Ummisra's home ed.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
We have been doing the following about length.
We drew pictures to illustrate the concept behind measuring vocab.
Draw, a tall tree/ a short tree
a long worm/ a short worm
a thick tree / a thin tree
We talked about ways of measuring and chose to start off by using unsharpened pencils. (Do they ask why it can't be just any sharpened pencils?)
We estimated how many pencils we would need and then lined up pencils end to end to measure the width of the door, the radiator etc.
The next day we used pennies and red rods to measure various items, (a book, a straw, a pencil, a brick etc.) Where more than one person measured the same item we checked to see if they had found the same result. We wrote down our results.
We also measured the same item using different measuring units. What is the length of the book in pennies, and what is the length in building bricks?

We also made a height chart. Next we plan to draw round our hands and feet and measure them in pennies and other units.

Saturday, March 20, 2004
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Recently we have been reading a lot of library books about animals. We have talked about the animals lives and drawn pictures to show what we have been finding out.
We have also talked about living and non-living things, looking at examples of both and using our new knowledge about animals to help us recognise the attributes of living things. We have drawn pictures of groups of living things and non-living things.
"Flora's Flowers" by Debi Gliori is about a little rabbit who watches her older brothers and sisters plant seeds and then decides that she will grow a house by planting a brick. The story shows how, as time passes, the seeds grow, whereas the brick doesn't. The story was an excellent way of bringing together our earlier discussions and of remembering plants in the discussion of living things.
Having read the story we drew pictures and wrote sentences to remember what had been read. Then we planted some herb seeds of our own. Insh Allah the seeds will grow as successfully as the seeds in the story!
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Cut out patterns from folded paper (snowflake style). You can use these as stencils afterwards.
Look for a patterns colouring book.
Make patterns using Cuisenaire rods. Let the children copy your pattern as well as devising their own. Map the pattern they make onto squared paper.
Colour patterns onto squared paper. Start by using only two colours (red, green, red green.....) in a line and work up once they get the hang of it.
Play verbal patterns around a circle. Again start with only two words. The first person says "yes" the next person "no" and so on. Once the idea is established this could be a way to learn the order of days of the week, seasons and so on.

I recently borrowed the following books from the library and found them both very interesting.
"Helping Young Children With Maths" by Sara Williams and Susan Goodman. This is especially good for anyone who feels that they may not be able to teach maths.
"Mathematics With Reason" edited by Sue Atkinson. This book is all about the importance of real life application of maths, the importance of children developing their own ways of thinking about and using maths and the importance of hands on experience with apparatus. It seems to me that all of this can be more easily achieved in the home education environment than in school.
What sort of apparatus can the home educator use for maths? Here are some suggestions,
Megabloks, Lego, other construction toys, (try car boot sales)
sand and water play using old plastic bottles and containers etc from the kitchen,
balance scale, kitchen scales,
Cuisenaire rods,
Play clocks, old clocks with the batteries taken out,
all kinds of puzzles and games. I have found useful things in pound shops and charity shops.
Junk for junk modelling,
egg boxes and small bits and pieces for sorting,
cut shapes out of felt and let the children rearrange them into pictures
marble runs, buy one or make your own out of cut up cardboard tubes.
Look at for lots of interesting stuff for maths experiences.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Children can produce a lot of paintings! How about recycling some? Bubble paintings can be cut out into lovely flowers which can then be stuck into collage. (Bubble paintings are made by mixing paint, a little water and washing up liquid into a pot, blowing into the mix and pressing paper over the resulting bubbles. Try pressing the paper over two or more colours for interesting colour effects.)

Focus on opposites. Try to find them everywhere!
Start by talking about the weather. Today it is cold and wet, can you imagine a day completely different from that? Once they are thinking about it can the children find some examples of opposites around the home? Hot and cold water from the taps, a full cup and an empty cup etc.
Get the children to show opposites with their bodies. Can they show big by stretching themselves out in all directions and small by rolling up tightly? How about fast and slow, noisy and quiet, happy and sad etc.
Get the children to draw or paint opposites pictures. A big car and a small car, a tall building and a small building, a heavy rock and a light leaf. What else will they think of?
Do you have an opposites puzzle? If not, can you make one? Draw pictures on card and cut them out as a jigsaw.
How about an opposites storybook? We enjoyed "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig" by Trivizas and Oxenbury.
Monday, December 22, 2003
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
The aim of this activity is to introduce some basic geographical vocabulary and to understand that the world was created by Allah.
Collect some travel brochures that show pictures of mountains, glaciers, forests and so on. Look through the brochures with the children, talking about what you see. Cut out lots of pictures. Sort the pictures into types, ie. all the mountains in one pile, all the beaches and cliffs in another etc.
Using poster sized paper or a scrapbook write headings such as "Allah made mountains"
"Allah made icy glaciers" then stick the relevant pictures under the headings. When you have made your posters or scrapbook pages talk about how it might feel to be in those locations. You might say things like, "The forest looks very hot and wet" "That lake looks very cold and deep" You could talk about the kinds of animals you might see in the various locations. Later the children could do art work to produce their own pictures of mountains etc.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
1. Autumn poem. This is part of the leaves topic as well.
Now that autumn is well under way talk again about the experience of walking in the fallen leaves. Think of words to describe this, such as crunching, spinning,swishing. Through movements and actions let the children show how the words make them feel. (Obviously the spinning could easily get out of control here!) Let them imagine they are walking through deep leaves. Maybe they suddenly find something! What is it? An acorn or conker?
Read an autumn poem. I used "Beech Leaves" by James Reeves. How do the words make you feel? Read a story connected to the same theme. Draw pictures to go with what has been read.
2. For other text related ideas go to
Go to the primary literacy section. I have found the book related planning for "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen and "Handa's Surprise" by Eileen Browne useful.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Before children can actually write text they can picture write. In other words they can draw a series of pictures and talk about what they represent. Picture writing establishes the basis for narrative and the concept of communication through visual representation.
1. Children can keep a diary, updated as often as they like. Use a book in which they can draw pictures relating to what they have been doing. Initially you can add the date and a few words to describe the picture. Later on help the child to write a word or two. Eventually this could lead into longer pieces of independent writing.
2.Letter writing. As with the diary letters can start off as mostly pictures. You just need to find a willing friend or relative to write back. Letter writing is a good motivator as it is "real" writing, and children love getting post!
3.Stories. Encourage children to picture write stories which they can then tell back to you. For this children could use props as well as pictures. Let children audio record their stories.

For handwriting practice I have found the following workbooks useful
Letterland, My First Handwriting Activity Book and New Oxford Workbooks, At Home with Letter Forms.

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