Saturday, March 9, 2013

Arabic Letters- Montessori School

I visited a Montessori School today and I was surprised and delighted to see Noor Janan Homeschool's Arabic Letters being used. I loved the colors that they used. It really warmed my heart.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Goodie Jar

Lil A was so excited about telling another parent about our Jummah (Friday) Goodie Jar, it reminded me that I should of shared it a long time ago.

The Goodie Jar concept came to me because of a couple reasons. I saw some really pretty painted gift jars on Pinterest and wanted to create some of my own. I wanted to create an incentive to be Good, in our culture somewhere being a Goodie-Goodie became bad. However, in the original story of Cinderella called Goodie Goodie Two Shoes,  the concept of Goodie was a joyous happy GOOD feeling. In these recent decades, "Goodie, Goodie Two Shoes" has been used to bully other children out of having good morals and character. Because being good or angelic is unpopular and the devilish child is the cool kid. This must be changed, starting with my family- lets be a Goodie Goodie family.

The concept of saving our special treat until Jummah is not only a lesson in patience. It became our way of celebrating our holiday read Holy Day of the blessed Jummah. Some Muslims are under the impression that we only have two Eids: Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha. However, there is a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon Him) that says:
      Oh Muslims! Allah, the most High has made Friday a day of Eid. So have a bath on this day, whoever has perfume should apply it, and use the miswaak (tooth cleaner) ~Ibn Majah

In fact, Muslims have many days of celebration and remembrance, Friday is the best of these days that happens every week! We don't have to buy into the consumer culture to make it special for our family and our communities. Simple things: like a piece of candy, a special Jummah storytime, a special Friday supper, feeding the ducks after Jummah prayer, inviting friends over for some ice cream, a community walk/hike in nature, a special Friday Halaqa and/or whatever creative thing you can come up with. The Goodie Jar was just my idea.

I used baby food jars, a masjid template and glass paint applied to the outside of the jar. I painted the lid and added a ribbon and a goodie jar tag. All the free downloads can be found under our Practical Life tab.

It is not so much competing with Secular holidays, but teaching your children to create joy in the life God has blessed them with. So this also fulfilled another part of our Homeschool curriculum called Life Skills. There is a wonderful book called Life Skills for Kids by Christine M Field. It is written from a Christian perspective, but it is very useful for anybody raising children. She talks about the art of celebrating life as a skill that must be taught. This is a beautiful lesson in appreciation and love of our Creator- the Life Giver.

So how do they earn a jelly belly, by doing Good deeds of course! Taken from the song "Who took a cookie from the cookie jar?" which again is another cultural dysfunction: encourage a child to steal and then blame someone else. Yes, this song needed a makeover. . .

"Who deserves a bean in their Goody Jar?"  "I do!" "Who you?" "Yes! me." "What you do?" This teaches accountability, taking ownership for their behavior and responsibility. They list off the Good Deeds they should have did each day and is rewarded for it. They can patiently watch their jar fill up throughout the week, then on Friday they can eat their treats. Since they have waited for soooo long, they never feel the need to eat them all in one day. They stretch out their jelly bellies out over a couple of days and share them with their siblings and friends. I write the number of beans that should be in the jar with a wet erase marker, to help my Beloveds to stay honest.

A graph is a fun and educational way to chart how many beans Lil A has earned each day. I made a graph and song chart for those who are not Muslim also. Whether Saturday or Sunday is your special day, there is a free graph for you also!

Keep up with our Curriculum Checklist

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Color Tablet Words

Do you remember these color tablets from Montessori? They are a wonderful manipulative and easy to make too! A piece of wood, paint samples and some modge podge makes very inexpensive color tablets, read more on Living Montessori Now

Blogging tips