Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Giveaway - Nurture Islaam Series Bundle

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Alhamdulillaah, indeed all praise is due to Allaah alone, that my small venture at www.umm-maimoonah.com is reaping benefits for us by the mercy of Allaah and benefitting many homeschooling as well as non-homeschooling families around the world. 

We are really enjoying putting out some unique and authentic products for our children with a different touch and feel providing facilitators the much-needed information and guidance for cultivating the little ones upon the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and opening up interesting and engaging ways to keep the little ones busy learning.

Our Facebook page reached 1000 likes recently and we thought it is time to say "Thank You" to all of you out there who have been supporting us throughout. Yes, it's time for another giveaway. But this time what we want to give is our own products - Nurture Islaam Series Bundle for three winners who would use them all inshaa Allaah!

This Giveaway is Over! 

The Bundle includes: All are Downloadable PDF Documents

  • Selected Circle Time Materials
  • 3 Nurture Islaam Series Level 1 Books
  • Homeschooling in a Nutshell - from our Mom's Pack
  • My Book of Benefits - Template for recording audio lectures
  • My Book Report - Templates which includes Islamic guidelines
  • My Character Journal 
  • A Collection of Supplications for a Muslim Child with Arabic audio -  English/Arabic
  • A Collection of Supplication for a Muslim Child with Arabic audio - Arabic Only
  • Colouring Pages for the Supplications -  English and Arabic
  • Progress Chart for the Supplications - English and Arabic




Please read this whole post as the winner will be the one who has complied with all of the terms and conditions Inshaa Allaah.

How to enter?
  1. Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ummmaimoonah)
  2. Follow us on Instagram (www.instagram.com/ummmaimoonah)
  3. Leave a comment on Facebook or Instagram or the blog Giveaway post tagging 10 of your friends. 
  4. Share the Giveaway poster and this blog post link on Facebook or Instagram with tagging us, so that we know you have shared! 
  5. Those of you who do not use any social media platforms may leave a comment with your name or Kunya on the blog on this post and share this blog post link with ten of your friends via email.
Remember, the more you tag and share, chances are more to be winners Inshaa Allaah!

Terms and Conditions
  • This Giveaway is open to all Internationally as the bundle PDF Documents to be downloaded. 
  • The Giveaway is open to sisters who have children ages 3 - 13 only. 
  • The Giveaway ends on Wednesday 20th September 2017 at 12 noon Qatar Time.
  • 3 winners will be chosen randomly as per the entry requirements.
  • The winner will be announced on Saturday 23nd September 2017 Inshaa Allaah.
  • 3 winners will receive a download link of the Nature Islaam Series Special Bundle via email for one license only. 
  • The winners cannot share this link or downloaded files with anyone else nor upload them on the internet. 
  • The winners must use all of our materials in the bundle with their kids and send us a review with images indicating the products are used.
  • The winner must claim or download the pack within the stipulated time and if not claimed during the time period the winner will have to forgo the "Pack". 
  • No anonymous posts
  • One entry per person
  • All of the entry requirements MUST be done to take it as a valid entry
  • We may contact the chosen winners to verify the social media profiles
  • In the event the chosen winner has not complied with the above we will disqualify the winner and choose another. This will repeat till we choose a winner who has complied with all the terms and conditions Inshaa Allaah.
  • Our decision is the final decision Inshaa Allaah. 
Enter the Giveaway and spread the word.

Baarakallaah Feekum

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Journaling with Kids - Fun and Easy Writing Tool

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Many sisters have been asking me how to start Journaling with their kids and how Maimoonah does her journal writings. So I thought of sharing our experiences of Journal Writing so far.

If you have been following my blog you may have known that we started journaling when Maimoonah was around 3 years old. We actually began the journey of journaling with getting introduced to Ramadhaan Journals. These are some of the first journal pages done by her when she was 3 years old.



It was all about free writing and expressing! So that is what journals are for! Seven years later (she is 10 now), I can see how Maimoonah has continued to nurture this habit of journal writing pretty much independently and today she has so many journals with so many different things written on them. Still, does not stop picking up a notebook or two when going to a supply store!

If you check online you will read overwhelming information about Kids Journaling, what is it, why is it beneficial, what do you need, how to do it, how to start it, what not to do and what to do and of course much more. Relax, don't worry, I do not intend repeating all that is found on the net here, rather I would be sharing in this post what worked for us and how I personally view Journal Writing is benefitting Maimoonah in our homeschooling journey. And if you know us well, then we do not stick to mainstream dos and don'ts when it comes to any concept except Islaamic concepts. Our style has always been doing it our way, Alhamdulillaah! So here we go!

Journal writing can be done with even a toddler. Little Ramlah as small as she can be not even turned one and a half adores her own little books and pages scribbled with crayons and pencils So there is no right age as such to start journaling. Most preschoolers and kindergarteners would love to have a little notebook for themselves too. Primary and secondary students, as well as adults, explore journaling with their own unique styles. So any age is fine as long as interest is there or building up...

Benefits of Journal Writing:

  • Easy tool to motivate writing and expression
  • Less boring method to introduce notes taking
  • Improves grammar and spelling
  • Improves hand writing
  • Enhances written communication skills
  • Improves reading skills as well
  • Digs up the hidden creativity
  • Improves arts and crafts skills
  • Opens up the brains to think out of the box
  • Helps with Scrapbooking and learning the Islaamic Principles in depth but without being stressed or overwhelmed.
  • Helps to keep in mind important concepts in different subjects
  • Helps to explore the creations of Allaah and to be thankful for the blessings of Allaah.
  • A better alternative to keeping low the boredom or the constant whining  "I am bored" of a  pre teen or a teenager 
  • The best way to use the arts and crafts left over materials that hide inside the cupboards for months or sometimes years.
  • One of the ways to understand the personality of the child or the learning style of the child. This helps to facilitate the correct teaching style.
  • Helps to gauge the mind of the child and helps to check if the child is having any unethical or unIslamic concepts or thoughts within her or him. Knowing what is going on in the minds helps as parents to correct the false ideologies and concepts and put things right without making it an issue.
  • Great way to keep records of anything important or for that matter even the homeschooling journey.
  • Solves the problem of having to declutter or throw away the whole heap of papers written and drawn every now and then. Having all the doodling and writing in one book keeps the surrounding tidier and the storing easier. 

What do you need?

Honestly, a notebook and a pencil should do the job if there is enough interest. But it is nice to make the exploration a bit more appealing tempting and adventurous with having some supplies that will motivate the spirit of journal writing inshaa Allaah.

So here are few things we keep handy. Please note I do not buy and store any very expensive materials for this purpose only, rather most of the things that are used for journaling are stuff that we anyway purchase for homeschooling use. The challenge here is to use your creativity and complete the job with what is available. I have listed below supplies that are kind of mostly used and essential and some supplies that are good to have especially for older kids.

  • Any kind of notebooks or even sketchbook. You can choose larger notebooks for little ones especially because their writings may be very big at that age plus they may express more drawing or cutting and paste pictures. Also a bit bigger notebooks will be easier to turn pages, write and to use comfortably for the little hands. Keep in mind that it is always better to encourage free writing at the beginning than guided writing. Older kids may like small notebooks sometimes ruled ones and sometimes blank ones depending on what they would like to journal. So get the notebooks accordingly. 
  • Pencils and pens, fine liner pens, colour pencils, felt pens, ball point pens, fountain pens, brush tip markers, emboss pens
  • Erasers, glues, and scissors
  • Water colours, any kind of paints, acrylic, pastel, poster paints etc
  • Crayons
  • Water colour pencils
  • Decorative hole punches
  • Stencils
  • Post it notes
  • Wrapping papers 
  • Stickers
  • Washi tapes
  • Sellotape
  • Ribbons
  • Yarn
  • Decorative Stamps
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Coloured papers
  • Sequins
  • Glitter pen/ Glitter / Glitter Glue
  • Feathers, gemstones, any other decorating materials
  • Natures treasures such as fallen leaves, flowers, dried twigs, etc etc
Types of Journal Writing
Now that you have all the supplies what do you write, what kind of journal do you maintain? Well, there are many types journal writings. Here are few options.

While each one of them is done either using guided writing or free writing, we do not worry too much about what type of journals to write. In fact, you can just have one notebook and use it for all of the above. It is all up to the child and depends on the child's interest.

How do you start Journaling
Journal entries can be anything and everything.

  • Just to start off,  begin with a selected notebook and ask the child to write or draw something that happened on that day depending on the child's age. Make sure you allow the child to do free writing. You can gently prompt some topics to write or draw about or you could draw and write instead, eventually, they will get the idea. It can just simple as this

  • You can also use a ready made Journal for kids which include prompts and in a template format just to fill in the information asked and decorate. 
 Image result for smartark my journal

  • You can use a sketchbook and encourage children to write poems.


  • They can do some research work and write something they have been fascinated about. Maimoonah loved to learn about the bees and she recorded her findings in the journal. 

  • If your child has the habit of reading the translation or the Tafseer of the Qur'aan daily, then you can encourage them to write an aayah that inspired them on that day. Maimoonah maintains a small Qur'aan Journal for this purpose and uses art techniques she learns at the art classes to make it look nice. 

  • If you have babies, you can encourage your older children to maintain a baby diary. Helps with keeping records of the development of the baby, strengthens the bond between the siblings and in some cases, a nice way to get rid of jealousy building up. 


  • You can also get the kids to write short stories with lessons and morals. The ulama differ with regard to writing fiction stories. So whichever opinion you take it is better to get the kids to write nonfiction kind of stories or true stories. Maimoonah has been writing fiction and I take a balanced attitude with regard to this as I see her language skills improved a lot with the story writing but I do remind her to be cautious with writing.

  • The random journal entry can sometimes include a concept studied. We did geography the other day and I saw this journal entry next morning. Isn't it a better genuine way to see how much a child has understood from the lesson than merely doing a worksheet?

  • Finally, it can be something done to entertain a toddler who loves the feel of texture. The yarn is used here by Maimoonah and Ramlah is busy with touching and feeling!

Sometimes I see Maimoonah having a journal with worksheets prepared by her for younger kids and may be for herself as well. 

These are some of the examples I have given and you do not have to do the exact same with your kids. Let the kids explore their own linking in their own ways.

Journaling Techniques
As kids get older especially girls, they may like to add a touch of professionalism into their journals, so if your kids are like this it will be nice to show them some journaling hacks that surface time to time and also different creative techniques to use. You will find plenty here. Few Examples are below. Please mute as  there is music and avoid all the concepts and content that are against Islaam displayed in these videos and in any of the third party links I have mentioned if there are any.

Here are few things to be aware of

  • Make sure kids do not draw pictures that have souls such as humans and animals as picture making is prohibited in Islaam.
  • Encourage the kids to generally write something beneficial as Muslims are always cautious since they are accountable for all their actions.
  • Most people think personal journals are to be kept private and parents must not poke into their diaries and journals. I do not agree with this. Maimoonah loves that I read all her journals and pleads with to me have a look. And I love to read her journal entries with a cup of coffee mostly after Fajr when the house is silent. I look forward to this as I really do love her writings and cute thoughts! So do not create the private thinking in journal writing, but give them the assurance that you are always there to appreciate their talent and creativity while helping them to be on the straight path when they seem slipping away. But keeping their journals private from other than parents is fine and something that you should respect as well. So make it very clear inshaa Allaah. 
  • If the kids are not interested please do not force them. Even after you motivating with supplies, videos and anything else, they still do not show any interest, then know that this is not their cup of tea for the moment, may be they will get interested later. So keep the doors always open. For the moment look into what interests them and find a solution. 
So that's it. This has been a long post, hope I have not bored you! And I hope I have given you some points and tips to headstart this adventurous journaling journey with your kids. Enjoy! And please do comment below if you need me to share with you any specifics and I would love to hear your journaling journey with your kids too! 

I end the post with Maimoonah's words where she is sharing with you what she loves and benefits from journaling through the years...

"I like jouranaling because of 2 reasons: 1 is because it gives me cooling of the mind and the 2nd is because the next year or the year after next I can find my note books and read them throughly. It gives me insight and makes me see my mistakes so that my next journal entry can be better than the first. And it is a lovely way to glorify Allaah for His wonderful creations and to ponder His blessings opon us."

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Eid Mubarak - Eid Al Adha 2017

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Let us glorify Allaah with Takbeer

From the day of ’Arafah (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), up until the ’Asr Prayer on the thirteen day, are days in which the takbeeraat (saying Allaahu Akbar) should be said. Imaam al-Khattaabee (d.456H) – rahimahullaah – said, “The wisdom behind saying the takbeeraat in these days is that in the times of jaahiliyyah (pre-lslaamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their tawaagheet (false objects of worship). So the takbeeraat were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allaah alone, and by mentioning only His – the Mighty and Majestic – Name.”
Quoted from Fathul-Baaree (21/586).

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Art Classes - Homeschool Co-op

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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Alhamdulillaah we have started a couple of Co ops for the girls and one of them is the much enjoyed Art Classes. 

The sister is teaching the girls from the basics and I always wanted Maimoonah to learn this the right way. She is enjoying the classes so far Alhamdulillaah.

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They have been learning the primary and secondary colours, water colour techniques and how to use the brushes and much more. Since we do scrapbooking for other subjects and Maimoonah forever writes journals, she is very pleased that she is able to use these art techniques for scrapbooking and journalling! 

PS: As a side note, art also keeps away kids from overusing technology! 

These are some of the art work done by Maimoonah! Enjoy!

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Friday, 18 August 2017

KS3 - Grammar Bytes

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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We are continuing with KS3 this year and the resources we are using are almost the same as last year since we were unable to get on with it full time. So inshaa Allaah we hope we can complete the KS3 year 7 work this year with Maimoonah.

No automatic alt text available.KS3 is, what shall I say, a bit more challenging than previous years more for me than for Maimoonah. I need to recap, look into information to teach her certain concepts.

When I looked at the Grammar book we are using, I realized there are a lot more to learn, and these Grammar terms and rules have not been the ones that stay in your head for long years.

So make it easier for me as well as for Maimoonah we started a "Grammar Byte" Notebook. 

We use the internet or other reference books and note down each of the grammar rules that we study. The textbook does talk about the grammar rules but the explanation is very short and I found this site for grammar bytes which gives a clear explanation with examples. This way Maimoonah is able to understand and remember as I keep saying a sentence to her and ask her to identify the subject, object transitive verb, intransitive verb etc, 

This notebook will be handy for quick reference as well to check something.

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So as we go on we will look for the "bytes" and stick them or write them and continue the activities in the Grammar workbook Inshaa Allaah.

How do you go about your Grammar Lessons? 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Light at the end of the tunnel!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Alhamdulillaah! Children keep growing! Life brings new challenges, rather Allaah creates new situations for you! Your once set lifestyle takes a three hundred and sixty degrees turn! Routines are upside down! You long for sleep! You long for those memorable well organised homeschooling days! You dream of waking up fresh and energetic once again! You wish your little baby or toddler would help you make your day more productive! You yearn for that homeschool set up you had for years with all your materials and planning in place! You crave for those memorable moments of achieving your set goals. You wish you did not have to deal with pre teen syndromes in the house! You wish you were able to complete all that you planned for the year and you could get ready for the next year fresh! Furthermore, you just hope and hope that you settle back soon, Inshaa Allaah!

Home educating mums all around the world feel all of the above if not, even more, every now and then at some stage of their lives. Days and months and years may pass and you will still not feel you have done what you should have done! You may feel miserable especially during this time of the year where everyone is getting ready for a new school year! Changes may look so continuous! Relocation, illnesses, difficult pregnancies,  additions to the family, babies growing to be toddlers, young children growing up to be pre teens, pre teens becoming teenagers, once a little girl hitting puberty, sweet little boys entering manhood, change of attitudes in children, overnight behaviour changes, hormonal changes, family interferences, the list goes on and on! It may look like no end to your trials! But Alhamdulillaah hang on! There is indeed light at the end of the tunnel!

How many of us have said what is below,  year after year...No automatic alt text available.

Yes, babies will grow, toddlers will be young children, preteens will enter puberty, teenagers will be adults, children will learn eventually what they need to learn and Allaah will make your situation better Inshaa Allaah. The believer's affair is indeed so amazing that every situation you are in, it is an opportunity to earn rewards if acted and reacted as what it demands! 

Image may contain: one or more peopleFor us, it has been some really unsettled past few years with regard to homeschooling academically as well as Islamically, Qadrallaah. We have not been able to homeschool as we used to before for the last two to three years. We have had Ramlah, then many shiftings and relocations and still unsettled. There are days we wish that we could get back to that real study sessions and complete all that we want to learn and explore, dig deep into those books of the ulama and learn the important affairs, complete our innovative scrapbooks that we started a few years ago and much more.

I miss talking and discussing many different aspects and things with Maimoonah, I miss giving her all my time and attention, I miss planning and preparing lessons and projects for her, I miss initiating group activities and workshops so that she can have some out of the home learning, I miss our set up and our daily routine, I do feel bad that Maimoonah has to help a lot in taking care of Ramlah, and and and and, I can go on. But at the end of the day, Allaah blessed us with sweet Ramlah, she will grow and she is growing, Maimoonah is learning new skills of taking care of a baby sister, she is understanding her responsibilities and she is growing up too! And yes our situation will get better Inshaa Allaah.

 But with all what is going on comes more challenges to face with Maimoonah,  like a change of behaviour, lack of paying attention, losing focus, mood swings, over protection of her sister, socialising issues, being too playful and not serious with matters that are important, lack of concentration, difficulty in getting back to a routine etc..

I am sure most of us will have to deal with the above or even more throughout this noble journey. So what is the solution?

As always the first thing to do is going back to Allaah. Throughout this homeschooling and parenting journey at every point of a barrier or a hiccup the best action to take is to raise the hands and seek help and guidance from Allaah. This will surely bring tranquillity and a solution Inshaa Allaah.

Next is to identify the root of the problem. Why is the change? In our case, I know the root is not having enough time to give that once given full attention to Maimoonah. Therefore she does have mood swings plus it is her preteen years and there are hormonal changes happening too. So I need to remind myself and work out accordingly.

Another cause is her added responsibility of taking care of her little sister. Why is she having some socialising issues especially relating to Ramlah? What I mean here is that she sometimes reacts hypothetically when Ramlah is about to fall or touch something dangerous and yells at others around her may it be us her parents or anyone else. She also has the habit of snatching Ramlah away from even the relatives if she feels that Ramlah will encounter some danger. This hurts people around her, which is reasonable. The root cause here is not jealousy. Alhamdulillah she has not had this trait from even very small days. May Allaah protect her continuously from not having it for the wrong purpose. Aameen. But she is simply over protective of her sister. And this is the only way she thinks best to react. This behaviour brings rifts between relationships and can cause misunderstandings. We as her parents understand her but it is unreasonable to expect others to understand. Therefore we need to firmly admonish her to be mindful of others and make her realise her mistake in hurting others and at the same time make her know that we appreciate her taking that big responsibility of taking care of her sister. I personally feel if this kind of behaviour continues it is best to not expose her into such situations at least for some time, until she grows up and understands with age and maturity, as changing overnight is something that cannot be expected from a child. Inshaa Allaah this phase will pass! Hope and Hope! Indeed a refreshing blessing from Allaah!

I have mentioned these couple of challenges in the post for my own records as well for Maimoonah to read and understand one day plus to address few of the concerns of some sisters who have emailed me. I am sure each of our households have many different challenges to over come every now and then. For me these have been something new therefore I desperately needed to find answers and solutions for them. Taking some time to think and blog makes gives me reassurance to handle things appropriately and provides that peace of mind, Alhamdulillaah. And yes sharing will always help another human being who is going through the same inshaa Allaah.

So, we need to work on cultivating firmness, we need to build her self-esteem, we need to appreciate her shyness while teaching her to stand firm with her words and actions upon truth, we need to establish the fear of Allaah in her heart, we need to give her that much-needed stability, we need to show her appreciation, we need to make her understand that we understand her, we need to assure her that we will be there for her when she falls, we need to make her feel stress free, we need to cherish her cheerful disposition, we just need to make her comfortable to be who she is, of course with what is right!  A new episode begins at the age of ten for Maimoonah as well as us! May Allaah guide us throughout, Aaameen.

Inshaa Allaah we hope to start our school work soon once we are settled. Routine and a space of our own will provide more stability and consistency Inshaa Allaah. With Ramlah growing up we can once again do more interesting learning and exploring, find places to go and meet people, attend interesting workshops and more! And yes we are waiting to start preschool with Ramlah!!!

Indeed there is light at the end of the tunnel! Just hang on there and keep your duty to Allaah! Patience, Patience, Patience!

Finally, I end my musings with this wonderful promise of Allaah!

 The Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:

مَنْ يَتَصَبَّر يُصَبِّرْهُ الله

man yatasabbar yusabbirhullaah

Whoever exerts himself to have patience and pushes himself, when he doesn't think that he can be patient anymore, Allaah will grant him success and Allaah will make him patient because of his struggle.

Source: Collected by Ahmad in his Musnad (3/12) from the narration of Aboo Sa’eed al-Khudree. It was also collected by al-Bukhaaree (1469) and Muslim (1089) with a longer wording. The narration found in the Musnad opens with the quoted wording
Translated by Abul-`Abbaas Moosaa Richardson who added ‘Note: The translations may seem a bit lengthy for only a few words in Arabic, but they are heavy Arabic phrases employing lots of linguistic devices.’

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