins to refuse bottle or weans self from breast during day
  • needs 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between
  • enjoys drinking from a cup
  • begins to eat finger foods
  • continues to explore everything by mouth
  • enjoys opening and closing cabinet doors
  • crawls well
  • pulls self to a standing position
  • stands alone holding onto furniture for support
  • walks holding onto furniture or with adult help
 INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT
  • says first word
  • says da-da and ma-ma or equivalent
  • bounces     
  • interested in picture books
  • pays attention to conversations
  • claps hands, waves bye, if prompted
  • likes to place objects inside one another
 SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • imitates adult actions such as drinking from a cup, talking on phone
  • responds to name
  • likes to watch self in mirror
  • expresses fear or anxiety toward strangers
  • wants caregiver or parent to be in constant sight
  • offers toys or objects to others but expects them to be returned
  • may become attached to a favorite toy or blanket
  • pushes away something he does not want


  IDEAS FOR CAREGIVERS

  • Help infants develop a sense of trust and security by responding to their cries. Feeling secure encourages infants to try new things. Be consistent so that they will know what to expect.
  • Place babies in new places and new positions so that they can see you and others from different angles.
  • Hold and cuddle infants when feeding them. Even infants who hold their own bottle need to be held. Being held and cuddled frequently is
    extremely important in the development of baby's sense of self-worth and security. Holding and cuddling a baby is also a great stress releaser
    for an adult. Do not prop infants drinking from a bottle as it may cause choking.
  • Respect a baby's natural schedule. Most babies will settle into a regular routine for eating, sleeping, and soiling their diapers, but the
    schedule will vary depending on the baby. Some babies need to eat more frequently than some others. Some will sleep more and take longer naps.
  • Baby-proof everything! Store toxic substances such as dishwasher detergent, make-up, paint, or medicine up high. Put safety latches on
    cabinets and covers on electrical outlets. Lower crib mattresses so that older infants can't fall over the rail. Cover sharp corners of tables or shelves that infants might bump into.
  • Expose babies to bright colors and a variety of objects to look at. Pictures, moving objects, brightly colored or contrasting color toys attract infants.
        
      
  • Provide interesting objects for infants to feel, touch, mouth, and explore. Square nylon scarves, cold metal bowls, plastic measuring cups,
    large wooden spoons, and wet washcloths are favorite household toys. Keep easy-to-swallow objects out of infant's reach. Babies should not be
    allowed to play with anything smaller than a half dollar (about 1-1/4 inch).
  • Provide opportunities for infants to smell different smells. Lemon, vanilla, and apple juice are wonderful kitchen smells. Babies also enjoy smelling tree bark, dirt, grass, and other natural things.
  • Expose older babies to a variety of tastes and temperatures in food. Offer cold sherbet, warm oatmeal, mashed peaches, and chopped cooked carrots.
  • Help babies develop a sense of movement and balance by gently bouncing, swaying, swooping, and swinging with them.
  • Talk to infants. Face infants when talking to them so they can see you and smile with you. Talk about what you are doing, familiar objects, or
    people. You may even want to babble back or echo sounds your baby makes much as you would in a regular conversation. Even though an infant cannot understand everything you say, he will be learning many words that will form the basis for language later on.
  • Read to infants. Babies enjoy cuddling on a caregiver's lap, looking at colorful picture books, and hearing the rhythm of their voice. With
    time they begin to understand that words have meaning and can be used to identify objects.
  • Encourage older infants to feed themselves by offering pieces of banana and soft bread sticks. Give babies a spoon with some mashed
    potatoes or other sticky food, and let them practice eating with a spoon. Yes, it will be messy! Be patient. Learning this skill takes lots of practice.
  • Play peek-a-boo. Hide your face behind a blanket and then peek out at the baby. Older babies will learn to do this themselves and will enjoy this game for a long time.
  • Give babies the freedom to move around. Young infants enjoy being on their backs so that they can kick, wiggle, and look around. Older
    infants need space and time to practice crawling, creeping, pulling up, and walking. Spending too much time in a walker, playpen, or infant swing may inhibit the development of these important skills.
  • Stay with infants when someone new is around. Encourage strangers to approach slowly. Introduce an infant by name, and let him explore someone new in the safety of your presence.
Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC. Oesterreich, L. (1995). Ages & stages - newborn to 1 year. In L. Oesterreich, B. Holt, & S. Karas, Iowa family child care handbook [Pm 1541] (pp. 192-196). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Extension.

Insha'Allaah, the next email will touch upon homeschooling infants and young toddlers that are between 6 and 15 months old or if there is somethings else that you had hoped to be covered in this post, please leave a comment and if possible, this post will be updated or another supplementary post will be added insha'Allaah. 

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